back to article Recession victims big on Linux, IDC says

Nowadays, more and more companies are poor and interested in Linux, according to an IDC study sponsored by Novell. The industry bean counter's February poll of 330 IT workers indicates a "surge" of businesses that are either thinking about using Linux or already switching over. Most said the primary reason was to lower ongoing …

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Silver badge
Linux

Linux is good enough for the desktop now.

I don't know about anyone else but prior to Ubuntu Ibex I liked Linux to a point. I used it personally but it was too "unfriendly" for the rest of the family.

With better WiFi support, better interface and more streamlined operation, the family love it to bits now and use it by preference.

We only dual boot with Xp now for Games that won't run on Wine (which is getting better and better all the time).

Never mind all this shite about Linux not being ready for the desktop.

It's ready NOW. I can't wait for the Jackalope.

I did have a look at the Windows 7 Beta for the fun of it. What a load of old w*nk it is. I'm sorry to use the 'w' word but it truly is appalling. It has no consistent look, the interface is all over the place. I just couldn't find anything. It gave me one big headache. Doing anything on there is just such hard work.

My 2 pennies worth....(and end of anti-Windows rant).

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Anonymous Coward

Not Poorhouse, but workhouse

... in the victorian sense

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Anonymous Coward

Know the sponsor, know the answer.

What else did you expect from a Novell-sponsored "study"?

Worthless, like all the others.

PS don't assume I'm a Linux basher; quite the contrary in fact.

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Happy

Well ...

I made the switch and have never been happier. I'd never go back to Windows or MS with a ten-foot pole.

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Stop

horses for courses

did have a look at ubuntu for the fun of it. What a load of old w*nk it is. I'm sorry to use the 'w' word but it truly is appalling. It has no consistent look, the interface is all over the place. I just couldn't find anything. It gave me one big headache. Doing anything on there is just such hard work.

at the end of the day, whatever OS suits you, it suits you whatever it is...

My 2 pennies worth

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J
Linux

@TooMuchCoffee

My thoughts exactly when I read the article. Even is they did not "select participants"...

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Gold badge

Win7, KDE, UNIX

@skelband, funnily enough, Windows 7 seems to look almost IDENTICAL to KDE 4. (Which I am using on one box and have similar complaints about -- inconsistent interface etc.) Don't know if Windows 7 developers saw a KDE prerelease, KDE guys saw Win7, or both were developed in parallel and just came to the same conclusion. But, if the windows logo and kde logo (if any) were blurred out I could probably not tell you which is which. It's really uncanny. (Ubuntu uses gnome rather than kde.)

As for the actual study, yeah. I would expect Windows entrenched setups to be moving to Linux at a lower rate... Linux is a version of UNIX, and UNIXes (to a greater or lesser extent) follow industry standards, so a gradual system-by-system move from UNIX to Linux would be relatively painless, as would a "rip out and replace" in many cases. Windows and the Microsoft ecosystem try to make sure everything runs smoothest in a 100% Windows environment, making the decision to even START moving off Windows a bigger deal. I also think Windows can take more fiddling with to get running and stable, so many wide-scale Windows installs where they've got everything running smoothly are afraid they'd have to fiddle with the Linux installs just as much, which provides a nice inertia to stick with what they already know and have installed.

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Linux

So finally, some Linux malware?

Sounds like good business ahead for anyone who's ever considered writing Linux malware....... you know, stuff aimed at the unwashed masses who click "Okay" to anything without bothering to read it first.

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Flame

Next IDC Survey

The Microsoft commissioned IDC survey, due anytime soon, will show people looking to cut costs by moving to Windows 7! It will also show that 99.9% of users who try Linux are back using Windows within 3 months.

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Linux

RE: Win7, KDE, UNIX

Ubuntu is available in KDE too - called Kubuntu. And polls have shown that KDE remains a firm favourite over Gnome.

Personally, I have never liked Gnome. Last few years running KDE with Beryl and now with Compiz. Since last year, Ubuntu/Kubuntu and Compiz have been working a pretty well together. No more hacking to make it work. My kids seeing Compiz in action on my dual screen home system, really wants to run Linux.. but for the lack of support for their Windows game. And that is also the only reason I still used Windows too - as a gaming console.

As for Linux use on servers... Have been using Linux running corporate servers (web and database) since 2004/2005. I have now close to a 100 x64 blade servers running Linux.. and the number is growing.. with 5 database clusters (biggest are 12 nodes each). Planning to build even more clusters this year.

We are doing things on Linux that are simply impossible on Windows (out-of-the-box) to do.. and for a *lot* cheaper too.

No recession needed for common sense.

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Unhappy

2 pennies worth

Er!

Isn't Novell involved with OpenSuse ?

As a Linux fan, who's is still working better/faster under Windose, though still attempting to get a clean install of the latest stable version of Linux Server on an old P III, I just need to say, please, please, please, all of you, just finish one off !

I can install Windows 2000 Pro, plus all the patches, plus Apache 2.0 and configure the firewall while I am still trying to understand how to navigate to and read a text file under Ubuntu Server using a command line interface.

