Q

Migration training/support costs

An expert warns that migrating to a Linux desktop isn't the hard part; power users are the ones who need to watch out.

There's a mandate to switch to open source desktops. We have about 200 users that would need re-training and support, and I understand there's quite a shift from the familiar Microsoft desktop. How can we contain training and support costs while maintaining quality?

Typical users usually don't have much problem moving to a Linux desktop, particularly a KDE-based one that looks

a lot like a Windows desktop. The typical productivity apps (e.g., OpenOffice) are very simple to move to as well.

The major problems arise with so-called power users, especially those with complex Excel macros. I recommend that you start with a pilot set of users, perhaps 10 or 15, that reflect all types of users within the organizations. See how they do with migrating to a Linux desktop and base your practices on that.

This was first published in November 2006

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