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Novell Assents To "Windows Is Cheaper Than Linux" 351

dyous87 points out a ZDNet article reporting that Novell has endorsed a customer's comment claiming that the total cost of ownership of Linux is higher then that of Windows. Novell and Microsoft jointly issued a press release quoting an IT guy for a UK-based bank, HSBC: "Some will be surprised to learn that our Windows environment has a lower total cost of ownership than our current Linux environment." The context of the comment makes it clear that HSBC's Linux environment has a mix of distros, and that a move to centralize around one distro — Novell's — will save money. Nevertheless, Novell's connection to this assertion is not likely to improve their reputation in the open source community.
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Novell Assents To "Windows Is Cheaper Than Linux"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:18PM (#18363531)
    HSBC's long term TCO decision making strategies of late may be deemed... well... questionable [].
  • That would be Esau (Score:2, Informative)

    by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:28PM (#18363679) Homepage
    Who sold his birthright to Isaac.

    And the New Testament says of him "that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it dilligently with tears."

    Maybe there is a warning for Novell on a business, non-spiritual level.
  • by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:42PM (#18363943)
    'In 2004, financial group HSBC launched an initiative to reduce the cost of supporting 300,000 desktop computers by 20 percent through rigorous standardization. To help achieve this goal, the company deployed Microsoft ® System Center solutions as an integral part of its new environment. Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 facilitates centralized software deployment, roaming user desktops, and the ability to track software usage to the individual user'

    'To date, HSBC has realized an estimated U.S.$50 million to $75 million reduction in annual costs--expected to increase to $100 million [] by the time deployment of the new desktop standard is finished at the end of 2007

    How can you save money by spending it on another system to help you manage a system that is supposed to be easily managed in the first place - Active Directory.

    How does the Windows environment have a lower TCO than Linux. Do they have keep the Linux admins in a separate part of the building. Aren't they allowed to admin the Windows boxes. Do they cost more. Do the Linux updates take longer.
  • TCO is Meaningless (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chemicalscum ( 525689 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:48PM (#18364065) Journal
    TCO is Meaningless. There is no accepted measure of TCO. It is not a normal accounting procedure and it appears to have been developed in the computing industry probably by Microsoft.

    There is a real accounting procedure used by corporate accounts that could provide a comparison and that is Return on Investment (ROI).

  • by Feyr ( 449684 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:50PM (#18364107) Journal
    using debian i patched all of my servers in 15 minute, using a cute little script called apt-get

    what's your point again?
  • Re:FREE Software (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @01:00PM (#18364291)
    Cost of purchasing is not COST OF OWNERSHIP. SUSE has "OpenSUSE" which IS free and pretty good. SLES, their competitive product to RHEL is VERY good and cheaper than RH. You pay for support, which many large business like to have. My company had to use our support agreement (which when we migrated from RHEL to SLES saved us nearly 50%) because of a bug in winbind. In under a week, the issue was fixed.
  • by awol ( 98751 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @01:28PM (#18364741) Journal
    Not quite. []
    The history shows that the bank is anything but the basically the Chinese National Bank. It is currently listed in London IIRC
  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @02:00PM (#18365227) Homepage Journal
    I'm thinking "so... the total cost of ownership to run an application server or database under Linux is higher than it is to run one out of 10,000 desktop PCs with Windows?"

    Unless the boxes are used for the same, a comparison like this is irrelevant at best.

    As for saving money by switching distros, that's probably peanuts in the overall budget. The big money usually goes to middleware and databases, and, depending on the company, long distance networking (which is likely to be a big chunk for Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp.). That won't change by switching distros.

  • It's troll time! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @02:51PM (#18365839)
    Every once in a while, you encounter Windows administration issues that aren't on the wizard menu. If you think next/next/finish is how administration is done in Windows, you must be an end user or a total newbie. Does "regedit" ring a bell?

    I suppose you must also be a big fan of the Microsoft event viewer -- another one of God's gifts to sysadmins. The messages are soooooooooooo relevant and helpful!
  • Second Impression (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrCopilot ( 871878 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:57PM (#18370563) Homepage Journal
    When I First heard about the "Partnership", I was heard loudly exclaiming "Let the Whoring Begin!"

    Which caused quite a few turned heads at the office. Took a little longer than I expected, but its good to know I wasn't far off base.

    Here's a back of the envelope calculation from the electronics company I work at.

    New Windows Machine Hardware 650
    OS 279
    Software 5,000-10,000
    HOURS of installing and patching clicking OK, Next, Finish, Reboot, rinse, Repeat. Oh and Don't forget drivers.

    New Linux Machine Hardware 650
    Debian OS 0
    Software 0
    20 Minute install, unattended apt-get Updates.

    Software includes Electronics Layout, Office, FlowCharter, Development tools( IDE, Compilers, Programmer, UML, Documentation), Solid Modeling, Project Management, Image editing, I could go on all day.

    In my office there is a Windows 2000 Server, A WinXP Pro Right beside a Debian Development machine and another as Lamp Server.

    Administration of the two windows boxes (Not to mention the 15 others) justifies my position as MIS. Administration of the two Debian boxes can be done remotely once a year in minutes.

    I'm no big city, fancy accountant but I can say unequivocally (can you?) that OUR TCO is lower on our windows boxes than our windows boxes.

    This is in just my office. All machines in the company are now running OpenOffice, FireFox, Thunderbird, Gimp, Inkscape, GhostScript, PDF Printer. and any other needed GPL tool that is cross-platform.

    This method of transitioning to opensource is very effective. At first I got a few complaints and lots of skepticism. But quickly the bottom line starts to reflect positively and the people who matter, stop the complaining. I never again have to clean up IE related cruft and viri. We now have money in the budget to purchase Hardware instead of throwing it down the Proprietary Software Hole. When my phome intercom beeps I know it is a windows box calling for help.

    I now spend most of my time developing Embedded Linux software instead of patching and reinstalling Windows and apps and I couldn't be happier.

    Today the chief engineer asked me, "Why can't you just change it so it ignores that error?"
    My answer was "You'd think I could, I mean, It makes sense that since the error is inconsequential to the operation of the application I could just change a few lines of code and we'd be golden. If we were talking about my machine I could do exactly that, But its Windows so I cannot. It's not just hard, its illegal. Just Restart the app when it happens."
    "But, That's like 4 times a day."
    "Oh well you could just call MS and ask them to check in to it. I'm sure they would be interested in fixing it for a big customer like us with our 25 licenses. Snicker..."

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @05:17AM (#18384133) Homepage Journal
    We get enough feedback from the Windows SAs and there is one truth: Windows do not scale. Period.

    Secondly, we have seen our Intranets collapse under the weight of WIndows only virus or worm tha manges to evade our outher defenses.

    I all the years I have been a UNIX SA I have never seen this with a UNIX (or Apple, VAX or many others for that matter) based machines.

    I personally have been sympathetic to WIndows based solutions on occasions, just to be brought down to earth by people that knew better and that demonstrated to me why it was a bad idea.

    Windows has its place (for now) on the desktop and on the groupware arena. ANywhere else it is a bloody liability waiting to bit you in the ass.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes