×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Users Reject MS Independent Study Claims

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the who-reads-that-junk-anyway dept.

Microsoft 170

PenguinCandidate writes "End users from various corners of the Web have whole-heartedly rejected Microsoft's claims that an independent TCO comparison between Linux and Windows would be something akin to the second coming. Said one senior Linux architect: 'With Linux and open source, it is possible to arrive in a position where the organization has increased control over its situation [and reduced] its long-term costs. That's a highly desirable outcome and I doubt we'll ever see a Microsoft-funded study which will come to that conclusion.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

170 comments

imagine that (3, Insightful)

maukdaddy (244282) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417634)

wow a linux architect disagrees.....imagine that

How about some REAL news ./ ?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417637)

first time fp'ing! :P

Seriously... (5, Informative)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417647)

No news to see, please move along.

There is nothing new here. The article says that MS studies is bullshit, and that Linux-vendors funded might be bullshit too... This [theregister.co.uk] is the only thing close to a neutral study I've seen about Linux and Windows, and that is about security, not TCO. TCO is not easy to measure.

There's also the excellent report on Total Cost of 0wnership [bsdnexus.com] , which concludes that it's less work to 0wn a windows-based computer. Mac scores good on the scale of 0wnership.

Re:Seriously... (1, Redundant)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417710)

What about Total Cost of 0wn3r5h1p? I hear that is more common on the Windows side than the Linux side but you never know, do you? I still have yet to see a rooted Windows or Linux box on any network I have had access to. That doesn't mean that haven't been cracked. I've seen worms on the Windows side, but that's the norm. On the Linux side, I have yet to see any odd behavior. But, if boxes are being cracked by knowledgable crackers, they are going to be able to cover their trails on any OS.

Re:Seriously... (3, Interesting)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417919)

I really have to disagree if your implication is that relative security is easy to measure between two systems. I also wonder why you would take Aitel's shameless pandering to mean anything more than he's a self-serving mercenary. That TC0 paper is just an advertisement for Immunity and their tools.

Back to the more important topic, switching from MS to a completely Open Source platform normally requires changing the whole software stack. In such cases you can't do a line by line comparison between the two different implementations. Handling of layered defenses and hardening measures vary too much between environments. Any valuable asessment has to view the system as a whole, including it's environment.

I've seen good and bad implementations on both sets of platforms. I admit that I like the freedom of Open Source and the ready access to code makes evaluation easier. It is my personal preference but I don't see it as a panacea of security and I'm sick of both sides slinging mud at each other.

Re:Seriously... (3, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418127)

This is the only thing close to a neutral study...

ARE YOU KIDDING? That piece of Slashdot karma-whoring claptrap was universally panned as being rife with terribly amateur errors and omissions, and the only people who took it seriously were the people who felt it vindicated their position. Petreley is an absolute laughing stock moron whose only readership is a couple of die-hard Linux zealots.

tc0 (2, Funny)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418128)

This is the only thing close to a neutral study I've seen about Linux and Windows, and that is about security, not TCO.

W1nd0wz h45 4 L0\/\/3R 7073L C057 0f 0\/\/N3R5H1P than Linux. See, it's a security thing :-) In other words it costs less to 0wnz a Windows box....

TCO is important (5, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418284)

The problem is that for a long time, somewhere, it was hammered into people's heads that "TCO is important". That's a pretty simple, important concept. The idea is that the vendor can hide costs, and that the customer's up-front cost may be less than what they will actually wind up paying.

However, the entire concept of having a bloody vendor doing a TCO study and presenting you with the results is absurd -- it's the vendor presenting you with *another* set of up-front costs. Who is to say that they don't have *more* hidden costs? Unless they are providing you with a guarantee that you will not have to pay a single cent above the TCO that they are claiming, that they will pay every cent in your related costs above claimed TCO, a vendor-supplied TCO is simply meaningless.

The concept of TCO is important. The idea of slapping an absolute value for TCO on product packaging is quite silly.

I think that there's one pretty simple argument in favor of Linux. Any time a vendor provides any possibility of lock-in, be it user familiarity with their software, format incompatibility with thier software, whatever, there is a cost to migrate. At some point, if they are doing a good job of running their business, they will wind up extracting from you $COST_OF_MIGRATION - 1. That's an ideal case, but that's the way it is. Look at software packages from people like IBM, Novell, and so forth. They *will* get more expensive, have expensive things to interface their software and so forth, and the further on in the lifecycle the software is (the more entrenched their remaining customers are and the harder it is to move away from the product) the more expensive the prices. IBM makes a tremendous amount of money from simply providing compatibility with their old systems -- IBM's systems are *not* cheap. Look at SCO if you want to see an even more towards-the-end-of-the-life example.

Now, Microsoft has a great deal of lock-in potential. They provide the primary application suite, have a number of closed formats and protocols, the operating system, and the server-side apps to interface with the application suite. Now, if you go with Microsoft, you are gambling that either (a) someone will come along and reduce cost of migration to a nominal amount (not that likely, especially when it is in Microsoft's interests not to allow this), or (b) that Microsoft will screw up extracting money from their locked-in customers at some point in the future (which seems unlikely, because Microsoft has done a pretty decent and aggressive job of being a business thus far).

Now, I expect Red Hat to do the same damn thing at Microsoft at some point in the future, someday. The point is that it's not very hard to transition from Red Hat to something else if necessary, be it as simple as to White Box Linux or even more extreme (SuSE, Debian, etc). At least in the current state of things, it is extremely difficult for a Linux vendor to achieve any significant degree of lock-in. Start worrying if a vendor starts shipping non-open-source GUI apps (build user familiarity with them, making it harder to switch away), servers (closed protocols, leveraging incompatibility), or so forth. Aside from TrollTech, though, I've seen few attempts to "get a lock" on the Linux distro world, and it looks like there will be a multi-vendor environment for a long time to come. Seems like a pretty attractive option.

Let me just say FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417651)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/FLACCID_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_PENIS_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Who cares? (1)

0x000000 (841725) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417662)

Who cares? Groklaw had some information to post on this topic as well, Microsoft wanted to do a report together with OSDL, but OSDL decided against it as they would feel that it would be unfair.

Anyone else... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417666)

...read that as "Linux Users Reject MS Independent Study Claims"?

SHUT THE FUCKING FUCK UP SLASHDOT! FUCK YOU! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417667)

dumb fuckers!

LOL News from the 1860's (3, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417669)

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

Re:LOL News from the 1860's (1)

tregetour (903016) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417896)

Mark Twain actually

Re:LOL News from the 1860's (1)

gkuz (706134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418278)

Mark Twain actually

Bzzzt, no. But thanks for playing.

As GP said, this one is attributed to Abe, not Mark Twain. You could look it up, of course.

Re:LOL News from the 1860's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418294)

There's a better Sam quote for this topic:

"Figures don't lie, but liars figure."

Re:LOL News from the 1860's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418249)

You can if you've got the budget and the marketing is right.

