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Συσταση προς την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή:Δεν πρέπει να πωλούνται υπολογιστές με εγκατεστημένα Windows

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Το Globalisation Institute, ένας οργανισμός με σκοπό την ευημερία της Ευρώπης στην παγκόσμια οικονομία, δημοσίευσε μια έκθεση με την οποία υποστηρίζει ότι η πώληση Ηλεκτρονικών Υπολογιστών με εγκατεστημένα τα Microsoft Windows δεν βοηθάει στο κοινό καλό και αποτρέπει τον εποικοδομητικό ανταγωνισμό στην αγορά των λειτουργικών συστημάτων. Η έκθεση αυτή έχει αποσταλεί στην Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή και επισημαίνει ότι οι Η/Υ στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση δεν θα έπρεπε να πωλούνται σε πακέτο με κανένα λειτουργικό σύστημα.

Η εξαναγκασμένη αγορά των Microsoft Windows μαζί με έναν Η/Υ δεν επιτρέπει στους αγοραστές να επωφεληθούν από το χαμηλότερο κόστος άλλων ανταγωνιστών. Η κυρίαρχη θέση των Windows με αυτό τον τρόπο επιβραδύνει τις τεχνικές βελτιώσεις ενώ αποτρέπει σε εναλλακτικές λύσεις να έχουν μερίδιο στην αγορά.

Η έκθεση αυτή έρχεται μερικές μέρες μετά τη νίκη της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής στη προσφυγή της Microsoft στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο(λεπτομέρειες εδώ).

Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε ολόκληρη την έκθεση εδώ.

(Πηγή: http://www.globalisation.eu/briefings/competition-policy/unbundling-microsoft-windows-200709231241)

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Written by Stelios Draganidis

Σεπτεμβρίου 24, 2007 at 11:06 μμ

Αναρτήθηκε στις FLOSS, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Windows vs Linux

Ήρθε ο καιρός να απαλλαγούμε απο την Microsoft;

5 Σχόλια

Με την άφιξη του λειτουργικού συστήματος UBUNTU θεωρώ πως ήρθε ο καιρός για τους χρήστες των προσωπικών υπολογιστών να ζήσουν μια καινούργια εμπειρία. Την εμπειρία του να έχεις ότι θέλεις, όποτε το θέλεις και όπως το θέλεις.

Το UBUNTU είναι ένα λειτουργικό σύστημα το οποίο στηρίζεται στον πυρήνα του LINUX και είναι βασισμένο στις αρχές του Ελεύθερου Λογισμικού και Λογισμικού Ανοιχτού Κώδικα(Ε.Λ.Λ.Α.Κ.). Η μεγάλη διαφορά του UBUNTU σε σχέση με άλλες διανομές LINUX είναι η ευχρηστία που δίνει στον χρήστη. Ακόμα και ο αρχάριος χρήστης δεν θα δυσκολευτεί να εργαστεί στο περιβάλλον του UBUNTU το οποίο θυμίζει σε γενικές γραμμές το γνωστό περιβάλλον των Microsoft WINDOWS.

Η επιφάνεια εργασία του UBUNTU

Μια από τις δυνατότητες που μου έκαναν ιδιαίτερη εντύπωση είναι ο τρόπος με τον οποίο μπορώ να έχω μια εφαρμογή που χρειάζομαι. Το περιβάλλον του UBUNTU παρέχει πρόσβαση σε μια τεράστια βιβλιοθήκη με λογισμικό Ε.Λ.Λ.Α.Κ. από την οποία μπορώ να αναζητήσω και να εγκαταστήσω εφαρμογές που εξυπηρετούν τις ανάγκες μου. Ανά πάσα στιγμή έχω στην διάθεση μου σχεδόν όλες τις εφαρμογές του κόσμου για να διαλέξω αυτή που είναι κατάλληλη για τις ανάγκες μου. Η εγκατάσταση της κατάλληλης εφαρμογής γίνεται συνήθως σε πολύ μικρό χρονικό διάστημα. Έτσι π.χ., εάν χρειάζομαι μια εφαρμογή για την οργάνωση των DVD μου, το μόνο που έχω να κάνω είναι να ζητήσω ποιες εφαρμογές κάνουν αυτή τη δουλειά και από την λίστα που θα μου δοθεί, με λεπτομέρειες για κάθε εφαρμογή, να διαλέξω ποια είναι η πιο κατάλληλη για μένα.

 

Επιπλέον, για κάθε εφαρμογή που διαθέτει το σύστημα μου, συμπεριλαμβανομένου του λειτουργικού συστήματος, ελέγχεται εάν έχει διατεθεί κάποια ενημερωμένη έκδοση την οποία μπορώ να ζητήσω να εγκατασταθεί αυτόματα. Μία δυνατότητα παρόμοια με αυτή του Windows Update, η οποία όμως αφορά όλο το λογισμικό που έχω εγκαταστήσει, χωρίς να με απασχολεί με πολύωρες αναβαθμίσεις.

