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Is MS Server cheaper thanLinux in RadioShack?

By pchsiu ·
I read from Microsoft that its Server is 20% to 50% cheaper than Linux in Radio Shack. Is this a hoax? I am a professional accountant, I want line for line of cost comparison between the two. Otherwise, it's unbelievable!! Has Mircosoft taken into account the other free softwares that comes with Linux? Even if it's true for the time being, wait till Bill puts a leash on your neck!! Will somebody clarify the cost figures for me?

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I'll clarify it for you...

by Jaqui In reply to Is MS Server cheaper than ...

You read it from Microsoft, what you were reading was nothing more than part of Microsoft's anti Linux Advertising Campaign.

RHEL Starting at $349.00

Microsoft? Windows? Server Standard 2003 R2 Win32 English CD 5 Client $1,029.00

It's important to remember, that the RHEL gets you everything you need, the windows server gets you the server software with licenses for 5 clients.

right off the top, you need to also buy windows desktop os, ms office etc so the cost for the windows server has to be concidered to be roughly 1/3 of the actual TCO for using MS software.

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by Jaqui In reply to I'll clarify it for you.. ...

both those prices are the numbers given by Red Hat and Microsoft respectively, at the first point of making a purchase of the software from their own websites.

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Further clarification

by mjwx In reply to I'll clarify it for you.. ...

RHEL A$1000 (was 18 months ago)
SRV 2K3 A$1200 (a bit less with MS partner agreement)

RHEL will come with a mail server, web server, SQL server, Dev tools and source code plus a great deal of choice of what you want to install.

SRV 2K3 comes with a web server, basic mail server, MSDE (Microsoft SQL Desktop Engine) can be installed for free but is not standard, no dev tools and your pretty much limited to the MS path.


RHEL, you need a RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) to fix any problem you cant fix yourself. I don?t know what phone/email support is like.

SRV 2K3, Good phone/email support because you?ve bloody well paid for it.

RHEL (Linux) comes with everything you need but is difficult for a novice (Non Linux techie) to use, support can be difficult (but getting better with market penetration) and version control can quickly spiral out of control. Linux is for the experts.

Windows, Easy to use, Limited out of the box, Expensive, good support (when paid for), will even give help in product dev (**** they have even helped with *nix support for one product). Good for beginners or companies that have more money than IT people.

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by dawgit In reply to Is MS Server cheaper than ...

Don't believe it.!.
Don't buy into it.!.
I've got a lot of old bridges to sell to too.

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Don;t let the facts get in the way

by jdmercha In reply to Is MS Server cheaper than ...

Fact: Linux can be obtained for free.
Fact: MS Windows Server software costs money.

Bottom line is: Linux is cheaper to purchase.

Fact: More people us MS than Linux. Thus admin costs are lower for MS.

The question: How long does it take for the TCO of Windows to become lower than the TCO of Linux?

The Answer: That depends entirley on your own organization. Do you have in-house expertise for Linux or MS? How much do you need to invest in training for MS or Linux? Will the software you already use run on Linux or MS? Will the software you need for the future run on Linux or MS?

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This is the best answer so far.

by Eric.Talbot In reply to Don;t let the facts get i ...

Acquiring an OS is something but maintaining it is another one. Both must be balanced and evaluated depending on your in house expertise and needs (software).

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Unhealthy situation

by pchsiu In reply to Don;t let the facts get i ...

I know we have to take all the costs together into consideration. That's why I asked for line for line cost analysis.
Training? There are lots of people (including myself) interested in and taking training in Linux. For me, the reason is Linux training courses are cheaper. Then, there comes the similarity of Linux and Unix. All the older generation of Computer experts were trained in Unix. So, I think there are two Linux experts to one Windows expert.
Maintenance costs and administration? Have you heard of panics, patch releases, security patches, virus attacks as many times for Linux as for Windows? Virus(plus spyware plus worms etc) for Linux is not completely non-existant, but are few.
Update costs? Please refer to costs of buying a new packet of either system.
Hardware costs? My teacher told me Linux Servers could run on older machines stably and efficiently. MS Window's hardware requirements may be at the front edge of technology, Linux Servers can run on cheap machines fairly well, (unless you want a home theatre, or high end game console).
Technology? I just attended a lesson which said that almost(if not all) all firmware in hardware firewall boxes were written in Linux. These hardware firewalls sell for over US$1K each.
Is system all? In MSWindows, you still have to buy expensive application softwares to do something meaningful for your client machines. In Linux, one packet contains all you normally need.
Compatibility? Yes, most people stayed in MS camp because all other people around him/her are using MSWindows. If he switched to Linux, he may not be able to communicate or exchange working files with those around him. That's the only reason why Bill is successful. I don't know how he started this morbid situation.

