operating system that Windows is a cheaper option in the long run; but Linux vendors say Microsoft's campaign validates Linux as a serious competitor.
As part of its multi-million dollar Get The Facts' advertising campaign, which was launched in the US earlier this month, Microsoft will direct users
to visit a section on its website containing reports that were carried out by independent analysts. However, all the research was either carried out
on behalf of, or commissioned by, software giant.
Red Hat spokeswoman Leigh Day said the company uses customer references rather than reports that examine "specific situations" to demonstrate
financial savings: "We're not giving too much credence to this ad campaign. Our customers have heard from other references the intrinsic values of
open source. This is giving Linux validation as an ideal alternative to proprietary providers," she said.