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Australian TCO Study: Linux Wins Again

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the ask-enough-and-you-shall-receive dept.

Linux Business 396

An anonymous reader writes "An updated Linux vs Windows TCO study has found that a 250-seat company can end up saving 36 percent if it were to equip its users with the open source operating system and applications that run on it."

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First kumquat! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070861)

First kumquat [slashdot.org] !

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070862)

HAHA FP Suckers!
wooohooo

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070865)

LOL too late.

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070870)

Poo on you!

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Pwn3d by a kumquat! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070902)

The shame of it all...

Re:Pwn3d by a kumquat! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070907)

I will not surrender!

AHHAHAHAHAHHA

Against the kumquat, resistance is futile... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070923)

Don't fight the kumquat [slashdot.org] . Join with it, so that you and all the other furits can rule the galaxy.

Re:Against the kumquat, resistance is futile... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070933)

I will dominate you in my bondage dungeon of delight!

Re:Against the kumquat, resistance is futile... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070937)

Mmmmyes, ok. While you're doing that, help out with the slashdot kumquat [slashdot.org] googlebomb, alright?

Netcraft confirms it... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070869)

Microsoft is dying!

Re:Netcraft confirms it... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070879)

What a lame attempt for a "+5, Funny".

It's called overkill. You are obviously the master at it.

Here it comes (0, Redundant)

nick korma (836538) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070898)

I use AOL 9 at home (UK) on 1mb broadband.. I have been using them for just under 12 months - and as soon as the 17th December 2004 hits I will be changing to another ISP - whilst I have found the connection ok - the customer support is appaling - the length of time on hold is unbearable... and they were not able to tell me why dns goes out the windows every 20 mins on average and the latency on FPS's is unbearable!!... also that browser drives me nuts! (I use firefox with the AOL browser minimised) - I am ready for all your anti AOL slagging - although I bet there are loads of AOL slashdot users...

Re:Netcraft confirms it... (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070985)

Seriously, they really may be. They are mostly so powerful because their dominance has been self-sustaining. Everyone uses Word and Internet Explorer, because everyone else uses them, and documents are made with no concern for people with different software preferences. Word and IE tie people to Windows.

But the tide is changing. IE marketshare is falling. According to some reports, about a fifth of surfers use alteranitve browsers. That gives serious reason to make websites that work with other browsers (yes, that means you, gmail).

People are increasingly eager to abandon Windows. It's funny that lately, many of my non-CS friends have started learning to work with Linux, and it's mostly the people who think they can handle their computers who stick to Windows.

Of course, there are still applications that will tie people to Windows. However, if people actually attempt to switch, they will learn which applications and file formats cause problems, and be more open to using alternatives. I've seen this happen in several places.

Now, all this is not to say that Microsoft will go down (I personally believe they will at least survive, if not prosper). However, now that their dominance is starting to slip, there are serious opportunities for competitiors to establish themselves in the market.

And they're trying. The other day, I heard a Novell ad advocating open source on the radio. Even if they are the only one now, where one leads, others will follow.

What would really kill Microsoft's deathgrip would be if a competitor not only did the same things better, but also offered features that Microsoft doesn't. Two examples would be efficient use of metadata (a la BeOS; this is being worked on by all camps) and truly interactive web applications (like XAML promises; Java and XUL are just not good enough).

Re:Netcraft confirms it... (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071103)

Two examples would be efficient use of metadata (a la BeOS; this is being worked on by all camps) and truly interactive web applications (like XAML promises; Java and XUL are just not good enough).

Can you elaborate?

Re:Netcraft confirms it... (1)

hell_for_leather (515642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071116)

Just because it's "Open Source" doesn't mean it's less expensive by any stretch of the imagination. People are more comfortable sticking with windows because they use this software at home.

What about a larger company (4, Interesting)

Myolp (525784) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070871)

It would be interresting to see the results of a similar study when applied to a company with a much larger number of employees. Would the results be similar in a world-wide company with 10.000 employees located in different countries?

Re:What about a larger company (2, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070876)

More people = more savings. File that under "duh".

Re:What about a larger company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070905)

different languages, cultures, timezones, political systems, financial systems, not to mention geographic regions.

yeah its as simple as multiplying number of users.

file that under "im a smart ass who should have thought before i posted".

Re:What about a larger company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071084)

yes you are and yes you should have.

If it was that simple, the savings would be the same. Unless the people handling IT were spectacularly incompetent, one would expect large savings from reuse of training materials, deployment resources, learning from mistakes etc.

