Microsoft has launched a "Get Ready" web site (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/capable.mspx) with information about Vista, system requirements, and an Upgrade Advisor tool intended to help people determine if their existing PCs are Vista-ready. Unfortunately, the information is not very clear. In fact, Michael Cherry, an analyst with the market research firm Directions on Microsoft, was quoted as saying: "I don't understand why it has to be this complex..." (Tech News on ZDNet, 5/18/2006). Maybe there is a reason?
One recent analysis, for example: http://weblog.infoworld.com/smbit/archives/2006/06/vista_hardware.html indicate that you will need 2GB of RAM and a 128-256MB video card! and maybe 64bit CPU, to get Vista to "rock"!!! This is over and beyond the Vista premium recommendations by Microsoft!
So for those who are eagerly waiting from Vista upgrade! This can run up your bill quite a bit! Will a year wait bring the price down? It could be more like y2008-2009 timeframe when customers really start upgrading (http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?doc_cd=136411&ref=g_SiteLink)!
Can adopting Linux bring the operating system costs down? Yes, in many cases!
Can Linux desktop deployment start today? Yes!
According to John Fontana, Networkworld.com (http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/061606-exchange-2007.html )
"Corporate users who migrate to Exchange 2007 (yes, no upgrades!) will face mandatory infrastructure changes that, while advancing security and management could add complexity and costs to their networks"!
According to the article, you will need to deal with the following:
- Requires 64bit processors - so you have to buy new hardware.
- The new role based architecture may require upto 5 exchange servers to support remote client access, transport/routing, unified messaging, and mailboxes.
- New clustering limitations - move from server consolidation thought to server expansion, given the increase in # of servers required.
- Eliminate all Exchange 5.5 servers from the environment!
- No in place upgrades from Exchange 2000/2003 to 2007.
- Exchange no longer will have its own site topology.
- Integrate Exchange with a PBX - specs not available yet.
- Need compatibility kits for third party 32bit plugins that may not run on Exchange 2007
I expect Microsoft will soon release the following:
- detailed migration and best practice guidelines for users
- public beta of Exchange in July 2006
- licensing options requirements for Exchange 2007
So, why wait?
Move to Domino or DAMO (for Outlook fans), run it on Linux, to help save some money so you can invest it in other mission critical initiatives!
Check this out, from Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld, June 27th: Time is right to bargain with Microsoft - as desktop software becomes less important, companies have leverage over the software giant for a better enterprise agreement! http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/06/27/79602_27OPreality_1.html
"There is a shift taking place, away from mammoth applications and the support they require. Our very own Oliver Rist says you’ll need 2GB of RAM to run Windows Vista (http://www.infoworld.com/4210 ). But on the horizon are downloadable applications from the likes of Google, not to mention mashups, reusable Web services, and the OpenDocument format.
Plus, the fact that the desktop is no longer the center of the universe means you can now safely consider, where appropriate, Linux desktops. It may not be right for all 50,000 of your desktop users, but maybe there are 25 percent who would do nicely without all the bells and whistles of a Windows desktop.
Finally, other leverage points you can use, according to Gartner, include convincing Microsoft that you can walk away from the deal and use your currently established licensing rights, or that you can upgrade Windows via the hardware refresh, rather than through an EA agreement.
It’s hard to say when exactly the world changed, but certainly everyone can agree that innovation has moved off the desktop. Perhaps it is time to stop paying it tribute."
Are you an IBM Lotus business partner who will be in town (Boston) on July 11th? Maybe you are a Microsoft business partner attending the Velocity 2006 conference in Boston? Want to figure out a better way to partner? with IBM Lotus?
Come join IBM Lotus executives at Anthony's Pier 4 on July 11th 6-9PM est.
Get a sneak peak of Lotus Sametime 7.5, WebSphere Portal 6.0. Play with Linux laptops running Lotus Notes, Sametime, and Productivity editors!
Grab the invitation from here: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/lotus/lotusweb/Invite.pdf
Check out http://www.ibm.com/lotus/abetterway
Check this out -- According to Nitix, Nitix on Linux outperforms almost 17x Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 in a test case comparing the Installation of the Operating System and Core IT services!
http://www.sorrybill.com : "Lower cost, more reliable, easier to use, better security, quicker to setup!!"
And, here are more details of a product performance bakeoff done by CRN:
"Net Integration's Nitix Linux small-business server offering packs every bit of the feature punch of Microsoft's just-launched Small Business Server 2003 R2 ..."
Try Nitix with IBM Lotus Domino at no cost here: http://www.nitix.com/products/domino/requestDownload.php.
