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Old 10-29-04, 20:51
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Question what the heck is this?

hey guys.. i just got an email.. kinda weird eh? any ideas what this is?


From : Steve Ballmer <>
Reply-To : "Steve Ballmer" <10_5584_id/>
Sent : October 29, 2004 8:57:38 PM
To : <my email>
Subject : Customer Focus: Comparing Windows with Linux and UNIX

In the thousands of meetings that Microsoft employees have with customers around
the world every day, many of the same questions consistently surface: Does an
open source platform really provide a long-term cost advantage compared with
Windows? Which platform offers the most secure computing environment? Given the
growing concern among customers about intellectual property indemnification,
what's the best way to minimize risk? In moving from an expensive UNIX platform,
what's the best alternative in terms of migration?

Customers want factual information to help them make the best decisions about
these issues. About a year ago, a senior Microsoft team led by General Manager
Martin Taylor was created to figure out how we could do a better job helping
customers evaluate our products against alternatives such as Linux/open source
and proprietary UNIX. This team has worked with a number of top analyst firms
that have generated independent, third-party reports on cost of acquisition,
total cost of ownership, security and indemnification. Some of the studies were
commissioned by Microsoft, while others were initiated and funded by the
analysts. In each case, the research methodology, findings and conclusions were
the sole domain of the analyst firms. This was essential: we wanted truly
independent, factual information.

At the same time, our worldwide sales organization is going even deeper with
customers to understand their needs and create a feedback loop with our product
development teams that enables us to deliver integrated solutions that support
real-world customer scenarios, and comprehensively address issues such as
manageability, ease of use and reliability.

I'm writing to you and other business decision makers and IT professionals today
to share some of the data around these key issues - and to provide examples of
customers who opted to go with the Windows platform rather than Linux or UNIX,
and how that's playing out for them in the real world. Much more information on
this is at

This email is one in an occasional series of emails from Microsoft executives
about technology and public-policy issues important to computer users, our
industry, and anyone who cares about the future of high technology. If you would
like to receive these emails in the future, please go to to


In the past few years, you haven't been able to open a computing magazine or
visit a technology Web site without running into an article about Linux and open
source. Not surprising: who doesn't like the idea of a "free" operating system
that just about anyone can tinker with?

But as the Yankee Group commented in an independent, non-sponsored global study
of 1,000 IT administrators and executives, Linux, UNIX and Windows TCO
Comparison, things aren't always as they seem: "All of the major Linux vendors
and distributors (including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell [SUSE and Ximian] and
Red Hat) have begun charging hefty premiums for must-have items such as
technical service and support, product warranties and licensing

Yankee's study concluded that, in large enterprises, a significant Linux
deployment or total switch from Windows to Linux would be three to four times
more expensive - and take three times as long to deploy - as an upgrade from one
version of Windows to a newer release. And nine out of 10 enterprise customers
said that such a change wouldn't provide any tangible business gains.

Yankee also noted that, for larger organizations with complex computer networks,
it's important to look beyond Linux's initial low investment cost and consider
all of the TCO and ROI factors.

This is exactly what one of our large enterprise customers, Equifax, did
recently. Equifax, a $1.2 billion U.S.-based enterprise with 4,600 employees in
13 countries, needed more computing power than its mainframe systems could
deliver for rapidly searching the company's vast marketing database. They spent
several months conducting an internal analysis, which proved that, compared with
Linux, Windows would realize a 14% cost savings and shorten their time to market
by six months. (Equifax Case Study -

Another comprehensive, non-sponsored study by Forrester, entitled The Costs and
Risks of Open Source, drew a similar conclusion: "The allure of free software is
accelerating the deployment of open source platforms, but open source is not
free and may actually increase financial and business risks."

In early 2004, Forrester conducted in-depth discussions with 14 companies that
had been running Linux platforms for longer than one year to see what the costs
really were. Several key themes emerged:

- Few companies know what they're really spending. Only five of the 14 kept
detailed metrics - and each of those five found Linux more expensive (5% to 20%)
than their current Microsoft environments.

- Preparation and planning activities took 5% to 25% longer for Linux than

- Training for IT employees was significantly higher for Linux than for Windows
- on average, 15% more expensive. The reasons: training materials were less
readily available, and customers spent more on training to compensate for the
lack of internal knowledge about Linux.

- All 14 companies said it was difficult finding qualified Linux personnel in
the marketplace to support their Linux projects. When they did find third-party
help, they had less leverage negotiating hourly rates than with Windows
consulting resources.

One of our mid-market customers, Computer Builders Warehouse (CBW), came to a
similar conclusion. CBW builds computers to order for education, government, and
corporate customers. Several years ago, it deployed Red Hat and Mandrake
versions of Linux to support its corporate, retail and e-commerce applications.
Challenged with high costs, CBW subsequently migrated to Microsoft Windows
Server System, and reduced its total cost of ownership by 25 percent. It also
consolidated its server population by 50 percent, reduced maintenance time by 50
percent, and boosted developer productivity by 200 percent. These benefits -
totaling $650,000 in savings - are dwarfed by the millions of dollars in new
revenue that CBW expects as a result of bringing a key security and monitoring
product to market more than two years faster than it could have done using
Linux. (CBW Case Study -


About three years ago, we made software security a top priority, and since then
we've invested heavily in a multi-pronged effort to improve software quality and
development processes, and to reduce risks for customers through education and
guidance, industry collaboration and enforcement. I think it's fair to say that
no other software platform has invested as much in security R&D, process
improvements and customer education as we have at Microsoft.

Still, Linux has often been touted as a more secure platform. In part, this is
because of the "many eyeballs" maxim of open source software that claims a
correlation between the number of developers looking at code and the number of
bugs found and resolved. While this has some validity, it is not necessarily the
best way to develop secure software. We believe in the effectiveness of a
structured software engineering process that includes a deep focus on quality,
technology advances, and vigorous testing to make software more secure.

A number of third-party reports have questioned how safe the Linux platform
really is. For example, a recent independent study by Forrester, Is Linux More
Secure than Windows?, highlighted that the four major Linux distributions have a
higher incidence and severity of vulnerabilities, and are slower than Microsoft
to provide security updates.

According to Forrester, Microsoft had the lowest elapsed time between disclosure
of a vulnerability and the release of a fix. They found that Microsoft addressed
all of the 128 publicly disclosed security flaws in Windows over the 12-month
period studied, and that its security updates predated major outbreaks by an
average of 305 days.

Other independent sources of data show similar conclusions. According to
statistics posted on the security Web site Secunia
(, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
has averaged 7.4 security advisories per month, compared with 1.7 advisories for
Windows Server 2003.

And as Yankee Group noted in its Linux, UNIX and Windows TCO Comparison study,
"Linux-specific worms and viruses are every bit as pernicious as their UNIX and
Windows counterparts - and in many cases they are much more stealthy."

This was a deciding factor in farmaCity's selection of Windows over Linux.
Headquartered in Buenos Aires, farmaCity is a rapidly growing Argentinean
drugstore chain with 50 outlets and 1,200 employees. Although farmaCity's growth
in recent years was a testament to its success, the company's aging technology
infrastructure had become a hindrance to further expansion. After careful
analysis, farmaCity concluded that Windows would reduce network administration
by 30 percent compared with Linux, and would also simplify identity and desktop
management. But the core reason for selecting Microsoft was the increase in
network security, complemented by the ability to reduce patch-deployment time by
50 percent while cutting unsolicited e-mail by half. (farmaCity Case Study -


Increasingly, we're hearing from customers that another factor in their
consideration of computing platforms is indemnification. In 2003, we looked at
our volume licensing contracts to see what we could do to increase customer
satisfaction, and a top issue we heard about was patent indemnification, which
then was capped at the amount the customer had paid for the software. So later
that year, we lifted that cap for our volume licensing customers, who are most
likely to be the target of an intellectual property lawsuit.

Today, when a volume licensing customer - a business or organization ranging
from as few as five computers to many thousands - licenses a Microsoft product,
we provide uncapped protection for legal costs associated with a patent,
copyright, trademark or trade secret claim alleging infringement by a Microsoft
product. We do this because we are proud to stand behind our products, and
because we understand that being on the wrong end of a software patent lawsuit
could cost a customer millions of dollars, and massively disrupt their business.

