Oh oh.. Must Read
"Under Microsoft's planned enterprise licensing rules, businesses that
buy PCs before April 23, 2010, with Windows 7 preinstalled can
downgrade them to Windows XP, then later upgrade them to Windows 7 when
they're ready to migrate their users. But PCs bought on or after April
23 can only be downgraded to Vista -- which is of no help for XP-based
organizations, Silver notes -- and could cause major headaches and add
more costs to the Windows 7 migration effort."http://www.infoworld.com/d/windows/microsofts-looming-windows-7-licensing-disaster-xp-users-639
"Both Forrester Research and Gartner advise clients to wait 12 to 18
months after Windows 7 ships before adopting the new OS, so they can
test compatibility of their hardware and software, as well as ensure
their vendors' Windows 7 support meets their needs. But Microsoft's
six-month downgrade restriction for XP means that the businesses that
chose not to install Vista have to rush the migration process. Or they
can spend extra money and enroll in Microsoft's Software Assurance
program, which then lets them install any OS version at the price of
the extra yearly fee (about $90) per PC."
IT needs to work through several other issues when figuring out its Windows 7 migration strategy, Silver points out.
- Microsoft has yet to make public the details of its
Technology Guarantee program or even say if there will be one that
covers business purchases. The Technology Guarantee program gives free
upgrades to Windows 7 on PCs purchased after a certain date. That's
crucial for businesses that plan to adopt Windows 7 soon, so they can
time their hardware purchases to avoid paying for a Windows 7 upgrade
shortly after buying a PC shipping with Vista.
- Even if
applications designed for XP or Vista run on Windows 7, that's no
guarantee that the software vendor will support them on Windows 7.
This Zdnet blog points out several alternatives. But the best one for many would be to just move out to Linux and Mac...http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=4665&tag=nl.e550
Go liberate (http://www.ibm.com/software/info/liberate
), and then figure out alternative migration and virtualization strategies (http://www.ibm.com/lotus/openclient
Recently eweek's Joe Wilcox blogged about Microsoft's 10 unlucky and lucky breaks. Here are some interesting facts from these articles:
1. "Enterprise Vista adoption
was a mere 10 percent at the end of 2008" (http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/corporate/microsofts_10_unlucky_breaks.html
2. "Microsoft records Software Assurance sales as unearned revenue, whichis realized on an ongoing basis. During the average quarter, about 25percent to 35 percent of Microsoft revenue comes from unearned revenue.Microsoft recognized $6.3 billion in unearned revenue during fiscal2009 second quarter; total revenue was more than $16 billion."
And of course recently Microsoft announced price discounts for MS EA... like around 25%. Go figure? Also find out what happens to software ownership if you dont renew?
Customers, Vendors, Analysts form the Market. I have been noticing more facts based trends on Microsoft Desktop and its alternatives including Linux. Lets take a look at some:
1. Various companies/governments worldwide are moving to desktop alternatives
February 2007 - Brazil
Linux arrives on 50,000 government desktops in Brazil: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2094861,00.asp
February 2007 - USA
"By all appearances, the migration from Microsoft Windows to Novell SUSE Linux on the server and the desktop at the Windsor Unified School District in Northern California has been almost as pain-free as any IT professional could hope for. By this summer, all 5,000 students and 250 teachers will be working off of a Linux-based thin client running OpenOffice.org, and the majority of the district's servers will be running Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server." http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid39_gci1245710,00.html
March 2007 - France
"When French MPs and their assistants return from their summer break this June, they will conduct parliamentary business on PCs running Ubuntu. From the next session of parliament, 1,154 desks will feature the Linux-based PCs. At the time of the latest IT refresh for parliamentary assistants, France's parliament, the National Assembly decided to switch from Windows to Linux, allowing the 577 MPs to switch to non-proprietary software for the first time."
June 2007 - India
"Shiva Ramani, Co-Founder and CEO Cybernet-SlashSupport(CSS) said, "As a fast-growing provider of technology infrastructure support to multinational clients around the world, we have a tremendous focus on collaboration and on open standards. IBM's new open client solution offers the best combination of functionality and flexibility at a fraction of the cost of proprietary solutions. In line with our philosophy of practice what you preach, we are implementing the new IBM open client offering across our organisation."
