Now before I get started I want to say that I use openSUSE as my choice of Linux distribution and couldn’t be happier with it. They always seem to be on top of implementing new technologies that are easy-to-use and really appealing to those who want the latest and greatest. For example, the latest version of openSUSE includes a new KDE Start Menu that is unlike anything you’ll find in other Linux distributions.
With that being said I think Novell, the company that develops SUSE, might be taking things a little far now. They have started a website that compares their Enterprise operating system with Windows Vista, in hopes of attracting more customers. Sure, that sounds like normal competition at first but the only comparisons that they make are the ones that favor them…with the most obvious being pricing.
Novell provides a table (pictured below) that demonstrates the pricing difference between the two major versions of Vista and SUSE Linux Enterprise. They then go on to show you what the total cost (with maintenance) would be over the next year and three years, but they conveniently don’t have maintenance cost information available for their operating system, so they leave that number out of the total.
It is definitely fair for them to do such a comparison because I could have seen Microsoft doing the same thing is the situation was reversed, but this was the part that really caught my attention:
The license costs for Windows Vista Ultimate with Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 reaches a whopping $1,078. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, you receive over 90 percent of the functionality of Vista and Office for less than 10 percent of the price.
90 percent of the functionality? That sounds a little high especially if you think about the applications businesses run on their machines that probably won’t work right on Linux. I guess they are probably talking about general features, like managing photos, but that still irks me a little bit.
As far as maintenance goes I would say that the cost to maintain SUSE would be much higher than it would be for Vista. Unless you’re able to get a staff that completely understands Linux the cost for supporting the system and paying IT professionals to do training would probably total more than upgrading to Vista.
I guess that is the end of my rant, which I try not to do very often, but it seems like they are misleading people a little bit. I agree that almost all versions of Linux are probably more secure than Windows, which is probably the area that Novell should have tried to focus the attention on.
What does everyone else think about this? Is Novell going about this the wrong way or are they smart for pursuing the marketing so aggressively?
News Source: Desktop Linux