Originally Posted by Rolo42
There is a difference between personal, business, and enterprise with respect to usability and TCO. Like it or not, Windows is far easier to use and far easier to administer, making it cheaper against freeware (sysadmins aren't free).
I've read this argument many times. I have yet to see a single bit of empirical evidence that supports that sales point.
IME as an IT professional I've seen upper management make the mistake of replacing Netware and UNIX in the data center, operating under the false assumption that if a low-paid clerk or secretary can operate their Windows desktop, then the company can save lots of HR money by replacing skilled administrators with entry-level workers.
As it turns out, it takes a lot more than the ability to operate a desktop PC when it comes to managing a corporate IT infrastructure. I've seen too many bosses learn that lesson the hard way. I've been in situations where I'm the only MCSE in the whole organization, and my work is constantly being interrupted because I'm the only one who knows how to administer the Windows Server machines. I know from copious experience that it's a lot cheaper and easier to do things correctly from the start than it is to fix a large broken system.
Linux is mature enough that it has a LOT
more to recommend it than the fact that it's FOSS. And the Linux distributions that are most used in corporate environments do in fact have price tags in the same ballpark as their Windows counterparts. But because the GPL license stipulates that the source code for the costly distributions must be freely available, it's cheaper to train to be a Linux administrator than it is for Windows. Linux is also a very shallow learning curve for UNIX® administrators, which means more highly experienced network engineers who can get up to speed with Linux with ease.
Every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, with lots of changed, new and often unnecessary new things, Windows administrators have to go back to school to master the new version and its peculiarities. This costs a lot of money that the system's owners must pay one way or another. This makes Windows very
costly to maintain reliably.
BTW, it's ROI not TCO that matters in this case. People aren't property.