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Businesses Operating Systems Software Windows Linux IT

EWeek Details Linux to Windows Migration 475

nakhla writes "Even though we always hear stories of companies migrating from Windows to Linux, eWeek is running a story describing several companies that have migrated from Linux to Windows. Among their reasons are inadequate support options, application compatibility issues, stability problems, and the added cost of troubleshooting."
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EWeek Details Linux to Windows Migration

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  • ID 10 T Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mod_critical ( 699118 ) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:21PM (#10366684)

    I read the article and many of the issues faced by the "switch-backers" seemed to be issues with either the software they were running (illegal user entry crashed a web-store) or a poorly managed ISP (after switching from a Linux ISP to a Windows ISP downtime decreased). I also found it just amazing that one company claimed that under Linux there were few options for an SQL server, with Oracle being the only one.

    In all my experience I could never imagine a properly developed and deployed Linux solution underperforming a Windows solution or being inadequatly stable. I think that the real problem this article points out (but dosen't mention) is that the numbers of skilled Linux administrators are thinning. Even worse, the number of Linux administrators that only think they are skilled is increasing. Many of my peers going through college now like Windows because that is all they have ever known and don't want to bother learning Linux. The problem also stems from how terrible the consulting business has become. There are far too many businesses out there today that I have run into that have a guy who read Linux for Dummies and is making cold calls to customer sites running Linux implementations.

    • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Marcus Green ( 34723 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:27PM (#10366746) Homepage
      I switched from Ford to Toyota because my Ford dealer was a schmuck. Therefore Ford cars are a poor choice and everyone should chose an alternative. (paraphrasing the ideas in the article)
      • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gehel ( 601073 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:37PM (#10366845) Homepage

        Actually, that is the issue ... If dont dont have any good Ford dealer around, you'll go for the Toyota. In most case the important difference is the human factor and not the technology. Technology by itself is never the solution ...

        So : start teaching Linux to everyone and you'll get the needed support in about 5 years ...

        • Yes, exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lakeland ( 218447 ) <lakeland@acm.org> on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:09PM (#10367182) Homepage
          If you have a reliable windows dealer around, with years of experience of making things work right. And you also have a new linux dealer around, fresh out of college and eager for their first contract, who do you go for?

          Now, I'm not comparing apples with oranges, but people rarely have the choice of equally experienced linux and windows vendors. And for many people that the experienced windows operators are a better choice than the inexperienced linux operators. Like the article said, they swapped ISP and they got greater reliability -- well, neither linux nor windows are unreliable -- so what's the bet their old linux ISP was a shoddy operation?

          I got quite a suprise the other day hearing a linux advocate describing going linux as having more lock-in than windows. You see, where I live there are plenty of windows firms you could hop between if one goes out of business or starts acting unreasonably. But if you go with linux then there is nobody else you can go to if your operator starts gouging you. Ergo, vendor lock-in! Of course, this is a short term position and in theory Linux has less vendor lock-in. But the real world is made up of short term positions, and customers must choose a vendor for now.
      • by lakcaj ( 811907 )

        Sorry, but if you think that Linux is the Ford, and MS is the Toyota, then you either know little about operating systems or know little about vehicles ;)
        • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @09:15PM (#10368618)
          If you really want to carry this analogy to its logical (?) conclusion, read Neal Stephenson's In The Beginning Was The Command Line [spack.org]. Some parts (bold) seem very relevant to this story.

          Imagine a crossroads where four competing auto dealerships are situated. One of them (Microsoft) is much, much bigger than the others. It started out years ago selling three-speed bicycles (MS-DOS); these were not perfect, but they worked, and when they broke you could easily fix them.

          There was a competing bicycle dealership next door (Apple) that one day began selling motorized vehicles--expensive but attractively styled cars with their innards hermetically sealed, so that how they worked was something of a mystery.

          The big dealership responded by rushing a moped upgrade kit (the original Windows) onto the market. This was a Rube Goldberg contraption that, when bolted onto a three-speed bicycle, enabled it to keep up, just barely, with Apple-cars. The users had to wear goggles and were always picking bugs out of their teeth while Apple owners sped along in hermetically sealed comfort, sneering out the windows. But the Micro-mopeds were cheap, and easy to fix compared with the Apple-cars, and their market share waxed.

          Eventually the big dealership came out with a full-fledged car: a colossal station wagon (Windows 95). It had all the aesthetic appeal of a Soviet worker housing block, it leaked oil and blew gaskets, and it was an enormous success. A little later, they also came out with a hulking off-road vehicle intended for industrial users (Windows NT) which was no more beautiful than the station wagon, and only a little more reliable.

          Since then there has been a lot of noise and shouting, but little has changed. The smaller dealership continues to sell sleek Euro-styled sedans and to spend a lot of money on advertising campaigns. They have had GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! signs taped up in their windows for so long that they have gotten all yellow and curly. The big one keeps making bigger and bigger station wagons and ORVs.

          On the other side of the road are two competitors that have come along more recently.

          One of them (Be, Inc.) is selling fully operational Batmobiles (the BeOS). They are more beautiful and stylish even than the Euro- sedans, better designed, more technologically advanced, and at least as reliable as anything else on the market--and yet cheaper than the others.

          With one exception, that is: Linux, which is right next door, and which is not a business at all. It's a bunch of RVs, yurts, tepees, and geodesic domes set up in a field and organized by consensus. The people who live there are making tanks. These are not old- fashioned, cast-iron Soviet tanks; these are more like the M1 tanks of the U.S. Army, made of space-age materials and jammed with sophisticated technology from one end to the other. But they are better than Army tanks. They've been modified in such a way that they never, ever break down, are light and maneuverable enough to use on ordinary streets, and use no more fuel than a subcompact car. These tanks are being cranked out, on the spot, at a terrific pace, and a vast number of them are lined up along the edge of the road with keys in the ignition. Anyone who wants can simply climb into one and drive it away for free.

