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Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the cash-from-a-penguin dept.

Linux Business 367

Dega704 sends this news from ComputerWorld: "Some financial services companies are looking to migrate their ATM fleets from Windows to Linux in a bid to have better control over hardware and software upgrade cycles. Pushing them in that direction apparently is Microsoft's decision to end support for Windows XP on April 8, said David Tente, executive director, USA, of the ATM Industry Association. 'There is some heartburn in the industry' over Microsoft's end-of-support decision, Tente said. ATM operators would like to be able to synchronize their hardware and software upgrade cycles. But that's hard to do with Microsoft dictating the software upgrade timetable. As a result, 'some are looking at the possibility of using a non-Microsoft operating system to synch up their hardware and software upgrades,' Tente said."

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First (-1, Offtopic)

Jumperalex (185007) | about 4 months ago | (#46543709)

First

possibility...some... (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#46543713)

and if it's really, really cheap to do.

Re:possibility...some... (2)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#46544049)

Linux is already the norm in Brazilian ATMs, so the banks can just buy ready built versions.

Bye now, I'm off to my Portuguese class.

heartburn in the industry? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543721)

Oh if only Microsoft had given them more than like 10 years notice of end-of-support, they might have had time to prepare....

Re:heartburn in the industry? (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 months ago | (#46543799)

> Oh if only Microsoft had given them more than like 10 years notice of end-of-support, they might have had time to prepare....

I've been in shops where the key mission critical app was 30 years old. All of the shiny new MBAs would come in and try and replace that thing with newer tech but would ultimately fail. The 30 year old product did the job and the shiny new things couldn't.

ATMs are such a key part of their business that it really makes no sense for them to not be in total control.

Linux allows that.

Although they should have used a more industrial product to begin with. The choice really shouldn't be between Linux and Microsoft. There should be better targeted options and the market should have allowed those to thrive.

Re:heartburn in the industry? (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46544003)

Although they should have used a more industrial product to begin with.

This can be hard in practice. Vendors of niche products often only support Windows. Even if they support other OSes, you end up being the beta tester since the code is not as widely used. We ended up using XP embedded years ago because, of all things, USB memory stick compatibility. We tried to use Wind River's drivers, Linux drivers (years ago), and even Windows CE - but XP was the only solution that worked with almost every stick out there. When we used Wind River's solution, we had to maintain a compatibility list. But this effort was impossible once they started to explode in popularity. We of course sold compatible sticks to use with our equipment, but this was not popular with our customers and our competitors used Windows, so we were at a disadvantage.

Re:heartburn in the industry? (1)

slomike1 (1125421) | about 4 months ago | (#46544111)

Luckily support for XP embedded is not ending on April 8th. It is supported until January 2014.

Re:heartburn in the industry? (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 4 months ago | (#46544229)

This makes sense within a time bubble perspective.

Re:heartburn in the industry? (4, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#46544055)

They originally chose XP because it had a much lower cost of entry than anything else, and I'm not saying that as a Linux hater - yes, you do get the source to do with as you may, but that means hiring developers who know how to do something with that rather than just hiring VB developers. Low start up costs versus less control over your long term environment. But that wasn't an immediate problem when the EOL date was a decade off.

So now, a decade on, they are reaping what they sowed.

Re:heartburn in the industry? (4, Informative)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46544059)

I suspect ATMs straddle the line between being too sophisticated and varied to lend themselves to a simplistic embedded system, and too niche a product to be cost effective to develop a specialized OS from the ground up. Windows gave them something that got the job done more cheaply than a custom-built OS. Now that Linux has gone mainstream it does open the door to a specialized OS since it need not be built from the ground up - adding and removing modules typically involves *far* less effort, especially when there are numerous variations of stripped-down specialty distros to start from.

Re:heartburn in the industry? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46543945)

You aren't thinking like a hardware manufacturer. Using XP on all of their hardware - new and old - enabled them to support all hardware with one code base. Switching to the newest version of Windows at any stage makes support more complicated. Maybe it wouldn't matter for some embedded devices, but you need to keep ATMs up to date for security reasons. So sure, the 10-year-old ATMs you can just write off and call obsolete. But what about those sold 5 years ago? Last year? Your choices are to sell your customers a new "upgrade kit", which will piss them off, or swallow the costs. Once you swallow the costs, you start to wonder whether it would be better to simply use a stable OS in the first place. There are vendors who will support a certain version of Linux more or less forever.

