Unix vs Windows

Essay by hdenisUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2010

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POS/420 - Unix versus Windows XP



"Linux" has been called a hybrid between UNIX and the Windows O/S. Linux can run on average priced machines, but often requires more sophisticated expertise from the operator to make Linux fully operational. Things tend to get murky, when considering total cost involved in ownership, and to some extent, return on investment (ROI) for these Linux systems.

It is almost impossible to calculate potential ROI for an operating system implementation. However, it is common to find that Windows and Linux cost about the same in hardware, with support costs tipping the equation one way or the other. However, analysts cannot agree on whether personal (vs. commercial) Windows or Linux support costs more over the long run. Commercial UNIX is another story, which analysts say just plain costs more in both hardware and support.

Linux and some versions of UNIX are higher in upfront software acquisition costs, but this typically represents only 10% of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) over a three to five-year lifecycle. Administrative costs are also higher for UNIX, due to greater complexity.

In a study conducted by Microsoft, Linux did not compare favorably against Windows. That study, concludes that Windows is cheaper for functions such as networking, file/print and security, but Linux is cheaper for Web serving. At the high end, IDC estimates that running a file server will cost a typical Windows site $99,048 over a five-year period, versus $114,381 for Linux user. A Web server costs only slightly less to run on Linux - $30,000, versus $32,000 for Windows.

Market Share

One of the biggest battles that occur between companies that operate for profit is for market share. Market share is the percentage of industry sales of a...