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Microsoft Windows versus Linux TCO: Users speak out, part 8

Part eight of your letters on the Windows vs. Linux TCO debate reflects the deep distrust in Microsoft among IT pros.

Does Linux top Windows in total cost of ownership? The majority of over 100 letters to SearchWindowsManageability say Linux is the hands-down winner. Here's the eighth batch of letters about the TCO debate, and once again Microsoft is taking it on the chin.

The theme of this installment is IT pros' distrust of Microsoft. In particular, they get wary when Microsoft suggested that Windows' costs are the same or lower than its foe's.

We've received pro-Windows letters, but we're still waiting for more. Write to us at

FUD an art form

Submitted by Robert L Bagamery

Microsoft realizes its in-your-face attitude to Linux was turning off IT pros. These same pros will realize Microsoft's new tactic just puts a smiling face on the same old ogre. And the same old lies, told in new ways, will come out of its mouth.

Because MS has the "gag" order written into their contracts, preventing third parties from criticizing its products, I wonder how objective the comparisons will be.

IBM may have invented FUD, but Microsoft has raised it to an art form.

I wouldn't trust Microsoft "statistics", "arguments" or "comparisons" on any infotech subject. If I met Steve Ballmer on the street and he said, "Nice day, isn't it?" I'd check to make sure my umbrella was ready and that he hadn't stolen it under some obscure licensing requirement.

Damn lies

Submitted by Gareth Barnard

Like many of your readers, I flatly refuse to believe any statement that comes from Microsoft.

Among many Microsoft lies are the assertions that the Gnu Public License will destroy intellectual property rights, that Open Source software is full of security holes and that Windows has a lower TCO than Linux.

I am an IT professional with 12 years experience, 8 years of it in software development and four in system administration. I have found that it is much easier to administer Linux systems, set up Linux networks and write programs for Linux.

Windows is easier for non-technical people to use, but power users and IT professionals find Linux easier and much cheaper.

A programmer is forced to pay a lot of money for the tools he uses on Windows. You can do a few simple tasks with Visual Basic, but to accomplish anything significant you are forced to install MKS and Perl, making Windows more Unix-like.

Fudging the numbers

Submitted by Richard Greene

When TCO is calculated, it is easy to use creative accounting. They are always biased toward a particular point of view. They never give you enough information to project them on your economic reality.

My crystal ball says Microsoft's TCO calculations will leave out important expenses from the Microsoft side of the house, deflate the cost of the Microsoft software and inflate the cost from the Linux side.

Outrageous claims

Submitted by John Stanton

This claim by Microsoft is quite outrageous to anyone who has struggled with Windows with its glaring design defects and effortlessly installed Linux systems and forgotten about them. Microsoft can get credit for chutzpah!

Windows-Linux "facts"

Peter Anderson

Even with training costs factored in TCO for open products is inherently lower. It's obvious the MS FUDMeisters are at it again.

FACT: Linux runs on older hardware and can be tailored for devices ranging from PDAs to mainframes.

FACT: Installation of current Microsoft OSs requires higher end hardware, the added costs which are not, I'm sure, factored into Microsoft's TCO.

FACT: Linux has demonstrated robustness and has free (or nearly so) native applications that match or exceed the capabilities of most Microsoft products and has a large user base available for online help.

FACT: Microsoft products are resource hogs, prone to bugs (Blue Screen anyone?) and crashes. And they're subject to restrictive licensing that requires users to call Microsoft if they upgrade a computer, or God forbid, decide to get rid of an old unit and install the Microsoft software on a replacement.


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