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Reasons to Avoid Microsoft

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[Linux/Open Source]

Linux/Open Source

These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.

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  • One school district answers Microsoft's pricing with open source (CNET 'The Open Road' Blog, 2007.09.27)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] What if your local school district had to choose between Microsoft software licenses or education for your children? This isn't far off from the choice Windsor Unified School District in California recently faced... a $100,000 price tag from Microsoft (half the district's IT budget) and another $200,000 for security software from Trend Micro [... Faced with this,] the district's new IT administrator turned to open source...

  • Ignoring open source is costing us dear (The Guardian, Opinion Column, 2007.09.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] [Education] Schools are not much better, a double tragedy because they not only don't benefit from savings but also lose the opportunity to train children in the skills of the future. Equally serious is the indifference of small companies. This, we were told, was down to a suspicion that anything that is free can't be any good. This is not a view shared by Google or Amazon - both huge users of open source. It was strongly disputed by a representative from Malmaison, the very cool hotel group which has put most of its operations on to open source for one simple reason: 'high performance and low cost'.

  • EU Commission Study Finds You'll Save Money Switching to FOSS (Groklaw, 2007.01.12)
    [Education] [Linux/Open Source] The EU Commission's Final Report on its 'Study on the Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU' ... [concludes] a transition toward open source reports of savings on the long term cost of ownership... [and training] costs to migrate to [open source] are temporary...

  • Windows screwup forces Ubuntu shift (The Inquirer, 2006.12.31)
    [Linux/Open Source] [License] A match made in hell: You never quite wrap your head around how anti-consumer Microsoft's policies are until they bite you in the bum. Add in the customer antagonistic policies of its patsies, HP in this case, and vendors like Promise, and you have quite a recipe for pain.

  • India State to Dump Windows for Linux (Washington Post, 2006.09.01)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] A southern Indian state plans to switch all school computers from Microsoft Windows to the free Linux operating system... computers used in some 12,500 high schools in the state of Kerala [will be switched to Linux].

  • OpenDocument Approved by ISO/IEC Members (TheConsortiumInfo.org, 2006.05.03)
    [Linux/Open Source] [WOW!] With adoption of ODF by ISO/IEC now assured, software that implements the standard will now become more attractive to those European and other government purchasers for whom global adoption by ISO/IEC is either desirable, or required. Given the ongoing unhappiness in Europe with Microsoft over what the EU regards as unacceptable bundling and other practices, this may be particularly significant, especially when taken with the desire of many European and other purchasers to use open source products whenever possible. Offerings such as OpenOffice and KOffice therefore should receive a boost in appeal and usage, as well as for-sale versions, such as Sun's StarOffice and IBM's Internet-based offering.

  • UK city to move 5,500 desktops to StarOffice (DesktopLinux.com, 2006.03.31)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Bristol (UK) City Council Thursday made the decision to convert its 5,500 desktops from Microsoft Office to Sun Microsystems's OpenDocument Format-compliant StarOffice office suite. The city, after extensive study, concluded that it would save 60 percent of total costs of ownership over a five-year period by making the switch.

  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hints at possibility of Microsoft litigating against Linux (OSDir.com, 2006.03.25)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] In an interview with Forbes, Microsoft?s CEO Steve Ballmer stops short of announcing patent litigation against Linux.

  • Homeland Security report tracks down rogue open source code (The Register, 2006.03.03)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The authors of a US government-sponsored report claim to have delivered the first reliable guide into judging the safety and reliability of open source software. The report, backed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has evaluated 31 popular open source packages searching for defects that will cause 'hard crashes' - problems that leave users open to hackers or cause downtime. [...] the report ... has effectively given the Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python (LAMP) stack a healthy rating. [It] 'showed significantly better software quality' above the report's baseline[,] with an average of .32 defects per 1,000 lines of code...

  • Linux Allies Rebut Microsoft 'Get the Facts' Campaign (eWeek, 2006.02.13)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [A] 17-page research report entitled "Get the Truth on Linux Management" [has been published] that challenges Redmond's claims that Linux has a higher TCO (total cost of ownership) and systems management costs than Windows. The study's overall conclusion is that Linux may, in many cases, be substantially less expensive to own than Windows

  • Spyware Barely Touches Firefox (Yahoo! News, 2006.02.09)
    [Linux/Open Source] [MS Internet Explorer] [Privacy] Internet Explorer users can be as much as 21 times more likely to end up with a spyware-infected PC than people who go online with Mozilla's Firefox browser, academic researchers [said]. ... [Researchers] sent their crawlers to 45,000 Web sites, cataloged the executable files found, and tested malicious sites' effectiveness by exposing unpatched versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox to "drive-by downloads." ... no domain managed to infect the Firefox-equipped PC in a drive-by download attack.

  • California Holds Hearing on Open Source Software in Election Systems (Government Technology Magazine, 2006.02.08)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach, Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee, and a candidate for California Secretary of State, conducted a hearing today to look at how private companies, as well as state and federal agencies, have begun using "open source software" and where it can or should be used in California's electoral system.

  • Surveys show open source popularity on the rise in industry (ars technica, 2006.01.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] A survey conducted by IT consulting firm Optaros and InformationWeek magazine shows that American companies and government organizations are saving millions of dollars with open source software. Conducted in September 2005, the survey is based on responses collected from over 500 companies, government agencies, and organizations. According to the collected data, approximately 87 percent of American organizations use open source software within their technology infrastructure.

