back to article Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The German city of Munich, which pioneered the use of open source software at scale in government, looks set to replace Linux on the desktop with Windows. The city's government has posted proposal for a new IT policy (PDF in German) that Reg affiliate Heise reports calls for the development of a new Windows-based standard …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sales

    PC sales is a really weird metric for measuring desktop relevance. Of course nobody is buying PCs. They're good enough for about the 8th year running, and there's the strong disincentive that new OEM machines will come with Windows 10.

    Mobiles meanwhile can send photos to Facebook, post a one-line shitpost on twitter, and trick children into gambling and that's it. That's all they can ever do.

    1. Law

      Re: Sales

      "trick children into gambling"

      Not to mention tricking children and parents into handing all their info over to advertisers for a "free" game...

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Sales

      LOL, told you so.

      So now there is no longer any doubt that Linux costs more (without even allowing for the 10+ years of still not finished migration and the many millions invested in Limux) AND that Open Office + Linux is a vastly inferior solution as judged by end users...

      Not that anyone was migrating anyway.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Sales

        "So now there is no longer any doubt that Linux costs more"

        I think their 'cost analysis' is PURE BULLSHIT. There have been OTHER cost analyses done in the private sector, like THIS one, showing that Linux costs a LOT less than a windows-based solution. Ernie Ball saved enough in one year to pay the FINES for the "surprise software audit" that angered the CEO _SO_ much, he said "no more Microsoft in my company" (or something like that).

        But we're talking GUMMINTS here, and the potential for payola, and maybe Micro-shaft is slipping some deuch-bucks to the right bureaucrats to get their 'hooks' into the gummint computer systems, and forever dominate their destiny! Yeah, I can see THAT coming.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Adrian Midgley 1

            Time spent on Windows is no more free

            than time spent on any other operating system and desktop.

            Nor is it, in my personal and business experience, less time on Windows than on Linux.

        2. azaks

          Re: Sales

          >> maybe Micro-shaft is slipping some deuch-bucks to the right bureaucrats to get their 'hooks' into the gummint computer systems

          Always someone else's fault isn't it? Next it will be that the users are too stupid to appreciate what they had. Or that "Micro-shaft" had paid them to make a fuss and get it thrown out. Looks like you've been listening to that ginger lunatic that you seem to admire for too long...

        3. Timmy B Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Sales

          So they are running unlicensed software and get fined for it and the expense is at the fault of Microsoft? noooo - that's not a good place to start a const analysis form. Silly.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Sales

            "So they are running unlicensed software and get fined for it and the expense is at the fault of Microsoft?"

            I think you missed the point. Ernie Ball, like many during that time, was suddenly subjected to a "license audit" and was FINED because a handful of machines still had old copies of software on them (whether they were being used or not). the idea is that a secretary with word processing software gets a new computer, re-installs the existing software onto that computer, and does a "hand me down" of that computer to another department (who may or may not even care that the word processing software is on there). This is a frequent occurrence within a reasonably sized company. THEN they "get audited" and Micro-shaft FINES them with threat of lawsuits or something to enforce it.

            Now the CEO of Ernie Ball became *ANGRY* at Micro-shaft for being ASSHATS, regardless of whose fault it was that the licenses weren't all paid up. THAT prompted the shift to RH Linux, so that would NEVER happen again! He, as a customer, did NOT like his company being treated that way. THAT's what it is all about, really (and he says so). (but I thought this was obvious)

            1. azaks

              Re: Sales

              But why are you banging on about this one small customer and extrapolating to the rest of the world to prove your point? Was it just a "handful of computers" or are you just making that stuff up? (the settlement amount would suggest otherwise). For all you know, no-one gave licensing a second thought and they just installed whatever they had originally bought on everything they had.

              If I get fined by the IRS for a mistake on my return, my argument that the whole thing is too vague and complicated and it was an honest mistake is pointless. If my accountant makes that mistake, its still my fucking fault for not spotting his mistake. Its how the world works - get over it.

              Lets face it Bob - your rabid, no-compromise hatred of "Micro-shaft" makes all of your posts about them somewhat pointless...

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Sales

              "I think you missed the point"

              No he didn't - they WERE running unlicensed software. How old it was is irrelevant. The options are usually turn it off immediately or pay for it. As they had to pay for it they were either dicks about it or more likely they actually needed / were using it - hence should have paid for it in the first place.... Blaming the software company when it's your mistake sounds like a bad case of greasy shoulders to me...

        4. paulc

          Re: Sales

          Microsoft moved their German HQ to Munich?

          1. nobodie

            Re: Sales

            yes MS HQ is now in Munich.

      2. simgray

        Re: Sales

        Hey now, don't forget that the said costing includes the cost-benefit of moving Microsoft headquarters to Munich. That is part of the new Mayor's deal.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Sales

          Getting the cuckoo into the nest..

    3. PNGuinn
      Facepalm

      Re: Sales

      Mine can't do any of those things, but it can make phone calls. May I have a small prize?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and this has nothing to do with

    MS moving its German HQ to Munich then?

    Just asking you understand?

    1. The obvious

      Re: and this has nothing to do with

      Nope, the HQ was in Munich for some time before that IIRC

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: and this has nothing to do with

        Is this an example of the spread of 'alternative news'?

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: and this has nothing to do with

          Indeed.

          It's not important whether Munich *actually* retrains and changes again : it's sufficient to say 'Munich changed to Linux but by 2017 they were looking at changing back'.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: and this has nothing to do with

        "Nope, the HQ was in Munich for some time before that IIRC"

        So it has nothing to do with that then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and this has nothing to do with

      And providing everything, including support for free..

      This is scumbag Microsoft at it's worst.

      This is also the Munich, that took a pay-off to let Bernie Eccelstone off a bribery charge... Go figure...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and this has nothing to do with

      ah - gotcha.

      Can you help us with the reasons why the other millions of companies haven't moved their desktops to Linux?

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: and this has nothing to do with

        "Can you help us with the reasons why the other millions of companies haven't moved their desktops to Linux?"

        Linux doesn't have a large marketing apparatus and a lot of sales-suits.

        If you tend to trust the words from a glossy suit with square-pointy shoes, then you'll no doubt buy into the MS-heaven fiction. Bit of nepotism on top, and Bob's your uncle.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: and this has nothing to do with

          "Linux doesn't have a large marketing apparatus and a lot of sales-suits."

          Companies that try and sell it such as IBM do. Clearly the reason isn't marketing. Therefore it must be that the product sucks in comparison.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: and this has nothing to do with

            "Companies that try and sell it such as IBM do. Clearly the reason isn't marketing. Therefore it must be that the product sucks in comparison."

            So you don't think the third factor, application availability, has anything to do with it then?

          2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: and this has nothing to do with

            Therefore it must be that the product sucks in comparison

            MSWin sucks by comparison? Yep, you got that right.

          3. nobodie

            Re: and this has nothing to do with

            psychology my friend, psychology. I sit in an office with 6 people, 5 people using MS all day and me running Fedora. There is constant hatred of MS, constant complaint about programs, constant harping on crashes etc, etc. Now Fedora, as many will gladly point out is hardly the most reliable Linux distro, (and I am not here to say it is) but in my office, working on a computer with an i3 processor built in 2011 just like every other computer in the office I have only one complaint and that is getting Filemaker (an Apple owned product) to run reliably on WINE.

            So why don't the other people in my office switch to Linux? Because they only "know" MS or Mac. They "can't" learn anything new because they are done with learning computer stuff. They "know" it is too hard to do Linux, even though it is obviously better in every possible way (they shit themselves when I use the screenshot tool in a Gnone Extension to click save a screenshot. And don't even start on screencasting, pastebin w/50 items saved, weather on top etc etc.)

            There is nothing I can offer them to overcome that built in sense of inability, that fear of the different, even if I mocked up a Win7 desktop on Linux they would not accept it as what they could use.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and this has nothing to do with

        "Can you help us with the reasons why the other millions of companies haven't moved their desktops to Linux?"

        Sure! Its because corporates are obsessed with Outlook, Microsoft Office, and having support contracts in place for everything - even when they're paying through the nose to run in-house ops teams to support the software themselves.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: and this has nothing to do with

          "Sure! Its because corporates are obsessed with Outlook, Microsoft Office, and having support contracts in place for everything - even when they're paying through the nose to run in-house ops teams to support the software themselves."

          Translation: Companies need products that actually work and that come with enterprise grade support.

      3. nobodie

        Re: and this has nothing to do with

        Here is one reason:

        I work at a lartge State University in America. At our university everyone has two choices: MS or Mac. The Mac lappies are $1500 and up to $3000 at the School Computer store. MS Windows computers are not for sale there, but Windows 7, 8, &10 are, for $15 to any student or faculty member. The University provides free training in MS and Mac software, and provides free versions of One-Drive Pro and Office 365 in ALL computers on campus.

        So, why all these freebies? Students of mine from China have arrived with a brand new MacBook, running Window7. Because Mac "is too hard to use." Windows wins by giving the products away and playing the long game. They just stay and bang away at the gate until it falls.

        The Linux guys at the uni, BTW, are running the HPCs and the superComps and the business guys are running RedHatEL with no problems and no complaints. But they aren't trying to fight MS or Apple, they just want to get work done and move on. I run Fedora (25) in my office computer and have done so since I came here 6 years ago. Support is great of course, but nobody wants to fight the bullies so we all stay under the radar and get our work done.

        The students who are in engineering and other departments who care run Linux, everybody else runs MS or Mac. They win in numbers of sales and number of users, but we win in reliability and validity. I maintain that we win overall.

    4. HAL-9000

      Re: and this has nothing to do with

      ... and everything to do with politics, if you belive what the tech republic article posted on the 10th has to say about this.

      "At the time the report was released, the FSFE questioned why Accenture was commissioned to co-author a report assessing the use of Microsoft software, when the consultancy runs a joint venture with Microsoft called Avanade, which helps businesses implement Microsoft technologies. For its part, Accenture said it has an "independent view of the technology landscape"."

      Fortunatrely avenade have an office nearby, how lucky is that for munchen council?

      The citizens of Munchen must be so proud of there elected councillors, I for one feel so sorry for the poor bastards.

  3. ratfox Silver badge
    WTF?

    Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

    Microsoft must have really changed.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

      Don't forget that 'cost' includes training. That may be the part of the equation that they're worrying about.

      Also I suspect that Linux is falling behind in some respects. I cannot honestly think of a decent mail client for Linux these days; there's almost no momentum behind Thunderbird and Evolution.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        Not sure what's wrong with Evolution, but why bother with a mail client when webmail is fine for what most people need their mail to do? Having a dedicated client is totally against the cloud first strategy that is becoming more and more prevalent for those wanting to reduce cost.

        If there's no momentum behind Evolution and Thunderbird, maybe it is because fewer and fewer people are using a traditional heavyweight client for email these days?

        I do admit to being curious why Munich thinks that it would be cheaper to have Windows than Linux. The training cost argument doesn't wash because everyone knew Windows and had to be trained on Linux back in 2004, just like today. Surely the functionality gap between the two was far greater in 2004 than it is today.

        It is hard to imagine the TCO of Linux has gone up, which implies they believe the TCO of Windows has gone down. So what's the driver for that? Maybe they felt they needed a relatively more expensive PC to run Windows well than to run Linux well back in 2004, but now the cheapest possible PC will run either well?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "when webmail is fine for what most people need their mail to do? "

          We are talking about *offices* here, not your granny. Webmail is utterly inefficient when you have to handle a large number of complex email every day - and maybe through different accounts (still with access policies and accounting) - and when they are part of a complex workflow. That's why the Outlook/Exchange combo still resits despite in other areas Linux server gained a lot of ground.

          The fact that the mail server is in any cloud doesn't mean your mail client should be also.

          Free client software is unluckily targeting mostly the consumer users now - because that's where the supporting money come from, at the expense of the office one. You see it with Mozilla too - they're removing older cypher suites, good for the consumer, but I can no longer access some devices web management applications because of that. But ads agencies are not interested in a browsing history full of management pages.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "when webmail is fine for what most people need their mail to do? "

            "We are talking about *offices* here...Mozilla too - they're removing older cypher suites"

            And you think that might be a bad thing for office users?

          2. nijam

            Re: "when webmail is fine for what most people need their mail to do? "

            The bit that baffled me was "...using a traditional heavyweight [mail] client...", when web-mail is even more heavyweight.

        2. Dr Stephen Jones

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          @DougS

          "It is hard to imagine the TCO of Linux has gone up" etc

          Linux is still sufficiently different that it is unfamiliar to 99 per cent of the population.

          Of those 99 per cent maybe a third in my experience won't need the training at all, they are smart and figure stuff out. That still leaves two thirds asking the dumbest questions.

          Retraining is a fact. It isn't a judgement on Linux being any harder to use than Windows or Mac - we know well configured and locked down isn't harder to use. It just that's Linux is different. Anything different causes problems.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "Retraining is a fact. It isn't a judgement on Linux being any harder to use than Windows or Mac - we know well configured and locked down isn't harder to use. It just that's Linux is different. Anything different causes problems."

            Retraining from what, exactly?

            From using an Android phone/tablet, and iOS phone/tablet?

            A lot of people don't even use a PC/Mac any more at home.

            And hasn't Munich used Linux a long time already?

            This all smells very bad to me.

            Jumping into the arms of MS to SAVE money? Once hooked, again, there won't be any savings, that much is sure.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "Linux is still sufficiently different that it is unfamiliar to 99 per cent of the population."

            And familiar to 100% of Munich's users because that's what they use.

            From my point of view I hate being asked to sort out family and friend's PC because they're Windows and I'm less familiar with that. It cuts both ways. (The solution with family and friends is to convert them to Linux and they don't seem to have problems adapting.)

          3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            > Anything different causes problems.

            Exactly. Windows 10 is unfamiliar to >80% of the population. Even Windows 8 is unfamiliar to the majority.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                If you've used any version of windows since 95, it won't take you long to work out win10 KDE, it's not THAT different, it's only a bloody UI.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                " it's only a bloody UI..."

                It's only a bloody UI for linux too.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            > Linux is still sufficiently different that it is unfamiliar to 99 per cent of the population.

            That is a fallacious argument though. Android and IOS were both as unfamiliar as it gets when they came out and half a decade latter they achieved 100% penetration in the mobile phone market.

            Same goes for Macs' operating systems, which are also Unix and rather idiosyncratic (do they still have one button mice?), yet "learning" never seems to be a problem.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

              "do they still have one button mice?"

              They come with a one-button mouse but my Sun USB mouse and keyboard (with the control key in the correct location above the shift) work very well.

          5. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "That still leaves two thirds asking the dumbest questions."

            And to be _brutally_ honest, unless those users are bring some kind of irreplaceable value to your organisation, you're better off getting rid of them.

            Think of it as a dead wood detector.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          "I do admit to being curious why Munich thinks that it would be cheaper to have Windows than Linux. The training cost argument doesn't wash because everyone knew Windows and had to be trained on Linux back in 2004, just like today. Surely the functionality gap between the two was far greater in 2004 than it is today."

          Maybe it's the application UI's?

          In 2004, a lot of Linux desktop software had UI designs from the 90's. In 2017, Linux UI's look like they've come from the early 00's - look at Open Office if you doubt me. And Linux refuses to drop it's love of the command line! Whereas the Windows itself and the main applications have moved on in leaps and bounds.No way would I swap Office 2013 for Open Office, even though the latter is free, and does some things better than equivalent Office apps. It's just so damn drab! And then there's the confusing plethora OS GUI's. You have the ridiculous situation where some distros (eg Mint) have to support three or more different ones. You might say choice is good, I say it just breeds confusion and dissonance.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "It's just so damn drab!"

            MS attempts with their flat "modern" UI with an overly large number of tools icons in multiple bars across the top of the screen don't impress me much (as a certain Canadian chanteuse once sang) I'm talking about office and outlook here.

            Icons were invented to reduce time spent on localising the OS and apps. And they keep changing in look and location at the whim of the designers in every release. Words in menus are usually quicker to find and understand. But MS seems to have reduced their language localisation team down to the bare minimum and so use pictures for everything. Using outlook or office these days (as an occasional user like me) is like trying to decipher a set of IKEA instructions.

          2. PNGuinn
            Trollface

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            " ... In 2004, a lot of Linux desktop software had UI designs from the 90's. In 2017, Linux UI's look like they've come from the early 00's - look at Open Office if you doubt me ...."

            Yup, got it in one ac.

            What Linux really needs for the Year Of The Linux Desktop is a ribbon. Or three.

            Bleureuch!

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "look at Open Office if you doubt me. "

            Not Open Office but I look at LibreOfffice pretty well every day. And it's just as I like it. As is KDE. Why? Because the UX design crowd hasn't got at it and that's a good thing. Look at W10 if you doubt me.

            Maybe you're not aware of this but the whole idea of an interface, programming or user, is that it remains stable even if the implementation behind it changes so that whoever uses it, either in code or at the desktop, doesn't have to change their use. The principle of interface/implementation separation was established decades ago.

            Command line? Yes Linux has that when it's needed. So has Windows. In neither case will most users ever have to go near it. You had some point about this.

            Varying user interfaces? People who live in houses with Windows shouldn't throw stones.

            Look, we can see you Windows marketing shills a mile off. It's so sad you don't realise that. You do your cause no good at all, just the opposite. Put away that ancient script and go and do something useful like play in the traffic.

          4. Kiwi Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            And Linux refuses to drop it's love of the command line!

            You mean like how you need to use CLI to restore network functionality after it randomly drops out?