But what is TCO anyway? (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417671)

Suppose Microsoft demonstrates with a (real) independant study that Windows is, say, 30% less expensive than any other OS. Is it really all that counts? What if 5 years from now Microsoft pulls another one of its format-change trick and my company can't read the documents it produced 5 years ago reliably?

I'd say having control of your software, giving you better control over the data that is produced and a fighting chance against malware, as opposed to being enslaved to a software manufacturer, benevolent as it might appear to be, is a big part of the decision too. The problem can't be presented simply as a pure immediate or mid-term savings proposition. Possible loss of data, loss of services, and loss of business due to them are a big part of the equation, but of course it's not as easy to sell as "look, this costs less".

MOD PARENT UP (2, Insightful)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417707)

Microsoft created the term 'TCO' in the first place, IIRC. To me, its all BS. Sure, 7-11 may have found it moderately preferable to stay with Windows than to retrain staff, but that doesn't give any indication to the qualitive improvements in the standard of work, nor does it factor in long-term benefits that open source development models tend to provide. The parent also raised a fantastic point about vendor lock-in; if you use windows, Microsoft effectively owns your software.

Re:But what is TCO anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417806)

True, but they don't even include the cost of upgrades in these studies. The last major one they did they set the time frame at 4 years from the start of Windows 2000, carefully avoiding any upgrade cost to XP in the cost side.

The companies chosen seemed to face much higher support costs with Linux, so I guess they added an assumption that Linux needs an admin and Windows not or similar. But they never released enough details in the numbers to see if thats true.

Re:But what is TCO anyway? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417827)

What if 5 years from now Microsoft pulls another one of its format-change trick and my company can't read the documents it produced 5 years ago reliably?

Why? Does the software you were using 5 years ago suddenly stop working when Microsoft bring out new versions? Why would you be unable to read 5 year old documents reliably with the same software you used back then?

Now, the requirement to BUY the new versions will add to the TCO, but I still see no reason why you would suddenly lose access to your old documents.

Re:But what is TCO anyway? (5, Interesting)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418116)

When the software is no longer supported by MS and you need security updates you don't really have a choice. I ran a pen-test against a business unit of large organization that chose not to upgrade from Office 96 to 2K. They figured they could safely skip a version to 2003 because there were no compelling new features and it wasn't really worth it.

Unfortunately there were several security vulnerabilities discovered in late 2000 including macro execution vulnerabilities for Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. MS was not providing patches for these issues on anything below Office 2K and their only response was to disable macros in all of the applications or upgrade. Neither was on option for them because they had apps that needed macros and the software budget couldn't cover the upgrade cost at that time.

During the pen-test we determined that these guys had a pretty good DMZ setup and very limited Internet presence. We still wanted the keys to the kingdom so we just ended up harvesting email addresses and firing macro exploits with callback trojans. In the end we owned the whole network and they looked really bad. And all of this occurred because they chose not to follow their vendor's forced upgrade path.

Re:But what is TCO anyway? (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418256)

Why? Does the software you were using 5 years ago suddenly stop working when Microsoft bring out new versions? Why would you be unable to read 5 year old documents reliably with the same software you used back then?

They could also decide no longer to allow you to activate your software.....

Honestly, this is a hidden risk that nobody really discusses because to do so would be to actively question the goodwill of Microsoft (which, incidently, is still stuck providing paid support for Windows 98, though current plans are to cut this support off after June 2006). I mention the Windows support because it is the counterpoint that MS proponents will continue to bring up. Especially because this is the latest of several extension to the support of the product.

On the other hand, it is an unspoken risk that a software company with shrinking growth potential (even in the absense of competition) could do something stupid like this.

Re:But what is TCO anyway? (4, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418182)

TCO is the lazy person's attempt to measure return on investment. I.e. how much will you have to pay to get x back in better productivity etc.

In my experience Linux-based businesses pay me more as a consultant (at the same hourly rate) than Windows-based businesses. However, this is often because they are getting a *higher* return on investment by being able to have solutions that do exactly what they want. I close reading of the IDC study on the Microsoft site may indicate that others are having similar experiences.

I.e. that you pay a consultant not because you can't make it work adequately in-house, but rather that you would like the product to do X, Y, and Z (which may not be available on Windows) and are willing to pay more for those features because you get a net benefit as a business.

For example, if you cannot adequately impliment a Linux-based file and print server inhouse, you are not going to pay a consultant to tweak the system for you. You will simply go back to Windows (Windows file and print sharing isn't that expensive). If you can, but you realize that it would be cool if (insert idea here) then you might pay a consultant to make that dream a reality.

What I am trying to say is that essentially all of the evidence I am seeing is that those customers who can and do move to Linux are spending more in part because they are investing in an infrastructure that they can use to build their business in very unique ways. As a result, they may be paying a bit more than they would with Windows, but it is not that they are getting a lesser deal. Instead, they are paying more because they are getting a *better* deal.

Lies, Damn lies, and statistics (3, Insightful)

Safe Sex Goddess (910415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417673)

Sounds like they made the right decision. The article makes the great point that it's the definitions that make all the difference. It sounds very balanced. It just seems so natural that Open Source is the way to go. As with art and culture, many creative people would have you believe that everything new is created from nothing but their own creative spirit. However, it's possible to trace the historical influences on the evolution of arts and culture. Everything created is based on thousands of years of art and culture that belong to all of humanity. Even new scientific and technological developments are based on the entire history of human scientific knowledge that provides the foundation for new knowledge to be added to. And isn't that what Open Source is all about?

Linux and Windows (-1, Flamebait)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417676)

the "Get the Facts" campaign that used Microsoft-funded research to show the total cost of ownership of Windows as being lower than Linux

It all depends. If someone knows windows, has used windows for a long time, then windows might be cheaper. The person pays the hundred bucks or so for the OS and they are done.

If someone is new to linux, they might get the software for free, but then what about the time it takes to learn Linux? The first time I used red hat's RMP, I said "screw this" after a couple hours of looking for one package after another. APT-GET changed my opinion of how good Linux could be. This all changed over time. Linux is better than what it was 5 years ago.

But some things never change. I could not get linux to recoginze my sound card. I was told to get some second program to do it, but it was a hassel. Windows works out of the box.

I believe it would take a new person to linux 800 hours to become aquianted with the new OS enough to be equally skilled as they would be in Windows. That is about 20 weeks or so of playing with the OS full time. Or for a casual user, a year of messing around with Linux on saturdays.

So, what are those 800 hours of time worth? To a computer science student, it is something that will make them money, it is training. To a mom or pop who is 50 and just wants to send email, it is a waste, they would be better off paying the $100 to Microsoft for Windows.

With Windows, most things work without any effort. With linux, most things work with effort. For example, if you give a cd with data to a windows guy, all that person has to do is put the CD in the CD-rom. For a linux guy, they need to know something about mounting the drive.

