January 7, 2008

Top 5 Ways Windows is Better Than Unix or Linux

Windows is better than Unix/Linux. Now that I’ve incited volumes of hatred from my Unix/Linux brethren, let me clarify my stance. I work with massively heterogeneous environments. For the past 10 years, every company I’ve supported has utilized at least 3 different operating system platforms including multiple versions and flavors of Linux, Unix, Windows, with some mid-frame (As/400) and Novell thrown in for good measure. The experience has taught me to choose the best tool for the job, rather than get religious about a platform. There are many functions that Windows performs better than *nix, and the *nix community should embrace them.

I hire a lot of Unix/Linux sys admins. One of my favorite interview questions for them is: “Name 5 ways Windows is better than Unix/Linux.” This is a great stress question, because most *nix guys think Microsoft is the devil. But Microsoft remains the most successful software company in the world. If you cannot recognize the areas where Microsoft excels, you are artificially narrowing your view of the world, which means you aren’t making the best technology decisions for your company, which means you can’t work for me (To be fair, I also ask Windows guys to name ways Unix/Linux is better than Windows). As a public service to *nix admins everywhere, I offer this list of 5 ways Windows is better than *nix. There are many others, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much info at once. It might overload your system, and cause a kernel panic. 😉

  1. Windows XP is the best productivity desktop
  2. Windows 2003 Active Directory Service is the best directory service
  3. Windows DNS is the best internal DNS server
  4. Exchange 2007 is the best groupware application platform
  5. Windows has better hardware support with vendor-supported drivers

Let the flame wars begin! Seriously though, I stand by each of those pronouncements. For those of you who haven’t run screaming from the room, my reasoning is below:

#1 Windows XP is the best productivity (and gaming) desktop – If you want an OS that is stable, fast, supports every hardware device you are likely to need/want, runs the best games, works well with broadband or other Internet connections, and had the best applications, Windows XP is your choice. It just freakin works. This is why it is also the most popular desktop OS on the market. Not because of slick marketing or predatory practices. Most companies have standardized on XP because it offers superior productivity for their user community. Apple and Linux fill niches, but for general purpose desktops, XP is the way to go. Here are a couple of “killer apps” that make XP the choice for most businesses:

  • Office Suite – Microsoft Office is the de facto standard. Sure there are alternatives, such as Open Office, but they are cheap clones that do not offer the power, ease of use, or compatibility with the rest of the world.
  • Best-of-Breed Specialty Applications – Photoshop, Illustrator, Project, Visio, AutoCAD. This is but a short list of products that professionals know are the best tools for the job. They all run best on Windows XP, although some might argue Photoshop runs better on a Mac. Again, there are *nix alternatives, but they are clones, not best-of-breed. You can run many of these using Wine, Cross-Over, or VMWare, but why emulate the best product when you can run the best product?
  • Wireless & cellular Support – I have yet to find the wireless network I cannot connect to with XP, but I’ve had plenty of problems under Linux. For Christmas, I got a shiny new Asus EeePC. It is a cool toy, but out of the box, it doesn’t support WPA2 encryption. There are a variety of hacks available, but they all stink. I also just bought a Cingular cellular card for my laptop. Works great under XP, but not under Ubuntu. The problem with wireless support is two-fold: 1) Manufacturers are lazy, so they only produce drivers for the market leaders, Windows and Apple. 2) Manufacturers want to keep their Intellectual Property to themselves, rather than release it under GPL. As a consumer, I don’t care. It works under XP, and sucks under *nix.
  • VPN Support – The major VPN hardware manufacturers support Windows, but not Linux. Again, their are hacks, work arounds, etc., but if you want to install it and know it will work, XP is the better choice.

Windows XP = more powerful applications and lower end-user support costs. In IT, that is what we should be focused on. Not what is cool, “free,” or “not-proprietary.” Note I did not say Windows Vista. Vista has some cool features, but is filled with bloat, and should probably die the same death as Windows ME & Microsoft BOB. The general rule of thumb for Microsoft desktop OSes is you should always skip a generation. Windows 95 was a good concept, but it was buggy, but Windows 98 was solid and stable. Windows ME was terrible. Windows 2000 professional was OK, but Windows XP is solid. It will probably be another 3 years before I upgrade away from XP, giving me a solid 10 years on the platform. Not bad for a desktop OS, and well worth the $100 the license cost me.

