Linux hype misses mark with IT managers

The hype surrounding Linux has grabbed the attention of Australian IT managers, but few plan to adopt the operating system within their own companies, a Computerworld straw poll has found.

Fewer than 30 per cent of those surveyed intend to implement Linux as a corporate operating system, with several citing concerns about the robustness of Linux and a lack of support from software vendors as reasons for their reluctance.

Albert Shen, IT manager at ABB Power Transmission, said: "We will not implement Linux as there are not many applications [running on] the operating system.

"Also, according to external benchmark reports, Windows NT outperforms Linux so we are standardising on NT," he said.

Similarly, Geoff McKeand, EDP manager at Schwarzkopf, said his company will not adopt Linux for several years because there is a "lack of software that can run under it.

"It is the same reason that the Apple Macintosh operating system doesn't work well in most corporates."

Paul Lowder, IT manager for Kirby Refrigeration, also admitted to being hesitant about Linux.

"We would need more information before we would commit to implementing Linux.

"At the moment, Y2K is our focus, but I will look at Linux more closely next year," Lowder said.

Also casting a shadow on the Linux hysteria is that only 27 per cent of IT managers polled believe the operating system will rival the corporate penetration of Windows NT and Unix in the future.

Kerrie Frew, IS manager at Baker & Mackenzie, commented: "It won't get support from the management level because only technical people know Linux."

However, Frank O'Brian, IS manager for Offset Alpine Printing Group, said: "Linux will become more popular than Unix and NT because it is developing rapidly and becoming more user-friendly.

"There are a lot of organisations tired of being tied to one supplier."

He added: "We have adopted Linux for our Web systems and run e-mail on it."

Aaron Benson, systems administrator, Strathfield Group, claimed: "Linux will become more popular because it is open.

"The availability of code and pricing is very attractive."

He also argued: "Windows NT is not functional enough and we are having to reboot our NT boxes every 30 days.

"I will implement Linux because it is more robust and stable than NT," Benson said.

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