Unix Vs. Windows Essay

3158 words - 13 pages

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Unix versus Windows XPCost"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 ShareOne 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 product or service that is controlled by a company. While a large market share is not always an indication of profitability, it does provide a company with more opportunities to make a profit. In the information technology industry, the battle for operating system market share has been epic. Although it is common knowledge that Microsoft has dominated the market share since the late 1990's, operating system market share cannot be fully understood without intricate analysis. Operating system market share can be summarizing by the following subjects: quantity shipped, server markets, and developer concentration.The most common aspect of a company's market share is the percentage of total quantity shipped of a particular product. This seems like a simple enough concept, but there is more to it than numbers. As of August 2006, Windows platforms made up almost ninety percent of the installed operating systems in use, with Windows XP chewing up over 75% of the systems (Refuses Data, 2006). UNIX operating systems account for less than 0.5% of installed operating systems and Linux accounts for 3.5%. These statistics would lead one to believe that Windows XP has 75% of the market, but this...

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