Incidentally, XP Embedded is supported through 2016, so this is not as pressing a matter as it would seem.

Good for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543723)

But isn't it somewhat staggering that so many businesses, with years of knowledge that Windows XP would reach end of support, did absolutely nothing about it? Why would I trust that company no matter what OS they run on their ATM?

Re:Good for Linux (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46543857)

Because apparently all of them are equally incompetent.

Re:Good for Linux (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46544123)

Well, that doesn't really answer the question. You also need the other half of the answer: that our culture has developed in a way that makes avoiding the services offered by the companies building and operating ATMS rather severely inconvenient.

Re:Good for Linux (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#46543983)

Most businesses don't think that far ahead, at least when it comes to things which are not their core business...
The idea that they would make their business dependent on software only available from a single vendor is equally staggering.

Re:Good for Linux (2)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 4 months ago | (#46544095)

Well that a business would decide they didn't like having support dropped, so much so that they plan on moving to something unsupported all the time is ludicrous.

Wait until a bank goes to hire linux support employees. As most moves to Linux, I expect this one to last about 26.2 seconds.

Re:Good for Linux (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 4 months ago | (#46544171)

Which company? The Bank or the ATM builder? There are only so many ATM providers, I can only kind of blame banks. The ATM providers, should pay for this. Banks should switch away from DIebold and the like that have used Windows XP for so long.

Embedded (5, Funny)

Moblaster (521614) | about 4 months ago | (#46543735)

So does this mean we can expect our special hardened ATM Linux OS to have names like Filching Finch, Moneybiting Mongoose, Overcharging Oranguatan?

Re:Embedded (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 4 months ago | (#46543881)

Astonishing APR?
Brilliant Bankers?


or maybe...

Crippling Charges?
Defaulting Debit?

Re:Embedded (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#46544149)

More importantly, will 2014 finally be the year of Linux on the ATM?!?!

XP didn't make sense in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543737)

Linux is much more secure, and free. Why they actually went with XP is beyond reason.

Yes and no (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543785)

Yes it's free, but I'm sick of the "it's more secure" nonsense. It has the potential to be secured properly by the integrator, but that's it.

Re:Yes and no (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 months ago | (#46543941)

This is the perfect example of why gratis doesn't mean so much. The really important thing here is that the user or even the "integrator" can have complete control of the system. They don't have to worry about ANYONE else interfering with the degree of control they want and the features that they want to be active.

The people building the ATM are in total control. For a device like an ATM, that's really how it should be.

e-voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544281)

This is the perfect example of why gratis doesn't mean so much. The really important thing here is that the user or even the "integrator" can have complete control of the system. They don't have to worry about ANYONE else interfering with the degree of control they want and the features that they want to be active.

The people building the ATM are in total control. For a device like an ATM, that's really how it should be.

Too bad e-voting machines aren't built to the same standard of reliability and auditiability.

Re:Yes and no (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46543955)

I'm sick of the "it's more secure" nonsense. It has the potential to be secured properly by the integrator, but that's it.

Aren't you basically contradicting yourself here? If it has the potential to be secured properly (and the alternative does not), then doesn't that make it more secure by definition?

To make a crappy car analogy, let's suppose I have two options for cars, and I want a car that's extremely safe (as in offers the best crash protection). Option 1 is a car that has freely-available design documentation and which I can build myself from cheap, readily-made parts. It's also very cheap and easy for me to add a bunch of airbags, and other advanced features like crumple zones, impact-resistant fuel tank, etc. Other people get this car and build their own versions without some of these options, or they add in other features that render these protective features less effective, but not everyone does, and some build their own version with all the best protective features without any extra fluff that decreases safety. Option 2 is a car with the hood welded shut and which you can't modify at all. It has a drivers-side airbag only, and it claims to have a crumple zone but there's a lot of controversy about exactly how well it actually works in a crash, and there's very little real crash-test data available for it as the company that makes Option 2 is very secretive about the design of this car (Option 1 has been crash-tested numerous different ways by different agencies). You can't add any extra airbags either. Obviously, Option 1 is the safer choice, even though that means you can't just grab some off-the-shelf version put together by someone who doesn't care much about safety.

Re:Yes and no (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46544213)

Well, no. If you're largely incompetent in the automotive-construction trade then you're liable to build some monstrosity that, while appearing safer, is quite possibly considerably less secure than option 2.

