[Linux-aus] NZ firm puts Linux on desktops

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Tue Aug 26 08:26:02 UTC 2003

On Mon, Aug 25, 2003 at 02:33:32PM +1000, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Con Zymaris">
> > I am sick and tired of hearing about how much 're-training' will be
> > necessary for businesses who jump from Windows to Linux desktops. I don't
> > buy any of that. I have two case studies, both ironically from New
> > Zealand, showing total re-training (for upto 300 desktop seats) being
> > around 10 minutes(!!) per user. I would imagine this to be similar to the
> > re-training effort needed to go from Win98 to XP.
> For some time, GNOME has been pushing the "comfortably and understandably
> different" line, which alleviates another set of migration issues: User
> expectations. If users see something that looks like Windows, they'll be
> baffled and confused if it doesn't operate similarly.
> Some independent support for this perspective from Siemens, early this
> month (which everyone's already seen, but possibly missed this crucial
> point):
>   'Gnome, particularly Ximian's version, was "different enough" to set user
>   expectations that the experience would be less like Windows, which led to
>   fewer adoption problems.'
>   http://newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=03/08/13/1424212
> - Jeff

This may be an effective approach, but it's counter-intuitive enough as an
idea to hit some real 'drag' when it comes time to convincing CIOs that
their users would be better off migrating to a new desktop which was
intentionally 'different' to their last one. Many IT execs are
conservative enough to suggest they might only consider migrating to Linux
if it was made to look identical to what their users expected.

One advantage we do have in trying to make this pitch, is that with the
various front-ends which we have available on Linux, it is possible to use
them all to interest different firms, much like using different baits
effective in catching differing fish.  Some CIOs may be swayed by the
thoughtful but counter-intuitive GNOME argument, others may want to hang
out for the fruition of that Win2k desktop-shell clone which is under
development for Linux -- different strokes for different folks. In the
end, it's whatever brings them across the chasm, and that's all that

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
Cybersource: Unix/Linux, TCP/IP and Web App. Development  www.cyber.com.au

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