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Cost of abandoning Windows too great for Linux Desktop migration

Companies are failing to use Desktop Linux and other open-source software products because the cost of migrating from Microsoft Windows is too great, according to analyst group Gartner.

A Gartner survey has found that just 1% of enterprise IT users run any Linux desktops. The firm surveyed users attending its conferences in Europe and the US late last year.

It also estimates that the proportion of enterprise users with some Linux desktops will increase to just 3.2% by 2008.

The research vice-president of Gartner’s client platforms group, Michael Silver, confirmed, “For most companies, the cost to migrate away from Windows is simply too high and outweighs the benefits companies expect they will receive.”

Public-sector bodies have been more willing to deploy Desktop Linux than companies of similar sizes. Bristol Council migrated 5,000 desktops to open-source application suite Staroffice late last year. The desktops had been using Microsoft Office applications and Lotus 1-2-3.

Gartner’s research vice-president Andrea DiMaio said, “Open source is gaining ground in the public sector because the government calculates return on investment differently.”


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