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Linux Business

Amazon: Linux Saved Us Millions 389

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-special dept.
Ian_Bailey writes: "ZDNet news presents another chapter in the Windows vs. Linux debate. Amazon.com claims that by switching to Linux, they were able to "cut technology expenses by about 25 percent, from $71 million to $54 million."" Lots of little bits in there. Nothing really new, but it's still nice.
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Amazon: Linux Saved Us Millions

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  • by MindTree (95218) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @11:57AM (#2502652) Homepage
    Doest this meen that I'm allowed to like amazon again?

  • by ekrout (139379) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @11:57AM (#2502655) Journal
    Breaking news just off of the wire -- A free operating system costs less than an operating system that you have to pay for! (Yes, I'm being fecetious (sp?))
  • more testimonials (Score:3, Interesting)

    by g8orade (22512) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @11:59AM (#2502669)
    Article [infoworld.com] at Infoworld tells how Boscov's Dept Store is saving a bundle.

    This article [computerworld.com] is really more about IBM, but mentions Winnebago the motor home maker switching from NT also.
    "Linux as pork bellies" the os as a commodity.
    • I like this quote:
      "We're putting 700 users on a mail system on top of Linux," says Dave Ennen, technical support manager at Winnebago Industries Inc. in Forest City, Iowa. "It's mission-critical."


      Oh, yeah. Like the email going down will cause Winnebagos to explode or something. I think they've been around for awhile and did just fine before they got email.

      • I think they've been around for awhile and did just fine before they got email.

        yep, probably,

        Almost just as likely they've completely forgotten those business practices that got them by prior to e-mail though.
  • quote of the day. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:00PM (#2502676) Homepage

    With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

    too bad that they only supply patches when the problem is absolutely demanding it. I don't really see MS going out and patching all these machines.

    From the article MS had very little to say about this whole ordeal. They kept going back to the "it's free, sure, but you will pay in the long run." no. I will never pay. It is going to cause me the same, if not less problems in the long run, especially w/new licensing issues.

    As far as it is usually for low end servers. Anyone see the IBM commercials lately?
    • by rfsayre (255559) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:18PM (#2502787) Homepage
      " you will pay in the long run"

      Obviously, Microsoft's licensing scheme is far superior. With them, you pay throughout the short-term, the forseeable future, and even the long run. Basically, you'll constantly pay for your Operating System as well as any "service" you decide you need (Word, Excel). Sounds less like a utility and more like protection money.
      • by zerocool^ (112121) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @01:08PM (#2503108) Homepage Journal
        With them, you pay throughout the short-term, the forseeable future, and even the long run.

        You're modded up as funny, but you've hit on a key point... from the article: "But there are hidden costs to Linux, Microsoft argues. 'I think a lot of customers are lured by the apparent low price of Linux,'"
        I'm not lured to linux by the apparent low price of anything. I'm lured by the actual free price. This whole thing with "you'll pay in the long run" is rediculous. Yeah, you'll pay in the long run. You'll pay to keep your distro up to date - a tech support guy has to type apt-get update every coupla days. Or, heaven forbid, once every 2 years, you'll want to bust down $60 at best buy for the "enterprise" edition of whatever distro you want.

        Now, microsoft... Even before .NET, if you bought an OS from them in 98, then you needed another one in 99 (98se), another one in 2000 (Me), and another one in 2001 (XP) plus numerous hardware upgrades. So, the average cost of those software upgrades is $75 Per Boxen, and probably $100 in hardware upgrades, again, per box.

        I just fail to see where the "pay in the log run" comes into linux that it doesn't come into windows.
        • Of course this got modded up on /., but you are way off the mark here. I'm not arguing Amazon's claims - I'm arguing your logic.

          First, when MS talks about the "apparent" low price, they are talking about TCO. Sure, you can say that Linux has a lower TCO then MS, but MS is claiming otherwise. I've seen good studies from both sides of the zealotry, and I can say that Linux is NOT free by any means. I will agree, however, that which OS has a lower TCO (for which situation) is arguable at best. Regardless, looking at the initial price (or "upgrade" prices) is trivializing the bigger picture.

          Second, You claim the purchase of a new OS almost every year. You must be kidding yourself. I bought Win95, Win98 (first edition), and Win2000. I didn't by Win95OSR2, or Win98SE, WinME, or even WinXP. I never had any problem running software with this reasonable 3 year OS upgrade path. To say that you NEED to upgrade every year with MS software is intellectually dishonest.
      • Obviously, Microsoft's licensing scheme is far superior. With them, you pay throughout the short-term, the forseeable future, and even the long run. Basically, you'll constantly pay for your Operating System as well as any "service" you decide you need (Word, Excel). Sounds less like a utility and more like protection money.

        They're providing a good service for Linux with this new licensing scheme. Businesses are used to a licensing and upgrading schedule, of course, but Microsoft's new plan sounds much harsher than previous licensing. This will be an added incentive to switch to Linux. But think of the consumer. Consumers don't want to "license" something, they want to buy it. If Microsoft moves to a truly subscription based licensing program for consumers, it's going to kill them. I know people who haven't updated their Win95 boxes because they haven't felt they needed the "features." Think of what will happen when Microsoft literally forces consumers to buy an upgrade for their OS, even if they don't want it. People won't be so complacent then. One thing people don't like having played around with is their hard earned money. Consumers won't stand for a subscription based schedule for software, you watch. They want to own something, not rent it. I sincerely hope Microsoft goes through with these plans. It will be fun to watch them squirm when no one is buying their software.
      • by Micah (278) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @05:24PM (#2504458) Homepage Journal
        Microsoft: "Use Windows instead of Linux. It's guaranteed to produce more revenue!"

        IT Guys: "So how is Windows guaranteed to produce more revenue for our business?

        Microsoft: "Oh, suddenly this is about your business."

        ...adapted from a Dilbert strip...
    • With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

      You beat me to the punch :)

      That's the best quote I've seen yet from MicroCrap! Haha! What are they thinking? The reason RedHat and others exist isn't to make money off of providing the software, it's to make money off of companies who are willing to hand off the support and service of the OS to RedHat and others. They're just pissed because mainstream online outlets keep releasing more news stories about how businesses, especially bigger and bigger ones, are jumping on the Linux bandwagon. Small business is what WinXP is supposed to be targeting I thought, but obviously Linux is starting to cut into their stranglehold on the corporate market, big and small.

