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Linux Gaining Strength In Downturn 293

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the monday-morning-slow-ball dept.
gubm writes "A February survey of IT managers by IDC indicated that hard times are accelerating the adoption of Linux. The open source operating system will emerge from the recession in a stronger data center position than before, concluded an IDC white paper."
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Linux Gaining Strength In Downturn

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  • by dov_0 (1438253) on Monday March 16, 2009 @08:53AM (#27208885)
    are often free!
    • by Architect_sasyr (938685) on Monday March 16, 2009 @08:55AM (#27208897)
      Whilst it may hold true, I don't think that's what is causing the adoption of Linux. In fact, I would go so far as to be almost sad that this is what causes the adoption - a mass of IT people not that capable of learning the system are going to crop up and potentially turn FOSS into an almost "Windows Admin" type of system. I'd rather see Linux (or BSD) adoption on a wide scale due to the benefits of the systems, not because they are free.
      • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:05AM (#27208973) Journal

        Worse than that I think, is the fact that it seems people are looking at this like F/OSS is a commercial competitor to Sun and Windows et al. What it really means if Linux ends up with a better position in the data center is that Windows or Sun is losing out. Sure, there will be a few people (Redhat et al) who make money from this turn of events, but it's those who will not that should be more important.

        I know that it's cool to say 'hey, Linux is making headway' but it's also true to say that someone else is losing out. One thing is reasonably certain in these times: There are very few companies expanding their IT departments and data centers. It Linux is winning, who is losing? That's the real story because unless Linux totally messes up, they won't get that market share back anytime soon. Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center. Perhaps we should bring in the life support systems now?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:15AM (#27209055)

          Quote: "the slow death of Windows in the data center."

          And that would be a bad thing because.... why?

          Keep in mind that, besides Linux being a higher quality product--especially for the data center-- money not spent to prop up the MS business plan is money that stays with the local business/local economy to be spent elsewhere.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:57AM (#27209437)

            And that would be a bad thing because.... why?

            It's not. It's just Balmer posted on Slashdot again...

          • Yeah, I guess he's falling for the "broken windows" fallacy...
          • by umghhh (965931) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:42AM (#27210073)

            If my corporation buys services from global player say HP for instance and this in turn gives away whatever flavour linux they currently support then how this is going to cause money staying locally? I mean HP service desks are all over the place and their HQ is thousands KMs away so the money is flowing around or away but not staying?

            Whether windows actually dies is another matter. I think this will not happen or not very soon anyway. All predictions about fast adoption of linux because of it being cheaper have not come true partially because corporate service boys charged a healthy premiums on their linux 'loving' customers. I had problems with that myself too - I had to justify to my box why I wanted to use more expensive product and it was linux that was more expensive than vista installation. The price tags have been set by our IT service support company. If I could install linux box myself of course this would be cheaper but than again maybe against corporate policy too.
            OC when it comes to small business that is able to make decision and switch within days of making it then this OS switch actually may happen. Alas not everywhere and for everybody.
            which is good - we need no mono-culture.

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Tubal-Cain (1289912)

              If my corporation buys services from global player say HP

              Umm, OK
              "HP"

            • by jc42 (318812) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:23PM (#27215991) Homepage Journal

              All predictions about fast adoption of linux because of it being cheaper have not come true partially because corporate service boys charged a healthy premiums on their linux 'loving' customers.

              Oh, I dunno about that. A few months ago, I ordered the hardware for a new "desktop" system from a local computer assembler, and since I ordered it without the default Vista OS, I got a discount of a few hundred $$$. While talking about it with a rep over the phone just before delivery, he asked what I intended to install on it. I said "The latest Ubuntu release", and he said "We can install that for you, for no extra charge." I said "Huh?", and he said "Yeah; we've found that Ubuntu always installs quickly, with no problems at all. Give us an hour, and we can have it all set up for your." I told him "OK", and I got it with Ubuntu running just fine.

              (Well, OK, there was a problem: They forgot to tell me the password that it wanted when I booted it. They were very apologetic about that. They were even more apologetic when I told them that, since they were closed when I got it home, I'd booted a handy knoppix briefly to mount the root partition and set the root password to something I knew. ;-)

              I do sorta suspect that they wanted to do it as a training exercise for their installer guys, as a response to a good number of customers wanting that system installed. But no matter; the fact is that a local system builder took the attitude that "The customer is always right", and wanted their people to be able to install whatever the customer wanted.