What option 1 really grants you is a wide range of vendors selling related cars with various different configurations, which can be rigorously compared in a largely apples-to-apples manner to find the one that best suits your needs. The ability to custom-design your car is nice, but probably foolish to exercise unless/until you've already built up significant institutional expertise in fine-tuning an "off the shelf" car of the new model.

Re:XP didn't make sense in the first place (0)

The123king (2395060) | about 4 months ago | (#46543939)

But you have to train someone to use and adminstrate Linux, which means making training materials for your custom Linux installation even before you put your proprietary front-end on it. With MS Windows, all you have to do is give them a copy of "XP For Dummies" and everyone's happy

Re:XP didn't make sense in the first place (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 months ago | (#46544019)

No. Not really. Even a competent NT admin has to some clue. Otherwise you're just kidding yourself and sitting on a ticking time bomb.

Re:XP didn't make sense in the first place (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 4 months ago | (#46544243)

If you've never used any variety of Linux before, you will need training.

You can be a whiz at writing scripts and batch files to do things on the Windows side, that does not mean you will magically know how to do things on the Linux side.

Just because I am very capable of writing a presentation for the higher ups or giving a speech does not mean I have the capacity to write a book.

Re:XP didn't make sense in the first place (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 4 months ago | (#46544141)

They went with XP because it has some API similarities to the previous generation OS/2 machines.

I'd just like to interject for a moment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543741)

What you're refering to as Linux, is in fact, GANOOOOOOOOOU Linux

Re:I'd just like to interject for a moment (1)

j35ter (895427) | about 4 months ago | (#46543819)

Is that you again, RMS????

Re: I'd just like to interject for a moment (2)

Kusuriya (633870) | about 4 months ago | (#46543863)

In this case it may not contain GNU

Re:I'd just like to interject for a moment (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 4 months ago | (#46543963)

That implies it uses GNU.

Re:I'd just like to interject for a moment (2)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | about 4 months ago | (#46543979)

Would that be Gary GANOOOOOOOOOU Linux?

Here's what I don't get (5, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 4 months ago | (#46543745)

What's a desktop operating system doing on an ATM anyway?

Re:Here's what I don't get (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543817)

Its windows XP embedded...different from normal desktop OS

Re:Here's what I don't get (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 months ago | (#46543867)

No, it isn't. Support for XP Embedded isn't dropped coming April.

Re:Here's what I don't get (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46544261)

Didn't RTFM, but does it actually say that the ATM vendors are being driven off XP? It could well be simply that they can see the writing on the wall, realizing that embedded XPs days are numbered, and are actually doing the intelligent, forward-looking thing by considering Linux as a more long-term solution than whatever the MS-recommended upgrade path from embedded XP is.

Re:Here's what I don't get (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#46543823)

Seemed like a good idea 13 years ago. ATM is a client application after all.

Re:Here's what I don't get (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#46543869)

I don't even get why they'd switch to Linux. Something like QNX or VXWorks (I'm sure people will chime in with other/better examples) would make much more sense for something as simple as a bank machine. A bank machine has to do very little. Why would something as complex as Windows or Linux be used.

Re:Here's what I don't get (2)

j35ter (895427) | about 4 months ago | (#46543919)

Because Blackberry might pull another XP on them in a couple of years..

Re:Here's what I don't get (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#46544101)

I don't even get why they'd switch to Linux. Something like QNX or VXWorks (I'm sure people will chime in with other/better examples) would make much more sense for something as simple as a bank machine. A bank machine has to do very little. Why would something as complex as Windows or Linux be used.

Because of developer tools. The software on ATMs isn't static - it changes often enough to be annoying as new banking requirements come up - new language support, accessibility, currency handling, etc.

The ATM hardware basically is static, but the software it runs on is customized for the bank and for the purpose the bank is using it for.

Embedded OS tools generally are quite awful and hard to set up. But desktop tools are easier to use - just point a developer at Visual Studio, the source repo and they can get building that afternoon. And with a few peripherals, they can even emulate the ATM hardware right on their desktop without having to have the ATM beside them, transfer the code and assets over, etc.

Anyhow, it's not like banks didn't have a lot of notice - way back in the Windows 7 days Microsoft had already announced end of support (this was over 5 years ago). They reiterated it several times since then. The fact that support was ending next month has been known for years.

Problem is, most companies see it as "far off" and too far away to bother, ignoring the fact that migrating can take years. Just because you were told in 2009 that XP was going away in April 2014, means most companies will ignore it until the last minute. It's so bad that Microsoft is getting requests to extend XP support another year. (And most of those are from people who did NOT need more than 5 years to migrate - they just ignored it until they had the "oh shit it's only 6 months away!" moment).

