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Last issue's look at migrating from Windows to Linux desktops overlooked one very useful possibility. That is to say, I overlooked it but a number of readers hadn't - and were quick to tell me about it: Citrix.
No need to dual-boot PCs, or to even retain Windows on them when you can install thin-client software on your Linux desktops and use Citrix terminal services to serve up any Windows apps you've retained to those users who actually need them.
One interesting story came in from reader and consultant Joe Whited, of Integrated Data Solutions:
"One of our clients moved from PCs to thin terminals running on Citrix in a Novell/ZENworks/GroupWise environment. Microsoft licensing almost killed the deal because all of the PCs being replaced had OEM licenses for Microsoft Office. Legally, this client would be required to purchase full Microsoft Office licenses for every single user because the OEM licenses from the retiring PCs were not transferable to the Citrix servers."
Whited continues: "We used the same logic you mentioned in your newsletter to save the deal. We posited that only a few of the users REALLY needed Microsoft Office, and the rest could make do with OpenOffice. We used ZENworks to control who had access to which application suite, and we saved the customer approximately $40,000 in licensing. They licensed only the 25 users that NEEDED Microsoft Office, and the hundred or so remaining users were given OpenOffice."
Learn more about Citrix and see if it could benefit your migration.
By the way, according to some folks at Novell, I also failed to take human nature into consideration. When Novell buys PCs, they come with Windows installed - just like the ones you and I buy. Sometimes it's just easier to not bother wiping Windows before installing Linux. The mere fact that the machines can boot into Windows doesn't mean they do boot into Windows. But, even so, some users simply can't give up old habits!
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.