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Win2k Cheaper than Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the thats-just-like-your-opinion-man dept.

News 1279

An anonymous reader writes "According to this story, Win2k costs an average of 11%-22% total cost of enterprise. The study showed that the initial investment takes up less than 5% of the total cost. Linux did beat Win2k in one category, Web-serving." Man did this thing get submitted a lot.

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hahahahahaha (-1, Troll)

chef_raekwon (411401) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800842)


what a crock of shi*.

Re:hahahahahaha (1)

zapfie (560589) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800887)

I always knew I should have used FreeBSD. ;)

Well duh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800852)

You have to know what you are doing to use Linux.

Willy Gates has made Windows so easy anybody can use it.

Profit from ignorance!

Re:Well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800917)

Uh, no.. profit from ease of use.

Unless you drive a manual instead of an automatic, you should shut the fuck up.

Re:Well duh (0, Flamebait)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800962)

BS comparison, unless you weld the hood of your car shut **YOU** should stfu

Re:Well duh (4, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801007)

No, that's a bullshit comparison. The IDC study (yeah, I read it; you should, too, because it brings up some really good points) essentially says that the costs of administration for Linux are often higher than for Windows 2000 Server because Linux is, basically, a lot harder to use. It has nothing to do with the "weld the hood shut" open-source/closed-source argument (which is bullshit in and of itself, but that's another post).

The first comparison was, while still off the mark, more apt: driving an automatic is easier than driving a stick, and Windows 2000 is easier to set up, administer, and use than Linux.

Re:Well duh (4, Insightful)

gezerk (455962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800988)

Willy Gates has made Windows so easy anybody can use it.

Now theres something to curse Bill Gates for, Gee he makes it so easy to use.
Ease of use should be a goal of EVERY software design.

The real problem is that Windows is easy because it defaluts to the lowest level of security. If you want to try to make it secure it becomes much harder.

If your software is better because fewer people are smart enough to use it, you have accomplished nothing.

Promote Linux because of it's real strengths, not because being able to use it makes you feel smarter than someone else.

I don't see how thats possible (2)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800862)

A Windows 2000 license is around $150 area. Most Linux distros are free. Yes tech support to get Linux up and running costs money, it should still cost substantially less than Windows 2000.

Re:I don't see how thats possible (1)

Clue4All (580842) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800883)

A Windows 2000 Server license is $1000. Just FYI.

Re:I don't see how thats possible (3, Informative)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800956)

It depends [] .

Trolling avoidance FAQ V1.1 (-1, Offtopic)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800891)


V1.1 - Added Appendix-A for general posting guidelines suggested by AC (almost verbatim, minor html changes only)
V1.0b - First revision


Greetings Slashdot. I have noticed that trolls on Slashdot are having too easy a time recently, with the most random gibberish getting modded up and many child comments (bites) attached to it. This recent trouble can only realistically be due to an influx of newbies, so I have composed this FAQ to bring newbies up to speed and recognise trolls for the scum that they are.

On clichés:

I have deliberately elected to avoid the greatest cliché of FAQs, by not actually answering any questions, frequently asked or otherwise. Instead this will be an informative guide.

The FAQ:

Moderation :
This section gives guidelines on when to/when NOT to moderate.

