Thursday, March 13, 2014

Step off Microsoft's Cost-Prohibitive License Treadmill to FOSS Linux

by Dietrich Schmitz

Step off Microsoft's Cost-Prohibitive License Treadmill to FOSS Linux.  Linux Advocate Dietrich Schmitz explains why.
These are critical times when many CIOs are budget planning and need to make across the Enterprise costly hardware refreshes -- especially now, given that Microsoft is officially ending support for the aged Windows XP on April 8, 2014.

Naturally, Microsoft licensing doesn't allow license transfer to new hardware. That's too bad. Because, it means, if your concern insists on staying with proprietary Microsoft Windows (x86 Legacy), it must be in full compliance with their licensing terms and so, not buying new hardware with ancillary licensing for software application upgrades is unavoidable.

It's good for Microsoft -- they recoup dollars on the operating system upgrade, and they also garner additional revenue for any Microsoft software applications your concern may need on each Desktop.  But that adds up quickly in terms of multiple machines across the Enterprise and puts pressure to bear on already tight IT budgets.  Now the remainder of those 'hold outs' XP Desktops must be dealt with.  Yet another round of costly refreshes to avoid the April 8, 2014 end of support deadline.  Ughhhh.

That refresh scenario has been a given for many years and Microsoft naturally while providing a service reaps the benefits of making the licensee pay for what I prefer to call 'recycled bits' of software.  Much of it is the same bits recompiled with a new face, or gui.  Sure there are software feature enhancements but I would submit that most offices won't use more than 20% of Office's features.

CIOs are effectively 'married' to Microsoft and being 'coerced' to refresh their hardware when they logically know full well that Windows XP would have been 'good enough' easily for another five years.

Forego the deadline?  Nope.  Can't risk it.  Enterprise systems must be available 24x7 and your job is on the line.  You have no choice.  Or, do you?

Step off Microsoft's cost-prohibitive License treadmill today. That XP Desktop system may be ten years old, but it still remains a 'fact' that it is a perfectly viable piece of hardware.

Fedora 20 LXDE Linux running LibreOffice 4.2.2

It can be 'repurposed' and given a 'new lease' on life by simply installing Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Linux (Fedora is my recommendation) along with a vast repository of free software and support.

It's a 'no brainer' really. 

So, how many XP Desktops did you say are ready for the dumpster in your organization? The CFO should be happy to learn that you are effectively zeroeing out thousands of dollars of additional expense by switching to Linux.

Please.  Don't throw that XP Desktop away.  Be frugal.  Most of all, be smart. Reprovision it with FOSS Linux.  It will run like new.

-- Dietrich

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