At a recent conference in Australia, a Microsoft executive charged that Linux software does not address the needs of small business as well as Microsoft’s products, due to the inherent lack of integration.
While addressing a small and mid-market solutions team at a conference on November 25, Microsoft small business sales VP Steve Guggenheimer stated:
- “People sometimes talk about Linux in the small business space, but you’ll never get so many pieces together on one server with Linux. Obviously, to integrate so many pieces together on the same server will cost a lot of money and won’t serve your business needs.”
He went on to say that with Microsoft, customers could buy a package of applications already integrated to perform necessary functions, but with Linux they would have to mix and match “three, four or even five” applications to do the same job.
Furthermore, customers buying multiple different applications to use on Linux would then probably have a lot of extra integration work to ensure that the applications worked together. By comparison, the Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 is an easy-to-use, already integrated package.
Guggenheimer later that day in an interview stated that small business people were business people rather than technical types, and the total cost of choosing Linux was for them likely to be high.
While all the Linux and “open source” devotees out there will disagree, the words of the Microsoft executive ring true for the small business market. The fact remains that most small businesses expect their information technology to work for them quickly and seamlessly.
Outside of businesses in the IT industry, most small businesses do not have the time, money or expertise to integrate multiple applications that are pieced together from various sources and make them “talk” to one another. Small businesses want software that is simple to install and run, and that integrates easily with other software packages.