They already have Sage Accpak running on Nitix: http://www.nitix.com/products/accpac/index.php
From guest blogger Scott Handy, Vice President of Linux and Open Source at IBM:
We announced at Linuxworld, eight key open source initiatives beyond Linux, aimed at accelerating the adoption of open standards and extending existing product lines to reach new customers. We also announced new work with the open source community to improve the development of general Linux kernel functionality, expanding its Linux focus around virtualization, Cell processor technologies, and security.
The eight new disciplines focusing on open source business opportunities include: Client-side Middleware - Supporting the Eclipse Rich Client Platform project for hosting cross-platform applications.Development Tools - Built on Eclipse, a universal open integration platform of frameworks and exemplary tools.Web Application Servers - Based on Apache open source projects like Geronimo.Data Servers - Building on the open source Apache Derby and no-license fee IBM DB2 Express-C.Systems Management - Including open source Aperi storage project.Open Hardware Architectures - Community-driven collaborative innovation with Power.org and Blade.org.Grid Computing - Expanded support for Open Grid Services Architecture and the Globus Alliance.IBM Research/Business Consulting and Technology Services - Enabling customers to innovate with open source-based solutions and development models.
Brazilian-based online gaming pioneer Hoplon Infotainment, Nationwide Insurance, CommX, and RealPlus, are among those pushing the company's estimated number of Linux-related customer engagements to more than 15,000 worldwide.
Customers using supercomputers, to gaming technologies and desktops and mobile phones are benefiting from the low cost of ownership, security, and reliability of Linux and open source software running on standards-based IBM hardware and server platforms. The company is particularly committed to expanding growth in IBM's Linux-related customer engagements in emerging markets including Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Hoplon Infotainment, for instance, is beta testing its new massive multi-player TaikoDom game hosted on an IBM mainframe computer at the IBM Service Delivery Center in Hortolandia, Brazil managing purchasing transactions with WebSphere and DB2 database software running on Linux. Millions of players worldwide can challenge each other in online games like TaikoDom and interact with other users in real time requiring a highly scalable IT infrastructure. The IBM DB2 Universal Database solution running on Linux delivered a significant percent performance increase over an Oracle solution that previously served as the technology middleware.
Gartner analyst Michael Silver expresses doubts about reports that Microsoft/PC vendors will start to offer upgrade coupons for Vista users in Q4, 2006. See the article by Gregg Keizer in Varbusiness: http://newsletter.varbusiness.com/cgi-bin4/DM/y/eyou0FZukk0Elw0Ei5t0EA
I wonder what value these coupons can bring to enterprise customers if the product is delayed.Given the potential delays before we see any enterprise wide rollouts, many might opt for Linux or Mac as these platforms continue to become more viable as enterprise desktop platforms.
Linux brewing in India? All over the place...
The following article provide examples of Linux adoption in Indian companies including UTI bank, Everady, Central bank of india, New India Assurance, LIC, BSNL, IRCTC, Airtel, IDBI, Indiabull, State of Maharashtra, State of West Bengal, etc.
And for the hot news, from Kerala, 32 million population, 12500 schools, more than 99% literacy rate, 1 million students aged 5-15 (see link below)
The Ministry of Education is banking on Linux to drive "making all school children computer literate"
Kerala is a well known tourism destination in Asia. It is also known for its success in striving for universal literacy and advanced PQLI and social development, including service delivery points in healthcare, education, and public distribution up to the village level. Called "Akshaya" (http://www.akshaya.net ), a recent (2004) initiative led by the Kerala government is focused on improving the state by using IT effectively. Examples of Akshaya's projects include creation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) access points at a village level, increased public participation by improving skills and encouraging daily use of ICT, making more content available in local languages, and using ICT centers for the delivery of a number of services and applications (e.g. e-governance, e-transaction and e-commerce).
I am excited as a native of Kerala to be able to witness this innovation.
Check this out!
eWeeks labs tested the post RC1 Build 5728 Vista with Java based client application. "Aero Glass has reverted to the sans-translucence, sans-3D effects, plain old Aero interface" according to Jason Brooks in Microsoft-watch.
This might be pointing to some best practices for desktop transformation...
Vista upgrades should be carefully thought out and not rushed Examine cost of upgrade and weigh alternate options Revisit Microsoft Enterprise Agreement value (see http://www.ibm.com/lotus/reducecost )
I blogged about the State of Kerala, in India moving 12,500 schools from Microsoft Windows to Linux.
Take a look at the State of Indiana in USA: http://www.doe.state.in.us/inaccess/
A very exciting program that has already got tens of thousands of students using Linux based desktop computers (http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/breakingnews.jhtml?articleId=192201386)...
They have a very good training and support infrastructure in place, along the lines of the other state...
Who is next in the line?
Check this out. The French parliament is following France's Gendarmes and Ministry of Culture and Communications to switch from Windows to Linux client workstations running open source software.
