During the test, VeriTest also initiated a series of events that broke or disabled various system services in the administrators test environments, which remained down until they were fixed by the administrators. "We characterized this downtime as service loss and used a set of service probing scripts to measure the amount of end-user service loss time caused by the events," the report said. Each service loss event targeted a specific system service like e-mail and the printer, and caused that service to become unavailable to the user population. The probing scripts recorded when the service loss was initiated and when it was subsequently fixed by the administrator."Over 90 percent of the IT administrators felt the test environment was realistic and accurately reflected a real world IT environment when asked in exit interviews. The test found that the Windows Server 2003 environment had 4:20:19 of average end-user service loss time compared to 4:59:44 of average service loss time for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3.0 environment on measured service loss events. Lower results are better," the test report said.Under the test scenario, 32 more tasks and events were completed in less time in the Windows Server 2003 environment280 events in 18:43:22than in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3.0 environment248 events in 27:47:46. But the one major area where Windows Server 2003 administrators spent significantly more time reacting than did the Red Hat administrators was on mail server events. However, the study explains this by saying that only two of the Windows IT administrators said they had experience with Exchange Server 2003. Microsoft, however, is not just turning to sponsored research in its quest to dampen the ever-growing interest in Linux. It is also sponsoring targeted open-source conferences and has made some of its source code available to some customers, partners and its Most Valued Professionals. Microsoft turns to open-source events to get its message to core customers. Click here to read more. Last year the company also launched its "Get the Facts" campaign, which is designed to give customers information about the advantages of using its Windows operating system over Linux, its open-source competitor. But many of the statements and "facts" have been challenged by the Linux and open-source community. Microsoft also last year launched a new multimillion-dollar advertising program for its Windows Server System, which it said would put a more human face on the campaign and the product. In addition, it announced in 2003 a global initiative to provide governments around the world with access to Windows source code under its Government Security Program, designed to "address the unique security requirements of governments and international organizations throughout the world." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.