Internationalization in this particular case is just a red herring. It affects companies equally regardless of their IT vendor (assuming that the vendor in question actually supports the language, currency etc.)

to be specific:
- Languages. Either the system supports it or doesn't. FLOSS, by definition, allows weaknesses in this area to be addressed. Historically the way to get the problem addressed in proprietary/owned source is to indicate that the vendor will lose your business if they don't. The way to do that (again historically) is to provide a viable (typically FLOSS) alternative. This applies to a fairly large subset of problems: in order to get a POS vendor to devlop a solution, you have to develop it yourself first at which point the vendor will happily take your competitive edge.

- Cultures. Hmmm, you're going to have to show me how cultural factors affect TCO from one vendor vs another. I'm not saying it isn't so but it does sound like you are flailing.

- Timezones. Yep, you're flailing. Did you actually give this the slightest moment's thought? Timezone may be set manually at installation or may be picked up automatically. In either case, it is a completely insigificant part of TCO, is not affected at all by internationalization and the variation of that cost between vendors is likely to be an insignficant fraction of an insignificant cost.

- Political Systems. I'll have to give you this one. POS solutions may benefit from the legal maneuvering possible under sufficiently corrupt governments.

- Financial systems. See language.

- Geographic regions. This one could go either way depending on the competency of the support organization. On the surface asserting that the relative TCO of two systems may be significantly affected by the physical location of the systems in question sounds crazy but, if one makes the unlikely assuption that there is no effective remote support, I could see that getting the appropriate technical expertise on site could vary widely depending on where it has to be brought in from and how often. In all likelihood, since the FLOSS organization is providing their own training, support and systems, the relative TCO would improve dramatically as the organization becomes physically distributed since local people would have the skills to manage their own systems. A typical PeopleSoft deployment would exemplify the POS solution: large numbers of expensive contractors need to be brought from all over to address even minor issues.

Re:What about a larger company (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070914)

But more people = more retraining, and more training of new recruits, since they are probably just windows users.

Re:What about a larger company (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070959)

The cost of training per user doesn't go up, does it? If anything you can argue that it goes down, because you can buy training for 10,000 users for less than you can buy training for 250 users.

Meanwhile the cost of implementing the change per user - and by implementing I mean actually reimaging their desktops to run Linux, etc - and other such costs go down.

Think of it this way: a 10,000 user company is like 40 250 user companies under one roof but with more purchasing power and more scope to use the economies of scale to reduce costs. Proportionally, there will be fewer IT people in a typical 10,000 user company than a typical 250 user one, etc.

Re:What about a larger company (2, Funny)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071031)

More significantly, more people == more machines == more staff (the most expensive part) to support them.

The big advantages with Windows infrastructure are the tools for managing lots of machines (eg: Group Policy) and the ease of integration.

Re:What about a larger company (1)

DigitumDei (578031) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070975)

That depends. The larger the company, the more issues you can have when upgrading anything, purely from a communications point of view.

The longer it takes to upgrade, and the longer that your systems are not running the same software, the more chance of problems. These problems are of course solved by hiring more support and doing more indepth planning, all of which costs money.

Thats not to say that larger companies can't have better savings, but I seriously doubt its as simples as "More people = more savings".

Re:What about a larger company (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070885)

You say that you want a study with "a much larger number of employees", yet you suggest 10.000 as an example? And what's with the floating point number?

I would prefer a study with 10,000 employees.

Geez, man. Get a grip!

Re:What about a larger company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070904)

Perhaps he is euro where . is k-divider and , is decimal divider (just to make things interesting)

Re:What about a larger company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070920)

You shmuck. Have you not realized it was a joke?

Now quick! Mod it "+5, Funny"!

Re:What about a larger company (0, Offtopic)

secretsquirel (805445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070956)

"You say that you want a study with "a much larger number of employees", yet you suggest 10.000 as an example? And what's with the floating point number? I would prefer a study with 10,000 employees. Geez, man. Get a grip!"

The comma should go inside the quotes I belive. Also, did you know that pigs have corkscrew shaped penises.

Re:What about a larger company (2, Interesting)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070901)

interesting thought, i guess large companies would work better with linux too. though there is no formal survey many governmental departments in india run linux and our annual budget has come down a lot...

Re:What about a larger company (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070972)

Bigger companies often have a wide range of hardware and operating systems.

The good thing with Samba is it can work with NT through to 2003 as well as the 9x versions of Windows. So replacing Windows servers is a good start, you can tie together legacy and brand new systems with Samba.

Re:What about a larger company (2, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070999)

You know, because I work for big Pharma, I think about this every time one of these studies comes out.

However, after to speaking with a few of the higher up IT guys at various trade shows and other events where we accidentally windup in the same room. I have concluded money has very little to do with us using Microsoft products. Rather it's other things like: PHB's (almost by definition) aren't highly technical people but maintainers of the status quo, "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft", and most importantly the incredible inertia of big companies like ours

In summary: Despite the wide usage of FOSS in R&D it would take something on the scale of Nuclear War to draw enough attention & create the motivation it would require to make the change from Microsoft to anything else for the Desktop and most servers and Old 'Enterprise level' UNIX for the important stuff.