#2 Windows 2003 Active Directory Service is the best directory service – Single sign-on is a big deal in most IT shops. Windows 2003 ADS is the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective solution for building a a directory service for all your users, all your desktops, and all your applications. And because ADS is based on LDAP, and the Internet Authentication Service (IAS) supports RADIUS, ADS can also provide single sign-on for all your *nix servers and your network gear. ADS also includes a bunch of features that make it suitable to support even the largest organizations; the two most important being administrative delegation, and multi-master replication. Administrative delegation allows you to push specific tasks, such as password resets to lower-paid, lower skilled helpdesk people. It also supports compliance initiatives such as Separation of Duties (if you’ve ever been through a SOX audit, you understand). Many companies use this to delegate tasks such as user creation and deletion to Human Resources. The MMC GUI interface lessens the learning curve for delegated administrators.

Multi-Master replication is almost as cool, and in some ways far more useful. In ADS, all domain controllers act as a master. This means that you have no single point of failure, since any one server can die. It also means that changes can be made on any server and they replicate out to all others. If you have admins in London and Tokyo, they can each work on locale servers and receive each other’s updates. Setting up a new domain controller, once the OS is installed is a single command function: DCPROMO. Once the new server is promoted, the entire directory gets replicated. Of course there are additional considerations that Windows Admins must make for everything to work properly (sites, OUs, FSMOs, etc.), but the fundamental architecture is simple, secure, stable, easier to use, and more powerful than any other directory server on the market.

#3 Windows DNS is the best internal DNS server – When it comes to hosting your internal (non-internet facing) DNS, the best tool for the job is Windows 2003, Active Directory (ADS) Integrated DNS zones. If you are not using Windows 2003 to host your DNS service, you are working too hard and should switch immediately. There are several reasons for this:

  • Your Windows Domain needs Windows DNS to work properly. According to every market share statistic out there, the chances are high that you already have a Windows domain, and therefore a Windows DNS infrastructure, for your desktop users. If you use a separate set of DNS servers to support your Unix/Linux servers, or your e-commerce infrastructure, you have to ask yourself why.
  • Windows ADS-integrated zones support multi-master replication out of the box. Ok, so I repeated a feature from #2, but applying it to DNS is even cooler. Multi-master DNS is especially useful when operating multiple data centers, that occasionally cannot communicate with each other, either as a normal operation or during a disaster scenario. Multi-master ensures changes can be made anywhere, and will replicate to all other DNS servers. Multi-master is possible on *nix BIND servers, but it is a pain to setup and maintain. Setting it up on Windows is trivial.
  • ADS stores DNS records in a database instead of a zone file. This makes it easier to query and update individual records. It also means that when a host record is updated, only the single changed record gets replicated to other servers, rather than the whole zone file. For large zones, with thousands of records, this can have a significant performance boost.
  • Windows supports Dynamic DNS (DDNS) and integrates with Windows DHCP. As clients are assigned IP addresses, DHCP registers the new IP with DNS as A & PTR records.
  • Like all Windows functions, DNS can be administrated by a simple MMC GUI. This lowers the skill and cost of administrating DNS records.
  • Windows also offers a powerful, scriptable command line interface to DNS: DNSCMD. DNSCMD is part of the Windows 2003 Support Tools. Need to create 500 host records, both forward and reverse, in different domains and subnets? DNSCMD can do it with a 1-line script (see my next blog article for an example). There is no *nix alternative that is this simple or powerful.

#4 Exchange 2007 is the best groupware application platform – Exchange 2007 & the Outlook client may be the single best product suite Microsoft makes. I specify groupware and not e-mail, because the true power of Exchange goes beyond mere messaging. If all you want is e-mail, IMAP will do. Exchange/Outlook is a collaborative suite which includes messaging, shared calendars, shared tasks, public folders, and a built-in workflow engine. Add to this wireless activesync and you can take the power of Exchange with you in your pocket on a Windows Mobile phone, or a Blackberry. Exchange also supports custom forms that are self-contained, self-distributing applications that unlock its true power. In addition, Exchange includes full-text indexing of messages and attachments, compliance journaling of messages, integrated local and global clustering, a full featured web-mail interface, and a unified messaging system. Lotus Notes, Oracle Collaboration Suite and Novell Groupwise simply don’t measure up.

