Microsoft slammed over misleading Windows Linux claims
Compared a mainframe to a dual 900MHz Xeon kit
By INQUIRER staff: Wednesday 25 August 2004, 08:24
THE UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a series of public
complaints over an advert in a magazine comparing the cost of Linux versus
An advert it ran compared the two operating systems to each other, but
Windows was running on a measly dual 900MHz Xeon configuration, while
Linux was running on a z900 IBM mainframe.
The advert appeared in an IT magazine and was headed: "Weighing the cost
of Linux vs Windows? Let's review the facts".
The ad contained a graph comparing the cost in US dollars between a Linux
images running on two z900 mainframe CPUs and a Windows Server 2003 image
running two 900MHz Intel Xeons chips.
The ad claimed: "Linux was found to be over 10 times more expensive than
Windows? Servers". It said that "in a recent study audited by leading
independent research analyst Meta Group, measured costs of Linux running
on IBM's z900 mainframe for Windows-comparable functions of file serving
and Web serving. The results showed that IBM z900 mainframe running Linux
is much less capable and vastly more expensive than Windows Server 2003
as a platform for server consolidation.*"
The ASA said the asterisk linked to a footnote that said: "Results may
vary outside the United States". The people who complained challenged
whether such a comparison was misleading, because the operating systems
were run on different hardware.
In its adjudication, the ASA upheld the complaints. While the ASA said
the advertisers wanted to compare how competing file set ups were audited
by Meta, it took expert advice. The IBM z900 running Linux was 10 times
more expensive than running the Windows OS. It would have been possible
to compare the two OSes on similar hardware.
And the ASA ruled readers would infer the ad compared Linux and Windows
The ASA said: "Because the comparison included the hardware, as well as
the operating system and therefore did not show that running a Linux
operating system was ten times more expensive than running a Windows
operating system, the Authority concluded that the advertisement was
In article < > in nz.comp
on Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:41:16 +1200, steve <>
> Microsoft has been caught red-handed lying about Linux and a related cost
> comparison to Windows.....and by no less than the UK Advertising Standards
> Authority (ASA.
> They compared Windows on a comparatively cheap PC (Xeon-based) server to
> Linux on a comparatively expensive IBM z900 mainframe.
> Their sock-puppets, Gartner, had validated the cost case.
> How embarassing!
The hardware was mentioned in the advert - they didn't try to hide it.
On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 18:35:43 +1200, Patrick Dunford wrote:
> In article < > in nz.comp
> on Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:41:16 +1200, steve <>
>> Microsoft has been caught red-handed lying about Linux and a related
>> cost comparison to Windows.....and by no less than the UK Advertising
>> Standards Authority (ASA.
>> They compared Windows on a comparatively cheap PC (Xeon-based) server to
>> Linux on a comparatively expensive IBM z900 mainframe.
>> Their sock-puppets, Gartner, had validated the cost case.
>> How embarassing!
> The hardware was mentioned in the advert - they didn't try to hide it.
They also didn't compare apples with apples, comparing the Unisys Main
Frame would have been a more accurate comparison, or linux on equivalent