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Microsoft refuses to release study challenging Munich Linux success

Microsoft refuses to release study challenging Munich Linux success

Study conducted by HP claimed that staying with Microsoft was cheaper than migrating to Linux, a German publication reported

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Microsoft and HP won't share a study claiming that the German city of Munich had its numbers wrong when it calculated switching from Windows to Linux saved the city millions - although an HP employee did provide the data to a German publication that reported on the results.

By switching from Windows to its own Linux distribution, LiMux, Munich has saved over €11 million so far, the city announced in November. But a Microsoft-commissioned Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study conducted by HP suggests that the city's numbers are wrong, and claims that Munich would have saved €43.7 million if it had stuck with Microsoft, German weekly Focus reported earlier this week.

If Munich had stayed with Windows XP combined with Office 2003 instead of choosing Linux combined with OpenOffice.org, it would have saved money, the study apparently claimed. Operating the Microsoft software (not including licensing fees) would cost €17 million, while the alternative will amount to almost €61 million, the report stated, according to Focus.

The city's own calculations did not consider all migration costs, according to the report. It apparently claimed that Munich compared the migration to a 10-year-old Linux version with a migration to a newer version of Windows, probably Windows 7, and said that if the city had stuck with Windows, no new software would have been necessary.

Furthermore, 25% of the desktops are still running Windows, because not all applications can be migrated to Linux, the report claimed.

But while the HP employee responsible for the study provided the German publication with details of the report, HP and Microsoft are now unwilling to disseminate it more broadly.

"The study was commissioned by Microsoft to HP Consulting for internal purposes only," said Microsoft's German communications manager Astrid Aupperle today. Microsoft commissioned the TCO study on Munich's migration to Linux because the company would "like to have some recommendations for other projects," she said. She declined any further comment on the study.

Since the report was commissioned by Microsoft, HP also declined to comment, said Anette Nachbar, spokeswoman for HP.

"I would struggle to see how a Windows deployment would be cheaper than a Linux installment," said Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum, who added that he couldn't imagine why Microsoft wouldn't release a study that actually proved that Microsoft is cheaper than Linux. "I would suspect that they read it and they suspected that there are some errors in there," he said.

After reading Focus' report, Karl-Heinz Schneider, head of the Munich's municipal IT service IT@M, immediately asked Microsoft to provide him with the study, he said today. However, Microsoft also refused to send it to him, said Stefan Hauf, spokesman for the city.

"What I could gather from the press so far poses considerable doubt on the validity of the study," said Schneider.

The study for instance overlooked the lion's share of the project's savings, almost €7 million, by not considering the licensing costs that would have been incurred when Microsoft products would have been used, Schneider said.

Furthermore, it is not true that no new software would be necessary if the city had kept using Windows, he said. "A major trigger for the decision to test the operating system architecture was precisely Microsoft's announcement that it would drop support for Windows NT," he said, adding that Windows NT was the city's standard OS at the time.

"A migration to a new operating system was therefore inevitable," Schneider said.

Munich began migrating from Windows NT to LiMux in 2006. The city hopes to have migrated 14,000 desktops to LiMux this year.

The claim that the city compared the costs for a migration to a 10-year-old version of Linux with the costs for a migration to Windows 7 is also incorrect, Schneider said. The LiMux client over the years has gradually been optimized in such a way that it is now incomparable to the version the city set out with, and the current version can easily be compared to Windows 7, Schneider added.

It is true that Munich will be unable to stop using Windows entirely because it will be unable to migrate some programs Linux. But, the claim that one in every four desktops still runs Windows is also wrong, said Schneider.

"It is true that not all business applications can be migrated to Linux," he said. But all web-based business applications can be used without conversion costs under LiMux, and most applications that are tightly integrated with Microsoft can also be used by the Linux client with the use of other standard techniques, he added.

Currently, almost 87%, or 13,000 of 15,000 PCs, are migrated to LiMux, he said.

