I like to save money. It lets me buy more stuff sooner or later…
I have long saved money in education by using GNU/Linux on PCs and on thin clients with zero licensing costs. I always chuckle when I read the anguish of some people trying to eke out similar savings with that other OS. Yes you can save money by using thin clients with that other OS because thin clients are cheaper and CALs are cheaper than full licences (just barely) but the maths is really simple with GNU/Linux. $0 beats all other licensing regimes of that other OS. No need to agonize over four plans each with negotiated prices to work things out. Install GNU/Linux and go.
The latest article I read on this topic suggests it can cost $thousands per PC to run that other OS and the price can be cut down to $hundreds by using RDP and thin clients. You save power and maintenance at the same time. In the table below, the black numbers are from the article using that other OS (adding capital cost, power and maintenance) and the green numbers are for the same hardware using GNU/Linux.
Costs for 1K PCs per annum
|1K PCs + M$||1K TCs + M$||1K TCs + GNU/Linux|
I would also argue that, going with a terminal server setup, there is no need for £300 thin clients but more like £100 or less so the last number comes down to £11,000. Whatever, you save a lot per annum, per PC with GNU/Linux. TFA gets many other things right, though. Thin clients last longer, use less power and are easier to maintain by far. The numbers above do not reflect the costs of the server but a GNU/Linux server is much cheaper than one burdened with a licensing fee and a mess of CALs as well.
The part about full virtualization being pricey is true, too. A virtual machine per user is a terrible waste of resources compared to a GNU/Linux terminal server sharing memory and cached files amongst users. That other OS needs that extra layer of complexity to keep the whole thing from falling down.