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Spain's Extremadura Starts Move To GNU/Linux, Open Source

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the better-living-through-free-software dept.

EU 182

jrepin writes "The government of Spain's autonomous region of Extremadura has begun the switch to open source of it desktop PCs. The government expects the majority of its 40,000 PCs to be migrated this year, the region's CIO Theodomir Cayetano announced on 18 April. Extremadura estimates that the move to open source will help save 30 million euro per year. Extremadura in 2012 completed the inventory of all the software applications and computers used by its civil servants. It also tailored a Linux distribution, Sysgobex, to meet the majority of requirements of government tasks. It has already migrated to open source some 150 PCs at several ministries, including those for Development, Culture and Employment."

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sometimes it takes a crisis (3, Interesting)

Pirulo (621010) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587471)

...to realize the obvious

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587527)

So what is the obvious in this scenario? That they have a zero 0 budget or what?

If so, why didn't they switch to open source during the "good times"?

I'm just pointing out that if open source has merit, why should it take a budget crisis?

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587607)

Because change, even beneficial change, has a threshold of inertia to overcome.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587623)

Except you are wrong.

With responsibility comes accountability, and free and open source cannot offer this.

For those with a background in economics, I shall allow you to pencil in the blanks.

It isn't that open source is "wrong", it just isn't "right". Not yet it isn't ...

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587633)

Thanks for your opinion, TrollstonButtersbean, but your point isn't clear to me yet. Perhaps you'd like to explain further?

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587653)

I didn't have a say in what my mum named me. Thanks for insulting me mum.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43588417)

Thanks for insulting me mum.

You're welcome, Mr. Buttersbean.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (3, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587647)

I work for a multinational company, whose open source (GPL) software product is ubiquitous, and whose customers apparently are saying that you're wrong.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587707)

PHP and MySQL aren't "true" GPL. They are GPL with "exceptions" or inherent exceptions "i.e. run it as a server and the GPL claouse of distrubtion doesn't apply".

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587739)

"i.e. run it as a server and the GPL claouse of distrubtion doesn't apply".

Now you're trolling. Or dumb as a bag of rocks. I'm betting on the former, though.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587779)

He's right though, in that case the end users don't get access to the source code because the software isn't distributed to them, in that case it's no different to proprietary software, they can make changes and the source won't be visible to the users.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587821)

No he is not right. The exceptions to the gpl for MySQL is only there to allow Oracle to sell licenses to people who want to distribute closed software that links with libmysqlclient.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1, Troll)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587815)

Look, I was once a GPL diehard. I fell off that bandwagon because I saw that freedom also means "freedom to ignore the needs of the user". You and I would find kinship in the ultimate correctness of free and open source software, I just have seen that the model in place will never get us there. I long pondered the questions before coming to a conclusion though ...

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587849)

pardon me? "freedom to ignore the needs of the user" - samples please?

User can't fork code?

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587889)

User can use Apache or BSD licence?

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587925)

Why? So users changes can be put to a closed source program?

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588495)

If you distribute someone else's work, you are bound by their license. It's not your work you are distributing. If you build on someone else's work to create your own, in general, you have to negotiate about the conditions of distribution. If the code you are building on is so important to you, you can always go to the original author and ask for special conditions, e.g. a license that fits your needs. All the GPL asks you is to make sure that the people you distribute to get the same conditions for your work than the conditions under which you got the work you are building on. If you feel so different than your users, that you want other conditions for yourself than you give to your users, so be it. But then GPL is not for you. GPL is for a level playing field.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

xs650 (741277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587909)

Users may fork code, but the vast majority can't and don't have an interest in learning how.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588329)

Then they don't have any say to support either GPL or non-GPL. A user needs no source code afterall.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588091)

SaaS is permitted under gplv2 but i think it was squashed under gplv3, hence why linux etc will stay at v2

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587767)

Uh, the AGPL only applies to programs that are run remotely and not distributed. So they ain't exceptions in the same way that Tivoization is an exception, or else, RMS would have had AGPL 3 be the universal license of the GPL for everything.

