back to article Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

The German city of Munich, which famously adopted Linux and open source across its operations, may be about to reverse that decision. German newspaper Süddeutsche reports deputy mayor Josef Schmid as saying the city is considering the move because users often complain about the functionality available in open-source …

  1. Ami Ganguli

    Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

    I can't believe that's really the reason. I can understand that migrating FROM Outlook might be a pain for a lot of companies, so they suck it up and stick with it. But if you're not tied to MS ecosystem already, why would you willingly adopt it?

    There are a ton of solutions, both Open Source and proprietary. Gmail, Zimbra, and Evolution, just off the top of my head.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      Quite. And even if there really isn't anything suitable, paying someone to write software, or tweak existing software would be far cheaper than paying for MS licenses, and the hardware upgrades the monster would require.

      And then to be bound again by a company that tried to force metro big blobby buttons onto it's customers..... WTF?

      The thing is, none of the staff that are complaining have to foot the bill, and don't understand/care about the issues.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog
        Trollface

        Re: paying someone to write software

        Here's some obey. Write me an open source clone of Outlook please. Easy, innit?

      2. Jim 59

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        ...and the hardware upgrades the monster would require

        Quite so. Remove Windows from a modern desktop PC and install Linux, and you are left with vastly overspecified hardware. But do the opposite...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          "Remove Windows from a modern desktop PC and install Linux, and you are left with vastly overspecified hardware. But do the opposite..."

          Just to note that Windows 8.1 outperformed the latest Ubuntu in benchmark tests such as boot time, 3D graphics and copying large files...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            '..Just to note that Windows 8.1 outperformed the latest Ubuntu in benchmark tests such as boot time, 3D graphics and copying large files...'

            so, by logic then, I *should* be better off running Win 8.1 on *this* box I'm typing on at present...

            oh, no, wait, I've already tried that, and general performance was so bloody poor I dropped back to using (initially) win 7, then back to XP on the Windows partition just to get stupid things like browser performance back to being on a par with the Debian install on the same box.

            It amuses me when people talk about the alleged performance boost, where they claim Win8.x > Win7 > WinXP, I've still yet to see this at my place of employ where we've been Win7'd..of course, all the machines had to be upgraded, and the merest fact they've all got double the memory the old XP boxes had, double the number of processor cores, and faster SATA disks has bugger all to do with the fact that they're still slower than treacle when used for most daily tasks compared to the remaining XP boxes..or the Macs.

            See what you've gone and done, AC, implicitly made me come to the defence of Ubuntu...I feel soo bloody dirty now I'll have to go and do a Slackware install somewhere to atone for this..

          2. defiler Silver badge

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "Just to note that Windows 8.1 outperformed the latest Ubuntu in benchmark tests such as boot time, 3D graphics and copying large files..."

            That's great, and I tried Windows 8.1 - yes it's very quick to boot. So that's saved me about 12 seconds a day.

            3D graphics? Wonderful but I don't care in an office environment.

            Copying large files? Again (almost entirely) unnecessary in an office.

            Having used Ubuntu for 2+ years for work and dual booting to Windows 7 on the same machine, I found little difference in program performance, but Ubuntu was generally quicker at drive access and more stable (particularly Firefox).

            And I wish I'd had an Outlook equivalent. Though Thunderbird was good for most jobs.

            1. Jaybus

              Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

              I would force all of "my" users to use webmail if it were up to me.However, several of those users travel extensively and for some reason can not sit back and enjoy a flight and absolutely insist that they need access to the last 10 years worth of e-mail even during flights with no internet access. As a result, they use a mix of Thunderbird on both Mac and Windows, Outlook on both Mac and Windows, and Apple iMail. All allow offline access. Thunderbird has been rock solid. Outlook has only occasional issues, though more so on Mac Office 2011 version of Outlook. iMail has strange behavior more often than the others, such as reporting a failure to send when in fact the send was successful and no errors are reported at the server end, messages sent with extraneous headers that appear to be left overs from the previous message sent, etc.

        2. HereWeGoAgain

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          Linux today is as bloated as Windows. Don't say 'well try Puppy Linux or some other lightweight distribution (amongst thousands).' It is fair to compare commercial offerings, such as Redhat, with Windows.

          1. Marcelo Rodrigues

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "Linux today is as bloated as Windows."

            I can't speak for everyone - nor every configuration. But, for me, OpenSuse 13.1 x86_64 is FAR nimbler than Windows 7 64. It's dual boot - so exactly the same hardware*. It looks faster, too, than two NUCs we have at work (i3, 8GiB RAM and mSATA SSD, with Windows 8 64).

            * Athlon FX 6300, 8GiB DDR3 1333, 1TB 7200 RPM Seagate, EVGA GTX 460. Two monitors.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        "Total urban machine on Linux were converted in the past ten years 15 000 , about 80 percent of all jobs in the Munich authorities"

        So 20% still run Windows after a decade?! The cost of running two parallel infrastructures for so long must be horrendous.

        ""Linux is very expensive, as much itself must be programmed.""

        Well there we go - so much for the Linux "cost savings". It doesn't work out of the box and costs lots of money to fix. As confirmed by the worlds foremost migration site.

        1. t.est

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          Do you remember the study they did. If I recall correctly, Mac's were considered, they were also forecasted to have the lowest support and maintenance cost of all platforms, but the highest investment cost for a change, was it roughly 3 times higher than continue with pc's.

          The mac way would have had MS Office and Exchange support, apps would have been quite similar to work with, that meant lower training costs than going with Linux.

          I still don't understand what the criterias was that made them go with Linux. They surely were not criterias that was made from the users perspective.

          I may though mix it up with another similar study. As I've read a few of them.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            @t.est they already had the PCs, they just needed to reprovision them. That is a lot cheaper than throwing away 15,000 perfectly good PCs and buing 15,000 new Macs... Replacement cycles would also be longer on Linux / Windows, given Cupertino's glee in stopping support on older hardware.

            Also, don't foget at the time of the transition, that would have been transitioning to PowerPC, maybe there was something technical - such as the VMs for keeping virtual Windows instances around for special programs that didn't have a Mac equivalent were so abysmal back then... Now they could use Parallels or VMWare or even dual boot with Bootcamp, back then it was Microsoft's VirtualPC, which was a dog.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "I still don't understand what the criterias was that made them go with Linux. "

            Windows is a software vendor lock-in

            Mac is a software and HARDWARE vendor lock-in

            Linux is neither.

            MS got popular by being cheap, doing most things that were needed and not charging extra fees for added functionality.

            So did Cisco.

            Once they eliminated the competition, they changed to the same rape-and-pillage models the previous incumbents had used.

            Sensible businesses don't willingly keep their head in a noose whilst someone's sawing away at the chair legs underneath.

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          Sounds like you ran that through Google Translate, AC.

          I would guess that that is 80% of employees, not every employee has a computer, or even a desk. That was 80% of all jobs, not 80% of all PC users, there is a difference.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "I would guess that that is 80% of employees"

            No - it's most definately referring to 80% of computers.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hello RICHTO

          It's been a while...

      4. Anthony 13
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        "And even if there really isn't anything suitable, paying someone to write software, or tweak existing software would be far cheaper than paying for MS licenses, and the hardware upgrades the monster would require."

        That is one of the funniest things I have ever heard!!! Jamie, I can only assume you are a software developer with self interest at heart?

      5. Vince

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        "Quite. And even if there really isn't anything suitable, paying someone to write software, or tweak existing software would be far cheaper than paying for MS licenses, and the hardware upgrades the monster would require."

        Really? How did you calculate that?

        It's cheaper to build something from scratch to support many different devices and whatnot, and then support it over a reasonable lifetime than to just pay someone who has already been there, done that?

      6. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Jamie Jones Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        ".....paying someone to write software, or tweak existing software would be far cheaper than paying for MS licenses...." And lead to a requirement for specialized support and uncertain support costs compared to a commercial offering.

        ".....And then to be bound again by a company that tried to force metro big blobby buttons onto it's customers..... WTF?...." Your opinion of the GUI design of Win8 has nothing to do with the chief complaint of the lack of features from competing products. The fact that MS Outlook has such features is undisputed. You would do better to concentrate on the matter at hand rather than simply repeating MS-bashing soundbites, customers kind of prefer that.

        ".....The thing is, none of the staff that are complaining have to foot the bill....." Your blatant disregard for the users would be very counter-productive if you ever had to deal with such a situation. And, seeing as they are probably also Munich taxpayers, in the end they probably do foot the bill. The issue is they are complaining - as users - that the lack of features and integration is making it harder to do there task, to such a degree that they would consider the additional cost the lesser of two evils. Simply disparaging them by saying "dumb lusers, what would they know" is not a good tactic.

    2. Gray Ham

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      Possibly the significant comment is the one about it taking several weeks to set up the Mayor's smartphone to receive email.

      That sort of embarrassment in front of the big boss tends to lead very rapidly to change, regardless of any other factors.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        " Possibly the significant comment is the one about it taking several weeks to set up the Mayor's smartphone to receive email.

        That sort of embarrassment in front of the big boss tends to lead very rapidly to change, regardless of any other factors."

        Sheer ignorance and incompetence is no excuse! That so called admin had the cheek to admit that, when really he/she should be looking for a new job....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          "That so called admin had the cheek to admit that, when really he/she should be looking for a new job...."

          It's not the admins fault that his management made him use a crappy Open Source platform for email that hardly anyone else uses and simply doesnt work reliably with mobile email devices.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leads very rapidly to change...

        Ten years? You must work in local government too

        1. Gray Ham
          Happy

          Re: Leads very rapidly to change...

          You must work in local government too

          Indeed yes, I do. And sometimes, 10 years can be a short timeframe.

          But in this case, it isn't ten years - Dieter Reiter was elected mayor of Munich in March 2014.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        IT Angle

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        Yes, but the problem with the smartphone/email is the quality of the support staff not the infrastructure.

        I for one think it would be great to see them go back. MS are so arrogant these days that Munich will be paying through the nose and kicking themselves for years! ROFL!

      4. Uwe Dippel

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        Hmm. My smartphone connects totally well and easily to a FOSS mailserver. Well, it does not connect nicely to an Exchange server, but that's not what is mentioned in the article.

        Therefore, I simply don't understand.

        1. Rebecca M

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          Hmm. My smartphone connects totally well and easily to a FOSS mailserver. Well, it does not connect nicely to an Exchange server, but that's not what is mentioned in the article.

          You do know what integration means don't you?

          So you can access your email. What about your calendar and contacts from the same app? Oh, right, that isn't going to happen.

          So how is it integrated? If you're faced with a question that is tough to answer replacing it with a different question that you can is generally not helpful.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I smell a shill

      I was thinking the same as you... no to mention the Horde of competent collaboration/groupeware available. Once you've escaped the strangle-hold you're free to cherry-pick from such a vast ecosystem of tools (including many of the market leaders) that the suggestion seems perverse.

      I wonder what steps they've taken to trace/audit this vocal opposition. A handful of "shop stewards" could easily drum up a bit of noise. Quietly gossiping amongst the suggestible about how much "better" the new OE55® RibWizz™ UI is in TIFKAM 8.3 if only we could have it. Perhaps with a sprinkling of good old class warfare. The bosses all sit there at their expensive Macs and expect us to do all the work with this free crap. Won't even spring for Windows®©™ the tight bastards. I'd like to see *them* work with this shit. If it's good enough... Shows how they value... Etc...

      Combined with natural "grass is greener" tendencies it could make the empire's new clothes look very shiny indeed. Seen the effect many times myself... NT - "better security"(!)... suppose that was in comparison to 3.11 - we were on NetWare at the time :| ...XP - no specific reason, they just seemed to know they wanted it even though in *reality* 2000 was fine. ...Then most recently and perversely everyone seemed to "know" they "needed" Vista - although that one did die away quite quickly. Anyone know how much advertising MSFT has been buying in Munich?

      Could of course go straight to the top with a bung-you-can't-refuse...

      We KNOW the Munich problem has been causing concern in Redmond. One has to wonder what action it has received.

      Be interesting to see how all this turns out. They've got some bright, engaged people at Munich. Definitely one to watch.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: I smell a shill

        I smell the same thing.

        1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

          Re: I smell a shill

          I smell irrational open-source fanboy narrow mindedness.

          It's all about the right tool for the right job - if a closed source product (even MS) can do that better, so be it.

        2. Chika

          Re: I smell a shill

          Indeed. Chances are that the "functionality" argument is more likely based on the lack of certain high profile brand names rather than actual ability to do something.

          That and a large sum of money.

        3. RealFred

          Re: I smell a shill

          What, because they've dared criticise your holy grail. It hasn't worked for Munich because of a whole lot of reasons, be they technical or operational. Instead of seeing if the problem can be fixed, the Open Source crowd bitch and moan about everything and point the finger. I suggest they start looking at their software and give it the functionality that people want/need.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: I smell a shill

        An evaluation of whether the project was a success and whether it is sustainable is warranted. They should look at how the solution is running in the day to day business of the council.

        Have they actually saved money? Are the users having specific problems? Are the users happy or unhappy?

        I've dealt with upgrades in the past, moving from IBM DisplayWrite IV to WordPerfect 5.1, which was a much better product, we still had a small handfull of users who caused problems, because they knew DW4 inside out and people used to come to them with questions and they were scared of using their status, as everybody went back to square one and had to learn the way the new system worked.

        The finance director was shocked at how much the support calls had increased, until we pointed out that, apart from his assistant, calls had actually dropped! She thought, if she could overload the helpdesk with calls, they company would switch back to DW4 - she logged the same problem (by converting from DW to WP the software ignored the set paper size (A4) and switched to Letter, which isn't a standard size in Europe, so the first time a document was opened in WP, the user had to set the paper size manually to A4, otherwise the printer would display an error message and not print) for each and every document she opened.

        Her boss tore her down a strip for wasting company money, after that the support calls sank to lower levels than before the upgrade.

        So that is the question, the users having problems, are they users genuinely struggling to get to grips with Linux or are they trouble makers who fear they have lost their cachet as the Windows Guru in the change and will do anything to get Windows back?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I smell a shill

        Windows 8 really did me a favour.

        Couple of significant users seemed to think they were loosing out on the upgrades race so they got Win 8 laptops, has really made them go quiet on the new is obviously better theme.

        Users complain about software in use.

        There is no direct correlation between users complaining and other software being a wise move.

        User may complain that "Linux" stopped me hitting that deadline when hangover, distraction, lack of training may have been the bigger cause. The fact there will be financial gains to some vendors jumping ship would certainly be shill bait and call for scrutiny.

        I can see that the early adoption may have given them some of the largest mountains to climb and I am grateful for the vision, just feels all wrong to consider users normal (possibly) moaning to get more consideration than a technical review of workflow and project plan based on the facts. Maybe the beards have given up and are drowning under the combined weight of the well incentivised political low brows.

        What are the facts, not facebook rants and what is the comparative costs.

        1. PJI

          Re: I smell a shill - "lack of training may have been the bigger cause"

          So training and the time for it is free?

          The strength of MS, much as I dislike it, is that even we haters know it and can use it with no training or with the help of a colleague for those awkward cases, with lots of MS documentation on their and other sites.

          Linux still shows the gaps. It is still not as complete or consistent as full, genuine UNIX systems of yore. Please do not waste your time arguing. I have decades of experience with both, including a couple of years when I persisted with Linux email in a largish firm, despite the laughable integration with other applications and the workarounds to display common attachment formats. I am using it now for very large, enterprise applications, in a very large financial environment. But for day to day, non-technical or specialised users or office systems (email, calendars, word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, reports, etc), who have not got time at work to work out the simple, daily tasks and work management, Linux as yet does not cut it in comparison with Windows. Large firms have got thousands of employees, with scores of people leaving and joining every day. They need systems that are familiar and easy for most people without expensive training, special set-up, complicated update and security management and expensive, inhouse experts to manage the routine office management.

          Personally, I prefer Solaris, OSX, BSd, almost any *ix to most versions of Linux. All this time and effort and the Linux cracks still show. It will be ready for the desktop when it fulfils the user requirements as easily as MS seems to do, with no more effort and knowledge than Windows seems to require of its users and administrators. Licences may be expensive. But so are human specialists and their time, plus much software required on Linux platforms is ported, professional, licensed software - so still cost.

          If you believe otherwise, you have not worked in or managed informatics in a company employing more than a dozen or so people who are not all technicians with time to set up and administer their tools instead of working for the company.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I smell a shill

        "We KNOW the Munich problem has been causing concern in Redmond. One has to wonder what action it has received."

        No we don't. If you do then link? It's a tiny contract and near zero have followed down the same path after seeing that it took over a decade to only move 80% of users - and tens of millions of Euros of extra costs to get there with no real benefits. so I doubt it even hit the RADAR.

        "They've got some bright, engaged people at Munich. Definitely one to watch."

        If they were really any good, presumably they would be working in the real world for twice the money and not for local government...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I smell a shill

          >>If they were really any good, presumably they would be working in the real world for twice the money and not for local government...

