The High Cost Of Cool
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Andrew Hornback
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2012 | 5:11:46 PM
re: The High Cost Of Cool
Craig - changing the UI has to do with evolution behind the theory of how people work and an attempt to have them working more efficiently. People buy things based on how they look - if the design is appealing, they'll buy it, even if it's the most cumbersome device/program/product in the world to use (I have to wonder if this is the psychology behind high heel shoes, but I digress). I would also have to say that Vista can't necessarily be considered a failure based simply on the redesign of the UI - there were a lot of other issues at play, and the lack of end-user familiarity with the UI exacerbated the "I hate Vista" sentiments. I just hope that Microsoft doesn't have a repeat of the Vista event with Windows 8's Metro interface.

Sam - IT shops are using Windows because it's prevalent and that's what the vast majority of the end-user application base is written for. While most experienced IT professionals would know that you can get the same functionality out of OpenOffice on a Linux system as you can with Microsoft Office on a Windows system - try explaining that to an end user with a limited knowledge and/or fear of the system that they're forced to work with on a daily basis. Sure, it can and does function either the same or in a very similar way, change is seen as a bad thing. With regards to your comments as to Linux costing less, I would have to point you to the various RoI white papers/calculations out there. Switching an entire company (much less enterprise scale organization) from Windows to Linux introduces a number of costly issues - who's going to train the end users? Who's going to support them? Who's going to train the support team? Who's budget gets impacted due to a loss/reduction of productivity by the end user who suddenly sees their productivity drop off dramatically due to their inability to use the new system? There are a LOT more factors involved in enterprise OS selection that simply licensing fees.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2012 | 5:52:09 AM
re: The High Cost Of Cool
Aren't IT shops only using Windows because it used to be the shiny, cool product in the 90s when they standardized on a PC OS? I agree that UI is not important for user productivity, but then why not use Red Hat EL or some other no cost Linux distro as a desktop OS instead of Windows? It provides a perfectly navigable UI and is much less costly than Windows. Most people do most of their enterprise application work in the browser anyway.

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