Several readers took exception to a newsletter last week, which reported on a new Microsoft-based study that claimed Windows 2003 Server is faster at file-and-print serving than Red Hat Linux. (Do we report on these studies just to stir up reader emotions? You bet!)The Microsoft experiment, prepared by testing firm Veritest, pitted a Windows 2003 Standard Edition server against Red Hat Linux Enterprise Linux ES 3.0 running Samba 3.0 - a software package that allows Linux\/Unix servers to host Windows clients. Results showed that the Microsoft box performed as much as 60% faster at certain tasks than the Linux box.One reader says that speed is not always the most important factor in file-and-print serving."I notice that in your article there is no mention of reliability. Remember that a server has to be functioning properly first, speed is relative. My personal experience with all Microsoft operating systems I have worked with to date is that blue screens are a common occurrence. I have no reason to believe that Windows 2003 is any different."A reader familiar with Linux-based file-and-print serving says an optimized Linux box is available that provides increased speed."I would be curious to know how Windows stacks up against a File\/Print services optimized release of Linux, like NetMax," says the reader, referring to a pre-configured Linux operating system package, optimized for file and print serving. "I've replaced [Windows] NT 4 and Win 2000 servers with NetMax on the EXACT same iron and gotten a better than 200% performance increase."Another reader says something might be up with the way Windows XP clients play with Linux and Samba."I have been using Linux and Windows for a number of years," the reader writes. "I believe Microsoft may be playing loose with the truth on this one. I noticed that when they released XP that they have done something to severely affect Samba. Performance has tanked. I have done packet traces, and I can't figure out what they have done to slow it down, but it is there. The folks at Samba seem to be at a loss as of six months ago what is causing it... I really believe they have done something to 'break' how Samba works with XP. Try any of the older Windows [operating systems] and see for yourself."