Linux: Cheaper to run than Windows

If I've read this article correctly, and IBM sponsored study shows that the total cost of ownership (TCO) is 40% less for Linux that it is for Windows. For a while Microsoft has been trying to show that Linux is cheaper because it requires more hand holding etc. for people to setup. I can't see how Microsoft could be cheaper because:
  • Microsoft Windows XP costs about USD $300,00. Linux usually costs nothing.
  • When you first install Windows you need to spend a great deal of time downloading updates. And hope and pray that you don't get a virus or worm before that time.
  • You need to buy and install anti virus software (about $45,00) .
  • You need to buy and install Microsoft Office (about $400,00).
  • A great deal of time is now spent on the IS department protecting against viruses (and worms etc) and fixing machines that have been attacked by viruses.
  • Windows users can easily do behavior that helps to spread viruses or that makes their computer more vulnerable.
With Linux all this money isn't spent. Sure a large company can get significant discounts, but the virus problem is still a serious issue and a big waste of time.
Some say that you can't get support for Linux, that's patently false. Plus the user community is incredibly friendly and helpful.
Also, increasingly if a user needs a tool in order to work, they can just download it. For windows it often means purchasing something and having to go through the purchasing department etc..
Some say that Linux is difficult to setup and run. Increasingly this is not true, and besides, this is something that the IT department has to do, and it should be easier for them.
I find linux less expensive on all counts and really can't see why more companies use it by default and go to Windows (or Wine) only when they have to.


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