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  • Ryan Northrup It takes you 45 minutes to run an executable and fill in a couple options Either this doesnt speak well for your expertise or it doesnt speak well for Windows performance relative to Linux and other enterprise-grade Unices and Unix-likes Installing a working and stable LAMP stack on Debian took no more than 5 minutes for me even on 10-15 year old hardware and most of that time was spent by apt-get downloading the packages Same goes for virtually every other package Ive installed on any Linux system ever well other than GentooAlso if you arent backing up your systems prior to upgrades and patches youre doing something wrong even if a whole server farm went down as hard as you imply theres no reason why you shouldnt be able to revert the change and get back up and running within minutes - regardless of the opeating system This is especially true with virtualization Not to mention that actually testing patches before installation in a production environment should go without sayingI mean Im about as low on the IT food chain as one can get and even I have enough common sense to test upgrades before pushing them to a production environment as well as to ensure I have a backout plan in the event a production upgrade fails No matter how great ones operating system is you cant fix stupid
  • Ryan Northrup Not to mention that its pretty straightforward to develop a customized and heavily-optimized in-house Linux distribution for ones enterprise Cant say the same about WindowsAlso
  • Dimon Pockemon It highly depends I can set up a basic LAMP setup in 2 hours with the OS instalation and all And about the patch I highly doubt your expertise you apply a patch on 10 machines whitout testing it apriori what kind of sysadmin are you
  • Charlie Whitman Linux web servers are instituted by enterprises all the time They havent all grown from college startups Since I have started in the company I work for the Web server has gone from Novell to Microsoft to Linux Linux has become the conventional choice for Web servers in enterprise settings The place youre more likely to see an IIS based server is in a small business Apache on Windows is used some but its relatively rareIn my experience Linux requires less maintenance than Windows to keep running as a server In fact Linux servers require less than half the server support of WindowsIve seen a Microsoft update wipe out a group of machines as well Of course I havent seen a server farm go down to this because Ive never been in a place where the administrators were foolhardy enough to apply patches to production servers willy-nilly They tested them first
  • Wendell Anderson For Microsoft to suppress its HP paid study claiming a savings of 40 millions Euros if Munich stayed with them is an insult to the intelligence of an orangutang and ridiculous on its face since such a study if credible could be used to subvert several other European countries and cities from currently moving in the same direction as Munich Similar astronomical savings have been reported in last 4 - 5 years by shift from Microsoft to Linux by the Governments of Brazil South Africa Taiwan Vietnam Australia Peru Chile middle eastern countries and others as well as NASDAQ London Stock Exchange and all the other financial Stock Exchanges in USA and internationally most of the Irish and Italian banking systems several large organizations and international Universities and hundreds of clients of IBM and Oracle and Cisco Many rabid Microsoft supporters in agreement with these bogus Microsoft claims have always disputed reports directly from the Linux adopters that concur with the Munich experience but until today there has not been one published study verified by independent experts or third party research institutes not under Microsoft control that back them up
  • Alex Chejlyk RobertJGood must be joking Ive been in the IT industry since 91 Unix networks were much moreefficientWhenWindows came along with the fat client approachefficiencywent down the drain Active directory addressed some of the problems associated with a fat client but it pales in comparison to a server hosting terminal clients We used to switch out a downed terminal in about 15 minutes Try switching out a Windows workstation in that time pre-configuring does not countWe are coming full circle where the cloud is the server and the browser is the clientStudys can be easily skewed Leave out a variable and the study may lean the way you want it to Quote somethingout of context and you can make almost any study fit your needs
  • MrRtd Big surprise Microsoft HP study finds its cheaper to use their product The freedom gained by moving away from Microsoft is priceless
