Microsoft Takes on Linux in Ad Campaign

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-01-05 Print this article Print

Microsoft on Monday launched a new advertising campaign, dubbed "Get the Facts," which will highlight advantages of using its Windows operating system versus Linux.

Microsoft Corp. on Monday launched a new advertising campaign, referred to as "Get the Facts," which is designed to give customers information about the advantages of using its Windows operating system versus Linux, its open-source competitor. A Microsoft spokeswoman told eWEEK on Monday that this campaign that will target leading IT publications and run for six months. She declined to say what the company expected to spend on the campaign. This latest move is yet another way the Redmond, Wash., software firm is trying to counter the effects of the Linux operating system, and is in keeping with the strategy embraced by Martin Taylor, who took over the role of Microsoft open-source and Linux strategist last July.
When he was appointed to the position, Taylor said he would make it his personal mission to publicize more studies that showed that Microsoft software beat the return-on-investment pants off the open-source alternatives.
To read more about Martin Taylor, Microsofts new "Joe Friday" and his spin on open-source competition, click here. The Microsoft spokeswoman said its customers had told the firm they wanted research and information to help make value-based IT decisions. "Over the past year, software cost and value has been a common issue raised by IT customers. "The Get the Facts advertising campaign aims to bring some of this information to companies who are making decisions about their IT solutions," she said. The ads will drive customers to a new Web site, where they will find "third-party evidence on what customers and analysts are saying about Microsoft Windows versus Linux," she said. But a prominent statement on the Web site proclaims that "leading companies and third-party analysts confirm it: Windows [Server System] has a lower total cost of ownership and outperforms Linux." Statements like that have been aggressively challenged by members of the Linux and open-source community and is certain to stir ongoing controversy. Next page: Reception to Microsoft-sponsored "facts."

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


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel