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How much more than Windows is Linux worth?

By on July 16, 2003 (8:00:00 AM)

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- By <SLASH HREF="//linux.com/relocate.pl?id=d6ce25c2cc3b127d06ee7072e4e96563" ID="550b07898cb229ddc8f2f03ffd151cdd" TITLE="http://roblimo.com" TYPE="LINK">Robin 'Roblimo' Miller</SLASH> -
If you are the Munich City Council, Linux on 14,000 desktops is worth at least $3.8 million more than Windows, including critical applications, training, and support. And this decision wasn't made by a thin margin, but by a 50 - 30 Council vote. After this, can anyone still think the only reason some people prefer Linux over Windows is that Linux is free and Windows isn't?

The "Munich goes Linux" story has gotten big play in the tech press and a little attention in the general business and mass-circulation media, but almost no one seems to have commented on the fact that Microsoft underbid the SuSE/IBM Linux-based offering and still didn't get the contract.

Note that (buried) in this USAToday story were these key quotes:

Unilog judged Microsoft's proposal -- to swap out all existing versions of Microsoft Windows and Office for the newest versions -- as cheaper and technically superior. But the offer from IBM-SuSE better met "strategic" criteria set forth by the Munich council, says Harry Maack, Unilog project manager.

For instance, the council wanted the city's computers to be very flexible and provide a return on investment over a long period of time. Unilog first recommended that the city select a $39.5 million Linux package from IBM-SuSE over a $36.6 million standard upgrade package from Microsoft.

"On price and technical criteria the advantage was Microsoft's, but the gap was not that big," Maack says. "On strategic issues, it was clearly open-source, and the gap was very great."

Free as in freedom

If you scan enough stories about how Munich's leaders made their final decision, you'll see that freedom from vendor lock-in was important to them. So was the freedom to upgrade at their own pace instead of at one set by a company 10,000 miles away. (Indeed, it was apparently Microsoft's decision to stop supporting Windows NT that brought thing to a head in the first place.)

In other words, Munich's elected officials decided the Free Software Foundation's party line had some actual substance to it; that it wasn't just neo-hippie gobbledegook, but was a practical guide for hard-headed politicians working to get the best long-term IT value possible for their taxpayers.

Even a personal visit from Steve Ballmer, plus hints of special Microsoft pricing deals for all German government bodies, didn't manage to sway those freedom-loving Munich hard-heads.

Good for them!

Win some, lose some

The third-largest municipality in Germany switching to Linux has certainly caused plenty of happiness for Linux partisans. Less-noticed on Linux-oriented Web sites is the fact that Frankfurt and two other major European cities have recently signed contracts with Microsoft.

So right now, when it comes to European city desktops, Windows is beating Linux three to one.

Or you could turn that around, and say Linux has gone from 0% of European municipal desktop contracts to 25%. And that, my friends, is an amazing rate of increase, with the Munich contract made even more amazing because -- possibly for the first time ever -- Linux was chosen by a major user without price being the main consideration in its selection.

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25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 07:56 PM
I was under the impression that there were more than 4 cities in Europe. If I am wrong, that 25% statistic sounds good -- I'll have to find an atlas to check this out.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 08:11 PM
this is about recently signed contracts mate.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 08:36 PM
But still, of the big cities that decided over Windows/Linux in the last three month, Munich is by far the biggest, but the only one that opted for Linux. However, there are partial replacements of Windows in many departments in German states or cities. Thus, 25% seems right in this sense and the switch of Munich affected the price level for the other cities - which I think is a good outcome anyway!

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: tyreth on July 16, 2003 09:12 PM
Good call.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 11:00 PM
Typical ignorant American, thinks that just because the US has a lot of cities, Europe probably does too.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:49 AM
ermmm . . . it does,
I read a mildly sarcastic comment, making a valid point.
What world are you in where europe doesn't have lots of cities?

David.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 04:02 AM
I thought we all lived in castles?

Its a bitch when you have to go to the shops I can tell you.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 04:08 AM
I'll bet you're more comfortable living in your castles, than we are here in Canada, living in our igloos.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 20, 2003 04:36 PM
I laughed, I cried, I fell in love again.


Good job.

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Re:25% of cities?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 12:43 AM
Here's a good question: How much will they save in antivirus software over the next few years and how much down time will this save them? This long but simple question I would say for my company is one of the HUGE factors that is keeping us from making the switch back to MS. Factor the cash saved and tell me if that warrants mission critical!

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Re:Munich is second...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 05:04 AM
Sorry, Munich is the second city in Germany switching to Linux. First one was Schwaebisch Hall, not as big as Munich but paved the way for the Munich decission.
KJS

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Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 09:10 PM
This will be a good test for Linux !

I'm hurry to see if Munich employees will get less productive !

I'm telling you this, not because I think Linux is less productive, but instead, because I worked for a company that use the Lotus SmartSuite. Everytime we received an Office document, it was painful for us. In fact, even if Lotus WordPro can read MS Word documents, it's never 100% compatible. We always need to rebuild a little bit the document or change some things. So if cities share a lot of documents with others organization, the problem will surely appears because I fear that the same compatibility problems exist between Open Office and MS Office.

But don't be mistaken, I'm not saying that Linux is a bad choice. I'm only saying that it will be a good test to see if Linux is 100% ready for the desktop. And as many Linux users, I'm happy to see that Linux has now the opportunity to prove that it does.

By the way, do someone knows if they look a the possibility to use Windows/Open Office instead of Windows/MS Office ?

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 10:16 PM
Everytime we received an Office document, it was painful for us. In fact, even if Lotus WordPro can read MS Word documents, it's never 100% compatible.