          Pardon? As one who works for "business", I think you are an idiot. Local Government has a rather bigger, more serious, more critical role than most businesses, even when such businesses are paid by local government to do some jobs.

          Almost any business can fail and life carries on regardless unless you are an employee. If local governemnt fails, you get rubbish in the streets, roads becoming unusable, law and order breaking down, education collapsing and much more. Many of the staff are underpaid and too few for the jobs to be done, because people like you will happily pay over the odds for a private business product but resent even one penny of tax to pay for local governent workers and equipment.

          Local governement tends to do its job so well that pratts are unaware of how effective it is and hurl abuse willy nilly.

          Tell you what, why do n't you work for your local government and make things so much better?

          I've worked for state bodies: but for most of my working life I have been with private enterprise. PE is incredibly inefficient, narrow minded and, technically, lacking as "business" prefers not to take risk and loves to save money on the essentials in order to pay the upper echelons and shareholders more than can be justified. Of course there are exceptions and, of course, some civil servants are appalling. But overall, I think we should have the best and brightest managing the infrastrucutre of our lives and society - if that fails, we are in big troubel very quickly, along with the businesses relying on the infrastructure of the society.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I smell a shill

            "Pardon? As one who works for "business", I think you are an idiot."

            HAHAHAHAHA. Clearly you have never worked in that environment. Local government is full of the dregs of the workforce who's social disabilities and general lack of competence would preclude them from the mainstream workforce. That's why when they need to get anything done, they hire contractors.

            As someone who proclaims that he doesnt know what he is talking about it but makes a statement on it anyway, clearly you are the idiot.

            "Tell you what, why do n't you work for your local government and make things so much better?"

            I do sometimes - as a contractor.

            "PE is incredibly inefficient, narrow minded and, technically, lacking as "business" prefers not to take risk and loves to save money on the essentials"

            That doesn't sound like any PE I ever worked for (I have been in telecoms, commodities, investment banking, it services, etc. etc.). It does sounds very much like local government though...

            "I think we should have the best and brightest managing the infrastrucutre of our lives and society "

            Civil Service pay policy doesn't agree with you.

          2. Nuke
            Holmes

            Re: I smell a shill

            Wrote :- "I've worked for state bodies: but for most of my working life I have been with private enterprise. PE is incredibly inefficient ........ Of course there are exceptions and, of course, some civil servants are appalling."

            Agreed - I've seen both sides of it too. Small businesses, supposed to be the most efficient of all, ("nimble", "lean" and all that myth), are the worst. The one's I've seen have been owned and run by people who merely inherited them (from perhaps more capable forefathers) and would not employ anyone who they could see were more capable and intelligent than themselves - out of fear and jealousy I suppose.

            My wife, a bookkeeper, (very capable, but in a different field from the companies' main businesses) has worked for several small companies (and through them has dealt with many more), and the stories she can tell of their incompetence would make your hair stand on end. According to Free Market theory they should go out of business, but they don't because their rivals are even more incompetent.

            Dangerous and illegal working practices are rife in small companies too. Like where she works now, when the HSE safety inspectors call, they park their illicit bottled-gas heaters off-site in the lorry and move a ton of junk away from the fire doors; the inspectors always forewarn their visits because they have been told to "go easy" on small businesses.

          3. Anomalous Cowturd
            Holmes

            Re: If local government fails, you get rubbish in the streets, roads becoming unusable, etc.

            You're not from round here are you?

            Welcome to GB 2014...

            1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

              Re: If local government fails, you get rubbish in the streets, roads becoming unusable, etc.

              > You're not from round here are you?

              > Welcome to GB 2014...

              Or NYC since forever...

        2. Rick Giles
          Linux

          Re: I smell a shill

          "...it took over a decade to only move 80%..."

          Ah, the old tired adage, or should I say FUD, used by all the MS shill/Fanbois/Wintards.

          Of course it took time you moron. They first had to consolidate all their disparate IT camps that were using a Wintel environment and then move forward with a migration. Gov is about as maneuverable as an aircraft carrier. It takes time to turn.

          As for the real world, most of it is locked into Microsofts crack, er, licensing.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I smell a shill

        Exactly. My first thought on reading the article was 'how much is this costing microsoft?' It is just too convenient considering the problems microsoft are having at the moment.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I smell a shill

        " A handful of "shop stewards" could easily drum up a bit of noise."

        WTF do 'shop stewards' have to do with any of this?

        If anything Open Source 'free' software is a truimph of socialist idiology, while Microsoft (and all it's vile works) are the vanguard of capatilist oppression.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: I smell a shill

          > If anything Open Source 'free' software is a truimph of socialist idiology, <

          Actually, if anything OpenSource is far more libertarian; open and voluntary co-operation on an agreed-upon goal. You can be free to not participate, or to branch off in your own direction.

      7. Daniel von Asmuth
        Trollface

        Re: I smell a shill

        Microsoft is considering to move its german headquarters from Unterschleißheim to nearby München (Munich). Wouldn't it be nice if the city government got rid of those pesky penguinheads?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      Zimbra. That product which is so wonderful, VMware couldn't wait to be rid of it.

      As VMware partners, my company decided to deploy this piece of garbage when they still owned it. First we gave users the web client, but they all wanted Outlook. Then we found that if using the Outlook connector there is no online option. All mail must be downloaded to a local ZDB (just a renamed PST file). As soon as you start adding shared mailboxes, it caches them as well.

      If you try to store the ZDB files on a network location they will break.

      This makes it totally unusable in any RDSH/VDI deployments unless you give the user a dedicated VDI machine with a disk big enough to hold the ZDB. The terabytes of disk space we would have had to add to our RDS hosts to cache all these mailboxes on EVERY server made the product a joke.

      When this issue was raised with Zimbra support they showed a complete lack on interest.

      We have now moved back to Exchange which gives you the option of running in online mode.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        To the people who have down voted my comments on Zimbra, I would be interested in knowing why. They are based on my companies experience of attempting to use this product in a real world enterprise RDS/VDI environment. It simply isn't suitable.

        Is anything I have said inaccurate? If so, please feel free to correct me.

        1. Stephen Stagg

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          My Take would be because the only provided options were: webmail or Outlook.

          It's no surprise that Outlook doesn't play nice with third party servers when the email client vendor happens to also sell an email(/groupware) server solution..

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "It's no surprise that Outlook doesn't play nice with third party servers"

            Outlook plays fine with third party mail servers. It would be commercial suicide if a 3rd party mail server did not play fine with Outlook considering it has a 90%+ share of the mail client market.

            1. Marcelo Rodrigues

              Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

              "Outlook plays fine with third party mail servers. It would be commercial suicide if a 3rd party mail server did not play fine with Outlook considering it has a 90%+ share of the mail client market."

              I believe he was talking about the IMAP/POP3 parts, not the SMTP.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          "To the people who have down voted my comments on Zimbra, I would be interested in knowing why".

          I didn't vote on your comment, either way. But I was rather surprised to read it. Zimbra is SO BAD that someone would rather go back to Outhouse???

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        Yeah, and if you try to store a pst file from Outlook on a network drive, then they break, too. I've had to try and fix shit pots full of corrupted PST files - sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          "Yeah, and if you try to store a pst file from Outlook on a network drive, then they break, too."

          Bing 'Enterprise Hotfix Roll Up' - that's what you need. It's an SMB driver issue.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        > Zimbra. That product which is so wonderful, VMware couldn't wait to be rid of it.

        ...

        So your reason for dissing Zimbra, is that it isn't very compatible to Outlook - which is incompatible with more or less anything else than Exchange.

        Zimbra uses OPEN protocols, and then you should use clients that use OPEN protocols, like IMAP and CalDAV! There are a multitude of choices, including closed source software, since this is what the rest of the industry uses. Outlook is NOT one of them - it uses proprietary protocols, and is notoriously bad on anything that is open.

        It is part of the MS lock in strategy - Exchange works best with Outlook, and Outlook works best with Exchange and works best on Windows. Exchange and Outlook have som crippled IMAP support, and Exchange can do some iCal export, but if you try to mix the MS stuff with other open alternatives you will suffer, and every now and then there are serious incompatibilities because MS changed something.

        1. ScottK

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          As noted in my original comments Outlook wasn't my choice, it was the users. We tried them with the web client but they didn't like it. They also didn't like the native Zimbra client either. Even if they did though, this also pulls the mail down and caches it locally so would heve been no better in our RDS environment.

          Regarding the other posters comment about storing PST files on a network drive, yes they will break as well. It isn't supported and nobody with any sense should try. Since a ZDB file IS a PST file with a different extension it beggars belief that this was Zimbra's suggested fix for the lack of an online mode.

          We asked them if there was client on their development roadmap which could work online without having to cache the mailbox. If there was, we may have stuck with it. There wasn't so we went to Exchange.

          You may not like it, but the fact is that Outlook is a popular mail client. If you want to make a successful groupware product you need to provide decent support for it.

          1. captain veg

            "Outlook wasn't my choice, it was the users."

            You just gave the game away there. No IT department *ever* gave users what they wanted. Ergo, this is a made-up anecdote.

            -A.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Outlook wasn't my choice, it was the users."

              "You just gave the game away there. No IT department *ever* gave users what they wanted. Ergo, this is a made-up anecdote."

              When you are selling hosted services, you give the end users (ie customers) what they want or you lose the business.

              1. captain veg

                Re: "Outlook wasn't my choice, it was the users."

                > When you are selling hosted services, you give the end users (ie customers) what they want

                The customers are IT and/or finance, certainly not the end users.

                -A.

    5. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      GMail is a non-starter, it is cloud only and the data will be stored outside of Germany (also see the current court case with Microsoft fighting to keep data held under European law from being illegally handed over in the USA), that is a grey area for a business, but it is a non-starter for a council.

      They aren't allowed to store any personally identifiable information (emails, contacts, calendar invites etc.) on a server outside the EU and no tax relevant information outside of Germany, without getting a special dispensation from the Finanzamt (Inland Revenue).

      It isn't so much Outlook as Exchange running in the background that makes it a coherrent whole. We have Mac users here, using Outlook 2011 with Exchange, who complain about the lack of facilities, compared to Outlook 2010 with Exchange.

      Finding an open source equivalent of Exchange + Outlook is a very tough call. I don't know what they use in Munich, so I can't comment.

      1. R Callan

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        Gmail is not google-Mail, but a mail, contacts and calender application optimised for the Gnome desktop. It also works well on KDE but there is a mail/calender for KDE called KMail. There many other suitable applications for Linux but the problem seems to be that too many people seem to equate computing with Microsoft (Windows etc.) We have therefore a mind-set of users, and possibly admins, that needs to be overcome before Linux is accepted on a commercial or industrial scale.

    6. HereWeGoAgain

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      You simply don't understand.

      Here in the real world, companies want one solution that works. They don't want to waste months or years trying 'tons of solutions'. It is too disruptive.

      Why would you adopt MS? Because basically it works. It is not very nice, it is quite expensive. But it is a lot less trouble than coblling together chunks of open source software.

      1. despun

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        Agree. As a small business owner, I'm fine with the Open Office suite (plus LibreOffice) to the extent that I have not upgraded Windows Office since '97. But the lack of a contact manager from my veiwpoint has been a serious omission for years, and has inhibited migration to Linux. Some add-on solution which is not part of the "official" suite would take time to evaluate, and might disappear the day after I migrated.

        I may be "wrong" in the eyes of the experts, but with limited time to address these issues, that's where I am. That said, the latest Windows offering are so unattractive that the next move may well be Linux.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        "MS basically works" ?? You're having a giraffe.

        The gotchas and weirdness in Outlook 2010/Exchange Server 2010 calendar sharing are legion.

        I've lost count of the number of times I've shown numerous threads on the MS community forums to people who wonder why it can't do what they want. I have to do that, because otherwise they don't believe me.

      3. BrentRBrian

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        BASICALLY WORKS.

    7. Volker Hett

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      It's actually not that bad. As the head of IT told heise.de it takes less than a week to setup a new mobile and this includes safety and security measures and other things as well as setting up caldav, carddav, smtp and imap accounts.

      Munich does not have a policy about using mobile devices, so they have to work with whatever the politicians want at the moment.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        @Volker Hett

        we don't have a policy either, regarding mobile devices. But with our Exchange set-up it takes less than 10 minutes from getting a new phone out of the packaging to having it connected to Exchange... "less than a week" is not a good yardstick.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          It takes me less than 5 minutes to setup mail on a phone.

          I think someone's trolling to see if MS will offer cut-rate deals to win back business (This is common, sales teams get huge bonuses for bringing back lost business and nothing for retaining people in the first place)

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          Of course the email gripe is total nonsense. It doesn't matter what kind of mail server you have. It probably doesn't even matter what smartphone OS you're running either. Just pick the appropriate client from the store. Something that is PROPRIETARY is MORE likely to be a problem because of corporate secrecy.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      Love the translation from Bing:

      "As the City Council in 2004 , decided to blow off the computer software giant Microsoft "

      As to "But if you're not tied to MS ecosystem already, why would you willingly adopt it?"

      I can only assume that you have never used Outlook / Lync / Unified Messaging - together with Office / Sharepoint / Yammer, etc? It's awesome. There is no comparison to any other product - it's the best integrated suite and the most powerful and pleasant to use product in that space that there is by a long long way.

      1. t.est

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        "I can only assume that you have never used Outlook / Lync / Unified Messaging - together with Office / Sharepoint / Yammer, etc? It's awesome. There is no comparison to any other product - it's the best integrated suite and the most powerful and pleasant to use product in that space that there is by a long long way."

        I use them every day at work, and they purely suck. Outlook is a beast without comparison, Lync is faster than the crippleware Communicator, but has less functionality. Sharepoint, is a pain to use, that may though be our IT departments fault can't really say, still a pain and I'm missing a lot of key functionality that I do expect from it.

        It's funny how consumer products are today more advanced than enterprise products.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          "I use them every day at work, and they purely suck."

          I have yet to see a better option.

          "Outlook is a beast without comparison,"

          Quite - no other product comes close to replacing it.

          "Lync is faster than the crippleware Communicator, but has less functionality. "

          Only if your IT staff have locked it down. Have they deployed Enterprise Voice? IM integration? Group Chat? Exchange Web Services integration?

          "Sharepoint, is a pain to use, that may though be our IT departments fault can't really say, still a pain and I'm missing a lot of key functionality that I do expect from it."

          Compared to what? And yes, Sharepoint is a framework, and it requires configuring / setting up properly.

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          "I can only assume that you have never used Outlook / Lync / Unified Messaging - together with Office / Sharepoint / Yammer, etc?"

          Outlook is an appalling, bug ridden product with some serious usability issues and total disregard for any established standards. I'd more than happily shoot, multiple times to be sure, the developers of Outlook's HTML renderer, quite apart from the intentionally broken IMAP support, or as noted elsewhere broken anything non-Exchange. However the worst thing Outlook... is that it is better than anything else equivalent. I may be wrong on this, but so far I haven't come across anything close and I've tried a lot of alternatives - only Thunderbird came close and the UI of that was designed by idiots.

          Lync may appear to have a clean interface, but it's amazingly bug ridden, bloated beyond belief and just performing simple tasks is an exercise in frustration. Once it's finally started which tends to take a long time.... and yet somehow after all this it is better than Communicator, but that isn't because it's good, just that Communicator was so bad. However to be fair, IM clients don't have a good usability pedigree and bolting extra functionality on top of very poorly designed, or intentionally limited interfaces, is not always an easy task.

          Sharepoint is the devil's work. For good (sanity) reasons, I avoid this bloated, unwieldy monstrosity whenever I can. The security scheme alone makes the hatchet job of normal windows file/print security look well designed. As for all the ridiculous bugs that relate to data that are still in place... arrrgggh. On the other hand, if you want a quick alternative to shared spreadsheets that are used to do little more than record data, it does quite a good job and while the document management feels entirely cumbersome and has been implemented in a ridiculously inefficient manner, it does sort of work.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "Lync may appear to have a clean interface, but it's amazingly bug ridden,"

            Only if your sysadmins don't update it from RTM

            "bloated beyond belief"

            It uses only about 25MB when running.

            "and just performing simple tasks is an exercise in frustration"

            I can only assume that you must be a moron. Lync is by far the easiest to use UC client that there is.

            1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

              Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

              > It uses only about 25MB when running.

              For a **chat client**????

              Sometimes using Lync makes me miss using Lotus Sametime.... Well, OK, probably an exaggeration there; they BOTH stink compared to Empathy, Kopete and Pidgin.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

            "Outlook is an appalling, bug ridden product with some serious usability issues and total disregard for any established standards. I'd more than happily shoot, multiple times to be sure, the developers of Outlook's HTML renderer, quite apart from the intentionally broken IMAP support"

            If you think it's a rotten imap CLIENT, you haven't had to deal with the IMAP clusterfuck called outlook.office365.com

        3. Robert Grant

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          I think Lync is awesome; what don't you like?