Re:What about a larger company (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071027)

No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft

I did...

L.Torvalds

Re:What about - so why not IBM still? (2, Insightful)

sien (35268) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071036)

So why aren't we still using IBM products if no one ever got fired for buying them?

Re:What about a larger company (3, Insightful)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071040)

maintainers of the status quo, "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft", and most importantly the incredible inertia of big companies like ours

I remember when that saying went "No one ever got fired for buying IBM" and it's really not that long ago... Things change. Always have, always will.

Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (0, Troll)

Mike Bourna (748040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071002)

I am what most people would consider a highly trained technical professional. Unlike most people who spout off at this site, I have the certificates to prove this, and furthermore they're issued by the biggest software company in existence.

I know how to tell facts from marketing fluff. Now, here are the facts as they're found by SEVERAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH INSTITUTES:

Expenses for file-server workloads under Windows, compared to LinuxOS:
  • Staffing expenses were 33.5% better.
  • Training costs were 32.3% better.


They compared Microsofts IIS to the Linux 7.0 webserver. For Windows, the cost was only:
  • $40.25 per megabit of throughput per second.
  • $1.79 per peak request per second.


Application development and support costs for Windows compared to an opensores solution like J2EE:
  • 28.2% less for large enterprises.
  • 25.0% less for medium organizations.


A full Windows installation, compared to installing Linux, on an Enterprise Server boxen:
  • Is nearly three hours faster.
  • Requires 77% fewer steps.


Compared to the best known opensores webserver "Red Hat", Microsoft IIS:
  • Has 276% better peak performance for static transactions.
  • Has 63% better peak performance for dynamic content.


These are hard numbers and 100% FACTS! There are several more where these came from.

Who do you think we professionals trust more?
Reliable companies with tried and tested products, or that bedroom coder Thorwaldes who publicly admits that he is in fact A HACKER???

--
Copyright (c) 2004 Mike Bouma, MCSE, MCDST, MS Office Specialist, widely respected Amigan, Amiga community representative

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Re:Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071056)

I love you!

don't ever stop being you.

Re:What about a larger company (1)

njcoder (657816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071013)

"Would the results be similar in a world-wide company with 10.000 employees located in different countries?"

A company of that scale has a bunch of problems. They most likely have a large number of custom applications. Most of these might be web based but even those might have dependancies on activex in the browser.

In addition, you have to deal with all the excel macros, lotus notes/exchange applications and forms, custom vb applications, etc.

On top of the inhouse applications, you have to deal with high priced software that may not run on linux.

When you're dealing with a smaller company you're probably not dealing with that much home brewed software so the migration, and numbers, should look better.

Re:What about a larger company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071080)

Yes.

Is that a surprise? (1)

laka21 (839785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070875)

Isnt that pretty obvious ?? Why waste all the money in a study/survey and come up with such results. The only thing that we werent aware of was the "36%" value. Strange, thought it would be much more than that.

Re:Is that a surprise? (2, Funny)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070883)

This is for the PHBs who take this sort of thing seriously.

Re:Is that a surprise? (1, Redundant)

Beolach (518512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070895)

It should be obvious, but with Microsoft throwing FUD around (if you aren't using AdBlock or such, hit reload on the /. homepage & eventually you'll see some), the suits who actually make the decisions may not see it, despite how obvious it is to you & me.

I'm a subscriber, you insensitive clod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070935)

I'm a subscriber, you insensitive clod ...

Of course, I've seen VS.NET ads when browsing from some other computer .

Re:Is that a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070899)

Why waste all the money in a study/survey and come up with such results.

It's the new rave, dude! Didn't you get the memo!?

Re:Is that a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070932)

This is impropbable. You cannot convince me that the needed training to enable Linux usage will result in a 36% savings. I will never, ever believe that #1 you can get quality, experienced IT infrastructure resources to deploy the desktop services ... train employees accustomed to Windows on Linux with a 36% savings. This is a joke. I'm sorry, I want to believe it but it's just not true. These kinds of studies do nothing but make CTOs and CIOs dismiss Linux outright.

Re:Is that a surprise? (1)

laka21 (839785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070953)

Dude! it is open source. Yes, training and support does cost some money and that is the reason why the margin is just 36%. As long as the employees arent grannies, who claim that they can never change with the latest trend, this should work out for the better for the companies.

Re:Is that a surprise? (1)

Gilesx (525831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071024)

I would imagine that a lot of the savings would be eaten up by the initial work required to convert existing systems and the large training programs that would be involved to ease users through the transition from other operating systems.

I'd bet over an extended period of time, however, that the % savings would increase.