It's been going on for years now - the banks have had more than ample opportunity to prepare.

Re:Here's what I don't get (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543873)

XP embedded was the OS of choice after OS/2. Turns out the bankers wanted to know why, if they're paying the same price, they're not getting XP Pro. It's really that simple.

It was never a question of "can we install Linux or Windows 7 or BeOS" - it's basic Intel hardware.

The reason XP is still on the ATMs and not Win7 is due to the banking industry and PCI regulations - it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a simple change to the ATM and get it certified by the banking industry and prove that it's still PCI-compliant in order to work with 3rd party transaction processors who perform the actual ATM transactions. Most banks don't to that themselves.

There's one other big reason - the industry requires that each ATM have a HAL that implements a well-known, well-defined interface so the higher level software from any vendor will work on any other vendor's ATM. The HAL is big technical piece that has been in development by each vendor for years. Re-writing that from scratch to support Linux isn't trivial.

Re:Here's what I don't get (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#46544091)

What's a desktop operating system doing on an ATM anyway?

Keeping costs low, and easing application development. At the time, PCs were a lot cheaper than custom embedded systems, and there's lots of room in an ATM for a PC. As well, PCs are standardized, so if one supplier goes tits up you just start getting your supplies from someone else, in the same form factor but with potentially completely different hardware, and yet your software still works. If you're Diebold in the 1980s and you're trying to keep development costs down, the PC is the only logical solution.

Today, tiny embedded systems cost jack diddly, so it makes more sense to go with something else. Linux is a good solution because no one vendor can yank it out from under you. If you're going to have to change to some new system with substantial changes, you might as well change to something that's not going to get EoL'd basically forever — at least, I think the odds are best for Linux to be still standing when every other kernel we know is a memory. And being open source, the common userlands cannot be taken away from a vendor either.

What about OS/2? (2)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 4 months ago | (#46543747)

I was told OS/2 was the choice for ATM operating systems!

Re:What about OS/2? (3, Interesting)

Stargoat (658863) | about 4 months ago | (#46543783)

It was, before the ADA required banks to replace any ATM that could not handle audio integration. That was about 2-3 years ago. OS/2 typically could not handle the hardware upgrade necessary for the required audio. The banking industry paid millions, maybe billions, to upgrade tens of thousands of ATMs. Diebold, NCR and Hyosung made out like bandits.

Re:What about OS/2? (2)

LordNimon (85072) | about 4 months ago | (#46543855)

OS/2 typically could not handle the hardware upgrade necessary for the required audio.

Can you explain this further? I worked on OS/2 multimedia back in the day, and it is more than capable of handling all kinds of audio requirements.

Re:What about OS/2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543885)

Most ATMs ran Warp, not Merl(glances at Disney lawyers)...Warp4.

Re:What about OS/2? (3, Funny)

flinxmeister (601654) | about 4 months ago | (#46543865)

ADA was only one reason. The main reason was OS/2 was EOL and they couldn't really do anything with it. You haven't truly loathed an OS until you waited an hour for an ATM to boot, only to find out the next config change would require another reboot. ...and you had 5 more config changes to make.

Re:What about OS/2? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 4 months ago | (#46544011)

Yes but only for backwards compatibility if your'e building A Time Machine.

Ok seriously though ... (2)

Jumperalex (185007) | about 4 months ago | (#46543749)

I guess I'm missing the difference. Linux distros and kernels do indeed go EOL. When that happens there are no more security updates and backporting right? Well how is that different than what MS is doing right now with XP? In either case they will still have to face the fact that the OS isn't going to be supported anymore and will require them to upgrade software.

Or are they thinking they will go it alone and continue to update their Linux distro/kernel just because it is open source? Do they really think they are qualified to do that? Or is the hope that they can spend money to keep the OS in long-term-support status?

Re:Ok seriously though ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543829)

Shhh. You're ruining the MS bashing/Linux praise with your logic.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (2)

vidarlo (134906) | about 4 months ago | (#46543905)

Or are they thinking they will go it alone and continue to update their Linux distro/kernel just because it is open source? Do they really think they are qualified to do that? Or is the hope that they can spend money to keep the OS in long-term-support status?

That is not as hard as it sounds. There's already tons of mission critical in-house applications in banks, some of them probably quite a lot more complex than an OS with some drivers and an application on top of it...