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587711)

Are you retarded, or just a nincompoop?

"Software" does not offer responsibility or accountability, nitwit. Software is software.

People and organizations can take responsibility or held accountable for things they do, contracts they enter into, etc. Plenty of companies offer commercial support and accountability for various open source software, and plenty of others (e.g., most "webscale" deployments) internalize the responsibility, which is vastly more difficult if not impossible to do with closed source products (which is why Google does not run Windows on its servers).

It isn't that you are "right", it's just that you're "wrong".

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587705)

That it's more about the fact that Free Software doesn't come with an initial dollar cost - so more a Freeware philosophy - than the "freedom" aspect, the question then becomes how much will they spend on support?

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587907)

All the evidecne is that supporting Linux takes less than 10% of the resources of supporting Windows in English, It is a far bigger saving if you are using a different Locale.

A movement to Windows8 will be far more painful than a move to Linux, because new hardware will be needed not that Win8 wont run on the old CPU, but ya cant get no device drivers!!!!

Its not guns that shoots peoples feet, its Americans, that shoots their own feet!

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (2)

Voline (207517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587765)

This has been in the works long [theregister.co.uk] , long [wired.com] before the crisis caused by the financial industry catastrophe of 2008.

Europe has been adapting Linux.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587807)

This is old news - in these pages itself, the first time they started on it was 2006 [slashdot.org] , and last year, too, there was another story [slashdot.org] on their experiment here. Extremadura, Munich and Portugal happen to be pretty unique/ahead in this regard - do a search on their stories over this experiment. As long as they are doing it for long term independence from software vendors, they're on the right track - as opposed to doing it due to their 'zero budgets', since they've obviously not factored in costs of training and other things.

At this rate though, we'll probably have a gazillion more Linux distro - one for every government - local, regional or national - worldwide, that will need maintenance. Let's see how far that goes. Maybe the EU, that supergovernment that's an expert in everything, or the UN, could come up w/ their own distro, if they haven't yet?

Re:Europe has been adapting Linux.... (4, Informative)

miknix (1047580) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588575)

This is old news - in these pages itself, the first time they started on it was 2006 [slashdot.org], and last year, too, there was another story [slashdot.org] on their experiment here. Extremadura, Munich and Portugal happen to be pretty unique/ahead in this regard - do a search on their stories over this experiment.

Except the current Portuguese government decided to start replacing some of the machines running GNU/Linux with Windows. There were even some problems in the transition of the government website infrastructure, because the new Microsoft solution could not serve as much client requests as the previous Linux-based one, leading to a massive downtime which lasted weeks [1].

I don't want to speculate but most probably the new team assigned to manage the government website did only have knowledge on Microsoft technologies, so the old previous system had to go.... This is a shame because they did it during an Economical crisis, wasting money on Windows server license keys and all other associated costs which they did not have before (since it was already running Linux).

[1] http://exameinformatica.sapo.pt/web/exameinformatica/noticias/internet/2012-04-04-sistema-de-redundancia-do-portal-do-governo-nao-funcionou;jsessionid=7AE120CAF45F6309EC0DB51D0D8E70D5 [exameinformatica.sapo.pt]

Re:sometimes it takes a crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43588797)

...and in other news, Micro$oft CEO $teve Ballmer was last seen boarding a flight to Madrid.

web applications (4, Insightful)

johnjones (14274) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587479)

Thats nice I still don't understand why my tax's are spent on OS license only for the users to login to web applications

Linux supports kerberos so authentication is not a problem its down to choices and management

what would be interesting would be what applications they need to run... is there a list somewhere ?

regards

John Jones

Re:web applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587505)

What is a deltic?

Re:web applications (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587669)

Protip: In Firefox, select test, then right-click abd choose "Search Google for ...".

