« Blix jumps the shark (again) | Main | Lego fun! »

Damn Yankees

Here's a biased report on a hot topic.

Yankee Report Disputes Low-Cost Linux Claims

Adding another chapter to the epic debate over the relative value of the open-source Linux operating system, the Yankee Group has released a report stating that switching from Windows to Linux can be up to four times as costly and take three times as long as upgrading from one version of Windows to another.

Reductions in total cost of ownership appear to be greater among smaller firms but diminish greatly among large-scale enterprises, with 90 percent of enterprises with 10,000 or more users saying switching to Linux would be too expensive and time-consuming to be feasible.

The report also argues that IT professionals and decision-makers largely believe Linux is not necessarily a better alternative to Microsoft's Windows platform.

"Hype notwithstanding, Linux's technical merits, while first-rate, are equivalent but not superior to Unix and Windows," the report stated. It is based on a survey of 1,000 IT administrators and executives worldwide.

While I am not a Linux zealot, (I prefer FreeBSD) this "report" is hopelessly skewed. The costs of "free" software are indeed quite high but this report misses the easy targets and aims for irrelevant ones instead.

I don't know any Linux geek that would argue that swapping 10,000 users at once would be worth the effort. There are similar problems with the rest of the story.

I could Fisk both the report and the coverage of the report (that has its own problems) but here is the way I look at it...

If you don't have the knowledge to Fisk it yourself, you probably don't care about this post anyway. knowhatImean?

UPDATE: By popular demand (see comments) I will Fisk it a bit.

First it is a "report" of opinions. They sell it as being a "report" on numbers (you know.. actual cost examples) but they really only ask (mostly) existing Microsoft users their feelings about switching. DUH! If they were excited about switching, they woulda done it already. So the whole "report" is flawed. It is a poll.

But forgetting that I'll look at the merits.

Reductions in total cost of ownership appear to be greater among smaller firms but diminish greatly among large-scale enterprises, with 90 percent of enterprises with 10,000 or more users saying switching to Linux would be too expensive and time-consuming to be feasible.

Duh! Who advocates switching 10,00 users at once? That is like saying using Linux to fry eggs is a bad idea. What about servers? What about specific departments? What about evolving a solution?

The report also argues that IT professionals and decision-makers largely believe Linux is not necessarily a better alternative to Microsoft's Windows platform.

For years the best scientist believed the world to be flat. What does that prove exactly? Considering it is mostly MS users being polled is it surprising they say this? AND notice the statement above they DON'T mention Unix but the "report" said:

"Hype notwithstanding, Linux's technical merits, while first-rate, are equivalent but not superior to Unix and Windows," the report stated. It is based on a survey of 1,000 IT administrators and executives worldwide.

Hype notwithstanding this "report" says nothing. If you read the paraphrase above and you read the pull from the report you get a different take on what was said.

Moreover, many IT managers appear to be reluctant to shoulder the risks of adopting an entirely new operating system unless the gains are clear, DiDio told the E-Commerce Times.

OK So IT managers don't want to risk putting their users thru torture unless they have some guarantees. That is perfectly reasonable. But that does not mean the alternative is not better/ cheaper. It means they want more info. This "report" ain't info.

"What we heard was that the undertaking was considerable and there would need to be equal payoff at the other end," she said. "By and large, companies aren't convinced they'll get enough back to justify the time and expense of making the change."

HELLO? That is a twist of what they reported before!! They said they wanted a payoff at the end. The "report" says that the the costs would be too high to run Linux... These two statements are not the same.

One of Linux' appeals has been from a security standpoint, particularly because Windows machines have been battered by a string of targeted worm and virus attacks in the past year. Even so, however, administrators seem unwilling to part with networks that have been through a number of security crises and have been updated and patched as a result. After all, a new platform may prove to have its own flaws.

And what the hell proof is this? Does it prove MS networks are secure? Only to a zealot.

Debate over the true cost of Linux ownership has been raging for years, with little evidence that it ever will be settled in a definitive manner....

And it won't be with reports like this.
(I could go on and on but I'll spare both of us)

Basically, even if you have no techno ability at all you can still Fisk this.

They polled people and presented their biases as fact. (and twist them to boot!) The opening graph says "the Yankee Group has released a report stating that switching from Windows to Linux can be up to four times as costly and take three times as long as upgrading from one version of Windows to another."

That reads a whole lot like a fact and not a finding in an opinion poll.

Far from being "spot on" the whole thing is a morass of piss poor methodology compounded by piss poor reporting.

But next time I'll tell ya how I really feel.


Comments (9)

I'm not so sure I see the "... (Below threshold)
Pete:

I'm not so sure I see the "hopelessly skewed" nature of the article... nor do I think it's "biased" -- though you may just be using a looser definition of the term than I am.

The article doesn't say anything about switching all 10,000 at once, which would never happen in a company that large anyway, but switching them period.

Having worked in the systems dept. at a company that maintains one of the largest private networks in the world, I can tell you with no doubt at all that this article is spot on. A substantial migration to any new OS would cost much more than an upgrade to a new version of windows.

The article points out that Linux may be a better way to go when starting fresh, which I think is also accurate.

I would be interested in se... (Below threshold)
Adam:

I would be interested in seeing more of a fisking of it; that is if you can put it in layman terms for me...

"Spot on"???? Please...... (Below threshold)
Paul:

"Spot on"???? Please...

OK Adam... give me 30 minutes or so...

Disclaimer: I didn't read t... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Disclaimer: I didn't read the report.

