The campaign, called "Get the Facts", will initially run in US trade publications with a link to a Microsoft site offering analyst reports and customer case studies backing up Redmond's cost claims.
Microsoft is launching the adverts following requests from customers for more research and information on the Windows-versus-Linux debate to help them make strategic IT decisions.
The "Get the Facts" Web site carries a banner claiming "Windows has a lower total cost of ownership and outperforms Linux". It contains an IDC report showing an 11 to 22 percent cost advantage for Windows; a Giga Research report showing 28 percent lower development costs for large organisations using Windows; and VeriTest benchmarking studies detailing performance comparisons between Windows and Red Hat deployments. Customer case studies include Sea Containers Group, Dial-a-Phone and Monster.
Microsoft's campaign will no doubt be boosted by London's Newham Borough Council's decision to negotiate a better deal with Microsoft after finding in open-source trials that a migration would pose "unacceptable risk" to its services.
A Microsoft spokeswoman told silicon.com: "These studies are meant to be another data point in the customer's buying decisions for IT. Every customer has a different scenario; we are hoping to provide as much information as possible to help our customers make decisions."