Quoting PJ Wall (pj.wall at itcarlow.ie):
> Rick Moen wrote:
>> >Quoting PJ Wall (pj.wall at itcarlow.ie):
> >>The incentives to go OSS are greatly diminished if a "critical" app is
> >>not Windows compatible.
> >Somehow, it never dawns on people _allegedly_ considering going to open
> >source or to Linux to just -leave alone- the one or two machines that
> >need to run Quickbooks or something. But of course these typically
> >aren't real studies, but rather excuse-generation exercises.
> Again, I have no real problems in agreeing with this.
>> However, I have been talking to a number of organisations in the last
> few months who are telling me _*one*_ of the main reasons they cannot
> migrate to OSS is because of the unavailability of some "critical" app
> for Linux desktop.
(Note: "OSS", being an obscurantist bit of acronym-ese meaning "open
source software", doesn't equate to Linux. E.g., many people run
diverse open source codebases on MS-Windows. I'll assume, below, that
you meant to speak specifically of running Linux, and weren't referring
generically to running open source.)
If some app really is "critical" in the sense of needed today on every
machine, doesn't run properly on WINE, isn't economical with Win4Lin et
alii, and has no reasonable migration path to a native-Linux
replacement, then indeed migrating those machines to Linux may not make
business sense -- today.
Of course, my experience of IT is that companies tend to do
mostly-unplanned migrations to new software sets every few years anyway,
those often being forced upgrades driven by poor backwards compatibility
of their proprietary apps, etc. The next such occasion might be a fine
time to escape the treadmill by migrating to Linux -- given suitable
pilot projects, acceptance signoffs, etc.
The reality of companies, generally, is that they give lip service to
examination of alternatives and fair evaluation of same, but they never
actually do that. More often, policy is set by the VP of Marketing
installing $ROGUE_UPGRADE_DU_JOUR that then requires everyone else's
workstations to follow suit, even at the cost of retiring and replacing
the latter. (I've seen it happen.)
> An example of this is a mid-sized org who wanted to migrate all their
> desktops to from Windows to Linux, but were unable to because a
> particular application which was used every day, and was needed on every
> desktop, was not available on Linux. The IT person in that particular
> org is very much into OSS and was pushing the migration away from
> Windows, but as soon as the decision makers heard the Windows only app
> would have to be sacrificed, the decision was stone dead.
IT staffers tend to be naive and incautious about businesses' platform
politics, and don't bother to ensure that their initiatives anticipate
objections (going through pilot project and acceptance-criteria signoffs),
such that they are easily torpedoed by the first manager who raises any
kind of red flag.
If the staffer put the proposal up for a management up/down decision
_without_ checking that all key functionality could be delivered and
that department heads acknowledged that in writing, then he was a fool
and deserved to lose.
...especially if he allowed himself to be blindsided while doing a demo
of the proposed replacement system by some manager sayin (e.g.) "Well,
but what about the ACT! contact manager?" and had nothing to say but
"Uhhh", because he was too bloody oblivious to have already configured
it to run under WINE (etc.) at the push of a KDE button.
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