Advertising watchdog reprimands Microsoft over 'facts'

Advertising watchdog reprimands Microsoft over 'facts'

Summary: Microsoft's campaign claiming that Linux was 10 times more expensive than its operating system has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority

TOPICS: Government UK
Microsoft recently launched a 'Get the Facts' ad campaign telling consumers Linux isn't cheaper than Windows. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) thinks they should get the facts too -- but it's warned Microsoft to make sure its are straight first.

A print ad from Microsoft that bore the headline "Weighing the cost of Linux vs. Windows? Let's review the facts" offered a comparison between a Windows and a Linux machine which, according to Redmond, demonstrated that "Linux was found to be over 10 times more expensive than Windows Server… for Windows-comparable functions of file serving and Web serving. The results showed that IBM z900 mainframe running Linux is much less capable and vastly more expensive than Windows Server 2003 as a platform for server consolidation."

Microsoft claimed the study was as like-for-like as it could be between the machines -- a Linux image on IBM's z900 mainframe CPUs and a Windows Server 2003 image running on two 900MHz Xeon CPUs -- and wasn't hardware specific.

The ASA, however, thought the choice of hardware could have been more appropriate, saying in its adjudication: "The Authority understood... that the measurements for Linux were performed on an IBM zSeries, which was more expensive and did not perform as well as other IBM Series."

The ASA, however, thought consumers might not see it that way and the headline's Windows vs Linux stance might lead people into thinking running Microsoft's OS - not the "competing file serving set-ups" -- was cheaper than one based on Linux.

The result being, according to the ASA, that consumers could be misled. The Authority asked Microsoft to amend its ads and suggested in future the software behemoth might want to have a word with the Committee of Advertising Practices' Copy Advice Team.

Topic: Government UK

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  • Seems to be no end to the MS FUD.
    I hope it will backfire, and hard.
  • One has to ask the question:

    Why did Microsoft not compare the two operating systems on the same hardware?

    It's perfectly possible to run Linux running on 900Mhz Pentium Xeons.

    Anybody who believes a word Microsoft says is a fool.
  • microsoft............ same old tactics.
    it really doesn't matter.....
    in the long run microsoft just won't be able to keep up with the speed of development that linux is achieving now, and it will only get faster.
    linux is like rolling a snowball down a mountain, it starts off small and slow, but once it gains a bit of size it just don't stop rolling and getting bigger and faster, linux has now gained weight (IBM,NOVEL) and for the first time i believe, microsoft is genuinely worried.
    expect all the fud and legal wars you can imagine, it will happen (indeed already is happening).
    i personally think that microsoft is linux's best advertising (and its free too!!)
    they are making such a song and dance about linux, that lots of people are thinking mmmmmm if microsoft is that jumpy about it, it must be worth a look!
    so keep going microsoft you are linux's best friend