The study found a huge gap in software maintenance costs incurred by the two approaches, due in large part to the price difference between the BEA Inc. and Oracle Corp. software that Forrester compared to VisualStudio .Net and Microsoft SQL Server. Software maintenance in a large organization was estimated at $160,000 annually for a Linux/J2EE development effort, as compared with just under $46,000 for Microsoft users. In medium-sized businesses, the costs were $17,775 and $7,158 respectively.
Forrester estimated that the total cost of developing a custom Linux/J2EE application and supporting it for three years would be just over $2.2 million. On the Microsoft platform, the cost dropped to the $1.6 million range.