Το σύνολο των εφαρμογών που διατίθονται με το UBUNTU είναι εφαρμογές Ε.Λ.Λ.Α.Κ. Το ίδιο ισχύει και για τις εφαρμογές που διατίθονται από την βιβλιοθήκη λογισμικού που προαναφέρθηκε. Είναι φυσικό επομένως να αναρωτιόμαστε, τι γίνεται με τις εφαρμογές που χρησιμοποιούσαμε μέχρι σήμερα; Τα τελευταία χρόνια έχει γίνει μια μεγάλη προσπάθεια ώστε να γίνει εφικτή η αντικατάσταση εμπορικών εφαρμογών με άλλες ίδιων δυνατοτήτων οι οποίες όμως θα διατίθονται ελεύθερα. Έτσι π.χ., αντί του Microsoft Office χρησιμοποιείται το Open Office το οποίο περιλαμβάνει όλες τις εφαρμογές για την σύνταξη κειμένων, την δημιουργία φύλλου δεδομένων, δημιουργία παρουσιάσεων, κτλ. και το οποίο είναι συμβατό με τα αρχεία .doc του Microsoft Office. Η λειτουργία των περισσοτέρων εφαρμογών δεν θα δυσκολέψει κανέναν χρήστη που είναι ήδη εξοικειωμένος με τις ήδη γνωστές εφαρμογές.

Παρακάτω ακολουθεί μια λίστα με πολύ γνωστές εμπορικές εφαρμογές που χρησιμοποιούνται από τους χρήστες και δωρεάν εφαρμογές ανοιχτού λογισμικού οι οποίες μπορούν να τις αντικαταστήσουν (Πηγή: http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20070701111340544/Equivalents.html).

Windows Software Category Linux Equivalent
3D Studio Max 3D Computer Graphics Blender
K-3D
Adobe Acrobat Reader Office Utility Evince
okular
Adobe Illustrator Graphics Inkscape
Skencil
Xara Xtreme
Adobe Photoshop Graphics CinePaint
GIMP
Gimpshop
Krita
Pixel
AOL Instant Messenger Communication Kopete
AutoCAD CAD K-3D
QCad
BRL-CAD
CDex Multimedia Grip
K3b
RipOff
Sound Juicer
Citrix Presentation Server Networking NX Free Server
RealVNC
Dreamweaver Web Development Bluefish
Quanta Plus
Nvu
Filezilla FTP Client gFTP
Filezilla
Final Cut Pro Multimedia Editor Avidemux
Cinelerra
Kino
iTunes Media Player Amarok
Banshee
Microsoft Access Database Kexi
OpenOffice.org
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet Gnumeric
OpenOffice.org
Microsoft Internet Explorer Web Browser Firefox
Opera
Microsoft Money Money Management GnuCash
Microsoft Office Office Suite Google Docs & Spreadsheets
OpenOffice.org
Microsoft Outlook Email Client Evolution
KMail
Thunderbird
Microsoft Word Wordprocessor Kword
OpenOffice.org
Microsoft Visio Office Drawing ArgoUML
Dia
Kivio
mIRC IRC Client XChat
Movie Collector DVD Cataloging Griffith
Nero Burning Rom CD/DVD Burning GnomeBaker
K3b
Nero Linux
Norton Ghost Backup/Restore Partition Image
Notepad Simple Text Editor Cream
SciTE
Partition Magic System Utility GParted
Quicken Personal Finance GnuCash
kMyMoney
Quick Books Financial / Taxation MyBooks Professional
VideoReDo Video Editing Avidemux
Lives
Visual Studio Software Development KDevelop
Winamp Multimedia Player Audacious
Amarok
Banshee
Helix Player
Windows Media Center Home Media Box MythTV
Windows Media Player Multimedia Player Kaffeine
Totem
xine
ZoneAlarm Firewall Guarddog

Firestarte

Μπορείτε να βρείτε μια πλήρη λίστα με αντίστοιχο λογισμικό στην διεύθυνση http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html#43

Μια πολύ σπουδαία δυνατότητα που δίνεται στο UBUNTU είναι η εύρεση του κατάλληλου κωδικοποιητή(Codec) για την αναπαραγωγή αρχείων ήχου και εικόνας. Το σύστημα μόλις προσπαθήσουμε να αναπαράγουμε ένα αρχείο για το οποίο δεν έχουμε το κατάλληλο λογισμικό, πραγματοποιεί μια αναζήτηση και μας προτείνει το κατάλληλο λογισμικό που χρειαζόμαστε. Μετά από μια γρήγορη εγκατάσταση έχουμε την δυνατότητα να αναπαράγουμε το περιεχόμενο του αρχείου που έχουμε. Όλα αυτά μέσα σε λίγα δευτερόλεπτα..

Υπάρχει κάτι όμως που το UBUNTU ακόμα δεν καταφέρνει καλά και είναι πολύ σημαντικό για πολλούς χρήστες. Το λειτουργικό σύστημα UBUNTU, όπως και όλες οι διανομές που στηρίζονται στο LINUX, δεν έχουν την δυνατότητα να παίζουν πολύ γνωστά παιχνίδια που υπάρχουν στο εμπόριο. Ο λόγος είναι ότι τα παιχνίδια αυτά δημιουργήθηκαν αποκλειστικά για το περιβάλλον των WINDOWS. Παρόλο που αρκετοί κατασκευαστές διαθέτουν και εκδόσεις των παιχνιδιών τους για περιβάλλον LINUX, η πλειοψηφία των παιχνιδιών στο εμπόριο σήμερα είναι κατασκευασμένα για WINDOWS. Οι λύσεις που έχουν δοθεί έως σήμερα στο θέμα αυτό δεν είναι ακόμα ικανοποιητικές.