          Customers come to this crossroads in throngs, day and night. Ninety percent of them go straight to the biggest dealership and buy station wagons or off-road vehicles. They do not even look at the other dealerships.

          Of the remaining ten percent, most go and buy a sleek Euro-sedan, pausing only to turn up their noses at the philistines going to buy the station wagons and ORVs. If they even notice the people on the opposite side of the road, selling the cheaper, technically superior vehicles, these customers deride them cranks and half-wits.

          The Batmobile outlet sells a few vehicles to the occasional car nut who wants a

          • by Enigma_Man ( 756516 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2004 @10:37AM (#10373379) Homepage
            One of them (Be, Inc.) is selling fully operational Batmobiles (the BeOS). They are more beautiful and stylish even than the Euro- sedans, better designed, more technologically advanced, and at least as reliable as anything else on the market--and yet cheaper than the others.

            With one exception, that is: Linux, which is right next door, and which is not a business at all. It's a bunch of RVs, yurts, tepees, and geodesic domes set up in a field and organized by consensus. The people who live there are making tanks.


            Now if only they could FIGURE OUT THE CONTROLS. There's so damn many of them. A station wagon and SUV have a gas pedal, brake, and a steering wheel. The tanks and batmobiles have buttons, switches, wheels, dials, rotors, sliders, pedals, and gigantic computers that need specific input to get them moving in teh right direction. There are lots of us driving station wagons that look longingly at the tanks, and wish... just wish that someone would just slap a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals on it, and be done with it.

            -Jesse
    • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      Welcome to my world. Don't be too upset, as Linux gets more and more popular, it's inevitable. EvilSS MCSE, MCSD.
      • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mbullock ( 623257 )
        Absolutely. The problem with windows is not in all cases windows itself. I have certainly seen solid solutions on many different platforms over the years. As Linux becomes more ubiquitous, you will inevitably see more and more underqualified programmers and administrators working in that environment.
        • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Phisbut ( 761268 )
          I have certainly seen solid solutions on many different platforms over the years.

          True, and one of the switch-backers didn't understand that because one particular application running on Linux fails, then the whole Linux idea fails.

          "There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order 'x' amount of products within one transaction," Roy said.

          There was a limit set up within Windows that said you can only leave your computer running for 49.7 days straight... This isn't better, but it a

    • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:46PM (#10366968)
      I wouldn't be so quick to discount these stories.

      I'm an avid Linux/Open Source supporter but I know that neither will ever be everything for everyone. There will inevitably some situation in which it will best for a business to remain with (or even switch to) a proprietary solution.

      How we respond to these accounts is critical. If we immediatly begin criticizing the businesses who choose not to adopt our technologies or worse yet, label their support staff incompetent, then we've immediatly galvanized them and destroyed any possibility for a peaceful co-existance in the future.
    • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lpangelrob2 ( 721920 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:47PM (#10366983) Journal
      think that the real problem this article points out (but dosen't mention) is that the numbers of skilled Linux administrators are thinning. Even worse, the number of Linux administrators that only think they are skilled is increasing. Many of my peers going through college now like Windows because that is all they have ever known and don't want to bother learning Linux.

      You've hit on something here. The only way I could possibly learn Linux is through... my Cygwin environment at work, and my OS X Powerbook. For all the comments I've read on Slashdot regarding Linux training, the "right way to do things", and arguments about which distro is the best to learn... it seems like there's just confusion about what constitutes learning and 'when you know enough'. That's what certifications supposedly are for, but I think mere mention of the letters "MSCE" sends chills down developers' spines. I would like to think I'm learning, but knowing I could always fall back on the GUI sorta makes me feel like I'm "cheating" :-)

      If Linux is going to take off, this type of situation is just one of those 'baby steps' that Linux will have to go through while the technological community-at-large creates some sort of structure for Linux. In the meantime, this article was an interesting anecdote, but I'm pretty sure more than a few companies are quite happy with their Windows-to-Linux move.

      Now to try to get Linux SysAdmin certification... wait...

      • Certifications (Score:4, Informative)

        by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <chris DOT travers AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:17PM (#10367258) Homepage Journal
        I hold the Linux Professional Institute Certification Level 2, and I passed the combined exam while it was in beta. I also hold other certifications as well (MCSA, MCSE, Inet+, A+, Network+, and Server+).

        As a Linux-centric consultant, here is what I have to say about the questions people talk about:

        1) Which distro to learn on? Doesn't matter. But learn how to read configuration files and use command line utilities. This is more important than what distro. Also learn about the boot sequence and learn how to configure both LILO and GRUB.

        2) How much learning is enough? You will NEVER know everything you need to know to impliment Linux solutions which stretch your knowledge. However, you need to know the fundamentals of networking, security, and other basic cross-platform topics. You also need to be comfortable *in the Linux world* to understand how to put together a solution which will meet an arbitrary set of needs. Finally you need to know where to go to get documentation. Beyond that, you can learn as you go.

        Also best IT practices in general are a good thing to know. Beyond that you can read up on documentation and play with programs. This is where OSS kicks the competition out ;-)
    • "In all my experience I could never imagine a properly developed and deployed Linux solution underperforming a Windows solution or being inadequatly stable" This is a great part of the issue at hand. In the article's second page, you have a bloke stating that their Linux box couldn't cope with a 5k pass sale over a weekend. Now, considering they state their choice towards Linux was cost-based, you can almost bet their server setup was also chosen on a cost basis, and il--scaled. Unsurprisingly, you come to
      • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ADRA ( 37398 )
        The problem was with one thing, and one thing only. The developers had nobody to blame but Linux. The second case, the developers were in-house and their code didn't work. "What so we do"?? We could take the shit from management, or we could blame the OS.

