The Windows Idiot Tax

by oneafrikan on November 23, 2005

_ Open Resource | InfoWorld | The Windows Idiot Tax | November 22, 2005 10:14 PM | By Dave Rosenberg

The Windows Idiot Tax: For those who still believe that running Windows instead of Linux is cheaper or more cost effective let me give you a real world scenario I discovered today.

Server hardware 2 x $1250 = $2500
Windows Licenses 2 x $700 =$1400
User Cals 3 x $30 = $90
SQL Server 2000 Standard 1-cpu $1850
Windows TOTAL= $4840

Server hardware 2 x $1250 = $2500
RedHat download = free
MySQL = free (non commercial use)
Linux TOTAL=$2500

My real world example was when I first started out – it’s cheaper to get hold of tools to develop on, and it’s cheaper to set up the infrastructure… and in my experience to date, there seems to be this overwhelming mentality that anything except MSFT stuff is crap, unstable, unscalable and not worth lookng at.

I say ignorance is bliss…

I’ve just emailed a client regards a new db server and costs thereof, and their response was “Surely it’s only the machine we have to buy?”…. Nope, you gotta buy the machine first, then Windows license, then db license, and then you gotta factor in scaling to that as well.

The problem, as I see it, is that most people don’t really absolutely _NEED_ MS SQL server. In fact, they wouldn’t necessarily know or care about the difference if you asked them, as long as it worked. All they _NEED_ is a relational database… and there are other options out there to achieve the same thing… ;-)


Server hardware 2 x $1250 = $2500
RedHat download = free
MySQL = free (non commercial use)
Hiring a Linux expert to reconfigure
you’re shit when the Kernel fcks out = PRICELESS!!

but i do understand you point. the thing is, I know that hard core linux ninjas like to charge the earth, and they never take a permanent job they only go contracting.

by Lee Ryan on November 25, 2005 at 3:55 am. Reply #

Sure, but then you could also say the same for hard core Windows Ninjas. You could also say the same for any of the other MSFT product lines too… ;-)

by Gareth Knight on November 25, 2005 at 11:25 am. Reply #

I would recommend reading the comments at the end of the original article. They make for interesting reading and actually start to address the real issues which is more than I can say for Dave’s rather pathetic attempt.

This is not a trivial debate, and people wade in from all sides with a religious point of view when they don’t even have their facts straight.
I consider it a fairly big mistake to kick off a debate like this with a statement that RedHat is free when it most certainly isn’t.

by IrishAfrican on December 6, 2005 at 3:58 pm. Reply #

Hey Brad

Apologies – I posted this before all those comments were posted, so haven’t seen them ’till now…

“I think I was pretty clear about using it for a stage environment, not for production, so I do think the price argument is accurate.”
> You _could_ always use another flavour of Linux and get the same results – but obviously this depends on what your needs are.

“What’s definately NOT cheap is to use Linux in a small to midsize company that has a whole range of IT requirements. Some ERP, email, custom applications, web site, a desktop environment, file and print services, etc. In such an environment, Linux causes major integration pain. Even if you have someone on staff who can build this, you cannot hope to ever replace this person. It’s the classic horror of the all powerful sysadmin guarding his individual system creation as his personal property.”
> This is true, especially in a heavy Wondows environment. But I think the argument was around app dev, so we’re not trying to reproduce a linux desktop office here…

by Gareth Knight on December 7, 2005 at 12:21 pm. Reply #

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