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The Truth About Linux and Windows 594

Posted by Hemos
from the getting-under-the-covers dept.
petrus4 writes "Groklaw has an update on the Laura DiDio saga. Apparently, her complaints about "Linux extremists" notwithstanding, cooler heads than the usual suspects are asking questions about her research. A very interesting read, and one which will hopefully encourage corporate readers to regard the Yankee Group's findings with the requisite metric ton of salt in the future."
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The Truth About Linux and Windows

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:15PM (#12338902)
    ...what can I do about it.

    They even subscribe to some Enderle research because they see him "well connected" to important companies like microsoft.

    I can't understand how being a paid shill _incresease_ their credibility with management; but somehow it does. MBA's. go figure.

    • I can't understand how being a paid shill _incresease_ their credibility with management; but somehow it does. MBA's. go figure.

      They wouldn't have hire him to shill if he didn't know what he was talking about, right?

    • by northcat (827059) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:39PM (#12339771) Journal
      It's a matter of admiration. Programmers/Open Source supporters admire people like James Gosling or Linus Torvalds. MBAs admire people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates (and probably have neutral opinions of Gosling/Torvalds) because they have "achieved" things that MBAs strive for. And therefore progammers admire/respect programming/design/Open Source etc. MBAs admire Microsoft, Apple etc. Thus, programmers/Open Source supporters give more regard to technical facts and Open Source personalities. MBAs give more regard to "research" funded or supported by companies like Microsoft or Apple (Apple supporters wait, don't stone me to death yet. I'm not necessarily saying that Apple does such things. I'm just saying that if it did, then MBAs would swallow it.)
    • All I need to know is that Yankme Group are the ones that were pumping MCI/Worldcom when I was an employee. I lost a lot of my 401k based on their bullshit and my naivete'.
    • by GPLDAN (732269) on Monday April 25, 2005 @04:02PM (#12340709)
      Here's some insult to your injury...

      From the linked article:
      When SCO first made its claims that IBM had misappropriated some of its code and handed it over to the Linux community, SCO showed samples to several analysts to prove its copyrights were being infringed. DiDio, a former journalist and not a programmer, was one of them. She reported that SCO's claims seemed justified. She told me: "It appeared to be a direct cut and paste right down to the developers' notes." A couple of months ago, the judge in the case wrote that he had seen "an astonishing lack of evidence" backing up SCO's claims. On the phone, I asked DiDio's reaction to the judge's statement. She said: "I can't reconcile it. I want to see what's presented in court."

      So... what you have is a woman who is not a programmer, making conclusive statements after looking at .h files she doesn't even understand!

      There's a point, like the boiling point... let us call this point the Enderle point... at which you have simply lost all professional credibility. You are seen as nothing more than a suck up, a Nathaniel Branden of IT (Little Ayn Rand hatred slipped out there, sorry).

      Can we now write DiDio off as a shill? Like that woman who did fake newscasts for Bush, or Robert Novak?

      I personally, welcome shills like DiDio. Every day respectable journalists let a woman like her survive, they put another nail in their coffin and the net and social-based expertise groups become authoritative sources for real news pulling from many sources to draw complete conclusions. So, I say, good on her. Make a few bucks at the Microsoft trough. Sell credibility you never had in the first place. Kill the industry rags. More opportunity for other people to emerge as experts when the people you used to listen to are revealed as phonies.

    • Simple.

      Management is about lying about the need for management. It's primate hierarchy in organizational terms.

      They therefore love liars who reinforce that lie.

      Humans will ALWAYS - ALWAYS - make the wrong decision given two or more options. They will do this to spite the person with the correct option.
      Because if that person is "right", then they're "wrong" - and if they're "wrong", they're dead - and that can't be allowed. So they're "right" and the other person is "wrong".