In any case, it's either a type of train engine or the region where a river meets the sea (also, an inhabitant of such a region). In the latter sense, "Deltic" is sometimes (especially in the USA) used to refer specifically to the Mississippi Delta or the inhabitants thereof.

Given the relative level of literacy in that region, I'd say the poster intended the former.

Re:web applications (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587673)

TEXT, not TEST, dammit.

Re:web applications (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587755)

In case somebody doesn't get the joke, or thinks I'm trolling--I should point out that I spent a good part of my childhood in Baton Rouge. :)

Re:web applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587861)

I don't get it... What does Baton Rouge have to do with shilling for Google?

Re:web applications (1)

johnjones (14274) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587897)

actually I'm refering to being dyslexic, as such not being able to spell dyslexia. google does not have all the answers, but good try...

Re:web applications (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587677)

What is a deltic?

It's when your hand hovers uncontrollably over the "Del" key.

Re:web applications (1)

masshuu (1260516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587659)

So the companies have control over whats execu... damit.
So the people can edit word doc.... damit
So the people can play 3D Pinball! Thats it.

I blame... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587503)

... Ballmer: he stopped putting money into getting the facts campaigns. Without them, how else can an autonomous region survive?

Re:I blame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587611)

Or perhaps people took the point and got the facts...

Re:I blame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587795)

As a result of this switch, the economy of the region will gain durability, hopefully reaching one day to the coveted status of extreme durability, or extrema durability as they might say in Spain.

The expense isn't the license, it's support (1, Insightful)

blarkon (1712194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587523)

In terms of person hours, the cost of a Windows and Office license is such that if an IT support person needs to spend more than a couple of hours directly supporting a Linux machine over its lifetime than they would supporting an equivalent Windows/Office machine, the organization is spending more rather than less money. And people who can competently support Linux aren't cheap - they are certainly more expensive on a $ per hour basis than the stream of Windows support people that Microsoft created a whole division called Microsoft Learning for to ensure that supply exceeds demand. Until competent Linux desktop support people are as cheap as competent Microsoft desktop people, it's going to be hard to overcome the fact that while the OS may not cost a dollar to license, computers require support and support costs $. (And given the whole OSS financial model is to make the $ on the support end ... )

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587615)

Here, take a few of these. <p> <br> <p> <br> <p> <br> <p> <br> Take as many as you need, they're free.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587837)

Oh come on guys, mod this up, that's the funniest thing posted on /. today!

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (0)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587927)

Free as in GPL or Free as in BSD?

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

Ultracrepidarian (576183) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588175)

Beats BSOD.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43588639)

Here, take a few of these. <p> <br> <p> <br> <p> <br> <p> <br> Take as many as you need, they're free.

If you are going to troll a nice comment by giving HTML tags, at least give them properly...
<br/><p></p>

kthxbai.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587635)

And this data is out of where? About amount of support hours?

One thing is to support office, you also need to take into consideration things like: raw processing power. Linux will blow windows out of water. Starting Office will simply take less time. Also, less concerns with security.

I am pretty sure, they'd be easily automate security patches etc. Even if they wouldn't be able to do it - on average Linux is still much more secure and stable.

And even if statement is true, couple an hours a year cost less than windows license. You still need to support windows.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (4, Insightful)

masshuu (1260516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587667)

Reminds me of what the trainers at work said.

Sit a linux admin and a windows admin in a room together and tell them to walk away from their mail exchangers for 2 weeks. The linux admin will be indifferent and the windows admin will visibly twitch, snap, and kill everyone.

Oh the stability of windows products.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587691)

The City of Munich is an example of how they switched to Linux and saved them money in the long term compared to the standard Windows based system.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587751)

That's a nice, well used, and wrong chestnut.

Incredibly, the only real data to back up such flimsy assertions comes from companies that have, by amazing coincidence, received money from Microsoft. Purely for something unrelated, naturally.

