This email is going to any Linux house whom has pitched themselves via
their websites and reviews, from my research as being possible
alternatives to XP at this stage. Depends on your Google hit and
thereafter (if found within 2 pages) site FAQ's I suppose.
As a currently dedicated M$ house (apart from Oracle Databases),  we
question the move to a XP desktop amid the Linux hype in recent times.
Any IT department trying to save company money is only doing the right
thing and ask the question, what can Linux do for us?
I've flipped through your FAQ's and over forums but result in no answer
for Active Directory 2K3 and Exchange 2K3 server client connectivity,
integration and functionality? Note that we have not moved to these
product versions yet. Hence this email.
I ask because I cannot see a server based centralised authentication and
administrative option in Linux. If there were, say a "centralised server
option" for Linux, this would be seriously considered. Is there a User
Manager equivalent (NT4 domain for example) or Exchange Administrator
equivalent (Exchange 5.5) "functional" alternative? More importantly,
2K3 Server and Exchange integration?
Failing that, connecting clients as above to M$ servers would be
sufficient. Stay with M$ in servers, go with Linux in desktops. I've
seen enough "glossy brochures" and want to know the facts.
The cost difference is obvious. The functional difference is not. I've
still no reason to choose your Linux over Windows XP Pro at this stage.
Cost is not enough. Any sane IT department doesn't need screaming users
due to lack of pure functionality. Experience suggests most find it
difficult enough getting around the OS to even perform basic functions,
let alone usability.
Assuming aforementioned functionality, where does your Linux stand with
converting between M$ Office 97/2K/2K3? Will our accounts department be
able to work with their previous 40Mb Excel files full of VLookups and
Formulas straightup, or is it going to be bigger than a Lotus 4.1 to
Excel 5 conversion debacle?
Of course Word,PowerPoint,Publisher and Access are questioned also.
I'm talking up to 500 user desktops to be upgraded. Upgraded need not be
a literal word. Installing Linux from scratch would be expected.
Anything "upgrade wise" extra would be a bonus.
Outside of M$ Office, current application functionality would have to be
trialed. This is expected. A list of currently supported M$ applications
would be helpful.
Your detailed reply appreciated
Aaron Benson
Network, Security, Server Administrator
Strathfield Group Ltd
Sydney Australia
ph: +61 2 9747 7677
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