Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Cost-ineffective “7″ Deployment

  • Dec 09 / 2010
  • 5

Cost-ineffective “7″ Deployment

I keep finding stories on the web about how to roll out “7″ and save money. Let’s see

  • Chuck a perfectly working system = -$150 (the hardware is worth something and the licence is as good as it was on day 1)
  • Buying new hardware to get a slower performance = -$500 (looks like a bad choice to me…)
  • Paying for another licence just to have what you got from the old one = -$100 (or more if you buy licence for Office or get “Ultimate” etc.)
  • and still fighting malware and re-re-reboots = -$500 ( Who knows how much this costs? There’s no end in sight.)

That looks like -$1250 and you get nothing for the expenditure… How is that cost-effective? Any possible benefit is just a wash, about the same as the last system that you are chucking while still viable. One could go to Debian GNU/Linux and be free of most of these costs. Really. If you can get all your machines to boot PXE, you can slap GNU/Linux onto hard drives in 20 minutes or so and you are done. One re-boot and the system is working, free of malware and not slowing down until there is a hardware or network failure. If the machines are really old, you will be better off using LTSP, a package in many distros these days, to boot them and users run applications and sessions on a powerful new machine that can please dozens at once.

I don’t see how “cost-effective” can be used in the same sentence as that other OS.


  1. aikiwolfie

    One of my major bugbears with Windows is the way it slows down over time. No matter how many times I explain to people their hardware is perfectly fine and Windows is the problem, they just keep on trucking with Windows.

    Mostly this is because they are locked-in to iTunes. Way to go Apple.

  2. Robert Pogson

    I had an incident of this just yesterday…

    In a nutshell, one of our teachers insisted on going back to that other OS. The system she was using had a “7″ restoration CD set so I spent hours of my life setting it up for her. Yesterday, she noticed that she could not print to an HP1020 sitting on her desk. She assured me the day before she had… I think she had a lapse of memory because “7″ has no driver. “7″ could not find any and HP had none on their site. I put back an old PC with Debian Squeeze GNU/Linux so she could print again locally… I expect eventually she will want GNU/Linux on the new machine. I am going in circles around a high-maintenance user. ;-) Some converts take more effort than others.

    This school is full of HP printers. Quite a few will not work with “7″ except by some proxy. Hence, we have only three “7″ machines, two being in offices. HP should not produce printers that last so long if they cannot create drivers for them. I have one that is from the early 1990s and it still works although the print quality is poor. Even XP could not drive it.

    I think a large number of existing XP machines will go to GNU/Linux just because of the silly cost of replacing a working machine with another working machine for no net benefit.

  3. twitter

    The assumption that Windows 7 will give you what that other OS has been giving you is generous at best. Microsoft completely changed the driver model for Vista and knew that this would break everything “across the board for printers, scanners, WAN, accessories and so on.” Windows 7 is based on the same set of drivers, so old hardware still hits the trash when people move to it. What’s more important for business users, however, is disruption due to loss of important programs. Doing so much as “upgrading” from IE6 breaks all sorts of applications that have no immediate replacement in the non free world. The idiots at Microsoft need massive sales to make up for the Vista failure, so they are recommending bulldozer style replacements.

    A better strategy is to virtualize XP and leave a few working legacy computers until all of your workflow has migrated to the free world of gnu/linux. This is much less disruptive and really saves money both long and short term. Even a bulldozer style gnu/linux deployment would be more cost effective than a move to whatever Vista is called these days because it can be rolled out on existing equipment and licensing costs can be dropped.

  4. Richard Chapman

    Some economists are saying this recession will be more like a climate change. It could last a long long time. That’s not good if you’re selling “shiny”. Shiny just makes managers feel good. They’ll have to realign some core beliefs to stay relevant.

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