Since Windows XP remains available only as a “downgrade” from Vista, at additional cost, businesses that want to replace obsolescent PCs or need to add staff are compelled to buy Windows Vista and then pay extra if they want to stay with Windows XP. In order to avoid the cost of “downgrading” to XP by migrating all desktops to Vista, they’re faced with the added cost of all new Vista licences, plus high hardware replacement costs because Vista requires new PCs kitted out with at least 2GHz CPUs and 2GB of memory in order to run acceptably. Then there’s also the fact that Windows Vista performs poorly, even after SP1.
Businesses that cannot bear such a large hit to their IT budgets should consider migrating to Linux instead. All of the Linux distributions are available either entirely free of charge or at relatively low cost. Linux runs well even on older PC hardware, which means businesses can avoid having to purchase all new desktop PCs (if you need Linux or PC repairs or support in Brisbane click here for Superuser’s help). All of the major Linux distributions include free file and print servers, website and email servers and clients, office productivity applications, development toolsets and utilities.
If you’re already doing without dedicated support staff for Windows, one year may be all the paid support you need for Linux. Ubuntu users joke that simply googling for technical support usually results in the exact answer you’re looking for on Canonical’s forums. Linux is different from Windows, but it isn’t an alien life form.
The human investment you make in transitioning away from expensive Windows and Office licenses may pay for itself quickly. More important, you’ll be free to run the desktop and server software of your choice, on hardware you can afford.