        4. Hellcat

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          Sharepoint, is a pain to use, that may though be our IT departments fault can't really say, still a pain and I'm missing a lot of key functionality that I do expect from it.

          Someone hasn't used Jive then?

          It's like someone showed an A level student Yammer and Sharepoint, and then got them to create it in Frontpage 97.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        "It's awesome".

        I can see why you chose to post anonymously.

      3. David Jackson 1

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        Like many people, I have the misfortune to work with Office 2013 and SharePoint. Office 2013 is a load of rubbish compared to earlier versions and I'd never willingly use it. SharePoint is largely pointless and a waste of time. I hope there is better software around (Office 2000 isn't bad), but even if there isn't, Office 2013 and SharePoint are truly dreadful tools to work with.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

          I'm working on a project at the moment with SharePoint and I find it very good - except the pages are half in Russian... It is easy to use and getting at the information is easy. It is certainly a lot better than the other system I have to use, SAP SolMan...

      4. Joat42

        Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

        IMHO, all the products you listed are turds. I use them daily and they make my blood boil.

        The bloat of those products is horribly. Outlook gobbles up 250-350 MB of memory on a good day, Lync about a 100MB (it's a messaging app for gods sake!). The new metro look of the apps is horrible, they eat up 30-40% of my screen estate that can be used for something better. All caps menus, are they afraid people will miss them?

        Word hangs for no reason or decides to change the format used in documents. And ribbons? The looser that invented that should be delegated to street sweeper. Anyone saying ribbons are good have no clue about ergonomics and how the brain works, the only thing ribbons are good for is to interrupt your workflow.

        Using Microsoft software is a sure way to always pay for upgrades of software that doesn't really need upgrades. A word-processor for example, how much new functionality can you cram into it year after year that really increase the productivity of the user? Not much, instead MS changes the UI and say "Hey! Look at the shiny new software!".

        It's the same for reading mail, how much new functionality is there really in every new version you have to upgrade to? None that counts, except that you also need to upgrade Exchange which means you have to upgrade your Microsoft Server which possibly means you have to buy new hardware.

    9. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      None of them are actually anywhere close to Outlook + Exchange. End of discussion.

    10. Tom 13

      Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

      The GMail solution is crap compare to Exchange. Exchange may be hell for mail admins (and even worse for those who don't use it), but for users focused on calendaring, there are few better solutions.

      That being said, it strikes me that the real problem here is fanaticism on both sides of the OS wars. If the issue is only calendaring and Exchange is best, bring in the required Windows/Exchange server to handle that segment of the work but leave the rest as is. There's no need to undo the good parts of the deployed Linux environment just because it doesn't handle calendaring well.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it

    A whole bunch of people are complaining because they can't use Windows Solitaire?

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: Is it

      They're crazy. Aisleriot is way better than Windows Solitaire hands down. It's solitaire, freecell, spider, and the entire Best of Windows Entertainment Pack card games set rolled into one.

  3. Lars

    I hope

    That those who decide within Munich will understand how emotional this reaction among some of the users is. As soon as you tell the "company" is saving money some users will always feel they are loosing something because of that. I thought that stage was history, apparently not.

  4. Paul 135

    Back in 2014?

    Surely the date is wrong there?

    1. Sanctimonious Prick
      Happy

      Re: Back in 2014?

      LOL! Apparently Chris has been inundated with e-mails about this :D

  5. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Easy

    thunderbird+ldap+mozilla lightning.

    As you say, there are a TON of solutions.

    Either complete incompetence, or someone decided to get a little money on the side.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Easy

      " thunderbird+ldap+mozilla lightning."

      ...... very very frightening...

      1. Sampler

        Re: Easy

        galileo!

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Easy

          Unfortunately that combo still needs a bit of a good polish.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Easy

            >Unfortunately that combo still needs a bit of a good polish.

            Kontact & kmail?

            1. HereWeGoAgain

              Re: Easy

              Are you joking? I have never seen such garbage.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Easy

        It would be nice if Mozilla actually did something about the memory leaks in FF and TB instead of blaming plugins.

    2. HereWeGoAgain

      Re: Easy

      Cobbling together various chunks of open source software does not equate with the word 'solution'.

      Thunderbird, as somebody else has commented, is on the back burner as far as Mozilla is concerned. It is not fit for use in a corporate environment. Sure, individuals may use it. But that does not mean it is usable (or supportable) on a large scale.

      1. phil dude
        Linux

        Re: Easy

        The point is, that our local government funding perhaps should PAY to bring software improvements, because FOSS will be maintainable by which ever IT contractor comes along after deployment.

        Buying Micro$oft for decades, has just bought more "lock in". A solution is (by definition) whatever combination of hardware/software does the job. I bet you have seen the contracts that state "Must be compatible with Micro$oft tools", just to exclude opensource alternatives. Expecting a drop in replacement was clearly part of the intent, but does everyone FORGET how terrible M$ products were? (I cannot comment on modern versions after 2007).

        I have 6 accounts with different institutions managed using Thunderbird, PGP and GoogleChat and many other bells and whistles to manage spam . The solution is to have standards based servers so the clients DON'T MATTER.

        Large scale is much simpler when everyone runs the same version...and with Linux distributions this is *definitely* more straightforward than M$ if only because of the licensing/patch circus.

        The long term vision is where our taxes don't prop up corporate share prices but implement solutions that work for everyone. The only way that is going to happen is FOSS (or contracts for software export), so there is no expectation by $CORP that they get to stay the provider for 20 years.

        P.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Easy

          The problem is not MS, most of the software used in the city government is not from them but from small, typically german companies. Same for Banks, Power/water/gas Companies etc.that also uses a lot of custom made software(1) typically done by mid-sized companies (<500 employees).

          That is done for the dominant client first - Windows. And preferably for a long term stable server - again Windows (or a commercial UNIX but those cost even more). Most cities use that version since that is what they can get for the lowest maintenance contract price and lowest initial price(2).

          Most software houses (some offer only .NET so they won't) will gladly sell you a Linux version - if you pay for it. And since there are a lot less customers for that version AND it has higer risks of change - you pay a lot more. München has decided not to go that route by the way, they use Citrix and WINE instead. So actually LiMux proves that there is little benefit in switching (i.e Freiburg did take a long look at LiMux and did NOT switch)

          Supporting OO - again a matter of demand and payment. If you are the only one who wants it - you pay for development and testing. Guess what München did...

          As for source code for that applications - all a matter of contract and "deliver with source" or "put source to escrow) are not that uncommon.

          Compatible with MS - seen that. But the "how to" is typically left open. Some of the last "fat" clients I wrote had that requirement. We wrote them in - JAVA with a matching UI theme. Same for "must generate Excel sheets" - greetings from POI.

          And when it comes to backends - where is the difference between "Must work with MS-SQL Server" and "Must work with DB2/ORACLE/SYBASE"? If you need the features of an RDBMS like Clustering, (near) realtime replication etc. - you will have to make a choice for one of the commercial products anyway. Oh and JBOSS runs fine on a Windows 2003 server as well.

          As for the "taxes" part - I do not care who gets the money as long as they deliver and maintain the software for the required time (10+ years for government/banks etc). No "I no longer care" or "fork it if you like".

          (1) And some SAP stuff with special customization

          (2) And they are required by law to choose those

          1. James O'Shea

            Re: Easy

            I just upvoted mmeier for the first time ever, 'cause he's _right_ (this time...). The problem for those who would be Tuxers is, and always has been, applications. John User does not CARE what OS is in use. He simply doesn't. He only cares if the software available can do what he wants/needs to do. if it can, he does not CARE that it's evil closed-source, locked in, capitalistic software instead of pure, open-source, standards-based software. he just wants his damn spreadsheet to display and print properly. He just wants his email to arrive on time, his calendars to be updated properly, his reports to show what he wants. Linux could be all-singing, all-dancing, but if it won't support software which does what the users want it won't be used.

            And, no, 'educating the users on the alternatives' won't work. That means that either the company or government or whatever has to spend time (and money!) training staff or the staff has to learn the new way on their own time (and dime). And, in many cases, the 'alternatives' simply aren't good enough. The GIMP is a wonderful tool, for what it does; it's not Photoshop and never will be. For certain jobs you simply have to have Photoshop, nothing else will do. (Of course, there ain't nothing which says that you have to have a _new_ version of Photoshop, so far Photoshop 5.5 has done everything I've needed it to do and I see no reason whatsoever to go near Adobe Clutch of Crap.) Thunderbird does some things nicely, other things not so nicely and other things not at all. Outlook may not be the best mail software in the world (now there's an understatement) but it can do things that Thunderbird won't even try. If you don't need those things, you can use Thunderbird and never miss anything. If you need those things, you simply can't use Thunderbird. Period.

            One of the reasons why we don't use Apple iWork around here is _precisely_ that Apple doesn't support stuff for any extended period. (They not-so-recently dropped the disaster that is Pages 5 onto an unsuspecting world; if Microsoft had done what they did, then MS would have been lynched, and rightly so. I personally have a whole lot of old Pages '09 documents on my home Macs; they've being converted to DOCX format, not because I love Microsoft, but because DOCX is likely to still be supported ten years from now, while Pages '09 is dead, dead, dead. And, sorry, Open Office and Neo Office and Libre Office simply don't do what I want, what I need. Pages '09 did. Word 2010 and even (ick) Word 2013 do. Word 5 does not. Yes, I tried them. No, they don't do what I want. No, I'm not about to fork Open/Neo/Libre Office myself. Why should I, when Office 2010 and Office 2011 do what I want?) A lot of Tuxers do NOT understand that most people simply don't care about the OS, they care about the job. If Open/Neo/Libre Office could do what I want, I'd be converting my Pages '09 files to ODT, not DOCX. They can't do the job. LibreOffice 4.3 on a Mac cannot properly import a Pages '09 document. It just can't. That means that I'd have to export my documents from Pages to a format that LibreOffice _can_ handle. Pages '09 can export to some formats LibreOffice is familiar with... and which Word can read, too. And Word actually has certain features, particularly with regard to styles, that I want and LibreOffice doesn't have. Still. Word's had them since the 1980s. I've been using them for over 20 years. I like them. I really don't care if current thinking has them classified as old and stodgy and not worthy of being added to nice new modern software.

            But, hey... carry on.

    3. amoe

      Re: Easy

      Thunderbird still doesn't support editing contacts through LDAP, which is maybe not a dealbreaker but a huge pain anyway.

      Learned through painful experience.

  6. Paul 116

    Outlook IS an amazing piece of work. Anyone who dismisses it has never ventured into the more hidden features. It was one of the things I could not find any replacement for on Linux. These days I just run Windows in a VM.

    1. Morrie Wyatt

      An amazing piece of work?

      In html mode, please show me an example of contextual quoting.

      Because Outlook uses the core editor from Word, it won't allow you to quote contextually, as it refuses to allow you to break up the quoted material into blocks for Question/Answer, Q/A, Q/A...

      Even if you do use the necessary keystrokes to break the quoted material, when you re-open the reply thus generated, the quoted material will all be merged once again.

      Outlook can turn a single line email into several kb of html cruft with every line of text having it's own font and style settings (even when they are identical to all of the previous lines).

      Then there's the boondoggle that is MS-TNEF formatted RTF mode that merges everything into a file called winmail.dat, which can of course only be opened natively by Outlook. Plugins exist for various other clients, but is yet another example of how Microsoft try to Embrace, Extend, Extinguish existing standards such as MIME encoding which were already designed with this use in mind.

      One of the most common things I do when receiving a message that looks a bit suspicious is to open is in raw text mode so that I can properly inspect the content and headers. Guess what? Outlook won't let you look at the raw incoming message!

      What's amazing is how after all these years, Outlook still can't get such simple things right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An amazing piece of work?

        You must be kidding, or you haven't tried to use the menus, so far.

        You can use word or outlook editor, is up to you (see the options). You can also quote too, with a bit of formatting confidence.

        The fact that a message with a winmail.dat attachment can exit from your exchange system is an option that your sysadmin can easily reset (it's a global option in exchange that is always reset as one of the first todos when installing exchange systems...). In fact, when instructed, exchange *does* use MIME encoding.

        Outlook can show you the header of an Internet message as well (message options) either from outlook or via owa (at least in exchange/outlook 2003 versions it can do it...).

        Try to do this sort of things with another groupware application, e.g. Lotus Notes, for example *grin*

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: An amazing piece of work?

          "Outlook can show you the header of an Internet message as well (message options) either from outlook or via owa (at least in exchange/outlook 2003 versions it can do it...). Try to do this sort of things with another groupware application, e.g. Lotus Notes, for example *grin*"

          View / Show / Page Source in any e-mail you mean?

          1. t.est

            Re: An amazing piece of work?

            Why can't outlook handle conversations properly, a simple iThingy handles that with excellence.

            How outlook handles it is a joke with no comparison.

            What about meta data, why can't I easily connect mails in a conversation (non existent) to some metadata as e.g. a service request number to easily link mails to other work activities.

            Why can't I run something similar as AppleScript on it, why are the rules implementation so restrictive to be almost unusable?

            MS software is a pain, as i said above consumer products are today more advanced than enterprise products, they may not be enterprise friendly, but they sure give the user better workflow possibilities.

      2. Chris Miller

        Re: An amazing piece of work?

        "One of the most common things I do when receiving a message that looks a bit suspicious is to [...] inspect the content and headers"

        Yup, that's what I do, too*. Using Outlook. But please don't let your inability to spend a few seconds reading a help file or use a search engine interfere with your apparent urge to dis all things MS.

        The number of people who've set up Eudora for their grannie and think it's therefore the ideal choice for a 10,000 seat workflow driven system continues to amaze me.

        * Though it's not what your typical end user will do.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An amazing piece of work?

        "Because Outlook uses the core editor from Word, it won't allow you to quote contextually, as it refuses to allow you to break up the quoted material into blocks for Question/Answer, Q/A, Q/A..."

        Switch your email format from HTML to plain text. Fixed.

        1. Morrie Wyatt

          Re: An amazing piece of work?

          You will note the first line of my statement was "In html mode"

          I was being quite specific on that point.

      4. nedge2k

        Re: Your phone works on electricity

        "One of the most common things I do when receiving a message that looks a bit suspicious is to open is in raw text mode so that I can properly inspect the content and headers. Guess what? Outlook won't let you look at the raw incoming message!"

        um...right-click > (message options|view source)

        1. Morrie Wyatt

          Re: Your phone works on electricity

          Sorry, still wrong.

          I mean opening the raw source of the message as a single unit, headers, attachments, the lot exactly as it was received and prior to any unpacking of the message contents.

          Your suggestion will show the html source for the body of the message, but will not show the headers.

          You can also see the headers if you wish, but the body will not be included in that view.

          There seems to be no way to view the entire raw message source, headers and all in a single view.

          In Thunderbird for instance, "Ctrl-U" will show the view I want to see.

          (I'm talking about Outlook 2010 as the version which can't quote html contextually.)

          And just to add to the fun of winmail.dat, the old (now defunct) Outlook Express would go one step further and decide that as it is not the full-blown version of Outlook, the winmail.dat attachment should be completely ignored, and no hint of it's existence is given (until you look at the raw source of the message of course, which was something tha Outlook Express _would_ do) so people would reply to the sender, stating that there was no attachment received.

          Older versions of Outlook used IE as the rendering engine for html messages. 2007 used Word itself but by Outlook 2010 the rendering engine is taken from Word instead which often makes a dogs breakfast of that job too, unless the mail came from another Outlook user where it was written using the same dodgy html that Word generates.

      5. Dr Paul Taylor

        Re: An amazing piece of work?

        Because Outlook uses the core editor from Word, it won't allow you to quote contextually, as it refuses to allow you to break up the quoted material into blocks for Question/Answer, Q/A, Q/A...

        Thanks for explaining to me why so many people insist on quoting the entire email back but don't edit their answers into the questions.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: An amazing piece of work?

          "Thanks for explaining to me why so many people insist on quoting the entire email back but don't edit their answers into the questions"

          I'm still surprised (and annoyed) that even the posters to the FreeBSD technical lists largely do this too.

          If old-fart unix hippies do this, we've no hope.

          As an aside, in my last job, I once received a long 'reply/quoted/reply/quoted/reply/quoted' etc. email from BT that somewhere in the depths of it were things we were not to know about, along with strict instructions not to tell any of us at ICL what was being discussed.

          Of course, many generations of this email later, and someone had replied to this 'chain mail' with info. that was destined for us, so our contact at BT dutifully forward it onto me, with all the secret history included!

          It strikes me that this braindead form of blind 'include original message after reply' would not be necessary if typical mail clients kept a copy of mail sent, mail received, and had the ability to thread / group conversations..... Oh.... Wait a minute...

        2. Marcelo Rodrigues

          Re: An amazing piece of work?

          "Thanks for explaining to me why so many people insist on quoting the entire email back but don't edit their answers into the questions."

          I worked with a.... person that was unable to read anything BUT top posting.

          Reply to him putting your answers just bellow the question: "Why is your reply empty?"

