It's getting closer and closer to upgrade time
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  1. #1
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    It's getting closer and closer to upgrade time

    I was reading over some news today and saw an article I thought was pretty good. For the most part it's a fair article on both sides but sometimes, the writer seems to lean more towards Linux. But he's talking about SUSE so it's OK

    Anyway, this made me think, what ARE all of you going to do in 2007 when XP says to you "Buy Vista"?

    Just wondering how many people are really going to do what is needed for Vista to run and then buy it.

    -What are your plans, if any, with Vista?

    -If you work in a small or home Office, are you going to pay for upgrades?


    Article here:

    http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS3179571720.html


    Some quotes:


    Opinion -- It's 2007, and you want to upgrade all your PCs' operating systems after the infamous March 2007 XP Meltdown. You know, the virus attack that actually melted computers running XP, but couldn't touch machines running any other OS? Never heard of it? Well, play along with me, OK?
    Let's say that you have a small office. Let's also presume that you've been running Windows XP Professional on decently powerful machines.
    Now, if you had a Linux expert on staff, you might have had Ubuntu, Freespire, or Xandros on your short list. But, you don't. You need an OS supplier that can hold your hand both during and after the upgrade. Since Red Hat doesn't do much with the desktop, that pretty much means Novell/SUSE, for now.
    So, the first question is: can your boxes run SLED 10? The answer, since I do it every day on a no-name box with exactly those components, is yes, you sure can.
    Can you run Vista? Well... that's another question, isn't it?
    Based on what I've seen of the Release Candidate 1 of Vista, the answer is no. SLED, on the other hand, does just fine with this hardware.
    For starters, you can't run the fancy 3D, translucent Aero Glass on it. Minus the pretty Glass bits, Aero was OK. SLED, on the other hand, had no trouble delivering the pretty desktop goodies with Xgl.

    For Vista, if you want good graphics, you really need a DirectX 9-compliant 3D 128-MB video card that supports Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware a WDDM (Windows Device Driver Model) driver. You'll do a lot better, though, with 256MB of RAM.

    In addition, Vista was overall rather laggy on this system. It wasn't that it was always slow. It wasn't. But, when Vista was loaded down with several typical office applications, Outlook 2003, Word 2003, and Firefox 1.506 or Internet Explorer 7 beta, it would start slowing significantly. Primarily, this seemed to be happening because even with this relatively light load, it had to swap data to the hard disk for virtual memory.

    SLED, with a similar load, running the Microsoft Office applications on CrossOver Office, and Firefox 1.506, had no trouble whatsoever keeping up the pace.

    As it happens, Microsoft has an answer for this drive problem. Vista is able to use flash memory with its ReadyBoost feature, and ReadyDrive, which uses a flash cache on the system's hard drive to improve overall performance.

    The problem with this idea is that almost no PCs have significant amounts of flash memory installed and flash-enabled "hybrid" drives, aren't here yet. Samsung and Seagate Technology promise that these drives will be here in Q1 or Q2 of 2007. But, neither company has even demonstrated a production design drive yet.

    In any case, all that Microsoft is really doing is hiding under a fancy new name the fact that Vista requires enormous amounts of RAM, by saying that it can make use of flash memory for what boils down to the ancient speed-up idea of disk caching.

    SLED? It does just fine with 512MB of normal, old cheap RAM and an inexpensive hard drive.

    The processor speed seemed to have little to do with either operating system's overall performance. While SLED 10, of course, runs faster with a better graphics card and more memory, Vista RC 1 demands a powerful video processor and all the RAM you can give it.

    To make Vista as capable as SLED was on the base system, I had to push my system up to 2GB of RAM and add a 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT card. I was, of course, unable to add flash memory or a flash-enabled "hybrid" hard-drive.

    The total hardware cost to make this business PC Vista-capable was $325.

