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London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the year-of-something-on-the-somethingtop dept.

Chrome 193

girlmad writes: "Google has scored a major win on the back of Microsoft's Windows XP support cut-off. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has begun moving all its employees over to Samsung Chromebooks and Chromeboxes ahead of the 8 April deadline. The council was previously running 3,500 Windows XP desktops and 800 XP laptops, and is currently in the process of retiring these in favour of around 2,000 Chromebooks and 300 Chromeboxes. It estimates the savings at around £400,000 compared to upgrading to newer Windows machines — no small change."

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Translation (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 months ago | (#46643847)

Translation: London Council trying to extort cheaper licenses out of Microsoft.

Re:Translation (0, Flamebait)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 7 months ago | (#46643861)

Makes sense. Chromebooks can be okay on the hardware, but I can't see them as very useful especially for real work.

Re:Translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46643923)

It's fine if they've moved all of their work to a web ap.

Re:Translation (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 months ago | (#46643955)

It doesn't sound like they're using web apps, at least not yet. From TFA:

At this stage we're still going to be using Office, Outlook and Exchange, but we're planning to look at a move to a cloud-based productivity and email tool later in the year and that would clearly be an evaluation of Google Apps and Office 365

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | about 7 months ago | (#46644081)

It doesn't sound like they're using web apps, at least not yet

No, but they were (apparently) using mostly Citrix apart from the power users. A Chromebook seems a good fit as a remote desktop client; you don't have any more issues with requiring an always on network than you started with. For once, a fairly sensible strategy it seems.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644351)

If using a Chromebook as a remote terminal, that makes sense, assuming a decent connection to Citrix. It means one less security issue (stolen/compromised laptops) to worry about. There is still security required when people have to log on, but that can be accomplished via SecurID or another 2FA system.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645777)

My experience at least with RDP on chromebooks was not the best. Super choppy and pretty much unusable.

Not sure what special sauce Citrix might have though.

Re:Translation (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 7 months ago | (#46645955)

If they are used to citrix already then choppy cludgey connectivity will be something they are acustomed to so going to chromebooks won't be a noticible change.

Re:Translation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644773)

Makes sense. Chromebooks can be okay on the hardware, but I can't see them as very useful especially for real work.

It's Council... who said anything about doing any work.

Real Work (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 7 months ago | (#46644899)

What resource taxing applications do you think politicians use? Probably 90% of the time is documents and spreadsheets and the rest playing on the internet or solitaire.

Re:Translation (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46645675)

You mean spreadsheets and powerpoint and word processing? That takes very low hardware requirements. Gaming they suck at, work isn't a problem.

Re:Translation (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46646409)

Makes sense. Chromebooks can be okay on the hardware, but I can't see them as very useful especially for real work.
What a lie! Chromebooks are far more effective than the old cruft. Real work is done with these systems every day. Real work has been done with them for many years. Real savings can be had by switching. Real crazy are the microsludge marketing droids who try to mutter nonsense. You don't need a Ticonderoga #5 pencil to write numbers, and if you *dare* use any other type of writing instrument, its not a 'Real Number'. Yet when talking about computing, the microsludge marketing droids keep harping on it. Its stupid; as utterly stupid as insisting on the brand of pencil. Yet the parent tries. Its just dumb.

Re:Translation (4, Insightful)

leathered (780018) | about 7 months ago | (#46643945)

Translation: Microsoft trying to extort expensive license fees from London Council.

FTFY

Re:Translation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645335)

Yeah, never let common sense and reality get in the way of your Microsoft Hate.

Re:Translation (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46645689)

In cases of Microsoft nastiness common sense says assume the worst and be grateful when it's not "quite" that bad.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644523)

Penny wise pound foolish...

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644925)

Translation: London Council trying to extort cheaper licenses out of Microsoft.

You keep telling yourself that. It'll make it easier for competitors to eat your lunch.

Just conveniently ignore the bit where they already have the Chromebooks...

