Fully Supported Bias.

UPDATE: The article in question has been removed. The cached version is still available to read via Google. Bear in mind that Peter made many positive comments about Ubuntu and its ease of use and with the exception of a support issue, detailed later in this post, the article was in itself positive. There are many worthwhile and appropriate articles on that site, such as this one about Document Formats.

The Ubuntu-UK Mailing list has recently been discussing Peter Scargills post about Linux and Open Source software. As a member of the Federation Of Small Business and the Ubuntu community, as well as a self employed business man I feel particularly unimpressed with Peters position on this topic.

The Federation of Small Business is an organisation which I feel every self employed individual , small and medium sized business should take part in. The value of support, contacts and networking within the FSB are incomparable to the cost of membership and the fact it is there is an assurance of support for me. The additional oversight and review that the FSB provide in interaction with Government and Policy provide a measure of assurance that a greater community is supporting me and you in our own business endeavours.

This is why I feel it should not be the position of the FSB IT Committee to be writing or commenting in just such as way as the recent posts. I do not expect the FSB IT Committee to be reviewing and making suggestions about technology especially from the level at which that particular post has been written. I would hope the IT Committee would be taking time to consider issues such as software patents, IP rights, e-commerce taxation and data protection and in turn writing and commenting about how those issues impact on every small and medium sized business out there.

Recently Jo Parker and Suzy Miller of Certain Shops asked me to help them with their own IT Strategy and they were very interested that there is a large amount of valuable and effective software which does not lock them down to a particular vendor or future direction. Having used Ubuntu desktop for the last two weeks Jo Parker was very kind in sending me this comment.

“I am not at all technically minded and I have been using Ubuntu now for 2 weeks and I am finding it,incredibly easy and user friendly. Initially I was nervous about making the change and because it took me a while to master Windows and Outlook Express I didn’t want the hassle of learning something new.

Nik gave me a quick and simple lesson on how to use it and left me to experiment (safe in the knowledge that I could call him if I needed to). I was up and running confidently and quickly and have had no problems at all. It is fantastic. ” Jo Parker, Certainshops.

I have plenty of clients whom are using Open Source, Microsoft and Apple products jointly and without issues in interconnection or sharing of data and information. Whilst they make use of my own services to help them in delivery they tend towards the low end of maintenance and support requirements for exactly the reasons that Linux Enthusiasts keep expounding.

Peter you mention that finding support for Linux is difficult; all I can suggest is that if you are having trouble with an IT platform and its integration then I recommend Canonicals support package which other then being fantastic value for an SME will also give you access to the IT support answers you and other SMES may require. Alternatively you can contact me directly and I will be happy to help.
Thanks for reading.

Share This

4 Comments on “Fully Supported Bias.

  1. Or to be more accurate, a *working* link – either the website’s got temporary problems or the link is broken..

  2. I actually think Peter’s article was spot on. We are in a transitory period with Microsoft moving trying to move the PC into an almost totally protected environment beloved of copyright holders and corporate IT controllers. Bit like mainframe Operating Systems of the 60/70s. Meanwhile stuff like Ubuntu is getting the alternate towards a point where it can be seen as an easily deployable alterante by the masses.

    Right now – Ubuntu is OK for the simple email/browser/word processor market. Not exciting but not insubstantial.
    And Kubuntu has much to offer power users (who by definition will prefer a more obscure distro 🙂

    But it is the market in between that Linux has a real problem. People like Peter & many other FSB members who don’t have the time to be power users but needs a choice of solid accounting packages, their particular industry app etc. For many there is no choice but XP.

    My view is this is a market that it is pointless to attack head on. Concentrate on the two ends power users, simple users. Get growth there to attract software houses to add a Linux variant to their portfolios. Then let the two ends creep towards each other. A pincer attack.

    Where I’m coming from? Well I have XP to the left, Kubuntu to the right and Vista in the bin. What would I like most – an intuitive Samba GUI configuration tool (no – don’t mention the otherwise admirable Webmin) that would lower the bar into integrating the Linux desktop or even server into a Windows shop.

  3. I don’t know… I think he’s got some reasonable points, but some are just plain wrong.

    Like where he says “Linux … won’t run the latest in hardware” – Linux was the first OS in the world to support USB 2.0 & Bluetooth, amongst numerous other things.

    And trying to turn one single proof-of-concept virus (The OOo one) into proof that Linux is as prone to viruses as Windows…

    Still and all, after so many years of the “Linux will never make it on the desktop” nonsense, it’s gratifying to see that virtually every negative review you come across these days, like this one, basically boil down to nothing worse than “Okay, it’s a perfectly good desktop, but it doesn’t run some of the more obscure proprietary Windows software yet”