Microsoft Removal 101
Vincent Ryan, June 10 2003
"The move to Linux is not a stampede. Linux is nibbling at the fringes,"
Laura Didio, senior analyst at the Yankee Group, told NewsFactor, but a
"rip and replace" removal of Windows from the desktop is still very much
the exception rather than the rule.
Organizations thinking of terminating Windows desktop licenses and
removing the de facto industry standard operating system from their
networks finally have a legitimate basis for undertaking such a
high-risk switch. Linux desktop distributions are gaining in momentum
and functionality, and Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) controversial
licensing policies are making Windows maintenance costly.
So, is Microsoft removal possible? Although the labor and costs required
to make such a switch can be daunting, some organizations -- guitar
string manufacturer Ernie Ball, for example -- have made successful
attempts. But for most organizations, removing Microsoft from the
desktop may seem so difficult that they give up before they even try.
Making the Switch
Despite all the hurdles, there are companies defying the odds.
Guitar-string manufacturer Ernie Ball was highly motivated to become
Windows-free: Three years ago, it had to pay US$90,000 because 8 percent
of its Microsoft software was "noncompliant," or pirated. Microsoft
subsequently ran a press release and an ad campaign around Ernie Ball's
infringement. Infuriated by how the company was treated, Ernie Ball
executives decided to clean house.
According to Ernie Ball's estimate, in the first year it saved $90,000
that it would have spent upgrading desktop machines for Windows and
buying new Windows licenses. "Most of our machines worked fine as thin
clients, but they wouldn't have been able to run the newer Windows
stuff," Whitmore said.