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back to article City of Munich throws Ubuntu lifeline to Windows XP holdouts

Windows XP users in Germany’s third largest city are being offered free upgrades to Ubuntu ahead of termination of Microsoft support for the OS next Spring. Administrators in the City of Munich have distributed 2,000 CDs carrying Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to libraries across the City, for users to borrow and download the Linux distro. …

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What's wrong with LiMux?

Interesting that they seem to be distributing a third party distro rather than the version they developed and deployed internally. This would seem to be more joined up with the potential for further benefits to Munich.

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

My guess is that LiMux is heavily modified to hook into the government office infrastructure and most of these modifications will be of little use to other people. I am quite happy to use a similarly customised distribution from $EMPLOYER but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone outside of the company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"Administrators in the City of Munich have distributed 2,000 CDs carrying Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to libraries across the City, for users to borrow and download the Linux distro."

Presumably desperately trying to invent new jobs for themselves after the failure that is the local attempt at migrating to Linux is likely nearing it's end (over ten years and tens of millions spent - the migration is still not completed - and when council workers need to use the majority of their applications - such as a version of Office that actually works - they connect to Remote Desktops running....Windows!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

... the failure that is the local attempt at migrating to Linux ...

Citations please. The only reports I can find say that it's going remarkably well, despite MicroSofts constantly changing file formats. For example, there are multiple reports of it saving them in the region of 10 to 11 million Euros and MS declining the opportunity to dispute the lower TCO of Linux on the Munich desktops.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux? @Chrris Wareham

If you're going to ask for citations you should provide them for your own statements.

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Linux

RE: Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

Presumably desperately trying to invent new jobs for themselves after the failure that is the local attempt at migrating to Linux is likely nearing it's end (over ten years and tens of millions spent...

I smell a Microshaft shill!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: What's wrong with LiMux?

>I smell a Microshaft shill!!

See below ( http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/1958519 )

;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"there are multiple reports of it saving them in the region of 10 to 11 million Euros"

That doesn't allow for the ten years of migration costs, the resultant productivity losses, or the rumoured €30 million that IBM spent on the project...It clearly has been a massive failure - hence why near zero organisations have followed down that path well over ten years later....

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

> That doesn't allow for the ten years of migration costs,

Yes it does. That is what 'saving' is all about - fewer costs than the alternate. They were on Windows NT and so would have had to allow for migration costs to _something_ whether that be XP (and then again to Win7) or to Linux. Also the saving will continue to grow as they no longer send money to Redmond, or is that Ireland so MS don't have to clip tax out of it ?

> It clearly has been a massive failure

It clearly was a massive failure of Ballmer. He couldn't throw enough chairs to stop it going ahead. But Munich say it is a success, who are you to say they are wrong ?

I do know that Microsoft paid for an 'independent' report that claimed the costs were higher, but that did not include licence costs to MS (about $7million) plus many other false claims.

http://techrights.org/2013/01/24/anti-munich-pr/

> the rumoured €30 million that IBM spent on the project.

Was that _rumour_ started by Microsoft or by you ?

"""By the end of 2011 the program had exceeded its goal and changed over 9000 desktops to Linux.[11] The city of Munich reported at the end of 2012 that the migration to Linux was highly successful and has already saved the city over €11 million (US$14 million)."""

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"The city of Munich reported at the end of 2012 that the migration to Linux was highly successful and has already saved the city over €11 million"

That's incredibly misleading. That's compared to their legacy system costs. Munich would have saved over 4 times as much over ten years compared to their legacy costs with the solution Microsoft had recommended / offered....They spent $30 million EXTRA upfront just to switch!

And this 'saving' doesn't include the full migration costs - or the vast amount of money that IBM spent developing a version of Linux and integrated applications that actually sort of worked.....

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"That's incredibly misleading. ...."