Το παραπάνω πρόβλημα δεν σημαίνει ότι δεν μπορούμε να παίζουμε παιχνίδια στο UBUNTU. Η βιβλιοθήκη λογισμικού του UBUNTU περιέχει μια τεράστια λίστα με παιχνίδια Ε.Λ.Λ.Α.Κ. που μπορούμε να αποκτήσουμε χωρίς κόστος και τα οποία συναγωνίζονται αυτά του εμπορίου. Στην λίστα υπάρχουν παιχνίδια για όλα τα γούστα, ενώ η λίστα εμπλουτίζεται συνεχώς με καινούργιους τίτλους. Το πρόβλημα επομένως έχει να κάνει με τα παιχνίδια που έχουμε ήδη αγοράσει και με τα παιχνίδια που επιθυμούμε να αποκτήσουμε και τρέχουν μόνο σε WINDOWS.

Τέλος, πρέπει να αναφέρω την δυνατότητα υποστήριξης και βοήθειας που προσφέρει το UBUNTU. Τα προβλήματα και οι δυσκολίες που αντιμετωπίζει ένας χρήστης κατά την λειτουργία του λειτουργικού συστήματος UBUNTU μπορούν να επιλυθούν πολύ εύκολα με πολλούς τρόπους. Εκτός από την πολύ καλή τεκμηρίωση του λειτουργικού συστήματος και των περισσοτέρων εφαρμογών που διατίθονται, υπάρχουν κοινότητες χρηστών οι οποίες διαθέτουν forum και mailing lists στα οποία μπορούμε να ρωτήσουμε για οποιοδήποτε πρόβλημα έχουμε.

ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ

Υπάρχουν αρκετές διανομές του λειτουργικού συστήματος UBUNTU οι οποίες περιλαμβάνουν κατάλληλες προ εγκατεστημένες εφαρμογές, ρυθμίσεις και δυνατότητες ανάλογα με τις ανάγκες των χρηστών. Αυτό δεν σημαίνει ότι μια διανομή δεν μπορεί να καταφέρει αυτό που κάνει η άλλη, απλά η επιλογή της κατάλληλης διανομής μας γλυτώνει από κόπο και χρόνο.

Οι επίσημες διανομές οι οποίες διατίθονται αυτή την στιγμή είναι:

  • UBUNTU Desktop Edition – Η απλή διανομή με γραφικό περιβάλλον το GNOME
  • UBUNTU Server Edition – Η διανομή για μηχανήματα που προορίζονται για Server
  • KUBUNTU – Η διανομή με γραφικό περιβάλλον το KDE
  • EDUBUNTU – Η διανομή με σκοπό την εκπαίδευση. Περιλαμβάνει εκπαιδευτικό λογισμικό.
  • XUBUNTU – Η διανομή με γραφικό περιβάλλον το XFCE

ΔΟΚΙΜΗ

Έχουμε την δυνατότητα να δοκιμάσουμε τις περισσότερες διανομές UBUNTU χωρίς να επηρεάσουμε το σύστημά μας. Το CD που της διανομής που επιλέξαμε είναι ένα live CD. Μπορούμε επομένως να τοποθετήσουμε το CD στο drive του υπολογιστή μας και να τρέξουμε το UBUNTU δοκιμαστικά χωρίς να χαλάσουμε το σύστημά μας. Το σύστημά μας επανέρχεται αφού αφαιρέσουμε το CD και επανεκκινήσουμε τον υπολογιστή μας.

ΕΓΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΣΗ

Αφού κατεβάσουμε τη διανομή που θέλουμε και κάψουμε το CD, πρέπει να αποφασίσουμε τον τρόπο που θέλουμε να γίνει η εγκατάσταση.

Για την εγκατάσταση δεν χρειάζεται να ανησυχήσετε για τους drivers του υπολογιστή σας και των περιφερειακών καθώς η εγκατάσταση θα ανιχνεύσει και θα εγκαταστήσει τους κατάλληλους οδηγούς για εσάς.

Η εγκατάσταση του UBUNTU μπορεί να γίνει με έναν από τους παρακάτω τρόπους.

Εγκατάσταση καθαρού UBUNTU

Η επιλογή αυτή κάνει το UBUNTU το μοναδικό λειτουργικό σύστημα του υπολογιστή μας διαγράφοντας ότι υπήρχε προηγουμένως. Η διαδικασία της εγκατάστασης δεν περιλαμβάνει τίποτα περίπλοκο και μπορεί να γίνει ακόμα και από έναν αρχάριο χρήστη. Αναλυτικές οδηγίες για τα βήματα τις εγκατάστασης καθώς και προβλημάτων που μπορεί να υπάρξουν μπορείτε να βρείτε εδώ

Εγκατάσταση UBUNTU πάνω στα WINDOWS

Μπορούμε να εγκαταστήσουμε οποιαδήποτε διανομή του UBUNTU επιθυμούμε ως εφαρμογή των WINDOWS χρησιμοποιώντας το εργαλείο Wubi. Η εγκατάσταση δεν επηρεάζει την δομή των δίσκων μας.

