[LINK] Linux: Has Microsoft ad enough?
brd at austarmetro.com.au
Tue Feb 3 09:51:25 EST 2004
Linux: Has Microsoft ad enough?
January 30 2004
by Munir Kotadia
Redmond launches massive anti-open source marketing campaign
Microsoft will launch a marketing campaign against Linux in the UK on
Monday, aiming to convince companies thinking about moving to the open
source operating system that Windows is a cheaper option in the long run;
but Linux vendors say Microsoft's campaign validates Linux as a serious
As part of its multi-million dollar Get The Facts' advertising campaign,
which was launched in the US earlier this month, Microsoft will direct
users to visit a section on its website containing reports that were
carried out by independent analysts. However, all the research was either
carried out on behalf of, or commissioned by, software giant.
Red Hat spokeswoman Leigh Day said the company uses customer references
rather than reports that examine "specific situations" to demonstrate
financial savings: "We're not giving too much credence to this ad campaign.
Our customers have heard from other references the intrinsic values of open
source. This is giving Linux validation as an ideal alternative to
proprietary providers," she said.
Jasmin Ul-Haque, director of marketing communications at SuSE Linux, agreed
that Microsoft must be worried to be attacking Linux in this way and called
for an "impartial" study: "You don't attack something unless you have some
sort of concern abut it. We would request more even-handed research," she
But Nick McGrath, head of platform strategy at Microsoft UK, said the
reports are unbiased and "reflective of market conditions". According to
McGrath: "The results of each of the studies we commission can go either
way. The analyst reports commissioned by Microsoft have been transparent in
the scope of their methodology and assertions."
The advertising campaign is the first from Microsoft to take on Linux
directly, analysts say, and it illustrates the company's effort to protect
its interests, such as growing revenue from server system sales. Microsoft
faces a potential decline in new customers if businesses are lured by
Linux's lower-cost licensing fees compared with its own, which are in the
hundreds of dollars.
"Microsoft is counting on picking up businesses migrating from Unix [to
another operating system] for its next two years of growth in that area,
and Linux is somewhat throwing a wrench in that plan," said Rob Helm,
director of research at Directions on Microsoft, a research firm that
tracks the software giant's business strategy. "This is squarely aimed at
companies considering Linux on servers."
SuSE's Ul-Haque said that if customers want to migrate from Unix, Linux is
the natural choice because there will be less of a learning curve: "When
migrating from Unix to Linux, customers already have the skills in-house,"
CNET News.coms Stefanie Olsen contributed to this report
Munir Kotadia writes for ZDNet UK
Let me be clear - Microsoft has no beef with open source
-- Craig Mundie
brd at austarmetro.com.au
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