      Human psychology is that simpl
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:16PM (#12338913)
    I thought it was interesting that she spun the fact that only half of the respondents of the survey thought Linux was cheaper with the implication that the other half thought Windows was cheaper. Not so: [businessweek.com]

    One slide said "Half of Users Say Linux Deployment Is Cheaper than Windows." You might draw the conclusion that the other half say Windows is cheaper than Linux. But you'd be wrong. The bar chart on the slide showed that 34% of the respondents have not deployed a Linux server, so have no grounds for an opinion, and only 9% said their Linux deployments were more expensive than Windows deployments.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I did a straw poll among work colleagues and they all had windows XP installed. Why? Because it was the same price as Linux (i,e, they either got it off some thai market stall, or they paid for it with with the system and they had no choice -e.g. Dell)

      If dodgy Microsoft volume license copies of XP weren't doing the rounds so much, then many home users would much rather use/try a free OS (Linux) than pay a hundred pounds for each incarnation of Microsoft Windows.
    • by shotfeel (235240) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:47PM (#12339245)
      What's sad to me is that this kind of spin can be seen in just about every poll/survey you'll see in the mainstream media. The numbers and wording are often spun in a way to imply a conclusion that has nothing to do with the real question at hand.

      There was one recently that in a survey of over 600 kids, the ones who played video games were responsible for two-thirds of the violent acts recorded for the group.

      How horrible! Ban video games, now!

      Of course nowhere can it be found what percentage of those sruveyed played video games. If over two-thirds played video games, its just possible we should be forcing kids to play more video games.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:17PM (#12338922)
    This should settle all these arguments going around once and for all.
  • by Future Man 3000 (706329) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:18PM (#12338934) Homepage
    Anybody that tells you Linux is better than Windows or Windows is better than Linux is, at best, simply wrong.

    The truth of the matter is that you should choose the operating system that suits your needs. If you want an inexpensive machine for Computer Science studies or to learn UNIX networking or even as a SOHO server for the advanced user, Linux is your game. Similarly, for gaming, business applications, enterprise servers or streaming media from your computer to your TV you won't go wrong with Windows.

    But to get caught up in "OS 1 is better than OS 2" debates is pure silliness, especially when you can run both easily.

    • by eobanb (823187) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:20PM (#12338958) Homepage
      OS 1 is better than OS 2

      Personally I like OS/390.
    • But to get caught up in "OS 1 is better than OS 2" debates is pure silliness, especially when you can run both easily.

      Yes, but OS/2 might become open-source! [slashdot.org]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "That word...I do not think it means what you think it means." : )

      By any chance, did you mean "divisive"?
      I know, being picky about spelling. But in my defense I will point out that "deviceive" isn't even a word!
    • Similarly, for gaming, business applications, enterprise servers or streaming media from your computer to your TV you won't go wrong with Windows. Yes and no. For gaming or business desktops, Windows XP is currently a better choice due to the number of applications available. For enterprise servers, Linux offers better performance and much better price/performance. Not sure about streaming media, but since most media formats require licenses for proprietary formats, Microsoft probably has an advantage there
    • by vadim_t (324782) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:36PM (#12339132) Homepage
      Yup, exactly. We all know that on average, operating systems are equivalent in their quality and usefulness.

      Anybody that tells you that Solaris is better than MS-DOS, or MS-DOS is better than Solaris is, at best, simply wrong.
    • by ewhac (5844) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:06PM (#12339442) Homepage Journal
      If you want an inexpensive machine for Computer Science studies or to learn UNIX networking or even as a SOHO server for the advanced user, Linux is your game. Similarly, for gaming, business applications, enterprise servers or streaming media from your computer to your TV you won't go wrong with Windows.

      Ah, the joys of the broad-stroked brush. Let's take this apart, shall we?

      • Gaming
        Which aspect of gaming: the server or the client? If you're talking about the client then, sadly, yes, Windows holds the edge here, since the graphics and sound drivers are more mature and better supported. However, for a server -- especially a public one -- you'd be a complete fool to put anything less secure than a Linux box on the net. Even better to put up one of the BSD variants.
      • Business Applications and Enterprise Servers
        The strokes don't get broader than this. But basically, all Windows is good for here is running Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint). Everything else is better off running on Linux: Intranet Web servers, email servers, file servers, backup servers, Oracle, and corporate firewall.
      • Streaming Media
        There is nothing magic about streaming media, especially when it's done from a bunch of audio files stored on disk. Windows' proprietary DirectX brings nothing to the table here. So that means selecting for a robust, secure server platform, which makes the choice fairly obvious...