#5 Windows has better hardware support with vendor-supported drivers – One of the most frustrating things about the *nix world is lack of vendor hardware support. This is true for both desktops and servers. The major Unixes are proprietary, because the vendors want you to buy their hardware. And while Linux can claim to support more hardware than Windows, the drivers are usually reverse-engineered hacks that the manufacturer doesn’t support, or wrappers around Windows drivers, such as NDIS. Because Windows is the most popular and universal OS, every hardware manufacturer writes its drivers for Windows. And since Windows doesn’t carry the GPL penalty, manufacturers are free to innovate and keep their intellectual property to themselves. The end result is that under Windows XP and Windows 2003, hardware just works. That is the power of market share.

To be fair, the same thing cannot be said of Vista or Windows 2003 64-bit. It will take a few years before the manufacturers have re-written their drivers for 64-bit, but Unix and Linux have the same issues. 32-bit Linux supports more hardware than 64-bit. The same problems occurred when we changed from 16-bit to 32-bit in the mid-90s. The key is vendor support. If I had a nickel for all the times a vendor told me they didn’t support a given flavor of Linux, or a specific Kernel revision, or the number of times a kernel *upgrade* broke some functionality, I’d have a lot of nickels.

So that’s my list. I could probably come up with 20 other reasons. I also have a long list of reasons why Unix is better than Linux, and an equally long list of ways Linux is best. The point is there is no one OS to rule them all. It’s a complex world out there, and we are better off choosing the right tool for the job, rather than letting prejudices blind us to the possibilities.


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  1. TenSigh said,

    January 7, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    I agree with you overall. I don’t like Windows sometimes, but it just works. I hate the fact that Linux is the most exciting OS yet also the most breakable.

  2. Windows is better that Unix and Linux, Sometimes... | edgeblog said,

    January 8, 2008 @ 7:01 am

    […] I agreed with Bill’s last article, until I read the part that said “Windows is better than […]

  3. kit said,

    January 25, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

    To be fair, who paid you to write that crap?

  4. bill said,

    January 25, 2008 @ 9:41 pm


    If you think I’m wrong, provide evidence. Show me where Unix/Linux beats Windows in any of those areas.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.


  5. joe said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 4:52 am

    Is this for real? You have used UNIX correct?

    Microsoft’s financial success is not based on technical superiority. Weak argument.

    Game OS? I thought we were talking about corporate environments.

    Just addressing the silly name related stuff:

    Recent BIND version support dynamic dns and SRV records.

    Setting up secondary namerservers is trivial and also doesn’t require traversal of unsafe protocols across the internet.

    I can find and alter zone records with one liners, much fast than a query. Even the largest zones are going to fit in a handul of packets. Properly configured name architecture are not transferring zones frequently anyway.

    Yawn, BIND supports dynamic dns. Why do you need windows DHCP anyway. More question begging.
    Setting up

    This last bit is truly hilarious. You don’t think that UNIX text processing tools can create 500 host records with ease? You seriously want to suggest that proprietary windows scripting languages can compete with forty years of development in text processing?

  6. w2bh said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 9:58 am

    You are getting the whole question wrong.

    First of all, Linux is just a kernel. It’s kind of tricky trying to *technically* compare Windows to Linux, because the first is an (in)operating operating system, while the latter is a kernel.

    You are of course refering to the GNU+Linux operating system, wich most people know as “Linux”. That would be more meaningful, if you were trying to compare them *technically*.

    If you concentrate in the technical area, you’ll find areas where one surpasses the other, or one is more convenient than the other, or whatever. When you look at the issue from a technical point of view, there is no definite answer.

    However, the GNU+Linux system exists because of the Free Software Movement that Richard Stallman started in 1983/84. Think free as in free speech, not free as in free beer. The goal of the Free Software Movement is to enable people to use computers and keep their freedom. The GNU project was then started to translate these ethical concepts into an actual freedom-respecting operating system.

    So, given that that was the issue that the system was designed to address, it’s meaningless to compare Windows and GNU+Linux in technical terms. The technical aspect is completely secondary: no matter how bad or good it runs, GNU+Linux will always be superior not only to Windows but to every proprietary piece of software out there, because it respects your freedom, wich makes it an ethical operating system. On the other hand, Windows, being propietary (or non-free), is an unethical user-subjugating operating system.

    More information:


  7. bill said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 10:35 am


    Thanks for your comments. The distinction you make is meaningless to 99.99% of the world, including most of the Linux community.

    RedHat sells Enterprise Linux, not Enterprise GNU+Linux system: http://www.redhat.com/rhel/. Same with Suse and others: http://www.novell.com/linux/.

