[Linux-aus] ZDNet: Windows to Linux, and vice versa

Glen Turner glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Wed Apr 26 09:46:02 UTC 2006

Andrew Pam wrote:

> Just because everybody's using Linux, however, doesn't mean everybody's
> happy for that fact to be known, as I found recently while looking for
> potential candidates for this special report about companies that had
> made the switch from Windows and Linux, and vice versa.

Can't say I'm shocked.  Vendors run "competitive response"
teams. One of the goals of these teams is to woo back
public "defectors", since that has a large marketing benefit.

 From a user's point of view this vendor behavior is a right
annoyance.  You can spend more time dealing with competing
vendors then getting the job done.  The best example of this
is when the ABS purchased a Fujitsu IBM-compatible mainframe.
IBM took the Prime Minister to lunch and successfully lobbied
for a review of the decision.  The review changed nothing,
but the ABS spent staff-years dealing with IBM's actions.

Also the PR benefit isn't one-way.  I've encountered two
instances (one IBM and one Microsoft) where my employer
didn't choose their technology and I've subsequently been to
"partner briefings" where my employer's choice was "analysed",
a cute word for defamed.  What were presented as our motivations,
major criteria, goals, expectations and experiences all had
no resemblance to what actually took place.

Best not to attract attention to your technology choices in
the first place.


The article annoyed me in one way.  In the one of the three
cases the operating system choice had nothing to do with the
success of the systems deployment.  And it was a bit marginal
in the other two cases (eg, wotif would probably been as
scalable under solaris, and their analysis of linux v solaris
would have been interesting).

Distinguishing the changes in system administration practice
from the attributes of the operating systems would have been
interesting.  How much of Austereo's experience was because
of fragmented sysadmin; how much benefit did integration with
desktop and PDA bring?

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