  • Groupthink moderation: When deciding whether to moderate a post, take no cues from existing moderations. It is well known in the trolling (often referred to as 'trollerizing') community that the first moderation is critical; if somebody spots you as a troll, all subsequent moderations are likely to be troll. If, however, the first moderator mistakenly thinks it is insightful, then the rest of the moderators will think it is insightful too. Avoid this mentality and ignore current moderations entirely. Judge a post solely on its merits, ignoring what others think.
  • Follow the links: Related to the point above, a comment with links (often purporting to be a mirror or further information) will often get moderated very highly. It seems the mentality is that the comment has informative looking links, and is moderated as insightful, so it must be insightful, right? Wrong. All it takes is one moderator to assume it is legitimate and moderate it up, the rest of the moderators then partake in groupthink moderation. You will not. Click on all the links and read the linked articles. If they are informative, mod them up. If they are 'ghostsee links' (a horrific image of a distended anus) then mod them as trolls. If you do not wish to follow the links, then don't moderate the post. Simple.
  • Check the facts: If a post produces a mass of information, be it figures, quotes or whatever, check his sources! It may be that the figures are made up off the top of his twisted head; if no sources are offered and Google doesn't turn up anything, the chances are that it is made up. Scientists wouldn't believe a paper with no cited references. Follow the rules that should be becoming clear: if the information checks out and is informative, mod him up. If it totally doesn't check out and seems to be made up, mod him down. When in doubt? Don't moderate. And remember the golden rule - other people's moderations are no guide to veracity. Avoid groupthink moderation.
  • What's in a name: Do not moderate people up based on their name. There are two facets to this:
    1. If somebody writes a shit comment, it deserves modding down. Just because Alan Cox happened to write it makes it no more insightful than if 'Peg Troll' wrote it. Do not moderate up famous people.
    2. ...And it probably isn't them. Does $famousPerson even post on Slashdot? Are you sure that's how they spell their name? Does the name say 'Alan Cox' or 'by Alan Cox'? The latter of the two is very hard to spot in context. Check their UID - then check their posting history. Check that they are who they say they are. Even if they are, you should generally not moderate them based on their fame unless it is because they are commenting on an area in which they have specialist knowledge.
  • What's in a name revisited: Do not moderate them up because they are female. Firstly, they are almost certainly men pretending to be females exploiting this weakness that I am now advising you of. Secondly, even if they are female, even if they would like you because you modded them up, moderation is ANONYMOUS. Remember, moderate up the quality of the post and trolls are scuppered from the start.
  • Opinions: Feel free to moderate up personal opinions - just don't do it solely because they agree with your point of view. If it is well argued, eloquent, mod it up. If it is badly argued, a stereotype taken to extremes, mod it down. If it takes things too far but happens to agree with your point of view, it is likely a troll looking for your kneejerk mod. Even if it's not, it doesn't deserve modding up as it takes things too far.
Commenting :
This section gives guidelines on when to and when not to reply to a comment. This will cover several of the points made in the moderation section.
  • Groupthink moderation: You see a comment at +5 Insightful and yet discover it is a 'ghostsee link'. It may be appropriate here to post a simple reply warning people of this fact. Do not criticise the groupthink moderation else you will be modded down yourself. It will also cause delight for the troll who knows that your voice will be drowned out by being modded down, whilst his post is sitting comfortably at +5.
  • Check the facts: Much the same as with moderation. If the facts don't check out, ignore him; he is a troll. Don't point out it is made up, it is up to the moderators to remove noise from the strong signal of Slashdot. If it gets modded up, that is not your problem; the moderator needs guiding to this FAQ. If you cannot draw conclusive evidence either way, simply ask for sources - if he's a troll he'll not reply. If it's a genuine post and he can't come up with any then he is too stupid to discuss with. If he comes up with sources then proceed to post an equally well reasoned argument and continue the well constructed debates that makes Slashdot what it is.
  • What's in a name: Do not reply to somebody because they are famous. A vacuous response to Alan Cox will not get you recognised in the community. He will not reply with "Here's a crazy idea, why don't you help maintain the VM?" even if he is the real thing. You will look like a foolish fanboy, especially if it turns out it was a troll.
  • What's in a name revisited: Same as above. Nobody has ever got a shag on Slashdot by replying to a female, especially by pathetically defending 'her' against all attacks. Remember - 98% of Slashdot is male. 80% of the remainder do not comment. 80% of that remainder will not have a clearly identifiable female name. If you are talking to a female name, it is almost certain it is a male troll. And there is nothing more satisfying to troll than seeing a clueless 'slashrobot' trying to socialise with a woman they've never met based purely on gender. Especially when the gender is wrong.
  • Opinions: If their opinions are completely wacky and over the top, even if they agree with you, do not reply. They are almost certainly trolls and even if they weren't it should be clear that you will not have a rational argument.
  • Factual inaccuracies: If someone makes a host of simple mistakes, it is probably a troll and needs no correction. For example, if somebody is discussing the inner workings of the Linux virtual memory system and they refer to Linux 8.0, it is a fair guess that they know the difference between a kernel and a distribution. This means that the post is a troll; do NOT correct him, that is what he was after when he wrote it. Here is a list of things to look out for:
    • Linux 8 - as discussed, there is nobody on Slashdot who doesn't know the difference between the kernel and Redhat.
    • Lunix - nobody posts this accidentally. Yes, we all know that there is a different OS called Lunix and you pointing it out is not clever - the troll will be even more happy with this than a plain correction.
    • O(log n) - if someone gets the big-o expression for an algorithm or process wrong, think how that came to be. They made it up off the top of their head. People can have opinions on many things, but they cannot be of the opinion that the TSP is O(n log n) - it is just wrong. The only exception is if somebody tentatively suggests that they vaguely remember that it might be O(...) but they aren't sure.
    • Dijkstra - this man was a genius, but even he could not invent as many algorithms as trolls attribute to him.
    • GPL - Anybody asserting that their lawyers told them X about the GPL where you know X to be wrong. If this man had really consulted lawyers, do you think that the lawyers would get wrong that which you got right?
    That was just a sample - I hope to come up with a more definitive list sometime in the near future.

I hope that helped, any contributions will be gladly received as a reply to this comment. One last rule:

Never EVAR start a comment with "I know you're a troll but..." This is trolling gold dust. Nothing is better than somebody saying that they are too smart to be fooled by you and then writing a 1000 word point-by-point rebuttal.

Appendix A: General posting guidelines by AC []

You are not funny if you post these "jokes":

  • All your base are belong to us
  • Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these
  • Natalie Portman and hot grits
    1. something
    2. something
    3. ???
    4. profit

  • If someone says, for example, "please stop posting 'All your base' -jokes", don't respond with an 'All your base' -joke

Don't post Microsoft bashing comments on stories that have nothing to do with Microsoft. Also, if you talk about Microsoft, write Microsoft or MS, not Micro$oft, M$, MicroShit, MicroShaft, MickeySoft of any variation of these.

Learn the difference between its/it's, there/they're/their, effect/affect, your/you're and ridiculous/rediculous. Just by learning those five groups, you'll be able to avoid 90% of the annoying Slashdot typos.

Re:I don't see how thats possible (2, Interesting)

Walterk (124748) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800892)

I can understand that a UNIX admin is more highly trained, and therefor more expensive than your average MCSE. But then how would it compare to say, Mac servers? Any idiot could set those up, and they're more stable and secure than Windows..

Re:I don't see how thats possible (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800918)

Ah, but then you have to worry about applications, intercompatibility with defacto and industry standards, etc etc. All of that is factored into the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and is why Win2K beats out Linux.