              Anyway, this one company didn't charge a healthy premium on a linux-loving customer. They said "We can do that for you for no extra charge." And, needless to say, I told a number of other local friends about it, probably resulting in a few more sales.

              YMMV, of course.

          • by cybrthng (22291)

            How is linux a higher quality product? Have you tried Windows lately? Your making a bold statement while completely ignoring the facts.

            Windows isn't a saint by any means, but it isn't a weak os either. GPO, AD, IIS, .NET and everything else make for a robust enterprise system that i have yet to see a Linux system come close to supporting without gimping the end user even more.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "Linux being a higher quality product--especially for the data center" - by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, @09:15AM (#27209055)

            That's funny, because Windows Server 2003 + SQLServer 2005 does, and has done for YEARS now mind you, a great job of being the official disseminator of trade data @ NASDAQ, running into the "fabled 5-9's" of 99.999% uptime for years now, 24x7, via failover clustering... that was back in 2006 (possibly earlier, as that is only the date of the article):

            ----

            NASDAQ Migrates to SQL Server 2005:

            http://windowsfs.com/enews/nasdaq-migrates-to-sql-server-2005 [windowsfs.com]

            ----

            (Linux being 'superior to that' is a judgement call,

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          And if Windows dies in the data center....? So what! Microsoft has $20 billion in the bank, I'm sure they'll have no problems innovating some new way to make up the lost revenue. ;)

        • by /ASCII (86998) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:52AM (#27209389) Homepage

          I strongly disagree. The high cost and abysmal quality of IT services put a wet blanket on innovation and creativity. Without open source software, the cost of starting up an IT company would be significantly higher; without open source Google, Slashdot, reddit, digg and a thousand other companies would likely not have existed.

          I'm excited to see what cool innovations people will come up with if IT costs are further reduced to nearly nothing.

        • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:04AM (#27209505)

          I know that it's cool to say 'hey, Linux is making headway' but it's also true to say that someone else is losing out. One thing is reasonably certain in these times: There are very few companies expanding their IT departments and data centers. It Linux is winning, who is losing?

          The history of economics is continually increasing productivity. Economies abhor what I call 'drag' - unnecessary costs for the same or similiar benefits. Successful companies reduce drag. If, over time, Linux = Windows - licesing costs; to put it bluntly, Linux will win. The customers of the companies win with lower costs. And MSFT joins the buggy whip manufacturers (which I assume they won't, plenty of other software to make other than OSes).

          To argue that propping up Windows (or anything artificially, considering the bailouts) for its own sake is like arguing you create jobs by hiring 100 people to digg ditches and another 100 to filling them. Sure, you're not advancing humanity one iota, and placing a burden on society as a whole, but that busy work sure is keeping a lot of people employed! (People that would otherwise eventually get jobs in still economically productive sectors). BTW, government does this a lot in "job creation", they are called toll booths.

          • Economies abhor what I call 'drag' ... if, over time, Linux = Windows - licensing costs; to put it bluntly, Linux will win.

            Not necessarily. If markets were actually free, many things would change - there'd be little ethanol, or windpower, etc. until such time as the market said it was time for such things. Instead, by allowing governments to wield such influence over markets, then we end up with situations where money can, and oh so often does, buy legislation that is favorable to the status quo, or to
          • by neomunk (913773) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:35AM (#27209917)

            I was with you until this:

            (People that would otherwise eventually get jobs in still economically productive sectors)

            That is simply not an acceptable assumption any longer (and it never really was). Where are these magical jobs coming from?

            They DO NOT EXIST. Just because YOU and I have food on our tables and a roof over our heads does not mean that everyone else could have the same, if only they would work hard. The trickle-down economics theory is bust because wealth is often HOARDED instead of spent, and even the money that IS spent spends the majority of its time in a corporate cycle of purchasing massively over-priced business services/equipment in order to sell massively over-priced services/equipment to other businesses. Only at the bottom of the funnel (you know, the narrow part) do you get businesses spending money on consumer products in order to make money from the masses. To clarify what I mean, picture the money that is transfered between large business accounts each day compared to how much is spent on payroll. The vast majority of wealth is circulated (and stays) far above the populous' heads. Successful advances in business tech/procedures almost universally involve tipping that balance even further, paying an employee less money (or fewer employees the same amount of money) for the same amount of wealth earned for the company.

            The problem of joblessness cannot be left to the market to fix, there must be active solutions toward that goal. Unfortunately I don't have any really good ideas on how that could be tackled efficiently, the only idea I -DO- have pertaining to the subject would be radical and near impossible to implement so I won't even bother to toss it in to the discussion. Regardless, I feel that it is folly to rely on a wealth-concentrating system to widen wealth distribution (which is what happens when people become employed, even if the term has been branded as Satanic by the media).

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dunkirk (238653) *

              Uh, it -sounds- like you're saying that the economic policies of the 80's did NOT produce the prosperity of the 90's and 00's, but that -can't- be, because we know that's what did it. "Trickle down" economics causes the pie to be larger. Sure, the people who create the wealth keep large portions of it, but since they have more of it to spread around, they do. Complaining that it's a small slice of -their- pie is just jealous whining.

              The policies that are going into effect these days are not going to grow th

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Maxo-Texas (864189)

                Except that is a complete myth.

                The pie increased in size by 5 or 6 times.

                The wealthy took 350 times as much pie as they took previously.

                The total amount of pie for 95% of the people in the country declined (and has declined both in wealth and income since 1978).

                One person used to be able to support 3 to 4 people in a household. Now two people barely keep a household going.

                Executives used to make 10 to 20 times as much as line workers. Now executives take 400 times as much, lay of 6,000 people, and suppres

        • by jkrise (535370) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:12AM (#27209589) Journal

          Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center.

          Nonsense. Even Ballmer agrees that Linux has always been the undisputed leader in the data center. The downturn will only increase the dominance of Linux.

          "Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux," he said. "How are we doing? Forty is less than 60, so I don't like it. ... We have some work to do."

          from here:
          http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151568/ballmer_still_searching_for_an_answer_to_google.html [pcworld.com]

        • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:21AM (#27209727) Homepage Journal

          Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center. Perhaps we should bring in the life support systems now?

          You say that as if it's a bad thing. Microsoft's predatory behavior has set the entire industry back by a decade or more. Without them, there is plenty of room for new innovation (as opposed to Microsoft Innovation (tm) which isn't really innovation at all). Companies will spring up to fill market needs, robust competition will be restored or invigorated, people will be employed ... it's a good thing for everyone.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AlecC (512609)

          I think, and hope, that it is more a case of the downturn jolting a lot of people out of their ruts. However much you may think or even know that *nix is better than Windows, it is a big decision to change a company from one to the other. In good times, you can afford the Windows tax, and pay it just to avoid the hassle of the changeover. Besides, you busy expanding the business, aren't you? It takes bad times to make you take a better look at the alternatives and to have the time to consider bringing them

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eriky (724600)

          Those Windows guys will quickly learn Linux, they are without a job anyway, and when the economy recovers they can start administrating Linux servers. Its like evolution, but in the digital world. Those who adapt survive.

        • by Mariner28 (814350)
          Just because "Linux is winning", it doesn't necessarily mean Sun or Microsoft are losing (although I'd love to see Balmer out on the street as a victim of the current downturn...). Inevitably, the economy will resume expansion. In that case, you don't necessarily replace one with another - you can add to the existing server base as you grow. Then you slowly retire the old systems. You are implying - perhaps unintentionally - that when a Linux system is installed, it replaces an existing Sun or MS server. T
        • I know that it's cool to say 'hey, Linux is making headway' but it's also true to say that someone else is losing out.

          Well, yes, obviously. But the people losing out are service providers who are providing an obsolete service. Here is a situation in which you can truly get something for nothing (Linux exists; if you use it (and if it doesn't suck admins) nobody loses. It's the ideal of communism, in which I take your cow but you still have your cow). And you're bellyaching about someone who was making money by creating artificial scarcity (you can only use an OS if you pay us) not being able to do so anymore.

          This sou

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dov_0 (1438253)

        Perhaps there will be enough stable development in countries which have already or are in the process or adopting Linux in the important places. Schools. When kids use it at school, maybe go on to use it at work etc, that is what they will use at home and that will be the system that seems logical to them.