Re:Translation (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46645693)

Does the London Council have any competition?

Re:Translation (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 7 months ago | (#46645351)

They're replacing a current stock of 4,300 of what used to be mid- to high-end hardware (when they were bought of course - after all they were designed to run Windows - replacement would mean current mid- to high-end stuff or Windows won't run well) with 2,300 low-end ones.

That cuts down the number of computers in half, and it cuts the per-unit hardware cost. I can't imagine them saving some 150 pounds per unit on license cost alone. Windows isn't that expensive in OEM licenses. The price difference between a typical Chromebook and a typical Windows laptop is more than the Windows license itself.

Re:Translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46646251)

Microsoft usually charges ~$50 US for OEM licenses*, so GB150 seems odd.

* Source: http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/21/5435152/windows-8-1-license-fees-cut-by-70-percent-rumor

Re:Translation (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 7 months ago | (#46645611)

As long as all they need is a browser they will be fine. ... heck, even SteamOS would be a better choice.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645731)

This gem keeps coming up, every single time. What is it with you people? Can you not accept that Windows is expensive?

Security improvement. (4, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46643879)

Are they trying to go around the (few) GCHQ monitoring limits by going straight into NSA-friendly territory?

Re:Security improvement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644981)

Microsoft is far friendlier to the NSA than Google. Haven't you been reading the news?

Re:Security improvement. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 7 months ago | (#46645369)

Microsoft vs Google.

If that's the choice I'd still go for the second. Gut feeling says Google cares more about preventing NSA snooping than MS. And now I don't exactly like Google's snooping to target their ads better (they do a pretty shitty job there anyway), at least it won't get you on secret no-fly lists.

Mad (1, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 7 months ago | (#46643913)

They must be barking...

London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46643927)

Oh, one can just imagine Microsoft's' FUD, I will cost them zillions.

All that is left (1)

Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) | about 7 months ago | (#46643957)

is for the diva to sing the operatic conclusion and for cats and dogs to get along. Microsoft is so doomed. Who really needs them? Not most people. Have you seen the latest Samsung tablets? Holy cow the better than Hi-def resolution, vivid colors, awesome performance, none of them running Windows, all of them running Android. I saw them recently and my first reaction was: Microsoft is so doomed.

Re:All that is left (5, Interesting)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 7 months ago | (#46644117)

is for the diva to sing the operatic conclusion and for cats and dogs to get along.

Microsoft is so doomed. Who really needs them? Not most people.

Have you seen the latest Samsung tablets? Holy cow the better than Hi-def resolution, vivid colors, awesome performance, none of them running Windows, all of them running Android. I saw them recently and my first reaction was: Microsoft is so doomed.

Yeah, all except for that pesky near 90% desktop market share, and the millions of applications people rely on that use a Windows operating system to do their work. The market is significantly broadening, no doubt, to include non-desktop/laptop computing platforms, but make no mistake, Windows is still very firmly entrenched on the desktop. And regular old computers where people still need to get work done on a day to day basis is still a lucrative market, if not as sexy as phones and tablets. The fact that it makes Slashdot headlines when a company or government branch moves away from Windows tells you that it's not exactly happening all over the place either.

Not trying to sound like a shill here, but let's try to stay realistic. MS is going nowhere for the foreseeable future. Unless, of course, they keep pissing off their desktop customers with garbage like Windows 8.

Re:All that is left (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644417)

Devil's advocate time:

Even if they pissed off the retail customers, MS has one spot that they are virtually impossible to dislodge from, and that is the enterprise. For example, Exchange. There are other solutions (Zimba or Google Apps), but for scalability and management, there is no other messaging system that can handle the sheer amount of users that Exchange handles on a daily basis.

Same with Active Directory. LDAP is used in some small firms, but AD has scalability on its side.

There are alternatives to MS, but there isn't anything that can do the group policies to desktops on the massive scales that what is done with Windows.

Plus, MS knowledge is easy to find. I can pay $16,000/year and get a H-1B with a MCSE who is extremely competant, far more than local talent on average. Good luck with trying to find that with Linux.

