How to talk to Microsoft about Linux

Summary:Visiting one of Microsoft's open-source seminars during the next few weeks? Here's a print-out-and-keep guide to questions you might care to ask...

Informed sources have alleged that Microsoft may have offered the Borough an uncharacteristically generous package, including a substantial amount of free consultancy, to sweeten the deal. There's even a theory that the real lesson is that if you can make Microsoft believe that you're genuinely considering Linux, you'll get a much better deal. One Microsoft executive even admitted to us last week that more companies are using this tactic You might ask:

If I come to Microsoft and say that I'm going to abandon Windows, what kind of incentives will you be able to offer me to make me stay? Is this why Microsoft is so reluctant to discuss its pricing policies?

Click here to read more about this issue.

5. Security
Sasser, Wallon, Netsky, Bagel, MyDoom, Nachi: just some of the security threats faced by users of Microsoft software this year. Despite this avalanche of worms, viruses and Trojans, Microsoft is keen to maintain that security is not just a problem for Windows.

A recent report published by Forrester Research calculated how quickly Microsoft issues patches after vulnerabilities are found in its software, and compared this to the performance of Linux vendors. Forrester found that Microsoft was much quicker at releasing fixes than Red Hat, Debian, SuSE and MandrakeSoft. Click here to read a .pdf of the original Forrester research, and here to read the response of the Linux vendors.

If Microsoft cites this as proof that Windows is a more secure option, you might point out that 67 percent of Microsoft's vulnerabilities were classified as high-severity, compared to 56 percent for Red Hat. Or, you might ask:

How many of the viruses that have hit the Internet this year have taken advantage of vulnerabilities in Linux?

The 20:20 Seminar Series continues…

…with events at the Caledonian Hilton Hotel, Edinburgh on the morning of 17 June, at the City of Manchester Stadium on 29 June, and at Celtic Manor, Newport on 7 July.

More details can be seen here.

Topics: Operating Systems

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