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Linux firms not impressed with Microsoft's customer win

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Microsoft's latest customer win has failed to impress members of the open source community, who insist that it doesn't prove that Windows is superior to Linux.

On Monday Microsoft announced that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) had replaced its Linux Web server with a Windows alternative to save costs and improve its Web offering. "RICS's decision to migrate to Windows will see reduced costs, improved content management and integrated back-office systems with its Web portal," claimed Microsoft.

But open source companies such as Linux vendor Novell, open source application server vendor JBoss and open source consultancy Netproject claimed that RICS did not evaluate Linux properly before making its move. As a result, the move cannot shed any light on the relative merits of Linux and Windows, the three companies said.

In an interview with ZDNet UK, Richard Carlson, the head of business systems at RICS, admitted that the company did not do a comparative study of Linux and Windows.

RICS uses predominantly Microsoft-based technologies, so when it decided to bring its outsourced Linux Web server back in house it decided to switch to Microsoft technologies to consolidate its architecture and take advantage of its in-house skills. Carlson expects to see lower costs following the move.

Sacha Labourey, JBoss' European general manager, said it is unfair to compare Linux with Commerce Server and Biztalk as they are different beasts.

Netproject's Bleasdale said he was surprised that RICS was moving to proprietary Web technologies, as the Web is one of the areas where open source has more market share than Microsoft.

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