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MS Won't Release Study Disputing Munich's Linux-Switch Savings 268

Posted by timothy
from the what-and-give-away-the-recipe dept.
itwbennett writes "As previously reported on Slashdot, in November of last year, the city of Munich reported savings of over €10 million from its switch to Linux. Microsoft subsequently commissioned a study (conducted by HP) that found that, in fact, 'Munich would have saved €43.7 million if it had stuck with Microsoft.' Now, Microsoft has said it won't release the study, saying that '[it] was commissioned by Microsoft to HP Consulting for internal purposes only.'"
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MS Won't Release Study Disputing Munich's Linux-Switch Savings

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  • Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:40PM (#42659497)

    '[it] was commissioned by Microsoft to HP Consulting for internal purposes only.'

    Which of course is why they publicly claimed the 43.7M Euro figure.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:41PM (#42659503)

    Why would anyone ever release a bullshit FUD report?

    If they release it someone could criticize it, if not they can keep making claims you can't refute.

  • Pricing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pebbert (624675) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:42PM (#42659517)
    Probably contains pricing information that they don't want anyone to see. If they disclosed it everyone would want those prices.
  • by NynexNinja (379583) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:44PM (#42659551)
    They all will claim that paying millions of dollars on Microsoft royalties and licensing fees is always better than paying zero dollars for a Linux deployment. They will always state that Microsoft products somehow have a lower TCO than Linux. The claim they make is that it costs more to hire Linux engineers than Windows engineers, which is a bunch of nonsense.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:47PM (#42659581) Journal
    Microsoft can't release the study. It has deep proprietary data about how much they would have reduced the price once they learned City of Munich is going Linux.
  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:56PM (#42659659)

    That part alone is probably not nonsense. Linux engineers probably are more expensive.

    On the other hand, I would expect you to need to hire fewer Linux engineers, and for the ones you got to be generally better quality and get more work done than the average MCSE.

  • Re:Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:06PM (#42659773)

    Sounds like Micro-Soft doesn't want the public picking apart the flawed assumptions and conclusions of their 'study'.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:20PM (#42659919)

    Exactly their point. It's all about protecting the FUD at this point.

    Normally, MS releases reports about running MS being cheaper because of Admin costs being lower. They never mention the requirement for running Anti-virus/Anti-Malware, and in fact most of their studies never even show their own licensing fees. Usually they include the client license fees for connecting to servers, but tend to forget the much higher priced licenses on workstations.

    MS office is cheaper than Libre office because of.. what exactly? The rate for re-writing macros is more expensive than a few hundred dollars (depending on your license deal) per user running MS products every year forever according to their logic. And yes, according to their logic you will be rewriting macros forever too!

    Logic does not fit in their reports, which is why they continually spend more money on advertising and fake reports than they do on product development. They hide behind 3rd party companies paid to give benchmark results favoring their products.

    The reason they still do as much business as they do is fitting with today's business logic. People get huge discounts and kickbacks to keep running MS products. If a shop moved to Linux, they would not receive the same kickbacks and discounts. Even if the overall cost is way more, you can't show bullshit savings to stock holders without those.

  • by timmyf2371 (586051) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:31PM (#42660033)

    MS office is cheaper than Libre office because of.. what exactly? The rate for re-writing macros is more expensive than a few hundred dollars (depending on your license deal) per user running MS products every year forever according to their logic. And yes, according to their logic you will be rewriting macros forever too!

    I'd assume the logic is more to do with retraining costs for every head that uses MS Office. Libre/OpenOffice may look very similar to a 10 year old version of MS Office, but office uses like their familiarity and learned shortcuts - even if there is a quicker or easier way of doing something.

    And that's before you consider the retraining costs for all new starters, who will more than likely be familiar with MS Office. And the retraining costs for your tech support who will have to support users through a product transition.

    You mentioned macros too. With MS Office, I can get help from the many users out there who post on specialist forums. In most situations, I've found that my question has been asked before so I don't even need to start a new thread. I'm sure there are similar sites out there for Libre/OpenOffice, but is the same breadth and depth of knowledge available? So for users who write advanced macros, you not only have initial retraining cost, but also an ongoing requirement to enhance said users' knowledge.

    Is all that really worth it to save a few hundred bucks per seat?

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:35PM (#42660067) Journal
    From TFA:

    If Munich had stayed with Windows XP combined with Office 2003 instead of choosing Linux combined with OpenOffice.org, it would have saved money, the study apparently claimed.

    ....

