Could You Get Fired for Not Choosing Linux?

Column written by Jesse Burst on Saturday, July 25, 1998

from the oh-my-god-a-fud-free-editorial dept.

A few months ago I wrote an article entitled "Could You Get Fired for Choosing Linux?" I've regretted it ever since. I've been called everything from a "Microserf" to a... well, I can't repeat that here. Within hours of publishing that article, my mailbox had 2,000+ message in it, all from Linux advocates bent on World Domination. And I thought Amiga users were bad.

That wasn't the worst of it, though. Now it seems I was wrong. Dead Wrong. Last week I found out that an employee was fired for not choosing Linux.

Scott Barker, IT employee at a Proctor & Big Gamble factory in Cincinatti, OH was in charge of upgrading the company's old mainframes to make them Y2K complaint. After attending a Microsoft-sponsored workshop, he made a deal with Microsoft to upgrade the systems to Windows NT 4.0 at a 15% discount. The total cost was over $1.5 million for software alone.

Two months later Scott's boss reads about Linux in an InfoWorld article. "I did a double take, spilling my coffee in the process, after reading that Linux is just as powerful as NT but virtually free," the boss, Matt Kiyuck, said. "I realized that we could have saved millions of dollars in new software and hardware if we had gone with Linux instead of NT. Needless to say, Scott Barker received a pink slip the next day."

So, it seems I was wrong about this. Yes, Virginia, you can get fired for choosing Microsoft.

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