      Schwab

    • by Junta (36770) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:42PM (#12339807)
      So much for not getting caught up in a debate, that was pretty dismissive of Linux for a 'nothing is absolutely better' post.

      Gaming, agreed, the driver support is there for fancy games and the commercial support is there for publishers, while at the same time nearly all good open-source games get ported to Windows. This is not a technical advantage, but an advantage of market penetration, and one that is a chicken and egg dilemma that may never get solved (gamers won't embrace linux until there are games, publishers won't embrace linux until gamers do).

      Business applications, it really depends on which 'business apps' we are talking about. For many applications, you can essentially quote the previous paragraph. Quicken, MSOffice, and the incredible amount of one-off crap that can only afford to cater to one platform, and only one platform has a large enough market to sustain them....

      However, a number of professional engineering applications can benefit greatly from running on Linux workstations. The business app argument is simply too broad, and ultimately this argument comes down to what applications are needed...

      Enterprise servers, here is one field where I find it hard to believe anyone would automatically dismiss Linux and proclaim Windows the hands-down winner. To some extent, this too boils down to what administrative staff you can acquire and their experience, but if there is one profitable place where Linux shines it is making effective use of hardware resources in a robust, easily managed and reliable fashion. I will say for directory, maybe AD could be considered the better choice, Directory in general hasn't needed to be high performance, and ease of administration of AD is fairly high compared to OpenLDAP. However, MySQL/PostgreSQL, Apache, Samba, et. al. offer more flexibility than the MS-only counterparts, and even when the application can run under either platform, they are generally oriented toward linux-like behavior, feel more native in Linux, and greatly benefit from less-cruft found in Linux.

      Streaming media to your TV? I would say MythTV hands down is *the* incredible platform of choice. I dislike their file browser for non-TV videos (it assumes encoded movies and a flat-view would be appropriate, even though series would be better represented by expandable entries), but I wrote my own and that really isn't the majority of people who would want that feature.
    • Similarly, for ... business applications, enterprise servers ... you won't go wrong with Windows.

      SAP on Linux [sap.com]?
      Siebel on Linux [techtarget.com]?
      ePiphany [epiphany.com] on Linux?
      Oracle on Linux [oracle.com]?
      Websphere on Linux [ibm.com]?
      Weblogic on Linux [bea.com]?
      Linux on bladeservers [ibm.com], Power architecture [ibm.com] and mainframes [ibm.com]?

      Mi amo, you have indeed a very limited view of Linux, enterprise servers and business applications, or possibly both.

    • Anybody that tells you Linux is better than Windows or Windows is better than Linux is, at best, simply wrong.

      Nonsense. "Better" is an opinion. Objectively, opinions can't be "wrong". Subjectively, it all depends on the context (what you want, what you can do, etc).

      So when someone says Linux is better, or Windows is better, the context makes it subjectively true or false. Windows is certainly a better OS to run Age of Empires and Linux is certainly a better OS to run Apache on, in most reasonable context
  • The truth is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suitepotato (863945) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:20PM (#12338954)
    1. Linux still isn't ready for prime time zero hassle common user usage. Install Knoppix from the live cd at 800x600 and oops, now you gotta go to change the config as root to explicitly tell it your card can do 1024x768 because the installer sets as maximum whatever you were using the live cd at. Fedora's installer tries to relax you regarding Grub, but most of the time forcing LBA32 is needed or it sits there doing nothing at boot. Etc. Small potatoes for techs being paid to support it and used to all sorts of crockery, but not for casual users who shouldn't have to read inaccessible man pages because you can't even boot one machine during install.

    2. Linux is being adopted and the rise in compromised roots is testament to this. I salute the geniuses who've sold Linux without regard to education of the average business user on security.