      If MS can just keep up that kind of ridiculous rhetoric, Linux converts will have nothing to worry about. People will flock to Linux when they hear like this kind of news about how much Linux is saving companies versus the old MicroCrap Windows OS'. Besides, it's the intial press release reaction to money savings that investors will remember, not the 'long term affects'. MS knows it, and tries to disperse FUD during each new pro-Linux article so that people don't forget that Microsoft exists and is there to tell them "Where do you want to go today?!"

    • Re:quote of the day. (Score:3, Informative)

      by mjh (57755)
      With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

      Yeah, and it works great in debian:
      echo deb http://security.debian.org/ potato/updates main contrib non-free >> /etc/apt/sources.list
      apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

      Let's see: dependancy management, security updates. What exactly was it that Linux doesn't do?

    • Re:quote of the day. (Score:2, Informative)

      by JennyWL (93561)
      With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said.

      Whereas with Microsoft, customers end up being in the system support business, managing software updates and security patches (after yet another vulnerability has been revealed by yet another widespread exploit) while hoping that someone else has made sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other. What was his point again?
  • by DouglasA (31173) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:02PM (#2502692)

    With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

    Interesting comment from MS's Miller, seeing as how so many of us running MS servers have wasted untold numbers of hours fighting off the Code Red & variant worms. Yeah, there was a patch available before the storm came (and my servers were ready, anyway), but if MS is claiming that it's their "job" to manage updates & patches, they're not doing a very good one, IMHO.

    • "Interesting"? Surely you've seen the same line a million times from Microsoft already -- it stopped being interesting or ironic a long time ago. Now it's just empty.

      /Brian
    • not to mention that a good number of MS "fixes" broke something else in the process.. if you want to talk about code red, i know a few people who had no choice but to deal with code red because the MS fix made their cdr's or printer/fax stop working.

      trading one bug for another is *not* a fix. The only thing microsoft has ever done right, was make computers more accessable to the non-technically inclined. but thats all IMHO really..

    • by ajs (35943)
      No, Microsoft is right. Of course, it's a little like saying, "with Linux, you end up having to suffer huge up-times."

      Of course, you end up being in the OS business. You have the source. You have the ear of the developers. You get to call the shots. You can be as involved or as passive as you like. If you're a large firm, why not hire a couple of developers to make fixes and contribute in the open source projects that you use most. It's cheaper than Microsoft licensing!

      Being able to get into the OS business is one of the strongest advantages of open source for the "enterprise" world....

      As for managing conflicts... dunno. I monkey. I put CD in drive. I click install. I wait. I reboot. I done... next job. Linux make I work easy.

  • Not my job (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheFlu (213162) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:02PM (#2502694) Homepage
    "With Linux, customers 'end up being in the operating systems business,' managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other,' Miller said. 'That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."


    Funny, that sounds very similar to what RedHat does as well.

  • by webword (82711) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:03PM (#2502697) Homepage
    (1) Hasn't really helped their stock price [yahoo.com]. They are still not profitable, and won't be for a while. They say that pro forma profitability should happen next quarter.

    (2) For curious folks, here is Amazon's Linux page [amazon.com].

    (3) Amazon uses Linux despite attacks [linuxtoday.com] by high profile people. However, when you get down to it, it is about money. They don't really give a shit about Linux itself. They don't have feelings for it. Don't forget that. It is about the money. (And the nookie. They did it all for the nookie, the nookie.)

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:10PM (#2502746) Homepage
      • [Amazon] don't really give a shit about Linux itself. They don't have feelings for it. Don't forget that. It is about the money

      As a corporate entity, sure, but it's been my experience that a switch from M$ to GNU/Linux requires an internal evangelist. The guys in charge of running the machines have to want to do it, otherwise they can come up with any number of reasons why it's not viable right now.

      Somebody in there is GNU/Linux friendly. Let's raise a glass to their health.

    • However, when you get down to it, it is about money. They don't really give a shit about Linux itself. They don't have feelings for it. Don't forget that. It is about the money.

      Well, yes...?
      [Insert any company name here] is actually more concerned about finding an effective, sustainable way to reduce their operating costs than about the social, spiritual, and aesthetic qualities of they tools that they employ to achieve that reduction.

      I may be interpreting webwords' comment incorrectly, but it sounds to me like "don't trust those corporate drones, they're only using Linux 'cause it's practical...they *should* be committed to Linux regardless of any financial considerations."

      If a major corporation makes the decision to switch to Linux because it is the cheapest and most effective solution for them, it means that those people who do "have feelings for" that operating system are doing their job...making the operating system an justifiable option for the many, many people who just want an OS that allows them to run their business effectively.

  • CNet Article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tim Macinta (1052) <twm@alum.mit.edu> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:03PM (#2502698) Homepage
    There's also a nice CNet article on the same topic [cnet.com].

    I've been thinking awhile about making an interactive price comparison web page for my website [kmfms.com] that would allow users to see how much they could save by switching from Windows to Linux. This is just a formative idea at the moment - if people have suggestions for this, please email me. Right now I'm thinking of something along the lines of a set of "wizard" pages that ask the user a series of questions about what software they want to run (and what hardware they have available) and keeps a running tally of the savings they would get with Linux over Windows.

    • Make sure you include a "Do you believe you have a competent IT staff?" y/n option in there. If they anser no, add at least 1,000 bucks / Linux install, cause thats what they'll end up spending on some consultant gettin it all running smoothly doing exactly what they want

      • Re:CNet Article (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mackertm (515083) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:25PM (#2502832)
        I'm so glad you pointed this out. It seems there are endless comparisons between Windows and Linux in terms of cost. But I think the thing that gets overlooked the most is how good the IT staff at any particular company/institution might be. If your support staff is good and knows Linux, I can certainly see where it would be possible to save heaps of money running Linux. But if your technology people don't know Linux, then just moving to Linx (be it only in the server space, or desktops, too) wouldn't save any money. The TCO in that case would be extraordinarily high. "Oh shit, we just installed Linux... Nothing works like we expected... What do we do now?"