No vendor today stands behind Linux with full IP indemnification. In fact, it is
rare for open source software to provide customers with any indemnification at
all. We think Microsoft's indemnification already is one of the best offered by
the leading players in the industry for volume licensing customers, and we're
looking at ways to expand it to an even broader set of our customers. It's
definitely something businesses want to think about as they're building or
expanding their IT infrastructure.

It was certainly a factor for Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie
theatre chain in the world. In 2001, they moved to Red Hat Linux. After
evaluating Linux in their business for several months, however, they migrated to
the Microsoft platform - not only because of lower TCO, stronger support and
services, and greater reliability and manageability, but because they were more
fully indemnified on IP. J.E. Henry, CIO of Regal Entertainment, told me that
"reduced risk was a decision factor in selecting Windows over Linux. We needed
to minimize our exposure to the distraction of potential IP infringement claims,
and we had a big enough open source presence to be concerned. With the way that
Microsoft stands behind its products, it's one less thing that I have to worry


One of the hot topics among enterprise IT and business decision makers today is
the costs and benefits of migrating enterprise resource planning systems (ERP)
from costly, proprietary UNIX environments to Windows or other platforms. ERP
integrates various company functions such as human resources, inventories and
financials, and links a company to its vendors and customers.

An independent, qualitative survey of organizations that recently completed a
migration of their SAP or PeopleSoft ERP system from a UNIX environment to the
Microsoft Windows Server platform found a more than 20% reduction in the number
of servers required compared with UNIX. The survey, by META Group, found that in
one large telecommunications company, consolidation on Windows allowed a greater
than 50 percent reduction in the number of required servers.

The survey also found a more than 50 percent improvement in areas such as
reliability, accessibility and scalability; significant savings in cost
management, IT staffing, performance monitoring and vendor management; and
measurable savings in technical support and training. More than half of business
function decision makers also saw significant improvements in areas such as
consistency, accuracy, reporting enhancement and performance.

"Windows is now a mainstream option for the vast majority of ERP projects," META
Group concluded.

A great case study is the Raiffeisen Bank Group, the largest private bank group
in Austria with about 2,600 branches. It wanted to reduce costs and provide
better customer service by consolidating the number of servers in its branches
by 50 percent. Raiffeisen investigated migrating from UNIX to either Linux or
Windows. After evaluating the possible solutions, the company found that Windows
Server 2003 would provide the most economical solution along with better
performance, while giving bank employees an integrated view of customer
information that they needed to improve customer service. (Raiffeisen Bank Group
Case Study -

One of our mid-market customers had a similar experience. Grand Expeditions is a
consortium of luxury travel companies that significantly reduced its Web
development and hosting costs, and improved site reliability and performance, by
moving from a combination of Linux- and UNIX-based servers to Windows Server
2003 and the Windows Server System. The new system was up and running in just 60
days, and is saving Grand Expeditions $200,000 a year. (Grand Expeditions Case
Study -


There is no question that customers are benefiting today from a healthy,
competitive IT industry. Competition requires companies to really focus in on
what customers want and need. At the same time, customers have a clearer
opportunity than ever before to evaluate choices.

For example,, the Internet portal created by Viacom subsidiary BET
Networks, did an in-depth comparison of Red Hat Linux and Windows Server System.
They found that Windows offered 30% lower TCO, was more secure and reliable, and
enabled quicker time to market. As's CTO, Navarrow Wright, said: "When I
looked at all the costs - not just the straight price of software - a Windows
Server System-based solution made better financial sense than sticking with our
Sun and Oracle environment or switching to Linux. We decided to migrate the
whole enterprise from various software vendors to standardize all of our
software on Microsoft."

By implementing Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, Office
Professional Edition 2003, Exchange Server 2003, Content Management Server 2003
and Visual Studio .NET 2003, conservatively estimated that its workforce
will increase productivity by 25-30%, while saving significantly in licensing
and redevelopment costs.

