Tattersalls dumps Linux 'complexity' for Microsoft

Gaming giant Tattersalls has decided to dump four Linux operating systems in favour of a Microsoft counterpart across its Maxgaming business.

Gaming giant Tattersalls has decided to dump four Linux operating systems in favour of a Microsoft counterpart across its Maxgaming business.

Maxgaming currently uses four separate platforms for its gaming products and intends on consolidating these into a single Microsoft platform over the next six years, according to a newspaper report.

The project is expected to cost AU$43 million, of which AU$30.7 million will be spent on new hardware for its operations in NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory, The Australian said.

Chief information officer Stephen Lawrie said a labyrinth of software licenses resulting from recent mergers made it impractical to retain any of its multiple Linux-based platforms. He said the company chose Windows to streamline gaming product development.

"Realistically we needed a platform where we could deploy things consistently across the whole marketplace. The way systems are [currently] we can't take a product which we might have in Queensland and deploy it in Sydney easily," said Lawrie.

Michael Warrilow, analyst at research company Hydrasight, said a major benefit from a gaming development perspective is the larger supply of Microsoft developers compared to Linux.

However, he said the argument for standardising on a single platform can also be applied to Linux, with a number of major retailers already looking at Unix and Linux-based platforms on which to develop proprietary software.

Warrilow said he is aware of at least one major Australian retailer using the Linux-based Retailix platform.

"They are also intending to use this solution across multiple retail brands so the 'one platform' argument that Tattersalls are using can also be applied the other way. That is, a single platform of Linux point-of-sale devices versus single platform of Windows gaming machines," he told ZDNet Australia.

Warrilow added that it would be interesting if Tattersalls decided to deploy technology used in Microsoft's Surface -- a 30 inch table top display that allows users to manipulate data without the use of a mouse or other controls.