“Let me be blunt: If you’re not using Linux on the desktop in call center and other fixed-purpose computing environments, you’re doing your company a disservice.”
Amen. He’s writing about the wholesale deployment of that other OS whether there’s a need for it or not. Here 99% of what we do is done with a browser or office suite. We are creating, modifying, storing, and finding text and images all the time. We do not need any particular operating system to do that so why not use the least expensive/most reliable one? Some businesses do have experts/specialists who need particular apps not available in GNU/Linux so they may need that other OS, but PCs are dandy for processing information in broad categories that need only a few basic apps to manage.
When I came here half the PCs were not working because of problems with malware and the bloat of that other OS. With GNU/Linux life is much simpler. Everything works and we do not need to dance to M$’s tune. Many organizations can easily run 80% of their PCs with GNU/Linux. Where I work we are about 90% GNU/Linux now and plan to have only a few PCs running that other OS next year. The fewer the better for reasons of support, reliability and speed.
When we consider the server, we have absolutely no need for that other OS. When we consider the desktop, the OS that came with the PC is not sacred. We do not have to keep it. If we consider the cost of keeping it, we should pave it over immediately. I use Debian GNU/Linux. You may find another distro works better for you. I like Debian GNU/Linux for the package management. It is so cool to have world-wide back-up of the software and local caches for speed. I really only need to back-up user data on the client PCs and that plus configuration information on servers.
One place where other writers on Infoworld get it wrong IMHO is management of IT. They have the belief that M$ knows how to manage PCs centrally better than GNU/Linux. I don’t get that at all. I have used AD and it works, sometimes, but it is quirky. On the other hand, I can send commands to every machine on a GNU/Linux network and have them all work for me instantly. That is centralized control for which some trolls criticize me. Advocates for that other OS want it both ways, it seems. I let users control their PCs. I want someone to be able to control the whole system. I get that with GNU/Linux. I just clone the appropriate public keys for the admin user, root, and I can send commands to any PC running the sshd daemon. This is much tighter control than AD or scripting in that other OS. I do not need to reboot to make anything happen usually. The user can continue using his PC during the process. Perfect. Simple and powerful management at no additional charge.