        I'll bet $10 that it was the programmers trying to find an excuse for a bug that slipped into the system. There is Zero way that Linux on a competently setup Linux machine could not process this input properly. In all likelihood, their code didn't expect a
    • Re:ID 10 T Problem (Score:3, Informative)

      by AstroDrabb ( 534369 )
      I don't think it was even as simple as a ID10T problem. In the article, it states that _only_ two companies switched back. Not much to cry about. They were probably "MS Only" shops that hired "VB Only" "developers" who couldn't program their way out of a paper bag. I have ran into far too many people who call themselves programmers only to learn that they know nothing other then VB. Anyway, from the article

      but Linux became an issue when Combe's Web applications needed a database, and the only option

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:22PM (#10366692)
    Basically, it was too hard for people to exploit my system. Now, I've got IE and IIS, and I'm open to the world! That's interopability baby.
  • by etymxris ( 121288 ) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:22PM (#10366698)
    Why did they have to use Oracle? Besides this, the article is seriously lacking in details. What type of support issues did they run into? Where they are specific things are even more mysterious. Why did the application die when too many items were ordered at once? And more importantly, what does that have to do with Linux or Apache? It sure sounds like an application problem to me. Another thing that caught my eye is that one of the companies switched to Linux without adequate internal support. If you migrate to something, anything, without training a significant portion of your staff to use it then you are asking for trouble. It seems like these IT directors wanted Linux to fail. It's a trivial task to make a project fail if you don't want it to succeed.

    Added to this is that the endorsements are so glowing and positive that there is no way they can be taken seriously. I've worked with both Windows and Linux extensively, and there simply isn't such a thing as a major complex project going off without a hitch, especially when it involves migrating between two very different operating systems. I'm sure there have been similar endorsements made of Linux, "We switched to Linux and all our problems magically went away." I would be similarly skeptical of such claims.
  • by kriston ( 7886 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:22PM (#10366699) Homepage Journal
    The human resource costs of supporting Linux systems that aren't directly supported by a major hardware vendor can be high. What experiences have people had with vendors that really, truly, officially support Linux? I haven't seen too much direct support from the likes of Dell or Toshiba, especially when it comes to Laptops.

    Kris
  • by YodaToo ( 776221 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:23PM (#10366708)
    ...we've recently started migrating large blocks of code from Java to COBOL.
    • by cliveholloway ( 132299 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:39PM (#10366882) Homepage Journal
      We've just started porting our Perl apps to Java.

      cLive ;-)

      (let the flame wars begin :)
    • by BoneFlower ( 107640 ) <george.worroll@g m a il.com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:53PM (#10367041) Journal
      COBOL actually has a place... What I can do in 200 lines of COBOL to run through and process business data would take 2000 in Java or C++... its absolutely insane. COBOL has some good features, its switch implementation is just incredibly cool.

      The lack of local variables and the necessity to define exact sizes of all variables along with type is a pain... But on the other hand, that explicit declaration can help in data validation. A product code thats 3 letters, 3 numbers? AAA999 as your picture clause, and the system simply will not accept anything else, and you dont' have to write any validation code to enforce that. I'd still kill to get local variables however. But when I do cobol, I mark the globals pretending to be locals with a comment for what routine they go with so I know to not use them elsewhere. Would be useful to actually have them in the routine, but meh...
  • by usefool ( 798755 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:25PM (#10366724) Homepage
    One of the risks to deal with companies switching from Windows to Linux is their perception on how a system should work.

    A boss who's been using Windows since 3.1 will find Linux totally insane to work on because her expectation is an easy friendly GUI that does everything (goods and bads) for you.

    That's probably one of the reasons why MS is giving away so many freebies to schools and universities.
    • I know many people will disagree, but most linux desktops are 'easy friendly GUI'. You don't expect your boss to have to mess with the system configuration, and even for system configuration, there are more and more easy gui tools. Linux gui's aren't any harder than windows, they're just different, and most people expect linux to be exactly like windows.
  • Support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steelerguy ( 172075 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:25PM (#10366728) Homepage
    It sounds like they had incompetent support personel and then chose to blame the OS. Once they had someone who knew what they were doing set up everything, suddenly things were rosey. Perhaps they should have set things up right in the first place...but most places tend not to.
    • Re:Support (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mchawi ( 468120 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:39PM (#10366877)
      I think this is true of this story, and a lot of the Windows horror stories you read.

      A competent administrator with a system setup correctly from the start will almost always trump any OS with a bad administrator and / or bad setup. You wouldn't believe how many stories and comments I (and I'm sure others) have read on here about what people have done or had problems with on Windows machines, and asked why they didn't learn how to administer the machine in the first place. Now you're just going to see the same stories (true or not) cropping up about Linux, and have the same reaction. Welcome to the party ;)

      Not to say that Windows is better than Linux, or X is better than Y for any operating system - just that it seems more problems are caused by either administrators (or management) rather than the OS.

      Personally I hope both Linux and Windows continue to advance. As long as we have competition, everyone wins (talk about market share all you want, but I think at this point Linux qualifies as competition).

      I also look forward to the day when all the Linux administrators that say 'it cant happen on my Linux system' get to deal with the same users and managers that the rest of us have dealt with for years ;)

  • The Big Versus (Score:5, Informative)

    by psbrogna ( 611644 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:27PM (#10366741)
    It's been my experience that most organizations have problems because they're staff are inadequately trained. I myself and just as guilty of slapping up incredibly-complex-software-that-has-been-shrink-w rapped-and-commoditized (ie. firewalls, mailservers, database servers, etc...) and the post-incident debrief revealed that of course there were problems- I didn't RTFM. Apples to Apples though- correctly implemented, it has been my experience that Linux/BSD/*ix stuff is faster, more stable, and just damn better designed. The product evolution strategy is always value driven vs. some other ulterior motive (ie. revenue, locking a customer into your product line, etc). Given this, the freely available Unix distros have always provided me, & the companies I've worked at, the maximum ROI.
    • Re:The Big Versus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by entrylevel ( 559061 ) <jaundoh@yahoo.com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:49PM (#10366993)
      I have to agree this is what we are looking at here. This is the story of two companies that hired a couple of contractors to write them software that runs under Linux, and they didn't want to pay a lot for it. The only database available for Linux is Oracle? A shopping cart that crashes the entire web store yet *still* charges the customer's credit card? ISP gave them two weeks notice? Come on people! Sounds like bad decision-making based on zero knowledge of the platform they were moving to, complete with a staff fully trained in using what they were switching *back* to. Gee, I wonder...