Did they specify a time frame? Changing an OS is of course, going to be more work and expense than simply installing a new version of an existing one.

But (speaking as a Suse Linux home user), I suspect that with increased reliability, the savings may be realized over a longer time span. Especially with a large system. Not sure why they compared it to Unix though... does anyone move from Unix to Linux for reasons of significant performance gains?

That's pretty weak, Paul. Y... (Below threshold)
Pete:

That's pretty weak, Paul. You fisked the first quarter of the article then just extended that to the whole thing? That hardly stands up.

Besides, you "fisked" an article on a report, not the report itself. Have you read the Yankee Group's report? If so, where is it? (I couldn't find the link in the E-Commerce Times article)

I'm still rather shocked that you insisted on inserting the words "at once" where they don't exist. I guess that's an easy way to discredit passages -- insert phrases that make them absurd.

...I don't know. I guess I shouldn't be so harsh, but I was hoping for a lively Linux/MS debate. I still maintain that there's very little in the article that's not accurate in my working experience.

That's pretty weak, Paul... (Below threshold)
Paul:

That's pretty weak, Paul. You fisked the first quarter of the article then just extended that to the whole thing? That hardly stands up.

I tell ya what... You pay my normal rate that I charge for this stuff and I'll fisk the whole damn thing. In the mean time if you can't figure out this "report" is full of holes then I really can't help you.


...I don't know. I guess I shouldn't be so harsh, but I was hoping for a lively Linux/MS debate.

The fact you are a MS troll was obvious, you did not have to explain your behavior.


I still maintain that there's very little in the article that's not accurate in my working experience.

It is highly doubtful you have any "working experience" polling IT managers which is what the story is about.

Do me a favor, get a life and troll someone else.

So calling you on assertion... (Below threshold)
Pete:

So calling you on assertions that you can't or won't back-up is trollish?

Good to know -- I'll keep that in mind.

At any rate, if you feel like entering into an intelligent discussion at any point in the future about the merits of OS and Linux in enterprise, I've left my email address. Of cousre, if the above is any indication, I doubt that debate is really up your alley.

At the risk of being labele... (Below threshold)
Boyd:

At the risk of being labeled a troll (hopefully my past comments, as well as my own blog, will argue against that assessment), I have to say that I feel under-informed by this post and its comments. I appreciate your past posts, Paul, but I can't get away from the feeling that you posted this based on your prior opinions, as opposed to being open to opinions that differed from yours. The "at once" issue being one of the most telling.

I approach this from a practical standpoint. I'm a programmer (official company title: Senior Software Engineer), and the vast, vast, vast majority of my employer's clients use Windows as their desktop software (the only reason I don't say "all clients" is to account for any accounts I may not be sufficiently familiar with). From my perspective, Microsoft has managed to work themselves into the position of being indispensable. Since "everybody" uses Windows and Microsoft applications on the client, "nobody" can shift away from Windows so they can maintain compatibility with their clients, vendors and partners.

That's just reality. And as a consultant, I merely take advantage of reality. :-)

The "at once" issue bein... (Below threshold)
Paul:

The "at once" issue being one of the most telling.

WTF?

Boyd I'll continue because you have a brain. Hopefully I can make my points more clear.

Lemme start with some background. I got my first paying gig in the computer world in 1983. So that puts me in the business about a decade longer than most of the "old timers" in this biz. I have been paid to use more platforms than most people can name.

And they all bore me.

I don't have a dog in the fight. That would require passion which, to be frank, I no longer have. Computers were fun for many years. The only reason I'm is the business now is that people pay me far more than I am worth, so I still do it.

It would be real hard for you to say I am in the Linux camp because other than a server or two that I have for specific customers, I don't use it. You got the wrong guy.

That said....

The story is bogus. Read it for Gawd sake. If you want to make claims about how much a platform switch costs why the F#(K don't you do a freaking study on it and not ask a bunch of people what they think it will cost???

Is the price of a new car set by the people making the car or by the contestants on "The Price is Right?" No!

What a bunch of IT people guess it will cost is completely irrelevant. How hard is that to understand?

But leeme address this nonsense.

You said: The "at once" issue being one of the most telling.

From the Story:

-----------
"Reductions in total cost of ownership appear to be greater among smaller firms but diminish greatly among large-scale enterprises, with 90 percent of enterprises with 10,000 or more users saying switching to Linux would be too expensive and time-consuming to be feasible."
-----------

HOW THE HELL can you read that any other way that to think they are going to switch all 10,000 users?

CLEARLY they are making the point that switching a small number of users is more feasible than 10,000 plus. I'm, not sure what your beef is with the "at once."

Obviously, I don't mean all 10,000 would switch at 3:17pm on Thursday. I mean that they are talking about switching the whole company as one project. (the whole project might take months but you are effectively switching the whole company "at once.")

My point is that not even the strongest Linux dweeb would recommend just flipping a whole company on its ear that way. (go read what I wrote!)

Further-

If you would have noticed what I wrote, the very first paragraph was:

---------------
"While I am not a Linux zealot, (I prefer FreeBSD) this "report" is hopelessly skewed. The costs of "free" software are indeed quite high but this report misses the easy targets and aims for irrelevant ones instead."
---------------

If you want to produce a report basing Linux there are many places to attack where they are very vulnerable. But this report misses the obvious places to attack and instead goes into lala land with a meaningless pseudoscience poll.

I really don't see why my point is that hard for you to comprehend.

Paul

Although maybe using Microsoft products too long renders you incapable of critical thinking skills. (that was a joke!)




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy