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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.
  • Sad (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:00AM (#27208943)

    It's a sad day when people adopt a change based solely on price.

  • 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 dov_0 (1438253) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:10AM (#27209001)

    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.

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dov_0 (1438253) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:15AM (#27209053)
    Why sad? Which power company do you use? Was price a factor? Sure it was! When did you last change your phone company or plan? Got a better offer from a competitor?
    People make choices on price every day, but if Linux was considered to not be ready for stable business use yet, the price would not entice. Call the economic downturn an extra incentive to take the plunge.
  • 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.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neomunk (913773) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:30AM (#27209183)

    Solely?

    Please. Linux wouldn't even be a consideration if it wasn't up to the task at hand. The only effect this is having is to make businesses rethink the whole "proven technology" sales pitch in favor of actual cost-effectiveness studies that haven't been done simply due to institutional momentum.

    All this is going to do is bring intelligent IT planning into vogue, and make people take a look at system performance/applicability rather than chasing a corporate logo around.

  • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity@yahoo . c om> 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.

  • 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.

  • by thrillseeker (518224) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:12AM (#27209595)
    Oh I agree. But oracle is even farther from F/OSS than MSSQL is.

    How so? While I agree that Oracle isn't a database - it's a career - one can at least download a free (licensed) operational version that runs under something other than Windows, allowing a developer to, well, develop to a system that will then potentially be deployed on FOSS.
  • 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.

  • by Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:23AM (#27209777)

    ... besides Linux being a higher quality product--especially for the data center

    Right. Of course, you can't provide any hard data to back that crap up, but on Slashdot such things aren't required.

  • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:24AM (#27209787)

    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 in.

    The silver lining of recessions is that they prune dead wood. Weak companies go to the wall (unfortunately, sometimes pulling good ones down with them), leaving the survivors healthier when the recession is over. If some of the dead wood is M$ systems installed from sheer conservatism, let us cheer for it.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:25AM (#27209791) Homepage

    Have you never used anything other than MYSQL?
    Postgres is open source and perfectly capable...
    Oracle is considerably more powerful than MSSQL, and Linux is Oracle's preferred platform these days... Linux can also run on considerably more powerful hardware than windows can (mainframes, supercomputers etc) which is important if you have a huge database.
    Oracle for linux outperforms the windows version by a considerable margin by all accounts too.

    And yes, Oracle isn't free but you'd just be paying for the DB and getting the OS for free.

    I believe Google use MYSQL too, so it must be pretty capable if used correctly.

    When it comes to databases windows is a pretty poor choice, as is mssql since it's not even cross platform and therefore tied to windows.

    If you want to complain about something Linux doesn't do very well, try gaming.

  • by Eriky (724600) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:32AM (#27209873) Homepage

    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 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).

  • by TiloB (783192) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:35AM (#27209927)

    I don't recall anybody saying "What a pity Opel decided to use a cheaper identical product rather than a more expensive one". What they said was "Great, we have a long term contract, a patent and an unassailable technical lead."

    Are we talking about the same Opel that lost the quality race in Germany in the 90's in all fields? The same Opel that is almost certainly bankrupt no later than Q2 2009 because we do not like to buy their cars anymore?

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:35AM (#27209929) Homepage

    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 built a product using open source, sometimes disguised it as something completely proprietary, and then spent big money marketing it.
    These same people who won't touch anything that they consider to be "freeware", will happily buy various things like cisco firewalls and cisco call manager without realizing that they run linux.

  • by miknix (1047580) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:36AM (#27209943) Homepage

    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 CLI. Even if you have a script for doing a bunch of stuff, you can always know the line where it failed and why it failed.

  • by neomunk (913773) on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:47AM (#27210133)

    Racist? Probably not. Classist? Maybe. Nationalist? Probably.

    Please be careful when slinging around derisive terms meant to correct derogatory behavior. Applying them too liberally reduces their meaning to nothing more than a meme.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:48AM (#27210149) Homepage

    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 these untrained staff wouldn't have been able to set up a unix/linux/novell based network at all.

