In the email sent to Microsoft customers and partners on Wednesday, Ballmer claimed that Windows was a better choice than Linux in terms of security, training, total cost of ownership (TCO) and protection against legal action over patent violations.
Novell vice-president John Hogan and senior business analyst Barrett Coakley responded to the various points in the email, and claim Microsoft was selective in its choice of which sections of the reports to back up its 'facts' with.
"Not surprisingly, the points made by Mr Ballmer leverage only those statements in its commissioned studies that reflect most positively on Microsoft, " said Hogan. "A broader look paints a much more objective picture, one more favourable to Linux."
Novell's Hogan also questioned Ballmer's statement that the reports cited are independent, giving an example where Microsoft was permitted to fine-tune a set-up, while Linux was run off an emulator.
For more analysis and Novell's full response to the Microsoft email click here.