      This truly appears to be a case of two small corporations trying to act like big guys, save every possible imaginable penny, and guess what they wound up with? A cheap piece of software that never should have been installed on a production web server. I'd whimper back to the only software my underpaid, under-trained employees can understand too!
  • This isn't news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:28PM (#10366755)
    ...this is EWeek. All the shills that are fit to print (except S.V. Nichols, he's a cool dude).

    Why do we expect any different from them? Heck, they may as well give Steve Ballmer his column. I haven't seen so many Microsoft fan-boys since the last Sun shareholder meeting.
    • "I haven't seen so many Microsoft fan-boys since..."

      c|net. [com.com]

      m.m.

    • by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:52PM (#10367025)
      "..this is EWeek. All the shills that are fit to print (except S.V. Nichols, he's a cool dude)."

      Didn't Enderlee write for eweek? I

      Of course ZDNET has already picked this up and is featuring it on the front page.

      MS sure knows how to manipulate the press you have to give them that.

      Speaking of which Darl recently said that online magazines would soon start to tell the SCO side of the story. I would expect Eweek and ZDNET to start those any day now.

  • by michael path ( 94586 ) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:30PM (#10366774) Homepage Journal
    I was hoping to see some large-scale enterprise scenarios where Linux simply did not work - scenarios where it might make sense to put in a Windows solution. Something of substance.

    These examples are terrible, and don't even begin to suggest that the issue is a Linux one.

    From the article:
    "When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges."

    This doesn't sound like a Linux issue, it sounds like a boundary check problem. It's ridiculous to propose that this could be an OS function, and they don't back this claim up with any useful substance.

    From the article:
    Case said he was surprised by how well the system worked, but Linux became an issue when Combe's Web applications needed a database, and the only option available to the company was one from Oracle Corp.

    What function of Oracle made it more useful than MySQL in this case? It's certainly a valid DB for Web Applications - even if Oracle might scale better.

    These are some pretty baseless arguements for switching to Windows. This is essentially a public shaming of these companies.
    • >What function of Oracle made it more useful than MySQL in this case?

      When they developed the system it was 9 years ago, what was the state of MySQL back then?
      1. What function of Oracle made it more useful than MySQL in this case? It's certainly a valid DB for Web Applications - even if Oracle might scale better.

      What also puzzles me is that if Oracle on Linux was the only option (let's say it was for whatever reason) what does this have to do with the web app? The web app just needs database access. The db itself usually will be on another system anyway. That other box can run whatever OS is needed to make it happy.

  • Only Oracle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by john_anderson_ii ( 786633 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:30PM (#10366775)
    "Combe was initially wary about its sites running on Linux, but it moved to offset that risk by making sure its provider contract had built-in service-level agreements. Case said he was surprised by how well the system worked, but Linux became an issue when Combe's Web applications needed a database, and the only option available to the company was one from Oracle Corp."

    The only database option was Oracle? Why didn't they think about back-end indepenence when they designed the application? Oh well... I think they should have looked at dropping their web application platform in favor of a more back-end independent one (J2EE, PHP, whatever) before they just decided to migrate their OS. I just can't imagine anyone these days who would lock themselves into data-tier vendor like that. Of coruse, the article wasn't very descriptive about the "why".

    Case also was concerned that his company did not have appropriate in-house Linux expertise. Those concerns were proved worthwhile two years ago when the ISP gave Combe two weeks' notice that it was closing its doors.

    Read: "Case didn't want to spend the extra $73,000 a year to hire a full time Sr. Unix Admin to direct his dime a dozen MCSEs." Actually, I dunno, I can't really back that up. Anyone know the cost comparison's on Linux expertise in labor Vs. MCSEs and MS licensing?

    • Read: "Case didn't want to spend the extra $73,000 a year to hire a full time Sr. Unix Admin to direct his dime a dozen MCSEs."

      Exactly. Quit trying to tell people that Linux is a cheaper solution, than changing direction and telling us all that you need to hire an expensive Linux guru to run things.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:30PM (#10366777) Homepage
    There are a lot of schlock outfits, out there, that are putting together very poor Linux solutions. The poor client gets burned, and runs back to what they know works for them. A well built Windows solution will beat a poorly built Linux solution.
  • by Ridgelift ( 228977 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:31PM (#10366786)
    Case also was concerned that his company did not have appropriate in-house Linux expertise.

    This is the main concern I hear, that support costs are the main reasons for switching back to Windows. It's a double-edged sword though, because everyone and his dog's got an MCSE, whereas I'm able to charge more for my Linux knowledge.

    This was the same reason why people stayed with NetWare over Windows NT 3.51. Eventually with the release of NT 4.0, Microsoft was able to do more than NetWare for less cost. Linux will do the same thing. Microsoft does not have a lock on ubiquitous tech support, they merely have a head start.
  • From the article: There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order 'x' amount of products within one transaction," Roy said. "When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges.

    Ok, more a comment on the reporting than the situation, if the store crashed because of this error, surely it's a software issue, i.e. the e-commerce package they were using borked. I would imagine (read like to think)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:31PM (#10366796)
    Linux IS behind on gaming, desktop productivity, and development tools. The people switching were running php on web servers and oracle database apps?!?! Unix (and now Linux) has been excelling over windows in these areas like forever. Oracle, Progress and all the money-makers of the db world have been running on Linux forever. I don't get this article at all. Eweek didn't 'detail' anything. Linux may have its weaknesses, but they are NOT in the areas these people experienced. Perhaps the hospitality is particularly infested with idiots.
  • Heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:31PM (#10366798)
    I can understand migrating away from Linux, but .. to Windows?!?! WTF? 1991 called, they want their computer back!

