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Microsoft wants you to know the facts about Linux

Jan 12, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxMicrosoft

* Microsoft launches campaign to spread "The facts about Windows and Linux"

Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock, you know that Microsoft began an advertising campaign last week that’s is scheduled to for run six months under the general topic of “Get The Facts on Windows and Linux.”

For the most part, the campaign will point readers and viewers to a collection of articles and white papers (from inside Microsoft as well as from independent analysts) touting the superior benefits of Windows server technology. To see what all the noise is about point your browser to

I’m not I hasten to add, referring to noise coming out of Redmond but noise emanating from the Linux and open-source community. There are two basic themes being orchestrated by the Linux-lovers: 1) Microsoft’s efforts validate Linux as a viable enterprise server operating system, and 2) Microsoft bought and paid for the analysis so it can’t be believed. Both themes are flawed.

Open source gadfly Bruce Perens has been widely quoted on the theme of Linux validation. A recent IDG News Service story (see link below) reads:

“According to Perens, the advertisement simply shows that Microsoft is afraid of Linux, and give the open source operating system more credibility in the enterprise. ‘I think that Microsoft should continue this campaign in other publications,’ he says. ‘In fact, they should buy some TV ads; maybe a Superbowl ad.'”

In fact, the ads show that Microsoft’s potential customers have been propagandized into believing that Linux hosts are the equivalent of Windows servers – and cost less. That’s simply not true, as the material offered by Microsoft demonstrates.

That brings us to the second theme, that the “independent” papers are simply more paid advertising for Microsoft. Redmond has, in the past, purchased good reviews (usually from organizations, people and groups no one has heard of before or sense the one paper praising Windows), but the material being presented in this campaign comes from entities such as IDC, the META Group, Giga Research and others that have established a record as no nonsense, third-party analytical organizations.

Yes, Microsoft may have commissioned the study. Yes, Microsoft would have buried it if the results were less than optimal for Redmond. Yes, the parameters for some studies are narrowly drawn. But still, the bottom line is that these are carefully researched and documented studies – you can believe the conclusions they draw. And the conclusion is that Windows is better for the enterprise server than Linux.

Read the material for yourself; don’t take my word for it or (shudder) Bruce Perrens’ word.