YOU have mentioned this before on countless occasions - nobody believed you then and they don't know - 20 ACs or for that matter 100 ACs don't count BTW.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"YOU have mentioned this before on countless occasions - nobody believed you then and they don't know - 20 ACs or for that matter 100 ACs don't count BTW."

http://www.geek.com/news/munich-linux-migration-hits-serious-snags-555131/

"It has also been revealed that the Open Source software bid was actually 51% more expensive than the proposal made by Microsoft"

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"http://www.geek.com/news/munich-linux-migration-hits-serious-snags-555131"

This is truly PATHETIC even by your appalling standards - this (your own reference) is from 2004 !!

(By this year they had 13000 computers migrated to Linux BTW)

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

Although interestingly enough your ref. (dated : Feb. 17, 2004 12:04 pm with lots of comments from that date) has a link to the CURRENT Register.

Reporting the news or maybe making it ?

Someone has gone to some trouble to generate this FUD

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"This is truly PATHETIC even by your appalling standards - this (your own reference) is from 2004 !!"

So what if it was from 2004 - that's closer to when the more expensive contract for Linux was signed than now! There are plenty more references to it being more expensive for Linux if you want to use Google....

Face it, you have been proved wrong....

"(By this year they had 13000 computers migrated to Linux BTW)"

Really - so according to you - they migrated 13,000 in 1 year, but in the 9 years since they have only been able to migrate another 2,000?! I don't think so:

Actually, by 2008 (after 5 years!) they had only been able to migrate 1,200:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux

So wrong again....

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"By this year "

Just point out (for those stuck in 2004) that THIS year is 2013 !

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

BTW - you really are sounding desperate (& ludicrous )

For the less-than-numerate i.e. - YOU 2004-1013 is NOT 1 year ( - I think you probably know that)

Could you also address why the 2004 page has a ref. to the current Register ? - no, thought not.

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Re: What's wrong with LiMux?

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux

So wrong again...."

NO as usual you have posted a ref. that is actually AGAINST your own argument. If you'd posted the whole of the wiki ref. you'd have shown the 13000 migrated by 2013

November 2008: 1200 out of 14,000 have migrated to the LiMux environment ........

.......November 23, 2012: Report shows that the savings brought in using LiMux environment are over 10 million euros[26]

January 2013: About 13,000 LiMux PC-workstations

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Half measures

Telling people they're "on their own" after making the switch is not going to motivate them to change. Especially the computer literate ones that still believe the blue E "is the internet".

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Re: Half measures

They are also telling they are on their own if they don't switch...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Half measures @Paul Crawford

"They are also telling they are on their own if they don't switch..."

Yup - with something they're at least familiar with.

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FAIL

Re: Half measures

Especially the computer illiterate ones that still believe the blue E "is the internet".

FTFY

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Re: Half measures

Er surely they ARE on their own if they don't switch. The question is whether they take the paid for option or the free one.

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Nice idea, but...

I have an old Shuttle box that originally had XP on it. A few years ago I switched it to Ubuntu to see what it was like. Not at all bad. I upgraded and got to 11.10, and then took their advice and upgraded to 12.04 - which died totally. It seems that the necessary graphics drivers to support the embedded graphics (GeForce 4 MX if I remember rightly) aren't available for 12.04 and upwards. 11.10 is no longer supported.

I always thought Linux was meant to work on a wide range of older hardware? It seems I was wrong, and many of the good burghers of Munich may have the same problem.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

There are plenty of distros out there that should work on it. Just need to do a little hunting round on the net or there might be a publicly spirted penguin amont el reg's readers.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

Xubuntu, Lubuntu, LXLE, Peppermint and Bodhi are all based on core Ubuntu and will run on much older hardware than the flagship distro.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

Therein lies the problem - the eight hundred thousand slightly different distributions. Most people don't want to try them. They just want their computer to work, which is why XP has had such a long life.

The idea that rpm and dpkg are anything like as user-friendly as setup.exe is a joke. Truly, this year and the next hundred years will not be the year of the Linux desktop.

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Unhappy

Re: Nice idea, but... X marks the spot.

