Novell Attacks Microsoft Linux Study

Microsoft went on the offensive earlier this week, announcing a study in which Windows Server trounced Novell's SUSE Enterprise Linux in both reliability and ease of use over a period of one year. Novell says the report simply "aims to confuse the market."

In a company blog posting, Novell PR manager Kevan Barney notes that Microsoft funded the Security Innovation study, and says, "Independent studies regularly credit Linux in general, and SUSE Linux in particular, as secure, reliable, supported platforms."

Specifically, Barney questions Microsoft's assertion that Linux has "interoperability problems" and claims, "Novell is continually adding to its list of more than 700 ISVs with more than 1,800 products certified and ready."

Barney says Linux compatibility problems will soon be a thing of the past, while "Windows will continue to face major security problems (and customers will suffer the financial consequences) as long as Windows is not re-architected and made more modular."

In its study, Microsoft said that Novell's SUSE Linux required 4.79 times the number of patches. Barney contends that many of the patches in question were for third party applications that simply come bundled with Linux and should not be counted. "The number of patches to fix security vulnerabilities and other bugs can't reliably be compared between [Linux and Windows]," he said.

Furthermore, Novell attacked Microsoft's claims that integration has to better performance and easier management of server systems. Barney says "integration with strong dependencies makes it possible for an intruder/worm to bring down an entire system."

Constant delays in release schedules can also be blamed on such integration, he added. "The lack of modularity [in Windows] means all developers have to be concerned with all dependencies in each part of the system."

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