The Russian government, for instance, is making the move away from Windows completely. I mean, if I was from another country, I wouldn't want foreign software running my critical systems! With passing time, I doubt that other non-NAFTA countries will continue shelling out license fees to Microsoft indefinitely. Foreign businesses and other countries are considering alternatives.
Extra revenue in a box
Earn as you learn. Assuming your company is among the first in your locale to overcome the usual speed bumps that take place during a large-scale OS migration, there is opportunity to sell the shortcut concepts discovered along the way.
This information could be as good as gold and could be sold in how-to scripts and documents. So this creates not only an extra revenue stream for the company involved, but also allows the company an opportunity for free local press by going against the norm. Trust me, the media eats this stuff up, especially at the local level.
Know thy future. Using Linux on the desktop allows you to hedge your bets so that you won't find any software compatibility issues in the future.
There is nothing worse than legacy software suddenly becoming incompatible with the latest version of an operating system. It happens too often in the proprietary world, whereas it's much less likely when using Linux on the desktop.
There is also something to be said about the predictable means of creating backups and disk images without wondering if there is a rogue piece of software that might create a problem. This is not so much an issue for disk images per se, but it can be an issue with some backup software on other non-Linux operating systems. Well, at least based on my own personal experiences. Your mileage may vary.
Sending the wrong message
Some basic fundamentals bear repeating. Linux is free software as in freedom, not a free ride. All too often I see the stigma of its no-cost availability being a mixed blessing. Its fantastic as it ensures free access to the OS for all who care to install it.
Yet on the flip-side, the issue of balking at the idea of spending money to get the OS working both at home and in the enterprise realm seems to continue. So when I hear people screaming about the cost of support, I cannot help but wonder what planet they're living on. It's about freedom folks, not just free stuff.
What freedom, you ask? Freedom to choose the tech support you prefer, not one that is software dictated. Freedom to make tweaks and changes so that the installations of the operating system run as needed. Freedom to know that if a company supporting Linux does something not compatible with your businesss vision, you can look elsewhere for assistance.
Why use Linux on the desktop in an enterprise setting? Freedom, control and the stewardship of your own company's destiny. Perhaps if this were the message sent forth by more individuals, we'd have less enterprise IT departments looking to merely shave off a few bucks from their budget. Sure, the cost savings are the frosting on the cake -- but it's the freedom to make use of this OS that makes up the cake itself.
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