Re:I don't see how thats possible (5, Informative)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800954)

Firstly, a server license is more than $150. Second, this is a TCO study. You may not agree with it, but you clearly don't even know what TCO means if you just look at the cost to install and configure the OS on a single server.

Considering all the licenses for W2k where I work cost less than one of our tech support guys' salary (and we have several of those guys) the TCO mostly depends on incidental costs from running linux or windows (ie/ if windows requires one competent admin at $60k CAD and linux requires twice as many, which has the lower TCO? But then factor in how much time those admin's are required to patch the servers and it may change - as you can see, it's not a simple thing to calculate!)

I'm no expert on TCO (i'm a programmer/analyst, not a CTO) but you know so little you really shouldn't even be posting on this topic. Shut up and read what some real admins have to say and maybe we'll all learn something :)

Re:I don't see how thats possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800960)

yes but what about the sys. admin. to run your network? Microsoft sys. admins are a dime a dozen meaning there saleries will probably be low. On the other hand a Unix/Linux admin would be higher in demand, hence a high salery. And, in the long run a higher TCO. </speculation>

Re:I don't see how thats possible: a SERVER?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800996)


are you talking about W2K professional or W2K server.

W2K professional sucks bigtime since its IIS can only host one domain...

This is a major shortcomming for a webdeveloper!


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800863)

TCO doesn't matter.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801024)

Matter does TCO.

Absolutely True (5, Funny)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800865)

Linux costs me anywhere between 1 hour and 5 hours to download an iso of my favorite distro. Win2k costs me 5 minutes to burn a CD-R and 30 cents to buy the blank disc. Overall I would say that since with a minimum wage job I can make 6 dollars in an hour that win2k is by far the better value.

Re:Absolutely True (5, Funny)

SwampThing (94960) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800929)

I gotta assume this is a troll. This logic only applies if you do nothing else while your Linux iso downloads, but just sit and watch the progress bar grow.

Re:Absolutely True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800938)

Do you have a license for for each burned copy of Win2k? Remember, Big Brother is watching.

Math is our friend Re:Absolutely True (2)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801009)

ok at 6$ an hour 5 hours of yyour time is worth 30$, win2k cost about 150$ (professional not server), therfore at 6$ an hour you would need to take 25 hours and do nothing in the meantime.

note this does not even include the tax on your 6$ or the sales tax you pay on windows, so really youre probably looking at close to 30 hours of $$ to buy windows..

Total Cost of Ownership (4, Insightful)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800868)

Finally someone realises that the initial cost does not reflect the TCO. Wonder why Mac OS X was left out of the quotation.

Oh, probably because macs won every other TCO report I've seen ;)

Re:Total Cost of Ownership (5, Insightful)

virtigex (323685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801021)

Wonder why Mac OS X was left out of the quotation.
Sheesh - it was a FIVE YEAR study and Max OS X hasn't been out that long. Oh wait... neither has Windows 2000. In fact, Windows 2000 will not be supported five years after it's release date.
Oh I get it. Windows 2000 doesn't cost anything to support after 5 years, since your forced to upgrade at that time.

No way! My AMIGA won the best TCO everywhere! (3, Funny)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801029)

Eat it Mac'o !

Re:Total Cost of Ownership (2, Interesting)

puto (533470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801048)

Or that most of the tests focused on networked apps? and webserving?

To quote "better cost of ownership for running network infrastructure, print serving, file serving and security applications than Linux."

These are all OS X things can do, well macs can finally do with OS X. PC's with Windows and UNIX have always done these well. When was the last time you say an all MAC ISP? Well, I suppose you could dig some up, i just googled and found a few.

TCO on a mac for a workstation is great, but again this was focused on the server arena. And if you look at it, there are much more server options as for as hardware and apps for Linux and Windows.

Mac OSX has not been around that long either. And who would want to put the pretty mac in a rack? Can I get a blade server mac? Can I get a g4 in a pizza box with a 2 meg vid card and a ps2 port for mouse and keyboard?

The Mac is not ready to compete in the server market at this time and for that reason it was left out of the study. Sure they can be used as a server, but that would totally blow the tco figures outta the water. You need some heavy crunch boxes so you tell you bosses we are gonna get 15 dualie G4's. or for the same price we can get 30 dualie p4's. Did i mention the space recquirewould probably be a third to house them? Where is the headless MAC?

I have an Ibook and love it. No complaints. But still I use a pc at home as well. With Windows 2000, got another with linux. I am pretty much OS nuetral and use the best one for each particualar aspect of my job. exchange on 2000(exchange is a great ap if you know what your doing) linux for file serving, print servers, backups and an accounting app(not written for linux, written for sco but fiddled with til it worked).

I use my Ibook on the road and at work and to keep me abreast of the Mac Os. In the IT field we need to learn em all, not jihad behind one.


The MAC is a great machine.

I think they underestimated the downtime cost (2, Insightful)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800872)

of windows 2000.

Re:I think they underestimated the downtime cost (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800915)

Good troll! It was pretty damn funny, too.

Doesn't it depend entirely on how to define TCO? (5, Insightful)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800877)

I can define TCO my own way, but it might prove that BeOS was king (yeah, right); and other's may define it their own way. We'd need to know exactly how they defined TCO to know.

Re:Doesn't it depend entirely on how to define TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800941)

Does TCO include the cost of:

  • Box of grits
  • Base Rent and utilities
  • Bortman's salary
  • ???
  • Duby8'=w88754onQx87548754o8754mk=8km !!!

