MS TCO study fails to dislodge OSS trials from Newham council

They came, they audited, they went away again...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Despite a determined onslaught by Microsoft consultants Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Newham Borough Council's open source trials have emerged not merely unscathed but expanded from an MS versus Linux face-off this week. And a statement issued by Newham today says that the London borough "has concluded that, in the short term, significant cost savings are not achievable by switching to strategy based-upon Open Source software."

Yes, we know. 'How does that work then?' you're asking. 'How come open source won when they're saying they've decided they won't save anything by switching to it?' We'll explain.

Well, first of all it's a wicked, wicked world we live in, and second, how can you possibly expect Microsoft to approve a press release that says the audit it sponsored has been rejected? You might argue right back here that Microsoft doesn't have anything to do with Newham saying what it thinks, but bear in mind that Newham is still in pricing discussions with Microsoft UK. These will be concluded on December 19th, "and an announcement will be made at that stage." And it's a wicked, wicked world...

The audit of Newham came about in response to Newham's trials of open source software, being carried out by netproject, and as part of the borough's fairly tough pricing discussions with MS UK. Microsoft declined to move on price, but offered to show how using Microsoft's systems would produce lower TCO for Newham than using open source. So the Newham announcement's failure to mention that this objective has indeed been achieved is, erm, significant?

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young proposed a 100 per cent Windows solution for Newham, and at this juncture it seems this proposal has been rejected. Eddie Bleasdale of netproject*, with a certain note of wonder in his voice, tells the Reg that the rival team didn't mention Longhorn at all, nor did it make a great deal of .NET or WinFX.

Which is fascinating, given that this is the new location of the Redmond crown jewels as mapped out at the recent Professional Developers Conference. We - and anyone at Microsoft who's still reading - can derive the useful lesson that the shock troops of the Beast are not particularly up to speed on Microsoft's forward strategies, and that they are not therefore particularly well-placed to reassure customers about the company's future product roadmaps. Which is one of the major areas Microsoft's customers worry about. Second, their reluctance, possibly even inability, to consider heterogeneous implementations commits them to 'all or nothing' games they won't always win.

Bleasdale, on the other hand, has been stressing "you've got to keep your options open" and "it's all about choice," one example here being his recommendation that Newham upgrade to Exchange Server 2003 on the basis that it can operate with both Linux and Windows clients, and therefore supports his own proposed secure Linux desktop solution.

"We're carrying on with the [open source] trial," he says, "and we've recommended a whole series of actions, including server consolidation, and also that the desktop trials be expanded." This is still simply a case of "putting Linux computers on desks to prove they work, and there's no way Bleasdale expects (or indeed that he ever expected) a 'big bang' switch to Linux desktops.

The facts that the study is continuing, and that Newham has effectively kicked the ball back into Microsoft's court, shifting discussion back onto pricing, could make for an interesting announcement, post December 19th. Winning an all or nothing game could cost Microsoft UK a great deal, both in immediate discounts to Newham and in the me-too discounts it would trigger elsewhere, but it has already escalated the deal into a major issue, making a dignified climb-down a lot more expensive.

This, incidentally (should anybody from MS UK still be reading) is what SuSE enterprise sales and services VP David Burger reckons was Microsoft's mega mistake at Munich. If the Beast hadn't made such a huge deal of it, SuSE and IBM wouldn't have felt anything like the same need to fight it, and Microsoft losing wouldn't have seemed like such a huge disaster. Your own worst enemies. But we're told the driving at Newham is being done five command levels above the Microsoft point man, UK local government business manager Tariq Shakoor, so they appear not to be learning. ®

* Eddie tells us the OSS migration guide netproject produced for the European Commission has now had 90,000 downloads in the English version,, and that it's now also available in French and Spanish. Where it's available is not entirely clear, but as he's sent us a copy of Guide IDA de migration vers l'Open Source, it must be true. Up shortly, no doubt, 'Ah! ça ira...'

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story


Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.