It doesn't help that I am also trying to keep the kids fed and their Wondose boxen virus free. But hey, that's what life is like down here where there ain't no IT Support budget for the New Seasons fledgling cottage industries.

Whether it is a case of "Perseverance furthers" or sheer bloodiminded detestation of everything Microsoft that keeps me plugging away at Linuxii since 2000, I don't know. But I'd love for the developer folks to hit on a final solution, and real soon, please.

ALF

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Thumb Down

Oh god...

...not another "This is the year of Linux" story. How many times must we hear this crap? It wasn't true the last time and it's not true this time. considering the report is from a biased source.

You can cut the figures so many ways, and there is no "one" answers. Sometimes Linux is the correct choice, sometimes Windows. Deal with that concept, fanbois.

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Anonymous Coward

All I know is...

Windows not only costs $$ to buy, but more $$ to keep it trojan, virus, spyware and malware free. Then there is the 'Upgrade' cycle, spend spend spend. Linux does not incur these additional costs. Those customers of mine who have switched to Linux are only heard from if they do something like buy a printer that doesn't support CUPS, and when a printer claims to support the Mac then it supports CUPS, but just you TRY to get that through to the manufacturers. Other than that the Linux adopters are maintenance free and fee free (unfortunately for me).

One more point... sometimes, as mentioned above, Windows is required, usually for certain popular accounting packages. For those instances we install ONE copy on a Virtual Machine.

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IT Angle

@ AA - 09:58 GMT

Well, now its possible to compile .Net code on Linux and so the balance has switched somewhat now in Linux's favour.

A load of Windows "Mission Critical" apps on Windows servers now work just fine on Linux and I know there are moves afoot in certain places to port real-world stuff over. Some of this stuff even, ironically, performs faster on Linux.

Added to the robustness of Linux servers and their relative hardness to attack, I could see a (albeit slow but gradual) significant drift away from Windows.

It would make good technical as well as fiscal sense in significant business areas.

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Linux

2009 is the Year of GNU/Linux

GNU/Linux is on a roll. There is news that the French have realized huge savings with it. The trolls on the GNU/Linux boards are being drowned out by the weight of rational users of GNU/Linux. M$ is laying folks off and selling more vapour-ware. The recession is forcing many to opt for lower cost after waiting out Vista. Thin clients are steadily advancing and GNU/Linux works well on them. The netbooks continue to be a bright spot. BRIC countries are hardly slowing down in their adoption of GNU/Linux. Large businesses and the retail buyers are about the only customers M$ can rely on these days and the retail customers are seeing some GNU/Linux on the shelves.

The recent study by IDC shows a huge shift in sentiment. A couple of years ago KACE did a similar study. These results are consistent with those and show that GNU/Linux has matured on desktop and server. With virtualization/thin computing GNU/Linux continues to shine. By the end of 2009 there will be more than 10% of desktops using GNU/Linux. Some parts of the world will be at 20%. At these levels of adoption, few on the planet will not know about GNU/Linux and everyone will be able to make a choice. The current regime where M$ pays OEMs to install that other OS is not sustainable. If M$ cannot stop the slide in 2010, they will have lots of downside. M$ is effectively cutting its prices now, but hiding the fact with NDAs. The SEC filings continue to tell the tale.

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Stop

@Robert, AC and Greg (In that order)

Linux costs, it is not free (in the sense of beer). If you want support, you need to pay. You many need to pay for licenses (depends). Whilst there may well be some savings in the initial purchase, you have to look at the whole picture.

Linux costs money to keep it clean as well. The OS is not magical, it needs good admins and they cost. Linux does suffer from attacks and flaws, although ones intended for Windows will not affected (obviously) and their number is reduced. This is not an excuse to run Linux without firewalls and other safeguards (well, not unless you are extremely feeble minded). As Linux gains in popularity, so will the attacks.

Printers are not readily supported on Linux. The £200 that I would need to spend to get a new printer is one of the things preventing me from switching. It's that kind of cost the people often forget about.

.Net does not compile reliably on Linux, nor does pre-compiled code run reliably. Mono has not implemented enough of the API (yes, I have tired it) to be viable. WINE is still not ready (by their own admission). Legacy systems (e.g. MS Office integrations) cannot be migrated without significant expense in terms of development, infrastructure and re-training. Many web-based business systems demand IE6 and ActiveX support - not going to happen on Linux in a reliable way.

I run Linux in virtualisation at home, my laptop runs Linux, my second box at work is a dual boot into Linux, my g/f wants me to install Linux on her laptop once her project finishes, I have another Laptop I want to beat with the Linux stick. I like Linux, I really do. But I am not so besotted that I am going to let the infatuation run away with my head.

I cannot wait for the day we get a major customer who wants to go Linux, run OpenOffice etc. It will be fantastic (I've even gone as far as to prove to our architects that I can run our server stack on Linux with ease); but I will be waiting a very long time. Until then is it MS all the way simply because that is what our customers use (SharePoint? It's getting *massive* adoption) and is thus the business standard. You must also remember that corporations move at a speed that makes glaciers seem fast.