Of course its cheaper.... (5, Funny)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800878)

if you only buy a single copy and then install it on your entire network!

2,5 year to go? (5, Informative)

guusbosman (151671) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800882)

From the comments under the article ('BSD user'):

Reference: Here [] we read that Mainstream support for windows 2000 servers will end 31 March 2005 That's only 2 years and 4 months from now. I don't remember seeing a 'use before' date on any linux servers. Do you?

Readers might wish to balance this article with the rest of the story, found here [] .

+ 10 Karma! (5, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800931)

You get meta-karma, for actually using the word "balance" in the same sentence with a link to the register. I was impressed. If course, it's unbelievably funny, but I was pretty damn impressed at the effort.

On another front, you can get well-balanced news stories here [] .

Re:2,5 year to go? (5, Insightful)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800987)

"I don't remember seeing a 'use before' date on any linux servers. Do you?"

I haven't seen a 'use before' date, but Linux distributions get cut off just the same. I've got a box at home running Redhat 5.2 that's no longer being supported. Here's the errata archive [] where they recommend upgrading to a supported product.

While Linux (and open source in general) does have the advantage that someone can always support it, that doesn't mean that someone is supporting it -- especially when the package in question has been superceded by a number of later versions. There's always the option of hiring a trained individual to handle watching bug lists and backporting necessary fixes, but the pricetag on that would make Windows mandatory upgrades cheap in comparison.

In case of slashdotting: (2, Informative)

johnthorensen (539527) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800884)

IDC: Windows 2000 Offers Better Total Cost Of Ownership Than Linux
Win 2000 offers cost advantage in four out of five server workloads

By Paula Rooney, CRN
Framingham, Mass.
4:55 PM EST Mon., Dec. 02, 2002
Microsoft's Windows 2000 offers a better total cost of ownership (TCO) than Linux for most traditional server workloads over a five-year time span, according to an IDC study.

Just a day before the Enterprise Linux Forum gets under way in Boston, Microsoft is celebrating the results of a study that maintains that the Windows 2000 Server operating system offers a better cost of ownership for running network infrastructure, print serving, file serving and security applications than Linux.

According to the survey of 104 companies in North America, the cost advantage of Windows over Linux for the four workloads ranges from 11 percent to 22 percent over a five-year period.

Linux demonstrated a cost advantage over Windows in only one category--Web serving. According to the survey, Linux offers a cost advantage of 6 percent over Windows for running Web applications over that same time frame.

While Microsoft's Licensing 6.0 acquisition costs are significantly higher than those of the free Linux OS, software acquisition represents a small percentage--roughly 5 percent--of the TCO, IDC found.

IDC says factors other than software acquisition cost--particularly staffing and downtime--are the most significant factors when determining TCO over a long-term period. For example, IDC says that IT staffing alone accounts for 62.2 percent of TCO, while downtime represented another 23.1 percent of the costs. Software acquisition, in contrast, accounts for a mere 4.6 percent of the TCO, while hardware represents 4.4 percent.

"The study shows very clearly that up-front costs, including hardware or software, are not the most significant items contributing to the five-year TCO value," said Al Gillen, an IDC analyst. "Think about it. How long does it take to surpass the cost of software when you have a high-paid staff member managing the system? That staff member cost is there regardless of what the original software and hardware cost," he said.

Expenditures for managing, maintaining, troubleshooting and restoring the systems operations of a Linux server were, "in almost every case, higher than for systems running Windows 2000," according to the study, titled "Windows 2000 Versus Linux in Enterprise Computing."

IDC attributed the Windows 2000 win to the maturity of Windows management features and third-party tools in the marketplace. This countered the immaturity of Linux system management tools and low penetration of Linux management platforms in the enterprise.

However, the report also noted that the increasing availability of respected management tools for the Linux platform--including BMC Patrol, CA Unicenter, HP OpenView, IBM Tivoli, NetIQ and Novell Zenworks--will likely improve the installation, deployment and maintenance numbers for Linux servers. "Over time, the gap in support costs between Linux and Windows will contract," the study stated.

Microsoft's strategy (0)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800886)

By Paula Rooney, CRN Framingham, Mass. looks like Microsoft begins sending loads of money in order to buy Massachussets...

Alas.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800888)

It is a matter of taste. If you care what the hell is going on in your computer. Run Linux. If you don', like most people. Run Windows. There is no war, there is only what people like or do not like.

People should relax more. This is what creates wars :p

In the dark and grim future, there is only MS VS LNX.

Is this a troll story??? (1, Troll)

lightweave (522226) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800890)

I can't believe what they are writing. Everybody knows by now (either from experience or from hearing) that Linux is a much more stable OS than Windows ever will be and now they are writing in their survey that downtime is an issue with Linux???? I wonder how many Windows boxes exists that have uptimes matching Linuxboxes? I personally had a linux box up and running for more than a year until I took it down because I didn't need it anymore. I would like to see a Windows box with that uptime. I could believe higher costs if you have to switch to Linux and have to retrain stuff and all that is involved but this is ridicoulous.

Re:Is this a troll story??? (2)

kingkade (584184) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800970)

I wonder how many Windows boxes exists that have uptimes matching Linuxboxes? I personally had a linux box up and running for more than a year until I took it down because I didn't need it anymore. I would like to see a Windows box with that uptime.