        I think the biggest single factor in any Windows vs. Linux cost debate shouldn't be the simple fact that Linux is free. It should center around how competent an IT department you have, and whether or not they can pull off a Linux deployment that would save a particular company money.

        For reference, I'm more of a Windows person. The college I work at exclusively uses Windows computers. I run an IIS server for my personal website without any trouble. I have been starting to learn Linux, but right now I don't know nearly enough to successfully use it to run my website. And I think that's what it comes down to... The right people with the right knowledge can make Linux a LOT cheaper than Windows. If you don't have those people with that knowledge then it makes more sense to stick with Windows.

        • > But I think the thing that gets overlooked the most is how good the IT staff at any particular company/institution might be.

          If your IT staff sux0rs, you're going to get f0rked regardless of what OS you run.
        • Just jump in, the water's fine. You don't learn much by studying things to death or reading white papers -- you have to do real jobs, for real people. Your zoo can only take you so far.


          I'm not saying you turn your entire operation upside down. You pick a reasonably achievable goal, say migrate the servers from IIS/Windows to Apache/Unix and sic some of your brighter guys or gals on it. When they have things working pretty well, you have them bring some of the slower ones on board and show them the ropes. When that works, you give them another task, like migrate the IT department to thin client Linux. When that is working pretty well, you have them bring the lesser folks up to speed. Eventually the second tier people will get very comfortable at this kind of thing and the first tier ones will be quite unix-studly.


          The best way to do this kind of thing is to learn by doing -- otherwise, it's like learning a foreign language completely from books without every attempting to speak it. Some people don't want to try new things unless they've been certified and trained to a T. Well, no surprise, these aren't the people who are going to be leading your organization to new things. It's OK, they may do fine work when all the procedures, policies and methods have been laid out for them. You just put the people who aren't satisfied unless they learn two or three new things every day in charge of some projects, and keep the projects difficult but manageable so they don't spin out of control. If you don't have any of these people, you are in serious trouble if you are an IT shop.

      • Make sure you include a "Do you believe you have a competent IT staff?" y/n option in there. If they anser no, add at least 1,000 bucks / Linux install, cause thats what they'll end up spending on some consultant gettin it all running smoothly doing exactly what they want

        I must say that getting the OS to do "exactly what they want" would be much easier with Linux for the simple fact that Linux is much more customizable than Windows. I've customized my Linux machine to do exactly what I want and the same customizations in Windows would have taken much, much longer if they are even possible at all. As for running "smoothly", that's largely a matter of opinion, but I would argue that Windows is not something that even competent sysadmins can keep running smoothly when smoothly includes not crashing. Yes, XP might help to mitigate this seeing as how it is the first consumer version of Windows not built on top of the shakey foundation of DOS, but it is still a black box and if something goes wrong you simply can't fix it yourself and essentially have no real recourse unless you are a very big Microsoft customer.

        Anyway, I was thinking more of targetting home users who in all liklihood don't have an IT staff. Yes, there is definitely a learning curve associated with Linux, but I think that a lot of home users will be willing to invest their time if it means they save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in software. The other thing that makes Linux so compelling is that once they have invested their time in learning it, future upgrades are truly free - there is no new learning curve to master and there are no new licensing fees sent off to Redmond.

  • Note that they state it was a combination of the move to linux and lowered telco/comm costs. A minor, but important, point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:03PM (#2502703)
    Microsoft must position the MSFT stock as a growth stock. This means revenue growth of 10% per year. As revenues grow and the market beomces saturated, this beomces increasingly difficult to do and requires more draconian licensing and steeper fees.

    It was predicatable that sooner or later, without opening new and potentially large markets, Microsoft would have to gouge existing customers.

    The only thing that can bring Win2k and other enterprise software costs back in check would be a huge influx of revenues from XBox, MSN, and .Net services, three of the key new revenue initiatives at Microsoft.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      MS won (in my shop at least) over Novell/Unix originally because of cost. We were trying to save money by moving our entire operation over to the cheaper, and somewhat easier to setup, NT servers. They have now reached their apogee, and in large IT shops people are openly discussing what's next, because the licensing has gotten prohibitive. MS needs to change their business model to something else or they will simply not survive. When I can get a serious recommendation to evaluate Red Hat from my upper management, I know the winds of change are a blowin'.

      And I don't think they're going to make nearly as much money as they expect from XBox, MSN, or .Net. Their expertise at embracing and extending does not give them much leverage in a market (gaming) where key players have already solved all of the problems and have market share. I predict they are going to lose, and lose big.

    • Microsoft must position the MSFT stock as a growth stock.

      Microsoft is really going downhill [cnet.com] compared to other companies.
  • It's to laugh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pdqlamb (10952)
    'With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."'

    How many patches and updates have Microsoft published in the last year? And how many of those were pulled, because they weren't tested properly? I haven't had to re-install Linux on any of the boxes I admin since we went to RH 6.2. The MSCE-in-training down the hall can't say that about the last three months on his Windoze boxes. Imagine doing that for 100, 1,000, or even more! What fun! Thank you, Microsoft!

  • Sigh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kin_korn_karn (466864)
    When is someone going to build a new type of machine architecture (i.e. not Sparc, PC, or PPC, but maybe based on one of those chips) that is optimized for absolute reliability and the things that machines need to do today, and then use Linux as a base for their operating system?

    That's where the real value of Linux to the world is. You don't need 2+ years to write a proprietary operating system; someone else has done all the grunt work for you. Same goes for BSD, except BSD is more polished.
  • by malkavian (9512) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:04PM (#2502711) Homepage
    With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

    Ok, so, how does Microsoft make things that much easier than apt-get?
    On that command, on a debian box, I can quite happily make sure that my system is at it's best.
    All done, configured, sorted, working dependancies etc...
    This seems much easier than going to the MS website, hunting down all the latest upgrades, installing patches for all the seperate bits and pieces, having patches for one app kill half the rest, and ending up with your MS box in tatters...
    Really, this FUD is old hat by now... I wish they'd get a little more creative, and actually do a little research for once...

    Malk
    • This seems much easier than going to the MS website, hunting down all the latest upgrades, installing patches for all the seperate bits and pieces, having patches for one app kill half the rest, and ending up with your MS box in tatters...