    OK, but with the SLED option, you have to wipe out the disk and install a fresh operating system -- so, wouldn't that cost more? Well, yes, you would, but when eWEEK Labs tried to update an XP system to Vista RC 1, they found that it took hours for their test update... to fail.

    Not good.

    They were able to eventually update the system, but they found along the way that many applications no longer worked.

    It seems to me that if you're going to be upgrading older systems, SLED is actually an easier, and thus less inexpensive, upgrade then Vista.

    Applications are, of course, another matter. Most, but not all, Windows applications will run on Vista. However, many primary office applications, like Microsoft Office 2003, will run on Linux with CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office. The standard version of this program currently costs $39.95.

    Again, with a Linux expert on hand, you could get the same result for free by using WINE. Alas, in our example, you don't have one.

    But, you could also switch over much of your Windows application and data to Linux without any additional cost by changing over to SLED 10's included OpenOffice.org 2.0. Out of the box, it can handle basic Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets without any fuss or muss.

    If you need more, Versora Progression Desktop for Linux does an excellent job of automatically transferring transfer files and settings from Windows desktops and the Microsoft Office suite to Linux desktops and Linux-based office applications. The price for this software is $30.

    If you're wedded to the pairing of Outlook and Exchange server, you don't have to give up a thing. Novell's included groupware/email program, Evolution, can work hand-in-glove with Exchange 2000 and 2003 using the supplied Evolution Exchange program.

    You will be concerned, with reason, about the costs of re-training desktop users. SLED, especially when set up to use the KDE 3.5.1 interface, actually looks and feels a lot like XP. If you use Versora to transfer desktop settings, fonts, and the like, I believe you'll find some users won't even be able to tell that they've switched desktops. While some Linux users dislike the "Windowsness" of KDE, people coming from Windows are sure to like it.

    What they may not like, though, is that learning to use Vista's UI (user interface) may prove more troubling that learning SLED's XP-like UI. The interface is glaringly inconsistent across Windows Vista and all of its applications. That's not my opinion, by the way. That's my paraphrase of the Windows expert's expert Paul Thurrott's recent review of what's wrong in Vista RC1.

    Read it, and then consider your users trying to find missing "Back" keys and the fundamental disconnect between Vista's search function and its built-in Find application's dialog.

    I suspect many users will find it easier to shift over to SLED, because it actually will be closer to their XP experience than Vista will be. If nothing else, they will certainly expect to need to work on SLED, whereas I know many of them will be unpleasantly surprised to see how much they'll need to re-learn to get the hang of Vista.

    On Vista, you'll also need to upgrade your security software. Microsoft does supply its own antivirus and anti-spam software, Windows Live OneCare. But, it will cost your company $50 a desktop per year. In other words, Microsoft will be charging you about the same as you're already paying to Symantec or McAfee for basic security programs.

    With SLED, anti-spam is included with the industry-standard SpamAssassin and you can protect your PC's applications with Novell AppArmor. As is, SLED doesn't come with specific anti-virus protection. After all, Windows gets a new virus every day, while we're still waiting for the first real Linux virus to appear. That said, if you want anti-viral protection for SLED, you can get the free, official version of ClamAV from Novell/SUSE.

    So, let's add it all up, shall we, and see what it will cost you to upgrade your office XP systems to either Vista or SLED.

    SLED will cost you $50 per desktop. The suggested upgrade retail price for Windows Vista Business is $199. If you had to buy a new license, it would hit your wallet for $299.

    For Vista, you'll need to spend at least $325 for better hardware, not counting the labor expense. With Vista, you'll also need to upgrade at least some of your software, and continue to pay for security software. Let's call this total $200.

    You'll also need to retrain your employees on either platform. For the reasons, I discuss above, the actually appears to be a wash.

    Now, with SLED, you don't need to update your hardware. Let's say that you use both Versora and CrossOver Office to make life as easy as possible for your users. That will run you $70.

