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Microsoft.com: SeeUthere.com Case Study

“Internet startup seeUthere.com needed to develop its
event-planning services site quickly and cost-effectively. Because
Linux is free, it was the company’s initial choice of platform.
After five months of work, development was falling behind schedule
in part because developers found themselves building infrastructure
rather than creating the functionality that could add value to the
Web site. seeUthere.com decided to launch a parallel development
effort on the Microsoft® Windows® DNA platform. In just a
few months, the Windows DNA work had caught up to that of its Linux
counterpart. In addition to increased developer productivity,
Windows DNA offered the company greater integration and
scalability, as well as a range of third-party tools and
applications to work with. In the end, the total cost of ownership
of the Windows DNA platform turned out to be much lower than that
of Linux and seeUthere.com was able to meet its goal of being the
first of its kind on the Web….”

“For a variety of reasons, seeUthere.com did not start out using
Windows DNA as its development platform. With limited capital,
company management decided to adopt the Linux platform in an
attempt to minimize development costs. Linux was free, and the
company wanted to leverage its developers’ experience with UNIX.
After five months of development, the fledgling company began to
question whether the Linux platform was up to the job as
development efforts fell behind schedule. “The Linux tools are
essentially free if you can support them,” says Ray Thackeray,
co-founder and vice president of sales and product management. “We
have literally hundreds of servers both in development and for the
staging and production Web site, and we thought we could save a
vast amount of money on operating system licenses. But we ran into
all sorts of problems with Linux….”

“Best of all, the basic service seeUthere.com provides is free,
which is one reason it was essential to keep development costs
down. And the Windows DNA tools allowed the company to do exactly
that. In the end, the total cost of ownership of the Windows DNA
platform turned out to be lower than for the “free” Linux software.
All told, Windows DNA saved seeUthere.com significant development
costs in its critical startup phase, where less capital spent early
meant higher valuation in the subsequent round of venture-capital
financing. “Part of the draw with all this Linux stuff is that
it’s free,” notes Nguyen. “But we discovered that free comes at a
price.

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