Feeds

Microsoft delivers 'the Facts' about Linux

UK roadshow

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?