After switching 37,000 PCs to Ubuntu, French Armed Forces says open source cuts costs 40 percent
That move to open source software certainly saves money, but it only goes so far when it all runs on Windows. So the French Gendarmerie decided to go a step further and in 2008 began moving from Windows to Ubuntu. Initially 5,000 PCs were switched to Ubuntu in 2008, that went up to 20,000 by 2011, and currently sits at 37,000 Ubuntu PCs.
The Gendarmerie says it will have 72,000 PCs moved over to Ubuntu by next summer, and they will continue to migrate because it saves so much money. And here’s the important bit: in their experience using open source software so far, the total cost of ownership falls 40 percent, which is massive when you are talking about tens of thousands of machines.
How awesome is that? Not surprising, though. Ubuntu has had to come a long way in user-friendliness but I think now it’s reached a point where people can do the stuff they need to do on it and not have to jump to the CLI for every little thing. I believe the city of Munich went the same route a couple of years ago, with thousands of PCs freed of Microsoft’s licensing. Smells like a trend.
I’m still not able to make the switch 100%, as I love the software I have on Windows. But for entities like city governments and the like, it just makes sense, especially when so much of that office-software functionality can be replicated using free (and MS Office compatible) software.
I’m so over this obsession with the trendy hipster subculture that all marketing departments for tech companies seem to have. Are douchey, hoodie-wearing guys with scraggly beards and morose girls with black-rimmed glasses the only people who might want to buy one of their products?
Not to mention that, as the article points out, Microsoft targeted hipsters with their first Zune advertising which was later blamed for its shitty sales. Interestingly enough, Apple has been targeting these people with their marketing for years and it’s worked like a charm, judging by all the sullen hipsters seen with MacBooks in coffeeshops all over the country. Maybe this population isn’t ready for market segmentation quite yet…
If there’s one word that comes to mind when you see Microsoft’s Kin marketing materials—the flashy new website, the swish tubular packaging, typography-heavy imagery, or the images, events and information loaded up on their demo devices—it’s hipster. The citizens of Kin live in Vice Magazine advertorial spreads, and look like they just walked, self-consciously, out of an Urban Outfitters. Kin’s models look like caricatures of those kids, from that neighborhood, in pretty much any city, as drawn by marketing executives.
Microsoft wants Kin to be cool. And to the extent that blunt HERE’S WHO THIS IS FOR marketing can make something cool, they might be able to pull it off. And I get that Microsoft is segmenting their phones, catering Windows Phone 7 to an older audience and the social network-centric Kin to the 16-to-25s, (Wilson’s sterling analysis here), but it’s turning out so much more narrow than that: Kin aims for a type of “cool” which hinges entirely on touchstones of a bizarrely specific subculture.
OK, I’ve seen Microsoft patch one or two “critical” bugs in one update before. It’s pretty much a bi-weekly thing lately…their software is a veritable Swiss cheese of holes ripe for plunder by virii, worms, and phishers. But ten critical patches in a single update?? Wow. Simply…wow. Perhaps the best way to plug all those critical holes would be to simply stop using IE. Or Windows, for that matter. Think they’ll ever get ’em all?
The headline on Slashdot says it all: Microsoft To Construct iPod/DS/PSP Killer. Again with the “killer” crap! What can we learn from this? Anytime you see a product reported as a “killer” you can immediately dismiss it as a clueless blogger or an idiot ad executive talking out of his arse. The comments on Slashdot about this are pretty entertaining, too.
Oh, Microsoft is really treading on shaky ground with this one. If you’ve done any amount of reading about spyware, you’ve surely heard about Gator (now loftily named Claria), which is one of the most intrusive, deceitful, and outright evil companies in existence. This makes it one of the most hated companies by PC users because their adware crap is packaged with many programs and is often installed without the user fully comprehending what it’s for, if they notice it at all.