    "There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order 'x' amount of products within one transaction," Roy said. "When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges."
    Yep, sounds like an OS problem. [rolls eyes]
  • The people in these "case studies" are whining about post-deployment support costs. It will be interesting to go back to these companies in a couple of years and see what their Windows support costs are like.

  • by usefool ( 798755 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:32PM (#10366808) Homepage
    It might be easy for a company to employ a team of "Linux" guys and get the migration over and done with, but it is the employees who are using the system every day.

    In my (Windows) company, it's easy to tell an employee to download a patch or open a file, because they knew how to do by default, 90% of "computer people" in the company comes from a Windows background, so while working on a computer, they do things the Windows way.

    If you have a Linux system, they will still try to do it the Windows way, and that's where the support/troubleshooting costs still to add up.
  • First, some interesting phrases:
    "immature Linux ecosystem",
    "implemented an e-commerce... decision to go with Linux...We had not budgeted the e-commerce system setup."
    "Microsoft executives will take any wins they can."

    Sounds like an internal memo? Or maybe some kind of hyped up article.

    Has anyone ever seen Starship Troopers? Remember the little hyperlinks in the newscasts in the movie. Reading the article gave the feeling a being a human getting ready to fight huge intelligent bugs.

    Is this what a Microsof
  • by NigelJohnstone ( 242811 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:35PM (#10366826)
    Remember this from 2003?

    "Microsoft has seen a 300 percent increase in the last three months of the number of Web sites hosted on its recently launched Windows Server 2003 software--with a considerable amount of the new business representing migrations from Linux, according to a survey published this week."

    http://www.wininsider.com/news/?5483

    Then a few months later it turned out they'd simply paid a domain holding company to hold domains on Windows server. A few months later they switched back.

    Sounds like they've paid a few companies to switch for the PR value. It's difficult to imagine that companies switch, then profess their previous bad decision to the press.

  • > from the flying-north-for-the-winter dept.

    shouldn't that read "northwest"?
  • Content (Score:2, Insightful)

    by binkzz ( 779594 )

    The arguments used by the two companies seem to be words taken directly from MS.

    For one, they claim lack of support and give their own solution to it as well -- they don't have any technical linux staff. To switch over to linux without having anyone with the know-how to run linux seems naive, and is only asking for trouble.

    Saying that there is only one available database for Linux shows they hardly did any research. This is further proven by a quote from them: "Even though [Linux] has moved into the rea

  • by (H)elix1 ( 231155 ) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:39PM (#10366868) Homepage Journal
    Three years ago, the resort implemented an e-commerce system that used Red Hat Inc. Linux, The Apache Software Foundation's Apache Web servers and MySQL AB's MySQL database; the system was programmed in PHP.

    "The decision to go with Linux was a cost-based one," Michele Roy, the resort's chief financial officer, told eWEEK. "We had not budgeted the e-commerce system setup in that year's business plan."

    The potential savings were quickly erased by ongoing support expenses, Roy said. "We spent more during the first three months troubleshooting the Linux system than if we had purchased the Windows solution to begin with," she said. "The Linux system could not handle the layers of information needed for internal control of the resort."

    Roy also had concerns about the security and reliability of the system. System failures and escalating costs had the resort reconsidering its Linux decision when, over a weekend in late-summer 2002, in the midst of its season-pass sale--accounting for the sale of about 5,000 passes--the system went down. The e-commerce component stopped working for about a day.


    Call me silly, but I'd be more than a little suspicious that management needed to be hit by a clue-by-four. If they did not think to even budget for - oh, I don't know, something that sounds like it was a critical system - I'm willing to bet they gave plenty of time to design and develop something works. Seriously, this sounds like something farmed out to rentacoder.com for $200, and they got what they paid for. I suspect that Microsoft had to go in and say they would provide some top shelf resources to help them make a PR case study, because it would not surprise me in the least if they would not bung up an ASP.NET application too.
  • by multiplexo ( 27356 ) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:39PM (#10366870) Journal
    We have a story about two relatively insignificant companies switching their infrastructure over to Linux, despite what many people might say the plural of anecdote is not "data" and despite what michael thinks two companies is not several.

    I worked at Amazon in 2001 when Amazon switched from Solaris/Tru64UNIX to HP Netservers running Redhat Linux, if Amazon hadn't done this the company probably would have gone out of business as the IT costs of the proprietary UNIX systems were too high. Were there problems with this transition? Well yes there were, we used to joke that the website for HP's technical support for RedHat on the Netservers was www.google.com, because God knows that HP was clueless about Linux at the time. But as time passed we killed off a lot of the bugs that the system had and ended up with a very reliable infrastructure.

    Linux support is getting better and better thanks to companies such as IBM and Silicon Graphics who realize that if they want to compete in the Linux market that they have to sell real Linux solutions, they can't, as Sun does, and HPaq did, tell customers that they have Linux solutions available and then attempt to push them onto systems running their proprietary versions of UNIX, bait and switch just won't cut it.

    For now Linux is cutting into sales of the proprietary UNIXes just as Microsoft Windows NT started to do 10 years ago, but as Microsoft continues to get bad press over security flaws in their OS, and as ship dates for Longhorn continue to slip, and as the price of Microsoft operating systems inches ever skyward while the licensing terms become ever more onerous (and as my sentences continue to run-on...) Linux is going to start taking over a lot of the server space that Microsoft currently owns. IT is becoming a commodity, if two IT vendors can both make the case that their product is going to work for a company then the vendor with the lower cost is going to get the contract, the days of "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" which in the 90s became "no one ever got fired for buying Microsoft" are coming to a close. TCA is going to win the day and customers aren't going to care if the system is Longhorn, UNIX, Linux or the new BlargoVAX 666.

