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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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  • by Matrix272 ( 581458 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:06PM (#6401599)
    By "Operating Costs" does that include the salary of the admins? Windows admins make a lot less than *nix admins (rightly so), so is paying more to the Linux admins included in their estimates?

    Aside from that point, I don't know who would trust Microsoft enough to put their confidential financial information, especially payroll, on Windows...
  • What does this mean? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ( 601843 ) <> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:08PM (#6401628) Homepage Journal
    I think clearly there is some serious thinking going on in Government circles about Open Source and technology projects. Has anybody looked at the EU guidelines []? They've even set up a special body to promote open and interoperable stuff [] across the EU... More stuff []
  • Re:Java? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BiteMeFanboy ( 680905 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:12PM (#6401663)
    Yes. The same could be said for Scheme, Lisp, Perl, and quite a number of other languages, many of which are better for large applications than Java.
  • Re:Java? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by IWorkForMorons ( 679120 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:15PM (#6401696) Journal
    If tomorrow Linux is declared illegal because of the SCO suit

    You forget that Japan also has to recognize that it's illegal. If I were Japan, I'd tell SCO to shove their FUD and their laws up their collective ass. But, if I were Japan, I'd have a lot more to worry about then just SCO...
  • by Knife_Edge ( 582068 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:16PM (#6401707)
    From the article it seems like the Japanese government was running their payroll software on a big proprietary unix system anyway, and was looking to upgrade the underlying system. It is not surprising that they picked Linux to do this - they say one of the reasons for the selection is because the hardware it runs on is cheaper. Maybe they ditched some Sun hardware? Some other vendor?

    I'm sure Microsoft wanted them to use their software, but Linux is more likely to win when the competition is another *nix. Microsoft probably couldn't meet the requirements of 'runs old payroll software' or something, no matter how low they could price their software to compete.

    This is a win for Linux, but not that big of a win, considering the details of the situation. This hardly indicates an expanding mindshare for the platform, just ability to cannibalize another *nix with its freeness.
  • by jbottero ( 585319 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:19PM (#6401735)
    These days, Linux admins don't really cost *that* much more than Win32 admins. It's a buyer's market labor wise, and nobody looking for a job these days is making as much as they where a few years back.

    In any case, the idea that the labor cost is a significant percentage of Linux TCO may be due in part to the fact that you don't have to spend $100,000 plus for the software.

  • by fuqqer ( 545069 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:34PM (#6401860) Homepage
    When was the last time you tried to use windows for clustered computering? Doesn't happen. This should be modded down for trolling not up for insightful.

    With posts modded like this, I'll change thresholds for only +5 now.

    Mod this as a troll, see what I care!
  • by WegianWarrior ( 649800 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:40PM (#6401928) Journal

    ...what the underlaying OS is for the system as long as I get my paycheck.

    Still, it saddens me somewhat to see that the Norwegian Armed Forces - who pay my paycheck - are going to switch to yet another windowsbased system as they are changing the system for keeping track of the money (Prosjekt GOLF). Off course, I know why too, the entire intranet for the Norwegian Armed Forces (FISbasis) are running Windows NT something or other.. you know, the one that looks like Win98...

    On the bright side, it appers that a number of the systems I'm not allowed to talk about, running stuff that I'm not supposed to know about *smiles* in places that don't exist, are running on a somewhat modified and customised Linux, since it's considered a better system with regards to uptime and so forth.

  • Japan vs Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vegan Pagan ( 251984 ) <[deanas] [at] []> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:49PM (#6402004)
    Considering how badly Microsoft treated their Japanese Xbox employees [], maybe part of this decision was the Japanese government wanting to part ways with MS?
  • Re:Accountability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zeriel ( 670422 ) <sholes@atheRABBI ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:57PM (#6402063) Homepage Journal
    It lies in the fact that instead of paying $x to J. Random Corporation, you pay $.25x to your own programming staff and release enough patches and fixes to keep the community happy (and working on relevant patches, too)

    Secondly, of course, is the standard software contract terms: "Vendor is not liable" no matter where you get your stuff.

    Finally, they're probably paying for a support contract (from IBM or Oracle, maybe?) which is where the REAL accountability comes in, not from the specific software vendor.
  • by wawannem ( 591061 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @03:41PM (#6402414) Homepage
    The article does say
    Until now, the Japanese government has relied on expensive large-scale computers for its backbone system.
    I would say that it is a fair assumption that it wasn't windows... I mean, when have you known of a 'large-scale' 'backbone' windows system? My guess is that it was probably some [Sun|HP|SGI] based iron running [SAP|PeopleSoft|Oracle]... In which case it will be easy to decrease costs. Moving to M$ would have decreased costs too if I am right, but at any rate, at the risk of sounding redundant this is just another case that can be pointed to when discussing a move to linux.
  • by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @03:52PM (#6402478) Homepage Journal
    Uh, I can pay my phone and electric bill at my local grocery store. And have been able to for 15 years. And I live in the USA.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @05:54PM (#6403489)
    Clearly no one understands how costs are factored in to the equation when you are a large company or the government.

    When you purchase equipment, it's depreciated here over 4 years. That means if you pay 48,000,000 yen for some equipment, it's charged back to you internally over a depreciation schedule. You'd pay 1,000,000 yen a month. You don't pay for it all at once. This goes in to your running costs.

    I have some old Ultra2's in production here. They have no depreciation (fully paid for), but I have to pay 200,000 yen per year maintenance. Over 3 years, it costs me 600,000 yen. (or 12,500 yen per month of running cost)

    I can buy a compaq DL360 for 500,000 yen. It comes with 3 years free maintenance. (or 10417 yen per month running cost)

    I can cut costs and get more powerful systems. Savings go up when you buy more. With the cost of one year's Sun E10K maintenance, we can buy 56 IBM Linux Blades, with 3 years free maintenance. This setup will kick the Sun E10k's butt, for much less cost.

    Guess which is cheaper for me to operate on?

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley