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Linux Business The Almighty Buck

Japan To Do Payroll On Linux 343

strannik writes "Yahoo/Reuters is reporting that the The Japanese Government will use Linux for it's payroll system. Fujitsu LTD, IBM Japan LTD and OKI Electronic Industry Co. will develop the system by March of 2004. The new system is expected to halve operating costs (to about 350 Billion Yen a year)."
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Japan To Do Payroll On Linux

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  • Upstart? (Score:4, Informative)

    by HanClinto ( 621615 ) < minus painter> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:08PM (#6401626)
    "For the past year, an intense turf battle between Microsoft and vendors of the upstart Linux has been raging as more corporations and government agencies turn to Linux software to run their desktop and network computer systems to cut costs."
    ntr.v. upstarted, upstarting, upstarts (p-stärt)
    To spring or start up suddenly.

    The banner-ad on the right side of my screen reading that article was the Oracle/Unbreakable Penguin ad. Granted Linux has been gaining ground quickly as-of-late, but it's not exactly been an upstart.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:10PM (#6401646)
    Read the article. They aren't comparing that to a Windows option.
  • by PizzaFace ( 593587 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:11PM (#6401656)
    They're replacing mainframes, not Windows servers.
  • by randomErr ( 172078 ) <> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:18PM (#6401726) Journal
    Just to give everyone an idea how much that really is I've ran a conversion to your local exchange rate based on 350 billion dollars:
    US Dollar : 2.9 billion
    UK Pound : 1.8 billion
    Euro : 2.6 billion
    Mexican Peso : 31.1 billion
    Austrial Dollar: 4.5 billion
  • Re:$300mil/yr? (Score:4, Informative)

    by captain_craptacular ( 580116 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:20PM (#6401747)
    First of all I believe they're saving somewhere near 3 billion dollars...

    Secondly I work for a department that supports a payroll system for about 10k Employees and I'd guess that for Developers alone we shell out about $250k a year to support the system. And this isn't even a home-rolled system, we're talking maintenance of a system that we pay for. With all liscenses included and hardware costs, I'm sure we're well over $500,000 a year.

    Thats for 10k Employees, how many employees does the Japanese Govt. have?
  • Re:It's about time (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:21PM (#6401760)
    Oh, please. Microsoft is cozy enough with US elected officials that it was convicted of abuse of monopoly power and still got off virtually scot-free. If they have the sway to do that, I highly doubt they'd be unable to stop the US government from migrating away from their products.
  • by zulux ( 112259 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:26PM (#6401801) Homepage Journal
    It's so much easier to put together a cluster of Windows machines when you don't know a lot about it that a cluster of *nix.

    Not any more! Search google for 'cluster knoppix'. Or go here []

    It's this simple: boot a server with the .ISO, boot the clients via network or .ISO and presto! A Mosix Cluster!

    It's a facinating this to turn a Windows network into a temporary Mosix cluster in under an hour. Pull the CD's out and reboot, and your back to Windows. (Or other OS)

  • Re:Java? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:33PM (#6401847) Homepage
    First off, believe it or not, ANSI C is pretty darned portable

    You've said it! You have to port C code!! Java is cross-platform by design, not portable.

    On the other hand, porting C code is just a matter of making sure the library you use on OS A is also ported on OS B. For example porting an X app on windows is not possible (well, you can rewrite your GUI layer, but I don't call that a "portable" app).

    With Java, the standard libraries are way more usefull than the common set of C libraries... (especially if you take the common set between *nix and windows ;-))

    For the PHP/Python/Java/$LANGUAGE I don't really care. But please don't tell me C is portable. Hello world compile on any language. As soon as you start fancy stuff, you're bounded by the library you're using.
  • On Line bill paying (Score:4, Informative)

    by NetNinja ( 469346 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:43PM (#6401951)
    The Japanese have had an online bill and payroll system for about 10 years now.

    Need to pay your electric bill? Pay it at the bank
    Need to pay the phone bill? Pay it at the bank

    Most companies in the U.S. are just starting to implement this or worst they are starting to charge for it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:45PM (#6401977)
    The Center for the Public Domain [] (i.e. Bob Young's tax bracket lowering company) uses Windows to run its payroll program, actually.

    Oh, and remember when Bob Young said that he *only* uses Linux? It sure looked like he was using the windows 2000 computer (kept around for programs that Linux doesn't have [dreamweaver]) and Internet Explorer to check out his stock. :-/
  • by BillsPetMonkey ( 654200 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:51PM (#6402011)
    According to Doripush [] (rated "excellent"),

    "Of course, Fujistu almost certainly offered Solaris first. However the great and the good in the government said 'Yes, well and good but the OS with the most popular appeal is Linux.' So they went for Linux. When offered by three companies, Linux is also easier to swallow."

    See the Japanese are not the only ones who can play copycat!
  • by FLoWCTRL ( 20442 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @03:17PM (#6402238) Journal
    If you use portable languages and portable GUI toolkits, then the OS itself matters very, very little. You could run a solid payroll application under Windows, OS X, BSD, you name it.

    Of course it matters: why would you want to develop and run your application framework on an OS that costs you licensing fees, requires proprietary hardware, has a security track record that resembles swiss cheese, has frequent downtime or requires constant babysitting?

    The OS does matter.

  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @04:07PM (#6402618) Homepage Journal

    For years Microsoft's server growth has, in large part, come from UNIX to Windows migrations. Microsoft used the high price/performance ratio from x86 chips to steal marketshare from UNIX. The fact that Linux is starting to capture these sales is a big deal for the folks at Microsoft. Microsoft currently has a price/earnings ratio of 30. That means that if they want to keep their stock price up where it currently is that they have to show a significant amount of revenue growth. Even if Linux doesn't cut into Windows' server marketshare it is still robbing Microsoft of growth potential.

    As for the desktop, Microsoft already has nearly 100% of that market. Part of the reason that Microsoft changed their licensing scheme is that raising prices was the only way to get any growth out of the desktop market. Microsoft doesn't have anywhere to go on the desktop but down.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson