In Linux circles, Microsoft’s anti-Linux site, Get the Facts, was better known as Get the FUD, and was seen as more of a joke than a convincing argument in favor of Microsoft products over Linux. Microsoft may have come to agree that the site was not serving any useful purpose, as the company closed it down on Aug. 23.
From the beginning of the “Get the Facts” ad campaign in 2004, Microsoft’s “Facts” were often questioned. Reports favoring Microsoft’s TCO (total cost of ownership) from research groups like the Yankee Group were published. When the Yankee Group published a report showing that Linux and Windows were neck and neck in TCO, Microsoft didn’t tell the world about the pro-Linux report.
Even at the start, Microsoft took other reports and published them out of context. For example, the first report Microsoft published was a 2002 vintage IDC report, which was sponsored by Microsoft, comparing TCO of Windows 2000 to Linux. IDC found that W2K beat out Linux in four out of five common enterprise tasks. This may have been true in 2002, but in 2004? I don’t think so. By then there were lots of Linux network-smart administrators.
I could go on and on–for example, about Microsoft trying to hide that it was sponsoring anti-Linux research–but there’s little point.
Now, though, Microsoft is of at least three minds about Linux. One, represented by Steve Ballmer and his patent lawsuit fantasies, still wants to stomp Linux and open source into the ground. Then there’s the side that wants to give Linux and open source lip service while doing as little as possible. Here, I count Microsoft’s open-source projects and its recent efforts to get its own open-source licenses.
Then, there’s the part of Microsoft that gets that Microsoft is going to have to learn to live with Linux. Mind you, it really doesn’t want to, but Linux isn’t going away. In this group, I count the people who came up with the technology interchange with Novell and the people who are still, I’m certain, trying to work out a similar agreement with Red Hat for Red Hat Global Desktop.
The new replacement for the Get the Facts site, the Windows Server “Compare” site, isn’t as bad as the old one. Still, at the end of the day, it’s just a propaganda site masquerading as objective information.
No surprise, really. I mean, Microsoft and FUD go together like stink and… Ahem. Anyway, if you want the real facts about Windows Server 2003 versus Red Hat Enterprise Linux, why not try Linux out yourself? After all, business server Linuxes are never more than a download away.
My recommendations for a business Linux server are RHEL 5, SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) 10 Service Pack 1 , and the RHEL clones, Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux and CentOS for experienced Linux users.
A version of this story was first published on Linux-Watch.