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Users Reject MS Independent Study Claims 170

Posted by Zonk
from the who-reads-that-junk-anyway dept.
PenguinCandidate writes "End users from various corners of the Web have whole-heartedly rejected Microsoft's claims that an independent TCO comparison between Linux and Windows would be something akin to the second coming. Said one senior Linux architect: 'With Linux and open source, it is possible to arrive in a position where the organization has increased control over its situation [and reduced] its long-term costs. That's a highly desirable outcome and I doubt we'll ever see a Microsoft-funded study which will come to that conclusion.'"
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Users Reject MS Independent Study Claims

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  • imagine that (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maukdaddy (244282)
    wow a linux architect disagrees.....imagine that

    How about some REAL news ./ ?
    • by aklix (801048)
      And this was the first article I DIDN'T see "Nothing to see here"
    • Re:imagine that (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BitterOak (537666)
      Now, if the article were about a Linux study which showed that Linux saves money compared to MS products, and a Microsoft employee was quoted as saying the study is flawed, and a Slashdot user posted "wow a Microsoft architect disagrees... imagine that", he/she would be modded +5 Insightful. Fascinating how the moderation system works on slashdot.

  • Seriously... (Score:5, Informative)

    by vidarlo (134906) <vidarloNO@SPAMbitsex.net> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @05:46PM (#13417647) Homepage
    No news to see, please move along.

    There is nothing new here. The article says that MS studies is bullshit, and that Linux-vendors funded might be bullshit too... This [theregister.co.uk] is the only thing close to a neutral study I've seen about Linux and Windows, and that is about security, not TCO. TCO is not easy to measure.

    There's also the excellent report on Total Cost of 0wnership [bsdnexus.com], which concludes that it's less work to 0wn a windows-based computer. Mac scores good on the scale of 0wnership.

    • Re:Seriously... (Score:2, Redundant)

      by eno2001 (527078)
      What about Total Cost of 0wn3r5h1p? I hear that is more common on the Windows side than the Linux side but you never know, do you? I still have yet to see a rooted Windows or Linux box on any network I have had access to. That doesn't mean that haven't been cracked. I've seen worms on the Windows side, but that's the norm. On the Linux side, I have yet to see any odd behavior. But, if boxes are being cracked by knowledgable crackers, they are going to be able to cover their trails on any OS.
    • Re:Seriously... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by n0-0p (325773) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:41PM (#13417919)
      I really have to disagree if your implication is that relative security is easy to measure between two systems. I also wonder why you would take Aitel's shameless pandering to mean anything more than he's a self-serving mercenary. That TC0 paper is just an advertisement for Immunity and their tools.

      Back to the more important topic, switching from MS to a completely Open Source platform normally requires changing the whole software stack. In such cases you can't do a line by line comparison between the two different implementations. Handling of layered defenses and hardening measures vary too much between environments. Any valuable asessment has to view the system as a whole, including it's environment.

      I've seen good and bad implementations on both sets of platforms. I admit that I like the freedom of Open Source and the ready access to code makes evaluation easier. It is my personal preference but I don't see it as a panacea of security and I'm sick of both sides slinging mud at each other.
      • Re:Seriously... (Score:5, Informative)

        by NickFortune (613926) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @08:56PM (#13418642) Homepage Journal
        I really have to disagree if your implication is that relative security is easy to measure between two systems.

        I didn't think that was the GPs point at all. I took the point as

        In general, Linux machines are more resistant to cracking than are windows boxes.
        I think we can agree that it's possible to discuss generalities here. Few would quibble if I said
        In general, systems that set a password are more secure than those that do not.

        I don't think you can support that implicit assertion that only comparisons of specific systems are valid : feel free to argue the case to the contrary.

        switching from MS to a completely Open Source platform normally requires changing the whole software stack. In such cases you can't do a line by line comparison between the two different implementations.

        mmm... and if you have a context where it is necessary to compare two specific systems, a line by line comparison is arguably essential. But, given that we can legitimately discuss general relative security, it seems unwise to insist on a discussion only of specific systems.