        You could say that a generation is rising up in the developing world which will be almost Microsoft illiterate.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        But one of the many benefits is that it's free (in both the "speech" and "beer" sense). And if you're looking to convince business management to do something, the argument they will be most likely to listen to is "save money".

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by goltzc (1284524)
          I used to think that's what management wanted to hear too, but when they say what does the license cost and you say $0. The products are almost immediately dismissed as being "freeware" and hence not enterprise quality.

          From my experience management really does love to hear buzz words as in, "This product will leverage the existing synergies in your collaborative workspace to create a global presence".

          Now that might be a little extreme on the buzzword scale but my point is, to management it's all about
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bert64 (520050)

            Yes, there are a lot of people who completely dismiss open source as being "freeware", relating it to the closed source freeware apps you can download for windows, many of which are buggy and unmaintained...

            Some people buy right into the marketing and won't buy anything unless it's come top of a "best of breed" list, meaning the manufacturer has paid a lot of money to have it there...

            But what these people do buy, are commercial products which are actually open source under the hood, because some company has

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Tubal-Cain (1289912)

            Perhaps we can pitch it better.

            Management: "How much does it cost?"

            IT: "Red Hat gives it away for free and sells support contracts for $x, but we are not required to purchase support in order to use it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dwhitaker (1500855)
        As more people and companies adopt FOSS, more people will get experience using and administering such systems. Some will excel, some won't. I'm sure there are inept sysadmins in charge of *nix systems now and there will always continue to be.

        If Linux does see more widespread adoption, more software developers will support it with proprietary software that is only on Windows/Mac/both now. Sure, we'll lose some of the advantages of FOSS, but Linux will be more usable. More adoption, whatever the reason, wil
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Samschnooks (1415697)
        Linux admin, or any admin jobs for that matter, will become more of a commodity. In other words, the admin job will be a relatively low paying blue collar type of job - not something that a CS graduate would think of doing unless they're hard up. The admin jobs will be for the tech school graduates. Which, I might add, there is nothing wrong with it. Linux and the low costs associated will lower the overhead of businesses, allowing them to operate more profitably and therefore employ higher skilled and educ
        • by linhares (1241614)

          Sounds good? No, the real answer is that the lower costs will end up in the CEO's bonus checks while they continually farm out the admin work to third world countries. After all, Linux being free and all, third world countries can educate those folks for very little money and therefore, flood the market with really cheap tech workers. We, in the developed World will be cursing the existence of Linux and the rest of F/OSS one day - mark my words.

          Yeah, right.

          Ballmer, you need to understand that Indians and Chinese can also study and work with windows. Cheers

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          Admin work is already farmed out to third world countries and using closed source software won't slow
          down that process...

          Companies already hire extremely cheap low skilled workers, and this has more to do with the microsoft "so easy you don't need expensive trained staff to run it" marketing... The problem is that you can get away with cheap unskilled staff to get a windows network limping along, but it won't work very well and won't be very secure. But this is all part of MS's marketing strategy because th

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          third world countries can educate those folks for very little money and therefore, flood the market with really cheap tech workers

          This is capitalism at work, the very system the "first world" countries have been telling the whole world is so perfect for years. The third world countries can offer better value for money. First world countries will have no choice but to adapt or fail. Eventually the two groups will converge...

      • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:26AM (#27209143) Homepage
        Actually, this kind of thing is somewhat rampant already. I recently worked on an embedded Linux system, and the developers moved to Linux from Windows. It certainly proved that Linux is flexible. You absolutely can run a Linux system in such a way that it totally defeats the purpose.

        Their "build system" required you to log in as root or it wouldn't build. To my complete lack of surprise there were flaws in the script that hosed the build machine when run, since the process was running as root. Luckily I was smart enough to run it in a VM, since their is no way I'm building anything as root on my machine. Had I not known any better my system would be messed up, and I would have no idea why.

        The new question to determine if someone is really skilled with computers will not be "do you use Windows or Linux" (or some other secure OS). The litmus test which served me so well is rapidly becoming invalid. It used to be Windows + Education + a_clue = Linux. The new formula will be Linux + Education + a_clue = Real Linux Guy. Basically, the Linux Guy wannabee pool is in the process of growing exponentially.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pxlmusic (1147117)

          Which (for me) begs the question: How *does* one really become proficient in Linux?

