Just look at the pricing of hosting vendors.
This is the free market at work. Not every pricing model is cost-plus. Some pricing is supply-and-demand driven. However, we can reasonably assume that in a very competitive market where there’s a customer-grab happening, pricing would reflect costs because there’s not much supply-and-demand history.
In any case, I’m doing some research on cloud offerings and came across Rackspace’s cloud pricing when I had this thought. Check it out. Linux is 75% cheaper than Windows. I believe that’s probably a reasonable benchmark, regardless of it’s accuracy.
If you want to read more about the state of cloud hosting, check out Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, also posted on Rackspace’s site. It’s a good quick read.
By the way, another insight to the market.
Gartner most heavily weighs “execution” in their evaluation of cloud vendors… though admits that this market is noted for the current rapid evolution of services and offerings.
I wonder if “execution” is the most important factor in a rapidly evolving market. Perhaps completeness of vision is? You might execute best, but if you’re executing the wrong thing, it’s going to take you longer to get there. If you’re vision is right, you’ll maintain market leadership, and learn to execute along with your customers.
Remember, you don’t have to be 10x as smart as the person next to you to impress them. You just need to be a little smarter than they are, and they probably can’t tell how much smarter you actually are. These vendors don’t need to execute perfectly… just good enough to ensure that their customers succeed – and then provide maximum innovation and vision to give their customers the simplest growth path to the future at the most efficient price point (like Amazon AWS seems to be doing).