  • AG Please1 Compare uptime of average Windows Server and average Linux Server -2 Ask Linux admins why theyre using it Linux is still much more admin friendly than anything else However you need to be well-trained professional On the other hand thats also the case for Windows admin right3 Ask IT managers why they have decided to use Linux not only as web servers but gtpreferablylt also for mission critical back-end systems4 Discussing TCO is very very controversial since youll find articles saying this or that It always depends who is behind it and what arguments they useSo please have a clear mind and look around Youll see that world has changedJust a few examples my point of view- I would agree that Windows Server is still OK for a lot of companies who requires things like ActiveDirectory Exchange Microsoft has also done a great job by creating WordExcel and Microsoft Project for desktops Microsoft has done also great things to move the whole IT sector forward by introducing a lot of semi-standardized technologies But that times are over Microsoft must still work hard to keep its strongholds and future is still in front of us ActiveDirectory possible replacement eg Novell portfolio which is available for many years Or Samba4 if youre looking for cost-effective solution Exchange - my company migrated to Microsofts Office 365 so e-mail are in a cloud with rich web-based client access And Im fully satisfied and access it from my Ubuntu without a problem - WordExcel - when Microsoft will start complying to its own document format standards it would be possible opening all documents also in OpenLibre Office without any worries thats not possible right now - but thats not a fault of these projects Lets wait for Office 2013 where Microsoft declared that it will comply itThe only field where Microsoft is still strong is 3rd-party commercial client applications that typically runs just on Windows OS And that may change with introduction of Windows Store-
  • Cesar Villanueva Sir I may suppose that you just dont apply good practices to your Linux deployment We use Linux on a critical mission platform the election platform of Venezuela We use PXE Cobbler and Puppet and the median time from barebone hardware HP servers without an OS to a completely installed and configured server running JBoss Oracle database connections et allia takes about 25 minutes10 minutes to install the bare OS and 15 minutes using Puppet and local Yum repositories as well as templates to install and configured the apps
  • Antenore Im working in the IT since 14 years and mainly for SME and large enterprisesIve deployed and administered any kind of server applications including DBsI had huge experience in Microoft administration as well and in development integrationThe 45 minutes of a nextnextnext have been alwaysautomatedwere I was working quiet easily on NIX but not in MThe only big issues Ive found working with Linux is tointegrateit inMicrosoftfriendlycontaminated environmentsAll the windows team are always bigger than the NIX teamsTherefore moving away from Windows would be the best bet so farMicrosoft need to change something Seriously
  • crypticsaga lol
  • Malcolm Haak Your a freaking moronI work in HPC Everything HPC is LinuxI used to work in SMBSME The linux stuff used to just workWindows servers were the ones that loved to chuck their toys out of the cot all the damn timeDamn MS shill Go somewhere else with yourunsubstantiated claimsAlso if all you do is run setupexe on Windows then you are doing it freaking wrongALL MS apps require some config and heavy tuning Go RTFM
  • RobertJGood Unix has had 20 years to prove more cost-effective than Microsoft technologiesand has failed The vast majority of Linux servers are web-site relatedservers web hosts and their database counterpart which starts as college startups and continues to be billion dollar enterprises like Facebook College kids have nothing but time their hourly rate is dirt cheap and can spend hours upon hours keeping their servers running Mainstream enterprise-level human resources are very expensive and about 1-3days of their time pays for a Windows Server and SQL Server license Running Linux costs much more than 1-3 days per year over MicrosoftI have been in the trenches for 21 years still develop both Unix aka Linux and Microsoft applications and can say that Microsoft takes about half of the dev time and about half the server support Type setupexe click a few options and you have a production server running in about 45 minutesIve seen whole server farms go down by accepting the latest Linux patchforcing a full reinstall of all 10 machines That money wasting situation may be acceptable to municipalities like Munich but would bankrupt most small to mid sized businesses
  • Eaglehooves Continuing to run XP on my older desktop might take the least time and money but support is ending If I want updates and support its Win78 or Linux Between those two theres a clear cost winner I know enterprises cant grab a distro and just run with it but neither can they with Windows They need to harden the security then build and test images for each role they want to deployConsidering how the desktop metaphor in most distros has more in common with XP than Win8 does training couldnt have been astronomicalSo wheres the enormous savings coming from Microsofts public image has been sliding and this doesnt help They better have a plan B as opposed to relying on inertia to keep Unix down
  • tfosorcim But a Microsoft-commissioned Total Cost of Ownership studyOperating the Microsoft software not including licensing feesHow convenientDont the Microsoft boneheads realize that by not releasing the results of the study they only lend credence and validity to the very point theyre trying to refuteReminds me of the fellow who for 1 000 commissioned a geneology report--and then paid 10 000 to have it hushed upWe oftentimes give our enemies the means of our destruction--Aesop
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