          Reply to him in one block, at the bottom: "Why did you respond with a blank?"

          *sigh*

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      > Outlook IS an amazing piece of work.

      It's mainly embarassing. It's just a beast of "user friendliness with a Tony Blair grin" and frankly grossly overengineered features.

    3. Cynical Observer

      <Irony>Outlook IS an amazing piece of work. Anyone who dismisses it has never ventured into the more hidden features. </Irony>

      TFTFY

    4. Rick Giles
      Linux

      You got the "piece" part correct anyways...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone who thinks Thunderbird is an option has never truly USED Outlook. It's very polished and very extensible with a full API.

    1. eulampios

      tit for a tat

      has never truly USED Outlook.

      Anyone who thinks he/she USED Outlook without realizing how it sucks should USE it more or...just try mutt.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: tit for a tat

        "Anyone who thinks he/she USED Outlook without realizing how it sucks should USE it more or...just try mutt."

        I did - it was such a dog...

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: tit for a tat

        "Anyone who thinks he/she USED Outlook without realizing how it sucks"

        Has clearly not had much exposure to mail clients in general.

        MS users treat mail as "hard work" - once you use MS mail systems you understand why they see it that way. Microsoft's way of handling email _makes_ it hard work.

    2. HereWeGoAgain

      I have no idea what the Mozilla people have done to Thunderbird, but it is slow (much slower than it was about 5 years ago). It's a dog.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I have no idea what the Mozilla people have done to Thunderbird

        Mozilla has publicly stated that Thunderbird isn't a priority. It gets bugfixes and updates of the HTML components in line with Firefox. The rest is upto the community.

        1. HereWeGoAgain

          Which means it is not ready or fit for any corporate environment. 'Sorry you can't get your email. Some dude might provide a fix one day. In the meantime you can try Kmail/Bob's mail/roundcube/munchkin or something else. Just search for email in aptitude - you can waste the rest of your life trying things'.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            "Which means it is not ready or fit for any corporate environment. 'Sorry you can't get your email. Some dude might provide a fix one day."

            And how is that Microsoft alternative working out, then?

      2. eulampios

        cats and dogs

        >>..Mozilla people have done to Thunderbird, but it is slow..

        In what setup? Every time when I use it with IMAP (a few gmail accounts) and the local /var/mail ( with or without postfix MTA) stuff it's not slow for me (LMDE).

    3. Rick Giles
      Linux

      "Anyone who thinks Thunderbird is an option has never truly USED Outlook. It's very polished and very extensible with a full API."

      You can polish a turd AND call it Outlook...

  8. sisk Silver badge

    So apparently the biggest bitch is there's no direct equivalent to Outlook?

    Actually....I can sorta understand that one. If they were complaining about Word or Excel it'd be a toothless argument, but Outlook is, dare I say it, damn useful. Integrating a calendar with email is so obvious and so useful that I've often wondered why the concept hasn't been cloned into open source yet (and before you say it, I don't have the time to do it myself or the leadership skills to assemble a team to help).

    1. frank ly
      Happy

      Do you hear that? It's the sound of a Thunderbird plus Lightning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Do you hear that? It's the sound of a Thunderbird plus Lightning.

        ...very very frightening...

      2. Def Silver badge

        Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

        That's all very well and good for a single user on a single machine (it's what I use at home). But how does that scale so you can access said email and calendar from multiple machines and/or mobile devices seamlessly? (And effortlessly.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Def: Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

          Yes, it is possible to have server-side mailbox stores using IMAP, and calendars via iCal or CalDAV.

          However TB does not do particularly well at this - we have a Zimbra system and generally I use its very nifty web interface rather than TB IMAP.

        2. guyr

          Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

          Easily. Use an email provider like GMail, which has an IMAP option. IMAP is an email protocol specifically designed to have all your email stored centrally, accessible by any number of clients (computers, laptops, smart phones, etc.) Google even has Enterprise GMail that will copy over all your existing Exchange users and their existing email, maintaining folders in the process. When the conversion is complete, you just log into GMail and continue on.

          Thunderbird makes a great IMAP client, but many others exist. And I don't know why people are complaining about Lightning. If you opt to use Google Calendar in your Enterprise Gmail environment, then calendar and email in Thurnderbird are totally integrated, as are your contacts via Google Contacts plugin.

          The company I work for went through this adoption, and there is nothing I miss about Outlook or Exchange.

          1. HereWeGoAgain

            Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

            'Thunderbird makes a great IMAP client'

            It used to (about 5 years ago). Now it is slow and painful to use. Frankly I hate it. I don't know what the Mozilla people have done to it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

            "The company I work for went through this adoption, and there is nothing I miss about Outlook or Exchange."

            Speak for yourself. I have now done several migrations from Google Apps / Gmail to Office 365 specifically because Google Apps sucks so much in comparison.

            1. sisk Silver badge

              Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

              Freeware type Office copies might work for small business and home users, but for the vast majority of enterprise users, it's simply not up to the job. Especially Excel.

              Anecdotal though it may be I've never had a need that Calc wasn't more than up to. Though, to be fair, I mostly use spreadsheets as a place to dump database queries to so that I can easily give them to someone else. Someone else does all the book keeping and accounting that is Excel's strong point.

              As for Thunderbird + Lightning, on that I have to say it's just not up to the job even for my relatively modest needs. I've been there and tried that. After a couple months of frustration I gave up and went back to Outlook. GMail Enterprise can do the job, but it brings in its own headaches. The biggest one for us is that there are no bulk tools except an import. If you need to change a huge batch of accounts you have to touch every single one of them.

              For most businesses that wouldn't be a problem, but we were using them for student email accounts. That meant every June some lucky sod got to go in and delete 600 email accounts for outgoing students one at a time over a not-especially-fast web based interface. Even worse, every time the suits (AKA the guys with PHDs in education who can't find Outlook if you delete the shortcut from the desktop) decided something about those accounts needed to change we had to touch every single one of them, which took about 3 days of mind numbing click-click-click. I could see GMail as an alternative in a more normal enterprise, but it doesn't cut it for us.

              1. Marcelo Rodrigues

                Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

                "That meant every June some lucky sod got to go in and delete 600 email accounts for outgoing students one at a time over a not-especially-fast web based interface."

                I believe Gmail accepts text files, to handle some repetitive tasks. I know I could use it to create a large number of users.

                Couldn't they be used to update and/or delete accounts? Never looked into it.

                1. sisk Silver badge

                  Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

                  I believe Gmail accepts text files, to handle some repetitive tasks. I know I could use it to create a large number of users.

                  Couldn't they be used to update and/or delete accounts? Never looked into it.

                  The only task we could use text files for was importing users. Mind you I wasn't the one maintaining the student email accounts, so my knowledge of it is mostly via hearsay, but I do know that three days were spent correcting an error that was in the text file last year because they couldn't edit or delete the accounts via text file.

          3. Iucounu9

            Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

            We did the same: migrated from Exchange to Gmail (several hundred users). Collaboration is much better than before. We have a mixed Windows, Linux and Mac environment for desktops. There were a few diehard Outlook types, and they kept using it, but the rest have switched to the web interface and are happy with it. There's also less time spent fixing problems with mail since the migration.

        3. frank ly

          @Def Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

          I store my TB mailbox on a home network drive (all solid state, no fans) and so can access it from any of my computers at home. I use a plugin to access my Google calendars and also have private calendars on an FTP server out on the internet which work nicely with Lightning. Its all doable but I would concede that Thunderbird needs some polishing.

        4. HereWeGoAgain

          Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

          And that is the crux, isn't it?

          All those people who say 'use this, trry this...' do not know about doing these things at a large scale. Just about anything works for half a dozen users. Try scaling it up.

          1. guyr

            Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

            We have several hundred user accounts in our Enterprise GMail environment. Admittedly, that's not the thousands or even tens of thousands that a large corporation might have. But Enterprise GMail is working well for us. Google has 50,000 employees, and I imagine they use GMail.

        5. Marcelo Rodrigues

          Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

          "But how does that scale so you can access said email and calendar from multiple machines and/or mobile devices seamlessly? (And effortlessly.)"

          "Seamlessly" is easy: IMAP does this for you - and the calendar would be in a server somewhere. When you open Thunderbird it synchronizes everything.

          "Effortlessly": I don't know. I mean, you have to install and configure the extension. Not sure how easy (or hard) would be to do it.

          Once properly configured, in a UNIX/LINUX world, would be quite easy with NFS and centralized $HOME.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Integrating a calendar with email is so obvious

      That it was done long before Outlook… in Lotus Notes for example.

      There's not much of a market for an open source clone. Unlike browsers, which get financed by searches via Google, there's no easy money so the choices are: paid only, or freemium. It's a big piece of software so you're going to need a hefty initial investment until you have something that people might pay for. All the time you'll be competing against entirely free products and the online solutions which are getting better all the time.

      But there's nothing to stop Munich council commissioning some open source software development. The KDE platform is now sophisticated enough to allow development of a worthy product.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Shhh !

        Don't mention Lotus Notes !

        IBM just might have to <shudder> wake up and actually notice a prospective customer. Then IBM would have to actually go and state that IBM Notes works on Linux, with Calendaring & scheduling and everything. From a browser, even. Finally, IBM might have to go make a business case for Munich.

        You don't want IBM to go to all that trouble, now do you ?

        IBM certainly doesn't. Better to let Munich lapse back to Windows. IBM can then continue to sleep in peace, dreaming of all the money it never made on products it couldn't be arsed to sell.

        1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

          Re: Shhh !

          Over the years we have moved from Lotus Notes to GMail to Outlook.

          Lotus Notes was incredible powerful, but had the UI from Hell. It was the corporate hackers dream and the users nemesis. In the end though it was the difficulty in finding people who were capable of supporting it that killed it.

          GMail (and I take onboard from the previous post why it is not suitable for Munich) was initially disliked, but in the end much liked. The best thing about it was that search and remote access was so easy. Being stored on a cloud, meant you could access your emails anywhere. Being google finding that critical email from 5 years ago was a doddle. Also the thing we miss most is the ability to create and share online docs,

          We are now a Outlook shop, basically because our new masters do not like the idea of company critical info living on someone else's server. However although initially slick, the problems with Outlook become manifest when you get used to it. Firstly this is this split between server and local based files. You need a separate backup solution in order to ensure your local .pst file is not lost if your PC goes titsup. Search is basic, nor regex on names or mails meaning if you want to find a contact you must know there name exactly. Lack of integration with other programs. Try exporting/importing a mail list from excel to see what I mean.

          Basically If I had a choice to go back to the google solution I would do it like a shot, because it was simple and just worked.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "But there's nothing to stop Munich council commissioning some open source software development."

        They are already having to do loads. The cost of that is part of the issue if you read the German article. Not to mention that IBM already spent ~ €50 million on building the 'LIMUX' OS that they are using.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "That it was done long before Outlook… in Lotus Notes for example."

        Arrrgh, Bloated Goats, spawn of satan!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If they were complaining about Word or Excel it'd be a toothless argument"

      Freeware type Office copies might work for small business and home users, but for the vast majority of enterprise users, it's simply not up to the job. Especially Excel.

      1. t.est

        As much I hate MS software being a Fanboi too, I did buy Office 365 for my home computer just because of Excel.

        I could not believe that Excel had better Applescript support than Numbers. I could have lived with Numbers if it only had supported Applescript better, and script away the problems it has. But no Excel is unfortunately the only spreadsheet that works for an advanced user.

        1. eulampios

          advanced users

          >> But no Excel is unfortunately the only spreadsheet that works for an advanced user.

          Not advanced enough, for better computational performance it's gnumeric (with R embedded). Yet for more advanced users, it's the org-mode in Emacs (with Calc) or/and a proper CAS software. For the advanced users again, latter is easily embedded in the former.

    4. t.est

      Outlook is, dare I say it, damn useful. Integrating a calendar with email is so obvious and so useful that I've often wondered why the concept hasn't been cloned into open source yet (and before you say it, I don't have the time to do it myself or the leadership skills to assemble a team to help).

      This is the biggest fault with how outlook is designed. You don't want mail and calendar to be the same app. They should integrate with each other but let a calendar app do calendars well and a mail client mail well. For sure invitations etc should integrate just as it does with Apple products. But hey having calender in the mail app is my biggest complaint about Outlooks UI.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So after 10 years, just now there is talk about switching to Microsoft. Something something envelopes of cash?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      And in completely unrelated news, MS are opening offices in Munich.

      Nope, it's not a joke...

      http://www.networkworld.com/article/2466540/software/munich-reverses-course-may-ditch-linux-for-microsoft.html

      1. bailey86

        Thanks for that

        And there we are people:

        'The report also notes that Microsoft is planning to move its German HQ from nearby Unterschleissheim to Munich as of 2016'

        That's how desparated MS are to win this sinlge contract that they are prepared to waste possibly hundreds of millions to get it.

        The shame is that no-one cares about the workers who will now get slower more unreliable software. If they do switch to MS I really feel for the Munich workers who will get genuinely depressed from using such poor software. The best will leave and Munich's quality of service will nosedive. All to satisfy some egos at MS.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: The best will leave

          I'm sorry, you're talking about functionaries. They don't leave, they just complain louder while drinking more coffee.

        2. bailey86

          Re: Thanks for that

          It's even more laughable - they are moving their head office approx 15 miles just to get this contract:

          https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Munich,+Germany/Unterschlei%C3%9Fheim,+Germany/@48.2262922,11.5214542,12z/data=!4m15!4m14!1m5!1m1!1s0x479e75f9a38c5fd9:0x10cb84a7db1987d!2m2!1d11.5819806!2d48.1351253!1m5!1m1!1s0x479e71b56804dedb:0x41d25a40937a470!2m2!1d11.5672!2d48.28412!3e0!5i2

          It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

        3. Kristian Walsh

          Re: Thanks for that

          "The shame is that no-one cares about the workers who will now get slower more unreliable software."

          Have you actually used Thunderbird recently? I didn't think there was anything that could out-crap Apple Mail, but there it is. I also wouldn't shout too loud about "reliable". Yes, the Linux kernel is reliable, but that doesn't mean that the desktop productivity applications that run on it are.

          And if you read the article, it is the users who are doing the complaining. The Man wants to stay with Linux, because it's "free", and they don't have to use it as much as their admin staff does.

          However, if Munich goes back to MS on desktop, it will provide a valuable kick in the arse to those in charge of the various Linux projects that failed to meet the city's needs. Competition is good. (Lack of competition was how MS got so crap in the first place; there was a time when Excel and Word were head and shoulders above anything else, because they had to be in order to win customers)

          Regarding Microsoft's office move, Unterschliessheim is already in the City of Munich's administrative region - the town lies between the city and Munich Airport, and is served by the city's public transport system; a move into the city proper doesn't do much for the City - most of the company's employees will already live in Munich or its hinterland. In London terms, this is like a move from Uxbridge to Ealing.

          1. sisk Silver badge

            Re: Thanks for that

            Have you actually used Thunderbird recently? I didn't think there was anything that could out-crap Apple Mail, but there it is. I also wouldn't shout too loud about "reliable". Yes, the Linux kernel is reliable, but that doesn't mean that the desktop productivity applications that run on it are.

            I've TRIED to use Thunderbird recently. Lets just say I get all my personal email on my phone for lack of a decent email client that will run in Linux. LibreOffice is another story though. I've found it to be extremely reliable.

            1. phil dude
              Coat

              Re: Thanks for that

              Really, can we help you? How is Thunderbird failing you?

              The point is not the "license cost". The point is taxpayer cash buying a product that is not sustainable. You can never "stop" getting updates to M$ products.

              By all means use taxpayer funds to pay to smarten up Thunderbird for government use (or whatever arbitrary criteria that have been decided on).

              The point is it raises the boat for *everyone*.

              P.

            2. AJ MacLeod

              Re: Thanks for that

              There are several very good open source email clients; which one is best for you depends on exactly what you're after. For a straightforward lightweight but capable and extensible GUI email client Sylpheed or Claws Mail are a good start.

              KMail was once (in fact, even as far back as KDE 1.x) very good but was ruined years ago with all that "semantic desktop" garbage... Thunderbird had potential but has also been largely botched by changes which show that those responsible have given no consideration to deployments larger than their own laptop.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Thanks for that

                "Thunderbird had potential but has also been largely botched by changes which show that those responsible have given no consideration to deployments larger than their own laptop."

                This is exactly the same issue with Mozilla.

                I'm in the process of ditching it on our linux desktops (growing to 3Gb memory over 2-3 weeks of operation is utterly inexusable - it leaks every time a tab/window is closed/reopened)

                Surprisingly, Chrome works _really_ well, even though it needs custom RPMS for EL6 (See http://www.tecmint.com/install-google-chrome-on-redhat-centos-fedora-linux/ )

                1. eulampios

                  Re: Thanks for that

                  >>(growing to 3Gb memory over 2-3 weeks of operation is utterly inexusable - it leaks every time a tab/window is closed/reopened)

                  it is, however pretty strange. My Firefox is perfectly fine. Used to have a memory leak year ago, it's been fixed now. Poorly written js stuff do creep in, that is a cpu time involved and concerns the web developers, not Mozilla's fault. Thanks to Noscript that makes Firefox the best js-capable web browser on the planet.