Re:Ok seriously though ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543917)

Maintaining any OS has a cost. They won't convince MS to support their products for longer, even for money (it would always be a negligible amount as compared to MS' consumer market). However they can pay a FOSS company to maintain the linux kernel for any arbitrary length of time, and that company will happily do it for a reasonable amount of money.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#46543923)

It all smacks of very very poor planning on the case of the ATM vendors, and they have to find someone other than themselves to blame - after all, they've ignored the issue for 7 years, which is how long we have known about the EOL date for XP, so where has the forward planning been in the interim period?

So they eschew Microsoft's replacement because doing so supports their laying of blame on them, they have little other option than outright admitting their own failure.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (2)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 4 months ago | (#46543943)

Since the code is free you can just buy support from any IT company who offers it. You are not forced to buy it from the original manufakturer. So with Linux - you can basically get eternal support if you want it.

The truth is if Microsoft sold it off they could probably get very good payment from other companies that would love to take over support and upgrades of Windows XP.

Microsoft is killing the business to be able to force the customers to downgrade to their new operating systems.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543967)

Were those banks given the kernel code for XP on the ATM's? Perhaps tidbits, but doubtful they got the whole lot. That said, banks or companies implementing this can knife-up the kernel how they want for implementation purposes. That's part of the beauty of Linux. It can be as secure or open as one wishes. This is well known, and goes completely to its configuration. Given a proper approach to security for its implementation, I have no doubt Linux would work fine on ATM's, especially with the coming changes to 2-factor card auth. that US industry is moving to.

If you want to know a example of confidence in Linux for support of an industry, you need only look at the NYSE. Since Linux runs the heart of things, perhaps its time it should expand to the endpoints of the banking network.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46544005)

You are missing the difference. Linux is open-source, and not under the control of any one vendor. Distros go EOL, kernels basically do not; you can always upgrade to a newer kernel, and you're not going to break anything in the process. So if you're an ATM maker and you roll your own Linux distro, it's pretty trivial for you to just keep upgrading to the latest (stable, not bleeding-edge) kernel. Or, if you prefer to have a vendor do your OS work for you, your vendor (like Wind River, Timesys, etc.) can do that too. So basically "yes" to your second paragraph, first sentence. If they're not qualified, they can outsource it to one of the many commercial Linux companies. And if they get sick of their chosen vendor, they can easily switch to a different vendor, or move it in-house; these are options that aren't present with MS.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544015)

They will have the source to it so they can/will do all fixes in-house. Well at least that sounds like the idea.
I understand why they stayed with XP but they also had plenty of time to do upgrades over the last x amount of years. XP is 12+ years old and there has been Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and now Windows 8.1 since XP came out. Heck openSUSE didn't come out till 2005 with 10.0 and we have had 3 major upgrades on that with the 11.4 being the oldest semi supported(Evergreen till 7/14) and that came out in March 2011.
The banks had a good run on a tired OS I don't think that will happen again. They need to stop sucking us dry and keep with the times on there next OS whether they code it themselves or outsource it to MS or QNX or whomever and upgrade before EOL.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (2)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 4 months ago | (#46544069)

You don't think banks have the money or the interest to support a linux distro that will be a core component of all of their ATM's. Next you'll tell me they pay taxes.

Re:Ok seriously though ... (2)

Eric Damron (553630) | about 4 months ago | (#46544093)

I have worked in an IT department where we were getting slammed every few years with huge upgrade crunches. These were on desktop PCs not ATMs so I don't know how closely our problems mirrored those of banks but for us it was all of in-house software that had to be tested and upgraded to work with Microsoft changes.

We had a hardware maintenance contracted so every few years,like it or not, we would get new PCs that had Microsoft's newest OS. It's not as easy as just dropping new PCs on everyone's desks. Every piece of software that our employees used needed to be tested with the new version of Windows. A lot of them broke. Microsoft products like MS Office mostly worked in vanilla form but we had to test all of our macros and any third party add-ons like Dragon Dictate which often broke.

Basically any third party or in house applications were a crap shoot. The PCs would come in and we had little time to adapted. It was a total pain. If we were running Linux we could have tested at our own pace and then deployed instead of rushing to meet someone else's schedule.

Not happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543753)

That does not seem to be happening. Diebold and NCR are both pushing Windows 7, as is Hyosung. Linux should be used, but these companies are making too much money with upgrade.

The funny thing is between firewalls, IP lockdowns and certificates, the ATMs are just about the safest things ever put on a network.