    As linux becomes easier to use, you will get cheap unskilled workers running it, but the same thing will apply, unskilled workers get a system that limps along while being inefficient and insecure.

  • Re:The irony is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @11:02AM (#27210355) Homepage

    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 jamesmcm (1354379) on Monday March 16, 2009 @11:45AM (#27211157)
    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 Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @11:50AM (#27211247)

    "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, & one that largely depends on the person/team(s) admin'ing it also... this goes for ANY OS out there, not just Windows or *NIX variants)

    As far as 'superiority' of Linux, why is it that you guys (*NIX people here) "beat your heads on the wall" in this posting here @ /., when it came to securing Linux the way you can quite easily in Windows mind you, via AD & Group Policies? See here on that note:

    ----

    Locking Down Linux Desktops In an Enterprise?

    http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/09/03/09/236230.shtml [slashdot.org]

    ----

    There? Well, I saw a truckload of *NIX folks that just couldn't come up with easy answers to that question!

    "Every OS to its right place" I say in response to your statement I quoted...

    I.E.-> Whatever does the job @ reasonable cost & that your teams of techs/admins can handle also... each OS has its 'niches', where it fits, the best (purely a relative term)...

    APK

    P.S.=> On a closing note: Nothing like "chasing those upward modded posts" eh, fellow A/C? Especially IF you say something "Pro-*NIX" here, you can almost guarantee that the Linux 'leg-humpers' will 'mod you up' for it... that's one of the only "bitches" I have on this site, & I am not alone in it (well, that & discovering some posters here like to maintain alternate registered accounts to mod themselves up with that is -> http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1147437&cid=27056793 [slashdot.org] in "The End of Days" ) apk

  • 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.
  • by Dunkirk (238653) * <david@davidkrider. c o m> on Monday March 16, 2009 @01:23PM (#27212881) Homepage

    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 the pie. They're just going to slice it into smaller portions. You sound like you like this approach. I don't. We already have lots of history, both in this country and around the world, as to what works and what doesn't. This administration's ideas won't. We know that purely from previous experimentation in the field. I don't understand why so many people can be lulled into thinking that they will. Call it a "feature" of the failed government-based school system, I guess.

    I'm just hoping that the economy turns around on its own before most of the plan goes into effect, and that we have the good sense to repeal it before it ruins the economy for the next 50 years. Fat chance, I know.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Monday March 16, 2009 @03:30PM (#27215167)

    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 suppress raises to the rest of the company for two decades.

    At this point, the wealthy now control so much of the pie, that there is no place they can safely invest their wealth to get the last 5% of the pie from the other 95% of the population.

    And the wealthy overplayed their hand (as they have throughout history and have become such a tiny minority of the population that once again, the majority of the population is going to bone them severely. I'm thinking 70% taxes on the wealthy within 20 years- probably higher. Some pretty studly property taxes coming too. And probably no limitations on mortgage deductions that stops us from subsidizing the wealthy to the tune of $28,000 to $40,000 dollars on their purchase of a three million dollar mansion. A fairer system will be a fixed rate- like $1500 a year max mortgage deduction. But to be honest, on my *reasonably* priced house, I've never gotten over $900.

  • by morghanphoenix (1070832) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:12PM (#27215769)
    The slow death of Microsoft. They are diversified enought that a total failure in the OS market won't kill MS, and people remembering the rrod next time they release an x-box won't kill them either, plus all the deals they make with developers to keep some of the biggest software titles Windows only is not going to change. Sure a business can run a VM, and at least for my needs a VM of XP is much better than installing a MS OS, but wine/cedega/crossover really isn't up to snuff for the new games so I don't see Windows dying out until we start getting native ports of games. Not everybody is willing to skip the purchase 'till it runs with wine, and then send a letter to the company telling them why they got the sale, so even with the growing popularity of Linux for home use I don't see major game studios getting a clue anytime soon.

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