    3. Windows will not be killed. Not going to happen. We will have competition indefinitely. And this is a good good thing.
    • Re:The truth is... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eobanb (823187) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:25PM (#12339006) Homepage
      We will have competition indefinitely. And this is a good good thing Oh I definitely agree, competition is good. But I also don't agree that open source software necessarily needs competition (at all) to improve. If a user wants a new feature or a bug fixed, then it actually happens, even without a competing product including that feature. That's the genius of open source. Not to mention that anyone can fork a project at any time if they don't like how it's going (although this isn't always true for what I consider shared-source projects, like under the CDDL). With Windows, if you don't like it, you have no choice except to not use Windows. With Linux, you do have a choice, and THAT is the fundamental difference.
      • Re:The truth is... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Jeff Hornby (211519)
        If a user wants a new feature or a bug fixed, then it actually happens, even without a competing product including that feature

        Yeah, I know that whenever my mom, who uses windows, needs her computer to do something new, she constantly complains that she can't just fire up a C++ editor and make the changes to the source code herself.

        And my six year old nephew was complaining that his games were kind of sluggish. Poor kid can't just look at the source and find the problems.

        Face it, the ability to change
        • Re:The truth is... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by i_should_be_working (720372) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:06PM (#12339454)
          Face it, the ability to change operating system code is a benefit for .0001% of people and of absolutely no use to the other 99.9999% of people

          That's just not true. I may never edit the source of a project or fork it. But I still benefit from the fact that others more knowledgeable than me can. Because of the forking and bugfixing that exists in the open source world I have:
          Firefox instead of Netscape or IE
          BMP instead of XMMS
          Xorg instead of Xfree
          Bug fixes that come faster than in the proprietary world

          And I'm sure there's more that I'm just unaware of since I'm not a coder. A recent small example is that the latest Gnome didn't come with a menu editor. People complained and eventually a user (a non Gnome developer) made one. Now we're happy. Wouldn't have been so easy if they didn't have the code. See this article [slashdot.org] about how someone had to reverse engineer OSX just to get a desktop switcher. Which will probably become broken with the latest OSX release.
      • I think it would be better to say that Open Source is it's own competition... if some software project is stagnating, it gets forked, and the fork innovates until either the original project dies (see XFree86/X.org split), or until the fork gets merged back into the main project (see gcc/egcs split).
    • by Excen (686416) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:25PM (#12339010) Homepage Journal
      We will have competition indefinitely. And this is a good good thing.

      It's so nice to see a /.er embrace economics. It's like hearing a Mac zealot say that 2 mouse buttons are better than one.
    • Re:The truth is... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iggymanz (596061) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:26PM (#12339017)
      2. the exact same situation exists with Windows, billions of dollars of damage has been done by worms, trojans, viruses, etc. in the last four years due to failure to keep current with Windows patches to known problems

      3. What happens when the expanding markets of India and China grow a new customer base that is bigger than all existing computer users at present, and they choose not to use Windows in those systems?
    • Odd that , as for me knoppix has always auto discoverd most of the monitors i used it on and thats alot of workstations. and if you want easy install , try ubuntu.
      Plus try the same thing with windows if you dont have a graphics driver at hand ;) same situation with low reseloution.

      The ammount of compromised roots ? got any fiqures to back that up

      Last but not least , We don't(most of us) want to destroy windows , we want options (personaly i dont use windows at-all and im glad i can do that thanks to the w
    • Your examples are terrible. Windows can't set the right resolution on nVidia cards without the drivers either. Does that mean Windows isn't ready for "prime time zero hassle common user usage?"
      What about the geniuses who've sold Windows "without regard to education of the average business user on security?" How many SMBs have bought Small Business Server 2003 and had IIS compromised?
      Also, you made the classic uninformed mistake of confusing Linux distribution-level mistakes with the quality of
    • Re:The truth is... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by pete-classic (75983)

      Linux still isn't ready for prime time zero hassle common user usage.

      In contrast to what?

      My IT department can't explain why the suspend option disappeared on my whiz-bang XP notebook. I only wish there was some config file I could tweak to bring it back.

      I'm not saying Linux is perfect, but it seems you're implying that Windows is "zero hassle", which it clearly isn't.

      Linux is being adopted and the rise in compromised roots is testament to this.

      Compromised roots, huh? It's cool that you've drunk th

    • Re:The truth is... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:47PM (#12339241) Homepage Journal
      1. Linux still isn't ready for prime time zero hassle common user usage.

      Niether is Microsoft Windows. Ask almost anyone who uses Windows. It's a hassle.

      The issues you mention are installation. Few people could do a full windows install, including all vendor supplied device drivers.