Εγκατάσταση UBUNTU μαζί με WINDOWS (Διπλή εκκίνηση)

Ακολουθώντας τις οδηγίες που δίνονται εδώ μπορούμε να έχουμε δύο λειτουργικά συστήματα σε ένα σύστημα. Με την εκκίνηση του υπολογιστή θα μας δίνεται η δυνατότητα να επιλέξουμε εάν θέλουμε να εκτελέσουμε τα WINDOWS ή το UBUNTU. Η εγκατάσταση του UBUNTU με αυτόν τον τρόπο μπορεί να γίνει χρησιμοποιώντας κατευθείαν το CD προσέχοντας όμως να επιλέξουμε κατάλληλο μέγεθος partition για τον δίσκο μας. Συνίσταται η πλήρης αποθήκευση όλων των σημαντικών αρχείων που έχουμε πριν την εγκατάσταση.

ΣΥΝΟΨΙΖΟΝΤΑΣ

Οι δυνατότητες που παρουσίασε το λειτουργικό σύστημα UBUNTU είναι κάτι παραπάνω από αξιόλογες. Προσωπικά πιστεύω ότι έφτασε ο καιρός να απαλλαγούμε από την Microsoft και να δούμε καθαρά τις δυνατότητες που μας δίνει ο κόσμος των υπολογιστών. Συνιστώ την εγκατάσταση του UBUNTU σε όλους με εξαίρεση τους φανατικούς Gamers, οι οποίοι θα πρέπει να προσέξουν λίγο παραπάνω προς το παρόν. Η μετάβαση στο νέο λειτουργικό σύστημα δεν είναι καθόλου δύσκολη, ενώ ένας χρήστης που έχει εξοικειωθεί με τα Microsoft Windows δεν θα αντιμετωπίσει απολύτως κανένα πρόβλημα. Ίσως μάλιστα να ξαφνιαστεί με την απλότητα πολλών πραγμάτων και να ανακαλύψει νέες δυνατότητες που δεν τις φανταζόταν ποτέ.

Written by Stelios Draganidis

Αύγουστος 21, 2007 at 6:09 πμ

Αναρτήθηκε στις FLOSS, Linux, Operating Systems, Windows vs Linux

Seven Financial Reasons Not to Use Windows

3 Σχόλια

Article taken from http://www.cio.com/article/126950/Seven_Financial_Reasons_Not_to_Use_Windows

By Tina Gasperson

July 31, 2007CIO — Windows is often the most intuitive choice from the CIO’s perspective. Just like in the old days, when «nobody ever got fired for buying IBMMicrosoft is safe, at least from the stockholder’s perspective. «That’s what we’ve always used, and it works» is a phrase you’re likely to hear coming from above and below in the corporate hierarchy. Lately, however, more and more companies are discovering that they have alternatives when it comes to choosing an IT infrastructure, and that there really are some sound reasons not to go with Windows.

Image

Licensing

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first. Everyone in the IT industry today knows that proprietary operating systems and the applications that run on them will cost you a lot of money on licensing fees. According to a recent Forrester study, U.S. companies overall are expected to spend $100 billion on software maintenance in 2007. For startups, licensing fees could make it difficult to bootstrap without large sums of capital, and for growing companies, per-seat fees are profit-eating monsters. Other operating systems charge fees, even open source, but at rates up to 85 percent cheaper than what you’ll pay for a Windows infrastructure. Scott Wilson, an IT consultant at Indigo Moon Systems in Seattle, says the biggest problem with proprietary licensing fees is that you can’t predict the financial hit you’ll take from year to year. «You don’t know what impact it is going to have over the life of the implementation, nor can you control what that lifespan will be.»

Microsoft itself admitted that a large percentage of its customers don’t understand what licensing rights they have purchased. A document titled Solving the Mystery of Windows Desktop Licensing says: «Microsoft’s Windows Desktop OS policies have been in effect for over 10 years and the policies are written in the Volume License Agreements [VLAs]. However, we have found that nearly 44 percent of volume license customers believe that volume license rights include the full OS, and 40 percent of volume license customers report they have acquired naked or unlicensed PCs, putting themselves at risk of noncompliance with their Volume License Agreement.»

That’s because in a volume license agreement, full operating systems for workstation PCs are not covered-only upgrades. In other words, you’ll have to purchase a separate, complete operating system for every workstation in your company, before the VLA comes into effect. Depending on the number of end users in your organization, using a Microsoft VLA could add significant unbudgeted expense.

Hardware

«You need to throw lots of hardware at it,» says Central Desktop founder Arnulf Hsu about Windows. The minimum hardware requirements for Server 2003 call for a Pentium III 550MHz, 512MB of RAM, and at least a 3GB hard drive. Linux, on the other hand, can go on an old Pentium II with only 64MB of RAM and 1GB of hard drive space. The more servers you have, the more it adds up. Scalability is limited in Windows too. Wavell Watson, an IT consultant from Austin, Texas, calls it the Scale Out Strategy Option. «Google doesn’t even use RAID drives in their solution,» he says. The Web search giant has built its own server farm of almost half a million CPUs from commodity class PCs running Linux. Yet, Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds told The New York Times that Google’s computing costs are probably about half of what other competitors like Live Search are spending, and a mere tenth of what most traditional corporations shell out, despite his assertion that Google is now likely the fourth-largest server manufacturer, after Dell, HP and IBM.