Re:All that is left (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 7 months ago | (#46644587)

Devil's advocate time:

Even if they pissed off the retail customers, MS has one spot that they are virtually impossible to dislodge from, and that is the enterprise. For example, Exchange. There are other solutions (Zimba or Google Apps), but for scalability and management, there is no other messaging system that can handle the sheer amount of users that Exchange handles on a daily basis.

Same with Active Directory. LDAP is used in some small firms, but AD has scalability on its side.

There are alternatives to MS, but there isn't anything that can do the group policies to desktops on the massive scales that what is done with Windows.

Plus, MS knowledge is easy to find. I can pay $16,000/year and get a H-1B with a MCSE who is extremely competant, far more than local talent on average. Good luck with trying to find that with Linux.

Well, they were pissing off their corporate customers too, who are refusing to upgrade to Windows 8, even in the face of XP end of service looming. That being said, don't take my last comment for anything but tongue-in-cheek. MS is not stupid. Arrogant, yes, but smart enough to understand that they can't continue the "my way or the highway" act in perpetuity. In fact, they're already showing signs of relenting. In Windows 9 the start menu is coming back, metro apps can now be windowed, etc, etc.

As you indicated, I don't think the corporate users are really going anywhere else for the time being. I mean, it's hard enough to get them off of IE6. A full OS switch is simply not going to happen overnight. If it happens, it will be a decades-long transition.

I'll have to take your word on the infrastructure issues. I'm a application developer, not an IT guy, so I have no idea about that sort of stuff.

Re:All that is left (1)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#46644879)

I'm guessing gmail supports far more users than there are in an enterprise and that it's not secretly backed by exchange.

You cannot legally get an H1-B MCSE for $16,000 a year. Beyond that, pay peanuts, get monkeys.

Re:All that is left (2)

Colin Lewis (3398815) | about 7 months ago | (#46645447)

GroupWise? That can scale. eDirectory scales better than AD and Zenworks manages devices of many types Ooops. I got confused by daylight savings and had my watch set to 2004...

Re:All that is left (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46646343)

You left out the US government. I work for the DOD and I still remember when Vista was launched to overall hatred by enterprise customers. No one was buying it but Uncle Stupid did. We had an excellent system running on XP Pro that worked flawlessly backed up by a good IT contractor. Vista came out and we switched to it and overnight we lost about 60 percent of our computers. They worked at it for a while and we ended up with just over half of them up and running at any one time. The IT guys worked their asses off keeping it halfway functional until we finally switched to Win 7. Even then it's never been as good as it was when we had XP Pro. I've noticed they may actually have learned something, they aren't buying Win 8.

Re:All that is left (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644607)

3 years ago my family would be using Windows XP on 2 Lenovo X series, possibly also a Dell D610.
Today the four of us are on Apples and we all have Android based phones.
Whats windows again ?

Re:All that is left (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46644717)

Once upon a time, buggy whips had a large market share, too.

Re:All that is left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645471)

Once upon a time, buggy whips had a large market share, too.

A meaningless "chestnut" that has little or nothing to do with this "real world" situation. How old are you? Did you just learn that?

Re:All that is left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46646499)

I don't think you have a good hold on reality. Microslush was a preditory monopoly on the desktop, that's true. And they should have been broken up because of it under the Sherman Act. It was a failure of the American Judicial system not to have done so. But the truth is that traditional desktop PC sales are somewhere between flat and falling. Businesses can run very well by putting Chromebooks on the employees desktop, and have them connect to a company server. All data is stored on the company server. No virus problems on the Chromebook. The hardware is fast enough, and since data is on the server, when the employee logs off, they aren't walking around with company data. No NSA spying, no expensive license fees padding Bill Gates bank account, no forced upgrades. Chromebooks have interoperable software where the one with the latest software upgrade won't insist that it can't read data from the computer with the oldest software (completely opposite to a trick microsludge has been using to extort money from businesses for decades), and you aren't stuck with something you don't like. Got a new phone? Got a new tablet? It works! The marketing and sales guys don't want to be chained to the desk, they want to be banging on the customers door and making sales. The portable tools work best for them, and microsludge isn't in that game. MicroSludge is/was a one-trick pony, and their monopoly is becoming a cliche'. Sure they own the desktop (still), but does anyone care? Where I live the electronics recycling places show PC's being diverted from the landfill to the special recycler. Thats a hint for you.