                  1. Kristian Walsh

                    Re: Thanks for that

                    "and concerns the web developers, not Mozilla's fault"

                    This attitude. This is why FOSS fails on the desktop.

                    So what if the damned webpage is "incorrect". That shouldn't mean it destroys the browser's performance. Whatever happened to "be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others"? Or is it now more important to be ideologically pure?

                    Making your software to "the wrong thing" in order to meet a genuine customer need is commonplace in commercial development. Why? Because at the end of the day, the end user or customer is the driver of the project, not the developer or the project's leader. Remove that "tyranny" of the customer, and you get an unfocussed product that meets nobody's need (except the developers, who prioritise the features and fixes that impact them directly).

                    (The same applies to commercial companies in a monopoly position, and for the same reason: the end user is no longer important, so the developers and management are free to indulge their own whims regardless of end users' needs or opinions).

                    1. eulampios

                      Re: Thanks for that

                      >>"and concerns the web developers, not Mozilla's fault"

                      This attitude. This is why FOSS fails on the desktop.

                      "FOSS fails on the desktop" in your imagination only, sir. It doesn't fail on my desktop. The problem of poorly written (client-side application) js or flash overhead applies to all web browser. It's only the FOSS browser, firefox that can elegantly and intelligently turn any misbehaving code off for you, Noscript. Noscript is also FOSS software.

                      I am no having problems you're describing, as far as I understand, it's not a common one. You're more than welcome to file a bug.

            3. eulampios

              @sisk

              >>for lack of a decent email client that will run in Linux.

              Bollocks, do you know how to use a mail client at all? I am fine with mutt and GNUS (using IMAP and postfix as a sendmail frontend). I bet, those are much more capable than Outlook.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: @sisk

                >>" am fine with mutt and GNUS (using IMAP and postfix as a sendmail frontend). I bet, those are much more capable than Outlook."

                Ability to display formatting or embedded images are two capabilities missing from Mutt compared to Outlook that spring immediately to mind. Features rather expected in the 21st century.

                1. eulampios

                  On Mutt vs Outlook comparison, @h4rmony

                  >>Ability to display formatting or embedded images are two capabilities missing from Mutt compared to Outlook that spring immediately to mind.

                  Mutt got an ability to use external software (w3m, firefox, image viewers) of a user's choice that have this capabilities. It's been done back in the 20th century. An ability to render a raw text email without gobbling it (and without extra clicks) is also a plus, to say nothing about the security advantage a user has when viewing an html body and seeing the forged links.

                  As far as Outlook is concerned, being in 21st there are questions to ask :

                  1) How many Operating Systems besides MS Windows can it run on?

                  2) how well does it handle IMAP?

                  3) can you use pgp/gpg for signatures and mail encryption?

                  4) can it be run without GUI (like in the Core Server environment)?

                  5) can you use it in a script or out of the command line?

                  6) does the search/filtering in Outlook support regular expression (and virtual mailboxes for that matter)?

                  7) can you pipe any email message (any part from a message) onto a command from the shell or an application? Can you tag any number of messages using regex option as in search/filtering and do the same, or apply mailbox operation such as moving to a different (remote) box, saving, deleting etc?

                  8) can you use external editor of your choice (like vim/Emacs) for message composition?

                  9) is it as simple, fast and with as low foot print as Mutt (around 28MB of RAM for me currently for 10K email messages on gmail IMAP)?

                  1. h4rm0ny

                    Re: On Mutt vs Outlook comparison, @h4rmony

                    >>>>Ability to display formatting or embedded images are two capabilities missing from Mutt compared to Outlook that spring immediately to mind.

                    >>Mutt got an ability to use external software (w3m, firefox, image viewers) of a user's choice that have this capabilities

                    For people not familiar with Mutt, here is the interface: screenshot. This is what you're comparing to Outlook.

                    You claimed that Mutt was "probably" more capable than Outlook. (I assume the 'probably' is because as with our previous discussions you haven't actually used the current version of Outlook in any significant way). I gave two common and popular capabilities that Outlook has and Mutt lacks. Saying that you can open an email from Mutt in Firefox if you want to see does not change that it doesn't have the features. You've now shifted your position to "Mutt plus other software used alongside it can do some of the same things as Outlook more or less". The "more or less" is because I don't think opening an email in a separate program just so you can see the formatting counts as the same. That's quite a goal post shift from "Mutt is probably more capable".

                    >>1) How many Operating Systems besides MS Windows can it run on?

                    It's Windows only, as I'm sure you know. I very much doubt many Outlook users care.

                    >>2) how well does it handle IMAP?

                    Fine. Exchange is recommended so you can use the calendaring and other features, but here is how to set it up with IMAP. Link. You know, 5 seconds with a search engine and you might have been able to actually check rather than asking questions with an agenda on here.

                    >>3) can you use pgp/gpg for signatures and mail encryption?

                    Yes. It's unusual because Outlook is aimed toward Enterprise environments and there are other tools to achieve the same thing as GPG managed centrally by an IT department. Really for something like this you want a company-wide approach with enterprise management solutions. However, you can use GPG with Outlook. Again, five seconds with a search engine would have told you this: Link. The GPG4Win Outlook plugin doesn't work for Office 2013 64-bit version yet (that's still quite new) but does for the 32-bit version and others. There may be another way to do it, I don't know. I have GPG4Win installed here but I use it with Thunderbird and the Enigmail plugin.

                    >>4) can it be run without GUI (like in the Core Server environment)?

                    No. Who uses an email client on a headerless server environment? If you're trying to sell Mutt as more capable than Outlook (sorry - "probably" more capable) by holding up its lack of GUI as a feature you're far removed from normal use cases.

                    >>5) can you use it in a script or out of the command line?

                    Yes. More so than Mutt, actually as Outlook exposes a full and rich object-orientated API that you can access from another program or Powershell. All exposed elements in Outlook are objects. Here is a really small taste of what you can do just to give you a feel for how simple it is.

                    $ol = New-Object -comObject Outlook.Application

                    gm -InputObject $ol

                    $mail = $ol.Session.OpenSharedItem("C:\Test Email Subject.msg")

                    $mail.Forward()

                    $Mail.Recipients.Add("someone@example.com")

                    $Mail.Subject = "Test Mail"

                    $Mail.Body = " Here is some text"

                    $Mail.Send()

                    >>6) does the search/filtering in Outlook support regular expression (and virtual mailboxes for that matter)?

                    Wildcards only in the default interface. You could, if you wished, create a short script which used regular expressions and attach it as a filter / search. Bit fiddly.

                    >>7) can you pipe any email message (any part from a message) onto a command from the shell or an application?

                    Again, this is far, far removed from normal use case. You could do it with a script if you wished. Or, you know, hit Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V.

                    >>Can you tag any number of messages using regex option as in search/filtering and do the same, or apply mailbox operation such as moving to a different (remote) box, saving, deleting etc?

                    Already answered the regex. Yes, you could do this but you'd have to know a small amount about using regex's in scripts.

                    >>8) can you use external editor of your choice (like vim/Emacs) for message composition?

                    Obviously. Write in whatever you want and then put it into an email.

                    >>9) is it as simple, fast and with as low foot print as Mutt (around 28MB of RAM for me currently for 10K email messages on gmail IMAP)?

                    It is actually simpler given that it is GUI based. It's footprint is not as low but it runs fine on any modern hardware. Once you meet the condition of "running fine", you've met user needs. Besides, that's not really a "capability". More goal post shifting.

                    1. eulampios

                      @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                      >>For people not familiar with Mutt, here is the interface: screenshot. This is what you're comparing to Outlook.

                      For you, apparently, not familiar with the fact that, for Mutt as any highly configurable piece of software, there might be tons of interfaces possible, here more that look like mine

                      >>you haven't actually used the current version of Outlook in any significant way

                      Outlook runs only on Windows, so no chance for me, mam (which is not a shortcoming for you according to the tone of the corresponding reply). Let me also assume you haven't used latest mutt-patched as well.

                      >>You've now shifted your position to "Mutt plus other software used alongside it can do some of the same things as Outlook more or less".

                      It was your position or the way you extrapolated my position. From one of the last discussions we had, you showed a great power of surmising things (like when you were simply assuming that Google have a lesser patent gut than that of Microsoft's among many other of your surmises)

                      My position was that "a user can do it within mutt", are you supposed to count all the "external" shared libs too that mutt uses as a dependency? This is how the old Unix paradigm is applied to Mutt, a (text) Mail client. It doesn't prevent me or others from viewing an html body, it gives me more power and options. GNUS btw, can use amongst many others, the "internal" w3m-mode.

                      >>The GPG4Win Outlook plugin doesn't work for Office 2013 64-bit version yet (that's still quite new) but does for the 32-bit version and others.

                      Okay, so people that have 64bit Windows version are out of luck then making pretty much every modern Windows machine out? Welcome to the 21st century: unless it's an atom-based or just old hardware, it's hard to find 32bit Windows nowadays.

                      >>It's Windows only, as I'm sure you know. I very much doubt many Outlook users care.

                      According to you, they don't care about that, however they would if the the html part is rendered by an external program, like Firefox (by pressing "v" and "Enter")?

                      >>>4) can it be run without GUI (like in the Core Server environment)?

                      >>No. Who uses an email client on a headerless server environment? If you're trying to sell Mutt as more capable than Outlook (sorry - "probably" more capable) by holding up its lack of GUI as a feature you're far removed from normal use cases.

                      It's headless, not headerless. The latter would apply to a gobbled email message, I guess. As far as " Who uses an email client on a headerless server environment?" is concerned, I and many other people very happily do. Are you familiar with the purposes an email service has for an administrator? A malfunctioning service, an error, a warning can be communicated to the local admin via email. It's convenient to have some form of sendmail ( I use postfix), mail-utils and an email client installed on the machine. Sure one can use mail command, mutt is more comfortable, capable and familiar to me though. I bet, based on your answer there is no alternative for the Windows headless server?

                      >>$ol = New-Object -comObject Outlook.Application

                      gm -InputObject $ol

                      $mail = $ol.Session.OpenSharedItem("C:\Test Email Subject.msg")

                      $mail.Forward()

                      $Mail.Recipients.Add("someone@example.com")

                      $Mail.Subject = "Test Mail"

                      $Mail.Body = " Here is some text"

                      $Mail.Send()

                      This is a lot of writing and looks pretty ugly. I'd prefer a much simpler syntax like this one:

                      echo "Hello

                      Here's my message.... " | mutt -F ~/.mutt/one_of_myprofyles -s "Hi from me" someone@somewhere.something -a ~/Documents/attached.pdf

                      >>Fine. Exchange is recommended so you can use the calendaring and other features, but here is how to set it up with IMAP...

                      A few people in this thread were complaining about the IMAP implementation in OUtlook. this article states that Outlook 2013 has "..."IMAP improvements (although it has a lot of bugs in IMAP)" Hence was my question.

                      As far as Exchange is concerned, it's all MS' proprietary protocol which you also have to buy as a feature if you'd like your server to have. In the 21st century proprietary, lock-in protocols should die out.

                      >>Wildcards only in the default interface. You could, if you wished, create a short script which used regular expressions and attach it as a filter / search. Bit fiddly.

                      As fiddly as limiting/searching for mail containing wildcard constructs like

                      ~d 21/3/2012*3y*5m*2w*3d =f fromsomeone =b "some text in the body "

                      #-- show me all the emails in this mailbox dated within 3 years 5months, 2 weeks and 3 days since March 21 2012 sent from fromsomeone containing "some text" in their bodies

                      Where "=" (versus "~") indicates to use the IMAP4 server-side method (otherwise it might be a lot of bandwidth and time spent)

                      >>>>7) can you pipe any email message (any part from a message) onto a command from the shell or an application?

                      >>Again, this is far, far removed from normal use case. You could do it with a script if you wished. Or, you know, hit Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V.

                      Your definition of "normal use case" might differ from others'. Highly inconvenient and might be impossible. Say, what if I wanna pipe the whole raw text contents of the email(s), including headers? Putting it into the script instead of the visual approach just removes the necessity of the MUA then, what's the point of using it in the first place?

                      >>Already answered the regex. Yes, you could do this but you'd have to know a small amount about using regex's in scripts.

                      And this is within the "normal use" for you of course. "regex" with wild cards, ok, anyway to use those on Outlook 2013 and do something similar to getting all mail by this construct

                      ~d 21/3/2012*3y*5m*2w*3d =f fromsome =b "some text in the body " bounce them at some address and move to a separate IMAP folder, or save to a local mbox?

                      >>It is actually simpler given that it is GUI based. It's footprint is not as low but it runs fine on any modern hardware. Once you meet the condition of "running fine", you've met user needs. Besides, that's not really a "capability". More goal post shifting.

                      I was not talking about the UI, and btw, you must have not used even the vanilla mutt client, it's very simple to use.

                      Again, is it up to you to come up with criteria and comparison rules: what's 21 century, what is normal use case and abnormal use case, what is modern hardware and software and what is obsolete, whether being cross-platform is cool or sucks and so on? I am at least using the probably adverb. You always seem to be 100% sure about things until get pointed to contradictions as in the case of 40K vs 50K patents fact.

                      1. h4rm0ny

                        Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                        You shift the goalposts again. You argued that Mutt had more features than Outlook. I pointed it lacked such basics as displaying formatting or images. You responded with questions such as "does outlook support scripting". I responded that it did - in fact a full API. You then argue that you think Mutt's "scripting" (which is actually just command line flags unlike Outlooks Object Oriented actual API) looks nicer. You're just seeking reasons to dismiss that actually Outlook does have these features you thought you'd scored points on. Another case in point - your stripping all context from the GPG comment.

                        After finding out that contrary to your attempt to find ways to show Mutt is more feature-rich you actually can use GPG with Outlook, you (a) try to find a way to dismiss it by seizing on my comment that it's not available for 64-bit Outlook 2013, yet, saying this is the normal case. In fact, it's not - Office 2013 still makes up a very small proportion of the Office userbase that is out there. Most people, let alone corporations, do not roll out software immediately on release. And more than that - the default install type for MS Office 2013 is - wait for it - 32bit! So not only are you wrong in suggesting that the standard version is Office 2013 (it's probably less than 5% worldwide), but of those a large proportion are going to be the 32 bit version. Possibly you don't understand that 64-bit OS does not mean there's no 32-bit software.

                        So GPG is available for the overwhelming majority of Outlook users and the only thing you have shown is you are determined to seize on anything you can in your attempt to salvage your attack on Outlook. Actually, it gets worse - you strip away entirely my pointing out that there are other more enterprise-friendly ways of achieving the same thing with Outlook without GPG - which is to say you are putting your own personal rules on how something can be achieved for the sake of your argument. Not that there's anything wrong with GPG - it's great. I use it. But your using it as an attempt to show Mutt is more capable is flawed.

                        All of your charges were answered with the exception of using regular expressions in searches which you'd need to script something for. You could easily have looked these things up yourself but you would rather accuse first and hope that something sticks.

                      2. h4rm0ny

                        Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                        >>"Outlook runs only on Windows, so no chance for me, mam (which is not a shortcoming for you according to the tone of the corresponding reply).

                        You could just say "no" when asked if you've actually used the product you're criticizing. And yes, lack of familiarity with something you're attacking is a "shortcoming". One should know before one criticizes. It might avoid posts like your earlier one where you say things like "can you use it in a script" and "can it handle IMAP". (Yes to both).

                        >>"Let me also assume you haven't used latest mutt-patched as well."

                        I've used Mutt. I think I can get my head around the addition of a side-bar to it. But regardless, I'm not that one that launched into a random attack on another product. I don't believe I've made one factually incorrect statement about Mutt (correct me if I'm wrong - well, you would have), whereas you have made multiple flawed attacks on Outlook. I'd suggest your lack of familiarity is the greater problem here.

                        1. eulampios

                          Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                          >>I've used Mutt. I think I can get my head around the addition of a side-bar to it.

                          Yes, sure you used everything, mutt, elm alpine and raw mail. One indication that you if you did, you don't know much about ti was that you seem to be unaware of Mutt's real shortcomings.

                          >> I'm not that one that launched into a random attack on another product. I don't believe I've made one factually incorrect statement about Mutt (correct me if I'm wrong - well, you would have), whereas you have made multiple flawed attacks on Outlook. I'd suggest your lack of familiarity is the greater problem here.

                          I was only suggesting that Outlook is not as capable as Mutt and GNUS. And you admitted that's true, since Outlook can run on MS Windows only and not CLI-based.

                          Your attacks are predetermined, no randomness. It is pretty funny that your last attack was pointed at Google in that how they were so detrimental to Open Source (had done more harm to it than MS ever had, according to your own words). Picking a few apps Google made proprietary on their open Android system, you're found yourself here vigilantly protecting the proprietary sanctity of Microsoft in the article talking on how successfully Microsoft getting in twisting another pair of FOSS hands in Munich?

