Feeds

Microsoft delivers 'the Facts' about Linux

UK roadshow

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft kicked off the first of its seminars "to help customers better understand the debate surrounding Microsoft and Open Source software" with an all-day conference in London yesterday. The latest strand in Microsoft's "Get the Facts" counter-offensive against Linux will tour Britain this summer.

Analyst Philip Dawson from Meta Group set the tone during a panel discussion by arguing that higher support, training and integration costs can offset the free licensing costs of Linux. He also highlighted the growing maturity of Linux, and the inroads both Microsoft and Linux are making into the traditional Unix market. As vendors add more functions to software, the multi-million dollar enterprise market is becoming a stack war instead of an OS war, he said.

According to Nick McGrath, head of platform strategy at Microsoft UK, independent and funded research shows that Windows 2003 is less expensive than Red Hat or SuSE in some examples. He attacked the "myth" that Linux was free. Linux has strengths, McGrath said (without saying what they might be -spoil sport) before arguing that "Windows offers a more comprehensive environment".

Nick Barley, business and marketing director of Microsoft UK, said the "tabloid view" is that the battle between Microsoft and Linux is a struggle between "the free world and a big monopolist run by the richest man in the world". He said this "jihad about technology" between rival operating systems ignored the bigger problem that IT is badly regarded in the boardroom. "We need to better communicate the value of IT to business," he said.

The event promised to discuss "pros and cons of Microsoft's technology platform in relation to Linux and Open Source" and many Open Source advocates were present at the debate. Microsoft's Barley used to sit on the other side of the fence himself as a Linux advocate at Oracle. He acknowledged that Microsoft's recent licensing policies had "backfired" by upsetting some customers but that's as close as Microsoft got to saying its practices - rather than its messages - could benefit from a change.

Face the facts

As The Register's John Lettice recently wrote "Microsoft thinks Windows 'wins against Linux every time' but customers think Windows is expensive and Linux much cheaper". Microsoft reckons if it puts its "facts" before users who've been deluded by "open source myths" they will ultimately come around to Microsoft's way of thinking.

"They're not going ahead with Linux because they don't know any better, they've got their own 'facts', based on their own research and experience. If Microsoft products really are, or become, more cost-effective then customers' experiences and perceptions will change in Microsoft's favour," Lettice argues.

Microsoft's 'Get the Facts' tour will be in Edinburgh on 17 June, Manchester on 29 June and Newport, Wales on 7 July. ®

Related stories:

Microsoft UK plans 'open and honest' Linux debates
Microsoft ad push cranks up the - get Linux - volume
MS' Linux obsession - time to call in the shrinks
Ballmer 'fesses up to Linux/Windows cost FUD
Windows worms tax ISPs

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.