Re:Linux and Windows (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417715)

These studies are targetting corporate I.T. decision-makers, not home users like yourself. An I.T. department is likely to have the luxury of planning for the hardware that will be deployed in the future, and can thus make hardware incompatibilities a minimal concern.

Your claim of 800 hours is also completely off base from a corporate perspective. By setting a few GUI preferences, you could make it look and feel close enough to Windows that the majority of the Win32 workforce wouldn't care. The real work is done by the I.T. department, which probably already has significant in-house Linux muscle.

I won't even get into the benefits of improved manageability/lower licensing...

Re:Linux and Windows (2, Funny)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417759)

Of course it's targeted at managers, these are the only kind of people that can be convinced that somethinge essential free cost more then something what you have to buy.

And don't come with the training bs, training is a mandatory if it is buy-ware or not.You can be cheap and not train your personal or expect they train them self, but don't whine when they make un-educated decissions like not preferring open source when its a viable candidate.

Re:Linux and Windows (0)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417858)

Of course it's targeted at managers, these are the only kind of people that can be convinced that somethinge essential free cost more then something what you have to buy.

Because people like you don't realize that something that's "free" can cost a small fortune? That the managers realize that they have to pay someone to install the free software, pay someone to manage and maintain the free software. Pay someone to use the free software.

And don't come with the training bs, training is a mandatory if it is buy-ware or not.

Great. Except that I can easily find people with the skills on the Windows side, finding linux skills can be much harder (too many morons who think they understand but don't). And finding the training can be difficult again, especially since there are multiple distributions with different ways of doing the same thing. Take a look at something that should be easy, setting up a secure central authentication scheme. Building a Windows AD system is fairly simple. Even earning my RHCE I still don't know how to do this in Linux (NIS, what they did teach, is not secure by a long shot).

I am a fan of open source (I do have an RHCE), but also know Windows (I also have an MSCE). I use Linux where appropriate, and I use Windows where appropriate. The TCO arguement depends a LOT on what you are trying to accomplish and how you structure your environment, but arguing that Linux MUST be cheaper because the OS license is free but the Windows license is $700 won't stand up for long.

Re:Linux and Windows (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417740)

You're mistaken, it takes 799.99999 hours. Get the facts please.

Re:Linux and Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417808)

"...but then what about the time it takes to learn Linux?"

So what?
What about the time one needed to get to know windows?

It just depends on what you feed you kids.
And M$ is not slacking to that regard.

Aimed at Corporates (2, Interesting)

nukenerd (172703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417841)

You are missing the point. The "Get the Facts" campaign is aimed at corporates, not Mom & Pop. In a company like the one I work for (15,000+ desks) all installation is done by a contractor and maintenance by the IT Dept. The PCs (Windows) are absolutely locked down. The 15,000 users don't need to be taught RPM or APT.

800 hours to learn Linux "to be equally skilled as ... in Windows"? LOL! The people working around me know no more about Windows than how to switch on, type a memo or e-mail and then click the "Save" "Print" or "Send" button. Most would not know how to begin installing software, hardware or setting up a network. They would barely notice if they were in Word or Open Office.

As for Mom & Pop, they would be just as fine with pre-installed Linspire. But most will stick with Windows because they (incredibly maybe) think it's cuddly, and they love that nice Mr Gates who has given so much to charity - isn't he a self made man who we would all like to be? Anyway, won't Linux break their PC? - there is a sticker on it that says it's desinged for Windows XP. Windows will always have a place at the bottom end of the OS market.

Re:Linux and Windows (2, Insightful)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417852)

But some things never change. I could not get linux to recoginze my sound card. I was told to get some second program to do it, but it was a hassel. Windows works out of the box.

Or so you think. If Linux were more widely supported, companies would provide drivers for both Windows and Linux on the CD. I must add that I have had to manually install drivers off the CD for most sound cards (among other things) I've dealt with in the last several years. It did not work out of the box.

Is it easier to install the drivers in Windows? At this time, yes, but were they made available on the CD in, say, and RPM and DEB format or something, it would not be anywhere near as difficult.

Re:Linux and Windows (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417853)

Windows works out of the box.

My experience has been, Windows works out of the box -- sometimes. When it doesn't work out of the box, good luck getting it to work, ever. Linux works -- all the time -- just maybe not out of the box. And Mac works out of the box, every time.

Say what you will about the reasons, but I have three Linux boxes, one of which dual-boots XP, and Gentoo has been more compatible than XP. I have one Powerbook, and I haven't had a compatibility issue yet. In fact, it had all the Unix tools I needed out of the box -- vim, ssh, mysql, postfix, and so on -- and there were good, working versions of Flash, Java, and Shockwave, worked out of the box in Safari and Firefox.

Oh -- and I'll name one MAJOR compatibility issue with Windows. When I got my new monitor, I discovered it had a small builtin USB hub, so I plugged my keyboard and mouse into it, and ran another cable from it to the box on the floor. My BIOS recognized the keyboard out of the box, my Gentoo (being used to USB) recognized the keyboard and mouse on first boot, without any changes at all, but Windows XP Pro, despite the fact that I'd been on USB before (just not on USB on the monitor), would recognize neither keyboard nor mouse. I'm hoping that it'll start working after I reinstall later, but notice -- on Linux, I didn't have to reboot or reconfigure, but on XP (where stuff is supposed to work out of the box) I have to reinstall?

I believe it would take a new person to linux 800 hours to become aquianted with the new OS enough to be equally skilled as they would be in Windows.

Took my mom maybe one or two.

To a mom or pop who is 50 and just wants to send email, it is a waste

It is a waste to spend $100 on Windows, plus another $50-100 and a subscription fee for AntiVirus, plus some ungodly hourly rate ($50/hour, at least?) for someone to secure their box and teach them all the things that they shouldn't do, which will screw up their computer, plus however much it costs to recover from that.

Compare that to: install Linux once, don't teach them how to save an attachmend and then give it "chmod +x", give them Thunderbird, and you're done. To a mom or pop who is 50 and just wants to send email, it makes sense.

I am a CS student, and for me it actually makes less sense -- I need my windows for games, but Mom and Pop don't play games.

Re:Linux and Windows (1)

Nik13 (837926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418375)

but on XP (where stuff is supposed to work out of the box) I have to reinstall?

Nope, no need to reinstall, but I'll admit I always found that to be a bit problematic. You gotta login first before it detects/installs your new devices - which you happen to need to login in the first place.

Enabling DOS USB support may help (if the BIOS has the option - it's common nowadays), but I wish we wouldn't have to do that (then reboot and go disable it again). It has been a common enough occurence for me to always connect using ps/2 ports instead (using the green adapters) as that always works.

I doubt Vista will adress that either. There's so many small issues like that i wish they'd take care of instead of adding more eye candy, but with every new version of windows I'm disappointed.

