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Linux Journal: Linux Saves Money and the Numbers Prove It

May 07, 2002, 14:30 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Con Zymaris)

"A few days ago, Cybersource, the company I work for, released a study undertaken on the relative operating costs of running a mid-sized business on Linux and free software on the one hand, and Windows and Microsoft applications on the other. We've had a significant response to this study from many industry news organisations, industry players and individuals. What I'd like to discuss here is both the context within which this study originated and the methodology and results which precipitated.

"First, a little history. While our firm has been using Linux for almost the entirety of its ten-year history, (preceded by a stint with Minix no less), we have been recommending Linux server and network infrastructure solutions for only about six years and line-of-business desktop solutions for about three years. In all circumstances, we want to know that Linux could solve the business problems of a client before we proffer a solution recommendation. The Linux server solutions business has been going strongly, but uptake of Linux desktops among business customers has been slower. The past nine months, however, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of existing and potential new customers, indicating that they are looking seriously at large-scale, non-infrastructural deployments of Linux desktops and terminals. Many of these customers approached us with the question: 'How much will we save if we move groups, departments or the whole company to Linux?' We didn't have an answer for them then. We do now.

"One of the other prime motivators in our undertaking this project was as a response to Microsoft's claims that the cost of software licensing was a virtual non-entity in the overall calculation of IT budgetary expenditure, accounting for a mere few percent. Our experience with many clients indicated otherwise. We began with our first study, released late last year..."

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