            Oh, no, wait a minute. That was Windows 10.

            CLI is not a bad thing, and as someone who has fixed a lot of Windows machines, there are some things that are much better done via CLI, especially wrt repair and maintenance. Complaining about CLI just shows how lacking you are in IT knowledge. (Disclaimer: compared to most on El Reg I'm less than a clueless noob!)

          5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            No way would I swap Office 2013 for Open Office, even though the latter is free, and does some things better than equivalent Office apps. It's just so damn drab!

            I'd rather have drab and FUNCTIONAL rather than glitzy and unusable any day. And as for those abominations and atrocities upon the eyeballs known as Material Design/Metro/etc. if I were forced into those as my only way to use a computer, I'd smash my PCs and move into Ted Kaczynski's old cabin.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: It's just so damn drab!

              THIS.... THIS... T H I S....

              This is what is wrong with society.

              It is understandable though. Look at peacocks. Peacocks exist because peahens seek out shiny shiny. The shiny shinier the better. Unlike peacocks though, fancy animations and special effects are no indicator of the health of their host. I recently mentioned in these columns about Windows failing to perform some fundamental operation while the animation carried flawlessly on. Then there's Adobe Flash...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It's just so damn daft!

                "Windows failing to perform some fundamental operation while the animation carried flawlessly on. "

                E.g. the file-copy animation which continues even when the removable drive involved is, er, removed...

                How daft is that?

        4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          > Maybe they felt they needed a relatively more expensive PC to run Windows well than to run Linux well back in 2004, but now the cheapest possible PC will run either well?

          Munich had many machines running W2K. They needed to be replaced to run XP but could be recycled to run Limux. This was a significant cost saving (ignored by TheVogan and the Microsoft funded HP report).

          It is likely that any move to Win10 will require new machines plus extensive retraining costs for those used to Limux/OOo and/or Win7/Office2007 or so.

          Of course Microsoft may well buy the business (ie bribes and free stuff) just for the publicity.

      2. itzman

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        Good lord. What more can a mail client do than fetch,read,archive, compose and send e-mail

        I cant think honestly think of a decent tyre for my car these days. They are all black round and smell of synthetic rubber.

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          Good lord. What more can a mail client do than fetch,read,archive, compose and send e-mail

          Calendars, task tracking, contacts... Of course working out if having them all together is a good thing is left as an exercise for the reader.

          Outlook/Exchange can also do things like surveys within emails. If you go all in for Windows/Office then there are also things like (love 'em or hate 'em) OneNote, Skype for Business, SharePoint which all interact with each other.

          You do need Windows really for this though, I'm on a Mac right now and not of the above work that well compared to Windows.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: @ Korev

            Calendars, task tracking, contacts...

            That is NOT email (except for email contacts, of course). The fact that MS decided to lump it in with their own email client still does not make it email.

            You do need Windows really for this though, I'm on a Mac right now and not of the above work that well compared to Windows.

            Translation - MS can't (or won't) make their own fscking suite of programs work properly on other platforms they claim to support.

            If you are tied to MS office in such depth then tough, you have no choice but to pay MS and accept any T&C they choose to apply to you. That is not the fault of the underlying OS, that is the fault of MS (and to some degree, yourself for buying in to) for such lock-in.

            1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

              Re: @ Korev

              >That is NOT email (except for email contacts, of course). The fact that MS decided to lump it in with their

              >own email client still does not make it email.

              You really are being very picky. Call it a workflow client that uses e-mail as a transport, then, as that's more accurately what it is.

              It's pretty straightforward : is Linux as functional at mail, calendaring, forms, rules, and tasks as a Windows/outlook/Exchange combination? If not, it doesn't matter if the calendars are delivered by e-mail or flying monkeys.

              1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: @ Korev

                "is Linux as functional at mail, calendaring, forms, rules, and tasks as a Windows/outlook/Exchange combination?"

                Yes. If you want exact outlook/exchange work-flow then you can simple use Office365 from any standard-compatible web browser.

                Can't you?

                1. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: @ Korev

                  "Yes. If you want exact outlook/exchange work-flow then you can simple use Office365 from any standard-compatible web browser.

                  Can't you?"

                  Yes, you can. But a) is a hopefully 99.9% availability good enough (not allowing for the internet) ?, and b) the web version does not provide the exact same performance and functional ability as a local full install of Office.

                  I'm not exactly a Linux fan, but I would suggest it is OK as a client OS if you are going to use it a) for web apps only or b) as an RDP / Citrix client to Windows Terminal Servers.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @ Korev

                  > Yes. If you want exact outlook/exchange work-flow then you can simple use Office365 from any standard-compatible web browser.

                  I do not know whether that is a viable option, but from the requirements signalled by the other poster, it appears to me that he was describing Kontact, the KDE Personal Information Manager client. I believe Gnome has an equivalent application but its name escapes me.

                  This is not to say Outlook is bad or those applications are better or anything. I am just surprised that someone who supposedly needs them wouldn't know about them. I mean, they're just there sitting on a pretty obvious menu, and a remotely relevant Google search should have brought those up. Or maybe the lady doth protest too much?

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: @ Korev

                "Call it a workflow client that uses e-mail as a transport, then, as that's more accurately what it is."

                A fact that has enabled malware operators to incorporate it so easily into their own workflow. It's a strength and a weakness.

                1. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: @ Korev

                  Outlook is not Outlook Express - two very different products. Then any email client - including webmails - allow malware operators to reach gullible people - as long as they have a public email addresses.

              3. Stuart 22

                Re: @ Korev

                "It's pretty straightforward : is Linux as functional at mail, calendaring, forms, rules, and tasks as a Windows/outlook/Exchange combination? If not, it doesn't matter if the calendars are delivered by e-mail or flying monkeys."

                Gosh - I wouldn't know.

                All I remember from the days when Munich was Redmond East is that my PSD/T? file contained my whole life that I carried around on a bunch of devices 'just in case'. Moving to Linux and Linux apps just made things a bit simpler and much more robust. Never a problem in my company and a smile when friends in other companies were having 'issues' with Outlook/Exchange.

                So happy to hear Microsoft have at last caught up and overtaken Linux with open and integrated sets of software that belong to me and not held behind a proprietary paywall.

              4. dajames Silver badge

                Re: @ Korev

                It's pretty straightforward : is Linux as functional at mail, calendaring, forms, rules, and tasks as a Windows/outlook/Exchange combination? If not, it doesn't matter if the calendars are delivered by e-mail or flying monkeys.

                Linux, per se is not functional at those things because Linux is an Operating System (or, more strictly, an OS Kernel) and those things are tasks carried out by applications software.

                Yes, maybe I'm splitting hairs ... but the point here is that anyone* can write a suite of applications software that performs those tasks on Linux or any other OS or all OSes alike. Some vendors (Mircrosoft, Google, and others) have produced cloud-based solutions that do so.

                If some business task is supported by applications software one one OS but not on another it is not the fault of either OS, but rather the fault if the application vendors for not providing applications for both OSes, and that is the fault of the market for not demanding (and offering to pay for) it on both OSes.

                [* For some sufficiently skilful value of "anyone"]

                1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

                  Re: @ Korev

                  >Linux, per se is not functional at those things because Linux is an Operating System (or, more strictly, an

                  >OS Kernel) and those things are tasks carried out by applications software.

                  Yes, you really are splitting hairs, and this infighting helps no-one. Neither does arguing on what an 'e-mail client' is. No one cares, they just want things to work.

                  For the main part, Linux is distinctly different both from Windows, and other Unixes (i.e. BSD). Even within Linux there's increasingly homogeneity between distributions, it's only outliers such as Slackware and Gentoo that retain some distinctions.

                  It's always about the software, both for operating systems, and consoles. If the functionality isn't there, it doesn't matter how technically able the underlying OS is. I'd also argue that Windows is not poorly engineered, but there may be disagreement on their priorities in terms of backwards compatibility, changing driver models, long term support, DRM/licensing, interface, and customisability.

                  However, this is all unlikely to change. I know first hand from being an ex OS/2 user that people will not pay more for software with fewer high quality features, which is the reality of software being developed by independent firms. It's also true that interfaces win over technical prowess; I remember the joys of the Describe word processor - multithreaded, stunning printing, amazingly fast. It also lacked a word counter, and the interface was an utter pain. Despite exclusively using OS/2 at the time I wrote over 15,000 words in : AmiPro for Windows 3.1, running under WinOS/2 (AmiPro OS/2 was a broken mess, Word Pro OS/2 was pretty decent but arrived too late).

                  Linux is lucky enough that some very large firms have dedicated a lot of time and money to improve browsers, media performance, and driver support. However, there are gaps, particularly where the userbase doesn't accept the need to pay, and pay a fair bit of money, for apps such as a workflow and collaboration client that uses an e-mail transport.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: @ Korev

              "Calendars, task tracking, contacts...

              That is NOT email (except for email contacts, of course). The fact that MS decided to lump it in with their own email client still does not make it email."

              It's not, it's largely PIM (personal information manager) stuff which includes email. Outlook is a PIM rather than just an email client. Thunderbird, or its equivalent within Seamonkey, is purely an email client with added RSS reader and NTP client. However, the Lightning plug-in adds calendars and task tracking.

              A lot of the other stuff that's attributed to Outlook seems to be more a function of the back-end servers, Exchange and others. There are Open Source servers in this area but they're less well-known than the more visible desktop applications and somewhat fragmented. I wish the Document Foundation and Mozilla would get together and get on with transferring the projects Mozilla don't want so that they'd be better supported, LibreOffice would have a PIM element and there'd be a better integrated back-end infrastructure.

            3. LDS Silver badge

              Re: @ Korev

              But having a single groupware clients help a lot. When you set up a meeting, and emails are created automatically and answers update the meeting schedule as well - and everything using a single user identifier, is a valuable feature that saves a lot of time. Or turning a mail into a task, and so on.

              You appreciate that when you work in large, complex environments that require a lot of coordination. If you work mostly alone, well, of course it's not for you.

            4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: @ Korev

              "Calendars, task tracking, contacts...

              That is NOT email (except for email contacts, of course). The fact that MS decided to lump it in with their own email client still does not make it email."

              But from a business user perspective, that's a killer integration combo, no matter that it might seem a Frankenstein mess from a design or engineering perspective.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Korev

              @Paul Crawford

              That is NOT email (except for email contacts, of course). The fact that MS decided to lump it in with their own email client still does not make it email.

              Ah, but this is where you show you're a technical person, whereas your average end user sees Outlook as their window on their business work. The user doesn't care that it's more than email, the user cares about the fact that they have one application that gives them access to all of this functionality and even allows joins between them.

              If someone could code something that would do the exact same without adding ANYTHING new but work on Open Source standards based back ends (i.e. imap/smtp, caldav and carddav) and make sure that for once they actually get a designer to design the UI instead of a technical guy they would have done more for Linux on the Desktop than anything else that has happened over the last 10 years - no joke.

              Outlook and Exchange are what keeps businesses dependent on Windows - only when you break that can you truly expect Linux to have a chance. Even macOS has that problem - the first thing that gets installed on Macs is Microsoft Office and Outlook (not in the least because Apple Mail is not exactly a spectacular email program and hasn't got a clue about actually mime-ATTACHING a file, it always uses embedding).

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: @ Korev

                "make sure that for once they actually get a designer to design the UI"

                UIs have been going downhill for years, thanks to UX designers. Have you seen Windows recently?

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: @ Korev

                "Outlook and Exchange are what keeps businesses dependent on Windows - only when you break that can you truly expect Linux to have a chance."

                Munich use Kolab as a back end. I'm not sure how it compares point to point with Exchange but the relevant issue would be how well it suits their workflow. AIUI they worked pretty closely with the Kolab developers and for all I know still do so that's not likely to be an issue.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @ Korev

                  Munich use Kolab as a back end. I'm not sure how it compares point to point with Exchange but the relevant issue would be how well it suits their workflow. AIUI they worked pretty closely with the Kolab developers and for all I know still do so that's not likely to be an issue.

                  The issue isn't the back end. Kolab supports both the Open Standards imap / smtp / caldav / carddav / webdav series as well as access through ActiveSync licensing, which Outlook uses, and most other Groupware platforms like OpenXchange and Zimbra do the same. The problem is the front end. Astonishingly, there is nothing that offers the functionality that Outlook offers, at least not something that doesn't look like it's last design change was in the 90s.

                  Like it or lump it, there are design trends too and that matters to end users, but the bit I find interesting is that a MICROSOFT piece of software has not yet been replaced with something better in FOSS. I've tried Thunderbird (hence the 90s comment :) ) but it's a fight to make it do decent HTML/RTF emails which is what users want (no, not need, want).

                  I've added Lightning, but unlike other calendar apps I can't subscribe to a caldav server in a way that it auto-adapts like, for instance macOS can - if I create a new calendar macOS will pick it up, TB Lightning needs me to feed a new full URL. And unless you install an extra plugin (Lightning Calendar Tabs) it's not world's best functionality either.

                  I've tried both the CardBook and the Inverse SOGo connector plugins to add a carddav feed, and decided on the SOGo one because its UI integrates better (but here too is a UI question: why can't the address book just be a tab too?). To be honest the carddav aspect was the leats painful, that just pretty much worked out of the box.

                  Oh, and then you have the next issue: if you get TB to work it will not talk the proprietary protocol for Exchange, and you need both client and MTA sides before you can reasonably expect to start making a difference.

                  In short, there's a lot of heavy lifting required to replace Outlook with something that is as usable, and the blunt answer is that nothing exists in the FOSS world - not for Linux, not for macOS and not for Windows. As a matter of fact, apart from *cough* Evolution *cough* (which is IMHO terrible) nobody has even made a *start* looking at this, it's clearly not sexy enough to attract funding or talent, so that's game over.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            Fucking Outlook.

          3. nijam

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            > Calendars...

            not email.

            > ...task tracking...

            not email.

            > ...contacts...

            still not email.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          "Good lord. What more can a mail client do than fetch,read,archive, compose and send e-mail"

          I remember a "development manager" who spent his days developing a Sudoku solver in VBA in Outlook. You can't do that with Thunderbird.

        3. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          From a user perspective:

          1) Attachment management. Far too often what is important is the attachment, not the email

          2) Workflow: you may need to ensure a given flow inside the office

          3) Centralized address book management

          4) Indexing and search features

          5) Rules to sort incoming emails, and management of stored emails hierarchies.

          6) Access "on behalf of" (which is not simply using someone else credentials....)

          And if you believe all tyres are simply black, round and rubbery, I hope you don't have to brake behind me....

          1. Daggerchild Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "Far too often what is important is the attachment, not the email"
            Oh, hello again winmail.dat..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        I cannot honestly think of a decent mail client for Linux these days; there's almost no momentum behind Thunderbird and Evolution.

        If I had a million upvotes..

        Most end users I talk to are unwilling to give up Outlook. For all its foibles, it's the one interface to the business world for these people and it's amazing that nobody, and I mean NOBODY seems capable of coding a better client. Given that its Microsoft code that is nothing short of unbelievable.

        I'm willing to bet that if Apple offered something decent that did what Outlook does in macOS but which worked on Open Standards they would have even less of a challenge converting companies - where I see moves to macOS, approval only arrives after it's made clear that executives don't lose their precious Outlook..

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          I'm not very familiar with Outlook, but doesn't Thunderbird have similar features nowadays?

          I'd be interested to hear what Outlook has that's unique?

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "I'd be interested to hear what Outlook has that's unique?"

            It's not Outlook alone. It's the Outlook+Exchange integration. Only when it works with its server it offers many advanced integrated features.

          2. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: doesn't Thunderbird have similar features

            Pretty much, with add-ons for the non-mail stuff like calendars.

            Thunderbird could be better at some stuff (it is still a developer-friendly rather than user-friendly tool in a lot of ways) but scores big for me over Outlook in that when I'm playing with mail filters (which I use *a lot* to pidgeonhole the reams of crap I get) the pop-up windows are not modal in Thiundebird - so I'm never in the position of having to close a cascade of windows and abort a filter edit because I can't see the new address I want to add to a filter.

            This is a common Outlook thing and leads me to believe that either the idiots at MS think I should filter on a one-message, one-filter basis (can't thanks to quotas) whereas I think I should have cascades of very inclusive filters to sort out the chaff, or that the bods who design OPutlook "features" don't actually use the product in any meaningful way.

            And don't get me started on the filters that the Outlook wizard builds with a (sensible) "stop processing more filters" command, but that produce a whining error/warning message whenever the filter is re-committed from edit because the filters under it won't get seen in the event this filter triggers. Very annoying, but I have no doubt I could kill this message somewhere in the configuration if I truly cared enough.

            There are times when I'm ready to shoot someone, but it is always the marketing gimps who send me mail from stupidly different mail adresses seemingly just to defeat my filters and make life harder for me. One filter I use to steer mail from a business now has over seventeen different mail addresses to recognize what is actually three different departments in the same business.

            Thunderbird is actually quite nice from my point of view.

            As for doing all the mail in a cloudy way, that's nice but I like to address my mail on my commute where I do not have a persistent internet connection. I need to grab the mail in bursts as and when I get a signal and work *despite* the net. For me, a downloading mail client is pretty much essential.

            Actually, because the quotas were killing everyone, I recently got switched to Outlook 365 at work and, apparently because the network provisioning did not include this new cloudy mail scenario, it now takes about twenty seconds from selecting mail to being able to read it during the day. The only time that the thing becomes anything like real-time is after hours - unless there's a big problem when the same network is crunched again by people remoting in.