I've had my win2k box running way back since when you were still taking the trouble of using at least a couple "\r\n"'s in your rants.

"Everybody knows"? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800982)

I don't know if you consider me part of "everybody" or not. I can only assume that for some reason I'm not included in "everybody" because I know that TCO in my company is much cheaper using W2K.

Re:Is this a troll story??? (2)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801006)

All of our servers (file and web) are running W2K and they've never gone down because the OS crashed. They do go down for a couple minutes every few months to install relavent hotfixes but that's it. Oh, and one went down for a couple hours because the HD died, which I'm sure Linux wouldn't have handled any better.

Re:Is this a troll story??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801023)

Linux may be more stable if you just get it set up & leave it alone to do it's job. However what causes the most downtime is problems following configuration changes, whether that is software upgrades or installation of new code. In this respect Linux has the same problems that Windows does ... it takes time for the admin to resolve the issue and get things running smoothly again.

Lifespan Issues (4, Insightful)

larsal (128351) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800894)

Part of the cost of maintenance on the Linux platform is surely regular installation of upgrades which are freely available.

By contrast, who keeps a Microsoft product for five years without upgrading it? Especially in a corporate environment? That means that two years down the road, it's time to pay for a new version. . .

Just a thought.


Re:Lifespan Issues (2)

dirk (87083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800974)

By contrast, who keeps a Microsoft product for five years without upgrading it? Especially in a corporate environment? That means that two years down the road, it's time to pay for a new version

Anyone who has something running well on a platform they like. We still have a few WinNT servers running here, because they are running well, and there is no need to upgrade them currently. If Win2K wasn't such an improvement over WinNT there would probably be a lot more. In a server environment, if there isn't a pressing reason to upgrade a machine, you don't do it. We are dedicated to using Win2K servers for the next 3 or 4 years at least. Unless there is a pressing need to upgrade, we won't.

Re:Lifespan Issues (5, Insightful)

Enigma2175 (179646) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801020)

By contrast, who keeps a Microsoft product for five years without upgrading it? Especially in a corporate environment?

Actually, a corporate environment is more likely to stay with an old operating system than an individual or small business. There are still plenty of companies that are still using NT4 with Novell clients, or even Windows 3.11. Hell, there are still many (inventory, purchasing, etc.) systems that run on mainframe-type unix terminals. Agreed, most companies don't go 5 years without upgrading but there are certainly some that do.

Support costs (1)

Nickvotrobeck (469878) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800897)

One part of the article seems to imply that managers of Linux systems are paid significantly more than managers of Win2K systems, making the use of Linux systems more costly. Is this really the case in other peoples' experience?

Re:Support costs (2)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800968)

Nope - as a 'senior' support technician who manages a number of Linux boxes for a college, I am paid no more than the other technicians who admin Windows 2000 boxes, or those who manage no servers.

I would imagine I am pretty unique there though..

5 year study (1)

WestieDog (592175) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800900)

I think you have to remember how 'rough' linux was 5 years ago. Isn't it easier to set up (and maintain) a server running linux these days?

Re:5 year study (5, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800927)

I think you have to remember how 'rough' linux was 5 years ago.

I also wonder how rough Windows 2000 was in 1997! Could it be that these figures are made up!?


Re:5 year study (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801010)

I think you have to remember how 'rough' linux was 5 years ago. Isn't it easier to set up (and maintain) a server running linux these days?

Five years ago Windows 2000 was a pretty tough road to hoe also.

IBM (5, Informative)

e8johan (605347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800901)

IBM thinks differently in this paper [] and so does CyberSource here [] .

As a technologist I'm very sceptical to economic calculations. I believe that they can be twisted in any direction.

There is a principle of uncertanty. Of the three items cost, time and product you can only know one. So if you want to know what product you'll end up with, you can't know the price or time...

Anyway, it is good to point out that Linux systems has problems in the management area. But still, people are working on it.

First rule of business (1)

Fixerbob (593680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800903)

Give it away till they are hooked...

a company i worked for called MS once... (5, Insightful)

TechnoVooDooDaddy (470187) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800905)

keep in mind, we had the full $2k/year MSDN subscription for each developer, paid each year, as well as some very experienced staff on hand... MS charged us $150/h to talk to us about a problem that we were pointing out in their CMutex MFC class (a bug they later admitted to) This was back in 1995 or so before MS jumped on the newsgroup bandwagon. At any rate, i wonder if these kinds of fees factored into the TCO?

Linux is basically hard. (1, Insightful)

Sex_On_The_Beach (621587) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800907)

it takes many highly literate propeler heads to support Linux while it only takes a handful of newbies to run and maintain a Windows based setup.

I somewhat believe it... (1)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800908)

I do believe at this point in the IT field that Windows is cheaper/easier to support compared to Linux.

More IT profesionals are trained to know Windows and deal with Windows. Yes I understand that you /. nerds know Linux and would prefer Linux, but not every single IT person comes here.

/. is obviously aimed at the Linux/OSS crowd, no wonder everyone here thinks Linux is better, no matter what... Although I agree it is too =P

Google (4, Interesting)

Catskul (323619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800914)

Google: IDC microsoft
and you will see taht IDC has a history of tooting the MS horn.

Ya right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800920)

Do I smell Microsoft rigging something here?

haha... those fools

Everyone knows Linux is cheaper on all counts

Comment (5, Funny)

Aknaton (528294) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800921)

I love this comment on article on CRN's website:

"It just sounds strange that this article claims a five years study using Windows 2000. As of today, this study should have began by Dec. 1997 ! That means getting Windows 2000 two years in advance. "

So they must using a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) to come up with it TCO figures.