How about having the option of inverting the mouse buttons PER DEVICE? Right now you can swap the mouse buttons, but only for all devices. That's quite annoying when left & right handers share the same PC. Instead I had to resort to physically swapping the buttons (hardwired backwards). Even the 3rd party drivers are no help (logitech and others). Again, I doubt we'll ever see a fix for that - although I'm sure lots more eyecandy is coming down the road...

The day they fix all these small issues - even if they don't introduce all kinds of new technologies and pretty things - then they'll finally have a OS that "just works" and that I actually WANT to buy.

Re:Linux and Windows (2, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417879)

'If someone is new to linux, they might get the software for free, but then what about the time it takes to learn Linux?'

Well, here's a personal study from my PC experience.

I used to use DR-DOS and GEM but moved to Microsoft DOS and Windows when Windows 3 came out, I then moved to windows 3.11 when that came out (TCO was a ligit copy of MS-DOS, and a pirate copy of Windows) it didn't take too long to pick up windows (or DOS) but it took years of fiddling to get the best performance out of it.

After that I moved to Windows 95 and started writing Windows applications and continued writing DOS applications. Windows 95 didn't cost me anything either, except for the guilt of using pirated software.

After that I moved to Windows NT at work and Windows 98 was just being released. After trying someone is new to linux, they might get the software for free, but then what about the time it takes to learn Linux?g to get Windows 98 to work on the office network we decided not to bother with it and keep most of the clients running Windows 95, it was about this time that I discovered Linux and installed it on my home PC.

Since then I have never run Windows on my local machine, have all the software I want and run no pirated software. Since my switch my TCO is now far less than if I were running Windows I've never had a viruses or Trojans to clean up, I'm still running the same brand software as in 1998 and my administration times on Linux are a fraction of what they would be on Windows, especially if something starts playing up(from experience of working mainly with windows at work for most of my professional carear)

It took me quite a while to pickup Linux in the early days, mainly the time it took to work out how to read man pages properly but once started everything fitted into place nicely, it took less time to learn Windows but years to find out exactly how it worked and how to work with it.

The only TCO type problems I have with Linux are:
1: A new KDE always screws up my settings when I install a new version.
2: Sometimes it takes a while to find a working driver (including fixing them)
3: Good well polished software can be hard to come by (but then again a lot of companies use bispoke solutions so it doesn't matter too much, and they can get the source to the unpolished software and make it a little more usable)

For the record I have never formatted a HDD to re-install Windows, I usually install another version of windows and copy everything that's needed (license keys, settings etc...) from the defunct Windows registry. I have had to do a couple of complete reinstalls of Linux but my current setup has been going for about 5 years (across different Linux vendors!).

Re:Linux and Windows (1)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418047)

It all depends. If someone knows windows, has used windows for a long time, then windows might be cheaper. The person pays the hundred bucks or so for the OS and they are done.

Agreed, it all depends on how you want to spin the baseline assumptions before you start measuring. Naturally if you are going to exclude the biggest of the one-time costs for one OS (mastering the learning curve) but include it for the other, then you've introduced a serious bias. In the situation you describe, you aren't measuring the costs of the systems, you are estimating projected costs after adjustment for costs that have already been paid and shouldn't have to be paid again. That isn't a good basis for strategizing; that is something you do after you've decided your strategy and need to decide on the tactical details involved in implementing your decision.

As has been said before, this whole "total cost of ownership" concept is so dependent on the underlying definitions that it can be skewed any which way you want.

Re:Linux and Windows (1)

mam_bach (689583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418320)

this TCO thingie comparison only works when you have hundreds of employees;dozens of systems; and server rather than peer to peer networks
But for all of those SMEs with 5 or less people, if one of them knows Linux (and lets face it, it's not like any of the major distribs advertise, so most new users have to come from word of mouth), training time is minimised since at least 1/5 of your workforce is already competent...
So the question is - you could have a Linux based computer for £500 or a Windows box for over a grand and a half. (identical hardware, I've just done this comparison for two businesses)
IF the installer is even a bit savvy, and tweaks the desktop settings right, the other 4 users need barely know they've changed systems.

Re:Linux and Windows (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418300)

I believe it would take a new person to linux 800 hours to become aquianted with the new OS enough to be equally skilled as they would be in Windows. That is about 20 weeks or so of playing with the OS full time. Or for a casual user, a year of messing around with Linux on saturdays.

You are suggesting that it would take 4 months of general productivity use to become fluent in the new system or that it would cause 4 months of lost productivity? These are very different fiscally.....

Secondly, I guess it depends on how familiar one is with the operating system. For a complete newbie, it really doesn't matter what they are running. They won't be familliar with it anyway. For an intermediate user who is intimidated by Linux, it may take that much time to become familiar and comfortable, but it will not cost nearly that much in terms of productivity. Maybe a couple of hours of training (at most) and a couple of hours in lost productivity (at most). The rest is simply a psychological cost.

It is not "How much is 800 hours of your time worth?" but rather "How much is it worth to you to feel off-balance for a couple of months at most?"

Secondly, you have another issue. If you pay for your software, this costs money. If you get your software free of charge (and open source) then you can take some of that money and pay for better hardware. So the "It doesn't detect my soundcard" while a concern is not a TCO point. The cost of all the software you probably use on your system on a daily basis is probably in excess of $1000 if you bought it all retail. I am assuming Office Professional, Windows XP Home, and then at least a few other games and goodies.

Finally regarding time. My Linux-using customers almost never have to deal with viruses or adware/spyware. My windows users do. This incurrs substantial productivity costs. In the long run, I think you will spend more than 800 hours battling spyware. And this is 800 hours of *lost productivity* that you would not have with Linux. So how much is 800 hours of your time worth?

Re:Linux and Windows (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418313)

To a mom or pop who is 50 and just wants to send email, it is a waste, they would be better off paying the $100 to Microsoft for Windows.
Watch it, Pookie. I learned to use Linux at 52; to install and use FreeBSD the next year. My mom who was 73 had no trouble using my Linux installation to do research on line when she visited, despite having never used anything but Windows. The learning time to use GUI interfaces seems about the same to me: a few hours. CLIs do take longer (DOS, bash or whatever), but are no longer mandatory for someone who just wants to surf, send & receive e-mail, light word processing.

Incidentally, the first Linux I used, Mandrake 8.1, did a better job of detecting my hardware than XP. In fact it worked "out of the box" which XP did not, as I had to install sound and video drivers, and later a driver for my modem as MS's kept crashing my box. Debian just works, Mandrake just works. SuSE just works. Mepis just works. Ubuntu just works. Puppy just works. XP just flopped, so I dumped it and got serious about Linux.

As a home user, the real deal for me is not cost. I have spent more money on various Linux distros than on MS. It's about having a say in what goes on my box and what stays. Have another look at the MS EULA. Use MS and they have the last word: they can delete and add software, delete and add files, and for any reason whatsoever. Beyond that, they can share that right to anyone they want to. Click "I agree" to the MS EULA and it become MS's computer. Screw that. YMMV.