As more and more organizations starting using non-MS products, perhaps they can stipulate that bids, RFPs, contracts, etc. must be in a format based on open standards.

Not likely in the near futre, but eventually inevitable, I'd wager.

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Re:Less productive?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 11:14 PM
First off Lotus notes has always has "compatibility" issues with MS Office. That's not necessarily a problem caused by Lotus, but by MS.

I work at a small ISP/IT company. When I started working there it was a strictly Microsoft shop. 2 years ago with the release of StarOffice 5.2 I decided I would place linux on my desktop and give it a whirl. Most things worked well enough to be able to get away with it. Only once in a great while did I have a problem with reading documents that were created with MS Office. Since then I kept at it and now I'm using OpenOffice 1.1. I have yet to have a problem reading anything created in MS Office and with the cost being considerably less, most of my customers are now entertaining the option of using it instead of the extremely costly Microsoft alternative.

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Re: What they looked at

Posted by: ayeomans on July 16, 2003 11:54 PM
Yes, Windows/Open Office was considered. The <A HREF="http://www.muenchen.de/aktuell/clientstudie_kurz.pdf" TITLE="muenchen.de">full report (in German)</a muenchen.de> is worth studying, even if your knowledge of German is limited. (I don't think it has yet been translated from German.)

They considered WinXP/OfficeXP, WinXP/OSS, Linux/OSS, Linux/OSS/VM, Linux/OSS/TerminalServer.

The highest part of the total cost is for training ("schulung"), with significantly higher migration costs for OSS over OfficeXP.

These dwarf the operating costs ("betriebskosten") and licence costs ("lizenzen").

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:05 AM
First of all, you can run ms office on linux through crossover office.

Secondly, I don't understand the reasoning behind running openoffice on windows. If you're going to abandon ms office, why not abandon windows as well? After all, isn't ms office THE reason to run windows in the first place?

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Jonathan Bartlett on July 17, 2003 03:28 AM
No. If it was just MSOffice it wouldn't be as difficult. The problem is that so many people have written all of these tiny VB apps that only run on Windows that are used throughout the organization. In addition, training is your major cost. So, when faced with reimplementing everything you've ever built in Windows + retraining + finding all of the little app equivalents that work like your other apps, running OpenOffice on Windows seems like a good first step. Eventually, after all of your apps are cross-platform, you can easily make the switch to Linux.

Also, interestingly, I've found that OpenOffice runs a LOT better on Windows than it does on Linux.

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 07:05 AM
Maybe for the "serious" audience - For the less serious I believe the main reason for hanging on to MS windows is games...

However Nothing a multiboot can't handle, a nice way to separate critical from non critical applications. and a little bird said something about better graphic card support in the new kernels...

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 08:48 AM

I'm telling you this, not because I think Linux is less productive, but instead, because I worked for a company that use the Lotus SmartSuite. Everytime we received an Office document, it was painful for us. In fact, even if Lotus WordPro can read MS Word documents, it's never 100% compatible. We always need to rebuild a little bit the document or change some things. So if cities share a lot of documents with others organization, the problem will surely appears because I fear that the same compatibility problems exist between Open Office and MS Office.


There is an easy solution for this problem: every time they receive something that they need to rebuild, send it back with the request to resubmit it in an open format. that would transfer the productivity losses back to the people that cause them and would educate others to use open formats

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Mandrake Magician on July 17, 2003 09:43 AM
You said:
"I'm only saying that it will be a good test to see if Linux is 100% ready for the desktop."

If compatibility with files created by other wordprocessing software is the benchmark for software to be "100% ready for the desktop", MS-Office is not ready for the desktop. It never has been and quite possibly never will be. There have been instances where it couldn't read its own files from the version immediately preceding it. This behavior is totally unacceptable as it imposes considerable expense on its customers. Yet, still, they did the sheep thing and accepted it.

I think it's time to stop measuring Linux by how well it handles MSFT files and high time to start measuring MSFT by how well it adheres to open, publicly published and free for all to use, standards.

By that measuring stick, MS-Office still isn't ready for the desktop.

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 04:48 AM
Well actually for me switching from MS office to Open office made me more productive. Why? Because my version was really old and a cost a lot to get the new version and then it always had compatibibty issues with the new formats.

I think OpenOffice is a better way to upgrade when software gets this old. (It's actually a tad more compatible than my old office)

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Re:Less productive ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 08:41 PM
State (and city) clerks can not be less productive
then they are. In any country in the world.

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great !

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 09:17 PM
freedom is an european word , from the old decadent countries (remember something ?)

there is no price of liberty of choice
I want to buy want i need<nobr> <wbr></nobr>,when i neet it , what is usefull for me.


 

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New report out

Posted by: WarPengi on July 16, 2003 09:46 PM
According to this news story- http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20030714/53202<nobr>2<wbr></nobr> 9s.htm
the Microsoft offer undercut the IBM price by $12 million.

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Re:New report out

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 06:06 AM
Yes. They threw on as many perks as they could to try and convince Muenchen to stay with Microsoft. They, of course, dipped into their anti-linux slush fund as well. At 80+% profit on MS Windows and Office, they can afford to cut costs quite a bit, and offer substantial discounts to dissuade competition.

Mmm. The benefits of being a monopoly.

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2 things

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 11:01 PM
Just 2 things I'll point out quickly.

1) Not meaning to flame, but the difference between $39.5 Million and $36.6 Million is not 3.8, it's 2.9. Unless math for economics differs greatly than standard math.