          3. yoganmahew

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            @anoymous bore

            "I'm not very familiar with Outlook, but doesn't Thunderbird have similar features nowadays?

            I'd be interested to hear what Outlook has that's unique?"

            Rules, both server and client.

            Conversations.

            Messing about with views.

            Big capacity (like 99GB inboxes big and yes, you'd be mad to let it get to this, but I can end up with a gig of mail in a day on a bad day).

            Outlook mobile updates the same inbox.

            You can argue that corporations use of email is broken and you'd be right, but it's not going away.

          4. bobajob12

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            OK, I'll bite, since I would love to ditch Outlook, but have not found an alternative.

            1. UI. Outlook's UI isn't stellar, but it's very flexible. Multipane windows, instant switching between contacts, tasks, calendar and mail, message preview, search shortcuts, these are all things that Outlook users rely on.

            2. Programmability. Outlook has a rich set of third-party plugins that no one else can offer. Need to schedule WebEx sessions from within the client? Send info to your CRM platform? Outlook is the only game in town. There is also the ability to script outlook using VBA, which we use to write simple plugins that connect to our internal systems (eg see a message from X, press a button and it opens a support ticket on our web portal and inserts the message text). I imagine that less than 1% of users worldwide program Outlook like this, but still, it is important to us.

            3. The calendaring function is really smoothly integrated with the messaging client. Nothing I've seen on Linux comes close to Outlook's ease of corraling multiple coworkers in different time zones plus the rooms and resources needed for a meeting.

        2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Given that its Microsoft code that is nothing short of unbelievable.

          It is puzzling.

          As a software writer, my explanation is that MS run steamrollers through "standards" when it suits them. The TNEF/winmail.dat scenario is a typical example from history. Who can risk producing an email client that adheres to all the RFC's under the sun, but fails to cope with MS's latest proprietary and undocumented method of formatting emails? How many of MS's own email client products fail to render emails correctly that have been composed using MS's Flagship of the Day Email Client? Their reaction:- It Doesn't Matter, Simply Upgrade and you won't have problems. Upgrade? This is a Treadmill you are on, don'cha know. If it means you've got to upgrade everything else, you will do it because all of your peers, your competitors too, are upgrading. If you don't, you will be left behind. (Compare this with website design where website creativity has been hampered for lord knows how many years due to the seeming necessity to cope with Internet Explorer's quirks).

      4. Zippy's Sausage Factory
        Windows

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        I cannot honestly think of a decent mail client for Linux these days

        Indeed. I can't think of a decent one for Windows either, since Office 2016 borked Outlook.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          Indeed. I can't think of a decent one for Windows either, since Office 2016 borked Outlook.

          I am still using 2010...

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "Also I suspect that Linux is falling behind in some respects. I cannot honestly think of a decent mail client for Linux these days; there's almost no momentum behind Thunderbird and Evolution."

        Falling behind what? I'm not sure I'd want "momentum" behind a lot of stuff I use. "Momentum" usually means that what worked yesterday breaks today.

      6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "Don't forget that 'cost' includes training. That may be the part of the equation that they're worrying about."

        I winder if anyone has factored in the retraining costs of transferring thousands of staff from FOSS to Windows? IIRC they were running XP back then so all those staff will have a hell of a learning curve switching to Win10, even if they do remember any of their XP skills. This is part of the argument MS used to claim the TCO of Windows was lower than Linux because "everyone knows how to use Windows".

      7. rh587 Bronze badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        Also I suspect that Linux is falling behind in some respects.

        I'd be interested to know what they spend on maintaining their OS, seeing as they decided to roll-their-own LiMux distribution in favour of a standard LTS Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora environment.

        Every IT department has to maintain appropriate software and ensure compatibility between the chosen OS and business-critical software packages and their respective updates. Few however have to compile their own OS. If they did anything at all esoteric with it, then that has to be supported through subsequent Linux kernel releases and updates.

      8. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "there's almost no momentum behind Thunderbird and Evolution."

        Just because they're not MOVING TARGETS does NOT mean they're not USEFUL nor POPULAR.

        And consider the cost of "training" on Win-10-nic and its predecessor, Windows "Ape". Micro-shaft "just changed XXX again" - need to RE-TRAIN. THAT as opposed to something that's stable, doesn't change a lot, and just gets bug fixes and tweeks.

      9. Craig100

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        " I cannot honestly think of a decent mail client for Linux these days; there's almost no momentum behind Thunderbird and Evolution."

        er... if they work, what's the problem? The problem with Outlook, Office, et al is that to SELL you something every couple of years they reinvent or change stuff. No profit in not breaking stuff that works ;)

      10. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        Don't forget that 'cost' includes training. That may be the part of the equation that they're worrying about.

        Also I suspect that Linux is falling behind in some respects. I cannot honestly think of a decent mail client for Linux these days; there's almost no momentum behind Thunderbird and Evolution.

        And what, you're saying MSOutlook *is* a decent mail client??? Not hardly. About the only thing worse is Blotus Notes, and they at least make that suck on ALL platforms equally.

        The problem is they can readily quantify "training/retraining", but have no way to quantify the expense of reboots, crashes, constant patching and then backing out of defective patching, more reboots, more crashes, inefficient interfaces, and, oh did I forget to mention crashing and rebooting?

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

      Licensing makes up a small part of the TCO. Once you take into account roll out costs, maintenance, support and training over the lifetime of the machine, the cost of the licence usually works out to be a small part of the TCO.

      Given that most people are familiar with Windows, support costs might be much lower - we have 200 users and we have so few calls, that we don't even have a ticketing system.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "Given that most people are familiar with Windows Android"

        Fixed it for you...

        Really, this "training for users" cost w.r.t OS choice is a bit bogus, either you have staff that are technically adept (e.g. software/engineering sort of group) in which case they can do most themselves, or you have non-computer geeks (i.e. most others) in which case you have to train for anything that changes. So a new version of Windows has played "lets move the control panel" one more: more training. You cloud supplier (MS, Google, whatever) has played the same "lets bugger up the web version" and training again. Irrespective of the underlying OS.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          "you have staff that are technically adept (e.g. software/engineering sort of group) in which case they can do most themselves"

          I'm technically adept. I've been using Unixes since SunOS and Xenix. But I still struggle with configuring X, persuading network interfaces to stay on the network and whatever Voodoo is necessary to authenticate over LDAP because I'm not a full-time sysadmin.

          1. frank ly Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "But I still struggle with configuring X, ..."

            Is Linux, for offices, really all that hard to setup and maintain, compared to Windows? Perhaps the ecosystem is so fragmented that it's difficult to get components that are fully compatible with each other?

            I'd really like to understand why, given that they've had years to sort it all out.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

              "Is Linux, for offices, really all that hard to setup and maintain, compared to Windows?"

              I doubt it. Install from your preferred distro and you get a full stack from kernel to office applications put together as a whole. In Munich's case they went to a lot of trouble to customise their own distro. That might have been a mistake if they then have to redo some of the work that's already been done by the original packagers.

              1. big_D Silver badge

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                @Doctor Syntax

                That could be part of the problem. Their preferred distribution is Linmux, an in-house concoction, as you say, which means that their IT department is busy packaging it, testing updates, checking software compatibilities etc.

                No just chucking Ubuntu onto a PC. They are writing scripts to set things up and configure the environment themselves. I would guess that that is pretty much a full-time job for several people, just keeping the patches documented, integrated and tested.

                Standard Windows 10 + WSUS would probably save a lot of time and money. They just need to test the patches, before they roll them out.

                That is just supposition, but running standard Windows 10 is going to be simpler than rolling your own distro.

                1. rh587 Bronze badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  Standard Windows 10 + WSUS would probably save a lot of time and money. They just need to test the patches, before they roll them out.

                  That is just supposition, but running standard Windows 10 is going to be simpler than rolling your own distro.

                  True, but running a fairly vanilla Ubuntu LTS with KDE would also be cheaper than rolling/supporting your own OS. They don't necessarily need to go to Windows to find cost savings.

                2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  "Standard Windows 10 + WSUS would probably save a lot of time and money. They just need to test the patches, before they roll them out."

                  AIUI big Windows shops maintain their own standard image and re-image any new PCs based on this. It's probably not as much work as rolling their own distro.

                  These days there are also tools such as Puppet to help with maintaining standard Linux configurations in a large shop. It would be the sort of approach to adopt if starting from scratch now.

                3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  "I would guess that that is pretty much a full-time job for several people, just keeping the patches documented, integrated and tested."

                  IT support for a major city is a full time job for a lot of people. Just because the partitioning of job tasks changes if switching to Windows doesn't mean the overall work shrinks -just that issues pop up in other areas. (Besides, how many full time positions do you reckon the licensing of Windows will cost?)

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                    "Besides, how many full time positions do you reckon the licensing of Windows will cost?"

                    And how many full-time positions will be needed checking they've got the right licensing? Actually, in their case probably none - that would be a boat MS wouldn't want to risk rocking. But for anyone else.

                4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  > That could be part of the problem. Their preferred distribution is Linmux, an in-house concoction, as you say, which means that their IT department is busy packaging it, testing updates, checking software compatibilities etc.

                  Compared to Windows where they would be testing updates, checking software compatibilities, etc.

                  > No just chucking Ubuntu onto a PC. They are writing scripts to set things up and configure the environment themselves. I would guess that that is pretty much a full-time job for several people, just keeping the patches documented, integrated and tested.

                  There are several distros that use Ubuntu as an upstream repo, in fact Ubuntu uses Debian. This distributes the effort required and thus Limux only requires effort for the differences.

                  > Standard Windows 10 + WSUS would probably save a lot of time and money. They just need to test the patches, before they roll them out.

                  Whether W10 + WSUS 'saves a lot of time and money' requires information that you do not have. The 'just' is a simplification that may not exist in reality. They also need to test software compatibility with each patch.

                  > That is just supposition, but running standard Windows 10 is going to be simpler than rolling your own distro.

                  'Rolling your own distro' may be as simple as doing a Windows 7 to Windows 8 'update' or a Windows 8 to Windows 10 'update' over the complete site.

                  If Windows had been retained they would have gone from W2K to XP, then to 7, 8, and now to 10. They would have gone from Office 1997 to several newer versions. All these would have required several IT staff testing, checking compatibility, deploying, retraining, ...

              2. TVU Silver badge

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                "I doubt it. Install from your preferred distro and you get a full stack from kernel to office applications put together as a whole. In Munich's case they went to a lot of trouble to customise their own distro. That might have been a mistake if they then have to redo some of the work that's already been done by the original packagers."

                I've read some of the original German reports and it's not just a Limux vs. Winows issue. Munich is a large city with 1.5 million people with dozens of local authority departments and main thing that comes across is that there has been a lack of managerial competence in handling the city's IT infrastructure. For example, there has never been a coherent and uniform IT strategy across the whole of the city council.

                Although it's majority Limux, there are also plenty of Windows PCs in use in different departments and different versions of Windows as well. It's been a recipe for cost and chaos. That's where the major fault lies and even if a switch to Windows is ultimately made, the deep underlying IT management issues won't have been addressed and there will still be IT problems in Munich. That bungling would not have been tolerated in a company that has to survive by making a profit.

                I think that one of their main mistakes was not to go with a mainstream commercial Linux distribution like Ubuntu, Red Hat or Suse where plenty of support and trained IT staff would have already been available. Then, as mentioned, there was not the full city-wide roll out either. If full Microsoft compatibility really had been needed then I think that the city government ought to have cut a good deal with Germany's own Softmaker since they also cater for Linux.

                All that said, I don't think it would be wise for them to switch back to proprietary and expensive Microsoft right now not least because so many services are now being delivered in the cloud so making the actual desktop PC operating system variant pretty much irrelevant.

              3. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                "In Munich's case they went to a lot of trouble to customise their own distro. That might have been a mistake if they then have to redo some of the work that's already been done by the original packagers."

                In Munich's case there wasn't a suitable distro to base off when they started, That's changed.

                Also in Munich's case, the vast majority of the installations are thin clients with the actual legwork being done on central servers. Part of the costs were involved in allowing local USB/CDrom/soundcard etc to be accesible to the remote server (and is now part of standard linux suites). The savings in not having to buy heftier hardware on 3-5 year cycles outweighed that kind of software investment.

          2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: Adam 52

            I was talking about using the machines, not system design/config/management.

            Irrespective of the OS, you still need professionals in a given area to do that properly.

            I have been using Linux for many years and never (since mid-2000s) had to bother much with configuring X or networks - all pretty much works out of the box. As for LDAP, no idea, but then I would not attempt to set up Active Directory or roll-our a big platform of machines (any OS) similar without going on a relevant training course.

            1. DropBear Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: Adam 52

              "I have been using Linux for many years and never (since mid-2000s) had to bother much with configuring X or networks - all pretty much works out of the box."

              Oh, ok. Let's just stick to the basics... Dedicated currency keys that I (would very much like to but still can't) use right there on my laptop next to the arrow keys - do they work in Linux? Of course not. There is some help scattered around on how to chase the codes through several OS layers and get them correctly mapped under X - if you know how to find them (of course). There are also some discussions on why your newfound currency bliss will last exactly until your next reboot, because for some mysterious reason the xmodmap files that used to be executed at every startup no longer actually do that (including the obligatory bug report, that enjoys life completely undisturbed and safe from getting fixed - of course). There are further discussions to be found on how you might conceivably work around the failure of the workaround, wall-o-text size, if you're still feeling brave. And yes, I do have the specific key layout for my laptop selected, it's a known issue that these keys are simply The User's Problem. And yes, before you ask, I'm the PRO-Linux one - it's just IN SPITE of my experience with it, definitely not because of it.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: Adam 52

                "Oh, ok. Let's just stick to the basics... Dedicated currency keys that I (would very much like to but still can't) use right there on my laptop next to the arrow keys - do they work in Linux? Of course not."

                Perhaps you should try installing the correct keyboard layout? That usually helps.

                (Hint: Don't screw around with low level X stuff. Just go to the control panel.)

              2. IT Poser

                Dedicated currency keys

                My only problem configuring my keyboard to allow me to easily get symbols like ¢, £ and €(I am in the US so the only currency symbol on my standard keyboard is $) was finding the steps in the first place. Of the 75 minutes I spent setting it up only about 10 of those were on actual configuration. The rest of the time was spent searching the web for the appropriate steps. Fix the forums so information is easier to find and the problem goes away.

                Of course I am only a poser. I expect someone who actually works in IT knows how to find the info a lot faster without earning the disdain of Linux forum posters.

              3. smot

                Re: Adam 52

                "Dedicated currency keys that I (would very much like to but still can't) use right there on my laptop next to the arrow keys - do they work in Linux?"

                Um... yes. You said so yourself: "There is some help scattered around on how to chase the codes through several OS layers and get them correctly mapped under X".

                The point is that the Munich IT team produced their own distro which means the end user doesn't need to be concerned with any such configuration - it's a standard in-house release specifically set to their corporate requirements. All necessary software and privileges can be pre-installed. Once set up, a simple "dd" to install to a new PC is all it takes.

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Adam 52

                > Dedicated currency keys

                Care to share a pic?

                FWIW, one thing I particularly like about Linux is the wide accessibility of symbols from the keyboard, and its ease of customisation. As someone who needs to work in four to six languages daily and use a variety of common and less common typographic symbols, I am very fond of the default keyboard behaviour in Linux, especially all the stuff under AltGr and Meta. ☺ ← [ That's Meta+:+), <space>, AltGr+y ]

                One modification I've done was assign the figure dash symbol (‒) to AltGr+- and all it took was to modify one text file¹ by adding one single line. I do not know how easy it is on other OS, but I wonder if it can get much easier than that, in spite of being probably quite an advanced feature.

                You say that you had trouble persisting your changes. What distribution and version was that? Definitely works and has worked for years on my systems.

                ¹ .Xmodmap

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: Adam 52

                  "One modification I've done was assign the figure dash symbol (‒) to AltGr+- and all it took was to modify one text file¹ by adding one single line."

                  Just wait for the next systemd feature creep!

              5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                Re: Adam 52 - Linux not easily fit for purpose

                I moved to Linux Mint around eight months ago, but will soon be changing back to Win 7 because there are so many problems that take so much time to find answers to (or not, in some situations):

                1) I have been unable to connect my laptop to my employer's wifi (Eduroam), because Mint will not accept the security certificate, claiming that I do not own the appropriate folder, even when logged in as an administrator. The University's Linux guru has been unable to sort out the problem, and so have several, usually reliable, online sources. I have now given up

                2) WINE works when it feels like it - not particularly helpful when ...

                3) ... Libre Office reformats everything that was previously made in MS Office, and then MS Office reformats everything again - not useful when trying to do a presentation to a lecture theatre full of students. I do not care whether the problem is with Libre Office or MS Office - it is completely unacceptable, and, since my employer uses MS, it *has* to be compatible with that.

                4) Oh, and don't suggest VM - VirtualBox is as bad as WINE for deciding not to work.

                5) Oh, and installing software is a bigger job than it needs to be - okay, perhaps Windows is too easy, but the Linux route is a pisser. I really don't have the time to mess about finding the nearest thing to do something easy in Windows (let's say, rotating a video 180 degrees), find out there is nothing that actually does the job, try the four possible solutions, find out none of those actually work, then try some command-line technique that may (or not) work, but which takes an entire evening.

                I have sympathy with Munich - if you are trying to accomplish something that makes you look professional within a reasonable time, Windows is the way to go.

                1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: Adam 52 - Linux not easily fit for purpose

                  " really don't have the time to mess about finding the nearest thing to do something easy in Windows (let's say, rotating a video 180 degrees)"

                  I just included a quote to help threading. (I know you have other more valid points)

                  However, do you suggest that a city should let their employees configure their own PCs and also watch videos or do other non-work related stuff on their jobs?

                  Normally the PCs would have standardised hardware, verified to work properly with their operating system and applications. The issues you mention wouldn't crop up.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Adam 52 - Linux not easily fit for purpose

                  > I moved to Linux Mint around eight months ago, but will soon be changing back to Win 7

                  That's cool. Sounds like your workflow is built around Windows (MS Office, WINE, ...) so why even bother trying anything else then?

                  > if you are trying to accomplish something that makes you look professional within a reasonable time, Windows is the way to go.

                  I would have to take exception to that comment of yours. For me, to build anything at all I need to stay away from Windows since it doesn't support neither my workflow nor my tools at all¹, and I personally find it a throwback to the nineties, in terms of technology and usability, an opinion which Mac users seem to share, btw. However, if it works for you, then just go with it.

                  ¹ When I started using Linux, back in 1995, we were trying to do some data processing involving a few hundred entries, each of which consisted of two images and a couple of text files. We started doing it on a Windows desktop and the processing was taking two hours per entry. I had installed one of the first Linux distros (RH I think it was) on a "scrap" computer and gave it a go there (I already had Unix experience). Took us IIRC about 45 minutes to process the whole dataset, compared to the few weeks that it would have taken with Windows (made a bit of a killing on that job). From what little I've seen, nothing much has changed since.

                3. Kiwi Silver badge
                  Linux

                  Re: Adam 52 - Linux not easily fit for purpose

                  1) I have been unable to connect my laptop to my employer's wifi (Eduroam), because Mint will not accept the security certificate, claiming that I do not own the appropriate folder, even when logged in as an administrator. The University's Linux guru has been unable to sort out the problem, and so have several, usually reliable, online sources. I have now given up

                  This is an odd one I'd love to know more about. I've never heard of this but then have never tried to use WIFI at that level, only general household routers. I don't suppose you've tried "chown -R [your user name]:[your group (leave blank if preferred)] [folder in question] have you? (eg chown -R kiwi: /home/kiwi/certs or wherever such things are stored). That said, as always be careful playing with folder ownerships and permissions - a typo can cause a world of pain (same can happen in Windows!)

                  2) WINE works when it feels like it - not particularly helpful when ...

                  I use WINE for the likes of some games. Doesn't always work I admit, but then these games don't always work on Windows either. Have been playing a remake of Descent in recent days but currently have SOASER running in the background. Also played several of the CnC games (including Tib3 and Renegade) under WINE without an issue. As far as actual productivity software goes, have only ever installed MS Office (03, 07 and 10) and Photoshop Elements under it to show it can be done. And TeamViewer uses it for the Linux client. Never a problem.

                  (Just a minute, one of my capital ships is in trouble, just gonna check on it)...(S'allright, level 10 Akkan still got plenty of hitpoints)

                  3) ... Libre Office reformats everything that was previously made in MS Office, and then MS Office reformats everything again

                  Try using different versions of MS office, you'll often find the same thing. Tried getting MS office to open a very large presentation? Thought not. (Ok, not tried since 2010 - the disaster that was Office doing presentations was so bad I wouldn't bother again).

                  4) Oh, and don't suggest VM - VirtualBox is as bad as WINE for deciding not to work.

                  I use VB just about daily, with a number of different OS's from Dos 5.something to WinX recently (only for some testing stuff, have then removed the 8 and X versions since I don't really need them any more). Never had a problem with it, and I often push it quite hard. But there's also VMware and a few others, all seem to be OK. I think even modern Fedora or Ubuntu distributions have something pretty nifty and quick and easy to get going built in these days.

                  Maybe I or someone else can help with the issues you're having? Doubt I could though because I've had to do very little to "fix" VB for some years.

                  5) Oh, and installing software is a bigger job than it needs to be - okay, perhaps Windows is too easy, but the Linux route is a pisser.

                  Getting something out of a centrally managed repository with a nice GUI manager/search tool, and a few clicks, knowing it will install everything you need once you click that final "install" button, is in your view harder than going to Google, searching for whatever you want, going to some hopefully not drive-by infected web page, downloading something hopefully not malware ridden, trying to install it, finding it installs a bunch of other stuff you never really wanted (malware stuff I mean, not dependencies), hoping your AV actually catches it this time and cleans stuff, reinstalling your corrupted OS, realising you forgot to save out some data you really wanted to keep and now it's lost forever, realising the stuff you did save is infected so your new OS is already compromised.... ? Can you tell me what weird concoction of drugs you're taking so I know what to avoid?

                  I really don't have the time to mess about finding the nearest thing to do something easy in Windows (let's say, rotating a video 180 degrees), find out there is nothing that actually does the job,

                  2 minutes ago I'd never given the need for this a thought. Open video in VLC, have a look for what might be an option, - right-click and a quick squiz at the video options. Nothing there. Ok, try the Tools menu. Hmm, "Effects and Filters", have a look there. Hmm, "Video Effects", might be worth a gander. Nope, nothing there. Oh wait, how about under "Geometry". Oh look , "Rotate" with a dial so you can rotate the video to pretty much any of 360deg. Of course, may not be what you want since it was plainly obvious, in one of a couple of places you'd expect to find such a thing, labelled in plain English. (and yes, I wrote this part of my reply first, so the 2 minutes holds :) )

                  then try some command-line technique that may (or not) work, but which takes an entire evening.

                  Why would you use CLI for video editing? I admit I have done very little video work, but still CLI seems a bit odd for that?

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "But I still struggle with configuring X,"

            Why are you even trying that? My experience is that you install whatever Unix or Linux variant you choose and it just installs X properly configured. The one exception to that was trying to get MythTV to work with a TV set that misreported its resolution. Misreported to the extent that it claimed the dimensions and aspect ratio of a simple PDA and the configuration adjustment needed was carried out on the VGA connector with a pair of wire clippers.

            "persuading network interfaces to stay on the network"

            DHCP seems to do that unless you go for static IP addresses in which case the same things have to be configured for any OS.

            "and whatever Voodoo is necessary to authenticate over LDAP because I'm not a full-time sysadmin."

            I'd have the same problem with Windows and AD because I'm not a Windows sysadmin.

          4. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            "I'm technically adept. I've been using Unixes since SunOS and Xenix. But I still struggle with configuring X, persuading network interfaces to stay on the network and whatever Voodoo is necessary to authenticate over LDAP because I'm not a full-time sysadmin." --- Adam 52

            Sounds more like either you're choosing oddball distros or oddball hardware to me.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            > But I still struggle with configuring X

            Huh? X has been autoconfig for a decade or more. What sort of environment are you in that you need to remotely worry about it? Or is it a case of XKCD 1785?

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            > But I still struggle with configuring X, persuading network interfaces to

            > stay on the network and whatever Voodoo is necessary to authenticate

            > over LDAP because I'm not a full-time sysadmin

            Teanslated: "I'm pretty stupid, but it's not my fault, its unix"

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          Really, this "training for users"

          Not really, it's just as much about management of the environment: distribution of patches, updates, new software, etc. I've heard that Windows 10 does some good things in this respect but also that it enforces an update cycle that not everyone is happy with.

          My experience in this area is limited (I use MacOS): client Win 7 seems to need reboots daily now for some reason, but every time I boot a Linux box I become convinced that the UX team hates me.

          I'm not trolling, just pretty meh on this.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: Charlie Clark

            "but every time I boot a Linux box I become convinced that the UX team hates me"

            Really the same applies to most software now :( MS buggered about the the UX in the great 8.1 failure, Macs have been getting dumber, Google (and Mozilla who seem to slavishly follow them) seem hell-bent on removing anything possibly useful in a web browser. The list goes on and on...

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Charlie Clark

              Really the same applies to most software now :( MS buggered about the the UX in the great 8.1 failure, Macs have been getting dumber

              The MacOS UI hasn't changed all that much since I switched to it (2006). Most of Apple's fucking about has been with I-Tunes to make it more like the IOS one. I-Phones have had all the changes but I've never had one so I don't care. I guess they do regularly fuck up the POSIX stuff. :-| and they did dumb down the disk manager.

              Put it this way: I've managed with the same system for 10 years on 4 different devices, just migrated painlessly each time. That is worth a lot.

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Charlie Clark

              Really the same applies to most software now :( MS buggered about the the UX in the great 8.1 failure, Macs have been getting dumber, Google (and Mozilla who seem to slavishly follow them) seem hell-bent on removing anything possibly useful in a web browser. The list goes on and on...

              This, this, and bloody well this!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

            > Not really, it's just as much about management of the environment: distribution of patches, updates, new software, etc.

            Does Windows still lock users out of their computer while installing patches or whatever it is it does, and then forces them to reboot?

            Centralised patching and updating is quite simply automatic and seamless in the Linux distros I'm familiar with. Centralised management is also a thing.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

              "Does Windows still lock users out of their computer while installing patches or whatever it is it does, and then forces them to reboot?"

              Of course it does!

              Windows 10 says it will install and reboot immediately, or will be "kind" and let you postpone it until after-office hours. So kind.

              It will do its work slowly while you can do nothing but watch a rotating circle of dots.

              Often, after sleeping the PC, the next morning it has installed stuff and re-booted. If you are lucky it has re-entered sleep. In many cases the PC is just on, burning power. All stuff you had open would be gone.

              Exact behaviour seems impossible to predict.

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                ""Does Windows still lock users out of their computer while installing patches or whatever it is it does, and then forces them to reboot?""

                You can install them when convenient to you, but yes some types of Windows updates still need a reboot which is rather sucky.

                Allegedly this will be fixed when a patent that Oracle? has regarding live kernel patching expires - or Microsoft manage to engineer another method...

                1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  > You can install them when convenient to you, but yes some types of Windows updates still need a reboot which is rather sucky.

                  > Allegedly this will be fixed when a patent that Oracle? has regarding live kernel patching expires - or Microsoft manage to engineer another method...

                  No. You are wrong. The reason for Windows rebooting for an update is that the file system cannot delete or replace a file while it is open. The directory entry contains the filename and the start of the file data block chain. This means that a file that is to be updated/replaced cannot while it is open (such as a driver or a DLL). The file has to be written to disk as a different file and a script added to for action on reboot.

                  The reboot runs the script and does the actual file update/replace.

                  Novell Netware did live kernel patching.

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                    > Novell Netware did live kernel patching.

                    So does linux, if you want it to.

                2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  "You can install them when convenient to you"

                  Only if it's also convenient for Windows.

                  MS has in their infinite wisdom made sure that Windows is picky and has opinions about when you may do the update. It's not your PC, it just sits in your room and you paid for it.

                  And tough luck if you need to quickly reboot due to some issue, and then carry on. Oh, no! Oh, no, we can't have that! There was a pending update, and it must be installed now, right away! Yes sir!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

              "Centralised patching and updating is quite simply automatic and seamless in the Linux distros I'm familiar with."

              Presumably you mean Redhat / Magic Carpet then. Which is very expensive, and a lot more effort to setup than the Windows free equivalent (WSUS). Otherwise how do you easily manage testing / selectively deploying patches and reporting on patch status to many systems?

              "Centralised management is also a thing."

              With what in Linux? Remotely scripting the editing of text files?! It's built into Windows with Active Directory Group Policy, etc.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                > Presumably you mean Redhat / Magic Carpet then.

                To be honest, I cannot think of a single Linux distro that *doesn't* support centralised patching, since it's in the nature of the beast.

                1. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                  "To be honest, I cannot think of a single Linux distro that *doesn't* support centralised patching, since it's in the nature of the beast."

                  IF you mean set it and forget it, yes. But enterprises need centralised control for scheduled deployments of selected patches to specified machine groups, reporting, etc. etc.

                  1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                    Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

                    > IF you mean set it and forget it, yes. But enterprises need centralised control for scheduled deployments of selected patches to specified machine groups, reporting, etc. etc.

                    That is why Munich developed Limux. They control their own repository(s) while getting patches and updates from upstream distros, probably Ubuntu and/or Debian. Thus they get the latest fixes into the repository while maintaining their own configurations and applications and can control deployments.

        3. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          "Given that most people are familiar with Android"

          I think that would surprise a lot of Apple and PC users...

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "Given that most people are familiar with Windows" --- big_D

        Which version of Windows would that be? IMHO, with the exception of the Gnome->Unity change in Ubuntu, Windows changes just as much from the user perspective as Linux.

        And, I know it's harsh, but many of the people I have spoken to who consider themselves "familiar with Windows" are really nothing of the sort --- they tend to be the people who are confused with being given a new browser or, quite pertinently, a different Office program.

        I'd love to know how they're actually training their users at the moment because I just can't see why the training costs would be so high.

        1. nobodie

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          Interestingly I have noticed (and this is based on a significant number of users) that with the advent of the ribbon in MS Office, most of the users I interact with stopped using a remarkable number of file tools. The one that makes me the most crazy is the list numbering tool. It is no longer possible for most people to find that tool in the ribbon because they couldn't find it at first and thus stopped using it. In fact, with the advent of "all things net" in the last five or ten years, nobody actually knows how to do many things on a computer if it is not in a browser (or on their phone obviously). This is the brilliance of Google Chromebooks.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*? (nobodie)

            I would have given you a +1 bar your last sentence. The problem with applications these days is that changes are too easy to make and this is a snag, not a mark of brilliance, You are absolutely right apart from that (oh all right then, here's a thumbs up...).

            I used to run courses for WordPerfect. The brilliance of WordPerfect was that - because it didn't change too often - people got to learn about, and actually use, many of the "advanced" features, without even thinking about it. Companies would build their corporate brand into Styles and Document Templates, ok it would cost them money for me to set that up for them, but every document they produced thereafter used the correct margins, line spacing, font, etc., etc. without even thinking about it - content could be concentrated on without worrying about any presentation deficiencies (widow/orphans being a common one).

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "Licensing makes up a small part of the TCO. Once you take into account roll out costs, maintenance, support and training over the lifetime of the machine, the cost of the licence usually works out to be a small part of the TCO."

        They've absorbed the costs of roll out of their existing Linux systems. They're going to have to absorb a whole lot of extra costs now. Maintenance is going to include ongoing licence costs and extended unavailability of every PC whilst it receives each Windows upgrade.

        "Given that most people are familiar with Windows"

        Remember that Munich's users are now familiar with their Linux systems and applications. They're going to have to retrain them. They can reasonably expect more tickets after a back-migration.

      4. serendipity

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        Hang-on big_D, you can't say positive things like that about Windows!

        The only closed source* product you are allowed to be positive about is OSx, that's the law!! ;))

        * some (naive) people mistakenly believe it's open source but then fail to wonder why it doesn't run on non Apple hardware - go figure!!

        ps haven't seen one of your posts in years. Didn't you used to post on PCPro before they ruined it?

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

          @serendipity yes, I was on PCPro. I've been posting here since the late 90s. The silver medal next to my moniker means I post here a lot, so you haven't been looking hard enough. ;-)

      5. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        FAIL

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        Hear, hear! The reason for switching to Linux is that the cost of support, maintenance, and training is much lower.

        The defendants are proposing that Munich should support both Windows and Limux, which is easily the most expensive option. (Unless Redmond offers Windows 10 with a Linux subsystem that is fully interoperable with Limux).

        Microsoft must have bribed the lord mayor.

      6. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        How about the cost of the fines when goons hired by your software company come to your place of work and start looking for technical violations they can use to extort money out of you? Does that figure into the

        "TCO" too?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

      There is a cost to being different. Everyone who joins has to have "some" training. Whilst the cost is small it is ever present and it makes it clear to the users that their environment is very different. This rears its head when resolving issues. In a more traditional environment the business users can self help with a simple Google search or visiting a forum. Linux support forums tend to treat what they consider stupid questions quite harshly, which means that the business folks don't get their minor gripes solved. This in turn gives them the feeling that there is something wrong with their IT. Every system problem then reinforces this view irrespective of how many or few problems there are compared to a traditional Microsoft shop. The business complains that their IT is not good enough, more money is spent and IT costs rise to meet a standard that does not exist.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        "In a more traditional environment the business users can self help with a simple Google search or visiting a forum."

        The users who do that before turning to IT are the ones who are likely to having their stories told here in On Call.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

        There is a cost to being different. Everyone who joins has to have "some" training.

        Probably because these days they've been used to Android.

    4. Reg T.

      Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

      The Munich Betrayal is reminiscent of the Turkish Government abandoning Pardus (the government distro) and Linux (as the OS to be used throughout the nation's schools) in favor of cash applied to the right palm by MS.

      Is that "The Candy Man" playing quietly in the background?

  4. Schultz
    Stop

    I am not sure about the 'dump Linux' part

    I am not sure what Heise is reporting, but the document linked in the text indicates only that a Windows basis client is to be developed. The whole affair seems to be based on an external assessment of the Munich IT (see: PDF). This document suggests the creation and support of a standardized Windows client to replace a variety of local systems (apparently some 1/4 of computers is running a variety of Windows systems), the support of standard software packages (LibreOffice, ...), and the automatic approval of Windows clients.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: I am not sure about the 'dump Linux' part

      Otherwise the problem is just someone is holding it wrong.