5 year study!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800923)

A 5 year study of Win2k, eh?
Have I missed something?
Hmmm... Calender still on 2002... What's going on?

And in other news the RIAA announces that the TCO of overpriced CDs is less than for free mp3s...

Obvious questions... (4, Interesting)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800934)

Five years of Windows 2000? Let's see, if Windows 2000 came out in 1999, then it's been out for 2000, 2001, 2002...that's only three years. So there must be some extrapolation going on here, even if we allow that some of these shops were using a beta version of Win2k a year ahead of release. Then there is the question of hardware costs, since Linux potentially needs less hardware to perform the same jobs. And finally, it'd be nice to know how the 104 shops were picked.

Insert standard Mark Twain "statistics" comment here.

Oh Shit.... (1)

Annoyed Coward (620173) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800935)

I should have waited for Linux2k....

A good commentary (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800939)

Here [] is a good commentary from the register.

Commissioned by Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800942)

"IDC's findings, published Monday in a study commissioned by Microsoft, suggest that the Windows 2000 Server operating system has a lower total cost of ownership than Linux, mainly due to savings associated with staffing. The findings contradict some claims that Linux is cheaper than Windows over time."

This paragraph says it all. Of course it is cheaper for Microsoft to run Windows 2000 then Linux. Windows 2000 is free if you are a Microsoft employee.

5 Years for Windows 2000? (2)

Sturm (914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800944)

Hmm... How could they do a 5-year study on an OS that's only been out for 2 years?

sponsor (2, Interesting)

John_Renne (176151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800945)

It just makes clear in wich camp the researcher was this time. The first independent report hasn't been released yet. I think the real TCO is more dependant on admin than on OS.

Upgrade Smupgrade. (2, Funny)

deathcloset (626704) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800949)

NT for 5 years now. It's simple. Like owning a dutch wall, with a lot of generous boys to plug the holes. I upgraded to Windows 2000, which is NT 5.0. Whole domain, simple. And everytime some horrindous security hole appears I just visit the pretty blue and orange and there is a little dutch boy waiting to plug a hole in the dike. But don't think for a second I don't have my public on anything less than a Nat/Firewall box. Oh you clever kiddies you..

Linux Web server is Crap !!! (0)

sabatogz (627292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800950)

We use Windows 2000 running .net. This always to write very dynamic code for our web sites. If we used Linux, this would lower our quality of our web sites to our customer and increase our development cost. Saving a few $$ is crap compared to the value it bring to our customers.

Cannot understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800952)

The article says the study is comparing the last five years. I think that implies no windows 2000 in, at least, three years of the study and, also, important differences in Linux.

Moreover, five years ago, Linux was used by so few people that almost all the enterprises that now use Linux used another OS before. It would be more interesting to compare five years after for the same enterprises.

are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800955)

windows will always out do a 2nd class os like linux

linux blows ass

The problem is... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800957)

Linux admins are relatively "new". Let me elaborate.
You have a previously win32 shop where everyone know how to support win32. You either train or hire someone to support Linux. That is where you incurr the cost. From there, you have one person supporting 1-5 boxes (typically in test deployments) and so your divisor is low, with a high numerator.

What these studies don't do is assume that you have the same size install base of Linux as for Win32. Everyone knows that Linux is more reliable (and having worked in IT as a professional for 7 years, (and still working in it now) that is not heresay) so the same person can support more boxen.

Another problem is that the people who train rather than hire have the problem of unfamiliarity. Just like with any other job, it takes newbies longer to do anything.

Finally, the last reason is because it takes more to be a good Unix admin, and their salaries reflect that fact. But fortuneately, the stability of the boxes more than make up for that fact.

We will never have a proper TCO study unless conversion is 100% with proper support staff. The closest thing would be the migration of Hotmail to Win32. But we all know how that turned out...

How convinient (3, Interesting)

robinjo (15698) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800961)

"Microsoft is celebrating the results of a study..." Hehee. It was about time they found one study to prove how Windows 2000 costs less over a five year time span.

Never mind that Windows 2000 hasn't been around even close to that long.

Never mind that Microsoft stops supporting it in year 2005. Wonder how a six year time span would have looked like...

She could at least have linked to the study itself...

But what is each server doing? (5, Insightful)

bunyip (17018) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800965)

We see a similar effect where I work, an NT box costs us about 30% less to run than a Solaris box.


There are less mission-critical systems running on NT, so there are less DBAs, less backup, etc. The print server sits in the corner and gets a 3-finger salute if it plays up, so it's cheap to run. The mission-critical boxes, running web servers, databases, etc can't go down, so we have administrators to look after them.

IMNSHO - if we normalized for what each box is doing, Linux and Unix are cheaper to run.


Re:But what is each server doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801013)

With a properly setup linux box running samba you can do this too. Have a problem, power cycle the beast.

If downtime counts for much, how did MS win? (1)

Diver777 (614939) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800973)

while downtime represented another 23.1 percent of the costs

If downtime represents such a large share of the costs, I would expect Linux to win over MS in this category. Assuming equally competent admins for each that is. Throw in some people who have no clue what they are doing the uptime will be questionable on both platforms.

typical MS tactic (4, Insightful)

octalgirl (580949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800977)

MS has done this before, and it only proves true on the $$. They pulled this off with their fight for dominance over Novell and Mac servers, and won. Both competitors were more expensive, true, but each offered unique functionality not available in MS. I still can't stand doing a tape catalog/restore on Windows today, it was so easy on Novell. I know it's not that difficult, but there are just a couple of extra steps in there that make it more time consuming than it needs to be.