2) I'm currently doing a write-up on the TRUE TCO. I'm just doing it with a small network (2 machines, 1 server and 1 desktop) to show the difference in cost of software alone. It's one thing for large corps to have MS literally giving their product away or even paying someone to use their products, but they don't even think twice about gouging the little man like small business which is the life blood regardless of popular opinion. If you're interested in reading it, it can be found at http://ozy.scronline.com

It will take about a month or so for the initial work to be completed on the site. After which I'll come back and redress things over the first year of management costs and the like. As it states in the article, these are real world costs, not the typical MS sponsored or Lab (meaning mathematician adding numbers that are fed to him) results.

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Re:2 things

Posted by: roblimo on July 16, 2003 11:43 PM
Yup. And bids changed and some were formal changes and some were informal offerings. "$12 million" might also have been a correct figure, depending on how you calculated Microsft's final offer.

I used the most authoritative figure based on published, real bids. Many numbers have been thrown around.

- Robin

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Re:2 things

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 01:19 AM
What you really need to look at is the long term cost of developing and supporting custom software. Consider what anyone doing a complex processing job on a Microsoft platform has had to go through over the last 10 years. The same code written for a unix-like system would only take a few tweaks to move across platforms over the years. I see no reason for the next 10 years to be different.

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Re:2 things

Posted by: WarPengi on July 17, 2003 10:56 AM
if you read the article that I URLed you will find that MS went as low as $23.7 million

    36.6

  -23.7

  =12.9

  That's why my subject heading was 'New Report Out' as there is new information.

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Re:2 things

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 11:58 AM
bc 1.06
Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
For details type `warranty'.
39.5-36.6
3.8

well maybe if GNU bc had a WARRANTY this never would have happened.

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Re:2 things

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 10:51 PM
I don't know what this comment actually had to do with the price of tea in china, but I'll still "rebut" the comment.

Take a look at Microsoft's products. It says "no Warrenty" as well. I don't know of a single software producer that DOES warrenty their product. Software is too reliant on hardware that's not faulty, and users that actually know what they're doing.

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Re:2 things

Posted by: orento on July 18, 2003 04:41 AM
bc 1.06
Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
For details type `warranty'.
39.5-36.6
2.9

Mine is also no warranty, but maybe because I have math degree?

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Old bad Micro$oft

Posted by: Abilus on July 16, 2003 11:30 PM
Dumping prices always were, are and will be an unfair competition. Munich City Council did a good job because they would be forced to pay much more to M$ in the future.

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Re:Old bad Micro$oft

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:08 AM
Dumping is selling something below cost of production. Since software is mostly intangible, it's nearly impossible to actually assign it a cost of production, so it's very hard to prove dumping is really occurring.

My guess is that MS was still making money with the cheapest offer. So they probably weren't dumping. They're just gouging everyone else.

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Re:Old bad Micro$oft

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 06:34 AM
Actually, there IS a way of determining the cost of production of software. How much gest spent to hire, pay, provide benefits and facilities for developers, testers, etc., and the trivial cost of duplication and distribution.

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Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2003 11:48 PM
When it comes to protecting our homeland from international terrorism, Microsoft software is worth much more than Linux because Linux's <A HREF="http://www.worldtechtribune.com/worldtechtribune/template.asp" TITLE="worldtechtribune.com">security isn't up to snuff</a worldtechtribune.com>.

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Not exactly

Posted by: Abilus on July 17, 2003 12:27 AM
lack of certification dosn't meand anything. Evaluation Assurance Levels are not capable for Open Source model only for propriatary OSs. Those certification only checks a development process not how system is secure. Thet's why nobody really cares about them. Real life shows exactly how Linux security is superior to Windows security.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 01:30 AM
As someone who participates in certifying and accrediting systems for DoD and DHS, I would like to respond to your article regarding Linux's supposed inferiority due to it is pursuing an EAL2 rating.

1) Common Criteria has absolutely nothing to do with the testing of security. As another reader has so graciously posted, it is a test of development procedures. Furthermore the tests used for one piece of software at one particular rating are not carried over when testing a different piece of software at the same level. So attempting to compare EAL's is rather pointless, no common ground.

2) Most if not all security standards are bogus. Does any one remember the Orange Book Standards? Windows NT only a C2 rating if the machine was physically removed from the network. So Microsoft's physical security protection still got it the third lowest rating. Care to explain?

3) All certifications processes require large sums of money. The higher the rating, the more costly the cert. Red Hat's attempt at EAL2 is more likely based on current finances over actual software ability.

4) Lastly certifications are still largely politically motivated. Take the previous example of Windows NT, why do they get judged on different criteria (no network) than other OS?

Can you honestly compare the security models provide by the Open Source movement to Microsoft? Do you recall the SSL vulnerability which affected Konqueror and IE? Konqueror fixed in 2 hours. Still waiting on the IE fix. OpenBSD, one remote exploit in 6+ years.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 01:57 AM
Unless you have the Common Criteria certification, you aren't secure. Uncle Sam said so. Our President signed an executive order saying that only EAL4 and above certified systems would be allowed to handle sensitive data. The law in this country is that unless open source meets the same stringent development procedures practiced by the commercial software industry for years now, it will not be allowed in critical, sensitive government information systems.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:41 AM
Is that the same President who said that Irak had Massive Destruction Weapons?

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 04:45 AM
Yes and the same one who indicated in a State of the Union address that Saddam was attempting to purchase weapon's grade uranium from Africa, which has since been proven to be a forgery...

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 10:14 AM
get your facts straight, documents regarding aluminum tubing used in processing were said to be forgeries. Saddam acquired in the past (fact) uranium and British and US intelligence have reason to believe he was attempting to do so again. Perhaps you would prefer that the sadistic tyrant still be in power having never recanted his desire to take the entire Arabian penisula.

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Bitter little man...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 01:30 AM
The article you link to is obviously written by a bitter little man. Probably a child. At least that's what I get from the tone.