    • by Mullen ( 14656 )
      I worked at Amazon in 2001 when Amazon switched from Solaris/Tru64UNIX to HP Netservers running Redhat Linux, if Amazon hadn't done this the company probably would have gone out of business as the IT costs of the proprietary UNIX systems were too high. Were there problems with this transition? Well yes there were, we used to joke that the website for HP's technical support for RedHat on the Netservers was www.google.com, because God knows that HP was clueless about Linux at the time. But as time passed we k
  • by SeanTobin ( 138474 ) * <byrdhuntr@hotm a i l . c om> on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:41PM (#10366914)
    Combe Inc - makers of "Personal Care" products (read: vagisil, odor-eaters, and denture adhesive) switched from Linux to Windows because:
    • Combe believed the only database to use for their web applications was Oracle.
    • They contacted a provider to set them up with an oracle server, which was only available on Linux.
    • The vendor then went out of business, and instead of finding a vendor with Linux/Oracle experience they went with a "Microsoft Certified Partner" who for some reason told them that the "only" solution was to migrate to Windows 2k3/IIS6 and SQL Server 2k.
    • Windows server 2k3 has worked out great for them for the last two years, especially since it appears they have only been running it on their e-commerce site since September 14th according to netcraft [netcraft.com]. (Unless I'm reading the chart incorrectly, which I might be. The "last changed" column is slightly misleading).

    So, our favorite supplier of vagisil chose a ISV who went out of business, switched to another ISV who didn't know how to support their old software, and is a model of how to run a business with Microsoft software.

    Our second (and final) example of all the swarms of companies running away from Linux comes from Mountain High Ski Resort.

    The people at Mountain High are a prime example of people who really should be using Microsoft Software. Some of the more classic examples include:
    • "The decision to go with Linux was a cost-based one," Michele Roy, the resort's chief financial officer, told eWEEK. "We had not budgeted the e-commerce system setup in that year's business plan."
      • "The Linux system could not handle the layers of information needed for internal control of the resort."
      • Roy also had concerns about the security and reliability of the system [that had no budget for setup].
      • "There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order 'x' amount of products within one transaction," Roy said. "When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges."
      Now, that last item is the kicker. I don't care if you are running your site on $500,000 IBM servers-of-doom running NASA tested software that is Guaranteed 100% bug-free. If you design any kind of commerce site which not only crashes when someone orders too many products, but brings down the rest of the server AND makes erroneous credit card charges to multiple accounts.... You need to behead your programming team.

      And now, one final bit of the article put here just for humor:
      The biggest challenges are those customers moving from Unix to Linux, who "don't want to rewrite their applications, and most of their staff only know Java.

  • 1. Oracle is expensive.

    2. If your IT staff doesn't know Linux, but knows Windows, they will have an easier time using Windows.

    3. If your e-commerce app is garbage, then the system built with it will suck, regardless of whether it's on Linux or Windows.

    IT managers need to have some common sense. They should have known all of these things before they ever deployed the system they did. The fact that they didn't take these things into account says more about their IT planning process than about the

  • Brylcreem Nuff said (Score:5, Informative)

    by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:45PM (#10366958) Homepage
    These guys are the sleaze folks that makes Brylcreem for crying out loud.

    If you do a little sleuthing you will discover this is part of the MS Get the Fud program from May 2004 [microsoft.com]. You relly should visit and admire the Linux = Shareware blurb.

    Check with Netcraft and you will find that they reason the switched was that their ISP went out of business and the one that they teamed up with that got them to "switch" has managed to gain ZERO additional clients since. Again Source Netcraft.

  • Hardly Shocking... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fringe ( 6096 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:49PM (#10366994)
    Two things aren't shocking here. First is the typical slashdot response of, "Oh, they were idiots, they used idiots, obviously it's their fault." Which isn't really very helpful; most people are, by slashdot standards, idiots. The goal of modern commercial software is to lower the bar such that idiots can use it safely. (That's distinct from the goal of so much open-source software, of providing more power to the gurus while scaring away women and children, to build up the developer's technical cred.)

    The other thing that isn't shocking is that Windows is perceived, by some, as being lower cost and more reliable. And again, slashdotters will argue the moon away that it ain't so. And, again, for non-idiots in their lexicon, they're correct. But on average, they're wrong.

    Years ago I build a pretty powerful product, cross-platform. Runs on BSD, Linux and Windows, using Sybase, SQL Server or MySQL. All but one sale over the years was Windows. Why? Because that's what the businesses use. Lower training costs. When things go wrong, they're fixable via GUI. Don't need to find a guru, any convenient semi-geek can do the job.

    I've been very annoyed by this. I really expected BSD and Linux to take off. But corporates lack sufficient geekpower, on average, to use Linux. And that is the reality that too few geeks are willing to cater to. And I say this as someone who has, in the last year, done hardcore commercial development on all three platforms.
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:49PM (#10366998) Journal

    The article does a great job of making Linux seem like a steaming pile of shit whereas Windows is the shining knight. You are expected to just accept this despite the fact that the applications they are using, not the operating system were to blame.

    In the second case they complain about how their ecommerce system crashed because of a built-in limit. How does switching to Windows fix this? That's a flaw in the application code and nowhere else. The first case is a little weaker in this regard, but still subtly close. Using Windows doesn't give you more enterprise class database vendor options than Linux does. So again, somehow the availability of applications and their quality is the fault of open source. (Plus, if we take the idiot factor into account, I wonder how much upgrading took place on their 9 year-old deployment.) Right.

    I am not, of course, trying to discount their complaints. Open source support is a niche that requires some serious progress. However, that article is so loaded with spin it makes my head hurt.

  • by Rysc ( 136391 ) * <sorpigal@gmail.com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:00PM (#10367105) Homepage Journal
    They didn't switch from Linux to Windows. They had a contract with another company to provide their web site and services, and that company ran Linux. The other company took care of all of the details. It was merely unhappyness that the company with which they dealt would only offer them a (presumably expensive) Oracle database which caused them to start looking for a new provider. It sounds like the guys in charge were never too thrilled with Linux and we're just looking for a reason to stop using it, but until the DB thing happened were dismayed to find that it worked.

    This is not a "We ditched Windows for Linux, but now want Linux again!" it's a "We switched contractors and didn't want to switch to one running Linux 'cause we're intimidated by it and have very small penis'."