When you take into account third party apps that are necessary to get a true useable, functional and secure system from MS, plus the training and high licensing fees, this introductory TCO comes out to BS. Novell or Mac, and Unix hardly ever needed 3rd party products to get them to do what you want. And regardless of the system, books, training, salary - are all going to cost. I mean, do you really want Proxy server as your firewall?

The CRN author left out a very important fact. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4800978)

Read the second paragraph of this story.,aid,107517 ,0 0.asp

The other 5% (2)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800979)

5% of the TCO is the initial costs...

Linux's initial cost is $0

0 / .05 = x

x = TCO?

wouldn't it be situational? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800980)

I've worked in IT over 20 years. From my experience, there is no one solution that is best for every possible situation.

I can think of many possible situations where a Windows solution have a lower TCO than Linux. I can also think of many possible situations where the reverse would be true.

No surprise (5, Funny)

unoengborg (209251) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800983)

I always thought that windows felt cheap

How can this be? (2, Insightful)

AUsBandit (601113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800984)

Well because morons can run windows servers.

IDC says that IT staffing alone accounts for 62.2 percent of TCO, while downtime represented another 23.1 percent of the costs.

So basicly the people running Linux weren't exerianced enough to keep it running more often than the tards that ran windows could(since all the windows admins needed to do was reboot). And on top of it all the Linux admins got paid more. So if you truly want the idiots of the world to use Linux then you have to make it alot more userfriendly and we need more services like

If you listen carefully you can hear the Linux backlash comming. But then again the good book says "Don't throw pearls to swine. They will just trample them under their feet."

A matter of perspective (1)

katalyst (618126) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800985)

The perspective they are looking at this comparison from, will also say that a Ferrari (IN THE LONG RUN) is cheaper , or rather , more cost effective than a , lets say, Ford Taurus. This is the best pubicity Microsoft has EVER got, and may be enought to push people who are wavering on the Linux/Win2k decision line, towards Microsoft. This is sad. Consider the Red Hat Advanced Server edition. It comes bundled with the Oracle DB. That sounds like a much better deal than purchasing Win2k and then Oracle.

Does MS agree? (3, Insightful)

SpaceRook (630389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800986)

From the article: Expenditures for managing, maintaining, troubleshooting and restoring the systems operations of a Linux server were, "in almost every case, higher than for systems running Windows 2000," according to the study, titled "Windows 2000 Versus Linux in Enterprise Computing." Didn't even Microsoft disagree with this statement in those "Linux Vs Windows" docs that were leaked a couple weeks ago?

Complete waste of bits (5, Insightful)

virtual_mps (62997) | more than 11 years ago | (#4800990)

Without some details it's impossible to tell either what these results were based on or the specific areas where win2k was found superior to linux. I didn't see a reference to the actual study, so there is no way to gauge the validity of the results. There's just no meat to talk about with this marketing blurb dressed up as a news report.

Sponsored by ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801003)

Microsoft claims Linux administration costs more because of the technical expert you need to run it. Apparently they are hinting that any old dumb-ass can run a Microsoft system, I prefer not to save money by relying on dumb-asses.

Win2K Uptime (2, Insightful)

ceics (158961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801004)

Considering TCO can be defined many ways, most will agree that system uptime is a huge factor, as downtime has the direct cost of the people working on the server as well as the indirect cost of lost productivity from users who are unable to access the server resources.

The main knock against Windows here on Slashdot is that it is not nearly as reliable as Linux. I maintain that the two most significant reasons for this are that the typical Linux admin is much more experienced and that Linux is installed "bare-bones" and features only enabled by direct action. Windows, on the other hand, is designed to install with a ridiculous number of services and applications by default.

A properly configured Windows Server can be quite reliable. The main problem is reboots to apply service packs and hot fixes (although this is getting better). An experienced (not "certified") Windows admin knows how to configure Windows Server with only the necessary services and the proper security restrictions. You actually can get pretty good uptime if you know what you're doing.

Downtime costs (5, Informative)

EricWright (16803) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801005)

The story mentions that downtime contributes more than 20% of the TCO of a system. With uptimes of months to years for *nix boxes; whereas you are strongly advised to reboot Windows boxes on a regular basis, where is the logic that 23% of the TCO of a *nix box comes from downtime?

We have linux servers at work that have downtime every 6 months for servicing, and then only for a handful of hours. Other than that, they don't come down at all. I fail to see how less than 1 day downtime/year (planned, at that) can contribute 23% of the TCO of the system.

2 sysadms at ~$70k/yr = $140k/yr. $0 for licensing. That would make downtime cost roughly $32k/day (23% of 140k, assuming 24 hrs downtime/yr). If you house something critical, like your CRM system, on 1 machine, and it goes down, I could see that. Then again, that would be your own damn fault for having 0 backup/redundancy.

There's a lot about that article that doesn't add up, and not just the 5 year study on Win 2000...

