As the latest volley in its battle against open-source software,
Microsoft on Wednesday touted the findings of a new Wipro Technologies
study, which found that Microsoft's software solutions are better for
teaching and learning than open-source solutions. The study, which
focuses on European students and schools, was commissioned by
Microsoft and audited by a professor at the INSEAD Business School.
"Overall, our findings indicate that Microsoft outperforms open source
alternatives when it comes to supporting the priorities of European
schools," said Wipro Practice Leader Theodore Forbath. The Wipro study
notes that Microsoft's software beat out similar open-source solutions
in 8 out of 10 areas, and was rated equal in the remaining two.
Most intriguingly, perhaps, the study found that the overall cost of
Microsoft software was lower than that of open-source software,
despite the lack of licensing costs for the open-source solutions.
Wipro credits Microsoft's "lower ongoing support costs, fewer
failures, and less time devoted to troubleshooting" as the reasons for
its success. The study concludes that schools using Microsoft
solutions invested 16.9 percent less IT support resources than those
using primarily open-source solutions. Oddly, PCs running open-source
software were found to fail 50 percent more than those running
Microsoft software. (Yeah, it really says that.)
If you're interested in finding out more, you can download the study
from the Microsoft Web site.