The fact is that Linux is considerably more flexible to configure and deploy than Windows. It also does not come with huge complexity of auditing license compliance (yes, there are some companies that offer Linux support license; no, they are not like Microsoft's licensing complex). So if you are a lone administrator using your home computer or keeping up a small office, Microsoft may come easier to you (largely because that's what you've used growing up). Once you get to something larger, all these handwaving assertions start to break down.

It is a very convenient propaganda tool, because intuitively many people can agree with it, based on their own experience of working on their own computers. So people don't question it as much as they should.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587811)

Well the 'FACT' is due to M$ greed and their upgrade policy, windows and office support costs a packet, each and every forced upgrade cycle. Windows can and often is a nightmare to support, auto upgrade has to be disabled just in case and then manually done. Document incompatibilities in between versions needs constant support. Reality is, due to the simplicity of administering a Linux system (the windows registry sucks dead dog's dicks, why, why, oh why the fuck why) with text file configuration, a competent Linux administrator can get a huge amount done in a very short time, pay twice as much to often get ten times the work done in the same time.

PS you pay more for better skilled people, so what you are really saying is that Linux trained system administrators are better skilled then windoze admins (having contracted out both I can guarantee on average that is true). In fact often those Linux admins are far better at administrating windows systems then your typical windoze admin.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (2)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587871)

each and every forced upgrade cycle.

If Microsoft could force upgrades, why are so many systems not running Windows 8 yet?
So is the plan for an organization to move to an Open Source OS, never have an upgrade, and then the users can complain how old the system is?

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43588293)

> If Microsoft could force upgrades, why are so many systems not running Windows 8 yet?

Because Windows 8 is a downgrade.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587887)

dude your comment contains *no* facts, i'm not saying you're wrong but if you wrote that exact same comment from the other perspective it would be modded down like there's no tomorrow and you would have people commenting "shill" and the like. it goes to show that people on this site no longer care about technical details, they care about hating microsoft (not saying hating microsoft is wrong), it loses all credibility because site visitors just see yet another baseless subjective opinion flaming the opposing point of view.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (2, Interesting)

Casandro (751346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587919)

"In fact often those Linux admins are far better at administrating windows systems then your typical windoze admin."

That's actually something I refused to believe. The most "modern" Version of Windows I've used was Windows XP, and I even barely did anything with it. Yet recently I was working with someone who earned his money fixing Windows. We ran into a fairly trivial problem, the owner of some files was set wrong so you couldn't access it via the network. The Windows person didn't know how to fix it. I had to look it up and found the way to do it. (believe me it's absolutely counter intuitive, you need to enable something in the dialog where you set how file listings look like)

I always find it hard to believe that there are people working in IT on Windows systems out there knowing even _less_ about Windows than I do.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588167)

Hmm. How come I only hear this from Slashdot whereas people on ArsTechnica (which are less fanboyish except for perhaps Apple) seem to think Windows is easier to manage? Perhaps Active Directory and GPOs have some uses, eh?

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (3, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587851)

One way of looking at this is that governments would be insourcing, rather than outsourcing, their OS needs. You are right - on the Linux side, support does cost money. On the Windows side, ultimate obsolescence and upgrades are what would cost money. Since these computers wouldn't be used to play professional games (just the simple ones like Mines, Network and so on), the hardware can be as old as it likes (as long as it's still reliable) and since the governments would now be rolling their own distros, as did Munich or Portugal,

The hard lesson came to these guys w/ XP - they can either continue running an unsupported OS (in terms of bug fixes, antivirus & so on) or they can cough up €€€ in upgrading to Windows 7 (might as well go directly to Windows 8 if they are doing it NOW, and add whatever utilities they need to get back the start menu). Or they could bite the bullet this one time, switch to Linux (where they'd have the option of rolling out their own distro), and then maintaining a software division to write whatever apps they need, particularly ones in their native languages. Even the last sounds like good news for governments, since everywhere, governments like to expand and have more things to keep them busy, and ergo, more jobs for their voters. I just see win-win-win-win-win in all of this.