          I can install $Distribution on a spare machine and tinker with basic this and that. Beyond that, what else?

          I am at a loss with a cohesive direction. There are places (locally) where I can take classes on Linux from beginner to "advanced". However, none of the Linux users I know ever took a class; they just seem to "know".

          I'm probably over-simplifying, but I really want to dive into it and really understand it -- but I'm at

          • However, none of the Linux users I know ever took a class; they just seem to "know".

            Break something (wifi is fun~). Google on how to fix it rather than reinstall to make it all go away. Rinse and repeat with something else.

            Use a distro that doesn't do everything for you. (Debian > Ubuntu, Slackware/Gentoo/LFS > * )

            Install a "base" system: No X or GUI apps on install, you need to install them after the fact. Don't install Gnome/KDE, just X and the apps you want to use.

            • by pxlmusic (1147117)

              Hmmm...seems a little daunting, but that's the level of skill and knowledge needed to *really* master Linux. knowledge of the CLI is key, it would seem.

              can you recommend any good books on the topic?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Risen888 (306092)

            I guess I'm one of those guys who you would assume "just knows," but really I often don't. I've been using Linux for seven years, doing it for a living for three, and I'd still put myself in the wide pool labeled "intermediate." But FWIW, here's the "secrets" I know. Prepare to not have your mind blown.

            It's more about problem-solving skills than rote knowledge. If you ignore everything else I say, remember this one, it's the key to the whole thing.

            There are books, and some of them are good (I really recomme

      • by Kjella (173770) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:27AM (#27209153) Homepage

        The average user, the average sysadmin and the average developer won't fundamentally change. No matter how they told you in grade school that you can become anything you put your mind do, there's people who can't grok a computer if they'd get Bill's fortune as the prize. Some, for some incomprehensible reason even choose to become sysadmins.

        The only real options are that Linux will adapt to gain wide adoption or it will not have wide adoption. It should be in the cards that if you talk to people that want shiny buttons about the freedom to hack the code and compile your own kernel, you're barking up the wrong tree.

        Why should you be complaining anyway? If 90% became point-and-click Linux admins, who'd he the gurus they'd have to go to when those tools fail them? That's right, you. No longer would you be the sysadmin of some obscure server OS, you'd be the grossly overpaid technical specialist hired it to fix the hard stuff. Oh, what a horrible tradgedy.

        • by PitaBred (632671)
          Grossly overpaid? I'd think it's properly paid. If I can do a job that needs done that very few other people can do, that's a very valuable skill. Just because it's easy for the person doing it doesn't mean it's easy in general. It's like that old engineering joke...

          A couple years after the old engineer retired from the factory, the manager there called him up and asked him to come help them, he'd pay him whatever he wanted as long as he could come fix their supply line. They'd been down for a day and non
      • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:34AM (#27209211) Homepage

        It's possible for a bad admin to make any system insecure, regardless of the operating system. The wizards in Windows don't make it more or less insecure, its the OS and the admins doing that.

        Wizards merely encourage laziness and do not force the admin to have a clear understanding of what it is they're doing. More widespread adoption simply widens the field for admins who really know what they're doing.

        • Oh, that tired argument of "Its only as good as the admin". Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

          Unix systems have sane defaults, that usually represent some form of DENY ALL. Windows has only recently taken that approach. For the longest time, it was "be as hackable from the outside as you can".

          And you can only secure as much as MS designers can think to secure. No source code = no power.

          In linux, we can start and stop anything at will, write new auth procedures, and generally prepare for new security. Windows is

          • Maybe you didn't notice the part where I said:
            "The wizards in Windows don't make it more or less insecure, its the OS and the admins doing that."