      The part I liked best was when I went to update MS Office to SR2, and it told me I had to install all the SR1 patches first, and when I went to do that it told me I had to have an SR1 CD. "But I upgraded to SR1 online!", I said, "Isn't my SR0 CD enough for you?". When I gave up and ejected the CD I noticed it said SR1 on it...


  • Next: Ballmer says Amazon [amazon.com] is run by Communists [theregister.co.uk] !

    ;-)

  • I'm glad a big consumer name company is openly saying that they've switched to Linux and saved money. But this is just the beginning. As the slump proceeds and managers want to streamline expenses, Linux is the logical alternative. Most companies that don't write Windows only software are already using a generic library that doesn't tie them to windows. It might take a bit of a startup time to switch to Linux initially but once done, it's smooth. Linux is already a pleasure to program in and it'll only get better with time.
  • Considering Amazon's Financial Heath, every little bit helps. I don't buy from them often, but It's good to have that avenue open to shop. There was an article on Slashdot some time back about how Google has used BSD or Linux and lots of cheap PC's to build their successful search engine, good endorsements of non-Win engineering and cost-benefit.

    In another sad note, Computer Literacy, a well known geek bookstore has closed it's doors in San Jose, prefering to do all their business on the web as FatBrain (how do ideas for names like that survive the first round of puzzled looks?), a subsidiary of Barnes and Noble. I'll miss them, as I used to buy about twice as many books as I intended to, because looking through books tells me more about whether I can use it or not than any glowing review ever will. Saving a few bucks from FatBrain.com is no deal over actually having the book in hand. A pity and ironic as brick and mortar have demonstrated staying power and web sales, as illustrated by Amazon's continuing effort to stay afloat.

    • In another sad note, Computer Literacy, a well known geek bookstore has closed it's doors in San Jose

      That sux man. I remember many a happy afternoon "working" while browsing there - learned quite a bit.

      Fatbrain: this is a classic relic of the days when you couldn't get the "good dotcoms" anymore, but "building the brand" was still everything. So companies combined unrelated words: fatbrain, fogdog, doughnet, etc. Of course, since they're part of BN now they may not care, but I bet something as simple as "books.com" could be had cheap now.

  • Forever? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rmadmin (532701)
    Will this battle ever end? 5 Years ago I heard people telling me that Linux was going to take over as a desktop operating system, and squash Windows 95 technology. Well, I didn't believe them at the time, and I still dont see it happening. I don't think we should really worry about making 1 operating system the most popular. Just make it work, and make it interoperable with other operating systems. I like to use linux because it gives me alot of versatility, and also gives me a better view of my network when something goes wrong

    On the other hand, Microsoft's Media Player is pretty pimp considering it will open about any video compression scheme I throw at it.

    The operating system you use is your choice. Let the less savy use Windows, because thats what they want, an easy OS.

    • The operating system you use is your choice. Let the less savy use Windows, because thats what they want, an easy OS

      I would agree with you if Microsoft would be a little less anti-competitive and a little less "I want to own the web and all its protocols and have every business pay me for the privlage of using my protocols on my web to do a business transaction with a home user who is locked into my system that can only use my web"


      other wise I would have no issues with them

  • Linux should get a boost from companies looking to save money given the current economy. This article (and others sure to come) shows the value of Linux in a server situation.

    Where Linux can make real strides is in the workstation market. While I think Linux isn't quite ready for the "primetime" of the mass desktop market it hasn't made the push into workstations. I'm not sure if it's a lack of a killer app or "marketing".

    We know that Linux is used on high-end animation stations at many FX/animation studios but how many workstations running CAD/CAM/CAE, simulation, and other workstation like activities? That's were some major market share and cost savings can be had.
  • "With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft.""

    Seems to me like there's a good reply from Redhat in the makings here-- Redhat network comes to mind. Of course the rep's response is incredibly funny if you consider the multitude of poorly conceived and well hidden OS patches Windows has had over the years... (ever try to figure out what the latest patches for an NT server with a sideline sql server 2000 should be? Its practically a freaking fulltime job!).... The only bloody thing Microsoft manages for you is the promotional letters informing you its time to dish out another 10k for the next bloated version of MS Office. Security patches??? Since when has Microsoft managed that???!!! But I digress.. one need only look at how well all the IIS worms spread to evaluate how well Microsoft managed the security patch distribution business.

    I'm trying to find a grain of honesty in the quote... but I can only come to the conclusion that either he was missquoted or he is a bald faced liar.
  • Doug Miller (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Juln (41313) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:15PM (#2502770) Homepage Journal

    With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

    How can he ignore the fact that Red Hat is doing that for them? Besides, of course, that he is the Master of MS Fud at the moment, being quoted with several misleading and plainly false statements in the news lately.
    While Red Hat offers some of those services, it's difficult to ensure that software packages updated frequently by hundreds of people around the globe work well together, Miller said.
    It clearly difficult for Microsoft to make sure that their hundreds of software packages produced by thousands of employees in Washington work well together. Apparently the tactic here is to discredit open source devlopment in general as being some sort of complex house of toothpicks.
    From another story, Doug Miller, director of competitive strategy for the software giant, says he thinks Linux isn't a long-term bet for the data center. "I just don't see it taking over the world," he says.
    Anyway, apprently Doug Miller is the MS pap of the moment. They seem to have a stream of dorks, each one heading the FUD campaign of the moment.
    Anyway, the story is good news I reckon. I think more and more companies are going to realize that switching to stable, free, open software is only a winning propsition, and we'll be seeing more of this as the bean counters take notice.
  • by spike666 (170947) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:17PM (#2502784) Journal
    i was talking with a friend of mine who's company is doing an e-comm software deal with amazon, and he described amazon as "the worst example of best in breed that you could look at" - i guess they've taken lots of different best in breed approaches, but not really had a direction or a clear methodology and it has hurt them.

    on the plus side, he did say that they had made inroads into cleaning up, and are big on using XML between all systems for easy interfacing. and that they do a LOT of things really well - i mean, how many other sites have link ads that know who you are? thats a pretty strong set of CRM they got running. sure theres a lot of crap and a lot of silliness, but they gots some stuff thats good too.
  • by dlleigh (313922) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:18PM (#2502790)
    in the Wall Street Journal? Maybe we could all chip in for something like this:

    [a picture of federal marshalls carting computers away from from a business, horrified managers in the background]

    Complicated licensing and expensive audits could land you in legal hot water and cost you your business. Linux will save you money and give you peace of mind. [Add examples of companies such as Amazon that have moved to Linux.]
    • $162,557.28 [wsj.com] for full-page black & white in all three U.S. editions.
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:20PM (#2502796) Homepage Journal
    Umm, yeah cnet put in some stuff that MS has SAID IN THE PAST, but this paragraph should explain what the real price cut was from.

