We should expect better from a paper that aspires to be a credible "broadsheet".
The story was titled "Queensland Studies opts for wall-to-wall Windows". It describes how the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), created as a merger between three different departments, inherited a mixed environment of Linux, Sun and Windows. Inside this environment was samba and citrix thin clients.
It then went on to quote how an IT manager considered this mixed environment too complicated.
It is worth quoting some of that quote here:
Data was spread across multiple system partitions and anti-virus measures were ineffective. The old Exchange servers needed to be rebuilt. Email forwarding was complex. Wright says the answer was to standardise the environment, consolidate and introduce new systems to increase integration and efficiency.
In other words the IT manager, who couldn't "understand" how the "complex" (non-GUI) systems worked, used the excuse of "having to upgrade" the exchange servers to replace everything with Microsoft products.
After which (according to the same source) everything was so much simpler and easier to use. And all the maintenance could be carried out with a few clicks of a mouse!
Now all those virus scanners could be centralised (virus scanners are an essential component of Microsoft only networks).
There appears to have been only the one source for the story ... the manager who was instrumental in recommending and implementing the decision.
And the author states that this single source contributed considerable positive feedback about his own decisions and was able to justify the money spent on the upgrade.
My, My! What a surprise!
However, flipping back a couple of pages ...
Page 2 of the Next Supplement in "The Age" had a very large advertisement, sponsored by Microsoft which says:
For mid-sized and medium organisations, a significant Linux deployment will be neither free nor easily accomplished. In fact respondents at large organisations reported that a wholesale switch to Linux from Windows or Unix would significantly increase TCO for the foreseeable future
- Laura DiDio, The Yankee Group 2004
I could tell that this was an advertisement. Because it was done in nice sober, sombre pastel-colours. A brownish-khaki colour designed to impart an impression of truthfulness. The type of colour that Tom Waits refers to as "monkey-shit brown". And of course, it had the Microsoft Windows Logo in the corner ... oh yes and an invitation to "Get The Facts".
Ahh Well, I am a great fan of "Getting The Facts" ... And one of the the facts I would like to fish out would be ... Is there any connection between the "articles" that "The Age" runs and their advertising copy?
Because the "article", misleadingly labeled as a "case study", does seem more like thinly disguised Microsoft spin. More akin to the type of FUD found on the Microsoft "Get The Facts" website. It has been written by Rob O'Neill, who is apparently a regular staff member with "The Age" Next supplement, and is presumably the same person who wrote an article entitled, without even a hint of irony, "Microsoft scores well on security analysis", (also published in The Next supplement on 12 October 2004).
C'mon guys ... if you want to pretend to be journalists in the Computer and Technology area, you will have to do better than that!
Well at least they didn't put this cobbled together bit of spin on the same page as the ad! That might have been a bit too obvious.
And today there was another 419 scammer. This one really did send his spam from Yahoo! The evidence is here.