This is not the year of Linux, come see me again in 5 years; then maybe we can see if the Penguin has gotten anywhere.

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virtualizatoin

soon you will be able to run what you want on what you have, [just some os will still have to be paid for]

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Linux

Linux and printers etc...

You don't need huge amounts of money to purchase a printer that works on Linux. Epson and HP both offer very good support, for example Epson give a link on their website to download Linux drivers for new Epson printers.

Linux still needs improvement - and many would probably call me a Linux fanboi - but Linux is being CONSTANTLY improved. It's strength, as ever, is its flexibility. I've built mail servers running on old P2-350s, new Linux servers carrying out the work of 3 Windows servers, high-end Linux gaming PCs running WINE...

In my experience Linux workstations and servers have run flawlessly over the years, with only trashed hard drives putting either out of action. Our Linux-only customers rarely come in to say anything other than "Hello" and purchase supplies; our Windows customers are regularly coming back due to viruses, malware, corrupted file systems and so on. Those that have converted to Linux - including Joe and Jane Bloggs - have all expressed how happy they are with Linux.

I don't think we'll have a "Year of the Linux", such things always happen gradually. Adoption of Mac and other Unix-like OSs may cramp Microsoft's market share, and it may even wipe Windows off the face of the earth. Time will tell, but 365 days is never enough.

Anyway, my 3-year-old's favourite animal is now the Penguin :)

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Go

A golden opportunity for Linux

I've used Linux (Ubuntu) for a couple of years now and love it, although I must qualify that by saying I'm not a gamer. The only real issue I've had is occasional hardware compatibility problems (just like Windows Vista, huh?). Some here complain that they install a Linux distro and then can't immediately navigate it. Wouldn't that be true for any OS that one is unfamiliar with? Some argue that Linux isn't "free" in a corporate setting that requires training and support. I suspect a side-by-side cost analysis with Windows would clearly favor Linux, particularly with all the Microsoft updates, problems with backward compatibility, etc. Linux is stable, has relatively few bugs, and is more secure than Windows - didn't the U.S. Army adopt it for combat missions recently?

Microsoft has contributed to their problems with Vista - resource hog, hardware incompatibility, and ongoing security issues. Also, Microsoft's idea of "security" seems mostly to be to protect its property from pirates rather than to protect the user from malware.

I hope Linux folks take advantage of this "window" of opportunity.

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Anonymous Coward

Printer support ...

This is an often cited problem, but the fact is if you have installed CUPS then any printer than claims to work with Macs should also work with Linux. So far, bearing this in mind, I've not had a problem. That's not to say problems don't exist -- but they also exist in just as many guises on Windows.

Of course Linux costs money to maintain (like any OS) but it requires *less of it* and that I think is very significant. No?

Total Cost of Ownership is demonstrably less with Linux than with Windows: especially if there is a sane and sensible set of permissions and restrictions in place on desktops. There usually is with Windows systems so the same need only also apply to Linux installations.

I never used to really believe the Linux TCO line until I have had it repeatedly demonstrated both on a personal level and on a professional one too. I'm convinced enough to make decisions of policy based on that. I'm not evangelising. Linux ain't perfect, agreed. But it gets in the way less.

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Anonymous Coward

Forgot to say ...

Mono 2 is in fact currently feature compatible with .Net and it does compile extremely well. I can't speak for your experience, AA, but in mine I find there are no major issues thusfar.

ActiveX? NO -- it doesn't work in Linux. For very good reasons. By ActiveX do you mean "ActiveX" or COM?

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Anonymous Coward

@Greg

I will, again, go and check out Mono. I had written it off. The last time I tried it was 6 months ago.

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@Greg

I have just scanned with Mono 2.2. It says that all the methods exist, but 407 chuck NotImplementedException.

Hardly what I would call "feature complete".

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Happy

@ AA re Mono 2.2

What, like code written with .Net 2005 compiles faultlessly with .Net 2008, you mean?

I can't say anything about your particular configuration, but it could be the way you are configured. I've seen no issues either with console apps or winform implementations myself, some of which are very complex. If there has been a complaint from the compiler, for me, it is usually a matter of just checking references and maybe adding (or removing) a couple. Natch, DB libraries will need to be changed for sure. But I've found alternative implementations of these without too much digging.

From a purely personal viewpoint, I'm seriously very impressed just how compatible and stable Mono has been thusfar and how few issues I've encountered, considering. I've been writing software since I was 23 (I'm now 47) and I've never seen anything compile cross-platform so well. Apart of course from something as trivial as:

void main()

{

printf("hello, world");

}

I'm certain I'll find something major that will explode in my face but I think you protesteth too much ...?

I'm not even sure that Mono IS the way to go for Linux (some regard it as an MS Trojan Horse and dislike it for that reason alone) but in the meantime it offers very interesting possibilities.

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