Beyond scalability is modularity, says independent IT consultant Allan Reed. «What I love about [non-Windows operating systems] is that I can deploy only what I need to. I can take an old 486, put about a half gig of memory on it and install a minimal kernel with Firefox and a couple plug-ins, and have SugarCRM up and running in no time with exceptional performance. I can extend the ROI on my equipment that has been sitting around gathering dust. I may not be able to write it off, but I don’t have to buy another PC either.»

Inefficient Security Control

It’s going to take more labor to keep a Windows system secure. Virus makers and crackers target Windows systems because it is easier to break into. Because so many viruses and worms already exist, it is easier for black hats to modify them and come up with new ones. Vulnerability reports consistently show more security holes for Microsoft than for other operating systems, and it takes time to plug those holes and to prevent downline users from unwittingly introducing exploits that can take advantage of the weaknesses before you’ve had a chance to address them. Microsoft announces vulnerabilities only after a fix has been released, while other operating systems like Linux have more proactive communities surrounding them that make users aware of problems right away, then rush the fixes out, which, by the way, are usually minor bug patches and not big whopping security vulnerabilities that allow bad guys to gain complete control over your network.

Heavy Vendor Influence

Because so many corporations have a company policy that specifies «Microsoft-only,» it discourages independent thinking and technological savvy; many end up simply relying on the sales guy to tell them what applications they need. «Windows-centric people tend to value vendor advice more than others, in my experience. This leads to an unfocused problem-solving strategy,» says Johan EdstrÒ¶m, infrastructure manager at SCA Americas in Philadelphia. «The IT organization often stops trying to define what really are the problems they face. [Nontechnical] management suddenly starts making strategic [IT] decisions. Essentially, you turn a technical function into a purchasing and internal marketing organization.»

Independent IT consultant Brett Bullington says that remaining free of vendor influence can give the CIO more options. «It constantly makes [you] rethink what is the best tool or service for the job. [It’s] part of the creative energy of decision making…hopefully [you] make better decisions.»

Inefficient Use of Manpower

Many CIOs assume that labor and training costs are where Windows has a definite edge over other platforms. While it is true that it is relatively easy to find Windows-skilled IT admins, it’s still not exactly cheap. Though many Unix-based admins are more expensive, it takes fewer of them to maintain more servers, which saves money in the long run. «I don’t care what anyone says. A good Linux admin can support a lot more systems than a good Windows admin,» says Steven Pritchard, vice president of K&S Pritchard Enterprise in St. Louis. Because Windows is less stable and «easier to break,» each machine simply requires more attention.

Feature Lock-in

Proprietary systems like Windows are not easily customizable. Companies that need the flexibility to drop in or remove features on an as-needed basis find themselves either paying for unneeded feature bloat, starving for the features they do need because commercial vendors rarely are willing to drop everything to accommodate a one-off request, or paying a premium for coding of a feature that the vendor ends up owning and reselling to other customers.

Forced Upgrade Path

With Microsoft, you’re on a forced upgrade path. Once it drops support on your version of Windows, you’re out of luck when it comes to fixing those above mentioned security holes-if you can even continue to use that version. «At the beginning of next year, XP licensing will no longer be available,» Wilson says. «Because of the terms of the licenses and the enforcement mechanism in place, it won’t be possible to continue running it, with the gradual addition of new systems and homogenous environment for any substantial amount of time, in the way that one could continue running Windows 2000 almost indefinitely.» To sweeten the pot (for Microsoft), it’ll charge you an upgrade license fee for the privilege of continuing to be at their mercy. «It’s chilling to realize that such a major expense is being driven by a software vendor,» Wilson says. «You should look for vendors and systems that serve your needs, not the other way around.»

Another factor to keep in mind is that upgrades are really just migrations in disguise. Every time you’re forced to upgrade, it’s like taking your company through a migration that can cause downtime, keep staff working extra hours and befuddle end users who may not like change, causing a loss of productivity. «You have migration costs whether it is upgrading to Vista or converting to Linux,» says Robert Whetsel, the CEO and founder of FlightLinux. «Upgrading Windows is a migration pure and simple and should be treated as such. The assumption that you will have a lower TCO if you don’t change your ecosystem is false. In reality, you could still have hardware and software incompatibility upgrade requirements, and additional training of end users and technical staff. And, anyone living through a Vista upgrade will attest to the additional hours of lost time due to these issues.»

Reed agrees. «I can’t find anyone who really has a solid feature/benefit bullet point they can share with us why we need to go here. I guess if your business really must have that Aero interface….» Reed adds that companies are stuck in a useless desktop upgrade cycle that is making Linux look better and better.

The Truth Is Out There…

The evidence is pretty compelling. Whether it’s security, your workforce or capital outlays in hardware, if you’re hoping to make the most of a limited budget, you can do better without Windows.