            Emphasis added. Windows traditionally by default has a lot of services and ports open and running that are unnecessary for a server. Windows admins often don't shut down the services they don't need or close the ports they don't use. Those same admins coming to Linux will likely result in a less secure Linux box because they probably won't know enough about it to c

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree - I don't think it is any one single factor that is spurring the adoption of Linux (If the recession were doing it, why is Apple so strong with their relatively pricey products?). We have the recession, which is contributing to it, but we also had the Vista fiasco which primed people for something different, the debut of several very nice Linux environments (KDE 4, for example) and the move to cloud based computing (Rendering the need for MS Windows secondary to the apps that are run). Add to that t

      • potentially turn FOSS into an almost "Windows Admin" type of system

        I don't understand this, and maybe I'm taking it out of context, but are you saying it would be bad for Linux to become more user-friendly to configure? Why is it that FOSS users see the difficulty in administering and maintaining their systems as a badge of honor? I've maintained BSD and Linux servers, as well as Windows servers. I certainly do not view myself as "weak" because I prefer an easy to use GUI to administer a system.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by miknix (1047580)

          The real thing is that auto-configurations and wizards always bring problems.

          Just remember windows, the dialog where you change the ip-address. When you apply your changes, the dialog gets unresponsive for a while and you don't really know what is happening in the background. And notice that changing the IP address can be considered an "atomic" operation.

          Now image some other dialog that is supposed to do a lot more.. It would be a pain wouldn't it?

          That's something that will never happen when you are at a CL

        • by ahodgson (74077)

          Because according to the marketing weenies, user friendly means GUI checkboxes. And GUI checkboxes are not compatible with automation. And Unix admins are all about automation. I setup a server by providing directives to Puppet, not playing with pretty GUIs. It couldn't be any easier or faster or more reliable to do ... but it takes a huge knowledge base to make it work right in the first place. There is no shortcut to that knowledge. And pretty GUIs just make it harder to learn how to do it right.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        This has been going on for a few years now.

        The signal-noise ratio in a lot of mailing lists for specific software commonly used in Linux is definitely getting worse. IMHO This is at least partly attributable to an increase in the number of people asking questions which could easily be answered if they only RTFM - or indeed asking questions then refusing to followup if further detail is asked for.

        Distribution-specific web forums (coughUBUNTUcough) are often substantially worse - for an experienced Linux pro

        • by ahodgson (74077)

          Definitely. I see questions from people setting up database servers, for example, and they don't even know how to add a user to their system. It makes me cry. And tell them to hire a sysadmin.

      • by umghhh (965931)

        I for one am trying to reverse the trend or kind of. In my corporation R&D (generally called engineers) can ask for different OS boxes depending on what they think is more feasible. Due to administrative restrictions connected with use of linux box I have just decided to switch to vista (and run linux in vm instead).

        On more serious note - Look deep into your soul (if you have one) and honestly answer the question: why do you not like the idea of Linux being wide spread.
        Chances are that biggest (and poss

      • a mass of IT people not that capable of learning the system are going to crop up and potentially turn FOSS into an almost "Windows Admin" type of system.
        Already happening. Remember a week or two ago, where somebody wanted a policy editor similar to how windows does it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by spacefiddle (620205)

        I'd rather see Linux (or BSD) adoption on a wide scale due to the benefits of the systems, not because they are free.

        Of course we'd all like a "pure revolution," where the proITariat suddenly recognize the superiority and freedom available to them and throw off their proprietary shackles.

        Realistically, however, how are the adopters going to know the 'benefits of the systems' if they are never exposed to them, never try them in a production environment? Years of partnering with the established regime, familiarity with the systems, the trained acceptance of quirks and flaws as the inevitable price of computing, managers an

    • Like Internet Explorer!

      /ducks

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @08:57AM (#27208919)

    The year of linux on the desktop is finally here!

  • Funny... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:00AM (#27208937)
    I find it morbidly funny somehow that companies have to experience poverty themselves before they see the same benefits of Open Source as some third world countries have already been aware of for years.
    • by jkrise (535370)

      There is nothing funny about it... people seem to think throwing money at proprietary software will magically solve their problems, and that they will go away for ever. But business models of proprietary software companies mandate frequent and expensive upgrades in the never ending treadmill. Oracle and SQL Server typically involve a 23% annual outlay to stay in sync.

      People in so-called 3rd World countries have long ago learnt the value of Open Source software and adapted and adopted it in large numbers.

      • people seem to think throwing money at proprietary software will magically solve their problems, and that they will go away for ever.

