A new Microsoft-commissioned anti-Linux study debuts

Summary:On September 25, Mercer Management Consulting released a new Microsoft-backed study. The study is entitled “Driving Lower TCO and Rapid ROI through UNIX Migrations.

Microsoft seemingly has backed off from trumpeting its “Get the Facts” studies, as of late. But that doesn’t mean the company has ceased commissioning research outfits to perform its anti-Linux dirty work.

On September 25, Mercer Management Consulting released a new Microsoft-backed study. The study is entitled “Driving Lower TCO and Rapid ROI through UNIX Migrations.” The synopsis: “Microsoft Windows the preferred choice for UNIX migration when IT organizations migrate servers as part of a focused effort to improve business processes, deploy critical applications or restructure their IT architecture.”

The old Microsoft would be touting this study as “Windows beats the pants off Linux in server migrations.” But in the new, Bill-Hilf-era Microsoft, the emphasis is on ROI and TCO, with Linux competition a mere footnote.

Mercer talked to 30 companies for this study. In attempting to debunk the supposed superiority of Linux as a replacement for Unix, Mercer reports:

“We found that many times when companies had chosen to migrate from UNIX to Linux, those decisions were made at a much lower level within the organization. In fact, it was often an IT administrator who was making the decisions, typically not using robust ROI (return on investment) or TCO analyses.”

TCO and ROI numbers, like any data, can be tailored to prove a desired conclusion. I know I’d trust my IT administrator’s recommendations on technology more than those of an upper-level manager armed with a TCO study.

That said, just because a report is commissioned by Microsoft doesn’t mean it’s automatically bogus. But it definitely makes me more leery. Any other skeptics out there?

Topics: Operating Systems

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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