Migrating a Business to Linux — 14

In our migration efforts we do not plan to migrate all computers away from Windows to Ubuntu MATE.

All laptops? Yes, highly likely.

Workstations? No. The two main office workstations will remain Windows. Sometime in the upcoming months those systems will move to Windows 10. Why? The business is deeply dependent upon QuickBooks Pro. There is no meaningful free/libre equivalent. There isn’t. Don’t try to argue otherwise. No, forget running such a mission critical program in WINE. Not going to happen.

What about running Ubuntu MATE as a host operating system and running Windows 10 as a virtual machine (VM)? Technically doable but the office workers spend much of the day in QuickBooks Pro. The idea of using a computer-in-a-computer would be confusing to them. Such an idea might offer geek creds but has no practical merit.

Instead we will try to migrate other apps to free/libre solutions. Firefox has been the default web browser for many years in the office and presents no migration issues. LibreOffice is another example, but we have at least one MS Access database. Any office suite migration will not be black-and-white. The way Outlook is used by the office workers is rather basic. Migrating to Thunderbird is doable.

To our benefit, we are not using Active Directory, Exchange, or groupware.

A key with such efforts will be migrating apps one at a time. The office workers are good at managing the office flow but are not tech savvy and never will be and don’t want to be. Introducing such changes to these users needs to be done methodically and slowly.

Doesn’t really matter what the fanboys think or shout. Human comfort zones and familiarity rule the day, even in a small business with less than 10 employees. In business people use computers as tools and nothing more. Computers are not hobbies. Move slowly. Users will accept incremental changes along with training. Too much too fast and the proverbial Hell breaks loose.

One way or another in our migration, Windows will remain on the two office systems.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Firefox, Migrate, Ubuntu

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