      In Mage Towers the remaining Windows desktops are running windows versions of the same programs as used on Linux. They are all free. Many other Windows programs are not free, so could the changing Windows aspect be changing what programs are used on Windows?

      BTW, "Neon" looks ghastly.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: I am not sure about the 'dump Linux' part

      I am not sure what Heise is reporting, but the document linked in the text indicates only that a Windows basis client is to be developed

      That sounds more likely. I'm pretty sure there's been a story like this one about once a year (IIRC) since they switched.

      The previous ones I remember largely turned out to be a review of whether the Linux base was meeting requirements, rather than the reported "we need to switch back".

      I might be confusing my stories here, but IIRC, someone fairly high up in the City management is a bit of a Windows fan-boy, so has from time to time highlighted issues he's been experiencing on the record. They seem to change, so I guess the IT dept have successfully addressed them as they've been raised.

      Designing a standard Windows based client isn't a bad idea in any case. Most places will always find specific roles where having a Windows client is the best option for them (whether because it opens up the range of role-specific software available). 99% of your userbase might be fine on solution X, but it's foolhardy to ignore the business needs of that 1%.

      Homogenity makes administration easier, but it's seldom a good thing for the purposes of the rest of the business.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am not sure about the 'dump Linux' part

      Thank you Schultz. I headed for the comments hoping an actual German would pop in to set the record straight. Mr Sharwood is hardly the most reliable of reporters, and that's when he's not running his sources through Google Translate.

  5. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Pain

    (This comment has been prompted by the Sad mac picture)

    It seems to me as if the City of Munich is taking the masochistic approach to IT (although I suspect that they had a hard time finding enough people to support the tens of thousands of machines).

    I'd like to recommend Macintosh System 6 (version 6.0.8 in particular). Mac Pluses for the peons, LCs for the middle managers and speedy (for the time) Mac IIcis for upper managment. Microsoft products are supported. Networking is supported. The Internet might even be supported.

    The advantages are staring you in the face — distraction-free writing (although let's hope that no-one finds Tetris or Crystal Quest), your love of inflicting pain upon yourselves and MicroSoft Office before it was called Office. Oh, and ye haven't tried Apple yet, so I want to get in first before I start reading about the City of Munich moving all of her staff to iPhones.

    There may be one or two disadvantages (such as the fact that the main source of Macintosh Pluses is now eBay...) but this will be nothing compared to what you are inflicting upon yourself now.

  6. heyrick Silver badge

    The company I work for went through this

    2013-2014, yay we're all moving to Linux, win!

    By 2016 the company had moved back to Windows.

    It wasn't a fault of Linux itself. It was that the apps were deplorable - whatever stock control system was in use routinely lost transactions between the factory floor and head office (so stock control was a joke and traceability worse) and I'm sure the standard "the source is on GitHub logic was invoked. Companies don't want to hire coders to fix half assed solutions, they want stuff that just works.

    We all went back to Windows and there was something the stock control system didn't do. So some people from that company turned up, discussed the requirements, delivered the changes by the end of the week.

    Sure, it had a cost and I'm sure all those Windows licences aren't cheap, but that's is a fixed known price. Trashing the very very important traceability and losing stock? Priceless, and potentially damaging. Linux simply didn't deliver what was needed, and the whole hacker ethos is quite at odds with the expectations of business.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The company I work for went through this

      Cost of license is a minor component. Being able to use a common domain model to control inter division security and being able to use group policy to manage the desktops will go a long way to offset that.

      Then being able to get staff in and have them hit the ground running because they use windows on the home desktop, they used it in their last job, they used it in school. And a cheaper supply of sysadmin labour who are also less likely to be Jeff Albertson clones.

      1. david bates

        Re: The company I work for went through this

        The 'hit the ground running' problem is just not a thing any more. I moved my 75 year old father and 65 year old uncle from XP to Mint Mate, with no UI tweaks beyond making everything bigger. Neither of them had any problems at all and the only difference they have noticed is that they can't install crap they find on the web - which is a bonus.

        Support has dropped from an issue every couple of months to an issue every year or less.

        1. Stuart Castle

          Re: The company I work for went through this

          A lot of Linux users here are touting the old 'I put Linux on my grandparent's PC and they are having fewer problems than they did with windows.' I don't doubt them. I like Linux. If you can get used to it, I find it far more reliable than Windows.

          Munich aren't looking at that. They are looking at potentially tens of thousands of PCs. Any problems caused by any OS will be magnified.

          They will need staff to operate the PCs and technicians/sys admins to maintain them, and their associated infrastructure. There are a lot more Windows sys admins and technicians than Linux ones, which means that the authority may be able to get away with paying less.

          Also, their fleet of devices is likely to be large enough they need some sort of system to ensure that software is up to date and that they have a consistant configuration and up to date inventory info for each device. Microsoft's System Center does a brilliant job of doing this. While it works brilliantly with Windows, and does support other OSes, its support for other OSes isn't that great.

          We are using System Center to maintain 3,000 PCs. If we need to make any changes to those PCs (in groups, as a whole or individually) then subject to the relevant RFCs being approved, we can do so relatively easily. We can also track those changes, and can often determine remotely why they haven't happened, assuming they haven't.

          System center is not perfect. Far from it. It doesn't have a good UI (plenty of areas where I've used it, and thought "why the fuck did they do it like that?", but it does make maintaining a fleet of devices easier.

          I realise there are plenty of Linux configuration management systems, both open source and commercials. I've even played around with a few, but I've never found any are integrated as well as System Center.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: The company I work for went through this

            Yep, my old granddad was having problems getting his emails and reading the news on his Windows PC so I converted it to Linux Mint and within 2 weeks GCHQ were banging on the door offering him 6 figure salaries to come and lead on their software division.

            Every fecking time someone comes up with these fictional anecdotes.

            1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

              Re: @ werdsmith

              "Every fecking time someone comes up with these fictional anecdotes"

              Who said anything about getting an IT job? Did you actually read the comments?

              Many folk, myself included, have found that most users can adapt, look at how the majority of the formally-windows-only users have now got smartphones and no issues with using them. That is the point, if you set up a Linux PC for someone like a grandparent and spend just 5 minutes to show them the key stuff (e.g. web browser, email client) that is enough in most cases. You get almost no examples of them breaking it because 99.9+% of malware won't run on such a desktop and they don't get put off by endless, pointless, indecipherable warnings from AV, etc.

              They won't set up a Linux PC, and if they buy a Windows PC it won't come setup in any sane way (from their perspective) either so in a short time will cause you grief (if you care enough to help them that is).

            2. IT Poser
              Joke

              Re: Every fecking time someone comes up with these fictional anecdotes.

              A few years ago my mother was getting a new laptop every 3 weeks because she managed to screw up windoze that badly. As a solution I switched her to Linux. Within a week she had received a job at the State Department setting up a private email server for a nice old lady. I never did hear how that job worked out but her laptop is still doing just fine.

              1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

                Re: Every fecking time someone comes up with these fictional anecdotes.

                Concerning that old lady, the shareholders had a meeting and the majority of them voted to promote her and she was then fired as a consequence. It seems that they were much taken by her private e-mail server.

            3. Chemist

              Re: The company I work for went through this

              "Every fecking time someone comes up with these fictional anecdotes."

              Why do you imagine that they're fictional ??

              I don't expect you to believe it but I've certainly set my (80 year old) mother-in-law with an OpenSUSE setup after WindowsXP committed suicide during an update. She had no problem at all. Firefox for the web, Thunderbird for e-mail, LibreOffice for wp. All she needed really, scanning & printing no problem. Automatic updates. I did install well-protected SSH access for remote sorting of problems but never needed to use it.

              As I say : why do you imagine that they're fictional ??

          2. bobajob12

            Re: The company I work for went through this

            A challenge on this quote: "There are a lot more Windows sys admins and technicians than Linux ones, which means that the authority may be able to get away with paying less".

            Is that really true these days? Windows system administration is *significantly* more advanced than, say, in the NT4 days. Powershell, GPO, WSUS, etc etc are not noddy things, they are as powerful as chainsaws. Linux administration is still fundamentally and culturally a GUI+config file affair, and the explosion in the cloud/devops way of doing things has led to a generation of kids who can do this.

            Not arguing, but I think this claim is worthy of more investigation. Trevor Potts, where are you?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The company I work for went through this

          Really, what your retired relatives need is not what a big company or city administration may need... have you better references?

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: The company I work for went through this

        "Then being able to get staff in and have them hit the ground running because they use windows on the home desktop, they used it in their last job, they used it in school." --- werdsmith

        To me it's almost the opposite: I wouldn't want users doing 95% of the stuff they use their home PCs for. I don't want them installing software, devices, clicking any damn link they see --- and mostly I don't think you want clerical types even interacting directly with the file system. By the time a Windows system is locked down sufficiently for customer service agents and back office clerks to use safely, it's nothing like the system they used at home or school.

        1. Tim99 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: The company I work for went through this

          @John H Woods

          For a long time now, I have been convinced that a corporate that has managed to have Windows locked down enough to be safe, has reinvented the 3270 or VT220 terminal. Many of the users that I saw did not know basic skills like drag and drop, or copy and paste - A simple browser front end would be OK for much of their work tasks.

          Have a beer and an upvote >>=============>

      3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: The company I work for went through this

        Then being able to get staff in and have them hit the ground running because they use windows on the home desktop, they used it in their last job, they used it in school.

        The example you're replying to is one of a business critical stock control and inventory system.

        No sane business would just let users "hit the ground running" using, essentially, specialised software. Hell, back when I was in logistics, I was sent on a 2 week user-focused course on the software, followed by a second 2 week course on administrating it.

        In that context, the cost of training a user to use a slightly different layout is bugger all.

    2. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      daft

      Relying on any system without a support contract/entity that would get such things fixed as a core system sounds like a daft idea.

      You find a system that works with your setup and pay for that.

      If I were to deploy something like that - first things first:

      - Is there in house support from IT to support Linux based systems? No? Can they retrain, how much does it cost, what would be needed, would an external provider be able to assist until transition is done?

      - How to do standard office things like mail(this one can be as easy as use google apps for business, or some other web based provider, if need in house find a system that either your team can manage with or a third party provider(open-xchange comes to mind(they offer support packages and such)), documents etc...

      - Core business supporting systems - be it ERP, CRM, etc... etc... it's core to your business so you should have a support contract or at least some sort of business contact with whoever's software you are using - be it a cloud based solution, or some piece of software, if there is no business support available - don't use it. This isn't a hammer that will just work with no support.

      People often forget that just because it's open source it doesn't mean it's free of costs. They are just elsewhere - software is free, and you get free support if you are willing to wait for responses from commuinty/do your own research. But if you need support on business critical things - then don't rely on that.

      As someone who loves open source and software available for it even I need to look at the business case for everything I suggest to the company be it storage(go with $random server and disks or a dedicated storage system from a known storage vendor), be it servers, firewall etc...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: daft

        "Is there in house support from IT to support Linux based systems? No?"

        In Munich's case, yes. Because that's what they've been supporting for years.

        There seems to be this strange tunnel vision than in house IT support only exists for Windows. Maybe Windows needs more in house support.

      2. dajames Silver badge

        Re: daft

        People often forget that just because it's open source it doesn't mean it's free of costs. They are just elsewhere - software is free, and you get free support if you are willing to wait for responses from commuinty/do your own research. But if you need support on business critical things - then don't rely on that.

        That's true. If you use someone else's software you should expect there to be a cost. You may have to buy a licence, you may not. You may get free support, or you may have to pay. You may get to deal with a responsive team of developers who are willing to listen to your requests and suggestions for improvements to the product, you may have to pay them to do it, or you may have to commission someone else to fork the development and make the mods for you (or give up on the idea).

        Whichever way it works for you, you may get some of it free, and you may not have to pay very much for anything that costs.

        It would be foolish to switch from Windows to Linux thinking that everything will be free. You have to look at the costs of hardware, software, support, and training using both OSes and the raft of applications software that you will be using under each, and make an informed decision. If you run a small business that doesn't have a dedicated full-time IT department you may want to get help from an external support company, and that will have a cost ... but that doesn't mean that there can't also be savings.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: The company I work for went through this

      Sounds to me like whoever is/was in charge of your inventory control system is incompetent. I've been specing un*x based inventory control for nearly 40 years with nary a hiccup. Granted, I started with proprietary $oftware, but for the last 15 years it's been FOSS all the way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The company I work for went through this

        "but for the last 15 years it's been FOSS all the way."

        Jake, Can you name some please. Very interested in looking at whats on the market

        ANON for work purposes

    4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: The company I work for went through this

      This sounds more like someone wanted to do it all on the cheap initially, then decided to pay for better inventory software. Nothing much to do with Linux or Windows.

      Obviously, if the software you need only exists for one operating system, go with that operating system.

      Which is one reason Mac was so big in publishing (still is?).

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "Which is one reason Mac was so big in publishing (still is?)."

        Of course it is. Try to setup a fully color managed workflow in Linux - you'll have no vendor support - calibration devices, printers, monitors, cards, etc. You could find some third party software supporting them - but why risk to enter a spiral of issues of hacked solutions? And there's of course the software issue - if everybody uses Adobe or the like, how would you run them on Linux? Even Windows is a better alternative, at least almost all and the support exist, even if you can still have some little differences between systems.

        And of course most users are used to Apple system, so they'll naturally look for them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Which is one reason Mac was so big in publishing (still is?)."

          More to the point, as far as I am concerned, is that the Mac is UNIX.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: "Which is one reason Mac was so big in publishing (still is?)."

            Partly - there's a lot built upon it which is not Unix - but proprietary Apple stuff. And *surely* it's not Linux - it also dumped Samba because of the GPLv3.

            And especially when it comes to devices support. Try to use an high-end monitor internal calibration from Linux... usually you get only Mac or Windows utilities for that. And you don't spend $1500 or more for a monitor to not use such features which are essential for your job.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The company I work for went through this

      It was that the apps were deplorable - whatever stock control system was in use routinely lost transactions between the factory floor and head office (so stock control was a joke and traceability worse) and I'm sure the standard "the source is on GitHub logic was invoked."

      You're sure? Do you know?

      There are good commercial ERP systems available to run on Unix-type back ends; I was using them years ago. The software houses behind them would also make custom changes. Again, I've been involved with just that sort of change. Given that a branch of HMG was the customer for that it's very likely that you've handled the end product.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The company I work for went through this

      Seems like a common case of trying to fix that which is not broken. Or even trying to fix something that *is* broken but works and is critical to the business. In which case, just leave it as it is. :)

  7. Gunboat Diplomat

    Might I suggest...

    Contacting them for comment if the translation is imprecise?

    1. Dr Stephen Jones
      Devil

      Re: Might I suggest...

      What, a journalist should actually call or email a source to check it's true?

      Get with the 21st Century, dude. That kind of thing went out with operator assisted dialling.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Might I suggest...

      Or perhaps take a look here.

      It appears that there is a political divide over the issue and some departments in the city (especially HR) had raised concerns about bugs and poor performance - but these seem anecdotally to be to do with accessing systems such as SAP from Limux desktops and incompatibilities between the office suite and MS Office. There seems to be a worrying lack of in-depth independent analysis, though Accenture were brought in to produce a report which suggested that the city should at least cost out a return to Windows so they could make an informed decision.

      I think one of the lessons is that if your quirky open source software is in some way incompatible with its familiar proprietary cousin, then it is clear which one is going to be deemed "broken", regardless of which fails to adhere to the published specification.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Might I suggest...

        "raised concerns about bugs and poor performance"

        I've heard that those using Windows based systems never have any issues at all. Never, ever.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Might I suggest...

        though Accenture were brought in to produce a report which suggested that the city should at least cost out a return to Windows so they could make an informed decision.

        Ah, of course, that explains a lot. They got in a totally unbiased, 100% neutral advisor who would deliver a straight report without resorting to alternative facts.

        I was wondering from which corner the cost argument could come if it involved Microsoft, but they got actual professionals to get creative with the numbers. Now I am at least no longer surprised.

        It appears that not being able to deliver decent code and UIs and only talking about security rather than doing anything doesn't matter, Microsoft's Fake News department is still working beautifully. It has already done a via-the-golf-course number on another EU country which will soon see a collapse of essential services as they are being "converted" to their new religion, and from this it appears Munich may be next if it's not careful.

        Scientology are amateurs in comparison.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Might I suggest...

          "It appears that not being able to deliver decent code and UIs and only talking about security rather than doing anything doesn't matter, Microsoft's Fake News department is still working beautifully. It has already done a via-the-golf-course number on another EU country which will soon see a collapse of essential services as they are being "converted" to their new religion, and from this it appears Munich may be next if it's not careful."

          You're talking complete bollocks and you know it yet even more scary is that you have 13 up votes. It seems that MS haters are the one who are post truth! Even more scary is that they spew their bile without really having any understanding of how MS has changed and improved in the last 10 years.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Might I suggest...

            "how MS has changed and improved in the last 10 years."

            Such as? Here's a couple of my favourite examples. Concrete fact-based examples. Yours?

            MS then: "Linux is a cancer." (also communism).

            MS now: "Linux? We love it."

            See e.g.

            http://www.zdnet.com/article/ballmer-i-may-have-called-linux-a-cancer-but-now-i-love-it/

            (Ballmer, reported 11 March 2016, in the context of SQL Server announcement on Linux)

            MS then: "root and branch security review (e.g. no more buffer overflows)"

            MS now: no real visible change in maybe 2 decades. Today's software, just as insecure as that from 20 years ago: e.g. buffer overflows => remote code execution, and the rest. Just check the CVEs.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Might I suggest...

