The study, commissioned by the software giant from Security Innovation, a provider of application security services, claimed that Linux administrators took 68 per cent longer to implement new business requirements than their Windows counterparts.
"As they attempt to increase business capabilities over time, customers are telling us that they are hitting a wall with Linux, experiencing significant reliability issues resulting in higher total cost of ownership," said Martin Taylor, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft.
"This study shows that IT administrators are better able to maintain the system while delivering new capabilities predictably and consistently on the Windows platform.
Security Innovation said that its study of the manageability differences between Windows and Linux attempted to simulate a "real-world" enterprise e-commerce environment over the course of a year.
The study compared two teams of experienced IT administrators running Windows Server 2000 and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 8, then monitored their progress as they upgraded to Windows Server 2003 and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 9.
According to the study the Windows platform was "more reliable as enterprise needs change over time". The Novell SLES solution experienced 14 critical breakages, while the Windows Server system experienced none, the report claimed.
Security Innovation also claimed that the Novell SLES infrastructure required 4.79 times the number of patches.
"Our research indicates that the primary methods of computing reliability as indicators of real IT pain are overly simplistic," said Herbert H. Thompson, chief security strategist at Security Innovation.
"For example, kernel uptime is commonly cited as a metric of overall platform reliability. However, the reliability of a single component, even one so central as the operating system kernel, is rarely the largest source of pain.
"Security Innovation designed this study to be repeatable, and we believe that the results are consistent with what customers are experiencing in the real world."
A PDF of the Security Innovation report is available here.
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