Who is moving to Linux in the 21st Century?

Citroen are moving their 250 servers and 20,000 PC Workstations over to SuSE Linux, Now that is a lot of Microsoft licenses being lost. Licences for 250 servers and 20,250 copies of Windows and probably 20,000 licences of Office as well could be a blow to Microsoft. Not so much the loss of income, but that such a large commercial company is moving over to Open Source. This will surely encourage others to move.

Then we have the French Gendarme moving over 70,000 of their PCs to Ubuntu Linux and the Spanish government authorising the education sector to move over to Linux. Not only could that mean a loss of up to 500,000 licenses to Microsoft, they will be very unhappy at all these school children growing up on Linux machines.

The New York Stock Exchange is moving over to Linux. Their CIO said the real reason he is moving is that he needs technology independence.

Philippines companies – collectively 23,000 computers. Article link.

From ZDNet: “Another thousand schools are being added to the program, this time using Kubuntu and Edubuntu, for a total of 23,000 computers. While the program appears to have been quite successful…”

All of Russia by 2010. Article Link.

From “Russia Today” comes: “A free on-line alternative to the Windows operating system is set to be introduced in schools in three Russian regions by 2009. If the pilot project proves successful, all schools across the country will make the switch a year later.”

South America Article Link.

From C|Net News Com: “Argentina, having recently undergone an economic collapse, is also a lover of Open Source. The enthusiasm for it there has engulfed much of the private sector, where according to a 2004 survey from Argentina-based Trends Consulting, 42 per cent of Argentine companies use Linux and many of these are planning to use Open Source for all new applications.”

US Army. Article Link.

From The Register we have: “In multiple media reports over the past two weeks, the US Army has professed its love for the penguin. The Army eventually intends to move from a Windows-based infrastructure over to Linux for its new, roughly $200bn weapons program.”

Munich is Linux, Netherlands will go too. Article Link.

Linux Insider informs us “The government in Munich, Germany, runs on Linux. Same thing in the Netherlands, thanks to a recent law there that requires open source software in all departments of the national government. In France, any product for IT use must have an open source alternative in the decision-making process.”

Australia. Article Link.

Australian IT say: “Red Hat is buoyed by a recent Australian Government Information Management Office survey that showed most federal government agencies expected to use more free and open source software over the next five years.”

San Fransisco Bay Area Schools. Article Link.

And nearer to Microsoft’s home, Computer World writes “For years, open-source software advocates have been holding “installfests,” gatherings to help others learn how to install and use Linux and other open-source applications on computers. Tomorrow, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit group and a San Mateo, Calif.-based open-source vendor are taking the idea a step further by co-sponsoring an all-day “Installfest for Schools” to create what they hope will be 500 refurbished computers to be used by underprivileged students in schools in nearby neighbourhoods.”

South Africa to save over $352 million going to Linux. Article Link.

Finally, from Infoworld: “Besides saving the South African government several billion rand, which amounts to several hundred million dollars, adopting open source software would boost the local software industry, said Mojalefa Moseki, the chief information officer of South Africa’s State Information Technology Agency (SITA), when the proposal was put together earlier this year. SITA is a South African government agency that provides information systems and other related services to participating departments. “

…and from the Ubumtu Forum: “South Africa plans to switch all government departments over to open source computer software instead of using Microsoft systems, a cabinet spokesperson said. Themba Maseko told reporters the cabinet would use the open source Linux operating system in a bid to lower administration costs and enhance local IT skills. The cost implications are considerable in a country struggling to bridge the digital divide, and where a vast majority of the people are computer illiterate.”


From Linux.com “From an August-September survey of 512 US companies, government agencies, and others, Optaros reported that 87 percent were using open source software. Dave Gynn, application infrastructure practice lead at Optaros, said all companies and agencies are likely using open source software in reality. “There’s still a gap of many people who don’t realize they’re using open source,” Gynn said.” And this was way back in 2005.

What to do first

Companies who are thinking of moving from Windows to Linux should read this interesting article on how first to see whether this is a good move for you, and also what immediate steps should be taken.

The French Gendarmerie approached the next step very wisely. Their IT people needed to be au fait with Linux and this would take a lot of training, over a fairly long period. So they did this in four stages. First of all they analysed that the three major programs they used on their Windows computers were Microsoft Office, Outlook and Internet Explorer. After discovering three good alternatives which ran not only on Windows, but also on Macs and Linux, they decided to install the replacements, step by step. But using the Windows versions.

First of all, they replaced Internet Installer with Firefox and whilst the users were getting to grips with this, the IT people learned about Thunderbird whilst studying how Linux worked. Once they were up to speed, Thunderbird was exchanged for Outlook. This took a little longer to master, but even so, it wasn’t that long. Meanwhile, the IT people worked out everything about Open Office, the MS Office replacement and this was introduced.

Once everyone was at ease with the three Open Source programs, Windows was to be stripped from all the computers (70,000 of them) and replaced with Linux. The three Open Source programs replaced with Linux versions which had the same look and feel and worked exactly the same way.

Implications for Microsoft

First of all, Linux will never replace Windows, and Microsoft will be around for decades to come. However, with children growing up in Russia working only with Linux, and 500,000 Spanish children growing up with Linux, and the adoption of Linux by many governments and schools around the world, we will see more companies moving over to Linux when they find their workforce are “expert” at running the Open Source operating system. What we will see is Microsoft having to relax their contracts with computer suppliers, lower their licensing fees, and re appraise their latest idea of “renting out” their software rather than selling it.

Now that I have practically retired from Journalism, and retire on pensions to keep body and soul together, I have to look to the future.Having now moved to Linux not only means that I never have to outlay valuable financial resources for computer software, but that my hardware will last much longer before having to be renewed. This is owing to the fact that Linux uses less internal computer resources than Windows. In addition to this, the next time I buy a computer I can choose one with a much lower technical “spec” and therefore save even more money.


  1. #1 by Andrew on Friday, 20 June 2008 - 12:44 pm

    I have just received the following from a reader, Mary, this is fast work as the article has only just been posted!AmpersComputer changeover on schedule for school districtChilliwack TimesPublished: Wednesday, June 11, 2008http://www.canada.com/chilliwacktime…5-b121acc41ab2The plan to change the 1,000-plus computers inside School District No. 33 elementary schools is proceeding as planned, with two schools complete and more computers on the way.They began a pilot project at two schools, replacing the computers with new ones that can run a system called LINUX. Most of the current computers are Macs but very few are capable of running OS X, the current operating system Macs use. They were using an older operating system that is becoming obsolete.—————————————————————TECHNOLOGY-CUBA: University Opens Doors to Free SoftwareBy Patricia Grogghttp://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42409HAVANA, May 17 (IPS) – After years of deliberation, the University of Havana has finally decided to switch over to free software on its network of computers, virtually all of which are running the Windows operating system, produced by United States software giant Microsoft.The plan, approved by the University Council, envisages intensive training of professors and computer personnel this year, followed in 2009 by the broad installation of the GNU/Linux operating system, which uses the Linux kernel created by Linus Torvalds of Finland in 1991.

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