              > MS now: no real visible change in maybe 2 decades. Today's software, just as insecure as that from 20 years ago: e.g. buffer overflows => remote code execution, and the rest. Just check the CVEs.

              MS nower - the source code is circulating. You can check the spaghetti and schoolboy errors for yourself and see that many "fixes" are just patch upon patch upon patch rather than actually solving the underlaying issue.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Might I suggest...

        So true yet they want "eine stadtweit einheitliche Client-Architektur".

      4. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Re: Might I suggest...

        "It appears that there is a political divide over the issue and some departments in the city (especially HR) had raised concerns about bugs and poor performance"

        Anything that makes HR suffer has got to be a good thing, and quite possibly intentional.

        Puts it into the ".. not a bug, Its a feature.." category

  8. Potemkine Silver badge

    Blast OS Ayatollahs

    Keeping open minds and finding the best tool to implement the solution to a problem should be the Golden Rule. Alas, there come ideologies...

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Highly suspcious of cost argument.

    There is a reason why MS is the biggest software company in the world.

    It should be obvious that one of the reasons why Linux fails on the desktop is not what's on the desktop but how your desktop talks to others in the office. IOW while the email and calandering remain s**t Microsoft will always win.

    Smoothing out UI features (so common use cases don't take 3 level deep menu selections) and fixing bugs so it does what the manual says it does (MS get a very f**king easy ride on this IMHO) is not (conceptually) difficult but it is is very important.

    Sadly its that sort of challenging, but unexciting, work that the people who are willing to do FOSS development are unlikely to do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Highly suspcious of cost argument.

      "its that sort of challenging, but unexciting, work that the people who are willing to do FOSS development are unlikely to do."

      Unlikely does not mean impossible.

      For many years my own Linux of choice has been Suse of one flavour or another. I've looked at others which are more ideologically pure, and I've looked at others which are (for whatever reason) getting loads more media hype than Suse. Suse's still the one for me.

      One of the reasons I started with Suse was it was available with manuals that matched the software. And they were in user-friendly English (and various other languages) too.

      Microsoft haven't provided much in the way of manuals (or documentation) for ages. Is there still a thriving Microsoft-dependent publishing industry? How well does that work when (e.g.) the desktop client auto-updates (ie looks and behaves differently) from week to week?

      Just sayin'.

      Have a lot of fun.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Highly suspicious of cost argument.

        My preference for SuSE came more from the fact that it didn't prescribe any specific desktop - you could just choose whatever you want when you logged in and it would somehow manage to integrate all these desktops with the slightly different way SuSE chose to do things (which is occasionally a pain, but the build service has helped a lot there).

        I am personally all for such an approach because it leaves you with a choice that was non-destructive - users were not punished for daring to prefer another desktop than the packager had ordained.

        I now have to use Ubuntu and Red Hat for servers as that integrates better with the packages we use, but I still prefer an OpenSuSE desktop despite the fact that it tends to be a bit more resource hungry. Given that the desktops we use are rated for Win 10 (hard to buy a standard machine without) that is not really an issue :).

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Highly suspcious of cost argument.

      "There is a reason why MS is the biggest software company in the world."

      Lock in.

    3. Jan 0

      Re: Highly suspcious of cost argument.

      > There is a reason why MS is the biggest software company in the world.

      Marketing

      MARKETING

      'Nuff said?

  10. jake Silver badge

    So Reiter's still trying to ...

    ... ensure a fat retirement with the help of Redmond, eh?

  11. wolfetone Silver badge
    Holmes

    Switching to Windows on "cost" grounds?

    So does that mean there's a fairly healthy subsidy coming from Microsoft to facilitate the switch?

    <cough>bribe</cough>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Switching to Windows on "cost" grounds?

      There seems to be no figures actually given in the report but it would be interesting to see the „Limux unter Druck“ report mentionned.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Switching to Windows on "cost" grounds?

        "There seems to be no figures actually given in the report but it would be interesting to see the „Limux unter Druck“ report mentionned."

        I think it's a safe bet that the politicians don't understand any of it, except the oh so unbiased conclusion.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Similarly high-profile or large-scale adoptions are hard to find

    Cmon, they're not that hard to find:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_adopters

  13. Ellipsis
    Boffin

    The document linked in the article is (if I’ve understood correctly) just a motion to alter an existing motion before the city council. Schultz above linked to the full motion, which as mentioned refers to an external assessment of the city’s IT. Related documents are here:

    https://www.ris-muenchen.de/RII/RII/ris_vorlagen_dokumente.jsp?risid=4169494

  14. jonfr

    The thing about Linux Desktop

    The problem with Linux Desktop is that it sucks, it sucks so badly that most people that use it hate it with passion. KDE GUI is mostly useless, the kernel is a mess (I'm running kernel 4.9.5). FreeBSD compared to Linux is a heaven to use and update (just the base system, the rest is more difficult to manage if your lucky).

    Just the time to solve problems around installing packages and getting software to run properly is Linux Desktop downfall and the main reason why it hasn't taken off. The only reason why Android is popular is that is just the Linux kernel, none of the other GUI mess that is connected to Linux.The rest in Android is just Java shell on top of the kernel to create the current GUI that people use on Android.

    Linux Desktop is never going to happen because Linux and FreeBSD (and the "Desktop" versions) are never going to take off. Because they lack ease of use and all the element that make them simple to use.

    I've been looking for a way out of Gentoo Linux for several years now. I now expect that I'm going to switch to Windows 10 soon as I got the necessary hard drive space to do so (I need to move ~2TB from Linux to Windows file systems, it is going to take a little planning and few extra hard drives). While Microsoft is difficult and often horrible, it is far easier to deal with on user based end than Gentoo Linux or any other binary Linux out there. I've been using Gentoo Linux from 2003, the reason I used Gentoo Linux is that its mostly easier to manage than other binary Linux that are available.

    I am however going to continue to use FreeBSD for my server. That works great and I'm happy about it. After switching FreeBSD for my server I learned that Linux is not even good as a server, not even just for basic http service.

    I understand Munich fully in this. They have just given up on the mess that GPL software is. There are few good open-source software out there, I for instance like LibreOffice and I use it a lot.

    1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

      You're talking FUD inspired nonsence straight out of Redmond, if you don't mind me saying so. The thing about Linux Desktop is that most people can't walk into the high street and buy one. Due to the onerous contracts Microsoft has forced on the OEMs.

      Ubuntu 3D Desktop (Cube) (KDE & Compiz Fusion & CairoDock)

      Gnome Shell 3.8 demo

      Unreal Engine 4 with OpenGL on Linux

      11 Things to do after installing ubuntu 16.04 LTS

      Lubuntu 16.04 LTS - See What's New

      1. David 138

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        Wasn't there a very high return on Linux boxes when they started selling them on the highstreet?

        People don't like change and moving from Windows to Linux is a kick in the nuts. Its horrible to get used to. You also have to learn all new programs as most wont run on Linux. For a small fee the user can stick with windows and be happy. That is why Linux doesn't sell.

        You also have to:

        retrain Staff to use the OS

        Retrain staff to use the Open office or some half baked option

        Retrain other companies when office wont open the files that came from that software, or they look like crap.

        Hire more expensive staff to maintain it.

        Custom build all of your software because no one supports it on the desktop.

        It goes on and on. No one produces software for it, no knows how to use it, no one wants the hassle of learning how to use it to save a tiny cost in the grand scale of things.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The thing about change

          "People don't like change and moving from Windows XP/7 to Windows 8/10 [ignoring Vista for obvious reasons] is a kick in the nuts. Its horrible to get used to. You also have to learn all new programs as most wont run right on the new version. For enough money the user can stick with the old version and be happy. " (minor edits)

          You Windows defenders need to stop using that 'familiarity' argument, as its logic is just as useful as an anti-MS argument as it is as a pro-MS argument, and that's the way it's been for years. Feel free to come up with a better pro-MS argument.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

          "People don't like change and moving from Windows to Linux is a kick in the nuts."

          About like the kick in the nuts that Windows inflicts on its users every version. KDE 3 > 4 was less of a change than the usual MS infliction, easy to set up how I prefer and I've been able to keep that through successive upgrades. The Office application menus have been similarly stable. I like stability of the UI. That's an advantage of using Linux and its applications. Who wants stuff that keeps getting broken?

    2. Lazy Jack

      Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

      You are so right. Businesses don't care that you can choose from 3 desktop environment and a gazillion window managers, all with different features broken or missing. They need one, to standardize on. This is what the FOSS movement does not understand. I know it is fun coming up with the nth window manager or whatever, but they should really concentrate the effort on the ones we already have and fix them.

      On LibreOffice, I unfortunately have much worse experience than you. I use it on my private computer and it works really fine for what I use. But in work, even though we are a small company, we use quite advanced features of Excel for example. LibreOffice just does not cut it and I'm not even talking about macros. Just pivot tables, large amount of data, analysis etc..We tried OO and LO and we failed. Office 365 is very good, and that is what we standardized in work. Cost was the least of the problems. It was features and reliability. We lost much more on lost productivity that what we pay for Office now.

      So what is good for home use is not necessarily good for critical business work.

      1. jonfr

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        I don't have the money for Microsoft Office at the moment. There is also an other thing about open source is that, what is good today might not be good tomorrow. I'm a writer and I need good working environment to do writing and LibreOffice is decent at that *mostly*, there are few problems that I've been able to work around for the moment. But those problems should have been resolved ages ago. This is just basic spell checking problems I'm dealing with (just adding a dictionary is a massive problem), not workspace problems as companies have (shared documents and other such things).

        Switching to Microsoft Office is something I might do if LibreOffice doesn't keep up with what I need.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        Standardize? Windows? Come on...

        Every version of windows the UI changes massively, similarly the office applications, the massive breakage of ribbon years ago, followed by more irritation each release.

        A significant number of people I know who work with Windows use a series of utilities to make Windows & office apps actually provide the look and feel they want rather than whatever is the MS favourite interface change this release cycle, that they they can maintain productivity instead of having to go through a big unlearn old GUI / learn new GUI experience that will need repeating again on next release.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        "Businesses don't care that you can choose from 3 desktop environment and a gazillion window managers, all with different features broken or missing. They need one, to standardize on."

        Agreed. It's astonishing that they seem to go with Windows: a different UI with every version, all with something broken. They finally get multiple workspaces but at the expense of all the suckage of the rest of W10.

      4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        > You are so right. Businesses don't care that you can choose from 3 desktop environment and a gazillion window managers, all with different features broken or missing. They need one, to standardize on.

        That is exactly why Munich has Limux. They use upstream repos for much of the OS and have chosen software and configured their distro where necessary to provide a standard desktop that suits their needs. The users don't get to choose different DEs and WMs.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

      This just doesn't make sense.

      KDE in appearance and functionality is pretty similar to a classic Windows except - oh, they've finally got multiple workspaces working on Windows now. Most distros are a good deal easier to manage than Windows - maybe Gentoo is different.

      I've also tried FreeBSD. I'd like to switch to it - no systemd. It ran KDE as a UI I agree with you about the split personality, it needs something like synaptic to ease management of software management; having to flip between a web-site to search for software and command line to install it is just plain daft, however a GUI wrapper round it wouldn't have been impossible. In the end it fell down because I needed it to work with a Wacom tablet and the integration of that seems to have fallen by the wayside and I ended up running Devuan.

      However good luck with W10, it seems to fit with your hair shirt approach.

      1. jonfr

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        @ Doctor Syntax

        Yes and no. For instance with KDE they still haven't figured out a way to install program icons properly into the menu due a lack of standard way to do so. Not all programs that exist in Linux support KDE and so on. Making this a rather big problem.

        Systemd is a security risk (from what I have seen of documents about it, I don't bother to switch to it), the reason why FreeBSD doesn't use it is for the fact that the base system (kernel, drivers) is maintained separately from the program base (Apache, samba and so on). It is far easier to use FreeBSD and to maintain it then to do so on any Linux distro I have used since 2003. That's why I'm going to continue to use FreeBSD for my server usage. Like Linux, FreeBSD and other like it are no good at Desktop. Why FreeBSD has not hit the mobile market is something I don't understand yet.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

          "For instance with KDE they still haven't figured out a way to install program icons properly into the menu due a lack of standard way to do so. Not all programs that exist in Linux support KDE and so on. Making this a rather big problem."

          Who's "they"? In general if the application exists in the distro it will have menu entries complete with icons installed. In addition 3rd party packages available as .debs will also install in the menu. Something you download as a tarball, maybe not. In any event I end up shuffling things around in the menu to suit myself, something that Windows seems to move away from with every successive release.

          BTW there is a standard way to do it: https://www.freedesktop.org/

          Gnome, like KDE, comes with a set of default applications. These are usually tied to the Gnome libraries. If they're deeply integrated into Gnome, Evolution for example, it's likely that you won't install them without bringing in the whole of Gnome with it even if it's not your default desktop. In general this isn't necessary although some extra libraries might be needed, I even run galculator as my preferred calculator.

          I'm with you on systemd - when I found I couldn't get Wacom working with it I went to Devuan although I have concerns about their chances in the long run as systemd insinuates itself further into the Linux ecosystem.

          As I said in another post, FreeBSD seem to see themselves as primarily a server OS which is why they might not be quite the ideal desktop. Nevertheless I'd have gone with it as desktop OS if Wacom had been better implemented.

          1. jonfr

            Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

            Anyone that is developing GUI for Linux. As for FreeDesktop website it says a lot about the current progress that the website hasn't been updated since 8th May 2013.

            As for a list of Linux Desktop problems. It appears more people than just me are fed up with this nonsense. You can read the list here.

            https://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html (2017)

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

              "As for FreeDesktop website it says a lot about the current progress that the website hasn't been updated since 8th May 2013."

              Who wants to chase ever-moving standards? Stability is good.

              1. jonfr

                Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

                @ Doctor Syntax

                Stability is one thing, stagnation is a different thing. Its easy to confuse those two together. Linux/GNU has somewhat stagnated over the years. I'm not sure who's fault that is, but it has happened for some reason and getting out of or attempts to do so don't appear to be going nowhere.

                1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

                  "Stability is one thing, stagnation is a different thing"

                  Well, guess what! The wold of City Council administration isn't all that hot...

                  I'm sure they'll survive without the bling.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

            " when I found I couldn't get Wacom working with it"

            Dammit - loss of context. "It" in this case was FreeBSD.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

          > Not all programs that exist in Linux support KDE and so on. Making this a rather big problem.

          GUI programs are written to use a GUI library. KDE (and other DEs) are written to use a GUI library. As long as the library is installed (and they all can be) the program will run and this is independent of which DE is being used. It is a trivial problem, primarily because the appropriate libraries are installed as dependencies when the program is installed.

        3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

          Jon, I'm not sure if you're using sloppy terminology, but whilst yes, applications are updated separately from the OS on BSD, one of the major BSD/Linux differences is that BSD features an integrated kernel and userland, and Linux does not. There's then ports/packages on top of the base userland, but for FreeBSD it seems pretty necessary to do an update on a regular basis when installing new apps as even on STABLE components can get out of sync. Course, if you're mainly running apache this is likely to be less on an issue.

          systemd has nothing to do with this architecture, and is a very Linux specific solution. If it existed under FreeBSD it would be maintained as part of base.

          In the nicest possible way, if you don't have money to buy Office, the companies that would create a decent e-mail based collaboration system don't care about you. This isn't going to happen for free, it needs a large population of users to sign up for it. At the home user end this will not happen, because they'll use Google apps instead.

          FreeBSD hasn't hit the mobile market because there's no room for it. For better or worse Android went with Linux, and everyone else except iOS have failed to make any dent on the market - the technical underpinnings are irrelevant too, as Android really was awful when released, and it's hardly perfect now.

          Also, the FreeBSD team lack the resource. FreeBSD support on laptops is barely adequate, forget mobiles. It took until FreeBSD 11 before my ten year old laptop stopped shutting down due to heat, something that doesn't occur on any version of Windows, probably didn't happen under Linux, and didn't happen under the other BSDs either. The FreeBSD mailing lists freely admit laptop support is sub par.

          1. jonfr

            Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

            @ BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

            The problem in Linux/GNU are many, too many to list in this one or several comments. But one among those problems is lack of direction, even among the open source companies. Since they just take the vanilla packages and make small changes to them and send it along its way.

            The reason for instance why I use Gentoo Linux is that at the time (2003) it was the most manageable distro of Linux/GNU to use. I had to learn it from start at the time, since I had not been into Linux or Unix environment at that time.

            Then there are other problems, like unresolved bugs. Linus throwing tantrum at developers and other such issues (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/05/torvalds_sievers_dust_up/). It does not help in the long run and damages the workflow (seriously, it does do that).

            When it comes to *BSD the problems are different. Lack of direction is not the issue there, but as you mention, in part due to lack of manpower and support from hardware companies. There also seems to be, at least in part to be a lack of will of moving forward. Hardware development has moved forward and today's computers are based on UEFI standard that has made the old BIOS standard obsolete. That issue was not address until it was too late in Linux/GNU and it's still a major problem in some distros (I switched to Lilo in Gentoo Linux to in part avoid the problem with GRUB2 and UEFI). I don't know the status in *BSD, but it might well be that they have moved things more along then Linux distros.

            For instance, there seems to be a growing problem in KDE development and it is only getting worse as the time passes (article: https://ask.slashdot.org/story/16/08/21/0327239/ask-slashdot-is-kde-dying).