    HP has been working with Amazon since October 1999, Balma said, but the big contract win came in May 2000, when HP announced its [linux] systems would replace Unix servers from Sun Microsystems.

    They replaced Solaris boxen with Linux boxen. This, actually, has nothing to do with Microsoft.
    CNet just put it in there to hype the article.
    • That's odd, I could have sworn Amazon started on DEC systems, moved to HP Unix systems and is now running on anonymous Linux systems.

      Your point is well taken, but as far as I know they never used Sun.

      Personally, I don't think this is much of a triumph for Linux since I think of it as part of the Unix universe. This is infighting between friends, with only one of them winning in the end. The common enemy isn't helped, or hurt, by this.

      D
    • In other related news Sun reported yesterday that they will be laying off 3,900 employees or 9% of their workforce.

      There have been no announcements of layoffs at Microsoft.

      I think we all know who Linux is really hurting, and it's not Microsoft.

    • This is why they saved only 25%.
      If they were switching from MicroSoft the savings would be in hundreds.

    • > They replaced Solaris boxen with Linux boxen. This, actually, has nothing to do with Microsoft.

      Yes, but we notice that they didn't move to Microsoft.

      Where's Microsoft's master plan headded if people move from big pricey UNIX to little cheap Linux, instead of to medium medium Windows?

      This is just another sign that Microsoft's attempt to 0wn server space is stalling out.
  • the register [theregister.co.uk] is also carrying this story
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I submitted this nearly a year ago and it was ignored.

    While I could not disclose material information about the change, I did submit an item reporting the change and cited the netcraft statistics as evidence. Twice. It was ignored both times by slashdot editors, even as Microsoft was claiming that no major sites used Linux. This was the perfect example and the editors ignored it. Way to go editors!

    This recent article suggests the move to Linux was recent. That is not accurate. If you look at old netcraft data, you will see this change occurred way back in September 2000.

    Saying Amazon doesn't use much Microsoft is a gross understatement.

    Anyone suggesting the use of Microsoft products in the datacenter at Amazon gets laughed at. Aside from mandatory/proprietary crap necessary to serve up Microsoft E-books, their stuff isn't even close to being acceptable in that environment.

    Want to know why some big sites run Microsoft? Because they get the software AND hardware free or are otherwise PAID to run it. Even if Microsoft paid Amazon (which I believe they would gladly do), the thought of running their stuff there is laughable at best.

    Amazon would like you to believe going to Linux was hard. It was easy. It totally kicks Tru64's ass (DIE Tru64, DIE!).
  • by GreenCrackBaby (203293) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:27PM (#2502849) Homepage
    CEO: "Oh no. Slashdot people hate us for our patent of the one-click."

    Lackies: "Oh no! What can we do???"

    CEO: "Let's tell them we switched to linux."

    A little later on

    CmdrTaco: "Amazon is great!"
  • So this is basically proof that total cost of ownership is higher with Microsoft's products.

    Are they still allowed to print that propoganda anymore or does this set some sort of precedent?
  • by supabeast! (84658) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @12:40PM (#2502930)
    or would this carry more weight if it was a company that had a reputation for MAKING money?
  • by jdh28 (19903)

    In an article [theregister.co.uk] in The Register [theregister.co.uk], Intel's director of IT talks about making savings by deploying Linux across their enterprise, although the amount (~$200K) doesn't sound particularly massive in the scheme of things.

    He says the savings "have come from price/performance advantages, reduced software licensing and maintenance costs".

    john

  • Microsoft's job? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scharkalvin (72228)
    But there are hidden costs to Linux, Microsoft argues. .... With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft." Yeah, like Microsoft does a good job of that. Like how many times do I see "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down"?
  • My personal views (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @01:00PM (#2503059)
    OK, so probably nobody really cares what I think. But I'll state my views anyway. Feel free to criticize the heck out of what I say, but please be purposeful.

    The reduction was attributed primarily to Amazon's "migration to a Linux-based technology platform that utilizes a less-costly technology infrastructure, as well as general price reductions for data and telecommunication services due to market overcapacity," according to the filing.

    My concern here is in finding out how much of that savings can be attributed to the switch to Linux and how much can be attributed to reduction in data and telecomm services? Real data here would be interesting, but it's probably just not available.

    Thirdly, in many cases companies don't have to pay extra licensing fees for the computers that connect to Linux servers. And finally, Linux is often used on inexpensive Intel computers, sometimes generic "white box" machines and sometimes older computers seeing a second life.

    This is a real hidden gotcha, and in many cases a tremendous potential for cost savings. If only companies would truly look at this item before investing. Servers with "per seat" licensing can really escalate costs, especially for a business like Amazon. You think that by buying one program, your costs are over and you're done with it. But as your customer base goes up, you have to start paying additional licensing fees. Budgeting for this kind of stuff is difficult at best. Microsoft is certainly guilty of this, but they are joined by other powerhouses such as Oracle. To their credit, many of these large companies offer some sort of "enterprise" deal, but it usually has a whopping price tag associated with it. In my opinion, it's much more fair to sell by the server. If I want to try to cram 2000 users onto a single server, it's my responsibility to deal with the resulting problems.

    But there are hidden costs to Linux, Microsoft argues. "I think a lot of customers are lured by the apparent low price of Linux," said Doug Miller, director of competitive strategy for Microsoft's Windows division. "They don't have a real issue with Linux, but it ends up costing them in the long run."

