[nSLUG] OS options

Jim Haliburton jim at on-site.ns.ca
Tue Aug 30 09:00:55 ADT 2005

In a recent note by Michael Taylor he indicated that selling the idea of not 
being locked-in to a specific vendor could be viable.  I have found that 
suggesting Linux as a server lead to the client saying then I am locked-in to 
you, referring to me as the Linux support person.

They felt that having a Windows server gave them more choices for support as 
the plethora of "Windows Experts" left them in a position to easily change 
support firms.  The $1000.00 cost of Windows Server for 6-8 users was not a 
deal breaker.  

I had to agree with them.  Although most Linux systems need very little end-
user support, adding and changing users and permissions, could be an ongoing 
task.  Many offices have a surprising turnover.  I have countered that in some 
instances by setting up generic users.  These users are based on the position 
held in the business, such as reception,  parts1, parts2 etc.

Also when printers get changed or added some businesses find this easier with 
Windows than with Linux.  In many cases the company will have it done before 
you get there.  Not always correctly mind you but 'done' in their minds.

So just be careful selling the idea of avoiding vendor lock-in.  Usually it is 
NOT the OS vendor the local business is concerned about but lock-in to you the 
expert in that particular OS.  And given the choice many would rather pay for 
the OS to get the choice or flexibility of where the support comes from.

Remember these are organizations that would nickel and dime you for a $200.00 
difference in the purchase of the hardware of a server and yet go to a car 
dealer and pick out a vehicle and sign the papers in 5-10 minutes.  No life 
cycle costing when it comes to their 'ride'.

Jim H


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