Microsoft claims Munich's jump to Linux wasted cash -

Software giant Microsoft has gone to Munich with a piece of paper claiming that the city wasted a fortune dumping its software in favour of Linux. However, the company refused to tell the world what it has on its piece of paper so you will just have to take its word for it.

Microsoft and its chum HP insist that the German city of Munich had its numbers wrong when it calculated switching from Windows to Linux saved the city millions.

Munich apparently annoyed Microsoft by telling the world that it saved more than $14.3 million so far. Beancounters at Vole carried out one of its special Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) studies and it worked out that Munich would have saved $57.23 million if it had stuck with Microsoft.

According to the German weekly Focus, which got its paws on the figures, Microsoft claims that if Munich had stayed with Windows XP combined with Office 2003 instead of choosing Linux combined with OpenOffice.org, it would have saved money.

Microsoft claims that the city's own calculations did not consider all migration costs and compared the migration to a 10-year-old Linux version with a migration to a newer version of Windows, probably Windows 7. But if the city had stuck with Windows, no new software would have been necessary.

The report pointed out that a quarter of the desktops are still running Windows because not all applications can be migrated to Linux.

The report was leaked to the press by an HP employee but HP and Microsoft are now unwilling to disseminate it more broadly.

Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum, told IT World that he could not understand Microsoft's reasoning either. He said it would be tricky to see how a Windows deployment would be cheaper than a Linux alternative.

He suspects that the reason Microsoft is not releasing the report is because it suspected that there are some mistakes in it.

Of course, Microsoft could be going back to the good old days when it used to print bogus reports about the total cost of ownership of Linux with made up figures for marketing purposes.