    With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

    Oh yeah, I've written soooo much Operating system code since I started using Linux. The last update I did (over a year ago), I didn't even feel a single urge to recompile the kernel. And what's this about managing software updates and security packages? Exactly WHAT does Microsoft do for me that I don't get with RedHat's up2date or Debian's apt-get? Software packages conflicting with each other? What does Microsoft offer to take care of this problem? I've certainly had it enough times in the past with Windows software that I could have used some help. Boy, those two paragraphs are the biggest bunch of baloney I've seen in a while -- and I was in Germany for six months!

    While Red Hat offers some of those services, it's difficult to ensure that software packages updated frequently by hundreds of people around the globe work well together, Miller said.

    Really? I don't think I've EVER downloaded a single package from RedHat that didn't work just fine with all of the other install packages from RedHat. Anybody else had any problems with that? I guarantee you that RedHat does at LEAST as much testing as Microsoft. Let me remind you of NT 4.0 SP 6....

    Among those forces: the coming version 6 of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice package of office software, which many believe will be a more capable product than the bulky current version and thus a more credible alternative to Microsoft's Office; burdensome Microsoft licensing fees during a time of economic austerity; and the overall price tag of Windows and Office.

    OK, I'm not sure that I can agree that StarOffice is or will be more capable than MS Office, but with the current economic times, the price is certainly much more attractive. And if you look at what most people actually use an Office Suite for, you'll find that almost all of them will more than have their needs met with Star Office 6.0.

    The study concluded that Linux applications could provide solid alternatives to nearly every Windows application, with the possible exception of the scheduling and e-mail integration of Microsoft Outlook.

    And a nice WYSIWYG, comprehensive web-design suite like, say, Dreamweaver, would be a nice addition to Linux. Anybody try out IBM's WebSphere Home Page Builder for Linux yet? Scheduling and e-mail integration is one thing I wish OpenOffice (OS version of StarOffice) hadn't dropped from their focus. Even though there are some nice e-mail and scheduling programs, it would be nice to have tighter integration with my other office software.

    "Staying in compliance with licenses is something a lot of companies are scared of right now. It's more difficult, and the ramifications of being out of compliance are becoming more and more onerous," Robinson said. "As of the last year or so, Microsoft has been going after companies where they've gotten tip-offs or had other suspicions."

    This is another big one. I heard a radio advertisement this morning offering to help companies get in compliance during the grace period. They through out all those scary numbers like $150,000 per violation. You absolutely know you've got a problem when agencies can actually derive their entire revenue base from helping people manage the complicated licensing issues that Microsoft has created. This whole thing is exactly what prompted me to switch to Star Office on ALL of my computers. I had licenses for the versions of MS Office I was using, but I didn't know what scheme they would think of next.

    "We are a commercial software vendor. That's how we earn revenue," Miller responded. "Our goal is to be properly compensated by customers for our software."

    And to make additional money off of existing customers by "clarifying" the terms of the license to them and forcing them to upgrade and pay additional licensing costs when they don't want to....

  • I submitted this story last night (times are in GMT):

    Here are your recent submissions to Slashdot, and their status within the system:

    2001-10-31 04:51:37 Amazon says "Linux saved us millions" (articles,linuxbiz) (rejected)

    Summary:

    rejected (1)

    It was rejected within just a couple of minutes of submission, yet a nearly identical submission makes it to the front page today. This is why I don't bother to post stories to /. -- the maintainers are troglodytes with no idea whether something is newsworthy, or what anyone else in their organization is doing. If this is how day-to-day operations in the rest of VA are conducted it's no wonder they're going down the tubes.

  • by paulbd (118132) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @01:26PM (#2503183) Homepage
    the third machine at amazon.com (if by machine we mean something with a hard drive rather than an X terminal) was a pentium running slackware. its name was "ccmotel", as in "credit cards check in, but they don't check out". it had a serial line running to the solaris/sparc system that had the webserver on it, and a 1-way custom protocol for moving credit card data to its dbm-based database. the protocol had no provision for retrieving credit card numbers (it was 1 way, remember), so sneaker net was required to get them out: you loaded a floppy into the machine (remember those?) and ran a command that filtered the files on the floppy, substituting our credit card identifiers with real numbers. unless you had physical access to that machine, there was no way you could ever get credit card data from a disk drive at amazon. it was a critical part of the early infrastructure of amazon. how do i know? i built ccmotel...
  • I saw a couple of comments, even from Rob, that seemed to say, "We've seen this before" in regards the Amazon announcement. I would like to submit that Amazon's announcement matters, not because of their company size, but because of how they behave. They are not early adopters or innovators, they are a technology risk averse company that bets their business on technology. In short, Amazon illustrates the critical tension facing both the Linux community and Microsoft.

    There has never been a technology company to last for more than 20 years on a single family of technologies, and, more to the point, the failure of technology companies has never come from having their dominance in what they do well attacked. Technology companies fail because someone else steals their avenues of growth.

    If you look at IBM, it went through waves of changes, starting in the digital age with mainframes, which dominated the marketplace from 1960-1980; selling to enterprise customers digital computers that would dramatically change their business. It saturated the enterprise with mainframes by 1980 and had, starting in the 70's, tried to maintain their growth rate by selling mainframes to middle market (500-5000 employee) companies who had not purchased mainframes.

    Along came Digital Equipment Corporation, with the VAX, which just completely took that midrange market by storm, sapping the growth from IBM. IBM built the PC and launched a new market targeted at small business, but Apple, Compaq and a host of clones sought that market and, in the past 15 years, largely took that growth away from IBM.

    IBM has been growing it's services business and it is paying off, driving an increasing portion of revenue. They are in year 8 of fantastic growth, but already, they are making noise about trying to sell services to businesses in the middle market; a sure sign that something else is about to come along to meet that need.

    Why the history lesson? Because it illustrates the fundamental forces at work that are affecting the Linux and the Microsoft worlds.

    The technology industry is characterized by several constraining forces; the innovation force, that seeks the best solution for a given problem, and leverage, the drive to extend technologies from one market to another to extract the best return on investment for that innovation.

    Best solution is a subjective term, but in this case, it refers to the solution that is most applicable to a given problem, with the required supportive ecosystem around it and with the lowest cost of aquisition and the cost of ownership over the life of the technology. Hold onto those four points, they will become important.

