Tuesday, August 09, 2005

[TechRepublic] Open source software on the desktop -- Is it right for you?

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Open source software on the desktop -- Is it right for you?

One of the arguments towards placing open source software on the desktop is that it's "comparable and compatible." Comparable means it???s largely similar; it performs the same functions. Compatible is saying simply that it works with the recognized leader in the area (Microsoft). For instance, Linux is comparable to Windows in that it???s an operating system. It???s compatible because it can read and write files to a Windows-based server (through Samba and some configuration.)?? Similarly, OpenOffice is comparable to Microsoft Office in that it offers the same basic functions. It???s compatible in that it can read and write Microsoft Office files. The rub comes in when you evaluate how comparable and compatible the solution is. From a comparable standpoint, does the solution offer the same user experience in terms of ease of use? How much will change from what???s already familiar? How about help? In this week's column, Robert Bogue explores the factors you should consider if you're thinking about switching to open source.

Other resources:

Robert Bogue, MCSE (NT4/W2K), MCSA:Security, A+, Network+, Server+, I-Net+, IT Project+, E-Biz+, CDIA+ has contributed to more than 100 book projects and numerous other publishing projects. He was honored to become a Microsoft MVP for Microsoft Commerce Server and before that Microsoft Windows Servers-Networking.

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Resources for SMBs

  • White Paper: Migrating from Windows NT Server? Why SUSE LINUX is the Most Compelling Solution With Windows NT Server users facing a "no support" situation from Microsoft after 2006, most enterprises that are using the legacy server platform are feeling the pressure to migrate to a newer server operating system. But which one is best-suited for long-term use in your IT organization? If, like so many others, your enterprise is considering a move from Windows NT Server to a Linux-based platform, you owe it to yourself to download and read this important white paper from Novell, which builds a compelling case for replacing Windows NT Server with SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9.
  • Discussion: Do you run a Linux desktop? TechRepublic member jdclyde is looking to implement Linux at home as a pilot program, and then duplicate it at work if successful. Among the questions he asks are "If you have a work system, what applications do you use and what is the primary reason you have a computer? Is the Linux box standard or are you the exception?"
  • Server consolidation saves money and space as your small business grows You can build your servers to scale by using a server consolidation solution based on virtual machine software to run multiple servers on one physical computer. This tactic allows you to save money and space ??? both of which are usually at a premium when a company is suffering growing pains.

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