Probably a load of rubbish (4, Insightful)

superskippy (772852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070882)

Benchmarks are usually pretty unreliable and fudgeable anyway, but I think these TCO studies are the pits. I certainly don't believe them when Microsoft pays for studies to tell me that they are the best, so I don't see why I should pay any attention when an open source company (gasp) endorses open source solutions. Like all benchmarks, how good something is depends on circumstances individual to your situation, and TCO statistics surely must be more sensitive to individual circumstances than most.

Note for slashdot bias fans: "Linux wins again" is actually in the story in the link, rather than a bit of spin on the part of everyone's favourite news site :)

Beware of spurious precision! (4, Insightful)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070955)

Skippy has a point, but...

TCO studies are just standard business cost estimation models, with assumptions chosen by the authors of the study. Most of the models are pretty good, in theory, with sound reasoning and empirically-supportable construction. If they didn't work, or if they tended to provide misleading results when applied properly, why would businesses use them at all?

The problem is with the assumptions. Give me any financial model, from cost estimation to marketing models to arbitrage scenarios, and I can plug assumptions into it that will give any result you want. The models are fine, but the results are "the pits", as it were, unless the assumptions are carefully and honestly chosen.

This isn't to say that a TCO model, even with well-chosen assumptions, can provide an incredible amount of precision, but it CAN provide accuracy of result. That's what REALLY pisses me off about this article--they're quoting numbers to a whole percent, when it's pretty obvious that the precision of the result isn't anywhere near %10. If the article is to be believed, they're using intentionally pessimistic assumptions in order to bias the study against F/OSS, and still coming out with F/OSS on top. They're acknowledging that they can't bring supportable, precise assumptions into it!

So really, the study is saying "F/OSS is cheaper than MS by a good margin, but our precision is shitty enough that our actual number doesn't mean much. It might be %37 cheaper, it might be %80 cheaper, or it might be %1 cheaper--but we're pretty sure it's cheaper."

I guess it's like that old joke, where the museum guest asks the tour guide "How old are these dinosaur bones?" The guide says "The bones are 2 million and 10 years old." The guest, astonished, exclaims "That's amazing! How can we know the age so precisely, when it's that old?"

The guide responds, "Well, it was 2 million years old when I started working here, and I've been working here for 10 years."

Re:Beware of spurious precision! (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071012)

If they didn't work, or if they tended to provide misleading results when applied properly, why would businesses use them at all?

In my experience, most people use whatever methods appear plausible and support their own prejudices (generally subconsciously). Just because the person is in charge of millions of dollars worth of budgeting doesn't usually change that.

Re:Beware of spurious precision! (1)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071083)

But the market is fundamentally a selective mechanism, right? People can and do make stupid, losing decisions, and many of them keep their jobs, but companies that have more people making better decisions tend to outperform companies that don't encourage good work as much. Over time and across the whole market, there is a tendency that bad methods disappear, because the companies in which those methods thrived paid the price with in market share.

Coincidentally, this is also why people who say that the law of gravity is a culturally-determined construct are technically correct and bone-headed in practice. Yes, it's entirely possible that cultures can exist where everyone believes utterly that if you drop a rock, it will fall upward, or that you can jump off a cliff and not hit the ground--but any such culture would probably vanish pretty quickly as its people failed to observe safe practices around cliffs and rocks.

We're not empiricists because we WANT to be, we're empiricists because it's a good survival strategy!

Actual Study PDF (3, Informative)

Biogenesis (670772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070888)

http://www.cybersource.com.au/about/linux_vs_windo ws_tco_comparison.pdf Linked to in the article.

Re:Actual Study PDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070934)

If you have made that an actual link I might have given you a mod point.

Re:Actual Study PDF (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070969)

Don't give mod points to karma whores like that anyways, they don't deserve it.

Re:Actual Study PDF (2, Interesting)

bairy (755347) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071070)

There is a possibility (s)he was just being helpful.

Re:Actual Study PDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071094)

This should have been modded funny :) No karma, and more chance someone would Read The Fine Study (RTFS?).

Besides, the site seems to be slashdotted, anyone got a mirror?

--Coder

Re:Actual Study PDF (1)

Biogenesis (670772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071100)

Meh, so I'm a lazy bastard. I deserved that :p.

Re:Actual Study PDF (1)

O-SUSHi (820452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071072)

And up until recently, CyberSource's website didn't even render correctly in Mozilla, until I told a friend of mine on Work Experience @ CyberSource to fix it up. (his /. id 749007). He claims he proofread the document, but, well, he's not that credible.
http://web.archive.org/web/20040207215333/http://c yber.com.au/
and now.. http://www.cyber.com.au
not very good for a company that advocates the use of mozilla and other open source applications [/offtopic]

but like everyone else has said - try using linux in a work environment with 1000+ people and working in tech support getting calls about the craziest things - icons lost on the desktop - and changing what everyone is used to to *nix. sure its more stable, and 'efficient', but a hectic tech support team will just get more crap, and all jump out their 5/6th story windows (well, that's where the tech support was where I worked)

uh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070892)

but the Microsoft adverts on Slashdot keep telling me that Linux has a higher TCO...?!?