                      3. h4rm0ny

                        Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                        >>"My position was that "a user can do it within mutt", are you supposed to count all the "external" shared libs too that mutt uses as a dependency? "

                        No, but it's pretty fair to say that having to launch an external program such as Firefox to see a formatted email or included images does not count as being able to "do it within Mutt". Perhaps my car counts as a movie theatre because it can take me to the cinema, too? :D

                        You linked to a Google image search of Mutt interfaces as an objection the screenshot I posted. I am more than happy for people to compare any of those with Outlook 2013's interface. It shows the absurdity of arguing Mutt has a simplicity advantage. Yes, I can use it fine, but then I've been using Vi for over a decade. The majority of users do not want to have to learn such things to use their email client.

                        >>"Who uses an email client on a headerless server environment?" is concerned, I and many other people very happily do"

                        Then that is terrible and archaic practice. You should not be running an email client on computers running your services. It's an obsolete practice and it's not something anyone in the Windows world wants to do on Server Core and therefore not a feature needed or desirable in Outlook. Seriously - criticizing Outlook - an email client - for not having terminal text-only interface again shows how staggeringly far removed you are from normal users.

                        >>As fiddly as limiting/searching for mail containing wildcard constructs like

                        ~d 21/3/2012*3y*5m*2w*3d =f fromsomeone =b "some text in the body "

                        #-- show me all the emails in this mailbox dated within 3 years 5months, 2 weeks and 3 days since March 21 2012 sent from fromsomeone containing "some text" in their bodies

                        This one is really funny because you should have quit whilst you were ahead. You demanded whether Outlook could let you search using regular expressions and I freely volunteered that it could not, conceding an advantage to Mutt. However that wasn't enough for you and you had to go on to show off an example of regular expressions. The unfortunate thing is (for your argument at least) that it's very easy to do your example in Outlook and you don't even have to understand "d 21/3/2012*3y*5m*2w*3d " - anyone can do it. You just click on Find and then if none of the common tools meet your needs just click on "Advanced Find" and you can add as many criteria as you wish. This includes things such as "received on or after X". Throw in a "received on or before Y" and you have your date range. Throw in "Body contains" and you're done. And it's all quickly and easily assembled through a GUI that guides you in the process.

                        Not that needing a regular expression to find emails between two dates is quite as vital on a client that actually has a GUI unlike Mutt, of course. You just click sort by date and scroll down through your search results in the range you're interested in. Anyone can do it, even those with little technical expertise. Really, you scored one point for Mutt by pointing out that it can handle regular expressions, and then you torpedoed it by showing off what you could do with regular expressions in Mutt and ended up with something that can be done just as well in Outlook without using them!

                        Another poster commented that you are what is wrong with Open Source. I am inclined to agree. You would rather argue that tortuous approaches such as yours are better rather than look at the actual reasons why something like Mutt isn't used outside of a very niche group of expert users.

                        1. eulampios
                          Meh

                          Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                          >>Perhaps my car counts as a movie theatre because it can take me to the cinema, too? :D

                          Can it take you there instantaneously, by pressing "v"and "ENTER"? If so, then yes it sure does, otherwise it's a completely irrelevant analogy.

                          >>anyone can do it. You just click on Find and then if none of the common tools meet your needs just click on "Advanced Find" and you can add as many criteria as you wish. This includes things such as "received on or after X".

                          It is similar, not Not that it is the same, since if I do 22/04/1999*3011d it'd be hard to get the exact range, which is Apr 22 1999 - Fri Jul 20, 2007 (thanks to my Emacs calc), you'd need to have a date arithmetic tool or do it manually. What about the IMAP4 server-side search option though?

                      4. h4rm0ny

                        Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                        >>This is a lot of writing and looks pretty ugly. I'd prefer a much simpler syntax like this one:

                        I probably shouldn't indulge this. Your initial attack was to demand whether Outlook could be used by scripting. Having been told that it can and much more (it has a full OO API) you shift goal posts and say there's too much "writing" for your tastes. However, I can see where this road leads and it's not to a good place for your argument, so I'll allow you to shift the goal posts a little closer to the cliff if you wish.

                        Basically, you don't understand what is happening here. I'll illustrate the difference. Here's a short sample of a script that works with Outlook. It's creating and sending an email.

                        $ol = New-Object -comObject Outlook.Application

                        gm -InputObject $ol

                        $mail = $ol.Session.OpenSharedItem("C:\Test Email Subject.msg")

                        $mail.Forward()

                        $Mail.Recipients.Add("someone@example.com")

                        $Mail.Subject = "Test Mail"

                        $Mail.Body = " Here is some text"

                        $Mail.Send()

                        Here's what you prefer because you think it's shorter and simpler:

                        echo "Hello

                        Here's my message.... " | mutt -F ~/.mutt/one_of_myprofyles -s "Hi from me" someone@somewhere.something -a ~/Documents/attached.pdf

                        Firstly, the former isn't long - it's eight lines, one statement on each and anyone remotely competent should be able to handle that. ;)

                        The reason yours is short is because all you're doing is piping text to the Mutt program and using command line flags. The Outlook example is Object Oriented code that lets you instantiate an instance of Outlook, an instance of a mail object, perform operations on those instances and do pretty much anything you want with them, clone them, copy them, feed them as objects to other programs... It's vastly more powerful than piping text to Mutt on the command line. If you don't understand that, then you are not a programmer.

                        1. eulampios

                          Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                          >>Here's what you prefer because you think it's shorter and simpler:

                          Your code is ugly, if it is fine to you, a lot of people won't agree with it. Some people (mostly Unix/Linux admins) think that PS has an ugly syntax and I should agree with them. OO has its place, and shell might not be that.

                          There is this sense of elegance, no PS, at least in your example, is not elegant.

                          >>anyone remotely competent should be able to handle that.

                          So, all of that "normal use case users" are then capable of that, I doubt they would.

                      5. h4rm0ny

                        Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                        >>"You always seem to be 100% sure about things until get pointed to contradictions as in the case of 40K vs 50K patents fact."

                        As this is something like the third time you've made attacks on me based on another thread rather than keeping things in that thread, I'll respond just the once here. There's no contradiction in what I wrote. I said that Google were historically weak on patents. They were. That's why they went on a massive patent purchasing spree. And interestingly, now that they have lots of patents, they have started charging other people for use of them. Now stop attacking me over things in a different thread as a means to bolster a different argument here.

                        1. eulampios

                          Re: @h4rmony and your comparison rules

                          >> I said that Google were historically weak on patents. They were. That's why they went on a massive patent purchasing spree.

                          So, you've been caught being inaccurate or simply lying then.

                          >>And interestingly, now that they have lots of patents, they have started charging other people for use of them.

                          How so? Or you're presuming, assuming, surmising, hypothesizing again, or is just the same as above?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thanks for that

          "That's how desparated MS are to win this sinlge contract that they are prepared to waste possibly hundreds of millions to get it."

          Erm - no - Microsoft showed back when the contract was being fought over that they really didnt care about loosing such a small customer - and that they wouldnt go in at a loss. And the subsequent decade has been a great example for Microsoft of why almost no one should consider Linux as an option.

          The Microsoft Munich move was planned long before Munich Council high Linux costs and user disatisfaction were made known.

          1. Maventi

            Re: Thanks for that

            "Microsoft showed back when the contract was being fought over that they really didnt care about loosing such a small customer - and that they wouldnt go in at a loss."

            Cared so little in fact that the CEO of Microsoft personally flew in and visited the mayor of the time to specifically talk about it. I'd like to see you (or anyone else here) convince Satya to spend even five minutes with them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So after 10 years, just now there is talk about switching to Microsoft. Something something envelopes of cash?"

      Yes - they cant afford to run Linux anymore due to the high costs - read the German article!

    3. mmeier

      There was finally a change in city government from Social Democrats to Christian Socialists. With Mayor Ude gone the LiMux stuff now is evaluated as a whole including the costs "hidden" in the vastly increased IT staff (almost double the amount per workplace than similar cities), the dual infrastructure (Citrix+Win) and the need for WINE due to lack of Linux ports for critical software and problems exchanging data with other cities. Once the "All hail OpenSource" blinds are off the result may not be pleasant for the LiMux team.

      Since Windows licences are extremly cheap if you buy 4 digit numbers and a move to OpenOffice would work on Windows just as well the "cost" argument will likely not work out. The "10 million saved in licences" will have to be compared to the extra costs in support personal. And the costly licences are the specialist software.

      And that has not change (See Weinen<<<WINE above) and would likely increase massively if München orders Linux variants. The support costs are at least partially calculated on "number of customers that might have similar problems" and if you are the single Linux house in an otherwise Windows group your support costs are calculated based on that.

  10. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Apparently the problem is more "botched administration"

    At least that's according to what the people working there actually complain about. That's something that can, unfortunately, now be found for every platform.

    One bizarre complaint was, that people couldn't get "mobile devices" quickly... which is actually more of a sign of decent administration since it's good practice to not let every insecure device onto your network.

    People usually take that for granted on Windows.

    1. Timmy Cratchit
      Facepalm

      Re: Apparently the problem is more "botched administration"

      Damn that pesky security. There's probably never been a more sound reason to migrate to Microsoft.

  11. Long John Brass Silver badge

    Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

    works a treat

    Even has a web interface for when I'm away from my desktop

    1. HereWeGoAgain

      Re: Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

      Can you scale that up and support thousands of users?

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge

        Re: Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

        http://citadel.org/doku.php/faq:generalquestions:how_do_you_base_your_claims_that_citadel_is_powerful_and_scalable#how.do.you.base.your.claims.that.citadel.is.powerful.and.scalable

        http://citadel.org/doku.php/faq:generalquestions:maximum_store_size#what.is.the.maximum.size.of.a.citadel.message.store

        To be fair, I've never set it up & run it in that large an org. Most outfits are heavily invested in Outlook+Exchange.

    2. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

      Citadel is great; stable, mature, ridiculously simple to get up and running and very capable. I'm amazed it's not more widely known...

      1. Mike Pellatt

        Re: Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

        Yep, Citadel is so simple to set up it's hard to believe it actually does what it says on the tin.

        But it does.

  12. Alan Denman

    1800 jobs

    Microsoft is moving their HQ and 1800 jobs to Munich.

    Work it out folks.

    1. Boris J's Quiff

      Re: 1800 jobs

      Microsoft's German HQ is already in Munich, just in the outskirts in a place called Unterschleißheim near the airport.

      1. ofr

        Re: 1800 jobs

        That's not the same. Unterschleißheim is a different community, so they get the tax called Gewerbesteuer. When Microsoft moves to Munich, they will get the tax. So that makes quite a difference.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: 1800 jobs

          When Microsoft moves to Munich, they will get the tax

          As if Microsoft is stupid enough to let its revenue in Germany actually be taxed there…

          There is office capacity in Munich and techies prefer to work in the city rather than in the suburbs.

          1. ofr

            Re: 1800 jobs

            It's not about taxing the revenue. The Gewerbesteuer goes directly to the community where a company is located. This is also the reason why many companies set up their business in some small village, because they get a discounted Gewerbesteuer rate. So the Gewerbesteuer rate in Munich will presumably be higher than what Microsoft paid in Oberschleißheim. It's somewhere in the "1 digit million range", so you may decide if that could make a difference to Munich's decision concerning LiMux (or Microsoft's move to Munich, anyway).

            1. Kristian Walsh

              Re: 1800 jobs

              Always a conspiracy...

              Yes, MS could end up paying more tax to Munich, but they'll claw back a lot in reliefs because they're moving into an urban regeneration project. Also, a location within the city, and close to the Technical University will be more beneficial for acquiring and retaining staff than being outside.

              Microsoft are big enough to not give a shit what Munich uses for its IT. Had other cities followed suit, they'd be worrying, but it's telling that despite the huge licence cost savings no other major government has followed Munich's example. I'll bet they've been visiting and asking, though.

              ( Especially around the last week of September. These are, after all, local government officials ;) )

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: 1800 jobs

                Munich is the open source project that everybody can name. If MS can get that replaced with something cloud-based then that would be a PR win.

                Hence the willingness to move down the road.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 1800 jobs

          "When Microsoft moves to Munich, they will get the tax. So that makes quite a difference."

          No it won't. Microsoft book the majority of sales out of Ireland, Luxembourg, etc.

          Clearly Munich have not even made up their mind to switch back to Microsoft yet, but Microsoft have already commited to the the move to central Munich so there can be no link here.

    2. Uffe Seerup

      Re: 1800 jobs

      Except:

      1) The Microsoft HQ is already there. They'll move 15 kilometers to the south in 2016

      2) The decision has already been made, planning completed and they are about to start building - if they have not already

      3) The decision was takes almost a year ago during the previous administration. The currect Stadtrat was elected this March!

      It could still be a case of a few mayors having a pet project and wanting to make an impression. But trying to connect the HQ move to this decision is disingenuous.

  13. azaks

    Anything but the products...

    Its a bungled deployment!

    No, administrative incompetence.

    Unfair Microsoft coercion?

    What about user ignorance?

    Obviously an underhanded "buy back"!

    Whinging like a bunch of school kids - your contribution to the world of comedy would be priceless if it wasn't getting soooo old.

    You can blame whoever or whatever you want, but do you really expect anyone to believe that they would consider another major migration with all the costs and disruption that entails if it were something that could be salvaged?

    "Oops - we got the messaging system a bit wrong. Nothing for it but to trash the lot and switch horses again." Seriously?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Anything but the products...

      Except of course it's apparently the users not the people who control the infrastructure who are complaining (probably because some icon is a different colour to what they use at home). Do you think they give a rats arse about the specifics, so:

      ""Oops - we got the messaging system a bit wrong. Nothing for it but to trash the lot and switch horses again." Seriously?"

      Yes, seriously. If it was the people who ran the system who said this, your point may have been valid

  14. naive

    In the end money always wins

    It was just waiting to happen, the same story why I have witnessed several large projects being abandoned using SunRay with windows integration, ditching sizable investments in Sun equipment and project hours to revert to functionally equivalent MS solutions. These projects rob people of company laptops with MS windows, for the big shots they have to make exceptions of course, but middle management sees this en keeps the pressure on, and then it just takes a few technical setbacks, a bit of "help" of MS to convince people on key positions, and then these things happen.

    Organizations like MS have the resources to keep pressure on projects like this, if a few people on key positions are replaced by MS advocates, it is over. And it is the same as in the 70's/80's when IBM had over 70% of every dollar spent of IT, choosing IBM never would get you fired, but replacing IBM 370/3080 by a cheaper and better performing Sperry-Univac 1100 could.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the end money always wins

      "if a few people on key positions are replaced by MS advocates, it is over"

      Or if the end users get a say....

  15. Irony Deficient

    Sehr geehrte Geier,

    the newspaper’s name is Süddeutsche Zeitung.

  16. bailey86

    Munich are implementing Kolab

    And Kolab looks pretty good to me.

    https://mykolab.com/screenshots

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/2174714/data-center/munich-opts-for-open-source-groupware-from-kolab.html

    And I've been using the very latest Outlook/Exchange on my latest contract - and it's bloated rubbish. It seems to be more confusing and impossible to use then when I last used it in 1999. Add in the fact that Exchange is now so bloated that one person is not enough to run an instance and I reckon Munich are in for a world of pain.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: it's bloated rubbish

      It is, but you're missing the point : it's bloated rubbish that people are used to.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Munich are implementing Kolab

      I actually have been using a Kolab back-end for over 2, no 3 years now and it's solid. As far as all mobile devices are concerned, it's an MS Exchange backend with ActiveSync and behaves just like it on Android as well as iOS and OSX. I can't tell you how well it works on Windows and with Outlook as we stopped using that at roughly the same time.

      I have used both Zimbra and OpenExchange before that, but that didn't quite work for us. They may have improved since, but I'm quite happy with what I have - it just works.

      I'm cynical about user complaints, especially since the reports of Microsoft fandom of the chief Major (Dieter Reiter) (in German, sorry).

      A similar situation exists in Belgium somewhere: the overall head of Justice IT is rumoured to be a devoted Microsoft fan, so everything that isn't Microsoft isn't even considered (mentioning Open Source is apparently a sure way to get sacked). The irony is that the bulk of their processing is currently on a very fast but aging Unix based platform, and I dread to think what will happen if they let MS loose on that. I suspect the same will happen as during the New Labour time in the UK when MS was allowed to flood the corridors of government: absolutely *nothing* will work, MS will help itself to quite a large amount of the tax payer's money and it will take many more years to fix the mess.

      It's worth observing who will perform this evaluation. If it's one of the bigger consultancies you can forget it, it will be Microsoft again - I'm sure I don't have to go over all the reasons why (if you need a hint, think of what provides the best long term revenue for a consultancy: something that just works, or something that needs continuous propping up).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Munich are implementing Kolab

      "And I've been using the very latest Outlook/Exchange on my latest contract - and it's bloated rubbish"

      Working just fine here. I have yet to see a better product in the market.