Written by Stelios Draganidis

Αύγουστος 2, 2007 at 2:27 πμ

Αναρτήθηκε στις FLOSS, Linux, Operating Systems, Windows vs Linux

5 Business Reasons for Adopting the Windows Platform

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Article taken from http://www.cio.com/article/127051/_Business_Reasons_for_Adopting_the_Windows_Platform

by Ty Anderson

August 01, 2007CIO — Most everything in life should just work. But for today, the focus is on software we use to run our businesses. If it doesn’t work as well as it should, you will likely suffer a cascade of issues that hurt your business-like money (and the loss of it). The best strategy to prevent this is adopting a platform that helps reduce costs and allows you to make investments that support the business’s growth instead of derailing it.

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For the majority of businesses, the best platform is Microsoft Windows. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to run desktop applications like spreadsheets and word processors or if you want to run server-based database or portal applications, the Windows platform is the 80 of the 80/20 rule. Windows not only works; it is simple to set up, maintain and keep users working.

When choosing a software platform for your business, several factors should be considered that would be crucial to any business decision. Here are the five most critical criteria.

Profits

America continues to maintain its position as the most successful capitalist economy the world has known. This success is not the result of feeling good about ourselves, building community and sharing the fruits of our labor just for the fun of it. Hell no! We earned it the old-fashioned way by building great products and services and charging a fee for them that exceeded the costs of production. This is known as earning a profit, and it is the goal of any respectable business.

Earning a profit isn’t popular in some social circles, but that doesn’t mean you can survive without it. Despite the current political rhetoric, earning a profit is the key metric of a company’s health-and the more the better. Profits are an indication that a company has products that the market demands. In addition, profits point to the fact that a company knows how to take care of its customers. Companies do this by creating products and services that solve their customers’ problems.

Microsoft is a champion at turning a profit. For the past fiscal year, Microsoft’s net profit margin was 28 percent versus an industry average of 18.4 percent. Software profit margins have always been high, but the fact that Microsoft’s net margin is almost 10 points higher than its industry shows that the software maker’s products work and are in-demand.

A company delivers products demanded by the market by understanding the market, which is driven by the desire to generate profits. Compare this to open-source software, where the primary focus is the technology instead of the business problem to be solved. It isn’t much of a stretch to understand who has your company’s best interests in mind.

Accountability & Risk

Companies make money by risking their capital and reaping the benefits of success. Since risk is an ever-present factor of the business environment and cannot be eliminated, the best you can do is seek to reduce your exposure to it. When implementing software, this means choosing a proven software provider that backs its software.

As your business matures and software becomes more and more pervasive as critical components of your processes, it only makes sense to negotiate service and support contracts with your software provider. With Microsoft, you have the largest software company in existence. If you adopt open-source software, significant questions arise as to who is ultimately accountable if the software does not perform as promised. And if you can identify who is accountable, what recourse can you possibly expect from them? For example, a client operating in a Windows Server environment wanted to connect their user directory to their Linux-and-Java-based service provider’s. One solution called for the adoption of a Microsoft-based product that simplifies Single Sign-On communication between Windows and Linux. This sounded great to everyone but the service provider, who searched for and found an open-source version of the same technology. When explaining its decision to go open-source, the service provider stated, «Because if it breaks, we can fix it ourselves.»

This is flawed thinking. Why not purchase something that works in the first place? Besides, why allow your IT staff to increase operational risk by choosing to take responsibility for updating and maintaining technology outside their skill set? By adopting Windows and the related Microsoft stack of software (more on this later), you lower operational risk by buying software that works.

Talent & Culture

Developing software, like anything worth doing, takes talent, and Microsoft has the largest developer community. With more than 3 million people developing applications with Microsoft languages (such as C#, VB.NET, C++), the talent pool is rich. Not everyone who develops with the Microsoft toolset can be considered a skilled professional; but as of March 2007, more than 895,000 have achieved certification status with Microsoft tools and technology. The certification process isn’t easy to attain, and this means that there’s an abundance of skilled people available to help you. And the shortage of Linux administrators, for example, means you could expect to pay 20 percent to 30 percent more for this skill than you would for a Windows administrator.

Total Cost of Ownership

One of the biggest reasons espoused for adopting open-source systems such as Linux is that typically there are little to no license costs involved. You just download the software, install it and off you go into IT nirvana. But the truth is the open-source software isn’t free. Sure, the licenses are free (or almost free), but the hardware, the staffing, the training and more are not free. These items are part of what’s commonly known as total cost of ownership (TCO). In fact, according to a 2007 study by IDC, costs associated with staffing and user downtime together account for 75 percent of the TCO over three- and five-year periods. So sure, the licenses are free, but the support and the management of the system will kill you.

The Microsoft platform most certainly is not free, but the acquisition costs are competitive with Linux and other open-source systems. In fact, BearingPoint studied this very issue and found that Windows Server 2003 can be less expensive, especially if you factor in 24/7 support costs. If you purchase this type of support from Red Hat or Novell, your TCO for Linux can be as much as 76 percent higher than Windows. And this stat does not address the more costly issues associated with staffing.

Staffing costs are driven by the full-time staff required to install, configure and maintain your platform. This cost is 60 percent of TCO; therefore anything you can do to drive this down a few points will have a major impact. So you will need staff who know how to run your systems, secure your environment, perform backups and so on. As stated before, the number of professionals available who know the Microsoft stack is significant. As a result, wages are lower due to the increased competition for jobs.