Actually, the graphics problem is probably the fancy new detection stuff in the latest version of X . I have an old Shuttle running Mrs Zimm's XP... It used to run Ubuntu fine..when X was set up manually... as the old screen does not talk to the OS to give it the EDID.

Now, although I have dual booted Mint on it I have managed (somehow) to start in a low res and I have to xrandr to get the right res... cannot find the right documentation for customising the new X with the previous screen settings(changing the old xorg.conf just does not seem to want to work succesfully anymore).

Now my laptop* (which has been working Linux for the last 6 years) has developed a screen problem and is not detected on boot... dead (also on all previously working newer versions, tried booting from other partition installs, external USB HDD etc..).. However, plug in a Puppy USB and it comes to life...

So any new potential user with a less than modern screen (or a dodgy one) will find Ubuntu et al a no-no... shame...

*Using another laptop (Mint, SUSE 12.3) until I can find time to trawl the net for answers.. AGAIN!!

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Re: Nice idea, but...

I understand your point HereWegoAgain, but from personal experience I have found it immensely easier to to install and operate various flavours of Linux onto a PC than XP. Not only is the install MUCH quicker, it installs normally all the correct drivers and key software, unlike XP which requires yet more myriads of discs and time to install. The only problems I have encountered with Linux has been sometimes getting printing to work without a bit of a faff, and domestic network sharing, but it's still quicker overall compared to the vast amount of time I wasted with XP over the years with all of it's various issues. I actually use Win 7 most of the time for business reasons and it's a huge improvement over XP, but I still prefer linux.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

"The idea that rpm and dpkg are anything like as user-friendly as setup.exe is a joke. Truly, this year and the next hundred years will not be the year of the Linux desktop."

Ubuntu software centre > Some dodgy freeware site and setup.exe

I still don't see what is so confusing about a .deb either. You double click it, it installs the software.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

@HereWeGoAgain

"The idea that rpm and dpkg are anything like as user-friendly as setup.exe is a joke. Truly, this year and the next hundred years will not be the year of the Linux desktop."

I take issue with this. For the exe you can put a CD in or download it. Except downloading it is dangerous unless you know the trusted source and its not a scam site made to look like the original. As allowing exe from the web is generally bad you will want to call your local IT guy. Aprogram is trying to modify your computer- allow YES NO? Once you are allowed to start you must select options from install page 1,2,3,4,5,6,etc which asks if you want a full/typical/minimal install, where you want it, do you want links on your desktop/start menu/quick launch.

I compare this with entering the software centre of fedora or ubuntu- do search in software centre, click install, if it asks to install dependencies click yes. Thats it. If you need to download a deb or rpm you are likely doing something more technical and know if you should trust the source. But if you end up downloading one it opens with the software install centre and just installs as it would in the software centre.

The difference is huge when you are teaching an old person who has no idea about any of this stuff. No baffling screens. No messing.

Your comments on XP are right. Once they got XP to work and due to it being pre-installed for so long it has a huge following. Its a good OS. Windows 7 is the only other MS OS I would recommend to anyone. But for the old XP machines which often dont have the hulking hardware for the other windows OS's I install ubuntu or mint. They both run better than the MS alternatives I have seen

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but...

just install Debian on your Shuttle. Partly thanks to Ubuntu, Debian has moved on from being too techie centric, and since the Unity debacle is a much better choice in my humble opinion. Couple that with the smooth upgrade between releases and your likely to be much happier than with the Ubuntu (or Mint) "wipe and install" upgrades.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but...

Public spirited penguin?

Nope, not in my experience, unless public spirited involves calling the questioner a dumb retard for not knowing and having to ask.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

I just put mint on an older xp laptop, the first time I've ever used any version of linux after 20+ years of windows. The main problems with linux are:

1) As the op said, the fact that there are countless different versions of it. Ask for an opinion of which one to install and you'll get as many different answers as there are versions. In the end I just guessed at mint, as it looked pretty similar to xp, but even then there were 4 different current versions to guess from.

