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Re: [News] The High Value of Linux in Smaller Businesses

"Roy Schestowitz" <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message 
> The Value of Linux for the SMB Market
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Linux is here to stay. As the computing industry's fastest growing
> | operating system, some analysts predict that Linux will surpass
> | Microsoft Windows in new server shipments in just a few years.
> | Large corporations already benefit from this flexible and
> | cost-effective technology. However, the SMB market has been
> | reluctant to integrate Linux.
> `----
> http://www.wwpi.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1612&Itemid=44
> Many businesses only came into existence thanks to Apache, PHP, MySQL and
> Linux. The barrier entry is low and this discourages monopolies while
> encouraging innovation, competition, and diversity. Free culture benefits
> all.

Small to medium businesses (the so-called SMB's) purchase computer services 
as a service in the same way that they purchase personnel services for 
paying wages, accounting services for doing taxes, and insurance for 
protecting their company investments.  The business owners that I know do 
not pay much attention to any of the technology involved, rather they focus 
on their relationship with their supplier.  If the service supplier is 
providing a reliable and effective service, it does not matter what you 
might want to say about what is under the hood.  Whether the supplier is 
using a Linux computer to print paychecks or is using a Windows server makes 
no difference.  The SMB owner is only interested in results and is more 
interested in reliability and accuracy and keeping a long term relationship 
than he is in finding the rock bottom lowest cost supplier.

I think that this is lost on the people who advocate Linux by trying to show 
some incremental advantage of Linux or else casting aspersions on the 
security of Windows.  The people who make the buying decisions in SMB do not 
ever concern themselves with these issues and trust to the wisdom of their 
suppliers.  On the service supplier side, I believe that those who control 
technology decisions are acting in a similar manner.  If the current 
technology is satisfying the needs of their clients, they are loath to make 
any change to the system.  Stability and consistency are more important to 
their continued success than any cost avoidance that appears to require 
radical changes to some technology base.  It is far, far easier to migrate 
from a Unix environment to a Linux environment since the overall appearance 
of the systems are very similar.  To migrate from a Windows environment to a 
Linux environment takes a lot more consideration to how things are done and 
so looms as a higher risk.  If there is no compelling reason to take that 
risk, no change occurs. 

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