Anyway, Microsoft has been thinking about buying Claria for its own use, which they say is only a rumor…that is, until they downgraded the warnings for Claria in their own spyware detection tool. This just seems too stupid to be true, but there it is: Claria’s spyware has been downgraded to “ignore” by default, which means the spyware stays on your system unless you specifically go in there and tell the tool to remove it. Now they’re trying to defend themselves and assure us that they’re not going to allow Claria’s spyware to absorb and destroy your PC, even though that’s exactly what will happen if you “ignore” it. The comments on Slashdot on this issue are quite entertaining, oh yes. 🙂
Microsoft finally revealed its true colors, and those colors ain’t the gay rainbow. Our local rag The Stranger just published a story about how Microsoft, tail between its legs, pulled its support from an anti-gay-discrimination bill here in Washington. Why would they do this? They’re claiming that it’s because they don’t want to get too close to certain social issues, but Microsoft has an active and well-supported group for its gay employees, and they offer benefits to same-sex couples (or domestic partners, whichever). Why would they draw back on a bill which would add sexual orientation to our otherwise thorough anti-discrimination laws? Because a local pastor told them to, apparently. Read the story for full details on that bit…it’s just disgusting. This particular paragraph pretty much says it all:
That one of the world’s best-known corporations, synonymous with cutting-edge workplace innovation, would reverse its stance on such a basic piece of legislation because of threats from one minister seems to be yet another sign of the ongoing reverberations of last November’s presidential election, when “moral values” voters were widely — if probably erroneously — perceived to have played the role of kingmaker in ensuring the reelection of President Bush.
Thanks to M. Taylor-Judd for passing this along!
Oh, this is delicious. Taking a page from the pharmaceutical companies and their “objective” drug studies, Microsoft actually funded the security report from a few months ago which concluded that Windows is safer and more secure than Linux and other operating systems. Hah! How in the world can they think that nobody would notice or care about such a blatantly obvious conflict of interest? Of course the researchers are insisting that their results weren’t tainted in any way whatsoever by the presence of MS cash. MmmHmmm.
Two researchers surprised the audience at a computer-security convention last month with their finding that a version of Microsoft Windows was more secure than a competing Linux operating system.
This week, the researchers released their finished report, and it included another surprise: Microsoft was funding the project all along.
The researchers, from the Florida Institute of Technology and Boston-based Security Innovation Inc., defend their process and conclusions as valid. They say they had “complete editorial control over all research and analysis” involved in the project. Their report details their methods, and they invite other experts to examine and duplicate their work.
But their disclosure of the project’s funding source this week is stirring new debate over what had otherwise been viewed as encouraging news for Microsoft in an area in which it has struggled. The researchers had made the presentation at last month’s RSA Conference, which attracts some of the biggest names in the computer-security business.
I know millions still do, but please tell me why. Microsoft has dragged its feet on plugging its many security holes over the years. It’s the #1 target for spammers and their dictionary attacks on email addresses. Recent outages have resulted in deleted emails and inaccessible accounts, even for 200,000 premium accounts who pay for better service. Microsoft’s Passport thing is cumbersome and unnecessary. Hotmail won’t even let you export your contacts (as far as I can see). And…well, I’ll stop there. I know so many people who are complaining about Hotmail’s service, but they’re still using it. I switched to Yahoo years ago and loved it, until I discovered Gmail last year and loved it even more, and that’s what I’ve used ever since. Don’t be afraid to switch, folks! You’ll be glad you did. 🙂 (I also have 50 Gmail invites, so if anybody wants one just let me know: email@example.com.)
My brother passed this one along: Microsoft’s guide to computer slang, for you parents out there who can’t make heads or tails of the gibberish your kids are typing. One has to wonder if this kind of stuff screws up a kid’s ability to write in straightforward English, or if they switch back and forth with ease. Just how they get “rocks” out of “rox0rs” is anyone’s guess. Anyway, if ur a hopeless n00B and u ph34r ur kid’s m4d l33t skillz, maybe u oughta check it out.