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Microsoft Windows versus Linux TCO: Users speak out, part 6

Does Windows beat out Linux in total cost of ownership? Some IT pros think so. Others think that the technology issues are overshadowed by emotions!

What do IT professionals think of Microsoft's claims that Linux and Windows have almost the same cost of ownership? In the sixth installment of our series on the Windows-Linux TCO debate, IT pros call for a rational examination of the subject. We lead with a reader who says Windows provides his organization with a low-cost solution, an opinion we have rarely received. The other responses are from folks who would like to think their IT colleagues base purchasing decisions on more than vitriol toward Microsoft.

Smooth roll out nice on the budget

Submitted by Mike Pinkston

I am a system/network administrator for a small school district. I just rolled out Windows 2000 service pack three to approximately 200 machines in about 30 minutes using Ghost. My anti-virus definitions are downloaded daily if a new version is available with Norton Antivirus. I have a "live" inventory that includes serial numbers, bios versions, etc with the OpenManage that comes with Dell servers.

To me, that's low TCO.

TCO study underway

Submitted by James Trefren

It's interesting what the "pros" have to say about this. Such profound offerings as, "I wouldn't believe anything Microsoft says about Linux." That's an interesting argument in making an IT decisions that I'm sure doesn't do much to help our credibility.

Our department is doing a TCO study for our clients by setting up systems and then making modifications to these as would occur over the normal course of product life. The tests involve installing our server software (middleware and Web) using HP Linux, SUN Solaris and Dell W2K servers. The study will log results from Dell, HP, SUN, Red Hat, Microsoft and others.

When completed, the logs may reveal a telling story of the expected TCO to our clients. Hopefully, my colleagues will also do some homework and present some harder facts.

Hard facts please, not platitudes

Submitted by Eric Lemmons

I don't claim to be an expert on the relative TCO of the two platforms. I will say this: There is SOME cost to Linux, in terms of support staff, etc. It's not free.

With one exception, all of the letters I read made no attempt to address a single objective, factual issue in regard to the relative TCO. They were all just name-calling.

I am not a Microsoft "shill," however. I just think calling Microsoft evil and satanic doesn't address the issue of TCO between the two platforms.


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

Read part one of the Windows versus Linux letters.

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