      "!Add in the fact that Exchange is now so bloated that one person is not enough to run an instance."

      What are you talking about? We have one person part time to maintain a global set of servers covering a number of sites. Exchange 2013 has the lowest support and maintenance requirements of any version to date. Exchange 2013 also provides ~ a 50 percent reduction in IOPS over Exchange 2010.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Munich are implementing Kolab

        "What are you talking about? We have one person part time to maintain a global set of servers covering a number of sites. Exchange 2013 has the lowest support and maintenance requirements of any version to date. "

        Since moving from an inhouse imap system to using office365, enduser support load in individual departments is up by a factor of around 10 and the helldesk has had to double its staff (we have upwards of 50,000 people in our systems)

        Apparently this counts as an unqualified success in various reports made by manglement to manglement, but when departmental reps are present such claims get hotly contested.

        The biggest surprise is that the Public Accounts Committee hasn't gotten involved yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Munich are implementing Kolab

          "Since moving from an inhouse imap system to using office365, enduser support load in individual departments is up by a factor of around 10 and the helldesk has had to double its staff (we have upwards of 50,000 people in our systems)"

          We dropped our email support call volume by about 50% moving to Office 365. Maybe your IT staff are incompetent and they screwed something up?

          "The biggest surprise is that the Public Accounts Committee hasn't gotten involved yet."

          Ah - you work for government. See the reason above why you had problems...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open source software can still..

    be enhanced, integrated or replaced like any other software. The developers are out there and I cant see any issues that a bit of coding effort could not work through.

    Open source seems like a dead ecosystem based on the rationale described rather than having hundreds of updates and improvements a month and long term development strateies.

    Or even develop their own Munich forks.... albeit probably over the top.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Open source software can still..

      That's the thing about using open source and standards, you're not locked-in.

    2. Volker Hett
      Pint

      Re: Open source software can still..

      >The developers are out there and I can't see any issues that a bit of coding effort could not work through.

      Germany is not a developing country, here wie buy ready made instead of developing our own :)

      Hefe Weizen

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Open source software can still..

      It is hard to understand just what you are trying to say. I wonder if it is meant ot be ironic.

      Do you really believe that every organisation has got developers with the right skills and experience hanging around, on low salaries, just to knock up a bit of code for a deficient product? Or that they want to pay 600 euros a day for someone who may or may not have the skills and experience he says to put in place a system, for which there are no permanent staff to maintain it and that is probably inadequately specified, designed, tested and documented?

      Have you got any idea how expensive "a bit of coding effort " is when it is not just some hobbyist knocking up a cunning programme or script for his private use, where secuirty, stability and so on are not serious considerations? And when the coder has moved on, where are the squadrons of able people who know all about it?

      Tell us, do: when you are booking an aeroplane ticket on line or looking up the train time table or doing a bank transfer, what level of support, design, testing, maintenance, security, user interface etc. do you expect? "A bit of coding effort" suffice, will it?

      Remember, their job is not IT. Their job is providing services, running elections, feeding, educating, transporting people, managing land, parks, buildings, police. Computers are just tools that they expect and need to just work, just as pen and paper, messengers and so on used to do.

      What is more, when they recruit new staff or transfer internal staff, like it or not, a basic familiarity with MS products, much as I too dislike most of them, can be assumed, reducing training and integration time, effort and cost greatly.

      I agree that MS operating systems are not the best (though getting much better, including the malig ed W8) and the applications for Windows vary from brilliant to inadequate. But they are widely known and known factors in a way that desktop Linux and server Linux are not. It is notable that LInux's success is mainly in backend services such as web servers or dedicated systems such as Android or modems, where the normal user has precious little access or need for it. As a front end, it is still far behind MS or OSX (I'm a UNIX specialist and fan, not windows or Linux).

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Open source software can still..

        Tell us, do: when you are booking an aeroplane ticket on line or looking up the train time table or doing a bank transfer, what level of support, design, testing, maintenance, security, user interface etc. do you expect?

        Same shitty one as everyone else has: the occasional bluescreen, all over ATMs, cash registers, arrival/departure panels, LED road signs etc. Do I need to actually link a few thousand pics of those? Seriously? Because I could if you insist...

        PS - I'm willing to believe that the Space Shuttle used to run fairly hardened code - probably most modern avionics do too... maybe. These days, everything else is ready to crap itself at the drop of a hat as long as it runs software. That's just how it is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Open source software can still..

          when you are booking an aeroplane ticket

          That reminds me, I had a chat recently with an airline booking agent, and they abandoned their Windows interface as it was too slow. They went back to entering bookings directly on the system they used to use before (judging by the screen it's probably a mainframe) because it was far faster - but required time to learn all the codes. They now only use the Windows machine to get newcomers used to the structure, but as soon as they had a reasonable understanding of the process they would be required to start using the direct terminals too.

          Usability is what the user sees as most effective - it was interesting to see that they had left the staff the option. Given the amount of tickets these people handle, a too friendly UI just got in the way.

          It's interesting what you discover if you take the time to just have a chat with people..

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if it's not been said already

    The amount of money spent by the city on acquiring all the MS products could simply be spent on creating/sponsoring opensource software that they would like to use.

    Afterall, they really ought to give back to the community in one way or another, maybe they just don't get that it's a community effort.

    1. mmeier

      Re: if it's not been said already

      It has been said a lot. But it is still wrong. Most of the licences are NOT MS, they are for specialist software. Have fun finding OSS developers programming that, it is an extremly booooring stuff that, at the same time, needs a very high level of attention to detail. Not to mention specific knowledge.

      So the only ways to get it done are:

      a) Buy from a company that writes the stuff for multiple customers

      b) Hire in-house staff to do it

      b) costs more a lot more and most german cities are broke, often not being able to keep all streets pothole free and having to get approval for budget changes from higher authorities. The few cities that have some "spare money" (München is one) will end up paying for it all alone and not getting any "community" effect back. IT for cities is "sysop" not "developer"

  19. Frankee Llonnygog

    Useful definition

    Bloated - software that contains features the commenter does not use, most often those that ease interaction with other humans

  20. Sander van der Wal
    Boffin

    More than Outlook

    The last paragraph of the article also mentions a couple of other issues

    1) everybody else in Munich uses Windows, and that file compatibility is a problem.

    2) getting missing functionality programmed is expensive.

    Apparently a city council need a lot more than just Word, Excel and PowerPoint compatibility. Just a few examples: CAD files for buildings, financial reports from organizations that are subsidized, databases on all kinds of stuff to keep track off.

    So when you try adding the missing functionality, which is possible because you have the source, then you find out that custom programming is expensive. Open Source was invented in organisations where having your own programmers around was the norm. But organisations do not employ their own programmers anymore in general. A city council s probably lucky still to have its own system administrators around, why on earth would they employ programmers then?

    So you need to go contracting, and that is expensive.

    1. John H Woods

      Re: More than Outlook

      So you need to go contracting put infrequently used / low user count windows-only software on a few VMs or specific servers, and let the users who use it connect via RDP. You don't need a whole new ecosystem for a small number of use cases.

      1. mmeier

        Re: More than Outlook

        München is going the VM route using Citrix. A LOT of Citrix. Oh and WINE for other "rarely used" software. Turned out quite a bit of the software used is NOT MS Office.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More than Outlook

      everybody else in Munich uses Windows, and that file compatibility is a problem

      Which, in a world where Open Standards are mandated would be a problem for "everyone else", not Munich.

      But we know Microsoft's approach to Open Standards - Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      In the case of common file formats for office data, they didn't even need to that - they implemented an undocumented (other than the code itself) de facto standard.

      And when dragged screaming and kicking into the open standards world, they fixed that by getting a standard that included (undocumented) binary blobs approved

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More than Outlook

        "Which, in a world where Open Standards are mandated would be a problem for "everyone else", not Munich."

        Microsoft Office works just fine with the latest ODF file formats. Freeware Office? Not so much....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More than Outlook

          Microsoft Office works just fine with the latest ODF file formats.

          On what planet?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More than Outlook

        "they implemented an undocumented (other than the code itself) de facto standard."

        That hasn't been used for years. Now you have a choice of Open XML - A full documented ISO standard or the latest ODF version.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More than Outlook

          OpenXML, ...transitional or strict? it effectively contains secret binary blobs as they share the same extension and you cant tell which file format is being used. Only Microsoft can open OpenXML reliably. 100% vendor lockin file format.

      3. Sander van der Wal

        Re: More than Outlook

        That's mental. People are free to use the O.S. they want, even in Germany.

        And people have choosen Windows, for whatever reason is important to them. So the City Council needs to provide their services in such a way that all the Windows users are happy, because that is almost everybody. And all those people are voters too.

        And you might have missed that I was explicitly talking about every file format but Office.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More than Outlook

          And you might have missed that I was explicitly talking about every file format but Office.

          No you weren't. Let me quote the entire paragraph:

          Apparently a city council need a lot more than just Word, Excel and PowerPoint compatibility. Just a few examples: CAD files for buildings, financial reports from organizations that are subsidized, databases on all kinds of stuff to keep track off.

          You clearly did not exclude Office file formats, but included them as a subset of the file formats having an issue.

          So, while we're being pedanticcomplete: the format of the storage of the other data you list is not dependent on Microsoft, but on the author/vendor of the software concerned. Yes, CAD is a major issue thanks to AutoCAD's equally monopolistic practices. But then again, that would be an app that would require Windows to be kept. Financial reports ?? csv's, I'd have thought. No interoperability issues there. Databases ?? The internal data storage of the DB server is irrelevant. Apps tied into MS SQL Server could be an issue, but all the major ones support a range of backends.

          Next.

  21. ofr

    Some more facts

    Although the new mayors seem to make a big deal about that migration back to MS, they are not the ones who make the decision. It's up to the city council, the "Stadtrat", where several people are of the opinion that any thoughts about migrating back to Microsoft is out of the question. Otto Seidl, IT expert of the CSU party (that is, Josef Schmid's party), is still convinced that Limux was the right direction to take, any thoughts about migrating back to MS must take into account the enormous cost. Also he thinks that what Schmid thinks is just the "opinion of an attorney who doesn't know much about IT".

    The same goes for Florian Schmid, another member of the city council and the Green party, who said that it came into fashion to blame all shortcomings of the public administration on the Linux IT infrastructure.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Some more facts

      Window cleaners don't like facts ... they are evangelists and facts simply get in their way, each and every time, time and time again ... danke fuer die Infos!

      What this does mean, though, is that Munich is unbiased, they will be looking at all options. It is called emotional intelligence, which window cleaners around here seem to be lacking ;-).

      Just my $0.02 for the tramps

  22. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    The real problem is they've forgotten what it was like under the thumb of MS.

    I'm SHOCKED that it has taken MS so long, to bring Munich back. It would never have taken that long under Bill. He'd have spent the money required straight away.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      It was "under Bill" that Munich switched in the first place. He didn't spend the money required, apparently.

  23. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Can you say 'Astro Turf'?

    That's all we have here, people. Probably even a new form of cloud-astro.

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: The German city of Munich, which famously

      Sorry top burst your bubble, but accepting a cash payment to make a case go away was enshrined in German, not Munich, law a long time before Bernie came along.

      1. mmeier

        Re: The German city of Munich, which famously

        Neither was it the city. The court was the Landgericht that is the Bavarian court not the city court (Amtsgericht). And the money goes to the Bavarian treasury not the Munich one.

        And Bavaria != München. Actually the most un-Bavarian place in Bavaria IS München!

  25. James 47

    Can't say I blame them

    Maybe someone had to reinstall Ubuntu after doing something as simple as changing graphics card...

    Linux works perfectly well as guest VM OS on a Windows host. That's how I do all my dev.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Can't say I blame them

      "Linux works perfectly well as guest VM OS on a Windows host."

      And Windows works fairly well as a guest VM on my Linux host. Except it just keeps expanding to overfill the disk it was allocated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't say I blame them

        "And Windows works fairly well as a guest VM on my Linux host. Except it just keeps expanding to overfill the disk it was allocated."

        Stop using it as an NFS server for all of your Linux security patches then...

      2. Wensleydale Cheese
        Meh

        Re: Can't say I blame them

        "And Windows works fairly well as a guest VM on my Linux host. Except it just keeps expanding to overfill the disk it was allocated."

        Which is where I moved my Windows guest VM to VMware Fusion on my Mac. Fusion has the ability to reclaim the space Windows keeps gobbling up.

        And Windows Activation after that was a good half hour struggle with an automated phone system, NOT something that could be achieved in 10 seconds, as another poster suggested.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: Can't say I blame them

      You have not touched Linux in the past 8 years, or simply have not tried ... now listen ... I have a HP EliteBook 8540W, a 500Gb SSD (FirePro GPU) ... that SSD I installed in Macs (white Macbook late 2009 and Macbook pro late 2009, too - both nVidia GPU's) Now not only was X coming up and after a quick apt-get was 3d rendering working, even wifi was working. Try that with two different models of HP laptops, Windows will show you a BSOD if the motherboard differs slightly. Plus, you will have to activate Windows again ... LOL. Even Mac OS X gets that right. Linux and Mac OS X you can boot off a USB dongle, try that on Windows ... please, stop programming, shit, no, stop using computers and go clean some windows; do the world a favour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't say I blame them

        "Windows will show you a BSOD if the motherboard differs slightly."

        You mean if you swap the hard disk onto a completely different chipset, Windows not surprisingly won't like it. That's a problem between the chair and the keyboard.

        Next time, simply change the IDE drivers from the chipset specific ones to the default Microsoft ones first.

        "Plus, you will have to activate Windows again "

        Which takes about ten seconds.

        1. ovation1357

          Re: Can't say I blame them

          Sounds like a problem with the OS to me. It's not necessarily just the IDE drivers, and there's no need to do such a thing on a Linux box. It usually just works out what drivers it needs at boot time. I have successfully moved an existing linux installation to significantly different hardware on several occasions when I'm being lazy and it's worked everytime without any pre-configuration and minimal if any post-configuration.

          Activation only takes ten seconds when it accepts the online method. On many occasions I'm forced to phone up and dial a billion numbers and type a billion in response. That takes significianly longer.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Can't say I blame them

            '..Activation only takes ten seconds when it accepts the online method. On many occasions I'm forced to phone up and dial a billion numbers and type a billion in response. That takes significianly longer.'

            You also forget the wonderful scenario where the confirmation ID they supply doesn't work, then more phone calls just to make sure you got all the codes right, then still seeing the thing failing to activate.

            (legit copy of Win7 on a refurbed HP laptop, wasn't anywhere near any sort of network access at the time, and wasn't going to be for a while. The damn thing refused point blank to activate via the codes supplied and their ' customer service (hah) representative' wasn't much use. About a fortnight after trying to activate over the phone, connected it to the Lan when I got it back to base, activated within seconds.)

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Can't say I blame them

          "You mean if you swap the hard disk onto a completely different chipset, Windows not surprisingly won't like it. That's a problem between the chair and the keyboard."

          Linux and BSD just shrug and carry on.

        3. Marcelo Rodrigues

          Re: Can't say I blame them

          "You mean if you swap the hard disk onto a completely different chipset, Windows not surprisingly won't like it. That's a problem between the chair and the keyboard."

          Not quite the chipset: the disk controller. You see, if you change the disk controller, Windows can't boot.

          And no, it is not a problem "between the chair and the keyboard". At least, not between HIS chair and keyboard. Indulge me a little:

          1) I install a fresh copy of Windows 7. Set my SATA as "AHCI". Once the instalation is done, I will have a "generic SATA controller" installed - this is fine. I can't expect the OS installer to have drivers to hardware newer then itself.

          2) I install the corresponding drivers. Let's say that, now, I have "Madureira SATA Controller" installed. Al is fine and dandy.

          3) I change the mainboard. The older, with the "Madureira SATA Controller" is gone. Now I have a "New and Improved" one, with a "Niterói SATA Controller".

          Windows will blue screen. Why can't it just REVERT to the bloody generic SATA driver? It is included on the installer! I KNOW that it could use it!

          At the VERY least, why not (after the first reboot) ask "You upgraded your SATA controller. Would You like to boot into safe mode? (Y/N)"?

          It is just sloppy, no excuses.

      2. James 47

        Re: Can't say I blame them

        Oh I have used it in the past 8 years, did you deliberately ignore my comment about having to reinstall it when I changed the graphics card?

        Oh and the update to Trusty failed mid-way too and, yup you guessed it, complete reinstall... to Windows7 and VMs. Never looked back.

        Sorry I upset you with facts.

        1. Long John Brass Silver badge

          Re: Can't say I blame them

          If you really felt you had to re-install the OS for a graphics card change; then son you doing it wrong

          Have fun is MS land, don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out

  26. itzman

    te real issue is...

    ...that a MS set of tools is something people spend years learning how to use, and then are lost if they dont have.

    Outlook may be fantastic at doing X, but is X actually the best way to solve problem Y?

