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Microsoft's new approach to Linux: IT pros sound off, part one

IT professionals bombarded our in-box with their opinions about Microsoft's new approach to competing with Linux and TCO comparisons between Windows and Linux. This is part one of a series of letters to SearchWindowsManageability's editor.

This week SearchWindowsManageability asked Windows professionals to comment on Microsoft Corp.'s new approach to addressing competition from Linux. That query followed our publication of an announcement by and Q&A interview with Microsoft executive Peter Houston, in which Houston offered details about Microsoft's decision to present more rational argument against Linux.

Here are the questions that we posed: Considering Microsoft's past vitriolic comments about Linux, will you believe what Microsoft has to say about Linux? Has your own experience with Linux and Windows shown that the TCO of Windows is lower?

IT pros quickly began responding to our questions, and we're sharing their letters to the editor in this series of articles.

Windows wins the TCO battle

Submitted by David Lewis-Waller, Technical/Managing Director, WiSS Ltd.:

As a provider of Web services running Windows Server, we have found that the licensing costs of running (Windows) as opposed to Linux does indeed have a higher cost. But the TCO is measured on ease of use, availability of solutions, management, deployment and flexibility. Windows wins hands down in this respect for us. I do appreciate that this won't be the case for others, but for us Windows provides the easiest and most cost effective solution in in providing a flexible user orientated secure environment for Web hosting and related services.

License fees are only a small part of the cost equation; hardware and infrastructure costs are much more significant and are the same regardless of the operating system.

Security, robustness and reliability have never been an issue in a properly-configured (Windows) system. Hardware failures have been more of a problem and fortunately these are very rare.

Microsoft isn't credible

Submitted by Dirk Coetzee:

To answer questions that you put forward: I never will trust Microsoft in anything they say, especially if it has to do with Linux. Nobody in their correct state of mind will take Microsoft's anti-Linux campaign seriously.

Microsoft has such a large market share; why are there so fussed over a free OS? When will Microsoft stop…when there is total domination of the IT industry? Does every single desktop and server HAVE to be Microsoft's ?

They are plainly un-competitive, and for good reason: NT is inferior to any Unix / Apple Mac.

GNU-Linux is a good choice

Submitted by Fabien Illide:

In my opinion, after all the comments MS does about GNU/Linux ("We have the way ..."), their message won't be taking seriously, unless (it's) by those who never heard about this "war."

In "real-life," as you said, I'm more and more surprised by the ability of GNU/Linux. Not only in terms of money, but in terms of many useful-but-simple things which make life better, such as the rapidity of updates and development. Free access to source code lets me adapt software to my "real" needs, not just the needs dreamed up by a development team which can't be aware of all situations. (Then, I can) give these changes to other users.

The more time flows, the less I trust MS, and the more I use GNU/Linux. It's not a love story; it's a choice based upon real fact. It's up to MS to prove something to change my opinion.

Linux offers zero TCO

Submitted by Richard H.:

I'm currently the admin for a Linux-based Web server/ router, and my TCO is Zero, Nada, Bubcis. It's a darn good one too. Try it.

Microsoft is trying to do the right thing

Submitted by Ray Harris:

Yes, I believe that Microsoft is finally attempting to come clean and gain the trust of the IT community. Trust is a most precious commodity, and Microsoft cannot afford to lose it. Personally, I have used both platforms for many years and do concur with their assessment. However, there are going to be some houses that have lots of vested Linux experience for whom the TCO may be other than what Microsoft says. But that (house) is in the vast minority.


Want to respond to what was said? Want to add your own opinion? Please write to us at

To hear IT consultants' views on Microsoft versus Linux, read part two.

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