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ATT evaluating Windows alternatives, Mac OS X

updated 02:15 am EDT, Wed October 6, 2004

ATT considering OS X

ATT is evaluating different operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X, as alternatives to Windows for internal use, according to CNET "The company's chief information officer, Hossein Eslambolchi, has set up a team in AT&T's research labs to assess the appropriateness of desktop operating systems for the company, AT&T spokesman Michael Dickman said Thursday. The company currently uses Windows on its desktop PCs, which number in the tens of thousands. The engineers are testing and measuring how Windows, Linux and Mac OS X stack up on security, reliability and total cost of ownership."

by MacNN Staff





  1. brianosaurus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Choose Linux!

    OK, maybe not a popular choice here, but AT&T should really choose Linux.

    It would be sweet irony, in the face of SCO's case, if AT&T, the real inventor of unix, switched their entire enterprise to Linux.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    choose what is best...

    ... for their goals.

    irony shoudn't drive business decisions. in any case, windoze should be dumped. OS X or Linux/UNIX are viable alternatives.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Macs Run them ALL!!!

    Macs can run Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, Linux and Windows (in emulation). Couple that with XServes and Mac OS X stability and security and it's a no-brainer.

    You can BET AT&T won't buy $499 Brand X computers, so the mythic "cheaper" PC wouldn't be an issue.

  1. blidd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who ever wins the

    evaluation. U will be sure the winner will be bracking about it.

  1. John Dwight

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can't wait to read the followup. If OS X is secure enough for Richard Clark, it's good enough for me.

    Reading the Editor's column in the new MacAddict, about the headaches at parent Imagine Media's IT in supporting Windows, you have to wonder if IT will ever get a clue.

    I worked in gov't. where it's expected to choose the most expensive, least practical, and most unreliable solution; hence the push to standardize on Windows at the Smithsonian. Lotsa downtime for sure.

  1. purpleshorts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac = Win

    I don't know exactly where my email files end up, my computer asks me if I am sure I want to shut down, and my keyboard is missing its power key... All the annoying things about Windows are now included in the Mac OS! Once we get a few good viruses, we're THERE! Heresy, I know, but I see evidence that the drift toward mediocrity has begun.

  1. merloon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    total cost is the key

    It wouldn't surprise me if AT&T went to Linux, considering that their PC inventory numbers "in the tens of thousands." Those same machines can run Linux, which would mean no additional hardware investment. I'm not familiar with the IT costs of running a Linux shop, so I can't speak to support costs relative to going all Mac.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Total Cost of Ownership

    It would be intesting if (and how) they are going to determine the total cost of ownership for each alternative. Given the timeframe, it looks like they are serious about looking at the long term costs.

    Of course, the problem for large corporations contemplating switching is that they typically have many home-brewed applications that only run on Windows. And they love the fact that they have so much control in modifying Windows and Windows apps. Ironcially, this is the exact same "capability" that makes virus and hacking such a large threat on Windows. (Unfortunately, in my experience, most end-users find these customizations more annoying that useful, but IT folks love the control and are very reluctant to give it up.)

  1. jscotta

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have to agre with merlo

    Merloon is on to the most logical answer. Even if OS X was the hands-down winner, it will not be choosen simply because of the cost to replace huge numbers of hardware. While LINUX can be purchased as a site license and installed across their current hardware making it seem much cheaper.

    I say "seems" much cheaper because that is neglecting the time to install (even with network based installers) and trouble shoot all the installations the technicians will have to do. If it were practical to accurate to get all the costs in place, then the Macs might stand a chance. But it is not.

  1. mbryda

    Joined: Dec 1969


    OSX Makes the most sense

    ATT, like most corp's probably uses a lot of M$ Office. So, since Office is not available for Linux (and Open Office has a large learning curve), OSX would have the lowest TCO.

    Also, add to that the seemless (relatively) integration of OSX into Windows infrastructure and you see that it's a great fit. You can migrate people over as their computers come due for replacement so it's not like it will be a total replace of all systems.

    I would love to see either of them at ATT - would show many people a migration from Windows is possible and has a lower TCO (when you factor in reduced support).

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