OSDL Answers Microsoft Claims

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.