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Yankee Group Disputes Linux' Claim To Lower Cost

Linux is not the low-cost alternative to Unix and Windows that many of the open-source operating system's proponents claim it is, a research firm said Monday.

Switching from Unix or Windows to Linux doesn't make sense for most mid- and large-sized organizations, said Laura DiDio, a senior analyst at Yankee Group who compiled the results of a survey of more than 1,000 IT administrators, chief information officers, and chief executive officers.

"Hype notwithstanding, Linux's technical merits, while first rate, are equivalent but not superior to Unix and Windows Server 2003," DiDio said. "What really nailed it was a question from the CIO of a large health care organization. She asked, 'If I were to do a switch, what does it buy me?'"

Although the biggest concern of Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 customers polled is the amount of time spent installing fixes and managing patches management, 72 percent of those surveyed rated Windows' reliability equal to Linux's.

"While Linux is currently not being hit with the same level of hacks and viruses as Windows, as Linux gains in popularity, its vulnerability will only increase," she said. "Within two years, organizations with a significant Linux presence will be spending just as much time and money to secure their Linux servers and desktops as they are with Windows today."

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