Re:uh (5, Interesting)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071011)

Sounds like you need to be using Firefox [mozilla.org] , a free open source web browser... suitablly equipped with the Adblock extension. Then you wouldn't keep seeing the Microsoft adverts :-)

Not having to read the Microsoft adverts will therefore increase your productivity. Proof that Open Source software improves TCO!

TFA looks quite unbiased... (3, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070911)

So far all the TCO studies I've seen are quite biased by the looks of it - except this one about TC0 [bsdnexus.com] .

But you underestimate the staffing issues there. Firing all your MSFT IT guys and hiring new "LinuxCompatible" admins is a big pain for most companies. Of course you fire 3 Win32 admins and hire one Linux admin by default :)

For a new startup, a Linux desktop is invaluable , especially if you have a couple of in-house developers who use it regularly. That's where linux is slowly creeping into the desktop - not in the big companies with million dollar CTOs and kickbacks from Microsoft.

Re:TFA looks quite unbiased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070926)

Hate to tell you this, but a Win32 admin CAN learn to use linux.

At least one of the three would be intelligent ;)

Re:TFA looks quite unbiased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070965)

So far all the TCO studies I've seen are quite biased by the looks of it


Sure - technically they seem to be inconsistent, poorly setup and sometimes downright biassed. But they're not for technical folks. They're sales headlines (which almost nobody believes, even PHBs), but they are used at a high level to justify a decision that has already been made. Nobody is going to say "Look, Windows has a 34% lower TCO, lets buy Windows". They're going to decide on - or get sold - Windows, and will use the TCO figures to justify it.

Remember the old line about "nobody got fired for buying IBM"? It might be more expensive, much more expensive even, but it's covering your ass if something goes wrong. Likewise with these. If some Gartner-esque company who the executives have heard of makes a TCO claim, then you're not going to get fired for using it to justify your decision.

what if (2, Funny)

laka21 (839785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070916)

what if the company is a partner of the microsoft and is working on security issues in IE ? This is a generalised statement. It depends on the needs of the company. Neither MS nor the Linux group would be bothered by this.

Biased in MS Favour (4, Interesting)

Karora (214807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070918)


It is very interesting the assumptions that they state have been made to bias this report in Microsoft's favour.

  • He said given the fact that the company deals in open source products, four aspects had been factored in to tip the scales towards Microsoft:
    The model was not modified to to reflect research by the Robert Frances Group which showed that Linux needed 82 percent fewer staff resources.
  • The costs of malware - viruses, spyware, worms, keyloggers, adware - were not taken into account. Zymaris said every research point found had suggested that this cost was essentially and predominantly a Windows platform cost, resulting in billions lost by business every year.
  • Costs which arose when systems need to be pre-emptively rebooted or crashed, resulting in unscheduled downtime, were not taken into account. "All our research indicates that Linux rarely if ever suffers such problems and open source platforms on the whole are extremely robust," Zymaris said.
  • "Finally, because Microsoft has claimed that introducing Linux into an environment will lead to increased reliance on external consultants, we have tripled the amount budgeted for such requirements on the Linux models," he said.

Wow!

Re:Biased in MS Favour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070983)

I love your wow, it almost sounds impressed. If I were to submit a TCO like this to a company I'd be off looking for work. The hot points throughtout are mediocre and quite frankly are not representative of what CTOs and CIOs care about. The best example is the "malware" cost of billions which quite frankly no CIO or CTO has seen within well managed policied deployments of Windows desktop OS. The simple fact of switching is a cost factor. Change costs more money. It's as if the /. community thinks if they say something false enough it will become true. It won't. I can't even switch to Linux for my personal laptop so how could I switch mission critical desktop users and run the risk of bringing a 75 year old company to the brink of shutdown? Too much risk, no reward. There's not even a version of Access in OpenOffice and it's pushed as it were the second coming. What is the benefit of Firefox? Tabbed browsing and being able to run from a flash drive? Are you freaking kidding me? I'm switching from one known product to an unknown for no reason. Neither is secure so please don't give me the "Firefox patches quicker". Last time I checked neither has addressed the recent popup hijacking issue.

Re:Biased in MS Favour (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11070987)

Costs which arose when systems need to be pre-emptively rebooted or crashed, resulting in unscheduled downtime, were not taken into account.

Maybe they were not taken into account (and thus in Microsoft's favor) because the group wasn't able to use older MS operating systems in their study when comparing MS to Linux. When you think about it, their newer operating systems (XP/2000/2003) are very stable and you will never see a crash with the exception of hardware errors or very stupid user errors.

Re:Biased in MS Favour (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071006)

I agree with both of you. It's a shame that Linux proponents have to result to fear related to factors that were only prominent before 1998. This is a sad set of people who are under the impression that they're doing something to help people. I think that they should just stop running stories such as "Linux dominates the desktop n 2005, 2006, etc." because Linux is shit at the desktop and always will be. Why else would there be Wine, why else do the desktops try to be Windows like (and please don't say they're trying to be Mac-like like Windows ... because 95 crushed Mac OS 9 usability ... I know having used Mac OS since the XL). This is a case of the wrong people with the power to print misinformation. Hilter always said the bigger the lie the more people will believe it. I guess that's how some people have actually been led to believe the TCO of Linux is lower than MS.

Re:Biased in MS Favour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071057)

Jesus, man, use a fucking paragraph break somewhere.

Piss-poor writing and dropping Hitler's name don't really help your arguments. Try to avoid these mistakes in the future.

How about posting something new and interesting? (0, Troll)

Satcho (837947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070921)

This is like the 400th time the editors have posted the same boring news this week. It's all basically the same concept rehashed. Yes, Linux will save you $100,000,000. We get the point.

Re:How about posting something new and interesting (1)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071004)

Ah Yes, but in Soviet Russia, the point gets YOU! And in Soviet Russia, Using Linux allows Money to save YOU!

Re:How about posting something new and interesting (1)

Mr Abstracto (226219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071032)

no its :Yes, Linux will save you... (put pinky to mouth) one MILLION dollars!

New and Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071060)

TCO Studies a waste of time? (2, Interesting)

beezly (197427) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070922)

Every TCO study I have seen into the cost benefits of Linux over Windows, and vice versa, seem to all be flawed. They are always paid for by someone with a vested interest in getting one "answer" or another. How can they be taken seriously... it's like going to Sun and IBM and saying "Whose hardware is better?"... I wonder what answer each company would give.

News Flash (0, Redundant)

Spiffy McPerson (615066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070924)

"An updated Linux vs Windows TCO study has found that microsoft still sucks sucks sucks."

In other news... (1)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070925)

A random study indicates that the actual cost of the licenses themselves is roughly 36% of the total cost of setup and maintenance of 250-seat corporate deployment.

Re:In other news... (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071067)

wouldn't that imply that more expensive licenses would lead to higher cost of deployment and maintenance? Value of 36% times two = Value of 64% times two?! Or are you making fun of TCO studies?

Crap (0)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070931)

This study is crap. They admitted bias toward open source solutions, so they decided to take countermeasures by disregarding from things like viruses, and tripled the maintenance costs for Linux, ignoring research that found that Linux needs 82% fewer staff to maintain.

Then they found Linux 36% cheaper, and RHEL 27% cheaper than Windows.

Let me ask you. With all these factors that clearly distort the measurements, how can they come to such ridiculously accurate figures? What's the level of confidence?

It's almost as bad as the "Windows 14% cheaper" study from MS's get the facts campaign - only that one goes a bit further by not mentioning at all what they measured or how - I'm assuming this study does, although I can't get to the PDF.

Re:Crap (4, Interesting)

Plug (14127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070949)

No, the outcome and confidence is great. It says "Even if we did everything we possibly could to sway things in the Windows direction, and ignored a bunch of Windows' costs, Linux is still cheaper".

Still cheaper. You can't necessarily put numbers on the price of spyware and reboots, but whatever that number is, Linux is cheaper than it already. It is not a case of "Linux is free if your time has no value" - it's that "even if you value your time at 3 times the price that you would on Windows, you are still better off".

Re:Crap (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070995)

Yes, I see Linux is cheaper, but that's not what I meant. What I meant is: where does the 36% come from? How do they know it's really 36%, and not 15 or 250? Given all the bias in their study, I can't assume 36% is even close to the real number.

Re:Crap (2, Insightful)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071025)

Given all the bias in their study, I can't assume 36% is even close to the real number.

Correct, 36% is far lower than the real number. This is a GOOD thing, so why are you complaining?

In any moderately complex field, you can't get everyone to agree that the same assumptions are true, and yet you can't even attempt to make predictions without selecting some assumptions to work from. So you take your pick, tell people what you chose, and if they disagree with your result, they can adjust it accordingly.

Consider the problem of the world's dwindling oil supply. People don't agree on how much oil exists underground, or how fast consumers will burn it. But I can make a generous assumption about quantity (twice what the USGS says) and stingy about usage (no increase over current rates), and compute that we run out in 100 years. Since any other likely assumptions will give a worst number, this "bad best case" prediction is a fine starting point to discuss long-term plans.

