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Munic Linux Migration Success

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Awesome to hear a story like this that Linux migration from windows to Linux has been a a success. I was thinking now days with so many countries in financial trouble and have to cut down on expenses. Replacing windows with Linux with cut down on quite a bit of expenses. The only downside of it would be that it would take a lot of time to plan and it may cost alot, but it would only be a one time project thing. Once they get it setup and running their expensive would go down when using opensource software and not having to buy windows licenses and alot of other software licenses. For most software you have an opensource alternative and for the ones that you don't. You'll have extra to spend on licenses from where you saved on. And if more governments started doing this there would be more Linux development and eventually there would be an alternative for Linux for most windows software. That way home consumers would feel more free/comfortable to try out Linux and eventually windows would become less needed/necessary than it is today. Only thing is getting used to a new OS takes time. Well that's just my thought of saving money in this financial crisis time.

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Arguments *for* Windows (and against Linux) tend to be similar ones:

  1. "everyone knows windows - they've got it at home"
  2. "it will take too long to learn a new operating system"
  3. "Windows is easier to use"
  4. "Linux doesn't play games"

 

1. In my experience, not everybody knows Windows, and very few people have been formally trained on how to use the operating system - they follow prompts in a wizard and are fooled into believing that because they've achieved something, they're now skilled in that particular task. This has two side effects:

  • when the wizard does not work, users lack the necessary diagnostic and trouble-shooting skills required to fix the problem, simply because they've never had to
  • users will gain a certain amount of familiarity with the OS and its tools but then stay at that comfort level, never knowing that there are faster, better, more productive ways of performing the same task.

2. As per the sentence above, most Windows users are familiar with computer concepts, and transferring those skills over to the Linux world doesn't take too long. In fact, the majority of Windows systems administrators I get on my 3-day Linux Administration courses don't just take to Linux administration quite easily, they are surprised at the range of tools and utilities at their disposal and only then fully understand just how restrictive Windows can be.

 

3. I often crack quips comparing Windows to Linux on my courses:

  • "windows is great for those of us that know nothing about computers, but frustrating to those of us that do..."
  • "Linux takes commands. Windows takes suggestions."
  • "Windows is aimed at the inexperienced computer user. Linux is aimed at the experienced one. Which are you?"

4. Many people judge the power/suitability of their equipment by its capability to play games. By the same logic, would they prefer to receive a Nintendo DS than a Cray-1? Plus, those that claim there are no games under Linux/Unix haven't really researched their facts - they're exposed to DVDs with "for the PC" stamped on them, which really means "For Windows".

 

You're right in the sense that there is a mindset which needs to be broken down, and organisations that take the risk often find that the longer-term benefits and rewards pay off. It's quite a project to switch over, and that initial cost is what puts a lot of people off - but those willing to invest the time into a proper cost/benefits analysis will see it's worth it.

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I know I wrote this from a pretty much too positive perspective but I do know that migrations and switchings over always comes with problems and arguements. Just thought it was interesting to write about and it would bring up a fun discussion :)

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I do like how they've identified three aspects affected by the change: hardware, software and peopleware.

 

The latter often tends to be overlooked during release and deployment, and is usually cited as reasons behind a failed release (when actually it's been successful but the perception is one of failure due to lack of stakeholder engagement).

 

It's also interesting to note that prior to the changeover, the windows network had grown organically and there was no formal structure nor policy governing it - and that a lot of remedial work was required to make the changeover a success, irrespective of what OS was being used.

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