Letter to the Editor

Dear Iestyn

It is a truth universally acknowledged that businesses want reliable, low cost, scalable IT solutions. However it is ironic that an innate fear of technology has sent thousands of companies hurtling into the arms of an IT vendor that has some of the most complex, resource hungry and insecure server technology on the market: Microsoft.

Without doubt, Microsoft has the desktop market sewn up - however, let's get this straight: if you are using Microsoft desktop software you do not have to use Microsoft server software! It is not a prerequisite, whatever the marketing messages may imply. There are other options out there - including Linux - that can deliver low-cost, highly reliable solutions that integrate and work just as well, if not better, with Microsoft desktop technology, and cause no noticeable disruption to users, who can continue to work with the familiar Windows layout and functionality.

Making the break from the crowd requires a simple understanding of the facts. Most organisations perceive that Microsoft server software is simply a big brother to the familiar desktop package and, as such, they should be familiar enough with the technology to manage any problems. But this is simply not the case. The veneer may be familiar but underneath all is very different. In fact, Microsoft NT technology is a kit of bits, requiring organisations to define hardware, memory and drives, and then to set up and maintain multiple server application programs: each solution is, in effect, bespoke.

And despite the 'too technical' perception, packaged Linux solutions have been tailored to meet the specific business requirements of firms wanting secure Internet access, reliable email and file sharing. So now theres no need to let prejudice get in the way of your IT decisions.

Malcolm Cartledge

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