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OEM's and MDA

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  • User profile image
    sbc

    I have just read an article on The Register about the Microsoft Market Development Agreement. This is the agreement that OEM's must sign if they wish to get big discounts on bundling Microsoft software. However it also means they won't get the discount if they sell PC's without Windows / with competing OS's (i.e. Redhat Linux)

    If Windows was a superier product to other OS's, why the penalties?
    OEM's should be able to bundle whatever software / OS they wish to and not end up more expensive for them. If they could, then we will truly see if Windows is better than GNU/Linux.

    I feel Linux really is a big threat to Microsoft and that is why a lot of the licenses Microsoft issue do not apply to Open Source.

    The TCO of Windows vs GNU/Linux may only be greater due to the fact that Major OEM's don't sell PC's loaded with anything but Windows software. Also, many of these reports of TCO in Microsofts favour are payed by Microsoft (or are done by partners).

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    sbc wrote:
    I have just read an article on The Register about the Microsoft Market Development Agreement. This is the agreement that OEM's must sign if they wish to get big discounts on bundling Microsoft software. However it also means they won't get the discount if they sell PC's without Windows / with competing OS's (i.e. Redhat Linux)

    If Windows was a superier product to other OS's, why the penalties?
    OEM's should be able to bundle whatever software / OS they wish to and not end up more expensive for them. If they could, then we will truly see if Windows is better than GNU/Linux.

    I feel Linux really is a big threat to Microsoft and that is why a lot of the licenses Microsoft issue do not apply to Open Source.

    The TCO of Windows vs GNU/Linux may only be greater due to the fact that Major OEM's don't sell PC's loaded with anything but Windows software. Also, many of these reports of TCO in Microsofts favour are payed by Microsoft (or are done by partners).


    1. The Register is not a credible source of information as they are antieveryone and antieverything.

    2. Microsoft doesn't have to give discounts period.

    3. Microsoft doesn't sell Open Source software so of course the licenses don't apply to Open Source.

    4. Dell sells computers loaded with Linux and is a major OEM.

    5. Microsoft funds studies because if they don't, no one else will and customers will not get the benefit of the studies.

    6. TCO is not merely the price of the OS but the costs of maintaince (Windows makes this easy), tech support calls (likely to be charged by the hour), etc.

    My 2 cents.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    I think it generally depends on the circumstances. GNU/Linux may be cheaper if you never actually call Microsoft tech support. Does TCO take into account viruses, system crashes, patch installation?

    Once you have trained people on OSS software (i.e. OpenOffice) it could end up very cheap. Higher a few technicians, and any problems they can't solve they can fix themselves (if they know how to program), or find the answer on discussion forums.

    The free online support for many OSS apps is often very good - post a problem and it can often be fixed, or a workaround can be found. Report a bug, and it is very likely that it is fixed. Want an extra feature for an app? No problem, add it yourself, ask someone to add it, or pay someone to do add it. A lot of extra features for proprietary apps you have to pay for (fair enough if they are major and innovative).

    I know Microsoft doesn't develop Open Source and they probably never will, but why penalise people that do - one day Samba may not work, and where does that leave the customers of that product (i.e. people who use Redhat, Mandrake, SuSE)? The Microsoft Communications Protocol Program only favours proprietary developers and no Open Source products can implement them (due to license costs).

    The only main problem with Open Source is that documentation is not very good, and some software is not user friendly (except maybe to the developers).

    As for Dell selling Linux, I have not seen them advertise the fact (at least at Dell UK), and when you customise PC's, the choices of OS are either XP Home or XP Pro. You only have Microsoft Office/Works as software as well (no option to not have no Office suite or Star/OpenOffice).

    At least HP bundles iTunes.

  • User profile image
    lars

    Well spoken Shining Arcanine!

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    I think a study that is funded by Microsoft and IBM/Redhat/Novell would get more credibility. Hopefully it would be potentially less biased as well.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Until Novell releases actual enterprise management tools for Linux (RedHat and SuSE) later this year, corporations are down right stupid to go with Linux. Patch management, asset management, user management, remote management, VPN... They are all so incredibly difficult that it makes me wonder how Linux-based corporations function.

