First start using Open Source on Windows

by DannyB

July 17 2004

For many people, especially businesses, switching everything at once may simply be too much.

It is a much safer and less disruptive approach to only disrupt a few things at a time, rather than all at once.

Switch your OS last, not first. First switch your applications. One at a time.

Concentrate on the biggest money savers first. This probably means something like

Another easy switch to make is

A great evangelism tool to give to Windows users is The Open CD [ ]. This CD makes a very good first impression of Open Source for a Windows user who is unfamiliar with Open Source. It has a good sample of high quality open source software for a Windows user.

Just switching Mozilla and give a business plenty of issues to deal with, without someone telling them to just switch everything at once.

In, you have document conversion issues to deal with. (I wrote a Document Converter which you can find at

For, you can get a lot of questions answered over at For clipart, check out the stick Clipart topic in the Draw forum at OOoForum. You can get templates and artwork OOExtras.

Once both Mozilla and are comfortably in use, you should focus on replacing other cross platform applications. The GIMP. Inkscape.

Last of all, try selectively switching the OS for some users. Even though a number of your now familiar Windows applications are the same, you still have to learn a lot of the Linux conventions. Where files go. Linux pathname conventions "/home/danny". New file management tools, like Konqueror, even though they look familiar, have a definite learning curve.

I personally believe that all of the cross-over applications are the real threat to Microsoft. Microsoft seems to be focused on Linux, while the cross over apps are the real short term threat.

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

11:27 AM EDT

First start using Open Source on Windows

by PJ

July 17 2004

Another approach might be to switch some boxes and not others. It solves several problems at once. I believe in diversity anyway from a security standpoint. Your specialty apps can stay on the Windows boxes, which you unplug from the internet, ideally, or use only for brief, necessary but scary sprints.

You have them for the transition or even longterm, if you like, and meanwhile, your internet-ready GNU/Linux boxes are a safer operating system, which your employees are getting used to bit by bit, with a safety net available for times when they don't know how to get around using Windows.

Little by little, they will transition to GNU/Linux, because it just happens that way. And your expenses for viruses and other malware drop to almost nothing. Your privacy is enhanced, too.

I personally think dual boots are dangerous. Because Windows is still on your box, and anyone smart enough to get in can exploit it.

04:00 PM EDT

Copyright 2004