2. Top Microsoft Desktop Vendors/Partners are signing up for alternatives
March 2007 - USA
"Hewlett-Packard is closing custom deals for thousands of desktop PCs running Linux, which has the company assessing the possibility of offering factory-loaded Linux systems, an HP executive said. "We are involved in a number of massive deals for Linux desktops, and those are the kinds of things that are indicators of critical mass. So we are really looking at it very hard," said Doug Small, worldwide director of open source and Linux marketing at HP."
July 2007 - UK
"Upgrading from Windows XP to Vista poses significant challenges for IT departments warns Dell, as it softens its sales stance on the OS"
July 2007 - USA
"VARs and system builders said the Vista issues are so significant that they are simply ripping Vista off most systems.
"We are ripping it off systems 99 percent of the time," said Jay Tipton, vice president of Technology Specialists, a Fort Wayne, Ind., Microsoft Gold partner."
3. Analysts report that many organizations are NOT taking up Vista/Office 2007 and more on FUD
June 2007 - Australia
"Analyst firm Gartner has expressed surprise at the number of Australian organizations reluctant to upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 without exploring alternatives. According to the results of an online Computerworld poll, a mere four percent plan to upgrade this year, while 77 percent plan to explore alternative solutions before making their move. Gartner research director, Martin Gilliland, said the results are unexpected. "I'm surprised that so many think there is an alternative," he said adding that the only options are Mac, Linux or skipping Vista altogether."
July 2007 - USA
According to Joe Wilcox of eWeek: "Microsoft has a long history of saying stuff (expecting people will believe) that wasn't true then or didn't turn out to be true in the future. I've grabbed some random examples:
* Software Assurance: In its May 10, 2001, press release announcing the program, Microsoft claimed: "The improvements to Microsoft's volume licensing offerings are designed to match the current acquisition behavior of the majority of Microsoft's enterprise customers, and should result in a reduction or no change in licensing costs for approximately 80 percent of Microsoft volume licensing customers." In reality, based on research from Gartner and other analyst firms, only a minority of customers—those upgrading every two years or less—would realize cost savings. The program raised most customers' software acquisition costs, as much as 107 percent, according to Gartner."
I will end with some fun reading from eWeek - check it out: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2148775,00.asp
"Bad, Bad Reasons Not to Buy Open-Source Software"
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week I blogged about US Federal government organizations Department of Transportation and FAA banning Windows Vista, Explorer 7, and Office 2007 upgrades. Its the turn of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), part of US Department of Commerce, this week. According to InformationWeek (http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=198000229 ), "NIST has banned Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system from its internal computing networks".
See this article in Informationweek: http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197700789
"Citing concerns over cost and compatibility, the top technology official at the federal Department of Transportation has placed a moratorium on all in-house computer upgrades to Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, as well as Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007".
"The DOT's ban on Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and Office 2007 applies to 15,000 computer users at DOT proper who are currently running the Windows XP Professional operating system. The memo indicates that a similar ban is in effect at the Federal Aviation Administration, which has 45,000 desktop users."
Meanwhile, the State of California legislature is considering has drafted legislation that would mandate adoption of ODF (http://news.com.com/California+may+adopt+OpenDocument/2100-7344_3-6163186.html)
And the IT Director for Germany's Foreign Ministry reports in Heise magazine that per-user licensing costs for its employees, who all use Open Office, is only 1,190 Euro. Other German ministries, which use Microsoft Office, tend to spend more than double that amount, or even as much as 5000 Euro. http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/85977/from/rss09
And South Africa government is moving to open source: http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=1377
Interested in IBM open client solution? Check this out: http://www.ibm.com/lotus/openclient
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.
Forbes reviews Vista and says (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/02/05/8399126/index.htm?source=yahoo_quote )
"One big hurdle is that you'll need serious hardware to take advantage of the best features." ...
"Even if you have a Vista-ready computer, upgrading to Vista is vexing. For starters, new PCs labeled "Vista ready" may not be capable of running the premium versions, which are, of course, the versions you'll want. " ...