Integrated Stack

Microsoft sells software. That’s its sole mission and goal in life. Similar to Coca-Cola, which doesn’t care what you drink as long as it’s a Coke product; Microsoft wants you to run all aspects of your business with its software. As a result, Microsoft has built a technology stack that starts with the Windows operating system at the bottom and user applications at the top. In between resides a rich set of server technologies that can be combined to meet your requirements.

If you need a database, Microsoft has one of the best. Do you need to automate data exchange between systems? You can get up and running quickly with BizTalk server. Would you rather focus on automating business processes? Open up Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and you can build workflows around documents without implementing code.

In addition, Microsoft provides a set of developer tools and languages that work with each of the company’s technologies. If you have a development staff that knows a Microsoft language like C# or VB.NET, then they can extend any technology Microsoft sells. This fact alone can dramatically reduce costs associated with managing the platform.

The key take-away to Microsoft’s integrated stack is the fact that Microsoft understands businesses do not buy software. Businesses buy solutions that solve their problems.

The Bottom Line

The Microsoft platform has proven its value to businesses of all shapes and sizes throughout the world. Arguments can be made about some of the company’s tactics over the years, but it is undeniable that its products are in demand, and for good reason. Microsoft provides the most value to the business. Your business isn’t a science experiment or a religion, it’s a profit-making machine, and you should choose a partner that understands better than anyone how to run a profitable business.

Written by Stelios Draganidis

Αύγουστος 2, 2007 at 2:22 πμ

Αναρτήθηκε στις FLOSS, Linux, Operating Systems, Windows vs Linux

Seven Financial Reasons to Use Linux in the Enterprise

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Article taken from http://www.cio.com/article/127053/Seven_Financial_Reasons_to_Use_Linux_in_the_Enterprise

by Brent Toderash 

August 01, 2007CIO — Even a discussion on religion and politics might well include mention of operating systems when a Linux user is in the room. The enterprise has quietly been adopting Linux, first on hidden-away servers but then in the open and even on the desktop. Ignoring ideological debates that intervene when the subject of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) enters the picture, let’s cut to the chase and look at financial reasons for adopting Linux. After all, it all boils down to «TCO» (Total Cost of Ownership), doesn’t it?

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At even a casual glance it is quickly apparent that there are very few enterprise-level organizations running only Linux. For that matter, there are equally few that are 100 percent Windows or fully Unix or anything else, given constraints in available applications. A quick example for some may be the use of Linux (with Asterisk) on their telephone systems, but for any number of reasons, the larger an enterprise is, the more likely it will be a mixed environment. This set of reasons to use Linux is therefore a case for a balance of systems that is heavily weighted toward Linux. And there is a compelling financial argument for the use of Linux as the default solution in the enterprise.

Lower Licensing Costs

The first consideration is the most obvious. Under the GPL (GNU General Public License), Linux is available without licensing cost. Also, commercial packages or distributions are available from companies like Red Hat and the Novell-owned SuSE. Purchased this way, the operating system is typically bundled with additional applications and some level of vendor support. Practically speaking, some cost is typically attached up front. Still, it is generally considered fairly self-evident that such costs will be lower on a per-seat or per-processor basis than for Windows or most commercial Unix systems.

Avoid Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in occurs when a customer becomes dependent on specific vendor for products or services and cannot change vendors without substantial migration costs. Brian Stevens, CTO of Red Hat, says the client is clearly in the driver’s seat. «[The IT Department] needs to be in control, whether it’s problem resolution or vendor selection. Linux or open source puts them back in control – vendors can assist or get out of the way. Linux is very empowering for IT. Vendors perform or IT can take the complete stack and move it.» With a move from a given Linux environment, it may be that migration costs could be triggered by a move to a substantially different system, but within the variety of Linux distributions and the available commercial support options, changes can be made with relative ease, should the need arise.

Redirect Funds into Salaries

Within the blend of costs summarized as TCO, the use of Linux tends to shift finances spent on licensing costs into other areas – personnel is most typical, whether internal or outsourced. R. Scott Belford, founder of the Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation (HOSEF), observes that savings in licensing costs alone can pay a salary, meaning that the dollars spent remain in the local economy. Rainy Day Software President and CTO Scott Toderash agrees, explaining that spending money on personnel, whether internal or external, is always more beneficial than spending on licensing costs.

Support costs have long been considered a hindrance in migrating to Linux, but this perception has steadily woven its way into the realm of misconception. Belford suggests today the opposite may be true. He put the question to a class assembled for a lecture he was giving at the University of Hawaii, and the anecdotal data gleaned there supported his assertion. Toderash agrees, saying that every technical person will present himself as «knowing» Windows, but to find someone with the requisite level of expertise is no more or less difficult than it is for Linux.

Provide Source Code Access

A critical argument for FOSS is the freedom to access and modify source code to meet specialized needs of the enterprise, and this is no different for Linux. Mark Hinkle, vice president of Business & Community Development for Zenoss, admits that this benefit can be hard to quantify in financial terms but argues that it is definitely present and is a huge factor for Zenoss in its selection of platforms. While a distinct need for code modifications may not exist today, the availability of the source code provides an assurance that even if support for some critical feature or device were dropped in the future, it could be reincorporated by assuming some development cost. The argument for source code access is something of a religious debate to some but, for the enterprise, it is simply an assurance of future flexibility and a guard against obsolescence.