And most of the companies with Windows XP ATMs are just going to pay Microsoft for another year or two of service.

Re:Not happening (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46544029)

All the banks just had to replace their ATMs with audio-capable ones because of the ADA, so now they get to replace them all over again because of XP being EOL. Why would the ATM vendors want to adopt Linux, when they can use MS EOL as a convenient excuse to get the banks to replace their ATMs yet again in the future?

ATMs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543765)

people still use cash?? I just use my pin and chip card.

Re:ATMs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543795)

I just use your pin and chip card too.

Re:ATMs? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46544023)

Most tradesmen appreciate cash.

Re:ATMs? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 months ago | (#46544041)

People still walk into the bank and talk to a teller asking a person for money withdraws.

Old people.

But they're old people with money, and so we still have offices with bored people behind counters watching you fill out those ridiculous slips rather than telling them what you want.

Tradition man. It's cultural inertia. And it's a massive bloody bitch that usually takes blood to change course.

Re:ATMs? (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46544159)

You can't 'tell them what you want' ... they'll hand you back a slip and tell you to fill it out and sign it ... which is what you do when you poke the buttons and enter your pin number at an ATM.

You're naive at best.

Banks are some of the most ruthlessly efficient organizations on the planet, by their very nature.

First off, those bored people behind the counters 'watching you fill out those ridiculous slips' aren't bored, I promise you they've been working ALL day, doing something the bank hasn't yet automated. Just because the counter is high and you can't see they've been counting night deposits doesn't mean they were just sitting back their rubbing one off.

Second, the slips are not so you can 'tell them', its so the bank has a record of what YOU told them you were asking for or giving them, and BEFORE The transactions complete, they can reject it. If they accept it, they have, IN WRITING, what YOU requested from them, and how they filled it. They are protected against YOUR mistakes in transactions. The ATM does the EXACT same thing, but you just don't realize its doing it. This is a matter OF LAW, not practice or fun. This kind of stuff goes right along with the regulations that let them put that nice little Insured by the FDIC sticker on the window.

Third, Awesome, you think because the bank has off loaded doing their job onto YOU and a machine, that people who use the old method, where the bank actually provides services ... are the ones with a problem. And notice ... those people have ... money.

Irony: You think you're smarter because the bank is much more efficient at ripping you off than those stupid old people. Congratulations, there is an old dude sitting in an office, laughing his ass off about how you and the kind of ignorance you carry with you, filthy fucking rich.

ATMs are banks giving you less service and charging you for the privilege. You're an idiot. You kinds of guys are mind blowing to me. So excited about the new hotness not being 'old and busted' to notice that 'new hotness' is in fact, busted from the start and 'old and busted' got the job done better and cheaper.

Re:ATMs? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 4 months ago | (#46544047)

Good for you. Meanwhile I'll pay cash in hand for some things and get a discount. What the taxman doesn't know about...

For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Notice (1)

j35ter (895427) | about 4 months ago | (#46543797)

It still costs a shitload of money to change platforms for an established product - especially since Win7/8/... are quite different with regards to file structure, user management, security, etc. And by nowmost security holes have been closed in their version of XP. Well, now that they switch to something open, M$ won't be able to pull another XP on them :-)

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 4 months ago | (#46543853)

"Pulling an XP" ... is that some kind of euphemism for supporting a product long past industry standards for free? Funny you use the little $ in "MS", seeing as that they haven't asked me for a single cent for updates to my XP box since 2001.

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543879)

Shhh.....don't confuse them with facts....

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (0)

j35ter (895427) | about 4 months ago | (#46544161)

Please Sir, would you be so kind and eat your own shi^H shorts?

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (1)

j35ter (895427) | about 4 months ago | (#46544153)

This is not just about support, but also about availability and continuity. The fact that YOU did not have to pay a cent means nothing when compared to companies that licenced millions of copies of XP (>2.000.000 ATMs). and that soon will have to switch to another product for replacing old and/or broken machines. By industry standards, Microsoft is an unreliable player!

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 4 months ago | (#46544223)

What industry standards exactly? If these ATM companies went with any other vendor, they would have already had to upgrade their OS years ago due to EOL.

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (1)

flightmaker (1844046) | about 4 months ago | (#46544175)

I can remember the first of the small, low power netbook type computers coming on to the market - the EeePC type machines? And they all ran Linux because they couldn't run Vista.

So, if MS had terminated XP at that time they would have put themselves out of that market. Of course they were not prepared to do that at any cost, because it would have put Linux directly in the hands of consumers, so they extended XP and unfortunately Linux disappeared from all the netbook computers.