  • XP faster than Linux? Not so fast! (DesktopLinux.com, 2005.12.23)
    [Linux/Open Source] [A recent] Desktop Linux versus Windows XP shootout ... [declared] that 'Microsoft handily beat the open source platform.' The basis for this judgment? 'OS boot time and application load times' on two different PCs. ... For starters, you're not comparing operating systems at all, you're comparing the loading time of two office suites. How fast they load has a good deal to do with the applications themselves, not with the operating system.

  • Open source gives South African farmers a leg-up (TECTONIC, 2005.11.22)
    [Linux/Open Source] From the list of attendees, it was obvious that open source in Europe is A Really Big Thing(TM) - several hundred delegates from the UK and continental Europe converged on Amsterdam's classiest hotel to receive the wisdom there imparted. Nevertheless, it was still a surprise to see that the Limpopo Provincial Government's department of agriculture had sent a representative to the show.

  • UK school switches to Linux (sourcewire, 2005.09.21)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] The Mall School in Richmond has replaced its aging Windows 2000 PCs with a state of the art Linux thin-client network, offering access to a wealth of educational software at a fraction of the cost of an upgraded Microsoft-based solution. Educational organisations, including BECTA, have recently been pointing out the enormous potential benefits to schools of open source software such as Linux. The Mall School is starting to make these benefits a reality.

  • Back to School, Linux Style (PC Magazine, 2005.08.05)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] 'This groundbreaking initiative makes it possible for schools to afford computers for every student, something that makes a huge impact on their overall educations.' A new shipment of computers is set to roll out to pilot school districts this month. If the Indiana Access Program is successful, a total of 300,000 Linux machines could be deployed in the near future...

  • Schools ink deal for open source (Stuff.co.nz, 2005.07.18)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] The Education Ministry has signed an 18-month software licensing deal with Novell New Zealand, the ministry's first deal to provide open source software to schools.

  • Study: Cost Not Only Open Source Driver (Internetnews.com, 2005.07.14)
    [Linux/Open Source] Price isn't the driver of the decision to use open source software, according to a report by Evans Data. ... Stacey Quandt, principal of the IT analysis firm Quandt Analytics, agreed. "Many users gravitate toward [open source] or consider it because of the perception of lower cost," she said. "But, when someone chooses open source software, they're choosing it based on technical requirements." ... Among software developers, Evans Data has found a rising trend toward including open source modules. While 38.1 percent said they used OSS modules in their applications in Spring of 2001, in the most recent survey, 56.2 percent said they had.

  • Behind The Numbers: Linux Gets High Marks For Security (InformationWeek, 2005.07.11)
    [Linux/Open Source] The IT world may be an insecure place, but don't blame Linux. In fact, very few IT pros participating in InformationWeek Research's Linux and open-source survey say Linux has introduced security problems into their IT environments. ... One thing appears to be working in favor of Linux adoption: the speedy availability of software patches and bug fixes, essential components when adversity strikes. Two in five of 246 sites using Linux on servers report that fast access to patches and fixes is prompting them to speed up their adoption of Linux, while fast access is driving 44% of 155 sites deploying Linux on PCs to move to the operating system faster.

  • Norwegian Minister says that all public sectors need to make a plan for the use of Open Source by 2005 (IDABC (European eGovernment Services), 2005.07.06)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Norwegian government is taking large steps in their software policy: everybody in the public sector has to develop a plan for use of open source solutions within 2006. The Norwegian Minister of Modernization, Morton A. Meyer, presented new plan for information technology in Norway called "eNorge — the digital leap", where one of the points concerned open standards and open source.

  • Open source given the thumbs up as viable alternative by Whitehall (Computer Weekly, 2005.06.28)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Open source software should be considered alongside proprietary software in IT procurements and a combination of both open source and proprietary approaches should stimulate creativity and innovation, the report said. [...] It highlighted examples of successful open source implementations in government, including the Ministry of Defence's Defence Academy, where open source was chosen for its functionality, and Powys Council, which had "dramatically reduced" the number of its servers.

  • Norwegian Minister: Proprietary Formats No Longer Acceptable in Communication with Government (Tatle, 2005.06.27)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] [WOW!] The Minister, as part of the plan, has charged all government institutions, both at the national and local level, to by the end of 2005 have worked out a recommendation for the use of open source code in the public sector. Further by the end of 2006 every body of the public sector in Norway must have in place a plan for the use of open source code and open standards.

  • The BBC News website - under the bonnet (BBC News, 2005.06.03)
    [Linux/Open Source] The BBC News website serves 3 million users and 24 million page impressions every day. We try to make sure that the site is available for everyone round the clock. ... The servers themselves are running Apache web server software on either the Linux or Solaris operating system.

  • Detroit high school opens its desktops (NewsForge, 2005.05.26)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] [WOW!] The school had about a hundred older computers running Microsoft Office 97 and Windows NT, and some kind of upgrade was clearly required. It would have been an easy decision to simply upgrade to Microsoft Office 2000, but that would have required replacing all the computers with more powerful systems -- a large expenditure which could be better spent on other technology needs. Hansknecht had a better idea: OpenOffice.org. ... Realistically, upgrading the older PCs to Windows XP would require a complete hardware replacement. As an alternative, Hansknecht thought the older PCs could be converted to Linux terminals using software from the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). Although it would be necessary to purchase Linux servers to support LTSP clients, no PC replacements would be required. The cost analysis was compelling -- the Linux option could be implemented for around $21,000, more than $100,000 less than the Microsoft Windows alternative.

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