In the Slow Lane

Legions of laggards aren't jumping on the latest OS bandwagons.

The trade press is very, very good at reporting what the leading-edge users are doing. When Unilever said it would move to Linux in a big way, for example, Computerworld reporter Todd R. Weiss was all over it . And rightly so.

But my hunch is that for every Unilever, there are thousands of IT operations that haven't dipped their toes in the Linux waters and might even be a little scared to do so. Or maybe their Linux use is limited to a few servers and they're wondering how to dive in and swim with the penguins.

Similarly, the trade press is very good at covering the companies that move to IBM's latest z/OS operating system or Microsoft's newest version of Windows Server. But what about the rest - the folks sticking with older OS versions, often for mighty good reasons? If the leading-edge IT users are comparable to the cultural trendsetters in California or Paris, what about Peoria?

In terms of sheer numbers, about 80% of the mainframes out there are running IBM's older OS/390 operating system. And Microsoft itself estimates that up to 40% of the installed base for the Windows Server OS is using the older Windows NT Server 4.0. (Why? Because it's reliable, and it's hard to cost-justify a disruptive upgrade.)

That's why this special report has stories for Linux newcomers and OS/390 users under pressure to migrate to z/OS, and about users still on Windows NT. It's devoted to the hordes on the lagging edge.

Hello, Peoria!

Mitch Betts is director of Computerworld's Knowledge Centers. He can be contacted at mitch_betts@computerworld. com.

Read the entire Special Report

Special Report

Users in the OS Slow Lane

Stories in this report:

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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