Independent Test Shows Lower TCO for Windows

This is mainly just a reference for a few select folks. Non-geeks move on. 🙂

Yankee Independently Pits Windows TCO vs. Linux TCO

Some of the more interesting findings from the Yankee Group press release:

“…hype notwithstanding, Linux’ technical merits while first-rate, are equivalent but not superior to Unix and Windows Server 2003.

“And in large enterprises, a significant Linux deployment or total switch from Windows to Linux, would be three to four times more expensive and take three times as long to deploy as an upgrade from one version of Windows to newer Windows releases,” the study found.

Yankee found that four percent of Unix customers and eleven percent of Windows businesses plan to replace all of their servers with Linux. And less than five percent of organizations will replace their Windows desktops with Linux.

As other researchers who have compared Windows and Linux TCO have ascertained, “Linux is most assuredly not free,” the Yankee study found – “a fact that corporations now begin to realize.”

All of the major Linux vendors and distributors including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell and Red Hat “have begun charging hefty premiums for must-have items like technical service and support, product warranties and licensing indemnification,” the study found.

  • To date, most of the defections to Linux are coming at the expense of mid-range Unix systems and not Windows.
  • The majority (54 percent of respondents) said, they will leave their Windows server intact, though 25 percent reported they will migrate “a portion” of their Windows servers to Linux for specialized application tasks.
  • The chief allure of Linux at this point is not surprisingly the fact that many customers like the idea of “free” licenses. Some 30 percent said they feel Linux is more reliable than Windows and 31 percent said they feel Linux is more secure than Windows, while another 29 percent expressed fears of being locked into an “all Microsoft environment.”
  • A majority of large enterprises with 5,000+ end users said they will not install Linux as their primary server OS in the foreseeable future because it is much more expensive and requires from 25% to 40% more Full Time Equivalent (FTE) support specialists than Windows or Unix for that matter.
  • Within 24 months, the Yankee Group projects that businesses will expend as much time, money and resources securing their Linux systems and servers as they now devote to Windows security.

  • 4 thoughts on “Independent Test Shows Lower TCO for Windows”

    1. I know I commented here! Are you sweeping me out the door? Hahahaha!

      I said, in the invisible comment:

      I know when you were warning the, “Non-geeks,” you were really talking to ME!


    2. My old company would disagree with the TCO. If it costs $300 for a Windows license and $0 for a Linux license, then the Linux license *always* wins. It didn’t matter how much time you spent fiddling with it, 300 > 0.

    3. This reads like MS propaganda. I find it especially funny that they say a Linux server will take a lot more tech support than Windoze.
      If an enterprise is savvy enough to run Linux, then their sysadmins are savvy enough to support it. And a server OS is invisible to the end-users, who are the ones who need most tech support.
      With all the security holes in Windoze, I think the only enterprises who will stay with it are corporate dweebs who let their IT people talk them into it, claiming it is somehow “cheaper” or “more established” or “an industry standard” because it’s the only thing they know how to support.
      I wonder how many of these people will have jobs after one big security hack or server crash.

    4. Max – I disagree. When you read the report of what’s actually being evaluated, I think what you’ll see is that the findings/evals come up to about a net zero sum gain by moving to Linux on the server end. (Desktops weren’t really in this study.) To make a blanket statement like “if they’re savvy enough to run Linux, then [they’re] savvy enough to support it” doesn’t hold water.

      Support on the backend in large companies isn’t always being done by the original installer.

      I also think it’s fair to say that the install times are significantly higher – if your taking a default Linux backend and converting from Windows. There’s a lot of (for lack of a better term) “cross-talk” pieces to put in place to support an existing network installation.

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