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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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Ford Goes Linux
Ford Goes Linux

The Ford Motor Co, which already has a contract with SuSE Linux AG, is thinking - according to Ford's director of global IT infrastructure, George Surdu - of migrating from the various flavors of Unix it currently runs, purchased from the likes of Sun, IBM, and HP, and moving instead to Linux "in certain spaces."

Those spaces exclude the desktop, since there is a 3-year contract in place with Microsoft in respect of company-wide use of MS Office, but may well over the next 3 - 5 years extend beyond its present use in Ford, which is currently limited to Beowulf clusters for engineering apps and Linux-based file and print servers, according to Surdu.

One indicator of how serious Ford Motor Co is about this can be found very close to home. In a sister publication, Linux Business Week, the company is advertising for a SysAdmin to participate in developing its global Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1 Linux load.

The ad did not go unnoticed by the world's IT press.

As InfoWorld reported yesterday: "According to an ad in LinuxBusinessWeek...[the] position is advertised as a long-term contract that will run more than one year. According to the ad, responsibilities include developing and testing the Ford Linux load, packaging and distributing the load for global implementation and preparing complete installation documentation and test procedures."

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I think the point of the article is that some of the world's largest corporations are planning on moving to Linux. Although some companies (executives) are slow to catch on to the latest and greatest technology, they have some very talented and well-informed IT staffs. The IT staffs drive what is best for the companies computing needs. While is is possible a white-shirt-and-tie could interfere with the migration towards Linux, the general trend is the IT shops will try and *love* Linux. After that, it's just a matter of time before they convince the upper management that Linux is best.

It's completey understandable that Ford will stay with Windoze for it's desktop needs. A majority of computer users in any big corporation are the kind that are afraid to reset the blinking clock on their VCR (thanks B Perens for that ref). Knowing this, it leaves Linux for the servers. What more could you ask for? That alone gives Linux much needed credibility. I would applaud this rather than look at it in a negative light.

Mark, the Scotsman article was more of a sensationalist piece, full of language like "Ford’s defection to Linux the biggest potential threat to Microsoft in the software developer’s 28-year history." IDG's Swedish title, Computer Sweden, seem to be the ones that broke the story (http://www.idg.se/ArticlePages/200309/22/20030922092339_CS/2003092209233...) - it was to IDG News that George Surdu, the Ford 'global infrastructure' exec originally spoke. Seems pretty concrete. Martin Wallstrom is certainly a well respected Swedish IT journalist.

Correct me if I am wrong here, but I do not see any Ford confirmation of a migration. I see words like "thinking" and "likely". Is there more to the story, or is this a re-hash of articles that theinquirer.net (and others) ran about the orginal article in scotsman.com (http://www.business.scotsman.com/technology.cfm?id=1014442003) 9 days ago?

It would not surprise me if there were a deal and plan, but no one is talking as of yet. Wait-and-see, I guess.


Your Feedback
Julio Monroy wrote: I think the point of the article is that some of the world's largest corporations are planning on moving to Linux. Although some companies (executives) are slow to catch on to the latest and greatest technology, they have some very talented and well-informed IT staffs. The IT staffs drive what is best for the companies computing needs. While is is possible a white-shirt-and-tie could interfere with the migration towards Linux, the general trend is the IT shops will try and *love* Linux. After that, it's just a matter of time before they convince the upper management that Linux is best. It's completey understandable that Ford will stay with Windoze for it's desktop needs. A majority of computer users in any big corporation are the kind that are afraid to reset the blinking clock on their VCR (thanks B Perens for that ref). Knowing this, it leaves Linux for the servers. What more c...
softwareJoe wrote: Mark, the Scotsman article was more of a sensationalist piece, full of language like "Ford’s defection to Linux the biggest potential threat to Microsoft in the software developer’s 28-year history." IDG's Swedish title, Computer Sweden, seem to be the ones that broke the story (http://www.idg.se/ArticlePages/200309/22/20030922092339_CS/2003092209233...) - it was to IDG News that George Surdu, the Ford 'global infrastructure' exec originally spoke. Seems pretty concrete. Martin Wallstrom is certainly a well respected Swedish IT journalist.
MarkJensen wrote: Correct me if I am wrong here, but I do not see any Ford confirmation of a migration. I see words like "thinking" and "likely". Is there more to the story, or is this a re-hash of articles that theinquirer.net (and others) ran about the orginal article in scotsman.com (http://www.business.scotsman.com/technology.cfm?id=1014442003) 9 days ago? It would not surprise me if there were a deal and plan, but no one is talking as of yet. Wait-and-see, I guess.
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