Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

Microsoft Case Studies- Redux

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Back in December, I wrote a post about Microsoft Case Studies “proving” that moving from open source to Microsoft would have massive cost savings. When you looked into the actual case study, rather than the fluffy press release that they put out, the story was rather different. A few comments that I got suggested that other people didn’t necessarily see the case study in the same light, so¬† I was pleased to see a repeat performance.

I should be clear here, since I wasn’t before, that I don’t have a problem with TCO, and there is considerably more to take into account when advocating either an open source or proprietary solution than simple software costs. In fact, as the article makes clear, the previous switch to linux from Windows NT 3.51 (yes, that’s how old their previous setup was) was done as a straight cost-cutting exercise with no proper planning or architectural changes. Clearly, choosing the software is a minor part of the problem compared to not maintaining or updating your system, or running it on completely unsuitable hardware.

However, the end result is another Microsoft “case study” which implies that a straight switch from linux to Microsoft has resulted in massive savings and efficiency increases. There’s no indication (of course) of what would have happened if they had properly maintained and updated their linux system or hardware.

So, let’s be very clear here: I’m not trying to say that everyone should switch to linux because it’s cheaper- this is about companies producing accurate and honest comparions rather than white-wash.