I have been reading several articles in Businessweek questioning the readiness of Vista and Office 2007 (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2006/tc20061129_739121.htm ) and some of the design quirks - how many geeks does it take to shut off a computer (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2006/tc20061201_625122.htm?chan=technology_technology+index+page_software ).
Then I came across this article (http://www.cbronline.com/article_news.asp?guid=61A19824-89F8-4649-82F7-3062481BA64B ) about BECTA (the UK government agency responsible for technology used in education) warning against deploying Vista and Office 2007, "noting that for Vista especially 'the risks are high, and the benefits are far from clear."
And while we have blogged about the "cost" of upgrading to Vista, today I came across this IDC study: "for every dollar spent on Vista a partner will earn $18 from hardware upgrades, other software additions and services." (http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=41800&cid=10 )
But then many governments appear to have figured this out already through interoperability frameworks and adoption of ODF (Open Document Format) and Linux - the most recent being State of Tamil Nadu in India (http://www.skyscrapercity.com/archive/index.php?t-368794.html ) and Province of Misiones in Argentina (http://www.misiones.gov.ar/egov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=132&Itemid=9 ).
Here is a summary of the government adoption of ODF:
a. Seven National governments:
- Brazil, France, Germany have released Interoperability Frameworks calling out ODF
- Belgium, Croatia, and Norway recognize ODF/open standards in Fedral Government ICT guidance or policy papers
- Denmark made a parlimentary decision on the need for open standards in digital exchanges
b. Two country national standard bodies
- Italy approved ODF as a National Standard
- Malaysia is in the process to do likewise
c. Four Regional Governments:
- Extremadura, Spain has agreed to use ODF for document exchange
- Hong Kong, China recognizes ODF in its interoperability framework
- Tamil Nadu, India
- Province of Misiones, Argentina
d. Four governments have sponsored ODF focused events:
- India, Malaysia, Poland, Thailand
e. EU's DG Enterprise/IDABC published its recommendations on ODF ( http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/servlets/Doc?id=26844 )
In addition to policy decisions, nearly 50 federal agencies and state/local bodies across the globe are using office applications that support ODF. See http://opendocumentfellowship.org/government/precedent
Many governments have proceeded further, with adoption of Linux as the operating system of choice.
Let us take India for example: The state of Kerala moved 12500 schools to Linux few months back. The State of Tamil Nadu home to a population the size of the UK, is in the process of deploying 32,600 Linux desktop systems and training 30,000 government officials (http://mandriva.blogspot.com/2007/01/tamil-nadu-india-may-shut-door-on.html ). The governments of seven states, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal were running their treasury applications on Linux. The Provident Fund application of Bihar, the Secretariat in Mizoram, the Stamp Duty application in Andhra Pradesh, the Land Record application of Maharashtra, the RTOs of all the North Eastern states; Linux found several takers in many states across the country. The Central Government was not lagging behind-the innovative ePost project of the Post & Telegraph department, the IndiaGov portal and various other applications of the Election Commission, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor and Ministry of External Affairs were also running open source software. (http://www.dqindia.com/content/DQTop20_2006/employers06/2006/106090601.asp ).
Meanwhile, in Europe, the city of Amsterdam (in collaboration with 7 other cities) will conduct tests of open source software on desktops in two departments in the first half of 2007 (http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39285307,00.htm ). Austria's capital city Vienna is in the midst of linux desktop rollout.
I already blogged on State of Indiana in the US (http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showstory.cfm?ArticleID=5819 ).
And IBM is offering flexibility and choice to customers: Run Notes, Sametime, Expeditor, ODF compliant productivity editors on Windows, Linux, Mac, from a memory stick, DVD, etc.
According to this Economist article: http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8550569 ,
- "Microsoft's dominance is slowly being eroded: More PCs now talk to one another using open standards rather than proprietary ones. Many services and some programs are accessed online. People watch videos on YouTube, share photos on Flickr, check their e-mail and even work on files and spreadsheets, all using software that is based on the internet."
- "Vista took five years and $6 billion to develop. Some 8,000 people worked on it. Yet it is two years late. ...Most users are expected not to bother upgrading, but to acquire Vista only when they buy a new computer. With hindsight, the release of Vista may mark the moment when Microsoft's Windows and Office are seen as having reached the zenith of their supremacy."
- Three trends eroding Microsoft's Windows and Office (60% sales, 85% profits): (a) open source, (b) rise of online apps and Software as a Service (SaaS), and (c) security concerns.
- "The operating system matters less when programs can be provided online. Moreover, online software can be delivered to customers more cheaply, there is immediate feedback from users and applications can continually be improved."
- "Windows and Office go together like salt and pepper. ... The next step might be for computer-makers to start pushing PCs with Linux rather than Windows installed on them."