      The actual truth is BOTH systems are far beyond the capabilities of average, unsophisticated users, or anything other than casual day-to-day usage of common applications.

      3. Windows will not be killed. Not going to happen. We will have competition indefinitely.

      If you call 90% Microsoft market share with exclusionary back-room deals at all major computer manufacturers so that virtually no PCs ship with competitors products... then yet, looks like it's gonna be that way for some time. I just wouldn't call it "competition". "Monopoly" might be a much better word.

  • ...Rednecks in Alabama finally decide to stop fighting over who makes a better truck, Ford or Chevrolet.

    Both companies are American, right? Profit!

  • by c0ldfusi0n (736058) <admin@NoSPam.c0ldfusi0n.org> on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:20PM (#12338959) Homepage
    Why does Truth, Linux and Windows in the same sentence seems so awfully wrong to me?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't question it.

      Just toe the partyline, embrace Linux and Stallmanism and join the collective.

      • Re:This feels odd (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Narchie Troll (581273)
        You know, it never ceases to amaze me that Slashdot has more "dissenters" than the "slashbots" they criticize.

        For example, there's a massive host of conservatives (economic and/or social) here who constantly suggest that they're going to be modded down for their views. Of course, they rarely are, since a sizable portion of the site's visitors agree with them.

        Beyond that, it often seems that there are more "believe it or not, I like Windows" types here than the stereotypical Linux zealot. Seriously, Slashd
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And in other news... Corporations don't care about you! *gasp*
  • by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro@@@gmail...com> on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:22PM (#12338979) Journal
    The more i read that name the more my mind begins to replace Didio with Dildo.
    And the more i read what Dildio has to say the more i think my dyslexia is right
  • Hmm.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:23PM (#12338992)
    Since almost all wireless routers and firewalls (and many other embedded devices including digital projectors and printers) out there are already running Linux, and the vendors of these devices usually don't bother to point out to the customer what OS is it using, I'd say that many small business are already using Linux and don't even know it!
    • Re:Hmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0racle (667029) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:28PM (#12339040)
      You make it sound like its shocking that they don't know what it runs, but most people running computers don't know what software its running.
      • Re:Hmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:36PM (#12339126) Homepage Journal
        most people running computers don't know what software its running

        Very true, and much of the time it makes no difference. But when you're conducting a study on software costs, it makes sense to make sure the people you're asking questions of do know, or else the results are meaningless.
        • Re:Hmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)
          Arguably, using a Linux-based appliance is not really "using Linux" - it is certainly literally using Linux, but you're not interfacing to it. As long as it works, it doesn't mean diddly squat to you whether it runs Linux, IOS, DOS, or if it's a LISP machine.
  • by argoff (142580) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:28PM (#12339043)
    ... that this is a pissing contest, and it has nothing to do with the real issue. The core issue is that Linux is compatable with the information age, because it treats the unrestricted ability to copy and manipulate itself over the internet like a benefit. Windows is not, becuase it trys to treat information like "intellectual property" and sees the unrestricted ability to copy and manipulate information over the internet as a threat and "piracy". They (MS) have simply held themselves accountable to a paradigm that has no place in the information age, and they're trying to shift the argument to issues like "tco", and "features", and "hidded costs" to avoid it. In the long term, this is all totally irrelavent as to who wins. It doesn't matter what's Linux's flaws are - they will be remedied by market forces sooner or later.
    • The real truth is that you're pretty incoherent, here. Let's see:

      It doesn't matter what's Linux's flaws are - they will be remedied by market forces sooner or later.

      Great! Glad to know that you understand the power of the market to shape things. Say, um, why wouldn't you think that Windows, which is produced by a completely market-oriented company, would be shaped by the same influences? If people won't buy it, Microsoft will change it. As they have, and continue to do, in response to what people need
      • by argent (18001)
        why wouldn't you think that Windows, which is produced by a completely market-oriented company, would be shaped by the same influences?

        Sure it is, but unless you have competition you don't evolve any further. That's why you see pages on Microsoft's site titled "What's new with Internet Explorer" with a last-change date some time in 2003.