This will never be resolved (3, Insightful)

Crixus (97721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417687)

A topic like this will never be resolved to anyone's satisfaction. The simple fact of the matter is that many huge corporations are using linux corporate wide, and many users on this blog use linux daily with an incredibly low TCO, and a huge satisfaction factor. :-)

That's all that matters.

Re:This will never be resolved (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417882)

and many users on this blog use linux daily with an incredibly low TCO, and a huge satisfaction factor

[sacrilege]
Similarly, many users here use Windows daily, with a very low TCO, and derive huge satisfaction as well.
[/sacrilege]

You know who you are.

Re:This will never be resolved (2, Insightful)

Rikkochet (910226) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417934)

I totally agree. The two sides of this issue will never be reconciled. In the great nerd tradition, it's an unending holy war of ideas which will never end peacefully, and never rise above heated forum posts and polite "I guess we just disagree, let's go drinking" statements when face-to-face.

Re:This will never be resolved (1)

alxc (853960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417997)

Mod this up! Well said.We can go round and round on this but no one will ever be happy.

MOD PARENT UP! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418112)

The parent is correct. Total cost of ownership is a nebulous issue. It is different for each company. If you only have MCSE's on staff, with no desire to learn anything else, and who have a difficult time with more technical aspects of Microsoft's products, coupled with a user base that occasionally has a difficult time getting the toast into the toaster, Linux is not for them (and never will be). If you have skilled Linux admins and developers on staff, and a tech-savvy workforce, Linux is a dream come true. It also depends on exactly what the company is doing with it's technology, it's current hardware and software condition, past licencing, the current cost of electricity, the products they sell and whether the technology is used in the manufacture/enhancement of those products, and about 1 billion other variables (all of them independent, and then also the point of view of the CXO, their tech-savvy-ness, and (to a certain degree), the assertions, aspirations, and skill of the Microsoft sales people trying to give them facts. The entire process is subjective, and widely open to interpretation (even miniscule parts of the debate are open to wide swings of opinion and point of view)

Proofread, please! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417732)

End users from various corners of the Web have whole-heartedly rejected Microsoft's claims that an independent TCO comparison between Linux and Windows would be something akin to the second coming.

What is that sentence supposed to mean? Microsoft doesn't think an independent TCO comparison is likely? And that end-users think it is?

I can't believe anybody actually read that sentence between the fingers hitting the keyboard and it appearing on the front page of Slashdot.

Re:Proofread, please! (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417784)

This is the most incoherent Slashdot story all day. Neither the submitter, the editors nor the readers seem to have any idea what it's about. I know I don't.

Gaming the cost of migration (4, Interesting)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417783)

These Microsoft TCO studies present an analysis that seems ready to backfire on them.

The reason there's a high cost of migration off Microsoft systems is because Microsoft intentionally planned it that way. The "embrace and extend" strategy and many similar practices have been found in law to be designed for the purpose of making migration expensive.

If I were running a fair and objective TCO comparison, I would seek to measure the cost of migration both on and off each platform. Ideally, this would track costs not just once, but over several cycles. Since computing infrastructure is constantly evolving, a realistic TCO analysis has to deal with this scenario.

When will they learn... (2, Insightful)

Ravatar (891374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417788)

TCO will never be anything but a meaningless statistic. That's like trying to budget your personal expenses a year at a time. Situations arise that will always make TCO an insufficient benchmark.

Re:When will they learn... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417957)

That's like trying to budget your personal expenses a year at a time
No, it's like planning your corporate budget one year at a time. Which is quite common in the private sector and an absolute truth in the government.

TCO is not intended to be used by end users, it is for businesses to look at costs as spread out over the life to the goods/services.

-Rick

Re:When will they learn... (1)

Ravatar (891374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418355)

My point is that someones "personal expenses" fluxuate greatly year to year, and are very different from person to person.

I wasn't directly comparing personal to corporate budgets.

one thing i never see in these arguments... (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417796)

...which i think to be the most important rebuttal is this; linsucks is free if your time costs nothing so hows that downtime due to spyware and virus attacks ? seriously, once you know the OS anyway, it takes less time. the only time they are on about is the time it takes to learn a new skill. after that i qould think it would take far less time to admin a linux system. urpmi, apt-get anyone?

Re:one thing i never see in these arguments... (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417822)

i just learnt that peoples names in irc form are a bad idea in html mode :) yeah yeah, preview button.
my post was meant to say this...
one thing i never see in these arguments... ...which i think to be the most important rebuttal is this;
linsucks is free if your time costs nothing
so hows that downtime due to spyware and virus attacks ?
seriously, once you know the OS anyway, it takes less time. the only time they are on about is the time it takes to learn a new skill. after that i qould think it would take far less time to admin a linux system. urpmi, apt-get anyone?
--
i was going to copy a viral sig, but that wouldn't be individual.copy this to be an individual too

Security (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417804)

just once, it would be good to see a single MS TCO study include the costs of virus, worms, etc.

Re:Security (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418262)

Well, the cost to me personally is zero - I run free AV software (grisoft's) and a free third-party firewall. I have suffered zero infections and paid £0 in the process.

Incidentally, if and when the clueless, run as root because it's easier, download and install anything from anywhere masses move to Linux, so will the malware and virus writers, and said clueless masses will continue to screw their systems over with them.

Right now Linux (and OS X for that matter) isn't hit for two reasons:

1) It's a niche market, too small to really bother with
2) The users, on average, are far more clued up and less likely to get hit

Change those two things, and I guarantee the malcontents will follow.

Re:Security (1)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418489)

I disagree with your #1 but I do agree with #2.

The "linux has no viruses because it's too small a target" has been debunked time and again by apache, simultaneously being the most popular web server at ~61% of the market last I heard, and the least exploited (at least relative to IIS). If Apache is so popular, why isn't it attacked more than IIS?

IIS? (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418520)

Sure it's perhaps the most popular web server for major sites. But the number of non web-servers on the internet vastly outnumbers the number of webservers.

And besides, servers are likely to be set up with the main user not running as administrator. It's tough to get traction on those systems. Better to attack loosely administered user systems, regardless of OS.

This will never be resolved, and here's why (2, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417813)

Name one independent observer that could conduct a TCO study that everyone on both sides would trust, regardless of the outcome.

Re:This will never be resolved, and here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417963)

Sun of course, they would give poor TCO to both Microsoft AND Linux.

My experience with Linux TCO. (2, Insightful)

Captain Scurvy (818996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417831)

I've set up a few Linux servers for small businesses with very general needs, and their TCO so far has been limited to setup and hardware costs. In such environments, next to no maintenance has been required.

I would assume the story would be somewhat different, however, for someone with more specific (i.e., vendor-locked) needs than file, web, DB, or mail servers. Maybe some more experienced techs out there could chime in on that.

How this compares to Windows seems hard to quantify. A "properly configured" Windows server, while not quite as stable in certain situations as a "properly configured" Linux server, comes pretty close.

Frankly, I think it really just boils down to what the clients' needs are. Linux works better in some situations, Windows in others, etc.

Re:My experience with Linux TCO. (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417886)

I would assume the story would be somewhat different, however, for someone with more specific (i.e., vendor-locked) needs than file, web, DB, or mail servers.

That's a point for the Linux side. If your needs are locked into vendor-specific crap, then your needs are not a Windows server to run said crap. Your needs are to free yourself of the vendor-specific crap.

This is true because if we're talking about total cost of ownership, not total cost of purchase, vendor-specific crap increases TCO and risk because even if you aren't currently charged a licensing fee, you don't get free updates. Linux wins TCO because Linux is free forever, not just free once.

Re:My experience with Linux TCO. (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417988)

"Linux works better in some situations, Windows in others, etc."

Agreed! But...

"In such environments, next to no maintenance has been required."

Who is patching the servers? Who is updating the settings when the customer needs to change something? How much does it cost to bring a *Nix admin in when something breaks (hardware or software)? How long will the system be down for if something breaks?

TCO takes a lot more into account then anedotal evidence from the install process.

-Rick

Intangible costs (5, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417836)

I know for a fact there are intangible costs associated with MSFT products that can't be documented in a TCO study.

For instance, one customer had SQL server go offline, taking down one of their primary applications, after the last round of security patches. I tell them to test the patches, but they don't want to spend the money. Go figure. Instead they pay me money to come in a fix what stops working. Every time there's a security patch update, I know I'm going to be busy.

For the Linux/MySQL installs I have to keep a book of SOP's next to the server because it's so seldom that anything goes wrong. If I don't make notes how to do stuff, I have to learn all over again the next time.

So, yeah, if you don't make notes then OSS does take more time because you forget what you did last year when X happened. And that information probably won't be on a tech support site somewhere.

With MSFT it seems like you're dorking with your servers all the time. I work on Windows and Linux servers and my opinion is that the Linux servers are more reliable and cost less to operate. That's hard to quantify but every time I see a MSFT TCO study I keep wondering how they get the numbers to come out in their favor.

More relevant... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417865)

A much more relavant headline would be "Users reject Linux" which clearly they have. On the desktop it's a bad joke, and people know it.

I'm still weary. (2, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417926)

Skilled *nix admin (IE: certs, trained, 5 years experience, related degree) goes for $50k+ a year arround here.

Skilled Windows admin (IE: certs, trained, 5 years experience, related degree) can be had for under $40k a year.

Coughing up a one time $3k license for a server is a drop in the bucket when compared to $10k salary, taxes, and benis to be paid yearly.

-Rick

Re:I'm still weary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417984)

Coughing up a one time $3k license for a server is a drop in the bucket when compared to $10k salary, taxes, and benis to be paid yearly.

You get what you pay for. That might mean for your business that saving $10k a year is good for your bottom line, or it might mean you're loosing out on potential efficiencies as unix people tend to be a little better at what they do.

Re:I'm still weary. (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418007)

"as unix people tend to be a little better at what they do."

That's a load of hookie. There are good Windows admins and good *nix admins. There are also bad Windows admins and bad *nix admins. But if you take 2 equally trained, experienced, and skilled admins, one windows, the other *nix, the *nix can command a higher premium because they are rare. Has nothing to do with skill.

-Rick

Re:I'm still weary. (2, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418096)

And how many machines can each admin handle?

The typical unix admin can handle many times the number of machines as a Windows admin.

So if you only need one Unix admin for every 10 Windows admins, then you've saved yourself $90,000 per year.

Re:I'm still weary. (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418129)

That's a load of hookie. There are good Windows admins and good *nix admins. There are also bad Windows admins and bad *nix admins. But if you take 2 equally trained, experienced, and skilled admins, one windows, the other *nix, the *nix can command a higher premium because they are rare. Has nothing to do with skill.

-Rick

Re:I'm still weary. (4, Insightful)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418257)

As a skilled Unix admin (according to your definition; I still consider myself to be a neophite, as there are always new things to learn), I rather resent your comparison, as 'Unix admin' and 'Windows admin' are not equal.

I've dug through kernel code and stack traces of buggy applications, conferred with developers, worked with Sun engineers to fix failing hardware, and generally dug very deep into the OS to find and fix problems. Only, I do this before the problems become problems, so that my userbase never sees my efforts.

It's kind of sad, really. They only know I exist when things go wrong, which is pretty rare.

Moreover, I am capable of, and have done, management of hundreds of servers at once. This is without any fancy clustering, expensive support contracts, or any other assistance. Just me, all by my lonesome. Sometimes things got hairy, of course, but overall, the systems I administrated just kept running, even through patches and upgrades galore.

Any problems that cropped up, other than hardware failures, I could fix remotely, saving me an hour-long trip into the office. What was great was when there was another admin, we had time for all sorts of things. The backup system got improved, a whole new security model got put in-place, vacations were took, a new monitoring system got installed...it was great.

One admin. Two hundred servers. That's five milliadmins per server, for the mathematically impared. With no clustering or vendor support, other than for failing hardware, and in a dirt-cheap bare-bones budget environment. Can a Windows admin, even an experienced one, make that claim? I think not.

Re:I'm still weary. (3, Informative)

SaDan (81097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418526)

I used to manage over 2500 Windows desktops and servers in 17 locations in North America. I also managed over 200 Linux and Solaris servers at the same time.

Both were equally time consuming, but for very different reasons. Hardware failures on the cheap Dell workstations caused me a lot of grief with the Windows workstations. Constant software updates, installs, and hardware upgrades consumed most of my time with the *nix machines.

I also had no clustering or vendor support, except for Dell techs who were dispatched onsite to replace hard drives and motherboards.

Personally, I prefer working with Solaris and Linux, but that doesn't mean I won't administer Windows boxes to the best of my abilities either.

The point is, it depends on what you do with your Windows machines, and what you do with your Linux/Unix machines. In my case, 2500+ Windows machines didn't take a lot of time to manage once they were set up and locked down. The 200+ *nix servers did take a lot of time to manage, but they also did all of the heavy lifting for the company.

I saved money (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417952)

Microsoft is still hard at work trying to create that perception:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts /casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?CaseStudyID=17131 [microsoft.com]

As a personal user - I can testify quite the opposite - if I include not just the OS, but all the programs I use.

Before leaving the Windows world, I used the following programs because I couldn't find a free one to get work done. I'll list the price I remember paying:

WsFtp (~40)
PhotoImpact(80)
Quicken (30)
Spybot - Detect and Destroy (free, donated $15)
MS Access - (300 ?, needed a DB program)
MS Visual Basic ($99, not full version which costs as much as $699 IIRC)
Tiny Firewall (was free when I used it, it seems to be $49 now)

Cost I had to pay: $550 (Not including donation)

Now with Linux, I use:
gFtp (free)
Gimp (free)
GnuCash (free)
No need for Spyware detectors (had 3 free ones on Windows) nor for Virus detector which is also free on linux (ClamAV) - could get free one on Windows (AVG)
Program using either KDE IDE or GCC.
Don't need a DB program now but plenty of free ones out there.
Have a firewall - just don't remember the name now:)

With OS - All free.