    Move along...
  • by John_Booty ( 149925 ) <johnbooty@bootyprojec t . o rg> on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:02PM (#10367119) Homepage
    I've been a "Windows guy" professionally for about 7 years. I like ASP+IIS+MSSQL as a development platform. But the reasons for abandoning Linux given in the article are just ridiculous. They're symptoms of IT managers who clearly don't know a thing about the systems they run. From the article:

    Combe was initially wary about its sites running on Linux, but it moved to offset that risk by making sure its provider contract had built-in service-level agreements. Case said he was surprised by how well the system worked, but Linux became an issue when Combe's Web applications needed a database, and the only option available to the company was one from Oracle Corp.

    Oracle is the only database on Linux? Wow, that's news to me. On the high end, IBM's DB2 has been available for quite a while on Linux, I believe. In the midrange there's Postgres and Firebird, and in the lower midrange there's MySQL.

    The potential savings were quickly erased by ongoing support expenses, Roy said. "We spent more during the first three months troubleshooting the Linux system than if we had purchased the Windows solution to begin with," she said. "The Linux system could not handle the layers of information needed for internal control of the resort.

    Uhh... Linux doesn't support enough "layers of information". Riiiiiiiight. Is there a kernel option for more "layers of information" that can perhaps be enabled? Which operating systems support the most "layers of information" right out of the box? ::snicker::

    "Roy also had concerns about the security and reliability of the system. System failures and escalating costs had the resort reconsidering its Linux decision when, over a weekend in late-summer 2002, in the midst of its season-pass sale--accounting for the sale of about 5,000 passes--the system went down. The e-commerce component stopped working for about a day... There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order 'x' amount of products within one transaction," Roy said. "When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges."

    This is obviously an application problem and not something intrinsic to the operating system. Sounds like the kind of crappy application error that could happen on any operating system. I can't believe the people involved in these stories even agreed to be interviewed in this article because they look like morons. I would hesitate to share that level of self-cluelessness with a good friend, let alone the world.
  • by GoMMiX ( 748510 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:05PM (#10367140)
    Atleast in Linux you can FIX the problem - rather then reboot, reinstall, or commit suicide. Windows certainly has it's benefits (I don't know of many, but I'm biast), but one benefit Windows CERTAINLY does not have is easy troubleshooting - hell - a good percentage of MS KB articles tell you it's a known issue - resolution is to completely reinstall Windows. I think it really comes down to education, more troubleshooting required because those admins were not very familiar with Linux. More support options is a geographically limited truth, some areas just don't have many (if any) linux consultants around. The biggest problem I see for Linux, from a corporate perspective, definetally comes from the lack of interoperability of Linux document formats with Windows (See MS Office) document formats. Namely, communications with other corporate offices suffer as a result of a migration. Herein lies the need for standards, to provide a level platform for fair competition. Right now, IMO (is this OT?) Microsoft's most powerfull tool is in fact their monopoly. Most companies don't care to switch software (for the most part) because all their customers, partners, vendors, et al.. use MS products - and that's where compatability issues come up, faulter communications, expand troubleshooting time, and basically just ends up costing money, and pissing off executives when their pie chart looks more like a bar graph. From my perspective, the biggest problem with Windows (when compared to Linux) is that when there's something wrong with Windows - a good majority of the time you can't even identify what 'exactly' is the root cause of the problem - let alone actually 'fix' the root cause of the problem. That alone makes Linux a winner in my book - because with Linux I can 'control' and understand 'exactly' what is happening - whereas with Windows I don't feel I have any 'real' control over what's on my system, how it works, and what method I choose to resolve the issue. Typically, I find the restart button to be the 'fix all' for most Windows related issues.
  • Take Note (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:13PM (#10367220) Homepage Journal

    That the migration costs from Linux are not large.

    This means that investing in Linux does not paint you into a corner and lock you into a single vendor. It's not a big deal to go Windows if you think it might work better for you.

    That's an advantage of using Linux.

    Now go ask your friends with significant investment in Windows whether they could migrate to any alternative for a reasonable cost.

    Even just a small standardized piece of that infrastructure, perhaps?

    Oh, it's all together and hard to separate out into standard components without breaking some other thing?

    P.S. Note that Oracle is not the only SQL option on Linux.

  • by Scott Laird ( 2043 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:34PM (#10367398) Homepage
    This sort of thing doesn't surprise me at all; it's a normal part of the growth path for tech companies. At the beginning, you're swimming in techies and the company's choices reflect it. Since they have smart people but (usually) not a lot of cash, you choose products based on a combination of price and technical merit. Linux (or *BSD) on PCs usually works quite nicely. They develop innovative in-house solutions for the problems that they face. The company is successful because they're faster and more flexible and generally *smarter* then the competition.

    The problem is that eventually the company will grow up. The smart people will leave for new startups, and the management will be replaced with bean-counters. The technical staff will become mostly middle-rung support people without a lot of design experience, and the cool, fast, cost-effective stuff that the founders build won't make any sense to the new folks. They won't know how to manage it, and the very concept doesn't fit into their mental model. If it breaks, who do they call for support?

    At this point, the company no longer sees itself as "cutting edge" or even particularly high-tech. It sees itself as part of a stable industry and starts trying to look just like all of the other companies in the industry.

    So what happens? They end up swapping all of those "hard to use" Linux systems for a big pile of Windows (or Sun, or maybe AIX) boxes, and they pay a fleet of consultants to keep things running. They pay Oracle or Peoplesoft or SAP or someone $5m for software to manage their business, and then they spend another $15m on hardware and consultants to get it up and running. And, generally, it takes them years to actually get it to work as well as the home-grown stuff that it replaced. But hey, they have someone to yell at, so they're happy.

    It doesn't always go like this, but I've seen enough of it.