    Also, your premise that proprietary software is “unethical” is fundamentally flawed. The definition of ethical is “pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct. ” There is nothing wrong, immoral, unethical, etc. with a software developer licensing others to use his product, but not give them access to the code. True freedom involves choice for all individuals, including the choice to place value on my work product, and the choice to control that which I sell, that which I rent, and that which I keep private.

    But, even if I concede your point that I am really comparing the Windows operating system and related eco-system, to the GNU+Linux operating system, and related eco-system, as packaged by commercial distributors such as RedHat and Suse, my point remains. There are ways in which a Windows-based solution is superior. There are also ways in which a Linux-based or Unix-based solution is superior.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  8. bill said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 10:47 am


    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I am serious. Yes, I have used Unix and Linux. I am currently responsible for an installed base of hundreds of Linux and Unix servers, as well as a handful of Windows boxes. Yes, you CAN manage DNS under Linux, but after years of experience doing both, I can say with absolute certainty that Windows is better. “Open your eyes…”

  9. w2bh said,

    January 30, 2008 @ 8:23 am

    Further replies will be delivered here, to prevent duplicating efforts:



  10. Jeeves said,

    March 15, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    I’m open-minded enough to hear a fair argument as to why one OS is better than the other. But this article doesn’t provide any facts to back up the assertions.

    On your first assertion of your first ‘point’, you state this:

    “Microsoft Office is the de facto standard. Sure there are alternatives, such as Open Office, but they are cheap clones that do not offer the power, ease of use, or compatibility with the rest of the world.”

    Standard according to whom? At least try to do a little research. Just off the top of my head, I can tell you that OO had a neat little feature, whereby you click a button in the toolbar and it converts your document to a PDF. “But Office 2008 does that too!”, you might say. Yeah. However, OO had that neat little feature built-in well before Office 2008 came out. Just by that alone, you can’t call OO a clone of Office 2008. Let’s see some strengths and weaknesses of each.

    I could go on, but there’s really no point. If this were an essay written to persuade someone, there would be red all over the page. I’m awfully suspicious of bias here.

  11. Gary Lake said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 7:26 am

    There are some points that must be conceded. Desktop and Exchange are hard to beat for the majority of circumstances. But in some areas I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Windows DNS is better ? Anyone who know how DNS is “meant” to work spends hours getting M$’s to behave properly in complex scenarios. If M$ made efforts to not extend open standards and make them proprietary they would gain wider acceptance. ADS is powerful no doubt, but “better” is debatable. Sounds like this guy got addicted to the mouse in the early 90’s and hasn’t been able to put it down since. If you want to do things “As Bill Sees it” all the time everytime, and live with their vision, windows is great, but get used to this command “REGEDIT”

    Windows is great for the masses, but there is no doubt it has “DUMBED DOWN” most admins out there to the point the don’t know how basic standardards truely work anymore. Any good Unix admin can be converted to a fine Windows Admin, but I have rarely seen it go the other way.

  12. Gary Lake said,

    April 3, 2008 @ 3:49 am

    There are some points that must be conceeded. Desktop and Exchange are hard to beat for the majority of circumstances. But in some areas I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Windows DNS is better ? Anyone who know how DNS is “meant” to work spends hours getting M$’s to behave properly in complex scenarios. If M$ made efforts to not extend open standards and make them proprietary they would gain wider acceptance. ADS is powerful no doubt, but “better” is debatable. Sounds like this guy got addicted to the mouse in the early 90’s and hasn’t been able to put it down since. If you want to do things “As Bill Sees it” all the time everytime, and live with their vision, windows is great, but get used to this command “REGEDIT”

  13. kalabumba said,

    April 11, 2008 @ 9:23 am

    Jeeves: “you can’t call OO a clone of Office 2008. Let’s see some strengths and weaknesses of each.”
    and you certainly do know, that OO is a Staroffice-branch. Staroffice developement began in the mid-80s, as far as i remember. That’s pretty much the same time (or at least around .. don’t really know “who was first” when MS came up with the early Versions of Word – and you will have to agree, that “Using the Computer as a typewriter replacement” isn’t that much of a fancy idea (i guess it was one of the first discussed uses of Homecomputers) so don’t tell me “they stole the genius idea to develop a word processor” (and again … it was pretty much the same time they firstly came up with the word/starwriter).