        Linux allows the user to have a far greater degree of confidence for a relatively small expenditure of effort. For example: It is possible to understand your firewall's operation and to validate that there are no vendor supplied backdoors and that there are no port knocking exploits other that those you may choose to define yourself. That is not so easy under Windows. Another example: on windows, it is difficult to avoid internet explorer. Even if you use (say) firefox, the filer windows still use IE dlls and sooner or later one of the IE security holes will make itself manifest. This is far easier to avoid on Linux.

        I admit that I like the freedom of Open Source and the ready access to code makes evaluation easier. It is my personal preference but I don't see it as a panacea of security and I'm sick of both sides slinging mud at each other.

        Obviously there are no panaceas in the security world, and I'd agree that mud slinging is a waste of everyone's time. But we can, and should, have civilised discussions of the relative merits of both systems - security included. And since security is one are where Linux historically does much bette than Windows, it seems a little unfair to say "come on chaps! let's keep restrict security discussion to specific installations".

        • Linux allows the user to have a far greater degree of confidence for a relatively small expenditure of effort. For example: It is possible to understand your firewall's operation and to validate that there are no vendor supplied backdoors and that there are no port knocking exploits other that those you may choose to define yourself. That is not so easy under Windows.

          Whilst your sentiment has merit, your example is atrocious. Verifying that there weren't any "vendor supplied backdoors" in an arbitrary Lin

          • Whilst your sentiment has merit, your example is atrocious. Verifying that there weren't any "vendor supplied backdoors" in an arbitrary Linux distribution would require - at a minimum - a deep understanding of the code and principles involved in implementing firewalling, both in general and specific to the Linux kernel.

            That's true to an extent. However, you're overlooking one of the fundamental strengths of the Open Source Model - the "many eyes" principle.

            I don't need to understand all of that to ha

    • Re:Seriously... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ergo98 (9391)
      This is the only thing close to a neutral study...

      ARE YOU KIDDING? That piece of Slashdot karma-whoring claptrap was universally panned as being rife with terribly amateur errors and omissions, and the only people who took it seriously were the people who felt it vindicated their position. Petreley is an absolute laughing stock moron whose only readership is a couple of die-hard Linux zealots.
    • tc0 (Score:3, Funny)

      by einhverfr (238914)
      This is the only thing close to a neutral study I've seen about Linux and Windows, and that is about security, not TCO.

      W1nd0wz h45 4 L0\/\/3R 7073L C057 0f 0\/\/N3R5H1P than Linux. See, it's a security thing :-) In other words it costs less to 0wnz a Windows box....
    • TCO is important (Score:5, Insightful)

      by typical (886006) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:48PM (#13418284) Journal
      The problem is that for a long time, somewhere, it was hammered into people's heads that "TCO is important". That's a pretty simple, important concept. The idea is that the vendor can hide costs, and that the customer's up-front cost may be less than what they will actually wind up paying.

      However, the entire concept of having a bloody vendor doing a TCO study and presenting you with the results is absurd -- it's the vendor presenting you with *another* set of up-front costs. Who is to say that they don't have *more* hidden costs? Unless they are providing you with a guarantee that you will not have to pay a single cent above the TCO that they are claiming, that they will pay every cent in your related costs above claimed TCO, a vendor-supplied TCO is simply meaningless.

      The concept of TCO is important. The idea of slapping an absolute value for TCO on product packaging is quite silly.

      I think that there's one pretty simple argument in favor of Linux. Any time a vendor provides any possibility of lock-in, be it user familiarity with their software, format incompatibility with thier software, whatever, there is a cost to migrate. At some point, if they are doing a good job of running their business, they will wind up extracting from you $COST_OF_MIGRATION - 1. That's an ideal case, but that's the way it is. Look at software packages from people like IBM, Novell, and so forth. They *will* get more expensive, have expensive things to interface their software and so forth, and the further on in the lifecycle the software is (the more entrenched their remaining customers are and the harder it is to move away from the product) the more expensive the prices. IBM makes a tremendous amount of money from simply providing compatibility with their old systems -- IBM's systems are *not* cheap. Look at SCO if you want to see an even more towards-the-end-of-the-life example.

      Now, Microsoft has a great deal of lock-in potential. They provide the primary application suite, have a number of closed formats and protocols, the operating system, and the server-side apps to interface with the application suite. Now, if you go with Microsoft, you are gambling that either (a) someone will come along and reduce cost of migration to a nominal amount (not that likely, especially when it is in Microsoft's interests not to allow this), or (b) that Microsoft will screw up extracting money from their locked-in customers at some point in the future (which seems unlikely, because Microsoft has done a pretty decent and aggressive job of being a business thus far).

