January 9, 2004

Research Under Fire in Microsoft/Linux Debate

Supporters of the popular open source operating system kernel cried foul this week when Microsoft rolled out research reports that it
commissioned from research firms IDC, Giga Research and the META Group that questioned total cost of ownership (TCO) of the open source operating
system.

In the process, analysts involved with the reports are under fire over the reports, including one more than a year old, that say Windows enterprise
server environments are less expensive to maintain than comparable Linux setups.

The reports are the linchpin of a new marketing strategy at Microsoft, "Get the Facts on Windows and Linux," designed to deflect interest in the
growing popularity of Linux as an end-to-end enterprise platform.

TCO is a business indicator that assesses the price tag of a product, from the staffing costs to training to downtime. For software vendor marketing
teams, it's still more popular to point at return on investment (ROI), or the amount of time it takes to make money on the initial investment in the
product, as an indicator of a product's worth.

Link: internetnews.com

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