Re:Crap (2, Informative)

DRobson (835318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071030)

They never said it was 36%, the article seems to state that 36% is the lower bound becuase of the bias in Microsoft's favour. If you tip something in another person's favour it's definitely not going to be lower. That said, I haven't actually read the PDF.

Linux, UNIX, and Windows: TCO Revisited (1)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070941)

The previous victory here [slashdot.org]

Tired of all this... (3, Insightful)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070947)

I'm tired of all this TCO crap. I know that they are just doing it to offset some of the "studies" that Microsoft has funded, but I wish linux groups would focus on something else.

In fact, I wish Microsoft would focus on something else. It's funny, but *cost* isn't something that seems to be a strength of MS. They should focus on their strengths (like consistent interface that everyone knows, massive hardware support, number of applications available, good multimedia support, etc). They have a lot going for them. Why do they always focus on the thing that they don't have going for them!!!!

--End rant.

Re:Tired of all this... (1)

xlyz (695304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071019)

because their customers care?

Re:Tired of all this... (4, Insightful)

erikharrison (633719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071045)

Listen to me very very carefully.

TCO is all that matters.

Say it again kids.

TCO is all that matters.

A company makes a product. Technology is a means to an end. TCO is the TOTAL cost (in cash, lost sales, employee time, overhead) of the technology.

TCO includes: the cost to initially purchase the software, the cost in lost time as users and admins to learn new interfaces, the cost in paying employees in maintaining the system, the cost in purchasing obscure or less capable hardware supported by the technology, the cost in lost time in porting/writing/purchasing applications to run in the environment, and on and on.

TCO is NOT cost of purchase + cost of support. And it is also always an estimate because of so many variables it must encompass - that's why there are so many studies about TCO. It's an ambiguous metric.

TCO is all that matters, TCO is all that matters, TCO is all that matters.

but wait (5, Funny)

khromatikos (839805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070951)

Linux has a much higher cost of 0wn3rship. Windows is much cheaper to 0wn.

Retards do what other do (1)

FullMetalAlchemist (811118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11070994)

TCO is only useful as an internal evaluation tool; anyone using a TCO as a generalization of how things are is only something a complete idiot would do.

If a company get a lower TCO from doing whatever, it doesn't mean jack shit if someone else does the same thing, the resault will be different.

All these reports on TCO, well, you can shove them up the ass, 'cause that's where they belong.

In fact, I hate all people who do these idiotic things, especially Cybersource and the likes, because they obviously don't understand what they are doing; and yet, people still listen. Amazing!

Sorry if I come of as a flamer, but dammit, this needs to be said.

Mirrors? (1)

Cooper_007 (688308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071000)

Anybody out there that managed to get the PDF and is willing to host it for a bit?
That site is crumbling under the slashdotting.

Since this is their second time around, you'd think they'd learned by now...

Cooper
--
Your cat has once again urinated out of bounds and
received an educational electric shock to the offending
organ as per your instructions, mr. Jerusalem.
- Transmetropolitan 16, House Security System -

36% OF WHAT??? (0)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071008)


I love the way the article just says '36%' and people discuss it seriously as if it were an actual statistic.

36% of IT costs? Of software costs? Of TCO over a year? Over 5 years? Of initial cost? Of OS cost?

Presumably the original (unloadable for me) .pdf was a bit more credible.

But anyway, yeah, back to discussing it really seriously.

I'm amazed it's not at least 38.675%. 36% seems awfully low -- in fact if they had used Mandrake it could probably have been 39.825%!

Statistics (0)

Magickcat (768797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071023)

In other news 100 percent of all percentages are 25 percent subjective. The remaining 76 percent are conjecture and personal speculation.

Um (0)

computertheque (823940) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071028)

Linux and open source is great, but things get very iffy in the transition to the work place. Almost all problems are tired to one factor, that the average computer user barely knows how to use a computer. They can check email, browse the internet, and type up some documents, but that is basically it.

All of us slashdot folk probably would have no problem adapting to a different OS, but the moment you take away that familiar setting from the average employee problems are going to arise. Few companies are going to take the initiative to train all their employees for a new OS, the cost and time involved is something that is not in their bottom line.

Software is the other questionable area. Sure there are able applications available to get most work done, but the larger variety and familiarity of products for Windows is one more reason to not change things.

Company size is a big factor, only a small one could pull this off with ease.

Re:Um (1)

erikharrison (633719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071059)

The corporate environment is easier than the home user environment in this regard not the other way around.

Linux and other Unices provide a much more granular and mature customization system and access control. Even just plain user/group/world read/write/execute is better than the windows layout.

Creating simple systems that only do email, the web, blah blah blah is very easy in Linux. In some senses it can't be done in windows, certainly without kiosk software, and at that point, it's hard to lock down the custom apps I guarentee that a business needs to run.

Corporate "users" never mess with their box, no matter the OS. That's the admins job. You can't tell me that Thunderbird, Firefox, and Abiword on Linux are any harder on Joe Dumbass than say, Thunderbird, Firefox, and Abiword in Windows.

Re:Um (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11071071)

Train new employees.

I put my nephew infront of a *nix box running gnome and he started surfing the web playing games and writing notes in OO.o; without any direction.

Well, ok, I had to tell him that swriter was a word like program. Yes, I should have sent him to NEdit.

Now I must admit, when I put him infront of Fluxbox, I had to tell him to right click to get the menu.

Other than that, are you telling me that a 10 year old is smarter that most/all business professionals? He has never has sat behind a *nix machine in his life. Now come on.

Todays major desktop Gnome/KDE are similar enough to MS that even a child can use it.

Patch Day! (2, Interesting)

OMG (669971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071044)

Did anyone ever take into account what it costs to install a critical patch on every system in the enterprise and have to reboot each machine afterwards? I guess you need large numbers to compute the costs of such an operation in bigger corporations.

Now, how often would you have to do that on which OS?

My uncle will beat your uncle (2, Interesting)

frakir (760204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071051)

Tell that news to someone working in photoshop or dreamweaver or programming windows apps for living (something like 70% of programmers are developing for windoze now, today).

Yeah Linux needs bigger market share and it will do good to all of us but TCO for many companies tied to an OS by definition makes no sense at all.

Comical (1)

Justabit (651314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071055)

It reminds me of the kids cartoon which has the 3 little ducks sitting round, playing, saying to each other in turn " I don't know Louie, what do you want to do?" , "I don't know Dewie, What do you want to do?" round in a circle. Except this time It's " I dont know if I should go against MS and earn more money for my company, What are you going to do?" etc...

What about a piece of shear genius showing most if not all OS's , how much they cost (initial and licences per year) and how much they cost or save in terms of productivity over time. I can guarantee you the saving of inital cost is only important to some companies but only in relation to the gains made by happier faster workers who can actually do thier work. Thats where the money is.

Another flawed biased study (1, Interesting)

Keeper (56691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071063)

In this particular study, the biggest flaw is that decided that they had to pay full retail for the software installed on the machines (as opposed to getting a site license, which would cut costs dramatically; but as the study will later show, all they did was do a few searches on the internet to compile their information before they spent the 10 minutes it took to write this up). Not to mention that they absolutely must have the most expensive version of each package. Especially considering that they don't say what KIND of business it is they are trying to model. It also appears that every person in the company requires direct access to the database. Riight...

A secondary flaw is their costing of employees. They don't factor in differences between contracting and hires, benefits, etc. Nor do they mention any cost of living factors for the study. Apparently they did some dumbass search on Dice.com to arrive to this figure. Then they do some handwaving and say that anything that can't be handle by the staff will be handled by consultants.

And those consultants, boy howdy, will be used equally for both operating systems and cost exactly the same. No justification, no research.

I could keep going, but it would just be a waste of time.

linux has it's own supportability issues (3, Insightful)

rich42 (633659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071077)

I like Linux - but there's a lot of hidden support costs...

take setting up a new website:

"oh - there's a GUI tool for that... if you installed the right package... did you pick gnome or KDE?... X isn't starting? it might just be easier to modify the .conf file with Pico... don't have that? try vi - httpd.conf should be under /etc/httpd - unless you..."

Any idiot (like myself) can fumble through doing this stuff on Windows.

Security? Go to Windowsupdate.com once a month and install all the patches. I wish I had as straight forward a solution for my Linux boxes.

don't get me wrong - I want to see open source crush microsoft - it's just there's some significant work that needs to be done on the usability / supportability front.

Re:linux has it's own supportability issues (1)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071090)

Most of the major distros now have automatic updates. And setting up a webserver under linux couldn't be easier all you need is a little common sense (and be able to read). I myself hate the gui's and would prefer a text edited config file.

Re:linux has it's own supportability issues (1)

laptop006 (37721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11071101)

Sure it's pretty easy on windows, but setting up your first site on linux is also pretty easy, it's here's where apache looks by default, and make the files world readable so they can be read by the apache process. As soon as you go from one site to many on the same box you start to need to understand the reasons behind some of the options, no matter your platform.

And as for patching in linux - because that's all your're doing, WU is not a security fix - apt on my debian boxes (dozens of servers running stable, and a handful on testing) has never had a problem, and if I wanted to I could automate it via cron to remove all manual intervention. On Windows to be reliable I have to use MSBSA as WU does not cover even the most common MS server software (MSBSA misses some as well, but it's good enough for what we run), plus BSA does actually check some security settings unlike WU.
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