      Now, I expect Red Hat to do the same damn thing at Microsoft at some point in the future, someday. The point is that it's not very hard to transition from Red Hat to something else if necessary, be it as simple as to White Box Linux or even more extreme (SuSE, Debian, etc). At least in the current state of things, it is extremely difficult for a Linux vendor to achieve any significant degree of lock-in. Start worrying if a vendor starts shipping non-open-source GUI apps (build user familiarity with them, making it harder to switch away), servers (closed protocols, leveraging incompatibility), or so forth. Aside from TrollTech, though, I've seen few attempts to "get a lock" on the Linux distro world, and it looks like there will be a multi-vendor environment for a long time to come. Seems like a pretty attractive option.
    • Right, there are no independant studies out there it seems.

      Either they are funded by the side that looks good ( Go figure ) or someone is paying someone 3rd party off to talk good about them.

      The only good 'study' is one you do yourself, if you do it honestly and dont lie to yourself about the good and bad traits of ALL sides.
    • Of course, if we argue TCO with Windows, we've already lost. Free Software is about FREEDOM, not price. And that's the one thing Microsoft have NO argument against. I half-suspect that the whole Open Source movement is an attempt to get Linux people to forget about Free Software, too. The Halloween memo did mention that they had insiders in the Linux community, and the undermining of the Free Software label is the one thing I know of that's been so damaging to the cause of Software Freedom.
      • [I]f we argue TCO with Windows, we've already lost. Free Software is about FREEDOM, not price.

        Indeed, and this is the aspect of free/open software that is getting attention in a lot of circles. In much of the world, you can make a convincing argument by simply asking "Do you want your data under the control of a giant American corporation?" This tends to get a lot of nervous looks, because so many people understand exactly what you're talking about.

        I half-suspect that the whole Open Source movement is an
    • This is the only thing close to a neutral study I've seen about Linux and Windows, and that is about security, not TCO.

      You're quoting *El Reg* as a "neutral" source ?

      O_o

  • Who cares? Groklaw had some information to post on this topic as well, Microsoft wanted to do a report together with OSDL, but OSDL decided against it as they would feel that it would be unfair.
  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @05:52PM (#13417669)
    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
    16th president of US (1809 - 1865)
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @05:52PM (#13417671)
    Suppose Microsoft demonstrates with a (real) independant study that Windows is, say, 30% less expensive than any other OS. Is it really all that counts? What if 5 years from now Microsoft pulls another one of its format-change trick and my company can't read the documents it produced 5 years ago reliably?

    I'd say having control of your software, giving you better control over the data that is produced and a fighting chance against malware, as opposed to being enslaved to a software manufacturer, benevolent as it might appear to be, is a big part of the decision too. The problem can't be presented simply as a pure immediate or mid-term savings proposition. Possible loss of data, loss of services, and loss of business due to them are a big part of the equation, but of course it's not as easy to sell as "look, this costs less".
    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Adelbert (873575)
      Microsoft created the term 'TCO' in the first place, IIRC. To me, its all BS. Sure, 7-11 may have found it moderately preferable to stay with Windows than to retrain staff, but that doesn't give any indication to the qualitive improvements in the standard of work, nor does it factor in long-term benefits that open source development models tend to provide. The parent also raised a fantastic point about vendor lock-in; if you use windows, Microsoft effectively owns your software.
    • What if 5 years from now Microsoft pulls another one of its format-change trick and my company can't read the documents it produced 5 years ago reliably?

      Why? Does the software you were using 5 years ago suddenly stop working when Microsoft bring out new versions? Why would you be unable to read 5 year old documents reliably with the same software you used back then?

      Now, the requirement to BUY the new versions will add to the TCO, but I still see no reason why you would suddenly lose access to your o

      • by n0-0p (325773) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:18PM (#13418116)
        When the software is no longer supported by MS and you need security updates you don't really have a choice. I ran a pen-test against a business unit of large organization that chose not to upgrade from Office 96 to 2K. They figured they could safely skip a version to 2003 because there were no compelling new features and it wasn't really worth it.

