The Cost of Linux

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Matt Asay’s AC/OS blog says that one of the “expenses” noted in Microsoft TCO studies is the cost of training.

He says:

If you read Microsoft’s TCO case studies, its customers only state that Microsoft is cheaper because they didn’t want to invest in any new training, which is a bit of a canard since Unix skills transfer automatically to Linux skills and, last time I checked, Unix predates Windows (so, in many cases, it is Unix skill, not Windows skill, that needs transferring….);

While that might be true in some places, we all know that there are plenty of Windows folk who know nothing at all about anything but Windows, so I’m not sure that offers much against Microsoft’s position. However, he also notices the thing all us Unix folk know to be true:

Linux requires fewer support resources.

There’s another side to that. Every Unix run business that switched to Windows will tell the same story: they immediately had far more support problems and needed far more people to handle the needs.

Every customer I have that even just switched away from dumb terminals to PC’s but left the Unix servers in place still has the same complaints: every day, something goes wrong somewhere. Most of them end up having to hire in-house support people they never needed before drinking the Gates brew. Where they formerly could rely entirely upon occasional help from outside people like me, now they need one or more inside people working every day. It’s disgusting, but at least those people know what they lost: there are many more who never did anything but Windows, so for them, the extraordinary support needs seem natural.

Matt says Linux is taking a bite of Windows turf. May Linux (and Mac and even SCO if they can survive) gnaw the legs right off the beast.

*Originaly published at APLawrence.com

A.P. Lawrence provides SCO Unix and Linux consulting services http://www.pcunix.com

The Cost of Linux
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