Microsoft on the offensive against Linux

Microsoft has announced the results of tests that compare the reliability of Windows and Linux.

Microsoft has gone on the offensive against Linux by announcing the results of tests it commissioned on the reliability of Windows and Linux.

Microsoft commissioned tests from VeriTest, the independent testing division of Lionbridge Technologies, and it says the results show that Windows Server 2003 was more reliable than Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3.0 in a simulated "real-world usage scenario".

Microsoft is also promoting user case studies of large companies who have migrated to Windows from Linux-based systems, such as electric guitar manufacturer Fender Musical Instruments.

Martin Taylor, Microsoft general manager of the company’s platform strategy group, said: "This study shows that when compared to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0, Windows Server 2003 is easier to maintain and [is] predictable, and allows end users to access the resources they need in a timely manner."

VeriTest assigned to IT administrators a series of tasks involving upgrading and reconfiguring systems, with the goal of improving the reliability of the technology environment.

Microsoft said the tests showed that Windows provided a more reliable end-user service, and that Windows Server 2003 prevented four-times as many events that would have resulted in end-user service loss.

Red Hat Linux end users experienced an average of 15% more service loss time, and Windows Server 2003 was more effective at troubleshooting, said Microsoft.

Katrina Teague, vice president of marketing and solutions at VeriTest said: "We simulated a medium-sized business environment with two independent teams of IT professionals who passed a thorough screening process prior to the study, so the results of this study are consistent with the experience of many customers in the real world."

A recent survey of more than 500 companies by analyst group Yankee found that respondents said that Windows servers recover 30% faster from security attacks than Linux servers.

But the Yankee respondents also indicated that the hourly cost of Windows downtime was three to four-times higher than that of Linux server downtime. This was mainly because there is currently more crucial corporate data stored on Windows servers, said Yankee.

The complete VeriTest study can be accessed at:

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