        The market doesn't work without competition. Microsoft doesn't have any competition because they evolved a strategy of expanding by locking out competing products rather
  • by acomj (20611) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:32PM (#12339087) Homepage
    I built a small office server for a company.

    Spare Dell 400 mhz - 50$
    mandrake -$
    mysql - $

    The office unknown to me had bought this very expensive win 2004 dell server (there network/computer consulting co told them they needed it to host my appliation). It was over 2000$. They didn't need it and the company couldn't install apache/mysql/php (Who do I call for support?).

    I installed the linux and everything in about 4 hours. Linux installs have gotten much much better. Scary easy.

    Basically the linux server has been chugging away for over a year with no problems. hardly maintenance. Nothing (Its behind a firewall). The windows server has had all sorts of networking issuse that keeps a tech visiting the office once a week.(granted its doing more but still).

    Which is cheaper again???
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:25PM (#12339640)
      Here's my own invalid anecdote (personal anecdotes are invalid as evidence of an overall trend):

      We needed an Oracle server for a project at work. Because of the non-critical, but fairly high demand, nature of the app it needed a dedicated server, rather than getting to run on the shared Oracle server on the departmental Solaris box. So a simple Dell desktop was purchased with the fastest P4 available, plenty of RAM and IDE RAID-1 disks. This was fast enough to meet the needs, and it was decided stable enough for this application. If the server died it'd take at most a couple days for Dell to replace it, and that was an acceptable amount of time for it to be out of service.

      Now because of anti-Windows zealotry of some people, it was decided that the server had to run Linux, SuSe was what they wanted. We didn't actually have anyone that was very experienced in Linux, mind you, just people that didn't like Windows, and Linux was the only viable x86 alternative to run Oracle on.

      I tried several times to get SuSe to work, but it wouldn't. I did a net install from a CD, but after it was up it wouldn't get on the Internet anymore. I couldn't figure out what was happening. Answer turned out to be the network card was listed as unsupported by SuSe. Odd, given that their installer supported it fine.

      So we switched to RedHat. Now I couldn't get the mirroring to work. Our Solaris guy came and fought with it for a couple days and got it working. I then went back to getting Oracle installed. This I could never get working, despite repeated attempts. The documentation didn't help, since it was assuming different things than what I had. Turns out this is because Oracle supports RedHat Enterprise Linux, not normal RedHat. Finally I was fed up and said "You want Linux, you install it." They fought with it for a few mroe days before calling Oracle who said "If it's not a supported OS we won't talk to you."

      That put everything on hold since RHEL is quie expensive. I asked if I could please just try to install it on XP. They said fine, but it wouldn't work. I installed and patched XP, then installed Active PERL since that was needed for interfacing. I then put in the Oracle CD, told it to install, and it did so flawlessly.

      So in the end what was about 2 weeks of fighting with Linux to no resolution was fixed in about 2 hours by installing Windows. The Windows license was to the effect of $100 (we got a discount). RHEL was looking like $1500 I think. Who knows what cost in staff time it would have taken to hack it to run on non-supported Linux, if it was even possible.

      So in this case, Windows was a MUCH cheaper option.

      Now this isn't to try and claim Windows is always cheaper, but rather to point out that little anecdotes, espically when related to s tiny server for a small project, aren't valid as evidence of a trend. Yes, there certianly are situations where Linux is the cheapest option, because it is available at no cost. However there are certianly cases where it's not, because the costs of making it work, or costs because of losses due to problems exceed the savings of not having to pay for it.

      It's not a black and white issue.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2005 @03:05PM (#12340053)
        So, in other words, for mission critical systems, don't use software that none of your personel know how to support.

        So, in other words, don't try to learn something on the job that is critical to your ability to do that job.

        So, in other words, hire people that know what they are doing.

        So, in other words, buy hardware that is supported by the software you intend to run.

        So, in other words, don't buy software from a company that does not intend to support your use of their software.

        So, in other words, plan what you are doing before you do it.
      • We didn't actually have anyone that was very experienced in Linux
        Snip...
        Our Solaris guy

        This is where I stopped reading. Sounds like you were put to a task for which you weren't qualified, which is unfortunate.

        Why didn't the Solaris guy do it to begin with? Linux is not Windows. Linux is more like Unix. Haven't you noticed all the hubub with SCO?

