2010. február 2., kedd

New Zealand Post to Try Linux Desktop

The New Zealand Post is one of three government agencies looking to rip out their Windows desktops and replace them with Linux and open source applications.

A tiny four-desk proof-of-concept of the Linux scheme is reportedly set to start in February and run for two months followed by a broader 40-user pilot.

Don Christie, the president of the New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS), disclosed the plans for the trial at a local Linux conference a few days ago.

The contract between Microsoft and the New Zealand government expired last year and since then a NZOSS project called the Public Sector Remix has been working on a reference desktop specification that any government department could use, fleshed out with software specific to the agency's needs, according to ZDnet.com.au.

The base system initially calls for the Ubuntu 9.04, Firefox, OpenOffice and Alfresco.

The post uses Red Hat on some of its servers and some open source applications in its data center but this will be its first use of Linux on the desktop. Linux on the desktop hasn't had anywhere near the success of Linux on the server. The post will have to measure the cost of re-training and any losses in productivity against the cost of Microsoft's licenses.

The Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and the Horizons Regional Council are also going to try the Linux desktop.

Last summer the post's Postal Services Group said it would dump Outlook, Exchange and probably SharePoint off all of its 2,100 desks in favor of Google Apps like Gmail, ISite and Google Docs.
It calculated the shift to the cloud would save it $2 million over three years, mostly in infrastructure.
The unit, which didn't throw out Windows in the process, rejected Microsoft's Exchange and Outlook cloudware.

Source: blackberry.sys-con.com