[clug] Any Public Service organisations using Linix desktop and Open Office?

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Wed Jul 2 22:38:38 GMT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Tomasz Ciolek wrote:
| On Wed, Jul 02, 2008 at 04:41:19PM +1000, Chris Wallis wrote:
|> I can say with out a doubt there is no Linux desktops in a Federal Public
|> Service environment due to the lack of desktop distributions that has been
|> certified under Common Criteria evaluation. (See
| Thats actually not ture. I work in IT secuiryt and I can tell, that you right
| now, that Most Australian Govenrment departments don't run any run of the mill
|  desktops in CC complaint mode or configuration. The line is ACSI33 that
| says you must consider CC evaluated systems before any other is just a
| guideline and is generally discarted and not even brought up in most
| procurement.
| I believe that the reason that there is no Linux penetration in the
| desktop space is because of the preception that:
| a) it is immature and hard to support
| b) it is expensive to retrain staff to use new systems
| c) there is no vendor we can sue in case of disaster , hence higher
| risk.
| d) it is generally easier to not chnage things that 'we invested so much
| money in'
| e) linux is like Unix, its a server OS
| At least that my $0.05.

I agree with you that that's probably what people perceive.  Microsoft have
done a very good job of convincing people of those things and that Windows is
somehow the opposite.  However, I would argue:

Windows is:

a) immature, no; hard to support?  very much so.
b) expensive to train people in.  The fact that no-one does any training with
Windows because everyone's assumed to know how to use it is just another proof
that the expense side cuts both ways.
c) just try suing Microsoft if things go wrong.
d) inevitably changing, and costing a lot of money to both upgrade licenses
and buy faster hardware to support it.
e) a desktop OS.  Just try automating any administration across multiple
servers in a Windows server environment without lots of extra, expensive
management software and/or customised scripting.

I believe the perception of Windows being the undisputed leader is changing.
The old idea borrowed from IBM that "nobody ever got fired for buying
Microsoft" is no longer there.  In its place, however, is not a feeling that
one should use anything else, so people just use the same old thing as the
devil they know.  This is where I argue that the time is right for some really
good ads for Linux now that people's opinions are at the pivot point.

BTW, I've just started work at TransACT - you know, the TransACT that
Microsoft feature on their "Get The Facts" page in Australia as proof that a
1,300 people company has "waved goodbye to Linux".  This is, to put it
plainly, total lies.  The *facts* are that they replaced an ageing Red Hat
server running Oracle with Microsoft Windows SQL server as their back end for
their billing system.  All the service delivery, set top boxes, and network
infrastructure runs Linux - specifically Debian.

I walked in on Monday and installed Fedora 9 on my work machine (I have to say
that F-9's new partition resizing process is great).  Most of the rest of the
team use Mac Minis, since they still run Unix at the back end and you can
still run some of the Microsoft Office suite on them.  But I couldn't be
bothered waiting for one to be ordered, and there was this machine on my desk.
~ Everyone knows that the 'help' desk only support Windows, so everyone in the
group is in the same boat - so it's all fine.  And this is in one of
Microsoft's "featured companies" for rejecting Linux?  Good luck with those
facts, Microsoft!

Have fun,

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