If Microsoft's Cheaper Than Linux, The Earth's Flat

by CXOtoday Staff    Oct 06, 2004

The never-ending TCO debate between the software industry’s greatest rivals in history — Microsoft & Linux — has got nastier. OSIA claims that Microsoft has its ’facts’ on TCO comparison all wrong, and the IDC report was secretly funded by the Redmond giant, producing doctored results. The real evidence it claims, is the industry’s first concrete independent survey, which has delivered results strongly in favor of Linux.

The research report, contrasting Linux & open source against proprietary Microsoft software, has shown that open source has a lower TCO by upto 30%. The report has cast serious doubts on the Microsoft-funded TCO study undertaken by IDC, which had claimed quite the reverse, giving the Redmond giant substantial ground to propel a worldwide ’Get Your Facts Right’ media campaign against Linux.

“We particularly enjoyed the fact that this independent research slaps down the IDC TCO report funded by Microsoft,” said OSIA spokesperson Del Elson.

OSIA is the industry body for Open Source within Australia that recently lashed out against Gartner’s claims that Linux encourages piracy.

“When you think about it, it makes sense. Linux and open source products are cheaper, more robust and more secure. Having Microsoft tell us that their products have lower TCO is like them telling us that the Earth is flat. Right-thinking CIOs know that Linux and open source software result in lower costs and are not likely to be hoodwinked by verbal sleight-of-hand or spurious, vendor-manipulated TCO studies,” he added.

“We’ve always known that the Microsoft-funded IDC study was flawed. The report’s key author said as much in a response to questioning by journalists. He claimed that Microsoft selected scenarios that would inevitably be more costly using Linux,” said Elson.

“Data was collected from interviews conducted with 50 different enterprises, which means that this isn’t a mere theoretical model, but one based on real-world savings,” continued Elson.

The independent study released by Research and Markets presents a detailed TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) calculation of open source software and proprietary software with the help of case histories, studies into licensing costs, wage and training costs, etc. The study points towards savings potentials up to 30% depending on the application, including commonly used office applications.

The primary reason why the report is so believable is because Research and Markets’s reports are funded independently through the sale of research data, and therefore represent unbiased results, claimed OSIA.