As for security certifications, I'm no expert, but it takes years and very deep pockets for some of them. That's why Windows 2000 received a security certification this year, or this past year. It actually took that long for a company with tens of billions of dollars in cash on hand.

In a company or government setting, the most important security is at the borders. OpenBSD is well suited for border security. And the mitre study backs that up. The problem with OpenBSD though, is that you don't generally run the full complement of gnu apps and other apps on it. That's where gnu/linux comes in. And that's what the mitre study acknowledged.

As for gnu/linux and security, from personal experience, I have run apache on linux with uptimes in the hundreds of days, with the only reboots for video drivers that nVidia specified, and weren't really necessary. Never an intrusion (although they tried, believe me they tried), never a down server. I allowed another consultant onto my network with two IIS servers. Big mistake. For him. My network wasn't compromised. His boxes were repeatedly compromised. And answers to his problems were: reboot.

I know someone running a novell 2.0 server since novell 2.0 came out. On a 486. On a drive measured in MB, not GB. It's been running 24/7 since first installed. Try that with windows.

The most important points that the article writer can't or won't admit, and you as well for linking to such a dumbass article is that linux has the full force and momentum of all the Unix coders (I'm sure even SCO has a skunkworks project running) in the world behind it now. As well as the full force and momentum of coders from other areas. The stories on this just keep coming. That's why microsoft panicked and drastically cut the cost of the developer tools. Because without the developers, they are sunk. And they know it.

What are the companies that were running unix doing? Either installing gnu/linux, or planning it. It's that simple. Try and discuss installing microsoft server software in an enterprise running unix. See how far that gets you. Those that aren't installing or planning on installing gnu/linux think they can go on with unix, that the unix choices they have today will be around forever. Well, not with IBM. And apparently, not with Sun either. And as goes IBM, so goes the world.

So what are you faced with? Linux has the momentum in the server room. Linux has the momentum of the developers. The installed base of gnu/linux desktops is growing, and will steamroll apple in the next year or two, if not already, and especially if you count the installed base outside the US as well.

NASA loves linux. The US government, and US military, and the Mitre study all love Linux. Even if they don't even know they are using it. Largo Florida loves linux. Austin Texas will soon love linux. Munich loves linux so much that they are paying a 10,000,000+ premium for it. Another problem you are faced with is that once these pilot projects in government show how much can and is being saved, there will be no way that the bean counters in other cities, states, and countries will accept anything other than linux.

And then you will be the only one running windows. And probably a pirated copy as well.
Now you can go back to your fragging.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:01 AM
Gee, must be why NSA has spent sooo much time and effort touting Selinux.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:08 AM
Because SELinux is licensed under the GPL, the NSA's development of this system is tantamount to the US giving secure computing secrets to terrorists. For this reason the NSA vowed to never use the GPL or other open source license for its security projects.

Using Linux on sensitive government systems is like giving Osama the keys to the white house.

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Not neccesairly...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:20 AM
Let's consider a lock with pins around the circomference of the cylender it's in (so it can't be picked) and hard reinforced armor around it (so it can't be smashed). I know how this lock works and how it evades picking and smashing, but can I defeat the lock itself with that knowledge? (By "lock itself" I mean not busting down the door or cutting a hole in the door, just interacting the lock)

So knowing how the software works isn't neccesarily like "giving the keys of the white house to Bin Laden"

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 05:29 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but probably the NSA has also vowed to get Osama in the first place, and so far no word of the man. And they blew it again with Saddam...

Probably, NSA does not want to use Linux in their projects because if they did, they would not be able to justify their failures...

Excuse me if I answer your post with irony, but it beats me how such stupid political arguments make their way to these discussions. The internet is teaming with web pages on how to hack Windoze, and they are available to all, terrorists included. And it is not even hard to do, given the huge security issues in Windoze. So, how can you justify that it is a safer system? You cannot, and so cannot NSA. If you do, you're just closing your eyes in front of reality, and sooner or later you're bound to hit against a wall!

And, as for giving Osama the keys to the White House, Windoze can give the house keys to anyone, not just Osama! I mean, we're talking about a system that, by default, makes your shares available to everybody in the internet! I just demonstrated this a few weeks ago to a relative of mine (a Windoze fan), and he was like frozen on his heels! Just like that, I didn't even had to run a hacking program, I just linked to his computer, and his files, thru Windows Explorer, from the internet!

Given these facts, go tell me that GPL is "insecure"... if you and NSA like to live dangerously, go ahead and install Windoze, but I like my box clean, and I intend to keep it that way...

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 07:02 AM
Hmmm...

You can look at it that way or you can realise that terrorists don't give a dam. If you think terroristspay for windows, photoshop or anything else more fool you.

You can download almost anything from the web. If you wanted to you can get a warezed version of Window Datacenter edition. Quick example http://www.warez.com/. Don't like downloading then order it from Asia. They don't give a dam about USA export limitations of encryption.

Basically what I'm saying is it doesn't matter is SELinux was SEWindows or SEOSX if someone wanted it they'd be able to get it.

You're second statment is just wrong. If you'd looked at SE linux the idea is that you don't have an super user you have lots of "mini super users" so you'd have a user for ftp and another use for email etc. You wouldn't have a single "super user". Most of the ground work has already been merged into linux 2.5/2.6 which can get rid of the unix security model and plug in another one. SELinux goes a step beyond this and make each service run in it's own virtual machine so if say the sql server of brocken into they can't get to the ftp server.

You'r analogy is wrong though. It's more like give Osama an instant digital fortress. The whitehouse is now more or less secure. Then again the Americans were dumb enough to train and funded Osama when he was a freedom fighter(ie terrorists to American's enemy) so what's the big deal.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:15 AM
As said before how can you evaluate the quality of something by it's development process?