I know there are some free solutions on Windows - but the Windows environment has a lot more shareware and promotes pay-for software while Linux gives you a lot more tools off the bat to get what you need done.

I appreciate that alot.

To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418191)

Linux doesn't give you anything; it is just a kernel. Linux Distributions, on the other hand, give you tons of shit. Granted the Windows world (mostly) revolves around money, but it's counter-productive to complain that Windows doesn't come with good apps. If Microsoft included their apps, everybody would complain about monopoly issues; if Microsoft included competitor's apps (LOL), other competitors would complain about being left out (i.e. including QuickTime but not Real, Norton but not McAfee, etc).

Re:I saved money (2, Informative)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418288)

Before leaving the Windows world, I used the following programs because I couldn't find a free one to get work done. I'll list the price I remember paying:

WsFtp (~40)
PhotoImpact(80)
Quicken (30)
Spybot - Detect and Destroy (free, donated $15)
MS Access - (300 ?, needed a DB program)
MS Visual Basic ($99, not full version which costs as much as $699 IIRC)
Tiny Firewall (was free when I used it, it seems to be $49 now)

Cost I had to pay: $550 (Not including donation)

You're not really comparing like for like though; let's go through that list again...

FileZilla [sourceforge.net]
The GIMP [sourceforge.net]
Grisbi Personal Finance Manager [grisbi.org] (Windows & Linux)
Ad Aware [lavasoftusa.com]
AVG AntiVirus [grisoft.com]
Services for Unix [microsoft.com] (make, GCC, etc)
OpenOffice.org Base [openoffice.org]
Windows Firewall / ZoneAlarm Personal Edition

Total Cost: 0

I would also add that these are still high quality applications - not poor quality abandonware/freeware.

Re:I saved money (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418505)

You do have a good point.

But I mentioned Windows had free solutions in my post - I didn't intend to just compare like-for-like - just my actual experience.

When I was on Windows - I expected to pay money for products and so did not look for nor trust the free solution to do the job. It was an effect of being a corporate user & being in the windows world mentality.

Switching to Linux, I saved money by being introduced to the concept that good software can be free. And I got introduced to all those programs by default (on the distro).

To put it in perspective - it's like saying Windows can be run as or more securely than Linux. If you close all the default services/activeX, etcera, etcetera, etcetera.

This may be true but it's ignoring that all computer users aren't experts and that the "insecure" mode is default which is the reality for most people.

For me, Windows the barebone system (except for perhaps unuseful/unwanted vendor software) is the default. I only have so much time to hunt down and learn certain programs. I might not run into the free alternative for whatever reason.

Linux the fully capable OS with all these tool is the reality on many distros (I use Ubuntu). That's how I got introduced to them^_^

Also I'd like to mention while Adaware/Spybot/MSAntiSpywareBeta are reasonably good programs - I got spoiled by Linux and not having to run those in the first:) But then I didn't count those man-hours and add them against Windows.

I have a stupid question... (4, Insightful)

SeventyBang (858415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417974)



Microsoft's efforts in these studies is obviously part of their marketing efforts. Microsoft's strongest suit is marketing, not technology development. After all, look at how many companies they've purchased vs. original technologies which have been developed in-house.

I will qualify my question with this: I like Linux, but I make my bread & butter off of Windows - like it or not, it's easier to find income [here] with Windows. n.b. I said easier. I didn't say the work was better.

Now:
If Windows is such a great product, why is Microsoft plucking out their own short hairs (one-by-one) in frustration because they cannot convince tens of thousands (hundreds of?) of corporate licenses to move from Windows 2000 when it went out of service on June 30 '05 [microsoft.com] ; well-covered by the media, no less? It would seem businesses|corporations are well aware the various flavors of 2K are (relatively speaking) arguably the most stable of Microsoft's O/S products. Office 2000 and Visual Studio 6.0 dovetail quite well with 2K, creating a very cozy ménage à trois.

The TCO certain is dropping over time. No need to upgrade software, no need to purchase an assload of new hardware to support upgraded software. Microsoft may have to break one of their "rules" re: backward compatibility. It's been said IE 7.0 won't work on pre-XP systems, although I don't think that's going to make corporate accounts give a rat's posterior because there are some fine, decaf browsers which work quite well and don't make anyone miss IE at all.

As I said, MS could easily prove TCO of Windows is low(er), but to do so would admit loudly businesses don't want to budge. So the question remains: how do they motivate the 2K users to pry open their accounts payable budget and upgrade? Until they answer that, it doesn't matter what they say about TCO.

Re:I have a stupid question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418333)

ménage à trois

WTF is up with that? I don't mind the usual typos, grammar problems, people using words like blogs, boxen or corporate market-droid speak (leverage synergies and other BS) or whatever, but this is just too weird.

At least if you can't type "ménage à trois" (no such accents on your keyboard and to lazy to either look up the ascii codes or startup something like character map), then just use "menage a trois", not this weird thing!

"é" to replace a "e" with an accent? There's not even a "e" in there! Or perhaps you meant a macnage or ma-copyright-nage? It's a french sentence, and there's no such accents as the one on your "Ã" in french.

I'm not part of the usual grammar nazi police, but this is just beyond anything I've seen here before.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13417977)

This is a very surprising result. I fully expected Linux enthusiasts to grudgingly admit that MS TCO is way better. In particular, people who have their own box at home and update and recompile their kernels every weekend generally have a good understanding of what it means to run an IT department for a 40000 member organization, don't they?

Wise move (2, Insightful)

mersy (857867) | more than 8 years ago | (#13417990)

Microsoft has shown themselves to be manipulative and tricky SOBs in the past. There was nothing to be gained by getting involved with them on this issue or any other issue. The "Get the Facts" campaign is a transparent ploy. When MS is ready to really advance the state of computer tech they know how to contribute. In the mean time don't feed the troll.

Sounds like a reality show to me (2, Funny)

jhines (82154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418002)

Setup one team with Windows, and another with Linux, and see how they do over a few months.

Each week a new peripherial or application has to be installed.

Re:Hopefully Fox or UPN prodecers read /. (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418348)

Twice a day installations/designs would make for a more intersting comparison. Compare document import/export between applications/OS. Compare OS+browser renderings of moderately complex CSS based webpages. How often will MS be shown to be the odd man out?

Wait, What? (2, Insightful)

Quantam (870027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418013)

The buzz with end users this week is that Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) chose wisely when it rejected an allegedly independent comparison of Linux and Windows. Unless there was a second page in that (Linux web site hosted) article that I missed, that is the ONLY time end users are ever mentioned, and the rest of the article is quotes from several Linux technicians/developers, one independant developer, and a very brief appearance by an MS person. Where the heck did all these end users come from? Unless I'm missing something huge (like that aforementioned second page), this article is no better supported by evidence than MS' anti-Linux press releases.