"And then there's the issue of drivers, the software that Windows PCs need to work smoothly with printers, scanners and other peripherals. I wasted a full day tracking down and troubleshooting updates just so I could print a letter." ...
"For most organizations it's going to take 12 to 18 months of testing," says Michael Silver, senior software analyst for technology consultants Gartner Group. "Testing applications, waiting for software vendors to come up with new [Vista-specific] versions - by that time the machines in the office are going to be another 18 months older. Why spend the money to upgrade if you're only going to have it for another six months to a year?" ...
"some users will see Vista simply as Windows XP with lipstick and Botox. The Home Basic version, in particular, even does without the lipstick." ...
"It could lose customers to a new generation of browser-based applications that don't rely on any particular operating system."
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."
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.
Check this article from Business 2.0 magazine (http://money.cnn.com/2006/12/14/magazines/business2/microsoft_vista.biz2/index.htm?source=yahoo_quote ):
Microsoft established product inter dependencies - Need SQL Server 2005 database management software to run many Microsoft products. But guess what: the new operating system Vista (went on sale to corporate customers on Nov 30th) - can't run the current version of SQL server. Microsoft is working on an upgrade but hasn't set a release date yet. Customers does have a choice: for example move to DB2
So the big question is: Is "eventually" good enough?
Recently several of our customers received this invite from Microsoft/Avanade to an event in NY where they were going to talk about re-platforming of Lotus products! So here are the top 10 questions you could ask Microsoft:
10. Please list the Microsoft products that require SQL Server? Why?
9. What is an Enterprise CAL and what is its cost? How does that differ from Core CAL?
8. How much will it cost me, per user, to move to Vista? (a) Select agreement, (b) Enterprise agreement, (c) new hardware purchase?
7. How much money can I save by signing Select Agreement and NOT renewing/signing Enterprise Agreement?
6. Why should basic administrator tasks in Exchange 2007/fail over and replicia storage require to use command line/manual operations?
5. How much more expensive is it to install Exchange 2007 compared to Exchange 2003 including hardware costs?
4. Can I virtualize Exchange 2007? If not now, when?
3. Why should I buy MS Office when I can get open standards based alternatives?
2. Please list all clients and servers required to be deployed to deliver a complete Microsoft Collaboration environment?
1. Given the fact that next version of Domino will run on the same hardware and operating system as the current version, what is meant by re-platforming? The same is not correct for Microsoft Exchange 2007, correct?
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 )
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.
Are you ready to transform your desktop?
Gartner predicts delay for Vista, MS Office is delayed! (http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/05/02/gartner_predicts_another_vista_delay/ )
Gartner has advised customers that they can forego Microsoft Enterprise Agreement in favor of an alternative licensing strategy (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/10/microsoft_sa_windows_vista/
, http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/AntonySatyadas?entry=what_next_increase_price_as )
You can use the new Eclipse based Sametime 7.5 on Linux that will be available this September (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,20002921,00.asp , http://www.computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/0/D73CFB773FD2C1DECC2571CA00140882?OpenDocument )
IBM had announced availability of Notes on Linux before (http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/060710/0142515.html )
And ODF based productivity editors are available from IBM (as a component of IBM Workplace Managed Client, and next version of Lotus Notes codenamed Hannover) and other vendors! Several countries are standardizing on ODF. (http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/AntonySatyadas?entry=malaysian_government_and_odf )
Mainsoft, IBM advanced business partner has announced the ability to deploy your .NET applications on Linux using their Visual MainWin for J2EE and IBM WebSphere Everyplace Deployment software (http://www.mainsoft.com/news/press_releases/2006_08_14_01.aspx ) or as JSR 168 portlets in WebSphere Portal (http://www.mainsoft.com/products/vmw_wps.aspx ).
If you are an SMB customer, here is a Nitix based solution! (http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/AntonySatyadas?entry=nitix_on_linux_outperforms_17x )
Meanwhile, Steven Vaughan-Nichols writes about top 5 things Microsoft can learn from Linux (http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS7886275455.html ).
Its about choice, flexibility, open standards, reducing costs, driving innovation.
Are you ready for a pilot?