MSFT letter makes the case for OSS

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by thing, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. thing

    thing Guest

    So much for Forres. report....

    In an email to IT buyers last week, MSFT CEO Steve Ballmer discussed why
    he believes MSFT solutions are better than Open Source/Linux for
    companies migrating from UNIX. In spite of the obvious reach such a
    public statement has, we believe it will have limited impact on Open
    Source companies such as RHAT and NOVL, and in fact may have the
    opposite effect of validating Linux as a viable threat to MSFT's business.

    Mr. Ballmer quoted data points including TCO/acquisition costs and
    security to make his case, however, with slightly more than a
    superficial glance at the sources Ballmer himself cited it's obvious he
    selected portions of the data to make his case.

    Contrary to assertions in the letter, the Forrester reports state that
    "both Windows and four key Linux distributions can be deployed
    securely," and that on certain metrics Windows wins and on others Linux

    Aside from that, the data is, by Forrester's own admission,
    statistically insignificant, as they only interviewed 5 companies.

    In addition, Ballmer quotes a single metric from security-tracking firm
    Secunia, that RHEL has 7.4 security advisories per month and Windows
    Server 2003 has 1.7 advisories, to prove that Windows is more secure,
    even though Secunia warns that direct comparison of two products on this
    metric is invalid, since, for example, RHEL includes numerous products
    that are not bundled with Windows Server.

    Also, on deeper inspection, of those advisories, RHEL has 0 of 92
    unpatched and of those 24% were highly critical, while Windows Server
    has 4 of 31 unpatched and 52% highly critical, and Windows XP has 19 of
    74 unpatched and 37% highly critical. And, more importantly, counts of
    security advisories alone do not provide an accurate comparison as one
    single MSFT vulnerability from this summer caused the US-CERT to advise
    users to stop using Internet Explorer. In our view, Ballmer's memo
    simply highlights the frustration that MSFT is feeling in finding a way
    to compete with Linux, and if the "independent studies" are as accurate
    as Ballmer claims, then AOL (TWX: not rated), Amazon (AMZN: not rated),
    Google (GOOG: not rated), and Linksys (CSCO: not rated) - all companies
    that are standardizing on Linux - must be wrong in how they operate
    their massive IT infrastructures. We believe that pressure on MSFT is
    only going to intensify as Linux matures and continues to evolve faster
    than Windows. We reiterate our Outperform ratings on RHAT and NOVL.

    and another of possible interest,


    thing, Nov 3, 2004
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