    So, don't take Linux to Windows migrations as any sort of statement about Linux. Read them as a statement about the company doing the transition, and how they view their relationship with technology.
  • User Error (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vandan ( 151516 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:39PM (#10367439) Homepage
    If people go in, guns blazing, looking for a cheap buck and not considering the issues, then yes, they will get burned, and go crying back to Microsoft.

    In one of the examples, they said that the system was brought down because there was a hard-coded limit on the number of purchases you could make in 1 transaction. I fail to see what this has to do with Linux. I would be blaming the idiots who designed the site this way ... the ones who told you they could program and then produced this sort of crap.

    It's unfortunate that these idiots' stories will be the ones picked up my Microsoft & Sun in their battle against Linux. Hopefully the rest of the world have the sense to spot the fools amongst the professionals.
  • by XeRXeS-TCN ( 788834 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:46PM (#10367482)

    As much as it's utterly expected for a Slashdotter to confidently claim that any pro-MS/Anti-*nix story is automatically lies and FUD, but there are a couple of things that did catch my eye in this story.

    "We have not had an outage in two years, where before we experienced downtime at least two to three times a year. We have also lowered our TCO [total cost of ownership]."

    Firstly, I find it hard to believe that a Windows server system is that much more stable than a *nix server... or was the Windows server kept responsive by the monthly reboots to apply Windows security patches? (I administer Win2k3 Server boxes in work, I know whereof I speak) Proper outages may have happened more often (although I'm not sure how) but that doesn't count the amount of times servers would be restarted.

    Secondly though, a company proudly announcing that they have lowered their "Total Cost of Ownership" (TCO) always rings alarm bells with me. As everyone knows, that's the big thing MS are trying to push in their latest FUD atm; Linux may be free, but the TCO is higher. Saying that you have a lower TCO when you switched to Windows makes you sound like a Microsoft poster child, imo.

    Roy also had concerns about the security and reliability of the system.

    Okay, you can be concerned with the security of *any* system, and you could also take the opinion (as some studies suggest) that Linux and Windows are relatively similar in the amount of vulnerabilities/patches released (not my belief, but it's been suggested), but I have not heard of any cases beyond the Microsoft FUD machine where anyone has been concerned with the security of a Linux system and has moved to Windows as a result... again, just sounds like a Microsoft poster child to me.

    "There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order 'x' amount of products within one transaction," Roy said. "When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges."

    The ultimate horror story that no manager wants to hear... the program crashed, and lots of time and effort was spent fixing it! omg! But then again, that sounds to me like it's a problem with the program they're using, not the operating system. If they were to switch to Windows, and use the same software (assuming it had a port) there's no guarantee that the exact same thing wouldn't happen. This again, imo, is simply FUD.

    "We spent more during the first three months troubleshooting the Linux system than if we had purchased the Windows solution to begin with," she said.

    This could be a valid arguement in itself; if you do not have the skills in your company to deal with a Linux system (having previously overloaded your IT base with MCSE's :p) then you might have a lot of issues trying to administer the system internally. This, as other people have said, is a problem with manpower, not with the operating system itself.

    However, it goes on to say:

    "The Linux system could not handle the layers of information needed for internal control of the resort."

    Perhaps they were not able to implement it, but I would have a hard time believing that Linux would be unable to handle what was previously stated as a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) system.

    "If we had not gone with the Windows solution, there is no way we could have processed all the passes."

    Once again, no details are specified, simply a sweeping statement which heralds Windows as the solution to all IT problems.

    Linux is not flawless, nor is Linux for everyone. I can imagine that some companies would rather stick with Windows than Linux, and I can also believe that companies might want to switch back when they discovered that Linux

    • I have to be honest and say I'm not a huge fan of Linux in general. I recognize it's useful in some situations to be sure, but overall I'm not a big fan. Even further, I actually like Windows (Win2K and XP only, nothing before them!), independant of my feelings about Linux. I've had scant few problems since Win2K came around, yet I've actually had an unsettlingly high number of problems with Linux in various cases.

      The only reason I say those things is so I can say what I'm about to say... This article s
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @07:22PM (#10367747) Journal
    I respect the decision of the two companies (not several as claimed by the submitting astroturfer) to switch back to windows, but there are some huge flaws in both decisions that make me wonder wehther this is not some piece of MS funded anti-Linus FUD.

    Firstly, the first company, in NY, claimed, that they switched to Linux and Orcale nine years ago. I'm not sure about the timing but Orcale had, AFAIK, no Linux offerings that long ago. It's possible that the database backend came about when Orcale offered it's first Linux versions back in 2000, around 4 years ago.

    If the guy was worried about the lack of Linux know-how in his company, why on earth did they even go for Linux that far back, in 1995, when Linux was nowhere near as stable and powerful as it is now? Why didn't the guy look for Linux expertise in the mean time. You cannot tell me, that by 2002, when they started their move back to Windows, that profeesional services, both for Linux (Red Hat, SuSE pro services) and Oracle (who by 2002 had moved their entire development over to Linux and for which there would have been mountains of support available). By 2002 there were multiple DB's available, MySQL had started becoming very powerful, PostgreSQL was there, and DB2 had been migrated by IBM which is no slouch when it comes to support and services.

    To me it sounds like an extremely incompetent manager who went with the ASP hype in 1999 and 2000 only to get burned when it collapsed, instead of recognising, as he should have and as a competent manager would have, that the ASP model involves big risks. Why on earth didn't he just look for another one with better financials (did he even bother to look how well the ASP was doing?)

    Pathetic.

    Secondly, in the case of the second company, it sounds similar or even worse. The fact that their system (inhouse aparently) had major design issues. "Not designed to support x transactions per second in the programme" sounds suspiciously like a scalability problem that could have been either fixed by a reasonable programmer, or by a distributed system.

    His concerns about security is pure and utter FUD given that 2002 was the year of Nimda and Code Red. The fact that the system went down for a day points to slackers not taking into account failover solutions or backup systems.

    None of these desicisions say anything about Linux, but they do say a lot about the incompetence of managers and the willingness of certain so called IT news outlets to act as paid mouthpieces for a company in Redmond.

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