        Unfortunately there were several security vulnerabilities discovered in late 2000 including macro execution vulnerabilities for Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. MS was not providing patches for these issues on anything below Office 2K and their only response was to disable macros in all of the applications or upgrade. Neither was on option for them because they had apps that needed macros and the software budget couldn't cover the upgrade cost at that time.

        During the pen-test we determined that these guys had a pretty good DMZ setup and very limited Internet presence. We still wanted the keys to the kingdom so we just ended up harvesting email addresses and firing macro exploits with callback trojans. In the end we owned the whole network and they looked really bad. And all of this occurred because they chose not to follow their vendor's forced upgrade path.

      • Why? Does the software you were using 5 years ago suddenly stop working when Microsoft bring out new versions? Why would you be unable to read 5 year old documents reliably with the same software you used back then?

        They could also decide no longer to allow you to activate your software.....

        Honestly, this is a hidden risk that nobody really discusses because to do so would be to actively question the goodwill of Microsoft (which, incidently, is still stuck providing paid support for Windows 98, though curren
    • by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gm ... om minus painter> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:27PM (#13418182) Homepage Journal
      TCO is the lazy person's attempt to measure return on investment. I.e. how much will you have to pay to get x back in better productivity etc.

      In my experience Linux-based businesses pay me more as a consultant (at the same hourly rate) than Windows-based businesses. However, this is often because they are getting a *higher* return on investment by being able to have solutions that do exactly what they want. I close reading of the IDC study on the Microsoft site may indicate that others are having similar experiences.

      I.e. that you pay a consultant not because you can't make it work adequately in-house, but rather that you would like the product to do X, Y, and Z (which may not be available on Windows) and are willing to pay more for those features because you get a net benefit as a business.

      For example, if you cannot adequately impliment a Linux-based file and print server inhouse, you are not going to pay a consultant to tweak the system for you. You will simply go back to Windows (Windows file and print sharing isn't that expensive). If you can, but you realize that it would be cool if (insert idea here) then you might pay a consultant to make that dream a reality.

      What I am trying to say is that essentially all of the evidence I am seeing is that those customers who can and do move to Linux are spending more in part because they are investing in an infrastructure that they can use to build their business in very unique ways. As a result, they may be paying a bit more than they would with Windows, but it is not that they are getting a lesser deal. Instead, they are paying more because they are getting a *better* deal.
    • the only way you can "control" "your" software is if it's GPL or similar. anything else by definition, is not under your control.

      this one aspect will become more and more relevant to users of software in the coming years and decades.

  • by Safe Sex Goddess (910415) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @05:52PM (#13417673) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like they made the right decision. The article makes the great point that it's the definitions that make all the difference. It sounds very balanced. It just seems so natural that Open Source is the way to go. As with art and culture, many creative people would have you believe that everything new is created from nothing but their own creative spirit. However, it's possible to trace the historical influences on the evolution of arts and culture. Everything created is based on thousands of years of art and culture that belong to all of humanity. Even new scientific and technological developments are based on the entire history of human scientific knowledge that provides the foundation for new knowledge to be added to. And isn't that what Open Source is all about?
  • by Crixus (97721) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @05:54PM (#13417687) Homepage
    A topic like this will never be resolved to anyone's satisfaction. The simple fact of the matter is that many huge corporations are using linux corporate wide, and many users on this blog use linux daily with an incredibly low TCO, and a huge satisfaction factor. :-)

    That's all that matters.
  • Proofread, please! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    End users from various corners of the Web have whole-heartedly rejected Microsoft's claims that an independent TCO comparison between Linux and Windows would be something akin to the second coming.

    What is that sentence supposed to mean? Microsoft doesn't think an independent TCO comparison is likely? And that end-users think it is?

    I can't believe anybody actually read that sentence between the fingers hitting the keyboard and it appearing on the front page of Slashdot.

    • This is the most incoherent Slashdot story all day. Neither the submitter, the editors nor the readers seem to have any idea what it's about. I know I don't.
  • by starfishsystems (834319) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:15PM (#13417783) Homepage
    These Microsoft TCO studies present an analysis that seems ready to backfire on them.

    The reason there's a high cost of migration off Microsoft systems is because Microsoft intentionally planned it that way. The "embrace and extend" strategy and many similar practices have been found in law to be designed for the purpose of making migration expensive.

    If I were running a fair and objective TCO comparison, I would seek to measure the cost of migration both on and off each platform. Ideally, this would track costs not just once, but over several cycles. Since computing infrastructure is constantly evolving, a realistic TCO analysis has to deal with this scenario.

    • Yeah, this is a consistant theme I see with Windows v. Linux TCO studies sponsored by big business with microsoft ties: The analysis is usually "Sticking with Windows(tm)" vs. "Migrating to Unix/Linux".

      Well, duh. It's going to be cheaper in the short run to stick with what you've already got. And it's insanely expensive to migrate *from* microsoft. Derp.

      The problem is, this is a real world scenario. While it might be cheaper over 10 years to migrate to linux, in terms of software cost, support cost, and
  • by Ravatar (891374)
    TCO will never be anything but a meaningless statistic. That's like trying to budget your personal expenses a year at a time. Situations arise that will always make TCO an insufficient benchmark.
  • Security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:18PM (#13417804) Journal
    just once, it would be good to see a single MS TCO study include the costs of virus, worms, etc.
    • Well, the cost to me personally is zero - I run free AV software (grisoft's) and a free third-party firewall. I have suffered zero infections and paid £0 in the process.

      Incidentally, if and when the clueless, run as root because it's easier, download and install anything from anywhere masses move to Linux, so will the malware and virus writers, and said clueless masses will continue to screw their systems over with them.

      Right now Linux (and OS X for that matter) isn't hit for two reasons:

      1) It's a nic
      • I disagree with your #1 but I do agree with #2.

        The "linux has no viruses because it's too small a target" has been debunked time and again by apache, simultaneously being the most popular web server at ~61% of the market last I heard, and the least exploited (at least relative to IIS). If Apache is so popular, why isn't it attacked more than IIS?
        • Sure it's perhaps the most popular web server for major sites. But the number of non web-servers on the internet vastly outnumbers the number of webservers.

          And besides, servers are likely to be set up with the main user not running as administrator. It's tough to get traction on those systems. Better to attack loosely administered user systems, regardless of OS.
          • "Sure it's perhaps the most popular web server for major sites. But the number of non web-servers on the internet vastly outnumbers the number of webservers."

            Your explanation, while factually correct, exhibits some rather, uh, convenient reasoning. Have we already forgotten Code Red and Nimda which wreaked havoc on the Internet by affecting only IIS? Those were all web servers.

            "And besides, servers are likely to be set up with the main user not running as administrator. It's tough to get traction on tho

            • Users make their own decisions.

              Honestly, having the main user non-priviledged just doesn't make sense for most people. Try using Mac OS X a while with the box popping up and asking for your root password all the time. That's not good either, and as soon as worm writers decide to take advantage of it, we'll see that it's a false sense of security.

              Your principles are great, when there is an administrator-in house. Then only that person gets the privileges. And plenty of companies run their Windows systems the
      • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @09:05PM (#13418687) Journal
        Not only are the users clued up, but so are the developers. Quite honestly, almost all, if not all Linux distros are superior to Windows for security. If the day comes that Windows is more secured then Linux (i.e. far less bugs and comes secured out of the box), then Linux will have issues.

        With that said, I noticed in my logs today that somebody was making a concerted effort to kill my home server and 5 other servers that a company that I help with owns. In a 5 hour period, there were no less than 20,000 attempts, mostly aimed at root via sshd (which was shut down ages ago). Most of the systems( there were 20) that were coming at these boxes were Windows, but 3 of them appear to be macs. I thought that was interesting.
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:21PM (#13417813)

    Name one independent observer that could conduct a TCO study that everyone on both sides would trust, regardless of the outcome.

  • I've set up a few Linux servers for small businesses with very general needs, and their TCO so far has been limited to setup and hardware costs. In such environments, next to no maintenance has been required.

    I would assume the story would be somewhat different, however, for someone with more specific (i.e., vendor-locked) needs than file, web, DB, or mail servers. Maybe some more experienced techs out there could chime in on that.

    How this compares to Windows seems hard to quantify. A "properly config

    • I would assume the story would be somewhat different, however, for someone with more specific (i.e., vendor-locked) needs than file, web, DB, or mail servers.

