There is a story in today’s Irish Times about a dispute between the IT directorand the CEO at Beaumont Hospital over the use of Linux.
Avid Linux watchers will know that Linux is big in Beaumont (IBM press release, Sun case study)
Basically, the jist is that the CEO wants to switch to Windows on the basis that Beaumont is the only hospital in Ireland on Linux, and on the basis that the Linux system doesn’t deliver the functionality required.
The IT director says that it would cost EUR 2 million to make this change, money that would be better spent on upgrading desktop computers. (I assume this includes some of the costs of upgrading hardware.) The CEO disputes this, and says the hospital could avail of major discounts.
Obviously, there’s a lot of leaking and spinning going on here. I don’t know anything beyond what’s in the papers. However, it’s not surprising that there’s been some degree of reaction to the use of StarOffice and a linux desktop – it’s a big change if it’s not what you’re used to.
I don’t know about the discounts either. There isn’t really that much discount to be had on the Microsoft tax – Beaumont wouldn’t appear to be eligible for an academic discount, and there’s very little scope to avoid the yearly licence payments. It’s the ongoing cost of Microsoft that hits an institution, rather than the initial price.
[I have combed the Interweb, well, checked Google and Technorati, and I can’t seem to find any other references to this story in the blogosphere. However, there’s this article on Electricnews.]