But there are hidden costs to Linux, Microsoft argues. "I think a lot of customers are lured by the apparent low price of Linux," said Doug Miller, director of competitive strategy for Microsoft's Windows division. "They don't have a real issue with Linux, but it ends up costing them in the long run."
With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business," managing software updates and security patches while making sure the multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said. "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."