    I think Linux is great, but I really can't recommend it for any company bigger than 25 PC's until eDirectory and ZEN (at the least) work on RedHat and SuSE. One of the great things for the Linux community is that Novell's current NetWare licenses actually allow you to get SuSE licenses and support free, which means we could see lots of corporations moving smaller sections as proofs of concept because there is no risk for them. Assuming they are already on Novell, of course.

    It'll be interesting to see how it develops. Novell's entry into this space will likely be more significant than any Linux development in the last decade.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Webmin is meant to be quite good for remote management of Unix based systems. It is web based as well so should work with any client with a web browser. Asset / license management is less important if you use OSS software.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Webmin? No, sorry. It doesn't have anything on the enterprise tools which large companies actually need.

    What type of software you use (OSS vs Closed Source) has no effect on the type of support software you require. Your users do.

    I mean, assigning users to groups, and then automatically rolling out apps to those groups (through roaming profiles or through managed apps or through terminal apps) is practically impossible on Unix. Nevermind printer management (tying users to printers and having those printers available to the users no matter where they are), for instance.

    Again, Novell's tools will soon be ready and supported on both RedHat and SuSE, which will completely fill this void. Currently it is a very real void, though, and is one of the primary reasons that more than half of the "big switches" we hear about move back to a more managed OS.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    I wonder how Redhat managed to do it then? I always assumed that Redhat Enterprise Linux did that kind of thing.

    I think Linux at the moment is taking more from Unix than Windows - especially on web servers and email/proxy. Unix is meant to be traditionallly very secure which is why Linux models itself on it. The only thing with *nix (Unix, Linux,etc) systems is they are not as user friendly and have poorer documentation than Windows, thus the technicians are probably more 'technical' than Windows ones (no Wizards to go through).

    Much of the stuff is done by command line and scripts (bash), which Windows didn't have until VBScript/JScript. I would think a *nix technician has to be far more competent than a Windows one (due to the system being more complex and using the command line a lot more as well as writing scripts).

    It will be interesting what happens when Novell brings out there Enterprise Management tools and if they make them available to the wider community as Open Source? If they do they could become a serious competitor and take back some of the market they lost to Microsoft in the 90's.

    One thing that is good about Novell is that it hides network folders you do not have permission to go into - yet with Windows you see all of them and have to open them to find out if you have access.

    What would be good is if that kind of thing made it into Windows - you would end up with a less cluttered network that is easier to use.

  • User profile image
    ktegels

    I just erased a long rant about this topic that can really be broken down to these three key points:

    1. Nothing "sucks" because "of" its licensing model, it sucks because its a bad user experience. None of licensing models (OSS, GPL or Commerical-no-copy) are immune to this.

    2. TCO that isn't based on net-present-benefit is fool's benchmark.

    3. Designning systems to operate on "fire-and-forget" for the sake of lowest TCO is a practice that must stop. We need to stop thinking of business systems as solid-state black-boxes and start thinking as Ecosystems that need proper management.

    We could do a lot worse than borrowing the thinking put forth by Bruce Sterling: "What if 'Green Design' were just good design?"

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    sbc, currently the largest market for Linux is in 'appliances': web servers, firewalls, mail servers, etc.

    I honestly believe this will change when Novell starts offering eDirectory and ZEN on Linux, as it will allow fully deployed and managed corporate networks. All of a sudden we'll have file and print (I shudder at Linux printing still...) servers on Linux. SAN-managing Linux servers (does SecurePath work on Linux?). Full business logic and application apps on Linux...

    It's a good move.

    I agree with ktegels. Nothing "sucks". However trying to manage Linux right now basically does. We have one of the larger VMS rollouts in the country right now (I know, VMS isn't Linux, but it suffers from the same management issues), and most of our VMS guys are itching to buy a couple of Dell 7250's this fall and try and move 1 cabinet onto each server, at least in the test lab.

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