A new Microsoft-commissioned anti-Linux study debuts

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?

Topic: Operating Systems


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Hey, it's only...

    It's only to counteract the anti-MS FUD. For every MS "fudpiece", I can point out 10 anti-MS fudpieces.

    It is funny to hear people complain about "The FUD comming out of Redmond" when there are orders of magnitude more anti-MS FUD being produced every day. Just visit sites like Slashdot, etc. ZDNet also produces a lot of FUD. Most Mary Jo "articles" contain heaps of FUD. Most ZDNet readers seem to post huge amounts of FUD.

    So, again, I find it funny that you, Mary Jo, and 90% of the future posters to this story complain about MS' FUD when there are so much anti-MS FUD around here.

    You don't think that is a bit disingenuous, Mary Jo, hmmm...?
    • Interesting, if not moronic, post...

      You come up with so much venom, with VERY little substance. You seem to have all the answers, with very little to back you.

      Mary Jo has lots of experience with the MS band wagon, and you ARE part of that. How about provinding something more than just your obvious bias and throw in some substance.
  • Time to slap Mary Jo around.

    MJ said; "But that doesn?t mean the company has ceased commissioning research outfits to perform its anti-Linux dirty work."

    Ok MJ, so since when is trying to demonstrate your product is better "dirty work"?

    Many (yourself?) seem to have a big problem saying their product is better so MS hires someone to do an unbiased study and you call it "dirty work".

    What would you have them do? Noever compare their products to others? Never have a third party do the comparison? What is it you do want?

    Keep in mind, Bill Gates himself CHALLENGED Linus T. and the Linux supporteres to a head to head competition (use the same hardware and let each group set up the machines) and Linux (community as well as Linus) turned tail and ran away.
    • In an effort

      To let you show how superior you are, would you care to provide evidence of that challenge? You know, like, it's actual existence.
      • The challenge happened.

        You set yourself up to be gloated at.

        The challenge was refused because, according to a statement, it would make Microsoft's criticisms of Linux more prominent.

        Me, I think that situations vary so much that any one situation is not decisive for all. And the factors, such as the knowledge and past experience of those working with Windows/Linux, are difficult to control.

        Still, I think it can be said that there are situations in which Windows is superior. Absolute statements are always false.
        Anton Philidor
        • Absolute statements are always false.

          Isn't that an absolute statement? :-)
          Henry Miller
          • Yup.

            Anton Philidor
        • Erm...

          I wanted No_Ax to actually give some details. You know, like support. I care less if it exists or not, I just wanted him at least once on a topic he might be willing to respond with some actual support rather than relying totally on assertions.
          • Sorry littel one

            If your too lazy to look I sure am not going to drag you by the ear.
          • Oh please

            Take pity, show me a link or something.
          • I'm too busy too

            I found pictures on the web of No Ax parading down Main Street wearing his mother's wedding dress. But I'm not going to post a link because you're too lazy to find them for yourself.
            tic swayback
          • Yeah I saw those too

            Not a pretty sight :(
          • LOL

            One post called you on this. That's funny. So predictable.
          • The burden of proof would seem to be on you

            You made the assertion that the challenge happened without providing proof. It should be quite possible to prove such a challenge, if in fact it actually occurred. In fact I would expect that such a challenge would have had fairly widespread coverage given the two persons involved.

            Proving something *didn't* happen by contrast is nearly impossible.

            I've done several Google searches and come up with nothing to support your assertion. Quite frankly, you appear to be spreading male bovine waste product.
          • No_Ax_to_Grind does not know the facts or details on this.

            He is confusing companies with individuals (neither individual was directly involved, according to both Microsoft and OSDL). He is confusing a TCO study proposed by someone at Microsoft (a marketing manager, iirc) and OSDL with 2 prominant names (one of which he has trouble spelling).
          • Pardon...

            Gates specifically challenged Linuz T. to the challenge and Linus ducked out.
          • Provide a link to support your claim.

            Neither Bill Gates nor Linus Torvalds has any idea of what you are talking about (since you wish to name both). Do you have any evidence (articles that support your claim)?
        • To be precise

          [i]The challenge was refused because, according to a statement, it would make Microsoft's criticisms of Linux more prominent.[/i]

          I'd like to see the official statement. The only one I saw from OSRL was that their charter as a tax-exempt nonprofit research organization did not allow them to do marketing promotional projects.
          Yagotta B. Kidding
        • The real story

          It is not as portrayed by the NBMers. Surprised?


          "Martin Taylor of Microsoft invited me [head of the OSDL, Stuart
          Cohen ] to meet with him to discuss shared research and other
          topics at LinuxWorld and I accepted. "

          It was Cohen.

          "As far as working with Microsoft on a study, I [Cohen] explained
          that Microsoft could probably find one negative line on Linux in
          a 100-page research report that it would spend $10 million
          marketing while ignoring the other 99 pages. Why would OSDL
          want to participate in that?

          The real reason ODSL declined.
          Richard Flude
          • Not only but also...

            It would appear that No_Ax is confusing Cohen with Torvalds, and Taylor with Gates. Who knows, maybe next week he'll confuse Stallman with Ballmer!