Which becomes cheaper, as its seldom needed. (4, Insightful)

Artemis3 (85734) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587867)

Yes, but then again, once you have things settled and working properly, you rarely ever need support. Unlike some other proprietary OSes, where things are constantly breaking, a Linux machine always works unless the hardware fails.

I have lived such a transition. Before, Windows machines would break all the time, and people in support were always overwhelmed. Now with Linux in desktops, after a small period of shock from users because of the change, its boring and very rarely support is ever needed. People also tend to stick to their work, since they can no longer try/install random malware of the day.

You are also forgetting, support for free software can come from anywhere; you are not tied to a single vendor. And i mean real support, such as, "i need program x to do y, can you change it?"

Chaining yourself to a single vendor is business suicide; and a loss of sovereignty to a foreign corporation from a government perspective.

Once you break of the chains, you will never want to go back.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (3, Interesting)

Casandro (751346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587903)

No, in the instances companies and organisations switched from Windows to Linux the support cost went _down_ not up. There's plenty of good reasons for that, like the ability to not only remotely log into such machines, but also the ability to script that. Or the idea of a package manager where you can do updates of _all_ your software automatically. Or the idea that all configuration is stored in text files which are trivial to edit and fix if something goes wrong.

One if the more extreme examples is currently seen. Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP... without providing a successor. Now many companies are faced with switching to Windows 7 only to be faced with the same problem in a few years. If Windows XP would have been free (as in speech) software, they could have just gradually replaced parts of it with newer versions, making the change gradual instead of abrupt, maybe even keeping some parts for compatibility.

Free Software isn't dependent on single organisations or persons. Just look at Ubuntu. If you don't like Unity, switch to Xubuntu or Kubuntu. If you don't like Shuttleworth switch to Debian. You'll have (more or less) the same software on all of those, but you have a choice.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588269)

Microsoft didn't provide a successor to windows xp? There are 3 successors to windows xp: windows vista, windows 7, windows 8.

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

Casandro (751346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588307)

You're funny :)

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588193)

linux admins aren't usually as retarded as windows admins, and linux admins are also usually pretty good windows admin but the reverse is rarely the case

OSS makes money from support, but microsoft isn't exactly a charity when it comes to support

in any case all this change is probably because microsoft is forcing businesses to migrate to windows server 2012 because they are no longer supporting SBS, and if you want exchange you have to go for the more expensive versions

anyone who thinks microsoft software is value for money compared to OSS has rocks in their head

Re:The expense isn't the license, it's support (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588627)

Competent linux people are as cheap as competent windows people, its just that the market is flooded with incompetent windows people who distort the perception... It is these huge numbers of cheap but incompetent windows admins who contribute significantly to the public perception of windows as being extremely unreliable and insecure, indeed most employees who spend their day sitting at a computer will have many stories to tell about regular problems they encounter.

Also, Linux admins generally manage more systems per admin, which makes them better value overall.

Aside from all this, it is not the cost of windows that matters, it's the freedom of not being locked in which means you can choose the best tool for the job across the board, upgrade (or not) at your leisure etc. Being locked in to any single source is extremely damaging, and the damage in terms of cost and flexibility rapidly grow over time.

Hardly an issue these days (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587525)

With so much stuff running remotely through web interfaces, operating systems matter very little.

Re:Hardly an issue these days (0)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587681)

With so much stuff running remotely through web interfaces, operating systems matter very little.

...unless you're actually (stupid and/or unfortunate enough to be) paying for the OS.

Re:Hardly an issue these days (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587879)

Actually, on this one, Windows does have the advantage, since in LibreOffice, the apps are good for just the basic things. On the Word app, I'll grant that they're probably at par, but in the spreadsheet, Excel is way ahead of the LO spreadsheet in terms of what it can do. People don't use spreadsheets to just make tables - they also use them to create pivot table based reports, charts and so on, and in this aspect, Excel has so many features tagged on that some even use it as a mini database. The LO spreadsheet is nowhere near. The disparity grows even more when one goes to the presentation and the database apps.

