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Making the move to Linux


Whenever software applications such as Linux are produced for free, this somehow automatically appears to raise the profile of that product, however, does this make it a good enough reason to convert? This was a question raised in Computer Weekly and here are some of the points that came out of this query.

Linux is an operating system that does not cost anything, as it is free of licence charges, however, it was felt that it could only be classed as cheaper in terms of direct costs. Other costs need to be taken into consideration such as Microsoft Office, the most popular office suite, is not currently available under the operating system Linux. However, they were quick enough to point out that alternative software is available and in many cases, better standards than the Microsoft version. Products such as Star Office which has received excellent reviews, is also free and then there is also Wordperfect.

Additional costs would be associated with training, deployment, whether you are considering using Linux as a server or desktop replacement and on-going support.

The move to Linux relys on how heavily an organisation depends and uses Microsoft products already. A suggestion stated was that an easy way to start with Linux would be to set up a back-end application and trial it with a few interested users.

How many organisations out there however, are not totally reliant on Microsoft technologies? If you do not happen to be so, then the experts suggest that this could be a viable alternative for you. They suggested that it would be sensible to contact a Linux distributor such as Red Hat who would be able to evaluate the costs and what is required to to make the installation process as painless as possible.

Major vendors such as IBM and SAP have started supporting Linux, thus proving that this product appears to be growing in strength. Those that already use Linux appear converted and are pleased to have broken the mould from being dependent totally on Microsoft. If anyone happens to be a Linux convert, TrainingZONE would be interested to receive your comments and experiences.


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