OSDL Answers Microsoft Claims

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-02-13 Print this article Print

Study: Linux is cost-effective alternative to Windows.

Open source development labs is striking back at Microsoft and its Get the Facts research strategy with a 17-page report titled "Get the Truth on Linux Management" that challenges Microsofts claims that Linux has a higher total cost of ownership and higher system management costs than Windows.

Andi Mann, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, in Boulder, Colo., who conducted the research and wrote the report, told eWEEK in an interview that the studys overall conclusion is that Linux may, in many cases, be substantially less expensive to own than Windows.

"In various older studies, Microsoft and some analysts had claimed that Linux had a higher TCO than Windows, and they attributed the difference mainly to higher system management costs, concluding that the higher TCO outweighed the much lower license and acquisition costs for Linux," Mann said.

However, the EMA study found this perception is no longer accurate. With far lower acquisition costs, Linux is now a cost-effective alternative to Windows, Mann said.

The study, which was conducted between last fall and the start of this winter and will be released this week, was sponsored by Levanta, a company that focuses on Linux management and data virtualization, and OSDL.

Among the key findings were that Linux tends to be more productive, as Linux administrators often manage more servers than Windows administrators, and that Linux systems tend to handle greater workloads than Windows systems.

Three-quarters of Linux administrators surveyed said they can provision a system in less than an hour using sophisticated tools, while one-third can provision a system in less than 30 minutes.

Martin Taylor, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., told eWEEK that he is "excited to see the OSDL join Microsoft in working to deliver insights and facts we know customers need to help inform their IT decisions."

EMAs primary research involved a random sampling of several thousand IT organizations by telephone, as well as more than 100 selected Web respondents. Supplementing this research were in-depth interviews with 13 selected CIOs and IT managers.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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