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Linux Herd Migration
Douglas Chick

At work I received a phone call from Microsoft asking if they could ask me a few questions. I roll my eyes, as my caller ID has failed me again, said sure and left the call on speakerphone. The lady on the other end told me that my answers will be strictly confidential and they will be used only for Microsoft's use. My body immediately turned rigid. All right, I answer, only curious to what type of questions she would ask.

"How many PCs does your company have?" she immediately rifles forward.

I thought her question was too intrusive especially coming from a company notorious for illegal business practices. So I told her for security reasons, I'm not at liberty to divulge such confidential information. I tell that to every salesperson that slips though the older lady at the front desk, they always want to know how many computers you have, how many people work for the company and how much our spending budget is for the year. There was a long pause of silence as Erik and I turned to each other waiting for her to speak again. Erik raised his eyebrows at me as I shrugged. Yes she finally answered as if she was recovering from some sort of biological blue screen, and she went silent again. I said, 

"Look, lets rap this up by saying; we are migrating all of our PCs to Linux, all of our servers, notebooks, palm pilots, and all the executives pacemakers will also soon be on Linux and we have no intention of purchasing any Microsoft products in the near or distant future. Except of course for the automatic toilets will remain on Windows because they are not on the network. (I didn't really say that last part.) 

"And if you would take us off of your call list as we are on the National Do Not Call List, I would appreciate it."

She only said, "Your last name is Chick, right!"

"That's right." I answered.

"Just want to get your name right for when we remove you from the list."

The phone hung up and Erik turned to me and said, 

"Off one Microsoft list, now on another." 

I'm not a Microsoft hater or a Linux zealot, I just don't like Microsoft calling and asking to take inventory of our equipment. I don't want Mega Giant Corporation taking my company data, tallying it up, collating it, shuffling it into different categories and then redistributing it to its many departments waiting for their next sales lead. I also recent having purchased computer equipment and having the computer maker give my info to a software company so they can make sales calls on me. 

Currently we are in the process of replacing our web and mail servers with Linux and any other server that is accessed from the Internet. Security and reliability being the major determining factor, but mostly because of expense. It is also true that we want Linux as a desktop, but we are not upgrading any systems to Linux, we're just not going to buy Windows on new systems where we don't need them. It's like Mac, only the users that require specific Mac software used in the art and marketing departments need a Mac, and it will be that way with Windows as well. Only computer users that require very specific Windows based applications will use a Windows PC, those that don't need it get Open Source. 

If the chick from Microsoft didn't hang up so quick she have gotten to hear the long version like you.



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