No real need for upgrades for core software anyway (1)

Wiseleo (15092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418062)

I've gone ahead and quantified a realistic cost of deployment of a stable Windows-based environment. For 10 users you are looking at price tag of $7500 or so, including everything from server, firewall and a decent switch to all the Microsoft server application software licenses, but excluding desktops.

By stable I mean one that is impervious to most common attacks:

1. MAC lockdown at switch level - bring in a foreign laptop, and it will be on an entirely different VLAN firewalled off with Internet access and without corporate resources access.
2. Desktop lockdown to require non-admin rights to get work done, standardized. No admin rights == no unauthorized apps, no malware. I actually have a GPO in place that makes admin rights worse than non-admin rights, so you have to modify the GPO to override that.
3. Fault-tolerant servers that reduce the need for expertise in the domain.

This makes the TCO pretty low, but the initial investment is fairly significant. Notice that most of the requirements echo what we take for granted in the Linux world.

Can I deploy a functionally identical solution on Linux that I can on a Microsoft platform? Yes I can, provided that there is application software in a comparable price range.

For instance, Scalix can compete with Exchange fairly well, though pricing for Scalix is almost identical. Actually, I can probably beat it with Exchange pricing if I go with Open License model.

As long as Microsoft licenses its software perpetually, there is little threat of the doomsday document scenario. If, however, they switch to subscription-based model, we'll see TCO in Linux become substantially more attractive.

Given about 2-3 months of R&D investment, I am pretty sure I could offer a Linux-based solution at a similar price point.

Re:No real need for upgrades for core software any (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418538)

MAC lockdown? Hostile GPO? FT server ... at $7500/10 seats? The clincher was your tagline: "Affordable fault-tolerant solutions for small business". Let me guess... you work with several loan companies in order to get competitive rates for your customers to afford your hourly rates/maintenance costs.

I don't think so. This is exactly why I dislike consultants and security freaks. All of that is totally unnecessary for small businesses. The more people like you pimp security and paranoia-based solutions, the more justification it gives to Microshaft to improve DRM and other needless security/marketing devices. NO thanks.

Cracker of Hacker? (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418064)

To be a "cracker" requires a lot of skills that average folks don't possess. You have to be super type-A for one thing. You must be able to memorize every step you've taken so you can backtrack and put things back if need be. I think that certain types of habitual liars could make good crackers. The kinds who can have multiple threads of lies among multiple people and actually be able to keep the story straight. Hackers? Totally different. You still need abilities that most people don't have a large part of those abilties being deductive logic and curiosity about how things work. Too many people don't care how things work, they just want to use them. Those people can never and will never be hackers.

Control... (2, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418071)

TCO has nothing to do with Linux...

Control has everything to do with it...

I let nobody tell me how to do my business, not Bill, not Steve, nobody!!!

The fucking arrogance these people have in thinking that they can...

apply grains of salt liberally... (1)

xenomouse (904937) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418077)

I strongly suggest that slashdot readers RTFA before posting your bashing a certain Redmond company. First of all, the study in question (from what i could glean from the article) was this...
Subject: A microsoft house.
Object: Study the differences in TCO of the company staying with microsoft versus the company moving to linux and open source.
Period: Approximately 3 years.

The study found that the TCO of staying with microsoft was considerably lower than the TCO of moving to open source. The findings of the study are true; though they can be presented deceptively. Due to the short period of the study, as mentioned in the article, microsoft can "...emphasize the cost of migration and associated training costs..." If the period was longer (say 10 to 15 years), the TCO would definitely be lower for linux and open source products.

Does this mean that the study is invalid ot that it should be thrown out? I don't think. For companies with a steady income but small savings, companies who depend on rapid application development, or small businesses with proportionally small IT departments, this study is very valid. It would hurt any company to lose a couple months or fall behind on their development for a year. For the types of companies i have just mentioned, the effect of losing time can be much more disastrous. I am sure that there is anecdotal evidence that shows a company in one of those situations can do it, but i believe many companies would be disinclined to take the risk. For companies with larger bank accounts or with the flexibility to not release any code for an extended period of time, the findings of this study could more readily be ignored.

Through the article, there was one bit of good advice about such studies repeated by those from both microsoft and linux houses: "... no research that has been funded by Microsoft, a Linux vendor or otherwise should be taken seriously."

I'm going to be subjective here ... (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418098)

... okay no I'm not ... no one can really be subjective, but they can lie and say they're being subjective before they aren't ... anyways

Can you run a server in which the only money you put into it is the cost of the hardware and the electricity to run it? No.

Wait, what about Open Source or Free Software or those of us who don't think there's a difference between the two? What about it, it's free!

Yes, it is free, but there still needs to be someone to maintain the server. There is nothing autonomous about any server I've ever seen in my entire life in the entire world. Someone has to maintain the server, plain and simple. Are there people out there who are well versed in Unix/Linux that can maintain a server with absolutely no software costs? Yes. Do they work for free? Not usually.

When taking into consideration TCO for the company just big enough to want to do their server stuffs in-house, but not big enough to hire a full fledged IT department ... Microsoft wins. Hands down it wins. Why? Because people know it, there are a thousand MCSE's with books and phone support contracts out there who can be replaced within 4 hours by calling one of a hundred temp services.

Can you do that with linux? No you can not. Why? Because MCSE's are a dime a dozen, there is nothing really special about an MCSE anymore, hell a teenager could get one. It's a certification, but it's also a "pass" that you are capable of usually making sure that a server and the network its attached to "work" and if you don't, you can be replaced.

You want to know what is complete malarky all around as far as TCO? The fact that most businesses don't want to deal with operation, they consult it out. Just like companies don't like to clean their toliets, they don't like to maintain their servers either.

You know why? Because they know that they can for a fixed fee have a server and someone to bitch at whenever they please. And these consulting companies aren't making money from selling software licenses, they're making money from retainers and service contracts. The service contracts that when averaged out equal the cost of about one or two full time employees, but when you consult you get a whole TEAM.

So the server software doesn't matter, in fact in most instances its moot.

What a dumbass quote (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13418220)

"However, Fitzback said a completely independent comparison between the two platforms could be possible, and the OSDL should probably conduct such a study if possible, but once again he conceded that the results could still be suspect."

How the hell can a Linux proponet such as OSDL conduct "a ompletely independent comparison between the two platforms"? What an idiot.

we need a new metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13418341)

instead of TCO calculate the expected cost, ie the probabilty weighted averages, of buying a system and then migrating to another system, including all document translation, data conversion, etc.

This will explain to PHB's "why" they're better off with Linux. because the migration cost are negligible when all the data formats are universal, certainly less than ms's inflated exit barrier.

---|]Q *bling*
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...