How the end of XP support helped France's gendarmes embrace Ubuntu – fast on 72000 PCs
The 37000 number in the other article is just the start!
M$ lost BIG on this one.
Managing the fleet it easier too, Dumond says: for example, any upgrade from one LTS version to another is driven by the central IT team via the WAN with minimal disruption to officers on the ground, as happened earlier this year when the 37,000-strong fleet was moved from 10.04 to 12.04.
But, says Dumond, when looking at costs, it pays to remember that being free from the whims of commercial software vendors "is priceless".
For all its cost savings, the shift to open source has not been without resistance, both from staff and vendors. It's "a daily fight against internal and external resistance", according to Dumond. "Internal because some of our project managers are likely to forget that we are migrating to Ubuntu and external because we have to force companies (like SAP, for example) to provide full Ubuntu-compliant software if they want to win our calls for tender."
To help minimise disruption, the apps were kept consistent between the Windows and GendBuntu desktop. The gendarmerie also worked out an additional measure to sweeten the pill for the average user having to move from their familiar Microsoft environment to the brave new world of GendBuntu: throw in some new hardware.
"We added a bonus: each Ubuntu computer came with a new widescreen [monitor], so the change was more easily accepted with such an item," Dumond tells ZDNet.
There has been a drop in helpdesk calls from users, he added, but it's one which he attributes to the relative age of the machines: Ubuntu desktops tend to be years younger than their XP counterparts.