TCO and etc arguement

Johnson David DavidJohnson at
Thu Oct 23 11:26:51 PDT 2003

On Wednesday 22 October 2003 09:30 pm, Vulpes Velox wrote:
> Well recently got talking with a MSCE about the total cost of
> ownership of running something like FreeBSD. Any one have any
> comments on this or any thing that would be useful to bring up?

TCO is a largely meaningless term, IMHO. When comparing apples to 
apples, TCO has some small relevance, but when comparing Windows to 
Linux or FreeBSD, it's useless. The Linux guys started it by stating 
the obvious that Linux is significantly cheaper than Windows. Microsoft 
and its lapdogs responded with the TCO argument. Both arguments are 
focused on price.

When someone asserts that Windows has a lower TCO than Linux or FreeBSD, 
counter with "TPG". My recently coined acronym TPG means "total 
productivity gained". Besides the total cost of an OS, you need to also 
consider the total productivity of the systems. Networks that are 
stable and robust improve productivity. Systems that don't have to have 
critical patches applied twice a week are less productive than those 
that don't. Anytime a system or network is down, productivity is hit 

Another factor to consider is heterogenous environments. All the TCO 
studies I've seen calculate the cost for all Windows or all Linux. This 
is unrealistic for most corporate environments. It might make sense to 
deploy Linux or FreeBSD on the servers, and Windows on the desktop.

Just my thoughts,


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