Opens an Array of Available Applications

Yes, you read correctly: Even though a major objection in migration to Linux has to do with the availability of applications. While Microsoft Office and other applications may not run natively on Linux, emulators and terminal services have been used as successful workarounds in some environments. As for running applications natively on Linux, a shift has clearly been taking place. Open Office (Star Office) has matured into a credible replacement for Microsoft Office, and suitable alternatives exist for most major software packages used in the enterprise.

Toderash recently addressed the issue of applications as a barrier to Linux migration, particularly groupware, which he called a misconception. «People don’t like Exchange Server,» he said. «They think there’s no replacement, but that’s not true.» He adds that he just installed eGroupWare, describing it as painless and giving him support for syncing with both Palm and BlackBerry. Zenoss’s Hinkle suggests that Web-based applications make the client platform less relevant than ever before, since it operates within a browser. The LAMP stack is crucial for them (LAMP refers to the bundling of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, Perl or Python) to achieve this result, he said. Ultimately, this may be an example of leveraging a strong share of the server market by Linux and other FOSS to make the client less relevant-and to diminish the need for client licenses.

Facilitates Rapid Corporate Growth

After noting that «Linux is the paragon of open source,» Hinkle states plainly that FOSS allowed his company to build a product that is competitive with large proprietary applications that took years to build. «Open source made it possible for us to grow really, really quickly.»

One of the primary reasons for this advantage is the low barrier to entry. Systems can be built essentially with «no money down» and invested in over time as their usage ramps up with the growth of the enterprise. Initially, a small Linux deployment can be rolled out, and resources can be spent scaling up as warranted rather than absorbing high up-front costs for small deployments. In this way, business risk is mitigated by not having to wait a long time to recoup up-front expenditures.

Pays for Value

Setup costs vary, but building on Linux shifts the cost from licensing to expertise. Toderash refers to this as «leveraging your brain instead of your wallet,» explaining that investigating and selecting software (or developing modifications) for Linux can take more research time up front. «After an hour of research, some people will spend $5,000 to avoid a second hour, but they could spend all week at it and still be ahead. It comes down to trading money for time.»

The real question is perhaps how one allocates the inevitable cost of IT. Steven O’Grady of RedMonk recalls that years ago Windows helped people move from the high licensing costs of Unix to deliver applications with lower price points, just as Linux is helping people move away from Windows licensing now. «Windows has helped reduce the total cost of solutions over time, [and] open source has taken that to the next level. In some cases, the total cost of the solution itself can be what you have to build on top of it.» Businesses will then invest in service and support instead of licensing. O’Grady says, «What open source has done is not make everything free or remove the costs of software, but instead shifted the up-front licensing model to what Sun’s Simon Phipps calls ‘paying at the point of value.»

His reference is to an article by Phipps last year about «Software Market 3.0,» about the deployer being «liberated to pay just for the things that result in value,» and paying when value starts to be realized «instead of at the point of acquisition of the bits.» Essentially, the costs are minimized up front, and triggered only as the enterprise ramps up and invests in whatever support is necessary to actually operate the system.

Drum Roll, Please…

It may be argued that the financial consideration of deploying Linux over any other system will all come down to TCO. True, perhaps…but one thing that we’ve managed to highlight in considering the variables is that the kind of expense rolled up within the TCO matters. For many, even if the TCO were equal, the shift in the type of expense that Linux achieves can commend it over Windows or other proprietary systems as a wise financial decision.

Summarizing the seven financial reasons to use Linux comes down, I believe, to the last reason offered: paying at the point of value. In one way or another, an aspect of each of the foregoing reasons pokes its head up in this single concept, which truly represents the coup de grace in settling the question.

Written by Stelios Draganidis

Αύγουστος 2, 2007 at 2:16 πμ

Αναρτήθηκε στις FLOSS, Linux, Operating Systems, Windows vs Linux

Ελευθέριος Κοσμάς: το παιχνιδο-Linux

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18:50 29/7/2007, Πλανήτης ΕΛ/ΛΑΚ Ελλάδα/Κύπρος

Τι προάλλες ένας φίλος μου έλεγε ότι το γιος του θέλει να παίζει παιχνίδια στο μηχάνημα του και θέλει να του βάλει Linux. Για αυτό το σκοπό του πρότεινα την διανομή Supergamer VL.

Μερικά από τα παιχνίδια που έχει μέσα είναι:

  • America’s Army
  • Doom 3
  • Enemy Territory
  • Nexuiz, Postal 2
  • Quake 4
  • Soldier of Fortune
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • True Combat
  • Torcs
  • DropTeam
  • Sauerbraten (Cube 2)
  • BZFlag
  • Chromium
  • GL-117
  • Glaxium
  • NeverBall
  • PPRacer

Το μέγεθος της διανομής είναι άλλη ιστορία καθώς θα χρειαστείτε 4,7 GB για το DVD εγκατάστασης. Μπορείτε να βρείτε το iso για να το κατεβάστε μέσω torrent από εδώ. Η διανομή στηρίζεται στο Vector Linux και περισσότερε πληροφορίες θα βρείτε εδώ.

Written by Stelios Draganidis

Ιουλίου 30, 2007 at 6:03 πμ

Αναρτήθηκε στις FLOSS, Games, Linux, Operating Systems