            GNOME is not doing any better, I however had problems finding articles about it.

            Sure, Microsoft has major problems them self, so does Apple. With all the mess that is going on in the world today, the major software companies are going to have issues and often they make policies (as Microsoft has done, http://www.computerworld.com/article/2878026/microsoft-to-business-dont-worry-about-windows-10-consumers-will-test-it.html), current polices on several matters are just plain stupid and dangerous.

            Linux has great usage in many fields. For instance my router runs a Linux based operating system and so does my mobile. The thing about Desktop usage is that it is focused on one task, that is generally watching video, playing games. There isn't much else in Desktop usage for people, the nerds and the geeks have there own special usage that falls slightly outside of this category, but not by much.

            I can also add, one of the problems with KDE Plasma 5 is that they didn't even bother to include a log-in manager as they did with older versions of KDE. Now I have to run lightdm log-in manager, I did try to run SDDM log-in manager but it is so buggy that is in fact useless. That's no good for the Desktop user or anyone making distros for desktop usage.

            There is always going to be a market share for open source desktop. That is not going to change the current state its in. Things might improve in the future and I hope it does, but until then, this is going to be a big mess.

            1. Chemist

              Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

              "I can also add, one of the problems with KDE Plasma 5 is that they didn't even bother to include a log-in manager as they did with older versions of KDE."

              Does not compute !!!

              (Funny, I seem to have to log-in to a manager)

              1. jonfr

                Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

                @ Chemist, I did go with lightdm in the end. It worked, but I can't say its user friendly. Far as I know, the "default" KDE Plasma 5 log-in manager (sddm) continues to be a buggy pile of not working programming problems.

                See here,

                https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=193286

                http://askubuntu.com/questions/776937/sddm-not-starting-after-upgrade-to-16-04-gnome-and-kde-both-installed

                Some of the older bugs might be resolved by now (one can always hope).

                1. Chemist

                  Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

                  "Far as I know, the "default" KDE Plasma 5 log-in manager (sddm)..."

                  Well I'm using OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 with Plasma5 and sddm and I've not had any probs. Most of the issues in the first post you quote look like mis-config, mis-understanding ....

            2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

              Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

              So far as UEFI goes on the BSDs, and also GPT, the answer is that the main BSDs (Free, Open, Net) can all handle UEFI and GPT. They didn't for some time because it was not a priority (UEFI almost always also supports legacy boot), and the 2TB disk limit associated with MBR could be worked around as all the BSDs (on x86 architectures) can modify the disklabel to override the MBR (don't know the state on non x86 platforms, macppc ports tend to use funky HFS schemes, but can also use disklabel, and AUX iirc. Other platforms have their own quirks).

              I generally love the way the BSDs are put together, but there's a lot of engineering required in some areas to bring them up to the level of functionality available in Windows, and to a lesser extent Linux. FreeBSD's virtualisation capabilities are not as good as Linux. NetBSD is a hodgepodge of functionality working to a greater or lesser degree. OpenBSD is limited with modern X server drivers, has no firewire, bluetooth, and has deliberately removed Linux compatibility (no-one was using it), and can't run Wine (technically I think the reason for this, page zero mapping, can probably now be worked around either with DOSBox, or disabling 16 bit compatibility)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

      I am however going to continue to use FreeBSD for my server. That works great and I'm happy about it. After switching FreeBSD for my server I learned that Linux is not even good as a server, not even just for basic http service.

      Interesting. We're in the process of setting up a new company, but we too have this Linux vs FreeBSD debate, mainly because most FOSS things such as email servers and CMS work quite well on FreeBSD but the platform itself offers a far smaller attack surface as it's not as widely used.

      Given that we presently use a FreeBSD based ISP I think I need to go and have a chat with them. Especially when it comes to handling customer and payment data I want to make sure it's as safe as we can possibly make it.

      1. jonfr

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        "Interesting. We're in the process of setting up a new company, but we too have this Linux vs FreeBSD debate, mainly because most FOSS things such as email servers and CMS work quite well on FreeBSD but the platform itself offers a far smaller attack surface as it's not as widely used. [..]"

        For network use I really recommend NetBSD or OpenBSD (on corporate level). They are more secure then FreeBSD (a lot more secure then Linux), but has its own set of problems. Anything can be configured with FreeBSD, but the default settings is something to contend with for secure usage. FreeBSD can be made really secure, it just takes some work and I don't think mass deployment is a big problem. Updating it is easy compared to Linux.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

          "Updating [FreeBSD] it is easy compared to Linux."

          I've done both. Not really a problem with either.

      2. nijam

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        > ... smaller attack surface as it's not as widely used

        That's not what attack surface means.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

        "We're in the process of setting up a new company, but we too have this Linux vs FreeBSD debate"

        I get the impression that the FreeBSD folks see themselves as primarily a server OS and the desktop stuff as a bolted-on extra they're not quite sure about.

        FreeBSD on the server and Linux on the desktop might be the way to go. The one point I'd make about the server choice is whether you need commercial support; I haven't looked at what's available on the BSD side whilst the commercially supported Linux distros are well known.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

          I get the impression that the FreeBSD folks see themselves as primarily a server OS and the desktop stuff as a bolted-on extra they're not quite sure about.

          FreeBSD on the server and Linux on the desktop might be the way to go. The one point I'd make about the server choice is whether you need commercial support; I haven't looked at what's available on the BSD side whilst the commercially supported Linux distros are well known.

          At the moment we're Linux on server and macOS as desktop because it gives us (for our purposes) a near perfect mix of functionality and access to commercial software although we can't test what clients see with MS Outlook 2016 on Mac because of the insanely stupid way it entirely ignores whatever you set as server and STILL tries to access the server it derives from the email address - a security risk that Microsoft has officially deemed not a problem (so it didn't have to pay out the security reward) but which also happens to totally disable functionality. BTW, we don't use Outlook or any other Microsoft products ourselves - doesn't fit into our risk profile, and we prefer software that works following Open Standards. ActiveSync and MSOOXML aren't.

          Typical for a herd of tech people we found a solution in the middle: we will first progress the virtualisation conversion which will allow us to quickly spin up servers for test purposes and we will then start testing <some>BSD (thank you for the suggestions here - I suspect I may have been mistaken about the *Free*BSD our ISP uses, it may indeed be OpenBSD or NetBSD). As for support, as we have local expertise I'm not too worried - the benefit of virtualisation is that it normalises the hardware so the main areas to watch are more security related patches and how quickly they arrive. That's why we test first :).

          Thank you for the comments.

  15. MrXavia

    It all comes down to applications... No matter how cloudy you go, there will always be something you need to run locally that only works in Windows... You will rarely find something that works on Linux that doesn't have a windows binary available

    I would love Linux to take over from Windows, but it won't happen until games and applications port themselves over to Linux... Which won't happen until Linux is more popular...

    It is a catch 22... Even Mac's only survive because of pretty hardware.... most people I know who use macs also run a Windows VM....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does any of this address....

    The cost of Online Privacy? Presumably its going to be a monumental Windows-10 rollout. So how is slurping going to be handled??? After all this is Germany, and they're usually very sensitive about 'never again'...

    1. jonfr

      Re: How does any of this address....

      There is no such thing as Online Privacy. If you want privacy, keep it off-line.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: How does any of this address....

        "There is no such thing as Online Privacy. If you want privacy, keep it off-line."

        I think he meant connected-to-the-internet privacy. (No spying built-in into the OS.)

        Not "I put everything on Facebook"-privacy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does any of this address....

      It won't be the home version of windows 10 so most of the spyware will be disabled, the rest can be blocked at the firewall.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: How does any of this address....

        "most of the spyware will be disabled, the rest can be blocked at the firewall"

        That just smacks of good design..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'That just smacks of good design..'

          And if its true that Enterprise is also affected then its futile...

          https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2017/02/09/microsoft_pitches_windows_10_to_developers_creators_update/#c_3099580

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'There is no such thing as Online Privacy. If you want privacy, keep it off-line.'

      * We're talking about Win-10 OS spying and slurping here!

      * Read up on DoNotSpy10 and also fix10.isleaked.com etc.

      * However, it seems that that even 'Enterprise' isn't immune:

      https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2017/02/09/microsoft_pitches_windows_10_to_developers_creators_update/#c_3099580

  17. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Get it right

    The proposal will be voted on next week, but its passage is not guaranteed as the ruling Social Democratic Party is in coalition with the Greens and the latter party opposes the change.

    At least according to Heise, Munich is currently run by an SPD/CSU coalition. The CSU in particular loves to do sweetheart deals with large companies.

    I was chatting with a mate of mine about IT strategy for the next few years and it seems Microsoft has been reasonably successful in lobbying companies to give them another round. This is probably the last one before everything moves to BYOD + docking station + cloud.

    The migration costs alone probably make this a zero sum game but there's no denying that it's not as easy to get support for a large Linux desktop installation as it is for Windows.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Get it right

      "BYOD + docking station + cloud"

      Only works for hipster companies who don't have time to worry about security because they have to hurry up burning through their Kickstarter money.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Get it right

        I think you're assuming that by "cloud" I mean a heap on unreliable bits of SaaS on the internet and waving goodbye to all their data. In fact, businesses are looking hard at running their own SaaS "clouds" as a way of simplifying infrastructure: you get a device and the network is configured to provide you with the apps you need and make sure the data is only where it should be.

        Hipster companies do tend to make a lot of mistakes but their focus on doing as little system administration as possible has its merits as an approach.

  18. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Money, money, money, money, money, money..

    Money makes the world go around, money makes the world go around.. [repeat]

    Yeah.. No-one got any "incentives" to make these decisions, I'm sure.

    P.S: The first fix is free.. And how on earth can anyone trust MS after they rolled out their forced "upgrade" to spyware program?

  19. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "At the time the report was released, the FSFE questioned why Accenture was commissioned to co-author a report assessing the use of Microsoft software, when the consultancy runs a joint venture with Microsoft called Avanade, which helps businesses implement Microsoft technologies."

    Nuff said.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's not Linux, it's Office

    I don't think it's Linux vs. Windows as I hardly see maintaining Linux more expensive than maintaining Windows. I've setup some Linux desktops in a primary school in 2008 and never touched them again until what 2015 ... Then, the HW being from end of 90s decided to die ...

    But LibreOffice (can't say for Open Office as it's been years I haven't touched it) UI is very different than Office's (and actually, is pretty bollocks on LO), and I can see supporting normal or advanced users of MS Office being a huge cost vs. LO or OO ... TOC, references, even indentation icons are hidden on LO vs. plain obvious in MS O.

    I have the same issue at home and had, for OS X, to revert to MS Office. Couldn't even support myself ...

    1. Chemist

      Re: it's not Linux, it's Office

      "even indentation icons are hidden on LO vs. plain obvious in MS O."

      On my copies (uncustomized) they are present

      (Version: 5.0.6.3, Version: 4.3.3.2, Version 4.1.6.2, Version 5.2.3.3, Version 3.5.42, Version 4.4.3.2)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: it's not Linux, it's Office

      "I've setup some Linux desktops in a primary school in 2008... even indentation icons are hidden on LO"

      I take it that if you set up the desktops you also set up LO. In that case why did you hide the formatting toolbar? That's where the indentation icons live.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: it's not Linux, it's Office

      I have the same issue at home and had, for OS X, to revert to MS Office. Couldn't even support myself ...

      I've been using LibreOffice for both home and business use for over 5 years now. For us it's perfectly usable, and I haven't had to retrain anyone ONCE because of an UI change. I am willing to caveat that statement with the realisation that this may not work for everyone, especially those that run large spreadsheets or waste a lot of time tinkering with unmaintainable VBA add-ons, but we prefer stability and simplicity as we have very high security demands. The other benefit of LO is that it renders documents the same irrespective of platform (especially with embedded fonts enabled).

      I have just done a test Office 365 on a Mac, and the prime reason for this test, Outlook, STILL has a serious security bug that has been with it since 2015 but which MS deems "not a problem". Based on that and its inability to talk any Open Standard such as caldav and carddav it will all be removed again and the explicit bar on Microsoft software will be maintained.

      As for presentation software, on the rare occasions we use that we use Keynote as it is simpler and thus forces the presenter to focus on what they want to convey and not waste time with endless features that just distract - Keynote will make sure it still looks good. Again, no need for MS software.

      The only viable reason for MS Office could be Excel. If we were to work with more complex data sets and get audit to agree that the work was indeed auditable I could see an installation happen on a system on a subnet with limited, firewalled access to the core.

      Until then, we save ourselves a little money (Office 365 isn't really expensive - yet) and avoid risk.

  21. jason 7

    I guess the support team got fed up hearing...

    ..."Why doesn't it work like my Windows PC at home and the work PC I had before?"

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: I guess the support team got fed up hearing...

      "Why doesn't it work like my Windows PC at home and the work PC I had before?"

      I think these issues are just in the mind of some politicians. Most people don't use the same software at home as they do at the office, so why would they make a complaint like that?

      Most things they would do at the office would be completely mandated by the software they use, and the rest of the IT structure. Nothing like sitting at home surfing the web or playing some games.

      I'm pretty sure Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V works in both places.

      Are the Munich employees total idiots? I doubt that.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I guess the support team got fed up hearing...

        "I think these issues are just in the mind of some politicians....Are the Munich employees total idiots?"

        It's politics.

      2. jason 7

        Re: I guess the support team got fed up hearing...

        Erm in the world I live in and support, most people on their domestic PCs use Windows 7/8.1 and 10 and Office. A lot use Office 365.

        Most offices I work in also use...Windows 7/10 and Office. A lot use Office365/13/16.

        I have tried pushing Linux and Open Office to customers. Told them its cheaper or free. They still don't want it or like it. Users are stubborn creatures. They like what they know.

        I bet this is more the reason that any politics or corporate skulduggery. But read into it what you will.

  22. DonatelloNobatti

    A windows email client is necessary

    Otherwise, how can you email someone a virus?

  23. fredesmite

    Linux desktops are pretty piss poor

    Ubuntu has to the ugliest of the group .. Fedora isn't bad.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Linux desktops are pretty piss poor

      It would appear that you're referring to the UI. Unlike Windows you have a choice. If you don't like the standard Ubuntu interface (they got to W8-style before MS) then you have KDE, Gnome, XFCE or whatever a few clicks away. I don't know what the default Fedora is these days but again you have a choice. With W10 you have W10.

      1. alisonken1

        Re: Linux desktops are pretty piss poor

        As a current Fedora user, I can say that Fedora follows RedHat with Gnome as the default. I had to specifically look for a Fedora disk that had KDE on it - otherwise it would have been a base Fedora install followed by 'dnf update' followed by 'dnf install kde*'

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Linux desktops are pretty piss poor

        "It would appear that you're referring to the UI. Unlike Windows you have a choice."

        There are numerous alternative UI interfaces for Windows too. For instance Classic Shell.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well it could have been worse, they could have decided to move to Macs!! That really would have been a move to the dark side, closed software + closed hardware+big fat Apple margins!!!

  25. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    2004?

    Well, heck, 13 years of Penguin Rule ain't bad! It served them well, obviously.

    But, times change. That pendulum does have a habit of swinging back, however....

  26. PAT MCCLUNG

    Munich

    if this report is true, it is the most disgusting, unreasonable, fake, paid-for, bribed, sell-out by the Munich municipality I can possible imagine, since the premise that Windows would be (in some way) better, or cheaper or more functional than Linux is demonstrably false, in every possible respect and circumstance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Munich

      @PAT MCCLUNG

      "Munich

      if this report is true, it is the most disgusting, unreasonable, fake, paid-for, bribed, sell-out by the Munich municipality I can possible imagine, since the premise that Windows would be (in some way) better, or cheaper or more functional than Linux is demonstrably false, in every possible respect and circumstance."

      yeah yeah, you're a fully paid up M$ hater (see what I did there, aren't I the clever one ;), we feel your pain. Did that nasty Bill Gates steal your milk when you were a baby!?

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Munich

        "you're a fully paid up M$ hater"

        You can get payed for that? Where do I sign up?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Munich

          "You can get payed for that? Where do I sign up?"

          GoogleApps.com

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Munich

      "the premise that Windows would be (in some way) better, or cheaper or more functional than Linux is demonstrably false, in every possible respect and circumstance."

      That must be why almost no one uses Windows on the desktop. Oh, wait....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crossover works fairly well under Linux

    A site-wide licence would be a lot cheaper than conversion.

    1. Stuart Castle

      Re: Crossover works fairly well under Linux

      Until you find any support contracts you have with your various suppliers are invalidated because you are only emulating an OS that they tested their product on and support.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Crossover works fairly well under Linux

        "Until you find any support contracts you have with your various suppliers are invalidated because you are only emulating an OS that they tested their product on and support."

        If you really want to go down that path then you could demonstrate the same problem on a native OS version. It's the same with a lot of software licenses and virtualisation...

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Crossover works fairly well under Linux

      "A site-wide licence would be a lot cheaper than conversion."

      I would imagine that if asked nicely, Microsoft would probably give them free or very low cost swap outs of their Linux solution licences to Windows just for the positive publicity of Munich returning to the fold, and they would only need to pay for the ongoing support / maintenance. However the licensing and vendor support costs are usually only a small part of the TCO.

      There are two hinted reasons in the Munich article as to why they are likely to migrate back: a) the end users detest the solution and want Windows / real Microsoft Office, and b) most business software runs on Windows and they have found that integrating a zoo of Open Source stuff to do roughly the same thing is far more time consuming, painful, less reliable, and is harder to support.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Crossover works fairly well under Linux

        > There are two hinted reasons in the Munich article as to why they are likely to migrate back: a) the end users detest the solution and want Windows / real Microsoft Office,

        That is merely your imagination and your agenda.

