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The chart below compares the start-up costs of a Linux Mail Server and Microsoft's email solution.




Linux Mail Server

Windows 2000 Mail Server




Software & License Fees (65 users)










Data Compiled Sept 2002

As you can see, the cost for a Microsoft mail server is much more expensive. The Microsoft plan pricing includes Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server along with 13 5-user license packs for a total software cost of $9,200. This estimate does not include any fees for client software (Outlook 2000).

Linux easily beats Windows on a head-to-head cost comparison, but the initial expense is not the only thing that gives Linux an advantage. The stability, speed and reliability of Linux keeps costs lower down the road. Don't forget, Linux doesn't have per user licensing fees, so your organization can grow without forcing you to cover additional software costs.

Here are the details about the items listed above:


The configuration listed in the table above is for a Pentium III 1.3ghz, 512MB RAM, PERC3 RAID controller, 2x18gb SCSI (hardware mirrored), NIC, 40x CD-ROM, floppy drive and video card.

Note: Microsoft recommends 512MB RAM to run both Windows 2000 and Exchange. The recommended CPU only needs to be a Pentium class processor with a speed over 133 MHz. The hardware configuration includes two hard drives and a raid controller for data mirroring and redundancy. The rest of the configuration is standard.

In order to show a fair comparison the same hardware configuration is used for both the Microsoft and Linux example.


Software cost for Linux is easy - itīs all free. Or you can choose to buy a CD and manuals for approximately $70.00 There are no licensing fees for Linux - you can use Linux for as many clients as you want with no additional charge.

As you can see, the software cost for a Windows 2000 Mail Server is much more expensive. We estimated the cost of Windows 2000 Server integrated with Exchange 2000 Mail Services at approximately $4,000 and a 65-user license of Microsoft Exchange Server at approximately $5,200 for a total of $9,200.


Real Timeīs normal fee for configuration and on-site installation of a standard Linux Mail server is $1,000. We gave the Windows 2000 solution the benefit of the doubt and estimated the same.


Real Time Enterprises, Inc.

Real Time Enterprises, Inc.
10181 Crosstown Circle
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 943-8700
Fax: (952) 943-8500