"Aaron Benson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 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?

As pointed out earlier, FreeBSD is not Linux.  You have a lot more research
to do.  FreeBSD is, however, a viable Unix-like system.

> 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.

You obviously haven't looked too hard.  First off, Active Directory is
pretty useless for non-Windows machines, as the settings it controls are
mostly Windows-specific.  However, Samba has a high level of integration
with Windows security providers, and can act like a domain controller.

Additionally, AD is based on Kerberos and LDAP.  If you take some time
to look, you'll find that both these technologies are well supported in
the FreeNIX world.  I've even seen articles on how to put together an
Open Source AD server by properly integrating a Kerberos and LDAP server.
Can't speak to how well it works, though, as I've never tried it.

> I ask because I cannot see a server based centralised authentication and
> administrative option in Linux.


> Is there a User
> Manager equivalent (NT4 domain for example)

You're looking for a GUI tool, I assume, and there are multiple available for

> 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.

That's kind of putting the cart before the horse.  You'd be better off
putting up FreeBSD servers with Windows clients, which I've done many
times.  The expense of Windows servers is far too high.

> 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

I've got to tell you, you're looking for a lot of detailed advice for free.
I know you _say_ you did a lot of research, but the level of knowledge you
display in your questions does not demonstrate that you did _any_ research.

If you're looking for someone to take on the responsibility of figuring this
out for you, I've been doing it for business for six years now.  Feel free
to contact me directly and I'll be happy to put a consulting package together.

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies
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