M$ v Linux in the public sector.
Aug 16, 2004
9:33 PM EDT
|British Law states that any contract worth more than £150,000 MUST be put out to tender. I don't know the details of this case, but I wonder if this went out to tender too.
I know for a fact that the government doesn't put the education IT contract out to tender, it ALWAYS goes to Microsoft. (Which, has a sweet deal where they charge British schools "per Intel based machine" and not "per copy of Windows".
This is a very sneaky deal as it means Microsoft can charge per machine capable of running Windows, whether or not it is running Windows which in turn removes all motivation for choosing Linux, because Microsoft can still charge them for the machine (which they didn't build).
So despite the clearly shown lower TCO, the clearly shown reduced virus risk and clearly shown higher quality of Linux, another government organisation has chosen Windows. Trying so hard not to get suspicious and paranoid. Trying and failing.
Comforting to see the idiots at Redmond have shot a fair proportion of their customers in the foot with their new SP2.
Way to go M$!
Aug 16, 2004
11:40 PM EDT
|The school issue is certainly a thorny one. Add on the fact that a lot of "educational software" (I'm making no comment on the quality here) only runs on Windows and you can see why they're stuck.
What will I do when my children need to run a Windows app to study something? (Well I have XP at home licenced by my employer, but no-one but me gets to use it. They all use Fedora where I know that the box won't get hacked/0wned while they're online).
As for the government (and HE and FE) they don't always choose Windows. On the server side at my employer (and we host a fair bit for the govt, often designed and specced by third parties who may be MS zealots, sorry partners) I'd say it's about 50/50 (and as you say, these things do go out to tender) but MS are very aggressive in this arena, and use their "product stack" as a selling point.
You have to be IT-savvy and willing to take a risk to choose non-MS in this day and age. Sad and true, unbelievably.
Obviously as a Unix admin, this worries me immensely! But just when you think all hope is lost, another govt department chooses Linux or Solaris and I get to keep my job. ;-)
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