So, we have Linux to thank for the long support for XP, not charity on the part of MS.

Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 4 months ago | (#46544247)

Wouldn't we have Microsoft's own incompetence with Windows Vista to thank for that?

Finally! (4, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 months ago | (#46543805)

Finally, the year of Linux on the... oh wait... ATM.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544043)

I guess that some ATMs sit on desks.

Forget Windows and Linux (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46543893)

They should be developing their own OS anyway. I guess they'll call it ATMOS.

Sync on Hardware and software (1)

arbiterxero (952505) | about 4 months ago | (#46543929)

So, I'm all for them switching away from MS....

But the idea that they need to sync their software upgrades with their hardware upgrades is RIDICULOUS.

Are you kidding me? How do they deal with patches? How do they deal with exploits?

Hardware on an ATM can't get replaced THAT often and if that's when they want to run software updates?

Re:Sync on Hardware and software (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46544063)

What exploits do they need to patch against, exactly?

They aren't on the Internet. If anyone can get on their network, the bank has bigger problems than someone teardropping the ATMs already.

Why do they need patches for the OS? They are not general purpose devices. They don't need the newest directx/opengl. They actually DO NOT WANT CHANGE because that means they have to test more.

You upgrade because your time is worthless and you enjoy playing with new software. People maintaining ATMs have better shit to do than continually upgrading millions of machines ... especially when the reason for the upgrade is something like 'new web browser' that will NEVER BE SEEN on the device.

There is no REASON to upgrade ATMs other than the bank has no features. The OS doesn't EVER NEED TO BE UPDATED.

Why does the OS need upgraded if for all practical purposes (this part is key, PRACTICAL, as in REAL WORLD, not theoretical) if there is no possible way any of those exploits can be exploited or if none of the new features can possibly be used because they are overlaid by a completely custom user interface.

You live in a 10 year old 'the internet is everything' mentality that pretty much only exists in San Francisco and in young adults who have no idea that there is a life outside of the Internet and there are methods other than falling the bleeding edge of technology that are far more productive.

Why upgrade when the upgrade provides no benefits, but it still cost time and resources ... times MILLIONS of machines.

Re:Sync on Hardware and software (1)

aethelrick (926305) | about 4 months ago | (#46544279)

WILD SPECULATION ALERT!

practically speaking, maybe the urge to update is being driven from the other end... i.e. the developer tools (on windows) keep getting changed and updated, windows application developers who specialize in yesteryears Visual Studio get harder and harder to find not to mention that the desktop environment they're targetting is now no longer running on the developers own machines.

If your development team is having to jog to keep up with the constant change in the development tools I can see how they may end up in this mess.

If this is close to describing their problem, they'd probably be better off with something like (dare I say it) Java running on a stripped down to bare essentials Linux

Windows XP Embedded - 2016 (1)

zarmanto (884704) | about 4 months ago | (#46543949)

Windows based ATM machines are almost certainly running on XP Embedded, rather than the retail version of XP... support for Embedded doesn't end until January 2016. Thus, if the financial industry is moving away from XP to Linux, it isn't necessarily related to Microsoft's XP support schedules.

Re:Windows XP Embedded - 2016 (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 4 months ago | (#46544057)

XP Embedded 2009 is supported until 2019. I have POSReady 2009 installed in a VM to see if it gets updates post April. Wouldn't be surprised if folks figure out a way to get the patches working on retail XP.

Well Duh... (4, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#46543951)

Why an ATM was hosted on XP in the first place is beyond me. I suppose you dance with the one who brought you and banks are solidly Windows shops, but using XP for a device where security and reliability is paramount seems like a bad choice, at least in hindsight. I suppose in the depths of the XP heyday, when the base design decisions where being made, Linux was a decidedly hit and miss affair (mostly miss). X support was spotty and other devices had limited support. I remember the heady days of installing slackware and configuring video card and monitor by editing that text file. XP must have looked pretty good.

Now, ATM venders are faced with having to port everything to newer versions of Windows, which forces them into more expensive hardware (faster CPU's, more memory, greater drive space, modern video hardware etc.). This in the face of being able to keep using the old proven hardware, put Linux on it and get another decade or two, not to mention control of your own destiny because the source code is available and free. You are going to pay to retool to Linux, but you get to step away from Microsoft license fees. It's a long term gain, short term loss.