Re:All that is left (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644179)

I doubt many businesses are worried about vivid colors, high-def tablets. The company I work for has software that will only run on windows and integrates only with IE(Sendouts). Scoff as much as you want, its the way the business world runs. Payroll and accounting software, windows only. Show me a proficient non-cloud based software that can handle those two roles and maybe youd have a point.

Windows=not doomed, at least not for anywhere ive worked in the past 10 years.

Re:All that is left (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 7 months ago | (#46644569)

Clearly you've never supported a group of salesmen...

Re:All that is left (5, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46644709)

Once upon a time, payroll and accounting ran on a mainframe. On punched cards, no less.

OK, so your current system runs on Windows. And you've a captive audience that has no choice but to use IE. A browser whose world-wide usage rate has been dropping for years.

Some day, it's possible that the CIO is going to come in and say "We're switching all our financials to Oracle. They gave us a real good deal on an Exadata server. Running Oracle Linux. And apps written in Oracle Java.

Nothing is forever in computers. Not even Windows. Although the time spent waiting on virus scans can certainly make it seem like forever.

Re:All that is left (2)

davydagger (2566757) | about 7 months ago | (#46645295)

oh no, we know.

We call this "lock ins", because its impossible to use anything else, even if what you have is pretty shitty. Windows might suck, but its the only thing that works for your specific software.

This is the only thing keeping windows, and for that matter, microsoft going. People don't like microsoft, they have to use it.

No, there is no short term solution.

Long term, microsoft is fucked, because when it launches new products, no one gives a fuck.

Re:All that is left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644287)

Lol, says the neckbeard who knows _nothing_ about the real world.

Re:All that is left (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 7 months ago | (#46644493)

is for the diva to sing the operatic conclusion and for cats and dogs to get along.

Microsoft is so doomed. Who really needs them? Not most people.

Have you seen the latest Samsung tablets? Holy cow the better than Hi-def resolution, vivid colors, awesome performance, none of them running Windows, all of them running Android. I saw them recently and my first reaction was: Microsoft is so doomed.

Unless you actually do real work...

Or they could just hire some kids to load Linux (0)

gewalker (57809) | about 7 months ago | (#46643977)

Or they could just hire some kids to load Linux -- I could load Linux on a lot of old computers with a locked down linux and browser. The Chromebooks will be $200 per.

Re:Or they could just hire some kids to load Linux (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#46644135)

They save some physical space and importantly power. It depends on how much RAM the old PC have too.. A nice trick is to make the PCs diskless workstations, that makes them reliable (no hard drive) and replaceable on a whim. But if you're going to do everything on a browser having at least 2GB memory is nice, especially if you have no swap.

Chromebooks are decent Linux laptops ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 7 months ago | (#46645155)

Or they could just hire some kids to load Linux -- I could load Linux on a lot of old computers with a locked down linux and browser. The Chromebooks will be $200 per.

A year ago I bought an Acer C7 Chromebook and installed Linux on it. Its my first Linux laptop that has a complete and working set of drivers. Of all the previous PC laptops that I have had and converted to Linux upon their retirement, they were always glitchy in one way or another, or lacked drivers.

I have had much better luck with desktops but I tended to build my own and tended to go with well regarded parts.

That said, for US$200 the Acer C7 is a pretty good Linux laptop for the money. The screen and trackpad may be nothing special but thats acceptable given the price IMHO.

From insecure...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46643999)

..... To no security! :)

And don't give me shit how it is safer then XP, cause in the end it is not, it is cheaper!

