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City of Munich disagrees with HP's Linux migration study (h-online.com)
103 points by sasvari on Feb 5, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

HP (and Microsoft) clearly aren't happy that old Windows hardware can be reused performantly on Linux, vastly reducing upgrade costs. They simply ignored this factor in their study. What else did they conveniently choose to ignore?

    TUCKER: My expert would totally disprove that.

    LANGHAM: Who is your expert?

    TUCKER: I don’t know, but I can get one by this afternoon. The thing is, you’ve
    been listening to the wrong expert. You need to listen to the right expert. And
    you need to know what an expert is going to advise you before he advises

> old Windows hardware can be reused performantly on Linux

By and large this doesn't happen in Enterprise-level organizations. Old, out of warranty hardware is removed in favour of warrantied hardware.

sure it doesn't happen everywhere, but it does in Munich's city hall at least, and it is possible.

[ http://them0vieblog.com/2012/03/28/the-thick-of-it-series-ii... , in case someone else is also curious]

Microsoft licensing is so incredibly complex, that I would not be surprised in the least bit if one study resulted in a 17MM quote and another in a 34MM quote. I recently did a licensing cost estimation for a SQL Server 2012 cluster, and my numbers were an order of magnitude different from that of my colleague's.

It is complex, but it's easy to game the costs to make Microsoft look more expensive than it actually is.

If you look at list pricing or in the US (I imagine Germany has something similar) government pricing, you can spec everything with the highest cost "Select" pricing, (which is fixed cost) or other schemes which will be higher.

If you compute the cost over 5 years and want Microsoft to look bad, you spec things with non-transferrable OEM pricing for servers and other products. You buy Windows server in the "Standard" edition and use VMware.

If you want Microsoft to look "good", you spec the pricing based on 3 year enterprise agreements with platform discounts. (Platform discounts are incentives to license Windows, Core CAL and Office together). With an enterprise agreement, you amortize the license cost over 3 years, and pay only maintenance year 4 and 5 (typically 20-25% of the initial annual cost), so you can make the Microsoft TCO much better. On the server side, you buy Windows Datacenter and System Center, and use Hyper-V.

Both approaches are truthful, but will yield vastly different results and will be accurate if you follow through. The tough part about Linux/OSS vs Microsoft, especially for user-facing stuff, is that many of the costs are people costs, and can be harder to predict.

Even Microsoft's own "experts" give you confusing and contradictory information about licensing (and their licence resellers are far worse).

Sometimes I wonder if they do this just so that every "audit" generates fines? Even for companies TRYING to do everything above board it is a complex, expensive, process.

I'm STILL trying to get a direct answer on how the anti-virus ("Windows Defender") in Windows 8 is licensed. MSE (Win 7/Vista) has a 10 licence limit (for businesses).

I've asked Microsoft people and they cannot answer...

I recently found out that every workstation in AD needs extra license called CAL, so if you add Windows to AD or even into a shared printer you need to pay for CAL that is yearly fee. Really annoying and confusing.

I gotta hope Samba 4 makes big progress, if nothing than to force Microsoft to be more competitive with their stupid licensing.

That's common knowledge, isn't it?

In that order of magnitude, the concrete conditions are probably subject to negotiation.

HP/Microsoft's study didn't include migration to a newer version of Windows. Considering Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP as early as next year, not including the upgrade cost for a Windows migration makes no sense, unless they were deliberately trying to be misleading.

There would be huge hardware costs for such a migration, which is key here.

City of Munich has a big incentive to make the migration seem successful and HP has a big incentive to make the migration seem unsuccessful. Two wildly different conclusions result. Where the truth lies we will probably never know.

The leadership of the City of Munich has the incentive to not mislead in their publications, lest they'll be bashed by the opposition. They can't afford that because 2013 there will be an election in Bavaria and the Mayor of Munich (Ude) wants to be the next minister-president of Bavaria.

I'd think that if there was an incentive to mislead to avoid criticism from the opposition, it would be to make things seem better than they are.

That was pretty much the tenor of the last thread (when MSFT report was published). Both sides have too much to lose thus no one's report will be unbiased.

I'd be very interested in hearing how much training they had to do for people to learn to use Linux and OpenOffice. If German office workers are like the ones I've met in the U.S., any slight change to their computers will result in a lot of questions.

Having tried to use OpenOffice for my office needs, I'd be curious to see how this works out for them. Needless to say, I haven't used OpenOffice in years and have no desire to try again. If I were going with a Linux solution, I'd try to get as many workers using cloud-based apps as possible.

Not every worker could do this, but from my experience with ChromeOS, the majority of general office workers could get their work done with it, and it's a cheap, secure and stable solution. But a lot of governments may not want to touch cloud services and may not know how to develop their own.

>>> I haven't used OpenOffice in years

That's like eons in actively developed software. I believe giving LibreOffice a spin may change your notion of the quality of the OS alternative. As an anecdote, Excel 2003 has 65K row limit. In current LO it's ~ 1M rows if I remember correctly. I will admit that it is a bit apples to oranges, since Excel 2003 was created way back, but in practical terms, that is what I get on my office desktop. Being able to run LO as an alternative can be a life saver...

Do offices actually have anything you could really call "training" for this sort of thing? The way I see it working is they come into the office one day, an IT guy swaps out their computer, and they flounder for a few days. One person figures out a few things and they become a crutch for everyone else a few more days until everyone has the new sequences of keys/buttons memorized (as that seems to be the common way of using computers). That's how the Office/Ribbon rollout seems to have worked anyway.

You lose productivity, which can be converted into dollars in the case of a business (not so easy with a non-profit generating government I think), but that's about it.

Microsoft FUD. HP doesn't have any opinions of its own. If it was sponsored or conducted by Microsoft, why do we even bother ? That company is still hallucinating, pretending its still in a Windows world

Maybe it's just me, but HP should re-focus on development of innovative products and away from political consultancy.

The HP study is not a study of the Munich situation. HP takes very different assumptions without any inside or detailed knowledge than the Munich IT stuff (who should know).

It's more a hypothetical case study than some real study based on facts (or even the same facts).

How can they disagree with something that's secret?

They published a part of it about 2 weeks ago.

I was wondering the same.

These things are usually filled with NDAs.

Yeah i was wondering the same thing

As much as I love Linux, I feel sorry for the functionaries that will have to migrate 20 years old Word templates and Excel macros to LibreOffice. These things don't always go smoothly.

Being forced into using new software because it's cheaper may end up giving that software a bad rep.

"Munich's City Council has objected to HP's study in which the company analysed Munich's Linux migration on behalf of Microsoft."

A study by HP on behalf of Microsoft? How is this even allowed? There's a conflict of interest here and it's not a small one. I'd seek a competent court (either at the national or supra-national level) to fill a complaint.

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