2) You're on your own. The wifi card didn't work and although I could find forum references to this problem the solutions involved some sort of terminal or tar ball which might as well have been written in latin for all I understood it. You can't just download the drivers from the manufacturer as it is an unsupported OS. I bought a small wifi dongle to get around the problem but that didn't work either, in fact it didn't even seem to recognise that I had plugged it in. I went to un-install the whole thing on sat only to find the built in wifi works now. I have no idea why it now works when it didn't previously and no idea what to do if it stops. Now working it works well and I quite like it. But you're on your own.

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FAIL

Re: Nice idea, but...

The idea that rpm and dpkg are anything like as user-friendly as setup.exe is a joke.

Then it seems that you don't understand WHAT a package manager DOES; and I don't have the time to EDUCATE YOU.

In case you CARE to become educated:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Package_management_system

After you have gleaned what you are capable of comprehending from that article, can you tell me that the fucked up setup.exe system used by WindblowZE is better????? NOTE carefully the comments about maintaining UPDATES.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

"I just put mint on an older xp laptop,"

The advice I'd give is - don't rush, do a little research, download a few live CDs from the various distros and try one or more - this will show you any major problems with your hardware without committing to an install. If there aren't any problems, and I've not found any with (for example) OpenSUSE for years, then go ahead to a full install. If you don't have a bootable CD then a USB stick can be used (check with the distro) as long as your hardware supports booting from USB

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Re: Nice idea, but...

@Fatman - quote " I don't have the time to EDUCATE YOU."

Which is a really common reply, both in tone and manner, from a lot of Linux aficionados when someone with Windows XP starts to question the user-friendliness of Linux.

Sadly, this attitude is probably one of the bigger reasons folks just go "oh well, I tried Linux, but it's just too user unfriendly". What they really mean is that the advocates are far too often newbie unfriendly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but... @Fatman 14:32

Wow, less than half way down the first page, and you've already deteriorated to using caps too much, the overused "WindblowZE" thing and personal insults. Your first sentence highlights the point at least one person has made here about the worst aspect of trying to get into Linux. Or is that why people like you are so keen to see more people trying? So you can tear them down? Linux zealots - Microsoft's best weapon ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but...

Well done Fatman, you single handedly demonstrated why the Linux eco-system (and often computing in general is seen as unfriendly.

(Maybe unjustifiably) it appears to the layman, that the whole arena is full of fat,ignorant, social misfits who have some sort of sad, pathetic superiority complex, when in fact they are lacking in all the real skills that one hopes humanity needs to progress.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

"The idea that rpm and dpkg are anything like as user-friendly as setup.exe is a joke."

Oh but it is, my dear shilltroll! In fact, the setup.exe option is so fucked up MS hasn't used it for years! Ever heard of MSI? Keep up with the times d00d! Any decent OS these days uses some kind of package manager, and that includes commercial OSen like Solaris, OSX *and* MS Windows. Interestingly, the advantage with the Linux ones are that you can download dependencies w/o having to go on a dependency hunt (unless your package is reeeeally odd). No dodgy sites here!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but...

Funny how the people who "don't have enough time to EDUCATE YOU" seem to have enough time to write sanctimonious comments and use names line "WinblowZE" because it is the funny.

Here's a tip: Don't bother trying to speak for people who use Linux, it's much better for the OS as a whole if you just don't speak. People who make fun of the OS that potential Linux users currently use and then effectively tell them to RTFM (you did, even if you don't realise it) do far more damage than good.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but...

"@Fatman - quote " I don't have the time to EDUCATE YOU."

Which is a really common reply, both in tone and manner, from a lot of Linux aficionados when someone with Windows XP starts to question the user-friendliness of Linux."

His tone may have been wrong but there was nothing wrong with his point.

Linux is extensively documented. As well as this there are myriad tutorials and walk-throughs. The issues being raised about package managers have been answered and answered again on various forums.

