My post "Why Windows 7 will crush Linux" has created quite a stir, particularly in the Linux community, it seems. So far I have received over 100 comments (mostly from those who favor Linux over Windows ) about the article. For fun, I Googled the title, and here is a partial list of links that have pointed to it:
Digg (almost 200 comments here)
http://www.tuxme.com -- this site called me a FUD, interesting!
And apparently some Mac people are jumping in (angrily) as well -- http://www.steamd.net
What I'm most pleased with is that this has stirred some great discussion points on Linux's role as an enterprise desktop vs. Windows. The comments have also been entertaining. It has been pointed out that I make my money writing about Microsoft. As this is a blog called A Better Windows World, that statement is obviously true. But writing ABOUT Microsoft doesn't automatically mean I write in favor of Microsoft. I give Redmond's software the thumbs-up when I think it deserves it.
Interestingly, many Linux users wondered why I started with crushing Linux, not Macs. Linux has the smaller desktop share (particularly in the enterprise), certainly. My thoughts about Windows 7 vs. Linux come from the fact that I am a Linux user. That brings me to my next point: Some comments assumed I am not familiar with Linux. I currently run a desktop at home with Ubuntu 8.04, and I run a VMware session with Fedora 8, and I even have a VM of RHEL 5. To my way of thinking, this makes me operating-system agnostic, so when I say, "Wow" to Windows 7, it’s a response that comes from direct experience. I have written a lot about this, actually, including a series (yes, for Microsoft) that covered how to administer Windows Server 2008 for Linux administrators. I would not claim to be a Linux guru, but when it comes to the desktop, I have plenty of experience. (As for my thoughts on Windows vs. Linux servers, we’ll save that one for later.)
Several comments focused on a lack of factual data, or a lack of consensus from others, to back up my claims. So, I decided to include a few links that came from -- of all places -- Linux sites. Here are a few of those links:
12 Reasons Why Windows is Better Than Linux For Non-Techies from Linux Today
Open source success due to Microsoft, claims report -- a story on LinuxWorld that discusses how the involvement of large vendors, including Microsoft, has spurred the open source movement
A story on ubuntuforums.org about Acer saying that Windows is crushing Linux sales on netbooks. (And here's an interesting note -- this page can be viewed only by looking at the cached version. The original comment has been removed from the forum -- OUCH!)
My favorite comments
All things considered, here are some excerpts of my favorite comments from readers -- along with my responses. Warning: I enjoy a controversial debate.
Mike D: "The fact that Mr. Barrett sees Linux as something that needs to be crushed makes it obvious that Linux is making the progress everyone knows it is making. After all, would Microsoft invest in crushing something that has no impact on their bottom line?" -- Isn't the point of free market capitalism to "crush" the competition?
My response: As Ricky Bobby would say "If you ain't first you're last."
Ricegf: "And anyone who thinks Windows installs *easier* than Linux hasn't done an install in the last three years. I've done hundreds with both operating systems, and Linux wrote the book on easy installation. So, no, I'm not surprised in the least that you 'have a background in Windows...'. It shows clearly."
My response: Actually, ricgf, you're wrong. I currently run three different Linux distros for my writing and testing work.
Robert DV: "We keep helping our family, friends, colleagues (and our pets) to switch to Linux. In detriment of Windows."
My response: I want to see the pets that are working a PC -- that would be cool!
Anonyms: "Will Microsoft get rid of their draconian antipiracy system?"
My response: Like the RIAA, GAPA, MPA and others who say you can't steal intellectual property?
And the weirdest -- but perhaps my favorite one of all -- comes from Bill (an Apple guy, no doubt).
Bill: "Ron's trailing comment, about putting Macintoshes where they belong, in his apple pie, is typical for a Windows user, sloppy about facts; I'd expect better of him. Macintoshes are an eating apple, and are really too mushy and not tart enough for pies. You'd do much better with Granny Smith apples, which are the logo for Apple Records..."
My response: Touché -- many pie bakers say that Granny Smith apples are better for pies than Macintosh Apples, but as for being sloppy with the facts -- as is typical for a Windows user? Here's a link to a recipe for Vermont's Best Apple Pie Recipe (brought to you by The Governor's Inn) that calls for Macintosh apples. Enjoy!
Bottom line is I think Window 7 is poised to do what former Windows versions have not done, and that is to keep enterprises (and many consumers) happy with Windows and not motivated to take on the Linux learning curve and switch. I hold no animosity towards any of the other OSs. In fact, I love technology and think that diversity is what makes this industry awesome.
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.