This is the year of Linux on the desktop! Finally! (1)

BumbaCLot (472046) | about 7 months ago | (#46644037)

Chrombook is Linux rite?

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop! Final (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 7 months ago | (#46644309)

Chrombook is Linux rite?

It is Gentoo. :) Well, in the same sense that Ubuntu is Debian...

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop! Final (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 7 months ago | (#46645179)

Chrombook is Linux rite?

Yes and no. All you see is the chrome browser, however there is Linux underneath.

If you disable OS verification you can install a full Linux on it, ChrUbuntu.

More Savings, More Doing (1)

Art3x (973401) | about 7 months ago | (#46644163)

From the article:

The council was previously running 3,500 Windows XP desktops and 800 XP laptops

and is much happier now.

Biggest saving is... (2)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about 7 months ago | (#46644175)

2300 Chrome machines vs. 4300 XP machines, I wonder what the true saving are. Since the totals doesn't add up, what did they do eliminate 2000 workers and 2000 machines, or are they going to make 2000 workers use pen and paper or am I missing some here?

Re:Biggest saving is... (4, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | about 7 months ago | (#46644373)

2300 Chrome machines vs. 4300 XP machines, I wonder what the true saving are. Since the totals doesn't add up, what did they do eliminate 2000 workers and 2000 machines, or are they going to make 2000 workers use pen and paper or am I missing some here?

No idea why the numbers changed (though it is pretty common in mass-update situations like this to audit workstation assignments and get rid of all the extra laptops that got requisitioned so that somebody could have two/etc).

However, I can easily see why a Chromebook is cheaper in a corporate environment, assuming it can run all your software. They're nearly zero-effort to deploy (just log in once using an admin account and it auto-provisions), self-update automatically, don't need antivirus, already have full-disk encryption and secure boot, and Google handles all the identity management. You only use them with remote applications (web or otherwise), so there is nothing to backup locally, and no retention issues with legal holds. Basically you can eliminate almost your entire workstation-management infrastructure, and the hardware isn't really any more expensive than what you'd otherwise purchase. If somebody breaks their laptop, they just go over to the supply closet and get a new one, log in, and in 30 seconds everything is auto-synced.

The catch is that you have to be able to run EVERYTHING in Chrome.

A chromebook gives any business a fairly complete enterprise-level workstation management service for free. To get to all the management functions you need a Google Apps account, but even Grandma gets a laptop that can't get viruses, backs up everything important offsite automatically, auto-updates, and which is fully encrypted. That is a whole bunch of software/configuration/caretaking if you want to do it on Windows.

Re:Biggest saving is... (2)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46644559)

If you RTFA you would have seen that a sizeable fraction of their staff had both a desktop and a laptop, and will only be receiving a chromebook as a replacement. Some workers will be updated to Windows 7 machines where they have applications that are not available in web based or Citrix based environments.

Re:Biggest saving is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644653)

I have 5000+ users at my work. With some uber-rare applications .. everything can run on Citrix that is not web based.
Pretty sure that will be the case if/when we go to ESX VDI .

Re:Biggest saving is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645409)

Holy cow, it's like they put Windows RT on a laptop!

Re:Biggest saving is... (1)

matbury (3458347) | about 7 months ago | (#46645539)

Beware of any statements like, "don't need antivirus" and "gets a laptop that can't get viruses"

Re:Biggest saving is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645983)

Why? Never had an anti-virus on my non Windows systems. 30 years now. Never had a virus. It's about understanding your environment and limiting what the software should do.

Now I wouldn't recommend it for most. Some people turn off anti-virus software because they can't open the new email aunt Betty sent over. Some people just can't understand why auto-executing a USB key is such a bad idea. They are the same people who want the CD/DVD to start when they load it.

Userland software should not run as administrator/root/system period. NO exceptions. Email should never auto execute... and so on.

