Greater Reliability Spurs Leading Companies to Choose Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Over Linux

REDMOND, Wash. — April 6, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that industry-leading customers — including Fender Musical Instruments Corp., Independence Air Inc. and National Enterprise Systems (NES) — have cited greater reliability as their reason for deploying Microsoft® Windows Server (TM) 2003 instead of Linux. Microsoft also announced findings from a report it commissioned from VeriTest, the independent testing division of Lionbridge Technologies Inc., that concluded Windows Server 2003 was more reliable that Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3.0 in a simulated real-world usage scenario. The study findings confirm what many customers are experiencing in their deployment scenarios:

  • Fender Musical Instruments. The iconic designer and manufacturer of electric guitars could not support its worldwide network of dealers and distributors on its existing Red Hat Linux platform. Windows Server 2003 provided a scalable and security-enhanced IT infrastructure that increased efficiency, interoperability and ease of use.

  • Independence Air. Citing high support costs on its previous Apache Linux e-commerce solution, Independence Air switched to the Windows® platform and realized 70 percent lower recurring costs and 50 percent higher developer productivity.

  • National Enterprise Systems. The scalability and reliability of the Windows platform accommodated NES’ growth plans. The company immediately experienced a 50 percent reduction in support costs compared with the Linux platform it previously used.

“Customers have told us that kernel uptime or availability of a single component is only one factor in how they view reliability; real customer pain is caused by the system itself failing to meet its reliability requirements over time,” said Martin Taylor, general manager of the Platform Strategy Group at Microsoft. “This study shows that when compared to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0, Windows Server 2003 is easier to maintain and predictable, and allows end users to access the resources they need in a timely manner.”

VeriTest Puts Reliability to the Test

VeriTest assigned to IT administrators a series of tasks involving upgrading and reconfiguring systems, with the goal of improving the reliability of the technology environment. The test led to the following conclusions about the use of Windows Server 2003 versus Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3.0:

  • Windows provides more reliable end-user service

    • Problem prevention. Windows Server 2003 prevented four times as many events that would have resulted in end-user service loss.

    • Service loss. Red Hat Linux end users experienced an average of 15 percent more service loss time.

  • Windows Server 2003 is more effective at troubleshooting

    • Trouble tickets were resolved 20 percent more quickly and 8 percent more successfully with Windows Server 2003.

    • Windows detected more than twice as many issues before the trouble ticket was received.

  • Windows Server 2003 is easier to configure and maintain

    • Twenty-one percent more tasks involved in upgrading and reconfiguring the system were completed in the Windows environment.

    • These tasks were completed 37 percent faster on average for Windows Server 2003.

    • Changes to the Linux environment created far more dependencies and breakages (e.g., impact of patches on network services).

“We migrated from SCO UNIX to Red Hat Linux about a year ago. We had more downtime in the first eight months on Linux than we had in the entire previous 17 years of our company,” said Matt Javorsky, chief information officer at National Enterprise Systems. “Migrating to Windows is eliminating the downtime, saving us money and providing the scalability that our growing company needs.”

Stephen Shaffer, director of software systems at Independence Air, said, “Maintaining a Linux-Apache solution required four full-time consultants at $115 to $130 per hour. They were the only ones who could troubleshoot it, which left us helpless on nights and weekends. Switching to Windows will make us self-sufficient and reduce recurring costs by 70 percent.”

“Microsoft understands the value of working with VeriTest as an independent organization that has the expertise and methodology recognized throughout the industry,” said Katrina Teague, vice president of Marketing and Solutions at VeriTest. “We simulated a real-world medium-sized business environment with two independent teams of IT professionals who passed a thorough screening process prior to the study, so the results of this study are consistent with the experience of many customers in the real world.”

The complete VeriTest study can be accessed at

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