Open source through the M$ window

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OSS

MARTIN Taylor, Microsoft Corp’s general manager for its platform strategy, and considered one of the software giant’s utmost authorities in its battle with Linux and the open source movement, was in town recently.

In.Tech took the opportunity to lob a few questions to his side of the field and Taylor duly obliged despite an extremely tight schedule.

Here is what he had to say,

In.Tech: More surveys are cropping up that show Linux and open source software being the cheaper alternative. What do you have to say about that?

I’m not sure what surveys you’re referring to. I don’t claim that Microsoft can offer lower TCO (total cost of ownership) on every single scenario on every single platform and in every single environment but I do feel comfortable that we’ve done the following things.

From a purely research perspective, IDC did a study looking at simple workloads such as Web, file and print and we fared very well with anywhere from 6%-11% better TCO on all those simple workloads. The one that we didn’t win was the Web workload test and this was with Windows 2000 and IIS (Internet Information Server) 5.0 as the test was on older technology.

Giga Research then looked at a human resources portal and we were anywhere from 25%-28% better advantaged on TCO.

Yankee Group recently did its own survey with about 100 IT companies and found that we were anywhere from 9%-20% depending on the environment having better TCO.

There’s only one study that I’ve seen, which was dated in 1999 done by, I think, a company called Robert Frances Group or something like that which really looked at it and said Linux had better TCO.

I want people to do detailed analysis. A lot of the customers who looked to Linux for cost savings about two or three years ago had not gone through detailed analysis.

If you are saying to me that more and more customers are doing analysis, and some of them are choosing Linux because of that, my first comment is “great.” I’m glad people are actually doing analysis and choosing it based on a set of facts.

My second comment is I want to get my hands on their research so I can go understand why we weren’t better because I believe that we have an ability to engineer out complexity in a way that we can lower TCO.

So, again, I haven’t seen that data but I’m going to try hard to find it.

In.Tech: But even governments within this region have done their research and they find open source software the cheaper alternative.

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