Okay it is no secret that Linux has not been able to crack the desktop, either at the home or at the workplace. Not to ignored either is that Windows lost some desktops last year (a little over 3%),but let’s not panic just yet, Windows still owns over 88% of all the desktops according to leading research.
Many people might be surprised to learn that I come from a background of Windows, Linux, UNIX and even MAC. In fact, my first IT experience was in a Novell/SCO UNIX environment. Now there are some fundamental issues to why Windows 7 will trump Linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian.
THEREFORE, to get those out of the way let’s just spell them out. Windows 7 installs easier, has simpler configuration of user settings, greater availability of software, support (you could argue that all support is awful, which is probably true) Windows support is easier to get when you need help. Gaming, MP3’s,… I could go on and on.
But these have been the same arguments from the beginning, to be fair to Linux the GUI used to be seriously lacking but it has improved. None of these issues had crushed the penguin before so what is different about Windows 7. Let’s look at three areas:
The biggest complaint I have ever heard from die hard Linux users is the GUI, which explains why Linux taken so long to catch up in this area. To real Linux die hards… terminals rule. Microsoft has realized that the serious Administrator understands the usefulness of using command line input to accomplish tasks. Windows Powershell has introduced cmdlets to improve administration of Windows. Powershell also makes it easier to string together multiple administrative without the need to jump from management GUI to management GUI.
So Powershell presents an interesting argument for Windows adoption by the Linux user. You can go command line crazy if you like and still play all your favorite PC games. Powershell remoting will allow Administrators to create one to one or one to many sessions for running scripts on other machines.
Open Source Software has caught on in Windows
In case you missed it, see my article 20 great Windows open source projects you should get to know . That list was a short list of the thousands of Open source apps available for Windows systems. Microsoft itself has made steps into the OSS arena embracing what was inevitable. Some people want free software (even if support is limited or non-existent). The argument for ages was Linux was free and so was many of the applications you could run on Linux. Applications like Firefox, Open Office, MYSQL, GIMP… wait all these applications are now available for Windows. Moreover, they are easier to install in Windows then they are in Linux. Linux users will argue that Linux is still free and you pay for Windows, as I said earlier that cost gets you support and does away with the conundrum of which flavor of OS do I like. There are literal dozens of Linux distros to choose from, I like to leave the 101 flavors to Baskin Robbins.
FEATURES, FEATURES, FEATURES…
Windows 7 has solved a long-standing thorn in Microsoft’s side, How to deliver a feature rich OS without killing resources?
Windows 7 has made improvements to the Aero feature, installs as a VHD (making it truly portable) and has moved beyond the need for mouse and keyboard. The touch screen as well as the speech and handwriting recognition improvements makes it hard to ignore Windows 7. DirectAcess, Bitlocker to Go, Applocker and the new easier to use UAC ( yes I am not letting up on this one) makes Windows 7 secure but yet easy to administrate.
The list of features goes on, and the speed of Windows 7 without the resource drain…rocks!
It looks like all the arguments (except being mad at Bill for being Rich) have been answered. Linux users have no reason to hold back anymore. Windows 7 is well placed to crush and put an end to the penguin.
Next step… It’s time to put the Macintosh’s back where they belong, inside my apple pie!
See my lists of great tools
8 little-known technologies that instantly make Microsoft shops run smoother
9 wickedly useful Web sites for Windows administrators
12 cool cross-platform tools for Windows, Macs and Linux
20 great Windows open source projects you should get to know
A Better Windows World Tools Library
Like this and want more? Check out the other tools I've written about in A Better Windows World.
Plus, check out the Microsoft Subnet home page for more bloggers, news, humor, security alerts and more.
Ron Barrett has been a technology professional for over a decade, working for several major financial firms and dotcoms. Barrett is a specialist in network infrastructure, security and IT management Ron is also the author of several books including: Office Communications Server 2007 R2: How-To , Windows Server 2008: How-To and The Administrator’s Guide to Microsoft Office 2007 Servers. Ron has been a co-author or technical editor for several other books on Windows administration. Along with book writing, Ron has contributed to several industry magazines such as Redmond, Datamation and Windows IT Pro. Beyond writing, Ron has spoken at several technology conferences for CPAmerica, AICPA and TECHMENTOR.