You are looking at how a telephone's design is developed by the engineers and staff and you conclude that the telephone really stinks. But actually it could have exellent sound quality, range(for a cordless phone), ease of use, and security to keep people from snooping in on your conversation!

And then you have a standard even though that the different brands of telephones made by different companies could be developed differently (open and closed source development aren't the same)

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: f00duvoodu on July 17, 2003 03:32 AM
Well you know linux would be better for the government, it goes through development quicker, security issues are found quicker and etc. And then the government can reconfigure linux as they please to do what they want and even enhance its security in areas they need it the most. And do they have to tell anyone about it well not if they keep it to themselves and dont reproduce it. But of course they will reproduce it for different sectors of the government. But even so are they going to tell anyone no. Do they have to well technically they do according to the gpl when they start reproducing it but its for classified areas. so they wont even say what they have running. And to be honest I bet most of those private sectors are running linux. And why well look at the fields of science and what they use for what they do...... then look at linux. And what do alot of those private sectors consist of science, so it would follow logical conclusion that they run linux in those areas(or at least one would assume so if you follow that train of thought) but then someone says well the government just did this with m$ and i say yea the politicians did. But you think people who work on a very important scientific project are gonna say hey the gov got m$ deal yea now we can work and it will never crash right as i input this very important calculation that i have been trying to figure out for the last two weeks and if i dont input it now and get it on a reliable platform were i wont lose it cause if i lose it i might go crazy and have a brain fart and get pissed and trash my work area and break every m$ disk that passes by my eyes....no i dont believe they would ever have to experience that because we all know that m$ never freezes or nothing.... thats what linux does its why there is a penquin mascot its a symbol for freezing..................

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What do you mean Tux Freezing

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 07:55 AM
Tux is a penquin they live in the cold and like it or are smart enought to work out a way of staying a live when most other things die. And you really need to go to the south pole some time and look at the huts what windows in most cases as windows are too weak and break under the wind but penguins stand the wind. Now this is why it is the mascot it is strong and looks cute. As linus found it they can bite to when they want to. And the penquin did not care that he was a big human it still bit.

As yet I have not been able to sit down at any version of ms windows do a some big memory using things with out either it rebooting it self or locking up. Note this is win 95 win 98 win NT win 2000 win 2003 and win XP so kinda a bit of a problem I have had some things die on linux from lack of swap space but the system did not stop. I would say that NVIDIA is one of the most unstable cards for linux. NVIDIA is a great spin docter at covering up there problems. Mind you for working most linux boxs I used dont have a video card in use some don't even have a video card all controls are done by ntwork or serial or USB.

Basicly I will give the XFree86 is not the best but when it comes to number crushing I would not say that microsoft is anywhere near good because if it was we would see it more in the super computer market what linux is holding over 60% while microsoft is stuck under 5%.

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Re:What do you mean Tux Freezing

Posted by: f00duvoodu on July 17, 2003 02:52 PM
my statements where meant as a joke...obviously you didnt understand my lame humor..no im not the best joke teller but nevertheless it should have been obvious it was a joke...........geez... my statement was a spin of windows sucks and who would relie on it for an important task........
and next i know penquins live in the cold and make it fine but it was meant as a reflection of the enviroment that they live him as the form of humor i was using.......(just to add im aware not all penquins live in the cold when i said they live in the cold nearly all do besides galapagos penquin and blue penquin at least to my knowledge....but thats besides the point)

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Hah! And you believe that crap?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 04:02 AM
The article is obviously propaganda, and not very good propaganda at that.

Note how the article totally ignores actual performance in the real world, like the <A HREF="http://www.pivx.com/larholm/unpatched/" TITLE="pivx.com">nineteen unpatched security holes</a pivx.com> in Internet Explorer.

Note how the article relies solely on certifications. Now remember the times that Microsoft has been caught making payoffs to supposedly independent research groups, or faking evidence in the DOJ case, and you will know that any certification that involves Microsoft is worthless.

Here is my favorite quote from the article:

> You may recall my article “Oh Linux, Where Art Thou?? where I cite John Pescatore, Director of Internet Security for Gartner. He and I see eye to eye on the issue of Linux security.

Yes, the author actually considers Gartner to be a reliable source.

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M$ security

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 05:02 AM
Wow! How enlightening! Some creep says Linux is not up to par with M$'s systems, just because another creep gave M$ a certification that does not prove a thing.

Facts speak louder than that. Linux IS safer than Windoze, period. I run a double-boot system, and as far as Windoze goes, I have to constantly be on the lookout for new threats to my system, and it is not even a server, and I run Windoze only for a few hours! Virii, spyware, and whatnot. I surf to ONE website and it loads my computer with two or three spybots! Is that safe? Wouldn't your "terrorists" be able to play the very same tricks?

I yet have to see one popup window in my linux box, not to say virii or spyware. Fact is that your beloved, certified, proprietary system is teaming with security holes ready to be exploited, and that are in fact BEING exploited. If you care just one little bit about your "beloved homeland", you should agree that Windoze presents some severe chances for "international terrorism", whereas Linux does not.

Having the source code for Linux does not mean you can hack it easier. And, in the remote case that somebody can hack it, updates are quick and to the point. Again, these are FACTS, these sort of things have happened in the past and solutions have been made public within hours from the discovery of the problem. Windoze updates, on the other hand, come out only after weeks, or even months and years, from the discovery of the issue.

Here, you're not "protecting your homeland from international terrorism". You're just FUDing as usual, totally ignoring FACTS. So, please take your uninformed comments out of a forum where nobody buys such crap!