        I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Putting Windows admins at work on Linux is an exercise in futility (or sick humor, depending).
      • by jbolden (176878) on Monday April 25, 2005 @04:16PM (#12340872) Homepage
        I hate stories like this since it sounds like nobody knew what they were doing.

        1) RHEL is not very expensive when compared to Oracle

        2) RHEL was designed to Oracle's specs. As was SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server which is probably what they wanted you to be using not Suse home or Suse professional or whatever you picked.

        3) You can get Oracle to run on a non supported Linux, I've done it, but
        a) you really need to understand how Oracle works and how your Linux works well. You are going to be faking out libraries and things like that so if you can't go to your /usr/lib directory and know off the top of your head what 1/2 the files are you or
        b) just follow somebody else's instructions.

        4) Why would you be running a system with actual load on a desktop? Further there are no desktops that Dell sells that running at 100% would tax the resources of a well deployed Oracle on a suffecient large Solaris box installation. So that doesn't make sense.

        5) Oracle itself is a total pain to install. Who handled that (and by install I mean actual get to do what you want).

        6) Considering Oracle specifically lists XP as a supported operating system how is it a great feat that Oracle installed on XP. A fair comparison would be installing it on Windows 95 or something.

  • This whole battle is absurd. Why has it all become so convoluted? Cost of deployment / migration: it is this simple -- if you have a pre-existing IT staff that is trained exclusively in windows, windows will be cheaper. If you have an IT staff educated in linux, it will be MUCH cheaper. This goes with TCO, etc. When it comes to stability, security, management, operation, these things will all be relative -- once again, to the competence of your IT staff (how and why they use what the use, how everything is
  • More references (Score:3, Informative)

    by karvind (833059) <karvind@gmail. c o m> on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:38PM (#12339143) Journal
    Here [thechannelinsider.com] is a little older article from Terri Kershner of Haverstick Consulting on LvsW. Gist: In today's rapidly changing IT environment, the tortoise can still win if the hare's only path is blocked.

    Joe Zwers wrote a good article about Truth in benchmarking [serverworldmagazine.com] and how some companies blantantly manipulate data to reach marketing goals.

    Slashdot coverage on earlier Linux vs Windows studies: here [slashdot.org], here [slashdot.org], here [slashdot.org], here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org].

    We also coverd a Microsoft study on W vs L [slashdot.org]

  • by raider_red (156642) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:38PM (#12339152) Journal
    Okay, here's a novel thought to settle the argument: Windows is better for some applications, and Linux is better for others. If I want to set up a desktop that's easy to use for those without engineering degrees, I'll probably recommend Windows. If I want to run a data center which requires high flexibility, fast file access, and reliable, reduntant storage, I'll use Linux, or possibly Solaris. And finally if I want to deploy a large number of engineering workstations, I'll go with Linux.
  • TCO Laugher (Score:5, Informative)

    by salesgeek (263995) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:39PM (#12339159) Homepage
    As a veteran of selling on TCO, I've always got a kick out of these studies because they are so disconnected from reality. How can something that is like getting a five course buffet-style dinner for free somehow cost more than buying a meal a la carte, one dish at a time? I suppose it's the fact you've got to help yourself at the Linux buffet while they'll spoon feed you over at MS (and they really don't spoonfeed).

    Linux has five advantages that simply render the conversation moot:

    Cost of licenses
    Customizability
    Training Costs
    Security
    Out of box functionality

    Linux licensing costs are self-explanatory. Hard to beat zero.

    Linux is completely customizable. You can change anything and everything to fit your need.

    MCSE certs are expensive. Linux certs are less so. Conversions from windows end users to linux are fairly painless. Sorry, Yankee, but learning how to operate a one windowing user interface is pretty easy when you are familiar with another.

    Linux Security isn't perfect - but it's a quantum leap from Windows.

    Where Windows cannot compete is with the out of the box capabilites of most every Linux distro. With Windows, you have to purchase thousands of dollars of software licenses to do what I can with my free download of Mephis or whatever. End user software is included. So is Server software. I'm out a minimum of $300 just to be able to do basic productivity. All those CALs add up with Windows.

