Lies, damned lies, statistics and vendor-sponsored research

Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley points to an eWeek article claiming Linux Vendors Go on the ‘Get the Facts’ Offensive. “The Open Source Development Labs and Linux vendor Levanta published on Monday a 17-page study entitled “Get the Truth on Linux Management.”

Levanta, whose name and logo both make me think they sell into a different industry, sells high-end management software/hardware for Linux. They comissioned a study that finds — surprise! — that Linux is cheaper to operate than Windows. Especially for people who use Levanta tools. Oh, please.

Let’s agree that “Total Cost of Ownership” means what you want it to mean, based on the assumptions you’re going to stipulate, and get on with the business of solving people’s problems. An arbitrary “TCO” measurement is like MPG, one piece of data, but only a small piece.

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