If you're happy with your choked Windoze box, then keep in mind you're just MAKING IT EASY for the potential "terrorists", feeding them with fertile ground where they could plant some virii and spyware. Me, i'll keep my linux box. MY EXPERIENCE shows me it runs better, and fortunately for me I usually pay more attention to my own brain than to crappy FUD like yours.

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That was a Redhat Rating Not a Linux one

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 07:35 AM
Number one linux level of protection is up to system setting addtions and mods so it get a bit hard and linux system are not likely to buy a rating. There is non default system call protection there are other protections as well that are not always enabled. There are NSA Security-enhanced Linux kernels for one that are not installed by default installing it is a major step up. Now this is the question why is redhat servers so low it is called performance just like running a video card at high res when you don't need to.

They have the secrity they need for most cases is there it all depends what the box is being used for sometime you really should upgrade the kernel to NSA other times upgrading is you only slow the system down without good cause. Lower rating does not always mean low protection if the protection you are being given you will never use.

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Re:Meanwhile...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 07:48 PM
We know all about <A HREF="http://www.gcn.com/archives/gcn/1998/October26/8.htm" TITLE="gcn.com">Microsoft's security certifications</a gcn.com>. Basically, it's a shell game they play to impress government customers.

Not that I'm questioning the technical competence of the <A HREF="http://www.worldtechtribune.com/worldtechtribune/" TITLE="worldtechtribune.com">Weekly World News</a worldtechtribune.com>, or the National Enquirer for that matter. Sometimes I'll leaf through one of them while waiting to get my groceries rung up.

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Re:Linux security isn't up to snuff

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2003 12:09 AM
Would the fact that Linux is open source have anything to do with it? How about you can see the security breaches before they happen and fix them? Microsoft is hacked thousands more times than Linux, and does the fact that linux is taking over the server market mean something about security to u??????HUH????

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The decision was a political one

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 01:21 AM
Sorry to be the party breaker here but after reading about this matter I concluded that it was a plain political decision rather than a technical one. Simply they want in house control over IT technologies, and they also intended to sustain their local industry and jobs. Which is perfectly fine for me, as I think that democracy must say the last word over corporate economics.

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Re:The decision was a political one

Posted by: dazk on July 17, 2003 01:32 AM
> Simply they want in house control over IT
> technologies

That one is obvious. Removing as much vendor lock in as possible and relying on *open* standards was a major and important goal.

> and they also intended to sustain their
> local industry and jobs.

That was a positive sideeffect but I don't think it was a major factor in the decision making process.

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Re:The decision was a political one

Posted by: Jonathan Bartlett on July 17, 2003 03:25 AM
"Simply they want in house control over IT technologies"

That _is_ a technical decision.

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Amazing indeed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 01:48 AM
> Linux has gone from 0% of European municipal desktop contracts to 25%. And that, my friends, is an amazing rate of increase...

Infinity?

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The Comparable Cost is Good for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 04:34 AM
The costs weren't that far apart.

But what I find most interesting is this:

- The Microsoft cost is for an upgrade.

- The Linux cost is for a complete migration, training, etc.

Add to that the following:

- The Microsoft upgrade cost will be repeated every few years.

- The Linux migration cost is a one time occurrence.

Most business owners now realize that Linux will provide an ongoing savings compared to Windows.

But the cost of the initial migration was always considered a barrier to Linux adoption.

However, given this real-world case, and the high cost of upgrading Microsoft software, I would say that the barrier has been broken.

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Re:The Comparable Cost is Good for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 04:54 AM
Not to mention the cost of and missing out on free software that may not run on Windows.

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it is this simple

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 07:32 AM
suse = german company
munich = german city

hmmm......

now i do hope that linux works ownders for them. btu to chalk this up to more than a little domsetic politics is i think reading more into it.

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Re:it is this simple

Posted by: jlguallar on July 17, 2003 11:20 AM
munich = location of Microsoft's biggest office in Europe.

This is why Ballmer flew in and had a chat with Munich's mayor.

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Re:it is this simple

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 11:56 AM

suse = german company
munich = german city

Yes, and IBM != German Company

What's your point?

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Re:it is this simple

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 10:29 PM
Even if that was the reason, there would be nothing wrong with it. This is a municipality, and I think they have every right to promote their up and coming businesses.

PLus MS only reduced their prices after SUSE bid, which smacked of uncompetitiveness. How does someone reduce the bid by 33%. Deep pocket and probably can push the deak through at a loss to screw their competition.

Its not good business to do business with a company that obviously is not pricing to suit you, but their own hidden agenda. What happens when mission is accomplished. Right back to the real world, high prices and all.

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How much did SuSE get????

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 12:57 PM
What this story doesn't tell you is how much SuSE got of the 36Million Euros (or is it Dollars?). IBM made a killing here - I bet that IBM gets 90% of the 36Million and SuSE gets about 4Million.

IBM will eat it's young if it has to....it's nobody's friend and I'm sure that if SuSE had gone mano-a-mano with MS on this bit, they would be toast. It's because of IBM's big thugs, SuSE got through the front door at Munich City Hall.

Now tell me why does MS still sell Windows to IBM?. They should just screw IBM on their Windows license for their Stinkpads and see how well IBM PC division does selling Linux.

I'm bloody pissed at IBM because they weasled a contract to sell Linux servers away from us. THe customer bought the line that IBM=Linux and told them that we're too small to trust our products. Our prices and services were cheaper/faster/better than IBM.

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Re:How much did SuSE get????

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 03:13 PM
Nice try, but you're not going to create fights between IBM and the Linux community with a ridiculous post like that.

Bill Gates should dock your pay until the quality of your astroturf improves.

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Re:How much did SuSE get????

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 11:40 PM
You moron, I'm a linux seller!. You may think IBM's all goody-two-shoes with Linux, but just watch, if they win the SCO dispute, they're going to steam-roll over all the Linux companies and it's going to be ugly. They claim to spend 1 billion on Linux but when it comes time to spread the wealth, they're all ME.ME.ME. And oh because of freaking IBM, Linux is in a mess today. Don't you get it?. SGI or HP or Redhat or SuSe gave Linux all the good stuff (XFS (SGI), Printer (HP), Kernel enhacements (Redhat/SuSE) and what has IBM done for me lately?. They "borrow/steal" 100 lines of code and stupidly undermine linux!

We'd have been happy to use IBM services for the deal but no, they wanted the hardware deal as well.

As for being an MS Astroturfer, maybe I'll have to go to Uncle Bill with my hat in my hand, since I lost the bid to IBM. Not a bad idea....thanks for the tip.

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Re:How much did SuSE get????

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 01:47 AM
> You moron, I'm a linux seller!

I don't believe you.

> You may think IBM's all goody-two-shoes with Linux, but just watch, if they win the SCO dispute, they're going to steam-roll over all the Linux companies...

And how are they going to do that?

Microsoft has been trying for a few years now, but that darn GPL keeps holding them back.

Of course, if you really were a Linux supporter, then you would know that, and you wouldn't make such ludicrous claims.

> and what has IBM done for me lately?. They "borrow/steal" 100 lines of code and stupidly undermine linux!

Another ridiculous statement that contradicts all the evidence so far.

You're a troll. Go away.

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Get the facts straight

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 02:34 PM
I am amazed at some of the ignorance of some of the writers in this column. Either we read different articles or I must be missing something here.

It is this simple:
Reread the article. It states that 3 other German cities went with Microsoft products over Linux. By your "racist" logic they ALL should have migrated to SuSE Linux. Check the facts before writing your trash.

How much did SuSE get????
I agree. SuSE will not get too much in the way of collateral dollars for getting IBM into Munich. This does help SuSE in the long run though. IF SuSE pans out in the public sector more people will install it at home and THIS is where SuSE will make their money. In the long run it will pay off though the short term benefits will most likely be next to nothing.

As for IBM's logic it has to do with the following model (as an avid Linux user I can stand on this):

a) Microsoft if expensive. Products become obsolete and leave the end user hip deep in useless software when they will not port to their new operating system (Windows 2000 to Windows XP and be EXTREMELY expensive if you are using custom applications.
b) IBM has already looked into proprietary open source software and determined that the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. If I am using a proprietary piece of software I shouldn't have to shell out 2000 dollars to install it on my new machine. It should just port over. Linux allows this with little fuss.
c) Length of ownership. Because of the scalability of the Linux kernel new products can be introduced with a minor upgrade. To get the same functionality out of Windows you have to by a new OS.
d) End cost. IBM is looking at their bottom line. When it come to this ANY company would sell their children to make a buck. In this case all you have to do is look at this simple formula:

Sale Price - IBM Manufacturing cost - Microsoft = 1% Return on Investment.

Sale Price - IBM Manufacturing cost - SuSE = 4% Return on Investment.

It doesn't matter who it is Microsoft is going to give them the shaft. This is especially true of the last minute offer made by Microsoft that BROKE THEIR OWN RULES OF SALES to try and keep IBM and SuSE out of Munich. Microsoft is slowly losing the war against open source operating systems on a GLOBAL scale and they are running scared at the moment.

Both OSes have something good to offer. In this case Linux was the better choice.

Get over it.

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Windows "Security"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 06:50 PM
<A HREF="http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/18/1037490106637.html" TITLE="smh.com.au">Windows EAL4 Certification</a smh.com.au>

<A HREF="http://eros.cs.jhu.edu/~shap/NT-EAL4.html" TITLE="jhu.edu">Understanding The Windows EAL4 Certification</a jhu.edu>, <A HREF="http://srl.cs.jhu.edu/~shap/" TITLE="jhu.edu"> by Dr. Jonathan S. Shapiro, Ph.D.</a jhu.edu>

And I quoth:

The <A HREF="http://www.radium.ncsc.mil/tpep/library/protection_profiles/CAPP-1.d.pdf" TITLE="ncsc.mil">Controlled Access Protection Profile</a ncsc.mil> (CAPP) standard document can be found at the Common Criteria website. Here is a description of the CAPP requirements taken from the document itself (from page 9): <A HREF="http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:s0H0HFkfbFYJ:www.radium.ncsc.mil/tpep/library/protection_profiles/CAPP-1.d.pdf+Controlled+Access+Protection+Profile&hl=en&ie=UTF-8" TITLE="216.239.39.104">*google pdf to html*</a 216.239.39.104>

The CAPP provides for a level of protection which is appropriate for an assumed non-hostile and well-managed user community requiring protection against threats of inadvertent or casual attempts to breach the system security. The profile is not intended to be applicable to circumstances in which protection is required against determined attempts by hostile and well funded attackers to breach system security. The CAPP does not fully address the threats posed by malicious system development or administrative personnel.

Translating that into colloquial English:

Don't hook this to the internet, don't run email, don't install software unless you can 100% trust the developer, and if anybody who works for you turns out to be out to get you you are toast.

end quote.

To whomever the moron that posted that article by the OTHER moron that thought windows was secure... You're a moron... do the world a favor and become a Darwin Award!

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It's not just about Economy!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2003 08:01 PM
Well these are the facts.

1) Suse - german distribution
2) Windows - Micro$oft product (USA)
3) Echelon intelligence network (USA and Great Britain)
4) Industrial and military espionage (USA and Great Britain)
5) Europe is becoming the new superpower. In future the possibility of a conflict (political, economical, even military) between USA and Europe is growing.

The issue is not about the Munich council. In this story Munich is just a pilot project, which should test linux in desktop class.

It is not a secret that the German goverment is funding linux developers in Germany. This is not a coincidence.

In my opinion they realy don't care about the money. They want linux because of the security.

I don't want to beleave Micro$oft that I am safe because my server is running theirs software. I want to be able to check that personaly! And futhermore I am not talking about hackers. I am talking about US atempt to control everybody in the world.

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Re:It's not just about Economy!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 11:48 AM
Brandamerikaner!

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Re:It's not just about Economy!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 21, 2003 07:15 AM
So you're going perform security audits of all the code you run on your server? Seems a bit unreasonable to me.

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Re:It's not just about Economy!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 22, 2003 12:54 AM
got to agree about the us wanting to control everything.
but until they learn to not press the wrong buttons (friendly fire )
we shouldn't worry too much

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Keep it coming...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 03:36 AM
Having more and more desktop deployments of non-MS software is a good thing. The more users = more marketshare = more developers = more higher quality apps = snowball effect.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

Granted, it is still a long upward battle (depending on what you think the ultimate GOAL is) but seems like every month the OSS momentum just continues to get stronger and stronger.

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Re:Keep it coming...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 22, 2003 12:49 AM
"Granted, it is still a long upward battle..."

For starters, a penguin rolling a 50 billion dollar rock up a hill - or running out of its destructive path.

But Linux has legs, much of the world is currently pissed off at Microsoft, IBM has money and marketing, and, fingers crossed, hopefully parties involved will have learned from past mistakes and those who came before. It would be wise to brush up on some old IBM-Microsoft-OS/2 history.

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Its still early days

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2003 04:11 PM
Whilst I agree that this is another example of Linux "beating" MS in a relatively large installation, there are still a few things to consider.

Sure, its a 39 million dollar contract, including training etc. This is all good, however lets revist this in a while AFTER its all in and running, and see what the actual final cost was (somewhat larger I'm expecting).

There are presumably a number of custom applications that the council runs, how much of this "transition" is covered as part of the initial outlay ? (there are always lots of hidden costs in these sorts of things)

Some have stated that this is a politcal decision, and that may be true. That being said, what is the overall functionality matrix provided by both solutions (setting aside the money for the moment) ? and were both solutions on-par with each other ?

saving money is always a good thing, however the overall functionality and quality of the solution is something that needs considering (saving money on licensing is no good if the final solution is rubbish). I'm suspecting that some of these "high profile" Linux migrations may well end up with a mixed environment in the future, as Windows makes inroads back into the desktop arena, whilst the back-end largely stays Linux; unless the plethora of Linux desktop environments (and I dont like saying this) becomes more end-user friendly (like Windows).

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I have a question?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2003 02:58 PM
Has anyone gone back and looked at what the training cost and ramp-up for MS back when they first wentto it(oh wait there was nothing before microsoft) Now account for inflation. What would the cost today be?

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We could calculate some of the costs

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 20, 2003 12:35 AM
> Has anyone gone back and looked at what the training cost and ramp-up for MS

We may not know the initial costs, but since then...

There were the training and software costs when users were forced to switch from WordPerfect to Word, due to the "mysterious" compatibility problems that occurred between WordPerfect and Windows.

There were the training and software costs when users were forced to switch from cc:Mail to Exchange, due to the interface problems that occured between cc:Mail and newer versions of Word.

There were the upgrade costs when users were forced to switch everyone from Word 95 to Word 97, due to the fact that Word 97 did not support the Word 95 file format.

There were the wasted development costs when users were forced to deal with the differences between polluted J++ and standard Java.

There are the ongoing wasted costs, as web developers are forced to kludge their code to deal with the HTML incompatibilities in IE 5.5, then kludge it again to deal with the even worse problems in IE 6.0.

There are the ongoing costs of security failures, due to the irresponsible design priorities used in various Microsoft products and features.

There are the upcoming costs, as users of Microsoft development languages will be forced to modify their existing programs to deal the changes required by<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.Net.

No matter how you slice it, Microsoft users are forced to pay and pay and pay.

And note that I haven't even talked about the costs of tracking, let alone paying for the software licenses.

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Acchh.... scheisse meine nautilus is kaput! heh...

Posted by: startxxx on July 20, 2003 11:38 PM
Switching to linux in order to save money is like switching to unemployment allowance just because it's good enough salary for the time.

If the city counsil of Munich won't spend at least 1/4 the savings in investment on open source and contribute back to the free economy the free economy will fail in the near future.

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25% of the cities? Really?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 22, 2003 08:33 PM
Oh creepy Yankee! You've never been to Europe, have you? At least your geographical knowledge is not the best. There's more than 4 cities in Europe, i don't even know how many, maybe hundreds.. even thousands. If you count only the biggest metropols then 4 might be closer to the thruth.BUT it's still far! It's all about how you measure it. how many metropols does USA have then? NY,LA,Boston,Atlanta,Chicago.. hmmm ? Did i left something out? I can count it with the fingers of one hand. But then again, it's all about how you measure it.

I suggest that you visit Europe sometime... Looks like that living in the States makes people stupid. Still 25% is too much, 6% would be closer..

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Re:25% of the cities? Really?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 25, 2003 02:13 AM
You missed more than a few Seattle/tacoma/Redmon, San Francisco/San Hose/Oakland, Denver, Houston et al.

Better take off your shoes, cause yer gonna need yer toes until you learn higher mathematics.

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