Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Linux speak...

Linux, the Operating System of choice if you're the kind of person who'd get a kick out of building your own television set. It seems that every year there'll always be someone trotting out the "This is the year when Linux takes it to Windows" line. It seems that this year, or this week at least, it's the turns of the good folk over at

First up is their education guy, and I've got to admit he's the one that had my jaw on the floor. So, it's "far easier to justify installations in an educational setting than it was even a year ago", is it? Microsoft do a Campus program for educational institutions. We have site licenses for everything, often free upgrade rights. By any commercial standards, our Microsoft costs here are absolutely tiny. Try less than a hundred bucks a year for Systems Centre Configuration Manager. A hundred New Zealand bucks.

Now look at what it is that we use our computers to teach, what it is we want our students going out into the world able to use. Microsoft Office. Tick. On Linux? Fail. Adobe Creative Suite? Tick. On Linux? Fail. Autodesk. The list goes on. Fail all the way down.

And don't make me laugh by telling me it's free. Most of the costs over an operating system's life are going to come in supporting it. If it's easy to justify sending your entire IT staff away on a two-month training course while they get as competent on Linux as they are with Microsoft, I apologise.

And, of course, there's a guy with a beard, telling us Linux will survive. Of course it will. Netbooks are a comin'. But here? On the desktop? No case to answer.

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