There are some articles on the web describing what businesses who feel locked in to M$ have to pay to adopt “7″. Some highlights:
- For every 10 users of IT in the system there is approximately one application that needs to be checked for compatibility with “7″ or replaced.
- Typical costs for automated checking are $100-200 per application and much more for manual testing.
- Molex found 650 applications in their system and eventually chose 341 old and new applications to have on the new system with “7″.
- Sifting through the applications can take months, perhaps a few days for each application.
- Sifting through all the compatibility issues and details can take months.
- Total cost of software compatibility work can cost $100-$200 per application per PC.
I am glad schools have simpler IT, just a few apps per PC and they can be all identical. This example shows the huge hole businesses have dug for themselves by depending on M$ for a platform. Any time M$ and its “partners” want money from businesses, they only have to wreck compatibility of apps and money will flow in with new hardware purchases and new software purchases. What a racket. With FLOSS they could keep their software indefinitely if they wish and just recompile it if some parts are changed.
In the case of Molex, they found almost half the apps that locked them in to M$ were not even required. Worse, this game must be repeated at almost every medium to large business on the planet. With FLOSS, the distros do it once for the whole world of users. That’s much more efficient.
You can read that sorry tale, 3 tips for migrating applications to Windows 7
To get a measure of the lockin of a US State see State of Montana – Biennial Report for Information Technology – 2009
Only 13% of their applications are “commercial”. 31% are custom-made for their unique processes and 49% are databases. They have 14814 PCs under a policy of replacement every four years. They have 850 IT staff. They plan to spend $107million over the next two years for a long list of major projects in IT. They have to sanitize or destroy every hard drive before disposal.
They actually considered migrating just file and print services to GNU/Linux and decided against it in 2006, reasoning, We have the expertise onboard to support the Windows product. We know we can attract technicians with Windows-based skills. Recruitment of highly skilled Linux support technicians would prove to be more of a challenge than recruiting Windows technicians…
and they chose to be dependent on Active Directory rather than OpenLDAP.
Meanwhile, the Legislative Branch has no problem using GNU/Linux. They are rolling it in for file/print serving. They are also migrating to “7″ without much question. Their budget is $2.5million and 1/3 of that is hardware/software replacement costs on a four year cycle. They are considering thin clients, though.
So, the three examples show that businesses and large organizations have been working slavishly for decades making dependence on M$ and that other OS stronger. For all the money they spend globally, they could produce FLOSS and keep their software in-house. They seem to have the gambler’s addiction and a belief that repeating mistakes can bring a successful conclusion. Lock-in in IT is a mistake. It costs flexibility and higher costs indefinitely. FLOSS may have a serious cost for migration but the on-going costs are trivial in comparison. Changing PCs every 4 years whether they are worn out or not is the height of stupidity. Thin clients have no moving parts these days and can last 10 years. They can run any software on a server that these folks need to run. The Legislative Branch of Montana has 380 PCs. If they used thin clients for 10 years it would cost them about $30/year/PC. They are spending 8000=$800000/380/4 times as much as they need and they plan to do that forever…