      That's a point for the Linux side. If your needs are locked into vendor-specific crap, then your needs are not a Windows server to run said crap. Your needs are to free yourself of the vendor-specific crap.

      This is true because if we're talking about total cost of ownership, not total cost of purchase, vendor-specific crap increases TCO and risk becau
  • Intangible costs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:25PM (#13417836) Homepage
    I know for a fact there are intangible costs associated with MSFT products that can't be documented in a TCO study.

    For instance, one customer had SQL server go offline, taking down one of their primary applications, after the last round of security patches. I tell them to test the patches, but they don't want to spend the money. Go figure. Instead they pay me money to come in a fix what stops working. Every time there's a security patch update, I know I'm going to be busy.

    For the Linux/MySQL installs I have to keep a book of SOP's next to the server because it's so seldom that anything goes wrong. If I don't make notes how to do stuff, I have to learn all over again the next time.

    So, yeah, if you don't make notes then OSS does take more time because you forget what you did last year when X happened. And that information probably won't be on a tech support site somewhere.

    With MSFT it seems like you're dorking with your servers all the time. I work on Windows and Linux servers and my opinion is that the Linux servers are more reliable and cost less to operate. That's hard to quantify but every time I see a MSFT TCO study I keep wondering how they get the numbers to come out in their favor.

  • I'm still weary. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RingDev (879105)
    Skilled *nix admin (IE: certs, trained, 5 years experience, related degree) goes for $50k+ a year arround here.

    Skilled Windows admin (IE: certs, trained, 5 years experience, related degree) can be had for under $40k a year.

    Coughing up a one time $3k license for a server is a drop in the bucket when compared to $10k salary, taxes, and benis to be paid yearly.

    -Rick
    • by schon (31600)
      And how many machines can each admin handle?

      The typical unix admin can handle many times the number of machines as a Windows admin.

      So if you only need one Unix admin for every 10 Windows admins, then you've saved yourself $90,000 per year.
    • by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:43PM (#13418257) Journal
      As a skilled Unix admin (according to your definition; I still consider myself to be a neophite, as there are always new things to learn), I rather resent your comparison, as 'Unix admin' and 'Windows admin' are not equal.

      I've dug through kernel code and stack traces of buggy applications, conferred with developers, worked with Sun engineers to fix failing hardware, and generally dug very deep into the OS to find and fix problems. Only, I do this before the problems become problems, so that my userbase never sees my efforts.

      It's kind of sad, really. They only know I exist when things go wrong, which is pretty rare.

      Moreover, I am capable of, and have done, management of hundreds of servers at once. This is without any fancy clustering, expensive support contracts, or any other assistance. Just me, all by my lonesome. Sometimes things got hairy, of course, but overall, the systems I administrated just kept running, even through patches and upgrades galore.

      Any problems that cropped up, other than hardware failures, I could fix remotely, saving me an hour-long trip into the office. What was great was when there was another admin, we had time for all sorts of things. The backup system got improved, a whole new security model got put in-place, vacations were took, a new monitoring system got installed...it was great.

      One admin. Two hundred servers. That's five milliadmins per server, for the mathematically impared. With no clustering or vendor support, other than for failing hardware, and in a dirt-cheap bare-bones budget environment. Can a Windows admin, even an experienced one, make that claim? I think not.
      • Re:I'm still weary. (Score:3, Informative)

        by SaDan (81097)
        I used to manage over 2500 Windows desktops and servers in 17 locations in North America. I also managed over 200 Linux and Solaris servers at the same time.

        Both were equally time consuming, but for very different reasons. Hardware failures on the cheap Dell workstations caused me a lot of grief with the Windows workstations. Constant software updates, installs, and hardware upgrades consumed most of my time with the *nix machines.

        I also had no clustering or vendor support, except for Dell techs who were
  • I saved money (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rolfwind (528248)
    Microsoft is still hard at work trying to create that perception:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts /casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=17131 [microsoft.com]

    As a personal user - I can testify quite the opposite - if I include not just the OS, but all the programs I use.