You might have seen the IBM announcement of its open client solution (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/21060.wss ) - Lotus collaboration software (Lotus Notes 8 and IBM productivity tools with ODF support, Domino, Sametime, WebSphere Portal, Expeditor) and associated software services to support flexibility and choice for the customer around operating systems (Windows from Microsoft, Linux from Red Hat and Novell, Mac OS 10 from Apple - planned for Lotus Notes 8), platform devices, productivity editors (Microsoft Office on Windows, IBM Productivity Editors or open source products on Linux and Windows), alternatives for application development on thin/rich client (leverage Eclipse RCP). See IDC News Service: http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/02/12/HNibmlinuxopenclient_1.html However, some are reporting that Microsoft is not very happy with this http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/operating_systems/microsoft_is_not_very_hapy_about_ibms_new.html Well....
1. IBM financials for Y2006 show 30% revenue growth for Lotus software in Q4 and also 9 consecutive quarters of growth.
2. Open standards based software does provide flexibility and choice to the customer, ISVs, and Systems Integrators. Flexibility and choice is about operating systems, platforms, productivity editors, applications, collaboration software, application development, and rich/thin client. Microsoft products runs on Windows only, and often have complicated product inter-dependencies. According to Avinash Singh, COO of Birlasoft (http://www.birlasoft.com ), a Systems Integrator based out of New Jersey, "IBM's open client solution is very timely. It allows us to offer more value to our customers who either want to move to Linux desktops or drive a heterogeneous client strategy. This solution can help them reduce costs while increasing organizational productivity. It is all about offering flexibility and choice for our customers."
3. Customers are being Vista "challenged" in terms of cost of software, hardware, deployment, falling short of security features (http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2007/01/vista_firewall.html?chan=search ), printer and device drivers (http://www.enterprisenetworksandservers.com/newsflash/art.php?698 ). "MIT flunked Vista" recently (http://www.varbusiness.com/sections/news/breakingnews.jhtml;jsessionid=RLEG1GEALNJJIQSNDLOSKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleId=197004760 ). Office 2007 requires end user training. Customers are also concerned about "after Vista what" -- I spend all this money and cant get locked out of innovation -- do i move to "Live"? when? Why not continue to stay on Windows XP or the like. Others say: I have to "migrate" anyways, so why not leverage Linux? As you may know, many experts are "OOXML challenged" also (http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20070117145745854 )
4. Customers are also figuring out a way to free up lots of money in their IT budget by deciding to take alternative procurement strategies instead of renewing/signing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement - "a la carte vs buffet". So says several analysts and press (http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/lotus/general.nsf/wdocs/license )
So despite any criticism out there, my take is that the open client solution is real and deep and its all about bringing value, flexibility, ease and choice to customers.
If your organization can relate to any of these top reasons, read further
- Want flexibility and choice in your environment/purchasing decisions
- Exploring "Desktop of the future"
- You are an ISV/VAD/SI/Solution provider exploring new ways to drive customer value
- You need alternatives for migrating your applications based on user needs/segmentation For example:
- Have Microsoft Visual Basic applications; still running Windows 2000; have .Net applications
- Interested in server managed clients and "hands free installation and support" model
- Need "Rich Client" support (i.e., "fat client" functions at browser client price)
- Cost, TCO
- Want to lower your TCO by exploring Linux and other low cost applications
- Challenged with Vista upgrade costs – software, hardware, training, deployment
- Concerned about Microsoft Office 2007 costs (software, training, deployment, value) - 80% of your users leverage only 20% of the functionality offered in Microsoft Office 2007
- Want to explore the possibility of saving a large amount off the cost of Microsoft Enterprise Agreement by taking alternate procurement strategies
- Looking into the increasing number of government policies and supporting laws on adopting open standards, ODF, and Linux
- Want to innovate, leverage new innovations like Web 2.0 on the desktop
The "desktop of the future" concept is driven by the following needs
- ease of use (leverage Web 2.0, SOA) drive innovation on the desktop
- reduce cost - hardware, software, maintenance/support, management (http://www.ibm.com/lotus/reducecost)
- support mass collaboration and organizational productivity
- mobility, smartcard, biometrics, appliances - anyplace, anywhere, connected/disconnected
- unified collaboration, communication, and socialization (http://www.ibm.com/lotus/collaborate)
- client middleware with one open programming model
- flexibility and choice - open client capabilities (http://www.ibm.com/lotus/openclient)
- mashup and application composition capabilities
- the smarts - speech, vision, touch, awareness, context, insights
Want to get a briefing, IBM point of view? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to play around with Notes 8 beta client? download from here: www.ibm.com/lotus/getnd8now
Want to get a whitepaper on this? Contact me email@example.com