Re:Biggest saving is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46646221)

How do you know you don't have a virus if you never check for one? Personally I don't care if a virus gets admin access on my machine, all my important data is in userland and everything under admin is easily replaced. Gone are the days when viruses trash your hardware. Some viruses are even nice enough to take out other viruses.

Though I don't run anti-virus software too, so I should probably shut up.

Re:Biggest saving is... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 7 months ago | (#46646521)

The requirement of stuff like Google Apps account and having Google do your identity management, will be a huge turn-off for many corporations. Unless Google has an option to have these services all in-house.

Especially when it comes to sensitive data (and not just medical, my personal financial records for example I don't want out in the open either) I'd like to keep it at home. Not unencrypted on someone else's cloud. And definitely not in some foreign country, where organisations like an NSA are active.

Something's fishy... (1, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | about 7 months ago | (#46644187)

1. They're replacing 4,300 Windows machines with 2,300 Chrome machines. Why is the number of boxes cut nearly in half?
2. Did they factor in the cost of Google Apps?
3. Did they factor in the issue of retraining and other migration costs?

Bet they didn't. Bet they just said they can stop buying Windows boxes and that's all there is to the cost.

Re:Something's fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644271)

If you need to re-train to use a chromebox, something is wrong.

Re:Something's fishy... (2)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 7 months ago | (#46645131)

You don't do training with end-users much, do ya? ;-)

Re:Something's fishy... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644341)

You didn't read the article.

What they are actually doing is using Windows 7, and Office on virtual desktops and connecting using Citrix from Chomebooks.

The reduction in machines comes from employees only having a chrome books rather than a laptop and a desktop.

I highly doubt this will save any money the headline figure is probably due to different pots of money being used for different infrastructure.

Re:Something's fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644367)

there is no learning cycle.
they can reduce the numbers because they no longer need dumb client servers.

Dumb clients are actually extremely costly to run and extremely inefficient and costly to run, they can cut out 2000 servers just for running the web storage of files and administration...

Re:Something's fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644427)

4. Did they factor in the issue of privacy?

Re:Something's fishy... (1)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46644617)

They probably didn't factor in the cost of Google Apps; however, one has to ask, how does that compare to Enterprise licensing for Microsoft Office and the server licenses to support Exchange, Active Directory and file server(s)?

Re:Something's fishy... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644849)

If you've ever sacrificed enough goats to divine the proper licensing you need to purchase from microsoft, you'll know the money they save /on software liscence cost alone/ will cover the hardware cost of even premium chromebooks 2 or 3 times over.

By the time you get done with Windows, Windows server, device/user CALS, Desktop services CALS, Systems management, etc hardware costs seem trivial.

Re:Something's fishy... (2)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#46645843)

Since the other option was moving from XP to Windows 8, retraining was going to happen either way.

The count was reduced because some employees who had a laptop and a desktop will have just the laptop now. Probably because modern laptops are just as good as a desktop for many applications.

Because Google never just abandoned a project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644195)

It saves them the money now but what about when Google can't chase that squirrel anymore? I'm sure just like Microsoft they will extend the deadline like they have in the past...

Thanks Google, I just had to defend Microsoft. Thats just, well, evil. Boo.

This can work, if you don't mind change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644255)

I won't be so negative on Chromebook's. Having owned a couple myself and have seen them do OK in educational settings. I think everyone today is weighing costs vs longevity and usability. My only question to London Council is don't expect Chromebooks to outlast those XP PC's you claim are so expensive. I think they are thinking short term gains without looking at long term costs. I know after 6 months my Samsung Chromebook died, then I bought a Acer Chromebook and it was awful for WiFi range and dropped signal a lot. Like I said, I am not going to totally bash Chromebook's and Chromebox's. Its a viable alternative if the hardware lasts as long as PC's. I am concerned that many of the Chromebook's I have worked with. Do not appear to be sturdy enough for the kind of use in business, government or classroom's.

