Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft contract win put down to Linux skills shortage

Filed under

Microsoft may find a monopoly on developers will help it maintain its grip on the software market in the face of Linux alternatives.

Redmond is currently touting the roll-out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) of Microsoft's server and back-end technology in its e-commerce driven online portal as a win over Linux, the platform on which the site originally ran.

But Richard Carlson, Head of Business Systems, RICS, said that the decision to go with Microsoft was taken very early on before the job was put out to tender - on the basis that RICS' in-house developers were in the main Microsoft coders.

'There was no religious argument that we went through,' said Carlson. 'As the head of IT I had to make an objective strategic decision.

'Really it was down to we had a lack of skills in-house. We have very good Microsoft skills, but with Linux we were less comfortable.

We had to ask whether our developers can do this under Linux? Do they want this technology? How does it affect their career development?

Carlson said he saw the site upgrade as starting from the ground up and that there was no sense of eschewing Linux in favour of Microsoft: the tender for the contract went out on the understanding the systems would be Microsoft-based in the first place.

He described the original site as a 'brochure' site: a single point solution that simply hosted information for others to view with 'everything in one pot'.

But the new site is vastly more complicated - including contextual areas or zones where users have access to different services depending on their status, complex information gathering tools linked in with Microsoft back-end systems, and e-commerce facilities - essentially to sell RICS books and conference tickets.

Microsoft Commerce Server 2002 and Content Management Server 2002 handle front end processes and content. These have been linked into back-office systems, using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004

'There were two main functions [for the new site]. One, we needed the provision of monitoring and managing information, and two, our commercial activities. Also we needed to be able to integrate these into our back end systems,' said Carlson.

Existing back end systems were already built using Microsoft SQL 2000 in the main - another reason for the early decision to go with Microsoft for the online system.

Nick McGrath, head of platform strategy for Microsoft in the UK, said to expect a strong dominance of Microsoft-skilled programmers in the future too: 'Most go where there is a mainstream of code,' he said, and described Linux as an 'exceptionally complex technology'.

This could prove a barrier to Linux adoption in the public sector which is being heavily targeted by Linux vendors but which is traditionally a Microsoft shop. Although attracted by access to code and the economic efficiencies of moving to 'free' software due to limited budgets, they may think twice when it comes to adopting new technologies with which their in-house developers are uncomfortable.

Matt Whipp at pcpro.

More in Tux Machines

Tech Webinar: Knox Tizen Wearable SDK – October 27, 2016

Here is something for our developer community out there who are Interested in the Knox Tizen Wearable SDK. Tomorrow, there is a special Webinar taking place online entitled Build powerful and secure apps on the Samsung Gear S3. Wearables are growing in popularity in the enterprise space and many businesses are seeing the benefit of Integrating a wearable device into their business processes. In the consumer market they are doing well, as only yesterday we reported that Samsung had a Year over Year growth of 9% to currently have 15% of the smartwatch market, whilst the majority of other vendors saw their market share decline. Apple has been severely hit with almost a 72% decline. Read more

Open Source Operating Systems for IoT

Over the past decade, the majority of new open source OS projects have shifted from the mobile market to the Internet of Things. In this fifth article in our IoT series, we look at the many new open source operating systems that target IoT. Our previous posts have examined open source IoT frameworks, as well as Linux- and open source development hardware for IoT and consumer smart home devices. But it all starts with the OS. In addition to exploring new IoT-focused embedded Linux-based distributions, I’ve included a few older lightweight distributions like OpenWrt that have seen renewed uptake in the segment. While the Linux distros are aimed primarily at gateways and hubs, there has been equivalent growth in non-Linux, open source OSes for IoT that can run on microcontroller units (MCUs), and are typically aimed at IoT edge devices. Read more

New Cortex-M chips add ARMv8 and TrustZone

ARM launched its first Cortex-M MCUs with ARMv8-M and TrustZone security: the tiny, low-power Cortex-M23 and faster Cortex-M33. At the ARM TechCon show in Santa Clara, ARM unveiled two new Cortex-M microprocessors that will likely emerge as major Internet of Things workhorses over the coming decade, supplanting most existing Cortex-M designs. The Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 are also the first Cortex-M processors with ARMv8-M technology, enabling ARM TrustZone security, among other benefits. The TrustZone support is enabled via a new IoT-oriented CoreLink SIE-200 network-on-chip, which adds IP blocks on top of the AMBA 5 AHB5 interface. ARM also announced a TrustZone CryptoCell-312 technology for creating secure SoCs based on ARMv8-M. Read more

OpenStack in the Headlines

  • From OpenStack Summit, Red Hat Reports That the Deployment Era is Here
    As noted here yesterday, OpenStack is here to stay in enterprises. A new study by 451 Research analysts shows that about 72 percent of OpenStack-based clouds are between 1,000 and 10,000 cores and three fourths choose OpenStack to increase operational efficiency and app deployment speed. Meanwhile, in conjunction with OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Red Hat is out with very notable results from its polling of its OpenStack user base. Its study found that production deployments increased hugely in the last year, according to a survey of 150 information technology decision makers and professionals carried out by Red Hat.
  • You can run the same programs on 16 different OpenStack clouds
    Cloud companies like to talk about about how you can avoid vendor lock-in. And OpenStack just showed how to make it happen. Sixteen different vendors did a live demo at OpenStack Summit showing that you could run the same software stack on 16 separate OpenStack platforms.
  • ​Where OpenStack cloud is today and where it's going tomorrow
    The future looks bright for OpenStack -- according to 451 Research, OpenStack is growing rapidly to become a $5-billion-a-year cloud business. But obstacles still remain.
  • ​Mirantis OpenStack: The good news and the bad news
    Mirantis recently signed a major deal with NTT, but the company is also laying off some of its employees.
  • The World Runs on OpenStack
    The OpenStack Summit keynotes got underway the morning of October 25, with Mark Collier, Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation, declaring that the world runs on OpenStack.
  • Study: OpenStack is Marching Forward in Enterprises
    How fast is the OpenStack global cloud services market growing? Research and Markets analysts came out with a new report recently that forecasts the global OpenStack cloud market to grow at a CAGR of 30.49% during the period 2016-2020. Many enterprises now have large scale OpenStack deployments, and in conjunction with this week's OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, new study results are shedding light on exactly how entrenched this open cloud platform is in enteprises. The bottom line is: OpenStack is here to stay in enterprises. OpenStack deployments are getting bigger. Users are diversifying across industries. Enterprises report using the open source cloud software to support workloads that are critical to their businesses. These are among the findings in a recent study by 451 Research regarding OpenStack adoption among enterprise private cloud users. About 72 percent of OpenStack-based clouds are between 1,000 and 10,000 cores and three fourths choose OpenStack to increase operational efficiency and app deployment speed. The study was commissioned by the OpenStack Foundation. Here are some of the companies discussing their OpenStack deployments in Barcelona: Banco Santander, BBVA, CERN, China Mobile, Comcast, Constant Contact, Crowdstar, Deutsche Telekom, Folksam, Sky UK, Snapdeal, Swisscom, Telefonica, Verizon, Volkswagen, and Walmart. You can find some of the specific deployment stories from the companies at the OpenStack User Stories page.