So this is one area where users would require a lot of training and acclimatization to Linux applications. Less while doing documents, but more while doing databases and presentations. So governments, while they are at it, would do well to create their own software divisions to run both their own Linux distros, as well as apps for those distros. Of course, this would mean more work, more jobs for voters and more votes. Yeah, budget would be a problem, but just do those huge total cost of ownership exercises and show how over 100 years, they'll save trillions, and then go for it!

Re:Hardly an issue these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587983)

So governments, while they are at it, would do well to create their own software divisions to run both their own Linux distros

Really? So Microsoft products don't require organizations to hire people to administer and customize and install their applications? Microsoft provides all that for free?

Yeah, budget would be a problem

Says the one who advocates a full Office license for every employee...

Re:Hardly an issue these days (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588503)

No, one could just buy readily available off the shelf software, starting w/ Office, and many more. And more importantly, there are a gazillion specialized software titles for each niche in Windows that's just not there in anything else - be it OS-X, Linux or Unix. Customizing and installing applications is not what people need to be hired for - they need to be hired for maintaining them overall. But one could just as easily buy Microsoft services. But my post was about the maintenance of the OS. With Windows, organizations can buy service contracts from Microsoft (and on Linux, w/ Red Hat as well). But insourcing the development of their own distros would be a good way to run it, while they can look at upstream fixes from the likes of Red Hat, Debian or FBSD foundation.

I don't advocate a full Office License for every employee. I just pointed out that the others, like LO or Calligra Suite are just not there yet. Unless they are doing the most banal work that can be imagined.

Re:Hardly an issue these days (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588213)

microsoft office is stupid. libreoffice is good. nuff said

Re:Hardly an issue these days (2)

pjt33 (739471) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588845)

Excel has so many features tagged on that some even use it as a mini database

This is true, but it's not something to be encouraged.

Re:Hardly an issue these days (3, Informative)

ElberethZone (1136393) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587941)

Not like my 80 millions € SOA project were they had the "clever" idea to create a .Net front-end to the web-services instead of a web-application... The worst thing in this case is that they needed to have the front-end available to third parties which cannot run .Net. Their solution: Citrix remote access... :( Architecture at his best.

Re:Hardly an issue these days (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587975)

They need to beef up maintenance revenue by building the bugs in to the initial design.

I use Windows at home, Linux at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587535)

The Windows 7 GUI feels more polished, especially in the area of app installation. Excel is much nicer than Open Office Calc, and I haven't even tried OO's word processor yet. But Linux has a fantastic shell and command line (mostly inherited from Unix of course), incomparably better than Windows cmd. Thunderbird is as good as Outlook, and I use Firefox on both OS's. Gnome gedit is better than Notepad/Wordpad.

Yeah, I think it's doable to shift an enterprise workforce en masse from Windows to Linux desktop. Just be prepared for some gripes about OpenOffice (or Libre) from committed MS Office users.

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587625)

The Windows 7 GUI feels more polished, especially in the area of app installation.

Something tells me you haven't used Linux for a very long time, if ever...

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587687)

The Windows 7 GUI feels more polished, especially in the area of app installation.

Something tells me you haven't used Linux for a very long time, if ever...

Something tells me that you've just taken an astro-turfer at at his word. Not smart.

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (0)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587725)

A Linux neck-beard and a Windowz guy fighting it out. I used to GNUknow which one to root for ...

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (1)

Bureaucromancer (1303477) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587723)

Meh. Assuming you AREN'T using the command line to install it's a mostly fair comment. Yes, the various GUIs for package managers WORK, but I have never seen one I would call polished. Ultimately UI feel matter a lot to non technical users and doesn't have a whole lot to do with how well, or not, the system may work underneath the graphics.