        Do you know why SERIOUS businesses "throw" money at proprietary software? Because one of the first clauses in any OSS license states that the software comes with NO WARRANTY, meaning that if it fucks your shit up, no one can be held accountable. There is also the fact that there is no contractual obligation to continue support for the software. Oh, sure, "It's open source, you can fix everything yourself!" This is one of my favorite idealistic arguments of FOSS proponents that doesn't take into account

        • by jkrise (535370)

          Because one of the first clauses in any OSS license states that the software comes with NO WARRANTY, meaning that if it fucks your shit up, no one can be held accountable. There is also the fact that there is no contractual obligation to continue support for the software.

          Have you read the license agreements with proprietary software? It's worse than useless:

          This is from the Windows XP EULA:

          15. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND REMEDIES. Notwithstanding any damages that you might incur for any
          reason whatsoever (including, without limitation, all damages referenced above and all direct or general
          damages), the entire liability of Microsoft and any of its suppliers under any provision of this EULA and your
          exclusive remedy for all of the foregoing (except for any remedy of repair or replacement elected by Microsoft
          with respect to any breach of the Limited Warranty) shall be limited to the greater of the amount actually paid
          by you for the Product or U.S.$5.00. The foregoing limitations, exclusions and disclaimers (including Sections
          11, 12 and 13 above) shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, even if any remedy fails
          its essential purpose.

    • by linhares (1241614)
      Right on. Brazilian Banana Catcher here (thanks for your sympathy). It's official policy to migrate to foss. I was pretty appalled at an official bank where they were using firefox.... only to be astounded that it was running under linux. Part of it comes from the stupidity of the government which sees itself as under constant threat from the yankees who are of course crazy to invade anytime now. But part of it is because it is more transparent. And finally because it is cheaper.

      note that the mass me

  • Not a great survey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:09AM (#27208993)

    A survey of 330 IT Managers makes for questionable results as, although it doesn't state the sampling method, it suggests 'these are just the people who could be bothered to reply to surveys we sent out' rather than going for a representative sampling.

    It's headline grabber is from a flawed type of question : "do you plan to...". The trouble is "I you plan to..." isn't the same as "there are currently plans drawn up to...". You're essentially getting a non-commital 'yeah probably' response.

    It's also linking two unrelated questions: "are you planning on increasing linux usage?" and "are you cutting your budget". Whilst their may possibly be links between the two in some cases, it would be a logical fallacy to assume that companies are switching to linux because of budget cuts.

  • The irony is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:21AM (#27209111) Homepage Journal

    That one might think that the very same recession that increases interest in Linux might well put many of the leading vendors out of business.

    Novell's operating margin and profit margins are both negative, according to e-trade. Sun Microsystems looks to be in big trouble, as usual.

    But, on the other hand, Red Hat did well last year, so I guess Linux fans should keep their fingers crossed as their earnings are due on the 25th of March. Oracle is also doing ok and their earnings are due out the 18th.

    IBM is totally kicking ass right now, EPS wise.

    So... you could lose Sun Microsystems and maybe Novell, but you would still have Oracle, Red Hat and IBM to fund OSS development, and, of course, Google.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bert64 (520050)

      That's one of the biggest advantages of Linux and OSS in general, it's not controlled by a single company so the actions of a single company don't screw everyone over...

      Look at the damage done by a bad windows release (vista) compared to a bad release of a given linux distro... If one linux vendor comes out with an unwanted version and try to stop support for the previous version that people wanted to use instead, those customers could just move to another distro.

  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:29AM (#27209167) Journal

    Tomorrow, in an Indian city where I live... IBM, HP and Dell are showcasing their Open Source operations in an event sponsored by PC Quest magazine. There is a hige glut in Open Source adoption (mainly in the servers and storage segment) in recent times in India. I guess the picture is the same elsewhere as well.

  • The new frugality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MarkWatson (189759) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:40AM (#27209291) Homepage

    I have recently been writing about what I call the "new frugality." With an estimated 40% of the world's (fake and inflated) wealth gone in the last year, it is finally becoming obvious to many more people, companies, and government that all expenditures need to be judged on value (preferably long term).

    Unfortunately for me, virtually all of my recent consulting work has been taking open source projects, making a few customizations or enhancements, and designing a good deployment strategy. On one hand, this is not good because my revenues are down and I enjoy from-scratch development work. On the other hand, this is good because the profitability of my customers makes my future revenue streams more stable.