    Microsoft truly came up with the best solution for desktop productivity. Windows was a unique technology in that it brought the ease of use of the macintosh (meeting the test of applicability) that had the lowest cost of acquisition (OEM pricing included it with the computer), the required ecosystem (cheap PC's, compared to expensive proprietary Apples) and a decent cost of ownership (compared to the alternatives at the time, like DOS, which required extensive training).

    Fast forward to today. Microsoft is now limited by the slowing growth rate of the personal computer industry, so it seeks to adapt its technology to other markets, in the name of leverage (internally) or compatibility (externally). So we see Windows in the Pocket PC format, where it is touted as an embedded system for extending the productivity brought by your PC. This embedded systems market is large, and fractious, as it extends from cell phones to pda's to robotic industrial arms to game consoles.

    Linux is a contender for this market, using our criteria of best. Linux has the best applicability, as it is a modular OS that is compiled for the specific use. Want to use it in a robotic arm? Ditch the graphics processor and X-windows, strip it down to just what you need. Cell phone? Take out large portions of the OS that support complex sound and graphics, devices, hard drives, etc. Game console? Build up the graphics processor support and sound, device drivers and ethernet, get rid of the general use stuff that isn't needed for running really fast games.

    Windows isn't nearly as modular, you can turn off functions, but it causes the OS to behave in funny ways because it was never meant to have these things turned off. So, Linux wins the applicability aspect of it.

    As far as supportive ecosystem, this is where the battle really lies for embedded systems. Microsoft has brought it's armada of partners to the Pocket PC, to the XBox and to other embedded system projects, but these partners suffer from the same applicability problems that Microsoft faces. Do you really need MS Money running on your PDA, or would a simpler checkbook program that can interface with MS Money easily be better? Do you really need MS Access running on the PDA, or could a simpler program do the trick more efficiently.

    In general, it is always more advantageous for the customer and more costly to the provider to innovate for a specific use than to stretch innovations across uses. As the embedded systems market grows, the viability of applications in this space will grow along with it, especially as standards for hardware coalesce.

    Between Windows and Linux, the ecosystem criteria is a tie for now, but what about cost?

    For manufacturers of hand held devices and specialty use devices, like game consoles, cost is a primary concern. When you are building super computers, the cost per component is a moot point, but for consumer goods, it becomes paramount. Cost of aquisition for Linux is not, as commonly percieved, zero - there is a cost in modifying the OS to get what you need and the cost of support, which is the very business model of Red Hat, but it is substantially lower than the cost of aquiring OS licenses from Microsoft.

    Cost of ownership is another issue, as Linux isn't as remotely upgradable yet as it needs to be for these uses, but that innovation is coming for both Microsoft and Linux in time.

    Over all, looking at just the embedded device market, Linux presents a credible threat to Microsoft, sapping the growth rate needed out of this marketplace that would have gone to the Windows hegemony as Microsoft tried to leverage it's existing innovation.

    Looking at the server market, it is more bleak for Microsoft. In short, Linux wins the applicability (due to customization capabilities - want a fast database server? Build the OS to specifically run the database). Linux loses the ecosystem argument for now, but ecosystems are far less important the more you move away from mass production markets; this one is shifting towards Linux rapidly. Linux wins the cost of aquisition aspect hands down and cost of ownership is being proven to be the Achille's heel of Microsoft.

    If Linux saps away a significant portion of Microsoft's growth, what impact does that have on the company? Microsoft, even in this down economy has a P/E ratio of 51. This means that a tremendous expectation of earnings growth is built into the company's stock price and if that growth doesn't materialize, the stock is in jeopardy. Microsoft stock is priced in the market expecting a 30% growth rate in earnings. If their market growth is capped by competition, they will need to cut costs and raise prices in their existing markets to keep the stock price up, which will exacerbate the situation. In short, the embedded systems market and the server market represent two rocks, and their shareholder expectations are the proverbial hard place.

    So what if the stock drops? Microsoft has underpaid it's employees by as much as 30% compared to market wages, compensating them with stock options. Lose the option value and the operating expense for the company goes up 17%, further depressing earnings, or they lose employees. The dastardly side of losing employees is what IBM learned - when a company is in trouble, the highly valued employees (ie. the ones that can get other employement quickly), scatter first, leaving the undesirables behind to screw things up.

    Additionally, losing the stock value takes Microsoft's credit card away. Microsoft has, to a large extent, built it's new businesses through acquisition of other technology companies (webTV, Foxpro, Great Plains, etc.) and the ability to swallow new technologies on credit (stock given away in exchange for future accretive earnings) goes away, leaving them with the challenge of paying cash, which is abhored by Wall Street for a variety of reasons (screws with earnings, risk no longer tracks reward during the acquisition process, etc.)

    So, where does this leave us? The PC market is a graveyard, software for consumers is relegated to games and utilities and the whole IT industry is in a slump. Microsoft is a big, fat juicy target for a lot of IT directors looking to cut costs and, as Geoffrey Moore pointed out, markets shift when the early majority customer base makes their move. Amazon is clearly not an early adopter or an innovator (in the sense of the Moore term). Where there is one early majority customer, there are typically many many others at work.

    Want to beat Microsoft? Give up on the wasted energy behind creating a better desktop; there is no growth in that market to do any real damage to Microsoft. Instead, build a better Xbox with Linux, build a better PDA, build a better server (oops, already there) and sap the growth from the company. The efforts in the Linux community to innovate is best exerted in the direction of markets to come, not markets that are.
  • So switching to Linux wasn't a MS is bad, Linux is good... it was a, "Those damn Sun boxes are expensive, Linux is cheap, therefore better." I don't understand how people are using this to debase Microsoft. It would be like if someone said, "Sony just upgraded their Web site from Windows 2000 to Windows XP - Microsoft wins another round against Linux!"

  • when i read this...

    Amazon's disclosure could provide hard data for Linux proponents who have long argued that the open-source software can save corporations money over the Microsoft alternative. A Microsoft representative, however, warned that short-term savings seen by Amazon could turn into a long-term increase in costs.