But how can they do a five year study on Win2k (2)

abhikhurana (325468) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801008)

When it was only released in 1999... gotcha

Who paid for this? (2, Flamebait)

Gopher (24294) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801015)

It should be noted that Microsoft commissioned this study, which I'm sure did not skew the results. </sarcasm>

we tried.. and linux WAS more xpensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801016)

k we tried this at our company.. 217ppl.. and i tell ya.. we didnt do a percentage.. but it IS more xpensive to going linux rather than windows for 2 very simple reasons: a LOT more ppl are certified on Windows.. this means training of aminds as well as a fucking lot more time spent on fiddling around with linux to get it right PEOPLE are used to winodws from EVERYWHERE:. so when ya set them down on a linuxdesktop.. PEOPLE GET CONFUSED.. for the first 5 months or so.. puters kept breaking down on a minutely basis and ppl lost files all over It may pay in the long run.. but to switch sure was not a very cheap idea.. even with all the money saved on the lincese.. all the extra time/money spent on helping ppl get thingd working.. buying extra tools to get formats over on linux and downright loss of data a lot of the time didnt.. To everyone who's gonna flame me now.. try it urself!

Propagander at the time of war... (2, Funny)

Komarosu (538875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801025)

* Wonders if this is another piece of MS propagander * Let the -1 Troll modding commence :)

Re:Propagander at the time of war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801042)

no it's MS truth not linux junkie propaganda

Could be true... (1)

oZZoZZ (627043) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801027)

I am the IT manager for a company with about 400 employees, we run 90% win2k servers, the rest are linux servers for our webserver and our intranet servers (again web servers), and 2 database servers...

There are two other IT employees here, and they won't touch linux, in order to get someone else to deal with the Linux machines, I'd have to fork out $10k more per year... which isn't worth it imo...

like the article said, eventually the price gap will shrink, but for now, i agree win2k is cheaper to run as long as the company is large enough


Something is missing (2)

Martigan80 (305400) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801028)

"This study was done over five years' time, using the tools that were available over that period of time."

So was Win2K around in 1997? What am I missing? Hell 2.4.0 wasn't around that damn long either, so this is pure FUD.

in my experience (2)

ciryon (218518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801031)

Windows 2k network for say 100 employees requires at least three IS/IT guys employed full time just to keep the damn thing running. Our Exchange server went down for several ours just because someone sent us a mail with Korean text encoding. Superb.

We use Linux and Solaris for the intranet and samba servers. Over a year uptime and never ever any problems. Same thing with external website (running Solaris), requires no maintanence what so ever. I wonder what's cheaper after a few years, *nix or windoze?


Cost is not everything (4, Insightful)

BongoBonga (317728) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801033)

I am really sick of reading all this rubbish about the cost comparison between linux/unix and windows.For the sort of work that i do which is scientific based, the applications that we need are not available under windows. So it is impossible to run a cost difference between linux and windows, linux is basically priceless. And I am sure that there are some people that it works
the other way for as well.

In order to decide what operating system to use, one should first know what one wants to do with their computer and then decide what operating system to use. Cost should not be the deciding factor (although an important one) when choosing an operating system. If an operating system does not do what one needs it to do, then no matter how inexpensive it is, it is just wasted money.

As for training costs while using computers. It has got to the point now where the basic operation of all operating systems are very much the same. Using a browser in linux is almost identical to using it under windows. So it is impossible to say that training costs are substantially different for any operating system.

TCO is a "Young Earth" argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4801037)

TCO is a made-up statistic whose factors are widely varied. You can get different TCO for the same setup depending on what you track and how you track: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

The TCO number is amounts to nothing more than a young-eath argument. Creationists offer up good numbers and solid math, but the problem is that there are glaring flaws with how the numbers relate and the logic they use. i.e. when obtaining a straight line of best fit, they only find one point, and use the derivitive at that point.

To believe any TCO argumemnt is to have an excersise of faith. And when it comes to sciences, that is not an appropriate tool to use.

Hiring dumb people costs 22% less! (1)

t482 (193197) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801038)

According to the survey of 104 companies in North America, the cost advantage of dumb people over smart ones for the four types of work ranges from 11 percent to 22 percent over a five-year period.

Smart people demonstrated a cost advantage over dumbies in only one category-- web surfing.

Now things will fly about violently (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801040)

I expect a lot of side-taking on this one.

But I cannot see how they can support the argument except that at the moment, there are simply more Windows administrators and techs out there than there are Linux administrators and techs. What's more, I have encountered people who proudly make statements like "Microsoft Only" as if it were some status symbol or major accomplishment and who won't even go NEAR a machine running anything else as if it were diseased and might infect his mind. (Brings to mind certain flavors of Christianity)

But as there are more Microsoft-supporting professionals and so many of them are still out of work, it stands to reason that the TCO is low over 5 years... except one thing-- will Windows2000 still be supported in 5 years or will their license terms change again encouraging [requiring] upgrades to their latest OS? So yes, MS people are more available and will accept lower pay. Linux people are still more rare and generally expect more pay because we know a bit more... and usually know MS in addition to other OS's pretty well.

You still get what you pay for, for the most part. But the TCO figure is a very subjective thing... and has anyone asked if this was also yet another MS supported study?

Measured on people with the right background? (2, Insightful)

niclas_b (575629) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801041)

If you let a person not used to UNIX/Linux administer the linux-server the cost is likely to go up, which seems to be the case here.

Since MS did pay for this paper to be produced... (2, Interesting)

rokka (631038) | more than 11 years ago | (#4801051)

Why even bother comenting it? (can't belive I just did)
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