        > and b) most business software runs on Windows

        That is not actually true. Most business software is in-house developed and will run on whatever it is required to work on. Bought in applications, for example SAP, can _run_ on Linux. The particular software that is at issue is the client UI for SAP for the HR department. Currently this is Windows but in the period of this review will become web based so will only require a thin client browser. There are other legacy systems which are accessed on Windows machines by a minority of users.

  28. Spaceman Spiff

    Except for tech support teams, every company I have worked with in the past 7 years (Nokia, Adobe, Panasonic,...) is issuing laptops to all employees. That is the "desktop" for the current decades. People go to a meeting and need to present some "stuff" to the team. One laptop + one huge monitor + one hookup device and voila - instant presentation that the rest of the team can download to their laptops via WiFi as necessary.

  29. Mad Hacker
    Thumb Down

    Don't understand the cost argument

    I'd like to see a breakdown of how they came at a "cost" for something that in general doesn't require licensing.

    Sure support and integration and maybe a small amount of training can be more than the license for an OS *but* I'd like to know how the costs breakdown and what areas they identified as potential savings. Of course, they probably won't release those details.

    Now maybe they are interested in using technologies that are not available for Linux (Skype is not very good on Linux and I'm not aware of other common video conferencing apps for Linux) and they are calling that a "cost" Or maybe they think Active Directory is easier to maintain than LDAP on Linux.

    Still I'd like to see what areas they think they are going to save money in and what their pain points were.

    Basically sad to see this grand experiment didn't work out.

  30. JLV Silver badge

    I'd like to know more...

    So, we have a lot of speculation and not many clear facts. Might I suggest El Reg trying to actually talk to either Heise? Or someone @ Munich? It's not that small a city and it has good beer.

    If this story has legs then it would be a good learning experience for the FOSS crowd to figure out what went wrong. Outlook or lack of specialized biz-specific apps that run _well_? (program X did this but we can't get it)? Distro customization costs/quality? Training? (Win 8 anyone?). Is it that running a complex business/govt organization does NOT require the same ecosystem and apps as the needs of an IT-savvy organization whose goal is IT? Or the needs of departments looking after IT infrastructure? Superior marketing/back scratching? What was the involvement of the big consultancies? They're usually a kiss of death.

    The "how dare they/it makes no sense/they're idiots/my granny could do it/disgusting bribery" howls don't seem very useful to lil ol me. Given how much of a hash Windows is making of the desktop, there is a good potential that an appropriate offering, meeting the needs of end users and management, not just the IT priesthood, could make gradual inroads in the enterprise. Whether that's based on Linux or Macs is actually not that important. Either would still light a fire under Redmonds ass.

    But first you have to learn from mistakes.

    And if it's an "at this point Linux is just unsuitable for large general business /govt deployments" then, as a taxpayer that's also good to know.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Controversial! :))

    Maybe security or lack of it is a factor as well. I well remember back in the early 00's there was a smug consensus in forums like this that somehow Linux was inherently superior security-wise and in any case it was open source so the 'many eyeballs' principal applied and insecure code would be quickly weeded out. I used to point out that no piece of complicated software can be completely bug free and as soon as any OS became popular hackers would find and exploit it's weaknesses. Well that has been well and truly proven correct hasn't it! It turns out most of the eye balls on the code didn't actually fully understand it and zero days were there all along to be found. So maybe, Linux's security halo has slipped somewhatl. And it's association with Android doesn't do it any favours in that regard either! So any projected cost savings on security software have vanished.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "I well remember back in the early 00's there was a smug consensus in forums like this that somehow Linux was inherently superior security-wise"

      If you are comparing to the Win 95 branch of Windows, then that would have been 100% correct. Probably compared with early NT based Windows too, but I wouldn't bet on that. (Given what functionality MS pushed down into the kernel it would suprise me if I wasn't right, though.)

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      "Linux's security halo has slipped somewhatl"

      Yep when you compare Enterprise Linux distributions they usually have far more holes per year than an equivalent Windows install - even with a cut down Linux install to match Windows OOB functionality.

      The main difference is that because people commonly use and interact with Windows on the desktop - providing a route to get exploits run - so it gets targeted - so the exploit risk is higher.

      If you look at Windows on the server - it's about 4 times less likely to be exploited than Linux as an internet facing system (yes that allows for market share!)

      If people used Linux on the desktop in significant numbers then you would likely have similar issues. See for instance: https://arstechnica.co.uk/security/2016/12/fedora-and-ubuntu-zero-days-hacking-linux/

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        FAIL

        Yep when you compare Enterprise Linux distributions they usually have far more holes per year than an equivalent Windows install - even with a cut down Linux install to match Windows OOB functionality.

        The main thing with that (which unlikely is true - at least I see you MS shills no longer try to compare a weeks worth of MS OS-only exploits to a decade's worth of Linux+BSD+Mac OS+all software ever written for them and say "see, Linux etc had 2 more exploits total for the decade than Windows had for the week, Windows is so much more secure" - well done on that improvement!) is that while the MS average fix time is "we will never fix it" and in the ones they do fix, you have weeks or months till they acknowledge it is there (a few times in the past I have had MS MULC1 or whatever they call them saying that a certain fault is "impossible" even when it can be demonstrated to them quite easily), then up to a month till the update actually gets on to your computer, where you then have the fun of forced reboots for minor updates to a crappy "web browser", settings/policies being changed, your personal data fed back to MS and so on. Oh, and likely the loss of internet use or other "minor" hardware changes, like your screen no longer working.

        Think I'll take the very slight risk that this could catch me over the very likely risk that I would have something running in Windows that I don't know about, whether the malware/spyware came from MS or elsewhere.

        1 Most Useless Lying C...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As Sir Humphrey often said about consultant's reports

    You get what you pay them for.

    I am reminded of a consultat hired years ago to "improve" the IT environment of our s/w shop. We wrote very specialised maths libraries, almost all on Unix but also embedded systems. Desktops were a mix of Linux and FreeBSD with a smattering of Windows. After 15 y, I well remember the conversation.

    We do simulation work with X, Y, and home-grown stuff.

    "So you use Excel"

    No, we use X, Y, and home-grown stuff. Mostly written in "C" but other domain-specific languages are used. We run them on our Solaris servers.

    "So you use Excel"

    And so it went. His report recommended switching to an all-Windows environment. Our VP-R&D looked at it and asked: What do we with our customers? Report shelved. Money wasted.

  33. kryptylomese

    they MAY...

    Or they MAY not - This is not news unless they actually DO!

  34. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Anecdote

    Here some anecdotal evidence, as good as any other evidence:

    My better other half works at a typical town office departement, with 100% Windows.

    From home they use some VPN with some Citrix-like stuff. Looks sluggish to me, but works ok.

    Every other week or so something doesn't work. Half a day here, half a day there wasted. People can't access their files. Sometimes the problem persists from one week to the beginning of next.

    Their IT department people don't seem to be the sharpest tools out there, exactly.

    She often have to help people younger than herself who can't seem to be able to cut and paste.

    Now, how easy would it be to come in and promise Shangri-La, if only they would switch to this other system that everyone else is using? (say Linux, for the sake of this thought-experiment.)

    I'd say it would be a doodle to write up a report of the many, many benefits of this other system. Welcome to heaven...

    So my question to Munich would be: Your issues, are they REALLY any worse than other systems, relying on Windows? Or were you promised a pie in the sky?

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. martinusher Silver badge

    I'll be interested to see what Windows is like in 2020

    Windows is a weird environment to work in because its just plain non-standard -- its not even compatible with itself. I've just suffered through yet another migration of the platform in the workplace and I'm glad that I'm just about retired, out of it, because unless you're just MS-everything then its a crapshoot whether programs will work reliably from one month to the next. Most of it is silly stuff -- non-standard file separators, case insensitivity, reliance on file extensions to indicate file types, all holdovers from MS-DOS -- but the real killer for me is the appalling user model and lack of a usable remote access capability that's more sophisticated than a remote desktop. The system is a mess -- its OK for home use, its usable for office work that just makes emails, documents and presentations but as a professional strength system its a shambles. Retiring is my way of ducking out of having to keep fighting with it -- you can't argue with True Believers so I'll just let Natural Selection do its thing.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could it just be that external suppliers are not able to deliver "that special app" in Linux mode for the same price as the Windows version -- and that someone has not yet understood that, for such external code, it's best to provide a Web interface than anything closely tied to a desktop?

    By the way, over here we are slowly replacing Outlook functionality, not because the code or the app are bad, but because the paradigm "everyuthing is mail" is.

  38. The_Idiot

    If I may...

    "But the desktop is arguably the only market in which Linux has not done exceedingly well."

    While I understand the 'market' and 'desktop' under discussion in Munich is a more corporate one, taking the words as quoted above at their face value I'd suggest the mid to high end gaming one, a market inhabited by creatures who often have money to spend and spend it (whether on hardware or software) is _not_ in fact one in which Linux has done 'exceedingly well'. at least, not so far. I would therefore contest the view stated. Of course, I'm an Idiot... (blush).

  39. azaks

    its not rocket science chaps...

    Businesses don't share your ideology around Linux/oss.

    A PC is nothing more than a tool to get shit done, and like all businesses, they are choosing the most cost-effective way of meeting their needs. You don't need to be a genius to understand that labor costs are one of the highest many businesses have - a few hundred (or even thousand) dollars per seat for licensing is always going to be less than the costs of retraining, hiring from a smaller talent pool, replatforming, integration etc.

    They don't care about the choice provided by thousands of distros and things forking into a million directions, gaining and losing support at the whim of people outside of their org. Where you see this as pure innovation and choice, they only see instability and risk.

    Best to take off the geek glasses occasionally and view the world from other people's perspective.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: its not rocket science chaps...

      > They don't care about the choice provided by thousands of distros and things forking into a million directions, gaining and losing support at the whim of people outside of their org.

      That is why they have they own distro based on upstream systems (so they get the updates) but with choices and configurations limited to what is suitable for their users' needs.

      1. Stuart Castle

        Re: its not rocket science chaps...

        "That is why they have they own distro based on upstream systems (so they get the updates) but with choices and configurations limited to what is suitable for their users' needs."

        Which may be what is putting a lot of Enterprises (large and small, commercial and public) off. They would need at least one person dedicated to this. Preferably more that one because if you have only one person on staff with intimate knowledge of all the customisations you have made to your OS (whichever OS it happens to be), you are leaving yourself in a very precarious position. Even if you insist they document it, you'd better make sure that documentation is checked, as it may be incomplete.

        This is going to cost money, and most organisations are trying to cut IT budgets to the bone. In the long term, it may actually be cheaper to buy in a product, and the relevant expertise to use it. Microsoft have done a very good job (from their point of view) of ensuring all our schools, colleges and Universities are teaching Microsoft products, and they are also widely used in the business sector, so Microsoft system admins and technicians are far more plentiful (and therefore often cheaper) than Linux/Unix sysadmins and technicians.

        There's also the fact that if you buy a product from a company (be it Microsoft or whoever) and it fails, the sale of goods act (amongst others) gives you a lot of legal protection, and also enables you to sue the manufacturer should you need to. Who do you sue if Linux (or any Open Source product) fails? You can buy support contracts, but the protection offered by the Law would only apply to the provision of that contract. The contract may require that they make reasonable efforts to fix the code if the code is the problem, but it will probably also include clauses limiting their liability in the event that the code at fault was written by someone outside the company.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: its not rocket science chaps...

          > Preferably more that one because if you have only one person on staff with intimate knowledge of all the customisations you have made to your OS (whichever OS it happens to be), you are leaving yourself in a very precarious position.

          How is this different from Windows in an enterprise where they are running their own update server and have centralised configuration control? Do you think that that requires zero persons?

          > This is going to cost money

          Do you think that controlling and testing Windows updates, configuring profiles, monitoring licences, and all the other tasks doesn't cost money? And then there is the odd million a year on licence costs.

          > will probably also include clauses limiting their liability

          Do you think that Microsoft doesn't "include clauses limiting their liability" ?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: its not rocket science chaps...

          "the sale of goods act (amongst others) gives you a lot of legal protection, and also enables you to sue the manufacturer should you need to. "

          Really?

          Putting aside the fact that the SoGA is generally viewed as more applicable to consumer than business-to-business transactions, and the fact that most individuals don't buy Windows/Office/etc (they get their MSware bundled by MS-dependent system builders, who will claim to accept no responsibility for the bundled software), that doesn't leave much does it really?

          And among what it does leave, how many successful lawsuits have there been?

          Meanwhile, how many lawsuits has MS faced (and lost), e.g. wrt to its anti-competitive behaviour?

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: its not rocket science chaps...

      "A PC is nothing more than a tool to get shit done, and like all businesses, they are choosing the most cost-effective way of meeting their needs."

      So incredibly naive!

      I haven't seen any signs of the City Council around here EVER doing anything cost effectively.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    El Reg ???????

    Cost is not a factor, never actually mentioned, the factors are clients that want to impose MS Office, and SAP, that supports no client platform properly, however, spits out data in a file with XLS extension which is not an XLS file and claims Excel "integration" - I already laughed a high ranking SAP dev out of the room about that! When you convert spool to XLS, for example, SAP actually spits out CSV data in a file with XLS extension ... poor man's attempt to fool silly Windows users that they are opening an XLS file, and apparently, it works. For the nerds, if you want to know the exact function module, I can look it up.

    So, SAP are a bunch are retards, as usual ...

    Actually, this is due to Dieter Reiter, who wants to revert the decision made by Christian Ude, the former mayor ... so political BS, if you ask me ...

  41. Lord_Beavis
    Linux

    Pussies

    Giving up so soon?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another log on the bonfire..

    I'll add my own observations here.

    Times past it was known that a Unix engy could look after 10 times the machines a Windows engy could, basically because they could delegate work to their computers. Good cost savings there: Free 24/7 workforce.

    Now? A lot of my work involves manually clicking on the websites of outsourcers. The Unix engy's computers/script skills can't help anymore. The last 'supplier web API' we tried.. blew up (it never actually worked - turns out no other customer had seriously used it!). Our CMDB cannot be accessed by a computer (costs extra+'little demand'=denied). The ticket system cannot be accessed by a computer (same reason).

    Now that you have to hire humans to manually shovel data from one computer into another computer, there's not much of a point in the Unix way anymore. There are no standardised interfaces. There are no interchangeable components. Even the pipes are HTTPS armoured now, so you can't even watch and learn.

    The Internet is now the Network, and the Browser is now the Operating System. And the Computer is now the User, Again.

    But I'll have a *special* box of popcorn set aside for Munich's first "all I did was click on the attachment" viral infestation, and another one for the "but it always just used to work" random inexplicable not-workingness, and associated investigative rebootings.

  43. david 12 Bronze badge

    >But the desktop is arguably the only market in which Linux has not done exceedingly well.<

    Now if only MS would concentrate on a desktop OS and stop trying to be Android....

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    better to pay MS than to waste

    Money on development of an in house solution which also requires support dollars and more devwlopment to maintain....for that cost you write MS a negotiated sum and get a product that works and is known to 95%of your end users.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: better to pay MS than to waste

      "for that cost you write MS a negotiated sum and get a product that works and is known to 95%of your end users."

      He he.. Yes, of course MS will take responsibilty for all the software that the City Council uses.. Of course they will. And it will always work. Nice to be from planet Simple?

  45. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    This seems strange in the current environment

    Back when Munich first moved, Windows was far more entrenched in peoples lives that it is now.

    Now, just about everyone has an iphone or android phone, and manage the differences just fine. Also, there is more od a shift to cloud/html stuff than before, so the OS is becoming less relevent.

    I realise it;s a bit different in an office, but still, alot more OS-agnostic than it was back them.

    So, are they saying the original decision was a mistake?

  46. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    @el reg

    I have been thinking about this "cost" again .... FFS, THE ORIGINAL REASON WHY THEY MOVED TO LINUX WAS COST!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Basically, they had NT4 workstations acting as servers .... when 2k came out, you were limited to 10 TCP/IP connections for the workstation version and THAT is what made them move to Linux.

    Every now and then, they get lobbied into "considering" windows as a client OS, which this is about. Dieter Reiter will probably get a bank account in a tax haven with $$ $$$ $$$ if he accepts to implement the results of this study, however, I doubt he will give in, because he is SPD.

    Dieter Reiter, du bist SPD, du wirst doch kein Bestechungsgeld annehmen, nicht wahr ? Dachte ich mir! Munich will keep Linux ;-)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how much of a steep discount Microsoft is offering for Munich to switch ?

    If you are already on windows then it's a 20% rise in licensing costs for you suckers come January, just watch.

  48. AmGnothiSeauton

    Apple's -n- Orange's

    Is it valid to compare roll-their-own LiMux OS with, say, the tried and true benefits of Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

    Seems a bit like heralding MS Windows but then installing ReactOS.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Apple's -n- Orange's

      > Is it valid to compare roll-their-own LiMux OS with, say, the tried and true benefits of Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

      RHEL is a server OS and Munich may well be using that or CentOS for its servers.. Limux is a desktop system based on Ubuntu, which is a desktop system.

      > Seems a bit like heralding MS Windows but then installing ReactOS.

      Not at all. Limux is based on a mainstream distro and it gets the patches and updates from upstream. It is an in-house configuration and distribution of the latest long term support versions.

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