    • Re:TCO Laugher (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:46PM (#12339240)
      Sorry, Yankee, but learning how to operate a one windowing user interface is pretty easy when you are familiar with another.
      Microsoft estimates the retraining and lost productivity costs of upgrading from one version of Windows to a newer one at about $2000 per seat. So I'd estimate the costs of switching users to Linux is at least that. However, if you're being forced to upgrade anyway, you might as well bite the bullet and train your users to use Linux... and yes, you'd be out at least $1000 using Windows to get the same functionality you get out-of-box with Linux (e.g. compilers) but most users don't need all that functionality anyway.
  • by dmccarty (152630) on Monday April 25, 2005 @01:41PM (#12339183)
    From TFA:
    I've got a bone to pick with the never-ending stream of studies by tech research outfits comparing Linux to Windows. For starters, it seems like about half of them are paid for by one camp or another.

    If we agree that this is the main premise, I have a problem with the write-up on Groklaw in the first place. I think it's unlikely that most corporations (to whom the original study was aimed at) will find much value in an article on a site that has never displayed much consideration for corporate interests.[1]

    [1] Unless they happen to be interests that parallel the Linux community

  • Great Article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eradicator2k3 (670371) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:03PM (#12339408)
    Whilst reading all the replies to Mr. Hamm's blog, I ran across one respondent who said he's used Linux the past two years and hadn't found a need to use Windows.

    I have a dual-boot XP/Gentoo box. I love Gentoo (and Linux in general) to death. Why do I persist in keeping XP on my box? For the games. I am a games fiend to the point that only XP can feed the passion. Do I keep any critical information on the XP side? Hell, no! I use XP for games, nothing more. Linux is what I use when I need to get work done.

    That having been said, I remember someone from the Microsoft camp (Ballmer?) claiming that "Linux is a toy." Well, MS if I only use XP for games, which OS do you think is more deserving of being called "a toy?" Although, I'm sure Yankee Group and her collection of didiots could put a different spin on it.
    • One thing that always rubs me the wrong way is how proponents of Open Source tend to refer to Ms. Didio as "didiot." Being dishonest or even disingenuous does not neccessarily indicate a lack of intelligence. In fact, she's probably making good money doing very little real work; one could consider her smart.

      A much better name would be "Dildio" - seeing as she provides an artificial source of stimulation and pleasure to those whos normal equipment is... lacking (you do know why they call it "Micro-Soft"?)
  • by 5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) on Monday April 25, 2005 @02:55PM (#12339940) Homepage
    Mark Twain's famous quote about statistics STILL applies.

    Linux here is suffering from the same issue that Mac/Windows comparisons suffer from- Everyone has used Windows, but not everyone has used Macs, so quoting statistics such as "75% of computer users think non-Windows computers also have virus, spyware and security issues" really doesn't say squat, unless you ONLY survey those who use both regularly... but since that intersection is a much smaller set than the "set of all computer users", you run into other issues. or?
  • by baggins2002 (654972) on Monday April 25, 2005 @04:00PM (#12340671) Journal
    After surveying a number of IT professionals about what they thought of Laura Didio.
    75% said she was a stupid b%$^*
    12.5% said she was a mindless whore.
    12.5% said "who's Laura Didio".
    Powerpoint presentations are currently being edited. This is a 3rd party survey so we can't give out any particulars of the survey or how it was presented. But we can tell you that no corporate sponsorship was involved.
  • by EvilStein (414640) <.spam. .at. .pbp.net.> on Monday April 25, 2005 @04:34PM (#12341134) Homepage
    I dunno, but I've been seeing a *lot* more "How do I do $this in PHP/Mysql on Windows Server 2003..." posts and "I'm running $expensive_firewall on Windows..."

    More mailing lists (Checkpoint FW-1) and stuff (Squirrelmail too) are getting more posts about Windows. Even the simply trouble ticket system I've used (osticket) now has tons of Windows questions posted in the forums.

    Is it just the competency of the admins? Quite possible, but if one was going to take a Google around the web, they might be inclined to think that Windows was the OS to throw weight behind in the server market.

    Just a thought. Maybe a poor one, but it's definitely something to notice.

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