At Microsoft's TechEd customer conference last week, executives spelled out the company's lineup to combat these cut-rate incursions onto its turf.Of course what Microsoft isn't saying is that total cost of ownership also depends on future costs for upgrades and enhancements and on the compatibility of one's infrastructure with other systems. Once one chooses Microsoft, one has from then on given up the possibility of using non-Microsoft software. At that point, one is totally dependent on the pricing decisions Microsoft makes. That destroys any total-cost-of ownership advantage Microsoft may make.
In particular, the company is focused on improving its alternatives to the so-called LAMP stack, the combination of the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database, and scripting languages PHP, Perl or Python.
Microsoft's anti-LAMP strategy is to heap features into its low-end products and to build a comprehensive set of tools--spanning development to management--in the hopes of making Windows Server more attractive.
Because open-source products can, in general, be downloaded for free, Microsoft has to compete against them by drawing attention to the 'total cost of ownership.' It must make the case that, all things considered, Windows applications are cheaper over the long term.
The problem with making a Microsoft decision is that it precludes you from adding non-Microsoft software in the future. Microsoft makes sure one can't "mix and match" basic software. One should never make oneself that dependent on any one company.