Maybe they will make the right choice this time? Who are we kidding... You KNOW that Microsoft has pulled out all the stops on the Redmond FUD machine and would gladly cut some "deals" to keep these guys on the hook and make Linux look less desirable in terms of ROI.

It makes sense now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46543953)

I got extra cash from an ATM withdrawal.

The distros are leaving money on the table (1)

davecb (6526) | about 4 months ago | (#46543991)

If Red Hat or any of the other well-known distros had a spin I could burn to a thumb-drive that was XP-user-friendly, I could show it off and expect what my company's receptionist once asked: "That looks nice, what version of Windows is this?"

A colleague had installed Linux on the reception PC, and left a yellow stick to tell the receptionists to ask me for the password.

--dave

So how is support... (3, Insightful)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 4 months ago | (#46544071)

So how is support for RHEL 2.1 (a year younger than XP) these days?

Re:So how is support... (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 4 months ago | (#46544179)

That's the thing, though: for the most part the basic programming APIs haven't changed much since then. There's some new ones, but mostly code written for RHEL 2.1 will compile and run on Debian 7.4. The kernel will have been upgraded, the libraries and packages will have been upgraded, but the source code and makefiles and scripts will need minimal changes to make the jump. You won't be able to take advantage of the new features, but you won't be looking at nearly the work to migrate. Even widget sets are mostly backwards-compatible, and for an application like an ATM you can omit the desktop environment stuff that's undergone major changes over the years (why would an ATM need a desktop environment anyway, it's not like customers will be interacting with the ATM's desktop). Combine that with the ability to just not run services like Samba (Windows networking) and the like and you make it a lot easier to do support in-house as well, reducing the need to migrate in the first place.

2014 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544087)

YEAR OF THE LINUX ATM!

ReactOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544105)

For minimum transition costs I would seriously consider replacing existing XP instances with carefully tested ReactOS equivalent.

What's the delay... (1)

ndykman (659315) | about 4 months ago | (#46544125)

Given the long notice on Windows XP end of life, why is this just being considered now? I would expect vendors to announce they have completed or have started their migration to a newer platform. And Linux is a very reasonable choice for this, and it was years ago. QNX, VxWorks was as well. It's not like Linux became a reasonable embedded OS just this year, but it seems like the companies are thinking that. "Oh, hey, maybe Linux isn't too bad after all." Weird.

And, there is Windows 7 embedded, if you want to upgrade not port. I understand being conservative, but this just seems like bad crisis planning at the last minute. Also, with the new card standards coming up, it seems the industry knew there was a need for new systems in plenty of time to create and implement a migration plan.

Would Linux be any better from a LTS standpoint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544127)

If I remember right, XP came out around the time that the 2.2 kernel was around. Is anyone still actively maintaining patches for the 2.2 line? Assuming the ATM manufacturers don't have a team of kernel devs to backport patches, how would moving to Linux make they situation better?

Looks like the end of XP (1)

Ralph Ostrander (2846785) | about 4 months ago | (#46544135)

Might be the push Linux needed.

Excuses? (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 4 months ago | (#46544167)

But that's hard to do with Microsoft dictating the software upgrade timetable.

Looking at the lifecycle fact sheet [microsoft.com] , Microsoft are currently giving 9 years notice on when 8.1 will end extended support.

How many years do they want? If they cannot manage with nine years notice, realistically how will a few extra years help?

Secondly, what makes them think that if they installed Linux that they wouldn't need to do any further upgrades?

Orgs make public win32 to linux transition noises (1)

Second_Derivative (257815) | about 4 months ago | (#46544215)

...in order to extract more favourable terms during licensing negotiations with Microsoft, nothing more.

Nothing to see here.

Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46544231)

It makes more sense to go with something modular like linux or even bsd rather than a full blown desktop like windows 7/8. Plus, no license cost. I think a lot of corporations need to get off the MS product bandwagon and go with something that can be tailored to their need.

I run windows 7/8 for .net development, netflix, little bit of office 2013, gaming(cod4). Well, if netflix(on linux hack slow with problems) and windows type gaming(wine not that great) were available on linux I would make linux my primary OS and just do the .net development in virtualbox.

Whole armies of Microsoft Sales Droids lining up (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 4 months ago | (#46544255)

This is just a bid to get bargain basement pricing on the next Microsoft OS. Threaten to move to Linux and the Microsoft Sales Droids will cut the licensing fee for whatever Windows you want down to an almost reasonable price.

Though without Ballmer, that's not the slam dunk prediction it used to be...

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