Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

PR: Ximian Y2Pay Program Offers Linux Alternative for Those Facing MS Licensing Deadline

Jun 25, 2002, 11:00 (13 Talkback[s])

Ximian, Inc. has announced a special pricing program, called "Y2Pay" to provide companies with a Linux alternative to Windows-based desktops and applications as the July 31st deadline for new Microsoft licensing programs approaches.

As companies grapple with the looming decision to commit to the multi-year software costs and compliance burdens of the new Microsoft Software Assurance plan, the Y2Pay promotion is designed to help end-users and corporate customers affordably begin the migration to lower-cost Linux-based desktop PCs. Through August 15th, 2002, customers may purchase Ximian Desktop Professional Edition for Linux, a complete desktop environment and suite of productivity applications including Sun StarOffice 6.0 and Ximian Evolution, at a savings of up to 25% at www.ximian.com.

"The clock is ticking toward the Y2Pay deadline of July 31, and many corporate customers, already facing tight IT budgets, are increasingly anxious about new Microsoft licensing costs that, much in the same way as their Y2K spending, will bring them no benefit," said David Patrick, president and CEO of Ximian. "As a result, we are offering a very simple, streamlined way for companies to choose and evaluate Linux as a more cost-effective option for some user populations. Our solutions like Ximian Desktop Professional Edition and Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange let companies deploy Linux workstations that can fit seamlessly into Microsoft-based environment. Ximian is a viable alternative to Y2Pay."

"IDC's research finds that some Windows users are concerned enough with Microsoft's Licensing 6.0 program that they are evaluating alternatives," said Al Gillen, research director, system software at IDC. "Ximian Evolution along with StarOffice 6.0 offers an interesting turn-key desktop solution that could serve as an alternative for companies intent on a move away from Microsoft."

The emergence of a Linux desktop alternative for many users comes just as Microsoft is in the process of implementing major changes to its licensing policies. In the past, products such as Microsoft Office were offered for a one-time license fee, with reduced prices for subsequent upgrades when purchased. Now, Microsoft seeks to have companies commit to multi-year upgrades up front, regardless of whether the customer in fact needs the upgrade for all the systems covered under the agreement.

The result for many customers is the prospect of increased costs and confusion regarding program policies and compliance requirements. According to a recent Gartner survey, the new licensing could increase corporate spending on Microsoft licenses between 33 and 107 percent, depending on how often they typically upgrade their software. Gartner and Giga Information Group report confusion and frustration among corporate customers they have studied, with roughly one-third leaning against signing up for the new licensing program, and another third undecided.

"We have thousands of Windows-based PCs at our corporate headquarters and our hotel locations around the country," said Adam Doxtater, computer engineer for MGM Mirage information systems. "Due mainly to the new Microsoft policies, we have looked for alternatives. I am introducing Linux to provide desktop productivity applications, email and mainframe access for some of our PC users. I think solutions like Ximian Desktop could easily be the key to open that door."

Burlington Coat was an early adopter of Linux-based desktop PCs, deploying them in over 300 locations nationwide, said Mike Prince, CIO, Burlington Coat. "The price tag and confusion associated with the Microsoft licensing program serves as validation of that decision. We will continue to explore moving other users in the future to lower cost Linux-based desktops running rapidly improving software such Sun StarOffice and Ximian Desktop."

During the Y2Pay promotion, individual customers may purchase Ximian Desktop Professional Edition for $49.95, a 17% savings from the regular price of $59.95. Companies seeking to start Linux desktop pilots or trials receive greater savings with the Ximian Desktop Professional Edition 10 User Starter Pack. The 10 User pack is priced at $449, savings of 25% per user.

Ximian Desktop Professional Edition software is available for Solaris 8 and leading Linux distributions including Red Hat, SuSE, and Mandrake. The software may be purchased directly from Ximian at www.ximian.com/store.

Related Stories: