Windows 2000 represents a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than Linux over a five-year period, according to research by IDC.
The Microsoft-sponsored paper, Windows 2000 versus Linux in enterprise computing: an assessment of business value in selected workloads, concluded that Windows 2000 gave better value in four out of five selected categories.
It was the result of telephone interviews with 104 US companies, most of whom had Windows 2000/NT, Linux and Unix.
In four out of five categories - network infrastructure, file serving, print serving and security applications - Windows scored between 11 and 22 per cent better that Linux. For the fifth category, web serving, Linux came out ahead by six per cent.
The report found Linux staff costs to be as much as 30 per cent higher than Windows. The weighting the report gave to staff costs meant this tipped the balance in favour of Windows.
IDC put this down partly to the relative immaturity of Linux and because there are more IT professionals with in-depth Windows knowledge on the open market. Without the staff costs, Linux scored better in the majority of categories.
In its conclusions, the IDC paper acknowledged that Linux was developing rapidly but questioned whether it could approach the Windows level of integration or match Microsoft's rapidly developing product suite.
The paper also warned the Linux community to fight against the kind of fragmentation that undermined Unix two decades ago.
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