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Microsoft versus Linux TCO: IT pros sound off, part four

IT pros bombarded our in-box with their opinions about Microsoft's new Linux strategy and TCO comparisons. In this collection of letters, users don't pull any punches.

Microsoft will soon release a study that shows that Windows had a lower cost of ownership than Linux in file serving, remote access and firewalls. News about the study appeared in a recent SearchWindowsManageability article about Microsoft's new Linux strategy and a Q&A interview with Microsoft executive Peter Houston. Since the publication of the article, almost 100 IT professionals have written to SearchWindowsManageability to sound off about Microsoft and Linux.

We began publishing letters to the editor in part one of this series. In this story, the fourth composed of your letters, IT pros weigh in about Microsoft's marketing tactics.

Marketing or dirty tricks?

Submitted by Mark Wall:

No I wouldn't believe a word Microsoft has to say about Linux.

We all know how adept Microsoft is at marketing. It is one of the company's biggest strengths and is the reason for Microsoft has achieved market dominance over arguably superior technologies. Like any unpopular ruling political party, they would welcome a war to deflect from their shortcomings. A smoke and mirrors trick can be expected.

However, Microsoft's anti-Linux campaign is also going to make IT professionals rather distrustful, particularly as we know Microsoft to be guilty of anti-competitive practices.

Microsoft has made itself very unpopular by steam rolling the new licensing policy through, and it faces growing competition from Linux. They will stop at nothing to try and remove this threat, even if it means a dirty tricks campaign.

Microsoft is a political animal

Submitted by Frank Bailey:

My observation is that Microsoft operates very much like our politicians. Regardless of what they say or argue, self-interest is at the very core.

Hazardous to your health

Submitted by Ranjan SenGupta:

I'll tell you how seriously I take Microsoft's new stance: Whatever they say, I'm not going to believe. After re-shaping my forehead due to constant banging against walls, I have switched over completely to Linux. I do not miss the painful headaches, and I finish work without having to restart my workstations over and over again.

I have setup over 30 large and medium sized networks on Linux -- more than half for Internet casinos and sports book companies -- outside the United States and have never had a problem with them. Why should I, they are Linux networks. The cost is miniscule, the problems, umm … there are no problems. And I get to sleep at night instead of being called out to a site because some Micros**t server just went belly-up.

Change of tune

Submitted by Charles Younger:

I hardly believe Microsoft about anything - especially performance. They have managed to manipulate the market to near total ownership without having a superior product. Now that Linux has come along and is proving to be a challenge, they have to change their marketing tune.

I sincerely hope Linux gains near 50 percent of the computer market. That would make both products better and give users a choice. Now if we could just educate the potential purchasers and users, and get the applications companies motivated to support both platforms...

Marketing could be Microsoft's undoing

Submitted by Gregory J. Deckler:

Microsoft's marketing machine may be its undoing this time around. In typical Microsoft fashion, once the Linux threat arose, Microsoft got behind its marketing muscle to destroy Linux. In doing so, Microsoft made a lot of questionable claims about Linux. It didn't work and Linux is more popular than ever.

Microsoft is going to have a hard time reversing itself from claims that Linux is not enterprise-worthy to "Microsoft still has a lower TCO". Linux has proven to be enterprise-worthy, so why would anyone believe anything else Microsoft has to say about Linux?


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

For more views on Microsoft versus Linux, read >part two.

Read part one of the Windows versus Linux letters.

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