    Groupware by email is not really the best way to solve groupware problems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: te real issue is...

      "Groupware by email is not really the best way to solve groupware problems."

      No, that would be Lync Group Chat. Or Yammer. Or Sharepoint.

    2. ovation1357

      Re: te real issue is...

      "...that a MS set of tools is something people spend years learning how to use, and then are lost if they dont have"

      I always amazes me that when Microsoft completely change their long-standing UI (Ribbon in Office and TIFKAM as the obvious examples), that users and companies seem to just shrug their shoulders and learn the new way. There might be a bit of moaning, but almost nobody sticks two fingers up to MS and cancels their contract.

      And yet there is alway massive resistance on all levels to migrating to a package which is non-MS but which may even look and feel very similar to the MS product. It's just weird!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hah hah hah

    The 'Linux on the desktop' poster child of the Reg Linux community is finally dead. I suppose all they have now is the rather weak 'Android is Linux' argument. The real shame is that Munich council wasted 10 years of taxpayers money on this failed vanity project.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hah hah hah

      mmeir you're so transparent. How are your penables?

  28. Sebastian Brosig
    Linux

    Josef Schmid's personal opinion

    I do speak German and have just read up on this: It's not a done deal. The Deputy Mayor doesn't like LiMux but a lot of people on the council do:

    http://www.heise.de/open/meldung/Linux-in-Muenchen-Stadtrat-verteidigt-LiMux-gegen-Buergermeister-2262506.html

    Oh and I know there are lots of sucky groupware applications, but Outlook/Exchange is one of them.

    Maybe we should all use Notes/Domino (ducks).

    1. Grikath

      Re: Josef Schmid's personal opinion

      well yes.. it's at least partly political..

      Then again, the issues raised in the article are valid, and all too common when working with open source in a microsoft-dominated habitat. The biggest problem is the insular nature of the implementation, as pointed out in the article, which is neither efficient nor wise when you're part of a larger government structure. And even if other government bodies would have made the switch, the Public still has not, and will not switch to open source on a scale sufficient to alleviate the problems encountered.

      They're running into the "problem" that for all practical purposes Microsoft simply still has a virtual monopoly in the OS/Office space, and that there are no useable "turnkey" solutions on the scale they need in the open source sector that compensates for the rather well-known issues between WinOffice and open source.

      And forking/developing is simply too impractical, too expensive, and too risky for the situation we have here.

      1. Lars
        Linux

        Re: Josef Schmid's personal opinion

        @ Grikath

        What you describe is a lock-in and something I think governments should try to get out of.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Josef Schmid's personal opinion

      I can read german (And I know that heise is "Fosstard Research/Germany" - heavily anti MS) so the message is:

      SOME people on the council do like Limux. And quite a few of those are IT persons with a mainly UNIX background and an involvement in Limux...

  29. IGnatius T Foobar
    Linux

    I smell payola

    If the success of Munich is discarded and they downgrade to Windows, several things are clear:

    1. Microsoft is supplying the Windows for free

    2. There are probably millions of euros in kickbacks coming from Microsoft on the back end

    In short, any change from Linux to Windows means that Microsoft finally found the right people to buy off.

  30. strum

    History

    I won't address the relative merits of current software, but it's worth remembering that there used to be lots of decent email clients - until MS gave their (very basic) client away free, with Windows.

    There wasn't much point in anyone else developing an alternative, when a client that was just-about-good-enough for yer average user, was already on their computer. And that's what we've ended up with - better than the original, no doubt, but with very little choice if you don't like it.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: History

      "There wasn't much point in anyone else developing an alternative, when a client that was just-about-good-enough for yer average user, was already on their computer. "

      There wasn't much point putting a FREE alternative which did work well on.

      Users say "windows" because that's all they know - the same way they say "Hoover" and "Kleenex"

    2. mmeier

      Re: History

      Lotus Notes/Domino is still actively developed and used. And definitly targets the same market as the Outlook/Exchange combo. Including the nice add on of being able to send EMails. Wether it is better depends on your environment and preferences.

      Pegasus Mail is still active as well according to the Wiki

  31. ovation1357

    Mormons

    I just can't read the name Josef Schmidt without thinking of the hit musical "The Book of Mormon" and "Joseph Smith" - I wonder if he's going to translate some magical golden plates from God which declare that Microsoft is the chosen one.

    Back on topic - It's sad to think that this project might fail. I switched to linux on my desktop about 7 years ago and have never looked back. It's not perfect, nothing ever is, but whenever I have to deal with a big headache on any system it's always a Windows based system - Virus/Malware, Drivers, Printing, WiFi Connectivity, BSOD.... I constantly wish I could migrate some of my users onto linux desktops, but I worry that it would be rejected purely based on fear/lack of familiarity.

    One of the problems I see is that the big distros such as RHEL provide antique versions of the desktop environments and applications, which often lack extremely valuable enhancements. But because it's an "Enterprise" product, companies buy it and then 'Linux' is judged badly because a distribution designed for servers has provided a poor desktop experience.

    "Enterprise" in terms of Desktop software and User-Interfaces always seems to be synonymous not only with "Stable" but also with "Clunky", "Ugly" and "Outdated".

    When I worked at Oracle, they offered a Linux-based desktop (using Oracle Linux - i.e. RedHat) and it was rubbish... We all used Ubuntu in my team which served our purposes way better. I've since ditched Ubuntu because of Unity and their inclusion of built-in spyware. I now use Mint for my work system and Sabayon (which is really worth a look!) for my personal machine.

    On the whole Office vs Open source argument: I certainly do hit problems from day-to-day relating to word processor document compatibility but it's always documents produced on MS Word which can't be displayed correctly on LibreOffice and rarely ever the other way around. If I want to guarantee the layout of a document I publish it as a PDF, but also my colleagues with MS Office have never complained about me sending them an ODF file.

    I'd be far less damning of Word and Excel if MS would simply allow its users to choose between conventional menus and the Ribbon, and give them the option to control the look-and-feel of the package. To be honest, I'd even consider running Word/Excel natively under linux were it an option (and Ribbon-free).

    In my opinion, Powerpoint and anything similar just shouldn't exist. I don't use them and don't compare them.... There must be better ways of presenting and subject to an audience than parrot-fashion reading of bulletpoints supported with cheesy clipart.

    Outlook is a complete non-starter for me. It's hideous to look at and not much better to use. I use Thunderbird and have been reliably accessing corporate email from sources such as Zimbra (from my previous job at Oracle, which was bloody awful!) and from Exchange via IMAP as well as my personal mail hosted on a Linux server. IMAP4 is a very old protocol but works well for most things I need - I access my email simultaneously and very reliably on my Android phone and on two different laptops.

    One massive bugbear I have with Thunderbird (and/or IMAP) is the hugely unreliable moving/copying of mails between remote folders (or even remote to local) - It just seems to crap out if I select a few hundred messages and copy/move them, resulting in unpredictable results and possibly some lost emails.... And I do wish that Mail Folder delegation was a more commonly implemented feature in IMAP servers.

    Microsoft's purpose in life seems to be clever/aggressive/dubious marketing of largely sub-standard products (including products which started out decent and were then bought and crippled by Microsoft).

    I really hope that the pro-Linux folks in Munich get a fair hearing in this latest move and that the pro-Microsoft folks don't get away with any nasty under-hand tactics or spreading too much FUD.

  32. bed

    So, what are FOSS e-mail client /server options?

    A reassement of requirements and options may well select Office 365 (with the data held in Europe) which may then cause a desktop client issue (does Evolution-ews currently work properly?) though most mobile clients would connect to some level of usability.

    1. vagabondo

      Re: So, what are FOSS e-mail client /server options?

      Did a US judge not recently rule that MS locating servers in Europe would not protect them from data-mining by US officials without needing a court warrant? This provides difficulties using US owned cloud services for organizations that want to comply with data protection laws, or just wanting some privacy.

      There also seems to be a problem with data availability for Office 365 users. See frequent El Reg reports, including another one today.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, what are FOSS e-mail client /server options?

        Did a US judge not recently rule that MS locating servers in Europe would not protect them from data-mining by US officials without needing a court warrant?

        Actually, you don't need a judge for that, it's implicit in the combination of 5 federal laws that make it impossible for any US company to protect personal information, even if they wanted to. If you're a multinational, just about the worst place to locate your HQ is in the US (at least, from a privacy and IP protection perspective).

  33. Steven Raith

    Just a note....

    This was basically the recently elected mayoral staff gobbing off.

    Run this through a translate engine, and the general feel is that the rest of the council chambers are rolling their eyes at the mayors office.

    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Linux-in-Muenchen-Stadtrat-verteidigt-LiMux-gegen-Buergermeister-2262506.html

    (I might well get my dad - a native german speaker - to do a more nuanced translation later)

    Steven R

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Just a note....

      The reporting of a planned change is simply wrong.

      This is about someone expressing an opinion/desire, not an established fact, and he seems to be very much alone in his opinion ("sachfremde Einzelmeinungen" translates roughly as "clueless personal opinions" :) ).

      It's interesting how warped the reporting of this has been, though...

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Just a note....

        In short, it'd be like the depute mayor of Islington council saying that his windows 7 machine that replaced his lovely XP machine is shit, he wishes they could go to Mac OS and iMacs.

        AKA brainless spouting by an elected official with no grasp of the technical or financial requirements for such a change, because they have people to do that for them.

        Or, AKA, a load of trumped up bollocks from a numpty being played by the MS-friendly press as something it quite clearly is not.

        Steven R

  34. Peter2 Silver badge

    From the other side of the fence...

    As a IT Professional, I have been saying for fucking YEARS that the only reason windows is still predominant is Outlook + Exchange because that's what the users need to do their jobs.

    The open source fans have been replying with a spinal reflex for just as long that $favouritemailprogram is just as good without grasping the essential fact that the reason outlook on exchange is so good is collaboration and delegation within a team.

    if $favouritemailprogram != outlook then it completely, totally and utterly lacks any ability whatsoever to be used as part of a team in any meaningful manner.

    Tests:-

    1) A boss should be able to delegate read only access for his PA to read (but not send from) the boss's email account.

    2) The boss should be able to delegate full access to his calendar for his PA, who can book in appointments for him.

    3) The process for all steps above should meet the following simple requirements:-

    3A The entire process should take less than 30 seconds from the users account. IT should not need to be involved.

    3B) It should not require the boss to divulge his password to his PA. (Giving your password to anybody else results in misconduct proceedings or dismissal at a lot of workplaces.)

    3C) It should be extremely user friendly, and not require any IT knowledge or training beyond being told where it is on the menu. If the user has to know the server address etc, this is an immediate failure. IT should know this, the user should not have to care.

    3D) It should be achievable without training or support for a user with an IQ in the low average range, because the average user is of average intelligence and we also have (a depressing number of) below average users, and utterly fucking hopeless users that we still have to support. We don't want to speak to them constantly because the software sucks.

    When there is a stable open source program released that duplicates the core delegation and calendar functionality in outlook 1997 outlined above and passes the simple user acceptance shown above then Outlook and exchange will start slowly vanishing.

    When exchange is gone then so are the windows servers running it, and at that point Libreoffice will take the place of the rest of the office suite. When that happens, windows is no longer required on the desktop or server and the following year will be the year of *nix on the desktop.

    Nothing out there at the moment is good enough.

    If I went to *nix at the moment, the users would have my severed head within a year and my successor would be reimplementing outlook/exchange.

    There should be:-

    1) Less blaming IT people for picking the only software that actually lets the users do their jobs.

    2) Less blaming the users for demanding the only software that lets them do their job.

    3) More activity towards about rectifying the lack of an outlook replacement.

    4) Less bitching that "you should program one yourself if you want it". We don't have any particular desire (or reason) to develop a replacement. Outlook works, and is available now off the shelf. Any effort we spend on development will be on programs that nobody else has to develop a competitive advantage over the competition. Any of our competitors wasting their (near invaluable) developers time duplicating outlook 97's function set gain no commercial advantage and are likely to get wiped out by the competition who are more efficient since they spent their developer time on developing a competitive advantage.

    You want windows gone? Then outlook/exchange has to go, and since your the ones that want it gone then your the ones that need to develop the replacement. We are quite happy buying outlook/exchange/windows off the shelf to get the users working immediately, and when there is an alternative available then we will be happy to consider that instead.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: From the other side of the fence...

      This analysis is correct.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: From the other side of the fence...

      Upvote from someone who has come to the same conclusion quite a while back (for the same reason). I had to solve it by going for all these separate bits (and no, Thunderbird + add-on is NOT the same so I abandoned that, nor are web interfaces of any use).

      Interestingly, none of the mobile platforms has gone for this integration either, which is a shame. I recall that I could schedule calls in my Sony Ericsson P1i, which was an excellent tool to organise my call schedule in the morning..

    3. Morat

      Re: From the other side of the fence...

      Entirely Correct - and well put.

      For a replacement to Exchange/Outlook to gain traction it has to be better. Cheaper would help, but not as much as better.

      Better to a user does not mean "standards compliant" or "plays nicely with stuff I've never heard of". It means in this case.

      1. Does 100% of what Outlook does

      2. Some whizzy features that demo well (but will probably never get used)

      3. Prettier than Outlook

      4. Faster than Outlook.

      It's only the beancounters and people holding the IT budget that care how much it costs.

      Note that Exchange isn't on the list - users don't know what Exchange is. All information comes from Outlook in the same way that milk comes from a supermarket.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: From the other side of the fence...

        I don't agree that a replacement to exchange/outlook has to be better or even implement the full featureset in outlook. My post above notes that it has to "let them do their job"; eg; it must be "Task adequate". Task adequate doesn't have to be "outstanding", it means "must implement the minimum features required to do the job".

        You could totally leave out the notes and tasks section of outlook and not many people would notice, and the contacts part is implemented in most half decent mail programs already. Quite frankly, I think that most businesses could get by with what I have mentioned above, simple delegation for the emails and the calendar.

  35. Lorddraco

    funny .. many many different perspective from different groups of supporter.

    None is wrong IMHO.

    If you put yourself as a non-IT geek, what Peter2 says is totally sensible. A normal person going to work just want to use tools that is familiar and easy for them to use (without learning curve as much as possible). Most of the time, it is the user power that pushing what the IT department will deployed, and from what I have observed, if the it IT department or some "brilliant" folks push their wish to user, a lot of time there will be back-fired and application adoption rate will be poor. Even with higher management push, it also mean a lot more support calls.

    Open-source is great, I do use it, but for some application, it just work in Windows environment better especially office and collaboration tools. But it is not without bugs. Then again .. Open source equivalent has its own fair share of bugs and some can be as irritating as the proprietary ones.

    I see hordes of opensource supporter, nothing wrong but opensource do have its fair share of issue and I will say majority of the world populate are non-Geek. They just want to use something that works without the need to tweek, mod or call supports. Seriously, I have personally use Ubuntu as desktop and also Windows. Ubuntu still need a fair share use of command-line occasionally to make things work and default installation is also as bloated and its hardware requirement does not really means low.

    Seriously, I still feel open source linux interface design by geek for geeks. A different perspective as for Mac and Window (Except Metro)

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the old days

    For many years, Cato the Elder used to end each of his speeches to the Roman Senate (whatever the subject matter) with the comment "Carthage must be destroyed". Eventually, after much prevarication, the Senate and People of Rome took the hint and launched the Third Punic War which resulted in the destruction of Carthage and the establishment of Rome as the pre-eminent power in the Med.

    In this context, replace 'Senate' with 'GNU/Linux camp', 'Carthage' with 'Exchange', etc., etc.

    (NB Don't whine that there are already viable alternatives to Exchange because all those punters running Exchange still clearly don't regard them as effective and attractive substitutes).

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: From the old days

      I don't see how you get from here to Cato?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From the old days

        I don't see how you get from here to Cato?

        Oratorical context and marketing - he was referring to one of the earliest recorded instances of artificially shaping an opinion.

        Quite literally a classic :)

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Well yeah...

    I could see this transition as genuinely not being successful. If you have large quantities of windows-specific apps (that don't run cleanly under wine), then running some kind of "Linux + lots of Windows desktop use via Citrix" doesn't really help much.

  38. Salts

    But everyone has...

    Been telling me email is dead, for at least the last 3 years, so I don't see why they need to worry about this :-)

    Or perhaps email is radioactive with a long half-life and is already dead, but will hang around in noticeable amounts for the next 10,000 years.

  39. DanceMan

    Seemingly simple question

    As a non-IT guy I have to ask: would it not be in the interest of Suse and Redhat to develop a viable outlook/exchange alternative?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seemingly simple question

      Exchange replacements are aplenty because that's a technical exercise. However, replacing Outlook requires thinking about users, user habits and usability, and interfacing with the bit between the chair and the computer is traditionally not a strong talent in the tech world.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    CitadelUX

    Have they perhaps looked at CitadelUX? Granted, I haven't used it as a groupware product, but I used to know the main developers (before I moved) and think they'd *love* to tackle a project like this.

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