In June of 2003 Merrill Lynch announced the results of their research to determine their potential cost savings of using Linux in place of UNIX® and Microsoft® software. They found that with certain configurations they could cut costs dramatically by replacing Microsoft® Windows™. Studies such as this may be more significant than those conducted by supposedly independant research firms due simply to motivation. "We are not trying to promote Linux," said Mark Snodgrass, vice president of Merrill Lynch's in-house technology provider, the Global Technology & Services group. "We are just trying to reduce the cost of ownership." Proceeding with the migration to Linux is expected to save Merrill Lynch millions of dollars. (Lemos, Robert. "Merrill Lynch: Linux saves money." C|Net News.com 7 June 2003)
For much more analysis see the cost of ownership links section.
These platforms are used to implement internet and intranet servers. They all server dynamic web content and also can be used for middle tier application servers.