Windows VS Linux discussion


OSNN Veteran Addict
Alright everyone... I know this is a touchy subject, but I would like to know everyone's opinions.

MS just recently put out a report showing that MS products have a cheaper TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) compared to linux. There are a lot of people who feel that it is biased because it was funded by MS.

Costs are determined not only by cost to purchase license agreements, but also support. Focus on the support side of things. Some people say that "You get what you pay for." I would like to see if that is really true.

Of course this is a Windows forum, but we do still have a fair amount of Linux users who frequent the site. There are a lot of users who probably use both. The ones I am interested in hearing from are the IT professionals who use these programs not at home, but in a true corporate environment.

I respect the opinions of everyone but I feel that a lot of times you do not see the true picture of things when using a PC in a home network or with a broad range of products. If you feel I am wrong with this opinion you are welcome to sound off about it. There are some people who may have a certain expertise yet not work in such an environment.

I would hope that we can keep this thread respectful and without flame wars. This is meant to be a discussion of fact, not opinion.

I would like to hear what tasks people complete in their every day lives that they feel may be unavailable in the rival OS. I would like to know what tools are available using one OS compared to another.

Please try to keep this thread intelligent. "I hate MS/Linux" is not a good arguement. Back everything up with fact please.

Thank you.


OSNN Veteran Addict
Alright... I will start it out with my experience...

Support isn't always fixing what's broken, it has to do with enhancements and updates as well. I can tell you that using Microsoft's SMS in conjunction with various tools that I have come across over the years, pushing out security updates every couple of days to over 500 PCs takes mear minutes and all of the reporting through SMS is done automatically. I can at any moment tell you exactly how much free space a PC has, how much RAM, what Processor and speed, just by viewing a report through SMS. I am able to build a Windows XP or 2000 PC with only 5 minutes of work. This is accomplished through RIS (Windows 2000 or 2k3 server Remote Installation Services). I am able to install Office (any version) by clicking on a batch file and walking away. Granted there is a certain level of administration that I have to do on the RIS server and to the office administrative installation points, but I can accomplish the updates in the time it takes to do it on one PC. I have created automated installation programs for every peice of software that we use in our environment. This is all possible using different tools that were made for Windows. Granted my view of Linux is small. I have run it at home and I most certainly would like to know more about it, but I do not know enough about it to argue that it is not capable of all of the above. I am curious... is it? Please open my eyes. I have to admit that I am a big supporter of MS because overall I believe that they have been a huge part of the technology boom over the years. I believe that without them that technology would not be as great a part of our lives as it is now. I know that all of you anti-MS people may flame the hell out of that statement, but I guess we will never know, because it all happened the way it did.


I may actually be insane.
Linux as a server, yep.
Linux as an everyday web browsing e-mail reading desktop, yep.
Linux as a workstation in offices, in some cases, yep.
Linux as a gaming machine, nope. Getting better though.
Linux as an all purpose desktop suited to anyone, getting there.
Linux for music production, nope.

What operating system you use and/or require is definately a situation dependant thing, and also comes down to preference, IIS serves millions of pages world wide every day, yet some people (who could use IIS) simply prefer Apache, due to experience, or because it's just what's always been used.
Personally I think that it makes a great, stable server operating system and is definately improving on the desktop side of things, it just needs more support (from hardware manufacturers for drivers, for games developers to create ports such as UT2003 which came in the box! and so forth..) to become a viable desktop environment for most people. To be perfectly honest, I like Windows, I like Linux (most flavours), I like BeOS, I like FreeBSD, I like MacOS.. I think it's just nice to have a choice.


OSNN Veteran Addict
I have to agree about choice. It creates a balance. I think that Linux could be every bit as successful as Windows if it were just funded properly. The problem with Linux is, while all flavors work together just fine, there are too many different ones. Support on some are better than others. I know that one of the things that people like about Linux is that it is open source, but that may be one of the problems (and maybe I am just wrong). Why would a company invest millions of dollars helping create something that people are just going to take their code? I know that when I work hard on something I like knowing that it's mine. I can't imagine making something so great that people enjoy using it, and then someone changing it for themselves. That's just me. I like being paid for what I do. Maybe I am greedy. Linux is nice. I run a little Mandrake box at home. (I know... "Why Mandrake"). Why? Because it's easy and I don't know anything about it. I will even go one step further to tell you that I PAID for it! That's right. I paid for Linux. $30. Yeah, Linux is free, but support is not. The "registered" version included free support. So, I did my part to support Linux. I wish I knew more about it. I make a living supporting Windows PCs. I love my job and I believe that I am good at it. Our CTO is a MAC guy (or was before he came here 5 years ago), but he knows that the wide range of products that we use are not available for MAC and Linux (not all of them). Granted we have our own proprietary software, but that controls the sales and collections side of things. APD, Application Xtender... you can not find equivelents to these programs on the Linux side and if you can they just don't carry the same functionality.

Also... I do not know the computer and user management side of Linux. I know AD very well. It's easy to use and offers a LOT of functionality. I know that administration for most of the services in Windows is fairly easy. Just about anyone can setup any of them in Windows. Some of the advanced features are a different story though.

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