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Re: Linux Developments in India

Roy Schestowitz wrote in <3422807.oCvyNNZQt8@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> on Sun May 14
2006 01:43:
> __/ [ NoNamer ] on Sunday 14 May 2006 06:00 \__
>> Linux undoubtedly has the lowest initial cost.
>> As the company grows however, and they need productivity applications,
>> at some point, they *will* consider moving to Windows when it makes
>> sense.
> Why?  It is less secure, less stable and offers nothing better in terms of
> productivity.  It is a well-established fallacy as Linux has user-friendly
> front ends for everything.

OpenOffice.org, IMO, performs just as well from a usability standpoint as
Microsoft Office does.  From a point of dollar value, I would say that it's
better.  Of course, people also have the option of getting StarOffice --
which costs a great deal less per license -- and shares a code base with
OpenOffice.org.  Even better, it's free to college students and is
perpetually licensed from that standpoint -- so it's not like Microsoft's
educational versions of products, where when you're no longer a student,
you're not supposed to be using it any longer.  Much better in terms of
value, in every way that I can tell.  Sure, businesses that have already
established their documents with Microsoft Office may have to worry about
macros that they've written for the time being, but I don't think that it's
all that unreasonable to expect that as time goes forward,
{Star,Open}Office will come to support Microsoft's variant of the BASIC
language for scripting macros to make the transition easier.

>> Microsoft can't really fight linux on initial cost (although it can
>> fight RedHat, Novell, etc.), but they can fight on overall
>> productivity, TCO, etc.
> Studies suggest that they cannot. One example among many others:
> http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?newsid=4321&inkc=0
>         Linux 40 percent cheaper than Windows, exclaims IBM
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Linux's total cost of operation (TCO) is typically 40 percent lower
> | than Windows, according to an IBM-sponsored report from the Robert
> | Frances Group (RFG), publicised by IBM this week.
> `----

The thing about TCO is that it's really a meaningless, business-specific
value.  It is sort of similar to saying that business X saved money over
business Y because they used pencils over pens, because they saved on
paper.  But then again, they went through more pencils, more likely then
not, which consist of a different product make-up, and thus the values
considering paper are naturally skewed.  TCO doesn't really make much sense
with the widely varied environments that exist -- and certainly you don't
see TCO studies for home end-users.

The things to be really looking at are the values that make up what one
would consider to be the value of the system -- which, no matter how you
figure it, is going to combine some concrete figures with something
abstract.  The definition of value on things like software and products is
something of an abstract thing that can vary from individual to individual
and business to business.  To me, Windows has no value, and thus it's not
an option for me.  It would be a great deal more expensive for me to do the
things that I do if I used Microsoft software on my home network.  Consider
the fact that we have five computers.  Just for me to get a copy of Windows
XP Professional on each one would cost me $724.75, excluding tax and
shipping, from newegg.com.  I couldn't think about doing something like
that -- our household budget is already too damn full, as it is.  I'm able
to use Linux to do all of my day-to-day activities, and that's certainly
more software then I'd use in an office environment -- I use IM software,
web browsing software, office productivity software, and so forth.

Thus, it's a hell of a lot cheaper for me to work with this setup, and it's
more flexible then Windows is.  I can use my computer while not being home,
and without the graphical interface overhead that something like VNC would
give me.  If I want to use a single program while I'm not home, I can do so
by using an X11 implementation whereever I'm at (USB keys are a good thing,
really) and use PuTTY to create an SSH session that is configured to
forward X11 connections, and I'm all set.  I retain the choice of what I
want to do, and I can do it in a fashion which is secure, which I rather

>> If a company thinks it can get its product to market x months faster
>> because of productivity improvements - they won't bat an eye paying a
>> bit for Windows (or anything else for that matter).
> You  are overly fixated on this idea that "more expensive must be better".
> Mind you, software can be duplicated without any cost. Is is not a pair of
> shoes,  which  require raw meterial and labour. That is the key point  and
> seed of reason (or raison d'Ãtre) for Free Open Source where /support/ and
> services bring in the cash.

Most assuredly.  Microsoft has been charging > $150 per each copy of Windows
XP since it was released in what, 2001?  I don't know what the
justification for that is -- though, once again, the value that I've placed
on the operating system is certainly not that which Microsoft has.  Under
no circumstances am I desperate enough for an operating system to pay
*them* for it.  Now, would I pay that price for something that came with
support from another company, such as Red Hat?  I suppose it would depend
on the network that I wanted to setup and my reasons for doing so.  For a
deployment of desktop workstations for a business, I'd see no reason for
it.  And for a server, I don't know that I would see a reason for it,
either, unless I was short on the ability to support the infrastructure

>> Finally - they still have to buy hardware - and OEMs get Windows at a
>> vastly discounted price.
> As  regards /hardware/: Where is the conflict of interests? Buy and  wipe.
> Install Linux. If the OEM receives money to pre-bundle some junk that will
> never  reach  the eye, then the more the merrier. It's the vendors of  the
> pre-bundled junk that lose.

Exactly.  Though, I'm of the opinion that the OEM vendors should be asking
their users what they want on their systems.  The only thing that I'll ever
buy from an OEM vendor such as Dell is a laptop, because I absolutely will
not try to go through the trouble of building one myself.  And that's
fine -- I'll remove Windows as soon as I get the hardware, and put Linux on

It's quite trivial for me to do so, as all I need to do is pop in a CD and
let it do the work for me, and then I can go from there and within a few
minutes I have a completely running system (because I'm in school and I
need mobility, it's just going to replace my desktop system, which means
that I'm just going to be moving my home directory from one system to the
other and that saves me a great deal of work, too).

Doing that with Windows is much more of a PITA, even with the wizards that
they have in place to attempt to make the migration from computer to
computer easier.  That won't migrate all of my software for me, and I
certainly don't get that software out of the box as I did with my Linux
box.  There's only one application that I have on my system that isn't in
the base system -- and that's StarOffice -- and transferring my license
from this computer to the laptop that I'm going to be getting will be quite
trivial after I get the thing.  I just copy the binary program over to my
new computer and remove the rpm packages that it installed on my system to
start with.  Quite quick, and very easy for me to do from the command line.

        - Mike

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