    Linux, web platforms + frameworks, etc. all make IT more relevant because they increase the value to cost ratio.

  • The fact that Novell folks, who are in bed with Microsoft sponsored this study is s suspect in itself.

    Asked what factors would accelerate Linux deployments, respondents said "reducing costs and stronger interoperability with Windows" as the two top issues.

    What about creating a distro that users want to use, which distro will work exactly as advertised? Heck what is the use of having Gnash installed yet it will not [properly] play *all* videos on sites like YouTube? We should not install half baked apps on our systems.

    The white paper said Linux "has failed to successfully capture a substantial share of traditional client deployments," but new form factors, such as netbooks running Linux, and the growing number of Web-based Linux applications may result in more use of Linux on the client...

    This is my opinion, and would not like to start a flame war of any kind. I used to be a GNOME user but find the latest offer from the KDE folks

    • I think choice should be a relevant thing, just as there are many options when choosing which smartphone you want (or regular phone for that case) so should there be multiple choices in OS and window manager, however the key is to make these transparent to people. Just by having certain computer hardware manufacturers bundle a chosen supported linux flavor is good enough assuming they advertise it and suggest it where appropriate, which sad to say isn't happening much yet. Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba all need
  • YES! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Let's all hope things continue to go down the drain so the Linux base may grow!

    Wait...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:15AM (#27209615)
    This week a relative gave a desktop running Ubuntu to his kids following a recommendation by a computer store owner "ubuntu is best for kids". Yes! This after having a bunch of worm infested unusable windows & vista laptops lying around his home for months! Shows linux has reached a level where it is very much usable by regular folks.
    • by Ogive17 (691899)
      You know, if your relative's computers were infested with a bunch of nasty stuff.. I'd be more worried about the type of websites his kids were visiting. I'm not going to argue with OS is better, but I've been running XP for quite a long time and have never had a virus or a worm.

      Sometimes it's not the computer, it's the user.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jamesmcm (1354379)
        Yeah, but it's quite easy to infect Windows by accidentally clicking an ad or something. It doesn't necessarily mean the kids are watching Backdoor Sluts 9 :P
  • by bigtrike (904535) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:57AM (#27210287)

    I've been using linux for 14 years now and for most of that time it just has not been quite ready for the masses. The Ubuntu team has made gigantic leaps in making the OS easily configurable and consistent, while the OpenOffice people have provided software which makes it compatible with formats which are necessary for business use. Sure there are still some quirks here and there, but in my opinion they are no harder to deal with than any of the commercial operating systems.

    The economic downturn might have something to do with it, but it's only one reason why we're seeing it adopted more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Totenglocke (1291680)

      Sure there are still some quirks here and there, but in my opinion they are no harder to deal with than any of the commercial operating systems.

      Actually, I find them less of a pain to deal with. Why? If something (say playing flv's) doesn't work 100% right all the time on Linux, it's not that big of a deal because it's free. However on Windows, I get rather annoyed because I paid good money for that product.

  • by jopet (538074) on Monday March 16, 2009 @11:07AM (#27210431) Journal

    I have been using Linux for many years nearly exclusively now and everything I need an OS to do is done quite well by Linux.
    The problem is that hardware companies still do not provide support and drivers. And that really pisses me off, increasingly so, since the number of gadgets, devices, peripherals one would like to attach to one's computer has been increasing.
    I am sick and tired of getting "sorry, Linux not supported" canned text responses to my inquiries.
    Developers do a great job to provide what these companies should provide, but Linux users should really show these guys a bit better that they need to do their homework.

    I am planning to buy a Laptop and a mobile phone soon: the laptop company will force me to buy Windows and make no statements about hardware support and the mobile phone company explicitly told me that "sorry Linux is not supported" and not even was able to inform me if I could mount the memory card as an USB drive.

    These companies suck but they won't change until a really big number of Linux users lets them know how much they suck.

  • can we please stop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nimbius (983462) on Monday March 16, 2009 @12:23PM (#27211783) Homepage
    calling this an "economic downturn." it didnt work for bush, it didnt work for the fed, and its always been a recession. stop candycoating.

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