    ... my first thought was that amazon's "long-term increase in costs" was going to come not from an inadequacy of linux, but rather by bill gates snatching up barnes-n-noble with a few billion of his pocket change and cutting off amazon's air supply... more realistically, look for a news item like this one in the coming months:

    Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan denied today that the software giant was responsible for a series of errors that has cost online reseller Amazon millions in freight charges and plenty of ill will from thousands of its customers. "Microsoft competes vigorously and fairly. We are sorry that Amazon has chosen to compete in the courtroom rather than through innovation in the marketplace. We look forward to making our case at trial," Cullinan said.

    Amazon charges that in the most recent upgrade to Microsoft's popular Internet Explorer browser, new "Autodecide" and "Autopurchase" features are adding unwanted items to Amazon customers' virtual shopping carts. In one alleged case, a purchaser who had sought to buy only a Smashmouth CD from Amazon.com ended up with $600 worth of Microsoft Press titles charged to her VISA account. In another case, a man received a dozen copies of Bill Gates' book Business @ The Speed of Thought [barnesandnoble.com] with his Dr. Doolittle II video purchase.

    "Autodecide and Autopurchase are two innovative new features that we innovated in the new Explorer upgrade," said Cullinan. "We added these innovative functions in response to overwhelming customer demand for innovation." He added that "we have compelling video evidence that the Amazon.com website is not fully compliant with W3C standards. Microsoft cannot be held responsible for any incompatibilities between our innovative Explorer browsers and Amazon's noncompliant site. Amazon's charges are completely baseless and without substance, and we think that we will win on the merits of this case."

    No one from Amazon could be found for comment. Police are investigating their disappearance.

  • I don't like Flash ads, and I don't imagine you do, either. Check out the ZDNet story here [zdnet.com].
  • imagine if... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by josepha48 (13953) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @02:09PM (#2503368) Journal
    .. the US goverment switched how much we could save tax payers as well. Lest see 200-300 for windows, plus another 300 for office, times how many employees(5000000?) - Retraining(how much is this cost?) = ???

    I did the math once now it time that GWB does the math, or can he?

    • The thing I hate about the whole "retraining" argument is that it's a one-shot. You only need to retrain someone in the system once, and then they're good to go. Secretaries didn't always know Windows and Word, they had to be retrained in it at some point. And the retraining is aggregate. Once people start, other people hop on and the growth effect means you don't have to retrain employees later.

      I'm sure that, at some point, people will really start to decide that the retraining will be worthwhile and start to move. That will continue to grow and once it reaches a critical mass everyone will be trained in linux the way they are all trained in Windows now. We're seeing the very early point in the curve right now (1.5% desktop from the article?) but that'll grow and overcome its inertia. Retraining only has to be done once per employee, and one day it won't even be an issue any more.
  • by alexburke (119254) <slashdotmail@alexbur k e .ca> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @02:09PM (#2503369)
    To quote the linked article:

    The online retailer spent $54 million on technology and content expenses in its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, compared with $71 million in the year-ago quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reduction was primarily because of Amazon's "migration to a Linux-based technology platform that utilizes a less-costly technology infrastructure, as well as general price reductions for data and telecommunication services due to market overcapacity," according to the statement. (Emphasis mine.)

    So a lot of it was due to the move to Linux, but a significant portion of it was also due to their pipe(s) becoming much cheaper.
  • ...If some of these alleged companies that are replacing Windows with Linux on the desktop were actually mentioned by name...

    Of course, it doesn't seem like that will ever happen...

    (Yes, I know that in Amazon's case it's Linux v Sun, but Linux v Win2k was mentioned in this somewhat meandering article)

  • by jchristopher (198929) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @02:18PM (#2503424)
    Just wanted to point out that this article is about Linux replacing Unix servers, not Linux replacing Windows desktops.

    I don't think it's news to anyone that Linux can be used as a replacement for commercial Unix. It would be news if this article was about Amazon replacing Windows desktops with Linux (which it's not).

  • Linux has enjoyed strong penetration into the server market, accounting for 24 percent of server operating-system shipments in 1999 and 27 percent in 2000, Kusnetzky said. That's second to Windows, which went from 38 percent in 1999 to 42 percent in 2000.

    27% of shipments?! Wow! Considering that you can install Linux on n+ machines with only one CD... As opposed to the Windows world, I mean, where a machine is accounted for iff its license was paid. Wow. Am I overreacting, or is it really meaningful?
  • ...except Amazon just filed a business method patent on it.
  • by irritating environme (529534) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:55PM (#2504312)
    "But there are hidden costs to Linux, Microsoft argues. "I think a lot of customers are lured by the apparent low price of Linux," said Doug Miller, director of competitive strategy for Microsoft's Windows division. "They don't have a real issue with Linux, but it ends up costing them in the long run." Oh yes: 1. Linux as a core OS is EXTREMELY buggy and thus will require an expensive, disruptive OS upgrade when the next version comes around...or...not... 2. Linux doesn't adhere to open standards and thus in the long term its propietary standards require expensive custom integration products and a higher cost of systems integration...uhhmmmm.... 3. With Linux you have to disruptively upgrade to the next version when it comes out since the previous version will be rendered useless by the office software that runs on top of it....hmmm...nope... 4. With Linux, your systems will gradually become useless since linux system upgrades will demand hardware upgrades with each release, especially since the existing software is so buggy and the newer, fixed versions are only available for the new version. So your IT hardware budget increases...well... 5. With Linux, each OS upgrade the speed decreases or stays the same while the size bloats beyond recognition and useless features are lumped in that decrease stability and you have no choice but to include them....I thought I read that somewhere... Honestly, as a point of argument, can someone offer *SOME* rational devil's argument for this FUD comment?
  • Does anybody actually read the articles. They did not replace Windows with Linux: they replaced their Solaris boxes with Linux.

    Cmdr Taco's post announces this as "another chapter in the Windows vs. Linux debate", which betrays a bias against Microsoft and an inability to read articles past head-lines.

    The real conclusion to draw from the story is that Sun will die very soon, because Linux offers the same thing for zero cost. This will in fact make it even easier for Microsoft to take over the world.

    So in a sick ironically twisted plot turn Linux helps Microsoft by taking out its main rival Sun.

    Asim

  • Uptime is increasing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sneakerfish (89743) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @07:57PM (#2505026)
    It seems their uptime is increasing since they switched:

    Check it out [netcraft.com].

    This according to the Netcraft link in the article. Lower TCO, better uptime...

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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