It really isn't his job to educate you. The answers are already out there.

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JLV
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"The idea that rpm and dpkg are anything like as user-friendly as setup.exe is a joke."

Agree with what the OP said - and I do wonder who downvoted him for having the temerity to be surprised at Ubuntu not supporting some older hardware. I thought that was the point.

And I kind of agree that there is comfort in limited choices - for most people at least. Most people do NOT want to evaluate 10 different OS. And that includes a significant proportion of IT-but-not-sysadmin folks. I don't use Linux much myself these days (I'd look at Debian now, rather than Ubuntu).

But your statement that setup.exe and its ilk on Windows are more user-friendly than a proper packaging system, like Apt, makes no sense.

Once you've installed say Ubuntu, the system is able to very quickly install extra packages from online repos, with very limited user interaction. As someone else pointed out, you don't have to deal with outdated CD versions. Or potentially dodgy websites from which you will be downloading and running executables. Prereqs are pulled in automatically.

But, mostly, the beauty of Linux program installation lies in the updates. On Windows, every single vendor packages their own update manager, which invariably loads at boot time, nags you and clogs up your machine. Adobe and Java being two particularly obvious miscreants.

When the vendor does not do that, you are hard pressed to keep your proggies up to date, short of again finding the exes on the internet.

And let's not talk about Windows Update itself, where every other update "may require a reboot but we are too stupid to let you know for sure".

Once set up, a Linux machine is a breeze to maintain. You may not like Linux, and your reasons are your own, but you made a spectacularly poor choice of argument here, dude.

If I had a grandmother, she'd be on Linux.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

with a good package manager it is just like an app store, much easier then hunting for the software you want, downloading it (with the risc of yet another "downloadmanager" and crapware install option checked) and then doing the setup.exe. After witch you can go and delete the original download manually.

Setup.exe easier? I think not

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Therein lies the problem

No, the diversity of linux is not the problem, it's linux's strength - an individual operating system for everyone. Just get away from the one-size fits all mentality and never look back

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Re: Nice idea, but...(perhaps try Win7 instead of XP??)

Perhaps you should have tried comparing Windows 7 instead of an ancient operating system like XP.

Honestly the number of complaints about difficulty installing XP just make me laugh. Win 7 finds everything you can throw at it, UNLIKE any Linux distro that typically has to be led down the path to the right graphics and sound card drivers. How about printers and scanners Oops?

Try it on a good quality PC that is not underspecified and you'd be amazed. Too bad that people can only complain about Windows and praise Linux. Last clean Win 7 install for me took less than 30 minutes.

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Re: Nice idea, but... X marks the spot.

The video card issue may very well be a genuine support issue given the age of the hardware. I would not be at all surprised if the proprietary BLOB driver doesn't include support for that card anymore.

Although I would be surprised if the libre driver dropped support.

These people might not be able to run Win7 either for similar reasons.

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Re: Nice idea, but...

A Windows style installer is nothing more than a crude script that spews files everywhere. It does this because there is no sense of process control on Windows due to it's heritage as a single user system. It may have the appearance of being easier because it doesn't really do anything except in the most crude fashion possible.

You just push the shiny button and hope for the best.

Although sometimes even this isn't even good enough as Windows software still has dependencies.

Linux package management automates and centralizes everything. Even if you do stray off the reservation, chances are the package manager will be able to rescue you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice idea, but...

Any decent OS these days uses some kind of package manager, and that includes commercial OSen like Solaris, OSX *and* MS Windows.

Downvoted for using OSen

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Re: Nice idea, but...(perhaps try Win7 instead of XP??)

You obviously didn't

- Apply all the patches to the OS, .Net 3.5 and .Net 4

.Net 4 is a 46Mb download and 240Mb of patches.

I did a Server 2008 R2 install today. Installing the core OS took about 30 mins.

Then it took more than 2 hours to Download and install all the patches and then reboot umpteen times

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