Re:This can work, if you don't mind change (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 7 months ago | (#46645185)

I work in K12 schools. We've moved from the smaller Samsungs to the 14-inch HP Chromebook. It feels like a much more substantial machine and it's a hell of a lot faster. We've just started with them so I can't vouch for how they are going to do once we let the kids get ahold of them for a while. Of course at no more than $327 a pop, we can afford to replace them a lot easier than a Windows laptop.

This is nuts (0)

sgage (109086) | about 7 months ago | (#46644257)

Insanity. Putting government business in a Googly cloud (or any other corporate cloud) is Barking mad. Hopefully it is as a previous poster has suggested - trying to extort a cheaper license deal out of MS. The notion of govenment workers on Chromebooks is insanity.

Re:This is nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644633)

American Revolution - 1775...

Re:This is nuts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644877)

Insanity. Putting government business in a Googly cloud (or any other corporate cloud) is Barking mad. Hopefully it is as a previous poster has suggested - trying to extort a cheaper license deal out of MS. The notion of govenment workers on Chromebooks is insanity.

You didn't read the article :)

The really amazing thing... (3, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | about 7 months ago | (#46644327)

The really amazing thing is that one small Borough of London apparently employs over 2300 admin workers.
No wonder our taxes are so high.

Re:The really amazing thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645093)

Population 187k. About the size of Salt Lake City, whose city government employs more than 3,000. So pretty typical.

Except that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645785)

London is also one of the worlds financial/trade capitols. I'm no expert but wouldn't that have something to do with it? I bet they employ less people than NYC even under Republican mayor Bloomburg.

Re:The really amazing thing... (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 7 months ago | (#46645137)

It does seem like a lot of people, one has to assume that there is only one system per person (there could be overlap with the Chromebooks for people that require portability). In 2011 the borough had a population of 187,000. 2,300 admin positions would be 1.23% of the population..

The unreasonable thing is being able to go from 3,500 XP desktops to a number closer to 2,000. I'd like to know how the number of total system can be reduced by 35% or more??? Maybe they are counting a warehouse of retired systems (which would be an unfair comparison)?

The reduction does not compute...

Re:The really amazing thing... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 7 months ago | (#46645311)

Just a guess but I'm wondering if they're also cutting back on some community/social program that includes provision of PCs and/or internet access as a public service.

Re:The really amazing thing... (4, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46645405)

The really amazing thing is that one small Borough of London apparently employs over 2300 admin workers.
No wonder our taxes are so high.

Your taxes are high because the Square Mile in London pays no (as in Zero) taxes.

There's your problem.

Go after the giant gaping hole in your budget, not the smaller one that is admin.

Don't get too excited (0)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 7 months ago | (#46644357)

Microsoft makes money on Android and probably ChromeOS

This will not end well (1)

enigmatic (122657) | about 7 months ago | (#46644453)

I actually think that replacing them with WindowsRT surface units would be better,
if they must go that way. There are some from other manufacturers that are laptops
running WindowsRT.

Putting Linux on the existing hardware would also make more sense, at least
its well established and can run full versions of available software in addition to
running Chrome apps. that would save them even more money.

But throwing out machines that could run a free operating system and replacing
them with brand new Chromebooks, that are very limited in processor capacity
and memory. Figuring that every document will be stored in the cloud somewhere
so that is not a concern.

What are the enterprise tools available for Chromebooks? Can you remotely
push configurations to the machines, make a change and push out new ones?

Are they going with Office 365 then? To use from their Chromebooks?

Re:This will not end well (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 7 months ago | (#46644507)

I actually think that replacing them with WindowsRT surface units would be better,
if they must go that way. There are some from other manufacturers that are laptops
running WindowsRT.

Windows RT is basically a bad hobbled version of Windows. Now Windows Pro tablets, on the other hand...

Re:This will not end well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644713)

the "configurations to the machines" are the result of the Citrix connections.
On MY chrome book I have this big ICON on the desktop. Click it and off to a Citrix 6.x farm
Or I can goto chrome.

It really needs little remote admin - kind of like an electrical outlet - it just works.