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587783)

What is this, bizzaro day?

Haven't you astroturfers looked at any version of Linux past 1999? You need to update your copy/paste script, the world has moved on.

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43588123)

What amuses me is that if you took your post and replaced "Linux" with "Windows" then your post would be the defacto standard response to people who always comment on various obsolete aspects of Windows.

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588245)

synaptic is pretty good

i have two old laptops, one with windows vista and the other is a bit older (used to have xp till the optical drive died so i put debian on it from a boot server) and i was able to install a bunch of games on the linux laptop by just surfing through the entertainment section in synaptic, but i'm still trying to figure out how to get more games for the vista machine without getting infected by malware. i know many of the linux games have windows versions of places like sourceforge, but its just a pain in the ass compared to synaptic. software availability used to be a serious problem for linux compared to windows, but its fast becoming the other way around.

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (3, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587855)

The Windows 7 GUI feels more polished, especially in the area of app installation.

I used to work for a state government agency -- more than ten years ago. Anyway, I was given a computer to use, a login for various things, MS Office to type stuff on, and I was completely forbidden to install anything. I suspect for large entities, including governments, ease of application installation isn't really an issue because the users aren't going to be doing the installing.

Anyway, I left the state and opened up my own business. At first I made copious use of open source because every penny mattered, and then later just because it was familiar to me and worked fine. I can say that for basic word processing and spreadsheet work -- like what 99.999% of what anyone actually does, Open/Libre Office has been just fine over the years (daily frequent usage). In fact, I don't even know how to use most of what LibreOffice offers because in reality, it doesn't matter -- I'm not a book or magazine publisher. I just need to write letters, envelopes, and certain industry specific atypically formatted documents, but nothing a background image, center, bold and italic can't handle.

Recently I had to install windows (7, in a VM) for a special project and I had no choice about this. This is the first version of Windows I've had in a decade (I'm a Linux and OS X user), and you know what, at first it was fucking hard to use. Not because it's actually hard ... but because it was unfamiliar. Except, after a few hours or so with it, it sort of clicked and it's as easy as anything else. Just like in my office -- the assistants all use OS X machines, and every new employee goes through a little reorientation with the computer if they aren't OS X familiar, but after a few days, nobody notices (except the total idiots, but it's a good test because it has been well proven to me, that if you can't translate the task from one icon to another, you probably belong in a job where you can listen to music all day and make coffee). Anyway, after a few days, they just use it and do their work without difficulty. I suspect that most people will be able to do the same thing, especially if the IT guy is the one doing all the installation and then telling them "to do that, just click on this icon right here ..."

Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587885)

This is true. Although as someone who migrated from Office 2003 to Office 2007, I find the latter really tough to use. The loss of the menu bar, and the total revamp of that interface, however imperfect it might have been under Office 2003, has just meant me acting like a blind person - spreading out my hands to see I don't bump into anything. If LibreOffice and Calligra can be made almost exactly like Office 2003 (not 2007) - and I'm talking about all of them - not just the word processing, but also, the spreadsheet, presentation and database - then it would definitely be worth a switch, even on Windows. But you are right - LibreOffice does have its rough edges and still needs lots of work before it can be said to be ready for widespread use.

Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587543)

In my local car dealership, when you wait for your car, there's a touch PC running Windows 8 for you to surf while you wait. On IE there is a toolbar search, and there's no way to switch focus to the URL because it barely registers touch and seems to think you're dragging the title bar.

I found it completely unusable.

IMHO, the best reason to switch away from Windows is surely Windows 8?!

The sheer cost of all the apps that need replacing, and training to get the damn thing to work, is crippling. The lost productivity from that POS is more than enough to force a switch.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587713)

Overheard in front of MS Surface display at local MediaMarkt:

"Varför finns det ingen skärm på den här skärmen, bara ikoner? Hur fan kan man hitta något på det här sättet?"

("Why is there no screen on this screen, only icons? How the hell do you find anything this way?")