    While free, open-source software can supply most of your needs, let's presume that you'll need to pay at least $50 for some program that won't be available within SLED or the open-source community. Of course, you won't need to pay for anti-virus or spam protection, so you'll save that cash.

    So, bottom line time, it will cost you $724 per PC to upgrade to Vista. Or, you could pay $170 per PC to get SLED. That's a savings of $554 per user desktop.

    Now, you could argue that you can do better with Vista pricing than that, and the like. I won't argue with you. You can also drop the software costs of everything on the Linux side to zero. How? By firing your MCSE (Microsoft Certified Software Engineer) IT staffer and replacing him with a NLCE (Novell Certified Linux Engineer) professional and switching over to openSUSE 10.1 and using purely open-source solutions. When it comes to software and IT costs, there are almost endless variables. One thing, though, is certain: the upfront costs of a Linux desktop are far lower than Vista's price-tag.

    You may feel absolutely sure that your users will find it much harder to move to SLED than to Vista. There, I will argue with you. Take a long, hard look at Vista, then take a look at SLED. Do the same thing, for that matter, with Office 2007 and OpenOffice.org 2.0. If your mind is at all open, I think you're going to find that users will face pretty much an even learning curve, no matter which operating system you switch to.

    Putting aside all issues of Linux being more secure than Windows, and Vista lacking almost every significant feature it was supposed to include, just looking at the dollars and cents, just looking at getting office work done, SLED, the Linux desktop, is unquestionably the better choice over Vista.

    What are your thoughts? Personally if I buy a Computer new after next year and vista is on it, I'll leave it on for a while and give it a try. Though I DO think it's bad when an OS needs similar requirements to a top of the line Alienware from 3 years ago lol.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
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  2. #2
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    For the most part it's a fair article on both sides but sometimes, the writer seems to lean more towards Linux.
    He seems to lean towards Linux? You're pretty good with euphemisms, aren't you

    I don't need a 10-page paper to tell me that upgrading to Vista is going to be more expensive than upgrading/switching to LED...

    I'm pretty happy with XP Pro... I was happy with it when it first came out because it was fun and exciting (and full of holes and unstable as hell, but that doesn't matter when you're having fun and being excited ), and I'm happy with it now because after 5 hours of installing stuff (that's including VS.NET for those feeling sorry for me) I have an extremely stable and fairly secure OS.

    All this upgrade/battle-of-the-OS's stuff is nice and dandy when you don't have anything that needs to be done, and all the time in the world to do whatever you want to do, but I've come to the conclusion (only recently - HAH!) that that's not how it works (whatever "it" is)...

    I would love to have a computer with Vista on it, but I think I'm going to wait to make it my main computer until someone else writes a tutorial on how to install the applications I need on it (Office, Visio, Project, VS.NET, JBuilder), and run IIS (for ASP.NET)... It literally takes 5 hours on XP Pro (granted, that's with only 512 MB of RAM), BUT it's a flawless process...

    What are your thoughts? Personally if I buy a Computer new after next year and vista is on it, I'll leave it on for a while and give it a try. Though I DO think it's bad when an OS needs similar requirements to a top of the line Alienware from 3 years ago lol.
    People were saying the same about XP before it came out (and some still are!)...
    We could all run Windows 98 at 500,000 miles per hour on our boxes (booting the entire OS in 0.3 seconds!), but we don't... there must be more to it than just system requirements...

  3. #3
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    Lol Neg you're funny. Yea I'm pretty good at that

    And yes you have my sympathy on what you had to install. I won't name it to prevent scaring the kids. I just hope you don't use language like that around Mel (Get it? a language, language)... Sorry. I'm in an odd mood. Playful even.

    Anyway, I still have a Windows 98 SE partition on a machine here. For playing DOS games it's really one of your only options unless you want to mess with DOSBox or another *NIX app for a while.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
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    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    I would like to get Vista but there is only one way im gonna get it. my college has the special program with MS if you are enroled in a tech class MS gives you a download link to download full versions of alot of software for free. well I will get Vista if its in there but I doubt it will be.
    Git R Dun - Ty
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Bawlz!

    If anyone thinks that Billygoat Gates is about to loosen his stranglehold on the OS market, they obviously have a brace of wallabies lose in their top paddock!

    The obvious answer is Linspire (the operating system formerly known as "Lindows")

    Vista will work on existing kit..............trust me

    After all, it is going to have at least 6 variants?

    Why is it that the expression "masturbatory fantasies" comes to mind?

    You can be a dork and still get to be the richest man on this planet; being a dork is not going to make you the richest man on the planet

    Reality check?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    It's hard to say how this is going to go. either Microsoft will become even more rich, or they'll actually lose some shirts over it.

    I won't say either way but I DO know a lot of places that aren't going to upgrade.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
    Cannibal Holocaust
    SuSE Linux
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    As I have read things there will be a basic version of Vista that will work on low specification equipment.

    If you look at casual home users, they only tend to change operating systems when they buy a new computer, so there will be no commercial impact there.

    Large sites tend to have a lot of desktops that do pretty basic data entry and lookup. Most of the applications are on servers

    The actual PC is little better than a dumb terminal, and has very basic video/display requirements.

    I have a PII/450 with a 32Mb video card that would be perfectly adequate for most corporate or home user requirements. I can recall a personal situation where I had 5 machines: 2 PIII/733s, 2 PII/266s for development and a PI/75/32Mb. Even the PI was overpowered, as it ran Windows 3.11 and Office 4.3............... I used it for legacy support of stuff that was from the 486 era ...... The doubling up of the identical PII/PIIIs was only because I had an office and a project room in different locations. OH! and I had a PI/166 to drive a data projector for training sessions.

    My point is that basic equipment is all that is required in the majority of corporate and institutional environments. This is particularly true where you have a thin client deployment.

    Microsoft are certainly aware of market pressures as they recently announced a system whereby obsolete OSes could still be used as dumb terminals in corporate environments..............in developing countries at least.

    They also have concessions for the education sector as well, as that is notoriously underfunded. Both the institutions and most certainly the students!!!!! who have other priorities?

    In a way, Microsoft seem to be following a new route by offering a "scalable product". This opens the door to "differential pricing" without creating the grey market that differential pricing usually does?

    I think that the server side of things is where it will get "interesting"?

    I won't say either way but I DO know a lot of places that aren't going to upgrade.
    Yes, exactly the same here. The feeling seems to be either give it six months or wait for SP1?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    My wife still uses "old faithful", my PIII win98 box. seven years old.
    The OS has never been reinstalled. Runs like a Swiss watch.
    My daughter has a PIV with XP home. I bought it used. No way I'll
    bother to change that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

    I already upgraded. I have three boxes on Slackware, one Debian,
    one Redhat, and assorted spares. It's not 1995 any more. The thrill
    of the new Microsoft release just doesn't excite me that much.

    At work, although most other employees are on win2000, I must
    have status. NT4 and Solaris. Even when they buy brand new boxes,
    they come with 2K professional rather than XP. Hey this is a business.
    We're not in this to give bragging points to the IT staff.

    Gamers and people with lots of time on their hands will prolly
    move to Vista first. Others will get it when it's the only OS on
    the new boxes at Circuit city, but only when the old one's cup
    holder wears out.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  9. #9
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    My Coffee cup holder still works. You have to be careful though, a can of Redbull fits in there and falls right through the hole.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
    Cannibal Holocaust
    SuSE Linux
    Slackware Linux

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I have posted this elsewhere but for the sake of completeness:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvist...r/default.mspx

    Microsoft's tool for assessing Vista readiness.

    It wants a lot of video memory, doesn't like ZoneAlarm, doesn't like AVG and seems to have problems with open source Office Suites (funny about that? )

    Have fun
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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