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.

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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.

Lego fun!
Blix jumps the shark (again)

9 Comments

  1. Pete April 6, 2004
  2. Adam April 6, 2004
  3. Paul April 6, 2004
  4. Kate April 6, 2004
  5. Pete April 6, 2004
  6. Paul April 7, 2004
  7. Pete April 7, 2004
  8. Boyd April 7, 2004
  9. Paul April 8, 2004