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Well firstly you asked for the impossible

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Unhealthy situation

MS will constantly claim that their solution is cheaper or has a lower TCO than the Nix Alternative and then you'll read stories that any form of Nix is chaeper than the MS alternative.

Where MS gets a lot of these stories from is finding smalish corporations without big computer centeres and making them a Deal to switch to Windows with thrown in Support and retraining for the staff.

So in the first year the TCO is cheaper but the next time that the hardware needs replacing or a bigger Server is required the cost of the MS Licenses gets quite big. If you look at switching to 500 CPU Blades the cost of the MS license is really applling compared to a few hundred $ that the Red Hat or SUSE install cost and they work with all the CPU's without any problems.

MS will not make public their actual costings for these stories and nore will the other side what you have to look at is the type of Hardware in use and then make a dcission from there how to proceed.

At the MS Partners Meetings when you get one of the Tech there to speak they will show the slides but will say very little about the actual contants and even then it's generally along the lines of you can believe this if you want or disbelieve it if you like I just have to show you this. Then they change the slide to something that they need to actually cover so the total time that the TCO slides are up is generally under 15 seconds if that.

It's when you get the MS Marketing Types involved that they will talk for hours about TCO by really say very little and never answer any questions as that isn't on their scripts and they honestly do not know any better.

The reality is that if you are in a MS only shop with Dell/HP/Gateway or whatever systems then the answer will most likely be YES Windows is cheaper as you are already getting that with the computers {As you have already paid for it] and if you want to use something else you then have to start paying to have Windows Removed and whatever installed and got working with the hardware and then train your staff in its proper use.

Even recently MS was attempting to stop the Computer Builders selling bare builds to prevent the migration away from MS to something different. Of course MS was telling all the system builders that we are helping your profitibility by selling our product you are making even more money. I've seen the same thing happen with the Small Server Market I get given a machine to load 2003 onto and I find that it already has XP Home + MS Works installed so that company is effectivilly paying twice for software on the one computer. That pratice is great for MS but not so good for the customer and even now I'm selling copies of XP Pro and installing NT4 onto new computers knowing full well that that copy of XP will never be installed and will effectively be nothing more than waste material when the computer dies within a 6 month period because of the conditions it is living in and the specalised software requires NT4 to run on.

Personally I think this is stealing but I don't have the time to waste taking MS to court over this and when the customer complains I just point to the EULA that they have and say well you're welcome to take it up with MS and their Legal Team but I am not in a position to do that.

Funnelly enough in a case where a computer gets stolen MS allows us to supply a new computer with the OLD PRODUCT KEY used I think that even MS is unwilling to Take On The Insurance Companies.


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The problem is

by jdmercha In reply to Unhealthy situation

I can give you a line-by-line cost analysis, for what it costs me. But that will be nowhere near what it will cost you. You may have associated costs that I don't.

1. You can get Linux for free. Or you can pay for it and get support with it. You can pay varying amounts depending on what kind of support you need.
2. When choosing a hardware platform you have to consider more than just what OS you will be running. What other appliations will be running? What hardware do you already have expertise with? What type of hardware support do you need?
3. What will your training needs be? How many people have to be trained? Can you do the training in house? Is there a local company that provides this training? Can they come to your facility to do the training?
4. Update costs can vary widely as well. Do you need to be on the bleeding edge? Can you afford to use older software? Will your other appliations run with the new OS updates?
5. There are many open source software packages that run on Windows too. You may or may not need to by any additional software. That depends on your business.

In other words the only way you are going to get the answer you want is to hire a consultant who can come in and see how your business operates. Then they can come up with cost estimates and a plan to go one way or the other.

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a little more detail

by apotheon In reply to Don;t let the facts get i ...

"Fact: More people us MS than Linux. Thus admin costs are lower for MS."

Assuming admin costs are lower for Windows platforms (which hasn't been conclusively, or even substantially, supported by hard evidence), you still need to add a touch of detail to get a really clear picture:

The higher administrative cost would be per work unit, if there's a higher admin cost for Linux. Now consider these two things:

1. Most work units in Windows administration are unavoidably related to licensing reconciliation, system maintenance, and "firefighting" (meaning: troubleshooting when things go sideways).

2. Linux administration basically requires zero licensing reconciliation, relatively little system maintenance, and almost no firefighting.

As a result of these bits of information, if you're paying more for Linux administration, it's because you're paying for admin work above and beyond what you'd be getting for your Windows system. This probably translates to your admin staff expanding and customizing functionality, rather than spending all their time just keeping things running.

In addition, of course, most measures of admin costs don't take into account admin materials. In particular, it's worth noting that while the netadmin or sysadmin himself might cost more per hour (assuming the guess that Linux administration is costlier), you don't have to spend gobs of money on node licenses for enterprise distributed antivirus and similar materials expenses for Linux the way you do for Windows. Even if you feel a need for such a system, it can be had entirely free of charge on Linux. Chew on that for a bit.

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