Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (146 mails)

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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] Re: Fw:
  • From: Simon Rainey <srainey@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 05:34:11 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <3.0.6.32.20000728063033.008019f0@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Mark,

The following comments are my own and do not reflect the opinions of RM.

>> I hope you don't mind me asking, but do RM offer any linux services for
>> schools eg. a router/proxy server or even mail server? You'd think it
would
>> save a lot of money for schools as they wouldnt have to buy ntmail or MS
>> Proxy Server.

>Or maybe even (radical idea) schools could save money *and* RM could
>make more money.

OK, you've got a developer base of several hundred programmers who eat,
drink and sleep Microsoft class libraries, Visual C++, Visual Basic and
Developer Studio. They know NT inside out but can't tell sed from awk and
think vi is probably a character from Deep Space Nine. On top of that the
Microsoft marketing behemoth is going into overdrive to promote Win2k *and*
to belittle Linux along the way. With Microsoft intent on polarising the
market you need to back Win2k or Linux. You can't do both - it's too
expensive - and besides, your established user base won't appreciate an
apparent change of direction. You've been selling them NT for years and now
you want them to change to Linux? And all the while your investors are
keeping a close eye on your performance against predictions made up to a
year ago. Overspend without a convincing story and your share price will
plummet. It's a tough call.

All I can say is that RM does listen. If enough users make serious noises
about Linux to their account managers then things may well change.
Otherwise NT is here to stay.

>Is RM positivly identified as the offender here?
>Maybe they'd also like to answer why RM continues to promote Microsoft
>offerings...

I never did get the point about the ongoing OS wars and Microsoft bashing.
I'm no great Microsoft fan but it's a free country and there are
alternatives. No-one is forced to buy what Microsoft or RM has to offer (at
least not now the Windows OEM licensing issue has been sorted out). Becta
can only make recommendations. If you think there are better solutions then
fine - go and use them.

>Most of the skills to manage a network are OS independant.
>Also the skill level needed to manage Windows effectivly is at least as
>high as any unix like system. (In many cases higher because of the
>"spaghetti" design of the OS.)

I'd agree that the basic skills are the same no matter what OS is used. I'd
also agree that Unix is an easier beast to master than NT, but then I've
used Unix for years and virtually never touch NT. However over time you
become familiar with whatever OS you're using - the quirks, the tricks and
so forth. If you're working from scratch then why not choose Linux / Unix?
It does the job and it does it well. But if you've spent the past 5 years
or more getting to grips with NT (or RM Connect) then the decision to
replace an NT-based network for a Linux-based one is more difficult. I know
I'd feel very nervous if I was told to replace our Linux systems with NT. I
think what is needed is a tried and tested migration path that will allow
the two platforms to coexist on the same network. Then a network manager
can gain experience of Linux without fear of screwing up the more critical
parts of an existing network.

>> group of schools who are using Linux very successfully. However I can see
>> that it might be irresponsible for an organisation such as Becta to endorse
>> the use of OSS at this stage.
>
>But ok to endorse the use of Windows...

Let's face it, like it or not Microsoft has got the desktop market sewn up.
At the end of the day computers have to be useful. You decide what apps you
want to run and then buy the hardware and OS that those apps will run on.
Windows has the largest range of apps of any OS, which makes it the natural
OS of choice no matter how much better Unix is technically. It is supported
almost universally so no matter what piece of software or PC hardware you
buy, chances are it will run under Windows. And because Windows is
pre-installed with most PCs the cost is hidden and the system is ready to
run right out of the box. Basically, Windows is the *safest* choice even if
it's not the cheapest or the most robust.

Regards,
Simon.

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