Fun fact about those Linux PCs in Munich

WinInfo | at | by Mike

You don't hear much from the Linux-loving mainstream press, consider the following. Remember that story about the city of Munich choosing Linux to power 14,000 desktop computers? One aspect of this story that most people don't know about is that up to 80 percent of those Linux desktops will be equipped with VMWare, a virtual machine emulator, under which they will run Windows and Windows applications. That's right, folks: The majority of those "Linux desktops" will be used to run . Windows. I'm not a big fan of Gartner, but they've issued a report, correctly titled, "Munich's Choice Doesn't Prove Linux OK for General Desktop Use," that raises some interesting issues. First, many of the Windows desktops they're migrated are very old Windows versions like Windows 3.1, making the switch to Linux less painful (it would be equally painful to switch to XP). Gartner says the cost of switching to Linux will cost 30 million Euros, or 3 million Euros more than it would cost to switch to XP, not including any steep discounts Microsoft would have no doubt provided. And finally, because most of the Linux machines will use VMWare to run Windows anyway, Linux is really being used as a hosting environment, and not as a replacement. In other words, this isn't exactly a good business case on which other companies can base a decision to migrate to Windows desktops. And, not coincidentally, that's why we're not reading about a lot of other high-profile Linux switchers.