Hasta la Vista?

Recent panel suggests CIOs are considering move away from Microsoft operating system
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The high cost of upgrading corporate networks and computers to Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista is forcing more and more organisations to consider alternatives, including Apple Macs and even open source operating systems including Linux according to a recent panel held by technology site silicon.com.

According to IT director at publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK, Nicholas Bellenberg a lot of his company already runs Macs with good cross-platform compatibility between Microsoft applications running on Macs and PCs. He did however say that Entourage did lack functionality compared to Outlook on the PC.

Bellenberg also said that open source was becoming abother serious alternative for corporations. "What I would also expect, is that there will also be more people trying out Ubuntu Linux and the like," he said. "If fellow chief information officers (CIOs) haven't checked this out, they should do. Perhaps it's obvious but the quality of open source desktop software has come on no-end since I last reviewed it."

But group IT director at marketing agency Creston, Gavin Whatrup, said it was the cost of Apple hardware that is still a barrier preventing more widespread use of Macs.

"With a mid-range Mac still being approximately 33 per cent more expensive than its Dell equivalent, don't expect a mass migration to the Mac any time soon. OS X may be improving but it still has a long way to go to be as heterogeneously robust as Windows XP," added Whatrup.

It was a sentiment echoed by director of technology services at investment bank Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International, Graham Yellowley. He said that the majority of people and organisations would stay with the PC due to the number of applications that work with the hardware and the operating system.

"There would have to be a seismic shift in total cost of ownership to force a number of companies to jump from PC to Mac. The cost of transition is another barrier to wholesale change," added Yellowley.

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