As organizations increasingly rely on IT to perform mission-critical functions,
and with complexity a growing challenge, choosing the right computing platform
for the long term can make the difference between profit and loss, and between
future success and failure. And it's pretty clear that the facts show that
Windows provides a lower total cost of ownership than Linux; the number of
security vulnerabilities is lower on Windows, and Windows responsiveness on
security is better than Linux; and Microsoft provides uncapped IP
indemnification of their products, while no such comprehensive offering is
available for Linux or open source.

The vision and benefits of an integrated platform are what distinguish
Microsoft's approach to software. The Windows platform today offers an unmatched
level of value, applications availability, simplicity, security and
productivity. For Microsoft, this is truly a cross-company effort that requires
the server and client operating systems to seamlessly deliver great usability
and manageability features, applications that deliver compelling scenarios, and
tools that enable developers and ISVs to easily and quickly build new
applications on the platform.

It's important that customers have all the information they need when making
critical and expensive IT decisions. If the evidence at our Web site doesn't sufficiently convey the benefits
and value of the Microsoft platform, we want to hear from you so we can work
even harder to get that information to you. If you would like to have a more
detailed discussion about your company's IT needs, email Martin Taylor at

Steve Ballmer

Pour communiquer avec Microsoft, veuillez nous écrire à l'adresse One Microsoft
Way, Redmond, Washington, 98052. Pour gérer vos abonnements de,
veuillez visiter le Centre d'information de Microsoft à l'adresse Si vous désirez lire la déclaration de
confidentialité de, veuillez vous rendre à la page


'I'm not going to say i told you so, but i told you so!"
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Old 10-29-04, 20:57
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MrPewty MrPewty is offline
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

Tell him you'll use Windows forever if he'll give you a million bucks. He can afford it.
Old 10-29-04, 21:44
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

who's gonna read that long stuff anyway??? i know i didn't. what's it about?
Old 10-29-04, 22:29
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

Random inbox junk. I don't get it that much.
Old 10-29-04, 22:31
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

Read 3/4 and got bored. Maybe the brain can't handle all the techy talk. In any event, what are they paying their researchers? Or are they seeking "free" advice? All they have to do is load and operate any OS system themselves, and see. Is it that difficult?
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Old 10-30-04, 21:30
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

This is easy, This is about prioritising your linux response with the UNIX for windows, for example if you use unix for certian precedures in certian windows platforms you will notice that the signatures are much different. Now if you have linux the Managibility does not come out to the same price ...its much higher. So if you or the customers take the amount and divide that in your email, the private policy reverses itself therefore taking you back to microsoft. Do not let this fool you though. If you take a percentage from unix platform you may even get a higher amount. The waranties of the other companies like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell [SUSE and Ximian] and
Red Hat could cost more in the long run. Few companies know what they're really spending!According to Forrester. so all it is really saying is be careful. and use linux with your red hat for certain dos financial institutions.
There much clearer
"I would rather see a sermon than hear one anyday." - Abe Lincoln

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
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Old 10-30-04, 21:57
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eclayton eclayton is offline
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

Originally Posted by MartyP
This is easy, This is about prioritising your linux response with the UNIX for windows, for example if you use unix for certian precedures in certian windows platforms you will notice that the signatures are much different. Now if you have linux the Managibility does not come out to the same price ...its much higher. So if you or the customers take the amount and divide that in your email, the private policy reverses itself therefore taking you back to microsoft. Do not let this fool you though. If you take a percentage from unix platform you may even get a higher amount. The waranties of the other companies like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell [SUSE and Ximian] and
Red Hat could cost more in the long run. Few companies know what they're really spending!According to Forrester. so all it is really saying is be careful. and use linux with your red hat for certain dos financial institutions.
There much clearer

ROFL!!! :D :D :D
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Old 10-31-04, 11:27
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Default Re: what the heck is this?

Huh... ramblings (apparently) from Microsoft make me very cautious... Here are a couple of articles from The Register I have seen in recent weeks which may offer a broader view of what is said above... Sorry - more reading...

On security:

On an advertising campaign which said Linux was more expensive:

And I'm sure there are many many others...
"Microsoft gives you Windows, Linux gives you the whole house." - unknown.

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