Re:Windows 8 (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587799)

Overheard in front of MS Surface display at local MediaMarkt:

"Varför finns det ingen skärm på den här skärmen, bara ikoner? Hur fan kan man hitta något på det här sättet?"

("Why is there no screen on this screen, only icons? How the hell do you find anything this way?")

I suppose he's never seen an ipad then.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587743)

Ah yes ... switch away from Windows. Sure, sure. Windows sucks. They should switch to OS X, clearly. Linux has had over a decade to try to iron-out an environment as a mainstream alternative to Windows ... and have fallen flat on their faces so many times it is difficult for even a Windows-hater like myself to recommend Linux as an alternative. OS X is the Unix that "works" out of the box.

OS-X, Linux and Windows (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587923)

Except that for governments, that budget would be even more than the Windows budgets, and it would lock governments to one source - Apple. Better idea here - PC-BSD. Just find some way of running OS-X apps, in addition to the usual KDE apps. PC-BSD is now a lot more polished, and so once they come up w/ configurations that don't have missing drivers on FBSD, PC-BSD can run on them just fine. Only thing - there's not much proliferation of distros there like there is in Linux.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587971)

Mac user interface, never really liked it. Too handicapped.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588385)

Ah yes ... switch away from Windows. Sure, sure. Windows sucks. They should switch to OS X, clearly. Linux has had over a decade to try to iron-out an environment as a mainstream alternative to Windows ... and have fallen flat on their faces so many times it is difficult for even a Windows-hater like myself to recommend Linux as an alternative. OS X is the Unix that "works" out of the box.

Minor problem - switching to OS X means changing all your hardware.

That'll put the costs up a bit.

Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43587643)

I thinks very good move by govenrment which will help not just cutting the cost also to boost open source world.

Rose
http://www.gizmeon.com

Re:Good move (0)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587753)

Don't try to promote boost. It won't work. Every neck-beard gnuknows that Boost is a C++ library which is the evil seed of a corrupted C++ utopia ideals corrupted by $MS. Nice try tho ...

all going well - as planned (1)

jankoh (2547488) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587793)

As announced already last january on Slashdot,
http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/01/24/0416236/spanish-extremadura-moving-40000-desktops-to-linux [slashdot.org]
" 'The project is really advanced and we hope to start the deployment the next spring, finishing it in December.' "

Now, is the time of "next spring", so they started :-)

Still PCs though? (1)

opusman (33143) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587823)

I thought we were post-PC! Where are the tablets that are supposedly taking over the world?

Re:Still PCs though? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587949)

Have you ever stopped to think how many alien worlds are populated by tablets?

Oh great, this is just what we need (1)

willoughby (1367773) | about a year and a half ago | (#43587973)

Yet another Linux distro.

Re:Oh great, this is just what we need (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588277)

you'll love windows 8 then... it's jam packed full of awesomeness

nevermind (1)

darkHanzz (2579493) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588021)

Ahhh, pushed a wrong moderation button. Need to post to undo it.

750 euro per pc per year (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year and a half ago | (#43588301)

At what point in history did the commercial software to run a PC start costing 3-5 times the cost of the physical PC?

And just at the right point .. where the software is too expensive, the interface is busted and the stability is screwed .. Ubuntu launched Unity! That shit is seriously going to take over the world man. Every man and his dog is going to be using a tablet with Unity on it! And telephones too, there's nothing more satisfying than taking a swipe at your telephone .. trust me, I've seen the shiny videos with "it's so pretty" reviews on cnet!

But in all seriousness, what sort of desktop distro could a western government safely choose now? It's almost 2 choices:
1/ Roll your own
2/ Use Redhat

Choice 1 is okay for smaller governments, but choice 2 is the only realistic option for larger governments.

Re:750 euro per pc per year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43588471)

750 per PC is still peanuts if you look into the realm of creative suits and related software, the prices hike into the range of 5-10K per workstation.

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