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>  Linux Is Better Then Windows
  Post#1 | Apr 12 2005, 05:27 + Quote Post Go to the top of the page
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Security concerns are the main reason IT managers consider switching from Windows to Linux on the desktop - but the cost of migration and compatibility issues remain significant barriers, according to a new study.

Concerns about Windows security vulnerabilities and the high cost of keeping Windows secure were named as the top motivations for moving away from Microsoft's ubiquitous operating system in the online survey of nearly 1,700 IT professionals by analyst house Quocirca.

Dale Vile, service director at Quocirca and author of the report, told silicon.com the former is "more a soft or intuitive concern" and "the real issue is how to keep [Windows] secure in the first place - and the cost associated with that".

At the same time, the greatest barriers for businesses making the move to Linux on the desktop are the cost of migration, compatibility with existing systems and whether all the necessary software will be available for the platform.

These last two are part of the reason why Quocirca recommends organisations consider a selective approach in deploying Linux.

According to Quocirca's Vile, many of the survey respondents who lacked hands-on Linux experience "tend to think [Linux] is only usable for power users, people who are highly [computer] literate. [But] it's completely opposite - that's the last person to deploy Linux to."

That's because power users tend to use numerous applications which may not be available on all platforms and tend to use those applications "in a deep and advanced way" which can be hard to replicate on an alternative operating system.

Vile said: "What we hear from Linux adopters is that it works best with fairly straightforward users." These workers don't suffer from compatibility issues because the applications they use are widely available and they don't need the additional features Windows provides, he added.

One danger Quocirca noticed while reviewing survey respondents is IT managers who want to move their company to Linux solely because they're open source enthusiasts who believe in the technology.

Vile warns Linux migrations are costly and time-consuming endeavours which should not be taking lightly. "If you're driving down the [Linux] route for personal or emotional issues, you need to have sound business case too," he said. "You can't drive a Linux implementation based on 'you love Linux' or 'you hate Microsoft'."

Vile believes the Windows security concerns are valid - especially that the costs for securing the operating system are high. Still, he notes Windows is improving, pointing to security enhancement with Service Pack 2, for example. "There are less and less reasons to move away from Windows as time goes on," he said.

He also pointed out: "If Linux were on 50 per cent of desktops it would become much bigger target [for hackers and virus writers]."

So what are Linux's chances on the desktop? Quocirca expects the open source OS to make progress but Vile said: "We don't anticipate some big tipping point where Linux will go to significant penetration. It will happen gradually. And it will be limited to the exception rather than the rule."

  Post#2 | Apr 12 2005, 08:49 + Quote Post Go to the top of the page
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