Re:This will not end well (4, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 7 months ago | (#46644861)

Personally in our organization we like to save money but we also view buying a laptop as a very low cost expense. When an employee costs $100-$200k to employ (overhead, office space, janitorial, taxes, healthcare etc) a $1,000 system every 2 years or so is a tiny drop in the bucket.

At $150k / 40 hour weeks * 48 weeks = $79 per hour.

At that rate it only takes 10 hours of time savings before the computer (or $1,000 software) is "free". 10 hours sounds like a lot but if your employee has to wait 2 minutes a day for 2 years for a slow process you're looking at over $1,000 in wasted time. 2 minutes a day is a very very low bar for achievement.

Instead of trumpeting how much they saved on licensing fees, I would ask how much time they are saving--or are they? Is this just the IT department triumphantly cutting their budget or HR picking up the expense of extra employees to do the same work. That's the headline I would be interested in. If this saved them having 2 employees then they would save 400,000 pounds. If it meant they needed 3 more employees then they not only replaced the upgrade fees but actually increased their net budget.

I would suspect that WindowsRT like you say would probably be the easiest transition. I would argue that more than 2 minutes per day would be lost to Linux "hiccups" and confusion.

Re:This will not end well (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 7 months ago | (#46646527)

If you're worried about gaining two minutes a day by getting faster computer hardware, maybe you should first have a look at the coffee machine. I bet there's much more of a time saving to be found there.

Can always install Linux on the chromebooks ... (2)

perpenso (1613749) | about 7 months ago | (#46645237)

Putting Linux on the existing hardware would also make more sense ...

Perhaps for PC desktops but for PC laptops you are much more likely to have glitchy or unsupported hardware of some sort, ex. wifi.

And if Chrome doesn't work out you can install a full Linux on the chromebooks and you will have a complete and working set of drivers, there is a Linux under that Chrome.

Re:This will not end well (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#46645317)

Windows RT is a locked down version of the real Windows 8 (fine) but it comes with a consumer version of Office without Access and other stuff, and can't join a domain (and can't share files like Windows home editions are able to) and can't get GPOs applied.

They're using the Chromebooks as thin clients anyway. Windows runs on the server farm. If web browsing is allowed on the Chrome boxen, using the Chrome browser for your errands and looking up stuff etc. is pretty elegant, as the big strain on CPU and RAM resources that can entail is on the local machine and not the server that streams desktop to dozens users.

Got me a Chromebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644457)

Using it right now, and this is about the extent of using it. It's like 1/2 step up from the netbook, or maybe it's 1/2 a step down

Re:Got me a Chromebook (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 7 months ago | (#46645099)

Which one are you using. Some of the smaller Samsungs are weak sauce. The 4GB HP Chromebook 14s we are using at my school district are pretty smoking machines.

Why?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46644683)

At least go with a linux distro! Not that awful chrome "OS".

No Clippy for you, London! (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46645393)

Oh, wait, that's a feature.

Never mind.

GREAT MOVE ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645557)

Whilst I would have preferred MAC or Linux I have to congratulate them. This is a fantastic move. However, I bet they get SAM audited - Microsoft does that to everyone who tries to defy them.

Re:GREAT MOVE ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46645845)

Chromebooks are an ideal solution for the majority of office workers especially if they already primarily access productivity applications via Citrix or an equivalent remote desktop application. Even if they move to application suites in the cloud the use of Chromebooks makes even more sense from a support perspective.

Why from one pit of snakes to another? (3, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 7 months ago | (#46646129)

Moving from MSFT is a great move but jumping into Google's camp is a bad move. It's trading one set of evils/problems with another. A few years ago I would have said great move but Google lately has started to become a more smiling version of Apple and Microsoft and frankly is pushing their commercial interests above that of open computing. London Council can be proud of saving money but in a few years I think we'll be hearing another headline that they're switching to something else.

Failzo8s (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46646361)

he4d spi8ning than its Windows
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