    The city's own calculations did not consider all migration costs, according to the report. It apparently claimed that Munich compared the migration to a 10-year-old Linux version with a migration to a newer version of Windows, probably Windows 7, and said that if the city had stuck with Windows, no new software would have been necessary.

    Please tell me, oh wise ones in Microsoft and HP how Munich could stay with XP, given that it is rapidly reaching EOL and support for newer hardware is likely to be problematic?

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:40PM (#42660115)

    Ass covering.

  • by mpe (36238) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:49PM (#42660215)
    They will always state that Microsoft products somehow have a lower TCO than Linux.

    Has anyone actually seen a TCO study where the T could actually mean "Total"?
  • by ftldelay (856655) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:56PM (#42660265) Homepage
    Unwillingness to release it is a sure sign they've got something to hide IMO. If it's true, than what would they be afraid of? Surely it would hold up to scrutiny, right?
  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @04:15PM (#42660489) Homepage
    I commissioned a study "for internal purposes only" that proves that day is night and that night is day and that all astronomers have been totally wrong to this point. But after spending millions making sure that the press prints summaries of my study I will not be releasing the study to analysis (and ridicule).

    Microsoft full well knows that at this point the whole Microsoft vs Linux you must appeal to the faithful of their religion who will studiously ignore the ravings of the pagans and will hang on to every word coming from Mt. Olympus in Seattle. So microsoft doesn't need to publish this study. Its mere existence is enough for the embedded (and often well microsoft certified) IT staff in any organization to counter the 10 Million dollar savings. This 43 million savings not only is much better but will work well when a meta study is done and totals up the averages. So even if 3 other studies confirm the 10 million in Linux savings the average will still accrue to Microsoft.

    Personally my experience is that Linux can be a great replacement for most but not all day to day systems. With most corporate software solutions going web it really doesn't matter which platform you are browsing from. Most employees of large organizations are shockingly unsophisticated users of the software so will rarely even notice the difference. Where you often run into problems are when legacy windows based software must be installed on many systems such as some kind of timesheet software. But a linux switch often works well as long as you let those who need Windows continue to use windows (say the accountants because they are extreme power users of Excel.) But there are other huge savings to be had by tossing Microsoft. In an all open source system licensing is really really easy. Then there is the fact that Linux can be so undemanding on the desktops that you can cut way back on system upgrades.

    But there can be weird costs such as printer X that might not play well with Linux. That can offset some of the lesser hardware savings. You can be suddenly restricted to not being able to deploy certain windows only solutions.

    The key to succeeding that I have seen is to start small. You take a small typical department and start switching the machines over to Linux and see what happens.

    The key to failure is to let a small group of senior IT people with Microsoft certifications up the wazoo bring in MS sales people to help them thwart the effort. You can tell when this is happening when suddenly random senior management start protesting the potential switch to Linux armed with bundles of studies proving that the organization will be cursed with locusts if so much as one machine is converted to Linux. These will be people who were asking for an Apple laptop the week before.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @04:52PM (#42660965)

    And how much TIME recertifying every app at was just fine with postscript? Or even real PCL will do. Every time somebody has to touch the printer you lose TWICE. Once for the employee not working and once for a tech to come fiddle with it. Do that 2-3 times in the life of a printer and you blow $500 easily.

    The REAL problem is most companies have nothing they WANT from IT. They are not actively advancing their use of IT to save money. They don't see that $500 as "lost" because that IT person could have been doing something else that GAINED the company $500... So they really lost $1000 saving $300 on a printer.

  • Re:Pricing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @05:14PM (#42661237)

    >"If they are cutting Munich a one time special deal that would be even more they don't want to release. Save $40 million now! Pay $80 million next year."

    And if the Linux option didn't exist, no such super-special pricing would be available in the first place.

    So even if they didn't switch to Linux, Linux *STILL* saved them millions of dollars....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @05:55PM (#42661799)
    Office sucke because it is possible to fuck a a doc like that.
  • by jc42 (318812) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @06:29PM (#42662197) Homepage Journal

    I can understand going after him for the apostrophe, but indenting paragraphs. Who the hell indents paragraphs on the web, an english teacher with a grudge?

    Or those of us trying to make "mobile" web pages. ;-)

    With such limited screen space, it's just reasonable to treat a blank-line separator as wasting an entire line of usable screen space. Using CSS to indent paragraphs lets you use that blank line for information, wasting only the 2- or 3-em indentation.

    Of course, we are still plagued with web "designers" in the mobile arena, and they'll as usual maximize the blank space for (a)esthetic reasons. It's an ongoing battle that will never end, unless we can find a way to eject information minimizers from the web. But there are enough users out there who prefer shiny to information that this will probably never happen.

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