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Re: Hovsepian: 80% of Customers Move Towards Linux

John Bailo wrote:
> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> > CRN Interview: Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian, The First 100 Days
> >
> > ,----[ Quote ]
> > | CRN: To what extent are you seeing migration from NetWare to Linux?
> > |
> > | HOVSEPIAN: Eighty percent of customers have moved to OES [Open
> > | Enterprise Server] contracts, so the good news is they've given us a
> > | first step of migration to OES, which is a Linux dimension.
> > `----
> >
> > http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/breakingnews.jhtml?articleId=193200337&cid=CRNBreakingNews
> I've always used the very existance of Linux to the "Windows is good
> enough" argument of wintrolls.
> Their argument that Linux isn't necessary is belied by the need people
> felt to write it.
> But, I guess the continuing legacy of Netware speaks to the serverside.
>    Obviously there people who felt that Windows filesharing and LAN were
> so inadequate they they felt the need to continue using Netware.

I don't believe there's any relationship between the two. Existing
Netware customers have had years to change to either Unix or Linux but
stayed with Netware. It's not a matter of a platform not being
inadequate because there were certainly viable alternatives available
to them.

The reason they didn't switch is because the existing Netware systems
are in place and working. Switching "distros" or OSs at home or for
personal use it generally painless. But for a company that has an large
infrastructure in place changing *anything* is nontrivial. Basically...
if it works, don't fix it.

I'll use Aetna Life and Casualty as an example which I've mentioned
before. I was there a couple of years ago to help them out with some
issues they were having with our product. They're still running NT 4.0
on some systems. Why??? Because it works.

They also wanted bugs fixed in a JVM from Sun but didn't want to
upgrade to the latest version of Java because it would require that
they retest everything to make sure it works. Luckily for them they are
big-enough where they were able to convince Sun to create a special
one-off version of their current JVM that contained just the bug fixes
they wanted.

Companies usually stay with the status-quo longer than individuals
simply because they don't care about running the latest-and-greatest
software. They have working systems that are thoroughly tested and
debugged and they cannot afford disruptions to their business. If they
already have something that works... there really isn't a big incentive
to change. Hence the fact that there are so many existing Netware
customers out there.

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