    Before leaving the Windows world, I used the following programs because I couldn't find a free one to get work done. I'll list the price I remember paying:

    WsFtp (~40)
    PhotoImpact(80)
    Quicken (30)
    Spybot - Detect and Destroy (free, donated $
    • Re:I saved money (Score:3, Informative)

      by timmyf2371 (586051)
      Before leaving the Windows world, I used the following programs because I couldn't find a free one to get work done. I'll list the price I remember paying:

      WsFtp (~40)
      PhotoImpact(80)
      Quicken (30)
      Spybot - Detect and Destroy (free, donated $15)
      MS Access - (300 ?, needed a DB program)
      MS Visual Basic ($99, not full version which costs as much as $699 IIRC)
      Tiny Firewall (was free when I used it, it seems to be $49 now)

      Cost I had to pay: $550 (Not including donation)

      You're not really comparing like for

      • Re:I saved money (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248)
        You do have a good point.

        But I mentioned Windows had free solutions in my post - I didn't intend to just compare like-for-like - just my actual experience.

        When I was on Windows - I expected to pay money for products and so did not look for nor trust the free solution to do the job. It was an effect of being a corporate user & being in the windows world mentality.

        Switching to Linux, I saved money by being introduced to the concept that good software can be free. And I got introduced to all those progra
  • by SeventyBang (858415) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:50PM (#13417974)


    Microsoft's efforts in these studies is obviously part of their marketing efforts. Microsoft's strongest suit is marketing, not technology development. After all, look at how many companies they've purchased vs. original technologies which have been developed in-house.

    I will qualify my question with this: I like Linux, but I make my bread & butter off of Windows - like it or not, it's easier to find income [here] with Windows. n.b. I said easier. I didn't say the work was better.

    Now:
    If Windows is such a great product, why is Microsoft plucking out their own short hairs (one-by-one) in frustration because they cannot convince tens of thousands (hundreds of?) of corporate licenses to move from Windows 2000 when it went out of service on June 30 '05 [microsoft.com]; well-covered by the media, no less? It would seem businesses|corporations are well aware the various flavors of 2K are (relatively speaking) arguably the most stable of Microsoft's O/S products. Office 2000 and Visual Studio 6.0 dovetail quite well with 2K, creating a very cozy ménage à trois.

    The TCO certain is dropping over time. No need to upgrade software, no need to purchase an assload of new hardware to support upgraded software. Microsoft may have to break one of their "rules" re: backward compatibility. It's been said IE 7.0 won't work on pre-XP systems, although I don't think that's going to make corporate accounts give a rat's posterior because there are some fine, decaf browsers which work quite well and don't make anyone miss IE at all.

    As I said, MS could easily prove TCO of Windows is low(er), but to do so would admit loudly businesses don't want to budge. So the question remains: how do they motivate the 2K users to pry open their accounts payable budget and upgrade? Until they answer that, it doesn't matter what they say about TCO.

    • They have some pretty good products, with some pretty good features. Yet 90% of their customer base know about only 10% of features, and buy their products not because they get better (and they do), but because Microsoft rams them down their throats.

      They need to rip off Apple marketing. Those fellas know what they're doing. I'm convinced, if Microsoft outsourced marketing to Apple, they'd boost their revenues at least 30% and grow a huge, rabid fanbase in a matter of 2 years.
  • Wise move (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mersy (857867)
    Microsoft has shown themselves to be manipulative and tricky SOBs in the past. There was nothing to be gained by getting involved with them on this issue or any other issue. The "Get the Facts" campaign is a transparent ploy. When MS is ready to really advance the state of computer tech they know how to contribute. In the mean time don't feed the troll.
  • by jhines (82154) <john@jhines.org> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:55PM (#13418002) Homepage
    Setup one team with Windows, and another with Linux, and see how they do over a few months.

    Each week a new peripherial or application has to be installed.
  • Wait, What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Quantam (870027)
    The buzz with end users this week is that Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) chose wisely when it rejected an allegedly independent comparison of Linux and Windows. Unless there was a second page in that (Linux web site hosted) article that I missed, that is the ONLY time end users are ever mentioned, and the rest of the article is quotes from several Linux technicians/developers, one independant developer, and a very brief appearance by an MS person. Where the heck did all these end users come from? Unles
  • I've gone ahead and quantified a realistic cost of deployment of a stable Windows-based environment. For 10 users you are looking at price tag of $7500 or so, including everything from server, firewall and a decent switch to all the Microsoft server application software licenses, but excluding desktops.

    By stable I mean one that is impervious to most common attacks:

    1. MAC lockdown at switch level - bring in a foreign laptop, and it will be on an entirely different VLAN firewalled off with Internet access and
    • No admin rights == no unauthorized apps, no malware.

      That's not true. Users can still install apps in their user space unless you mount their user space as noexec. So, what you've described is possible, but I disagree with you that it's something we take for granted in the Linux world.
  • To be a "cracker" requires a lot of skills that average folks don't possess. You have to be super type-A for one thing. You must be able to memorize every step you've taken so you can backtrack and put things back if need be. I think that certain types of habitual liars could make good crackers. The kinds who can have multiple threads of lies among multiple people and actually be able to keep the story straight. Hackers? Totally different. You still need abilities that most people don't have a large
  • Control... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yaa 101 (664725) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:09PM (#13418071) Journal
    TCO has nothing to do with Linux...

    Control has everything to do with it...

    I let nobody tell me how to do my business, not Bill, not Steve, nobody!!!

    The fucking arrogance these people have in thinking that they can...
    • Sometimes I prefer them telling me how to do my business rather than the Linux world telling me what I can't do. Decent video editting anyone? Vector graphics? Page layout?

      And do you seriously think the OSS world is devoid of telling people what to do? (Gnome 2 has a vision and direction and dammit, it's gonna be the way the devs way. Which seriously, is a good thing.) They make decisions that I have to live with and they have upgrade paths they decide to take that some people eat. Say hello to computers.

      Th
  • ... okay no I'm not ... no one can really be subjective, but they can lie and say they're being subjective before they aren't ... anyways

    Can you run a server in which the only money you put into it is the cost of the hardware and the electricity to run it? No.

    Wait, what about Open Source or Free Software or those of us who don't think there's a difference between the two? What about it, it's free!

    Yes, it is free, but there still needs to be someone to maintain the server. There is nothing autonomou

    • "When taking into consideration TCO for the company just big enough to want to do their server stuffs in-house, but not big enough to hire a full fledged IT department ... Microsoft wins. Hands down it wins."

      Bullshit [mitel.com].

      Just because you only know one way of integrating IT into small and medium sized businesses doesn't mean that's the only way to do it.

      I worked for three years with Mitel, and have about 7 and a half years' experience with Windows systems small, medium and large business. The server softw

  • "However, Fitzback said a completely independent comparison between the two platforms could be possible, and the OSDL should probably conduct such a study if possible, but once again he conceded that the results could still be suspect."

    How the hell can a Linux proponet such as OSDL conduct "a ompletely independent comparison between the two platforms"? What an idiot.
  • I would think a truly independant study would look at all the time required by end users to maintain their NTFS or FAT32 file systems, cache cleaning and defragging, Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware updating and scanning, not to mention answering all those annoying and prolific dialogs that constantly get in your face, that consume otherwise productive time. Then there are all those oddities that Windows is so well known for.... How do Windows users get anything done? I guess these are not cost factors if you
  • Calculate the TVO (Score:2, Insightful)

    by digitalderbs (718388)
    I think the Total Value of Ownership tips the scale to one end more. Tack on reliability, open-formats, malware/viruses, spectrum of useful and competing tools, maintenance.

    Linux in itself, independent of cost, is a much more valuable product that Windows in many ways.
  • Such a study is impossible.

    How do you factor in the cost of freedom? For example, MS give-aways (like IE) are only free if you ignore the lock-in costs involved. That is why MS has turned a blind eye to the copyright infringement of MS Windows in third world nations (so-called "piracy"), because the rapid distribution of MS Windows through copyright infringement was destroying the freedom of those nations to switch to genuinely free alternatives - free as in liberating.

    MS software is cheaper than free softw
  • Notice _ALL_ of Micro$oft's studies include switching costs of going from Windows. It includes training time longer than say a Windows upgrade. It includes training time where there wouldn't be for M$ products.

    Who doesn't know that? Yes if you want to bring new things into your organization, you're bound to have a switching costs. You have to look long-term and see whether the switching costs get compensated for, which I believe they do- in terms of lesser hardware needed to do the simplest task, fewer

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