A study done by CyberSource on the Total Cost of Ownership for Windows and Linux. Linux comes out 25-34% cheaper for a 250-node network over 3 years. This is the viewpoint from developed markets.
In emerging markets, the difference is going to be much greater, because the cost of support goes down. In fact, while in developed markets, the aim is to minimise cost of support, the emerging markets need a lower cost of hardware and software because that is the entry barrier. Salaries are much lower so support costs are lower. But the cost of hardware and software as a percentage of people’s salaries is very significant.
The approach to be taken in emerging markets is that fof a Tech Utility: provide hardware, software, training and support for a fixed price per month. Think of it as an AOL for computing. In fact, even the price should be AOL-like (USD 20 per month). That is the price point at which the market will take-off.