Microsoft Takes on Linux in Ad Campaign

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.

/zimages/2/28571.gifTo 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."