    I just have to flatly disagree with your statements – at least concerning my experiences, which are mostly home- and small business networks – using only linux and mac in a network you actually don’t need a DNS server because modern distros have avahi installed, which is a zeroconf implementation(just like apples Bonjour) for linux doing mDNS (multicast DNS) and DNS-SD(service discovery).
    In small networks (only one subnet) you can “automagically” reach any linux/mac machine with its hostname without any real DNS server. Furthermore you can broadcast your own services via DNS-SD (believe me, its just fun to network with this setup).
    Sure enough there is a point where you might want a real DNS server, but to be honest, this is the first time I heard about Windows being a DNS-server (for professional use) why would one do that? And to argue with your “OO is a clone” point: Bind was originally written in 1984 – did windows even exist back then? Not to mention that one wouldn’t wanna run dns on pre-NT versions of Windows right ? 😀
    Ah and one last thing: You wrote: “And since Windows doesn’t carry the GPL penalty, manufacturers are free to innovate and keep their intellectual property to themselves.”
    This is just flatly false. Anybody can distribute a closed source non-GPL linux binary for whatever (including hardware drivers) without getting any GPL-penalty. GPL only aplies when you use GPL-code for your product. (there are dozens of examples: skype, the nvidia drivers, adobe flashplugin etc. which are distributed binary only (if only i could get my fingers on the skype sourcecode – the linux-version is even buggier than the windows version :( )

    I find it important to talk about these things, I’m not an Open Software Priest, I have used windows a long time and have to admit XP is a usable and pretty stable system but then again, it doesn’t let you do a whole bunch of things you might wanna do (at least not out of the box: like mounting a linux (or any other “weird”) filesystem, really customizing the UI (i mean more than chosing between those color schemes and “modern” vs “classical” look) and so on). – In my experience, especially when using linux on desktop (which i have been doing flawlessly for 4 years now) you really feel the freedom. They don’t put artificial obstacles in the users way if he really wants to change something. Where Windows is based on putting obstacles in front of you (if you’re planning something that is not 100% standard (i know there’s a whole world of Software for Windows, but you have to search the web, download and install it first. Whereas most linux Distros come with a package management system, that enables the user to “one click install” a whole buttload of wonderful software (Actually, one of the major reasons why I prefer Linux over Windows is because of Linux applications like Pidgin, GGZ (a gaming server for “minigames” similar to “icq X-traz”) and dozens of others, yes some of them have been ported to windows, but if i have windows i dont really want to have gtk widgets destroying my look&feel ;).

    Ok, now I have to apologize for having written so much ;).
    so long

  14. Liviu-Theodor Vîzdoagă said,

    April 14, 2008 @ 1:18 am

    I have something to say:
    “If you cannot recognize the areas where Microsoft excels, you are artificially narrowing your view of the world” – true, but you can say that also about linux (and the latter is a mistake made by most people, because they have seen only Windows all around them, and say that it is easier – but it is actually like someone from UK will say that english is the simplest language spoken).
    #1. Windows XP is the best productivity (and gaming) desktop.
    I must agree that Windows XP is better than any other OS for gaming, but for productivity I can not agree. I find new linux distros much easear to use in office/internet browsing than Windows XP/Vista, and linux or multiplatform internet browsers better than Internet Explorer 7, which I find very unstable (and I decided to install other browsers in the network I administer). Also it is much easier to install programs in linux (and if you want with a GUI, use yum in Red-Hat based distros and Synaptic in Debian based distros). Also, you can find rpm or deb packages just ready to install on your PC. And you said you paid 100$ for Windows XP. OK, that was the price, but what about the rest of the programs you wrote about: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, MS Project, MS Visio, AutoCAD? They also cost money, they are not for free cost, and they are not cheap. And if you want to install them on a network with (let’s say a small one) 20+ computers, you need to buy a copy on each PC. And if you have a bigger network, the issue grows even more. And yes, you can run these programs in linux, but you still need to buy them. So please, put the price for all such programs in your calculations, and not only the price for the OS, to be fair (and with the new numers, see if they remain with the lower end-user support costs, for both an individual and a network). Also the price for Windows seems to be inflated from one generation to another. And I do not think the Linux programs that make the job of the programs you mentioned are just clones, I think thy are just another ways to do a job, some will find them better, other worst than their windows counterparts.
    “Windows XP = more powerful applications” – may be, but they are not part of the OS, but third-party made. What I mean is that a CD of a linux distro contains much more useful and usable programs than even a Windows dvd – in fact, the latter contains only the OS (unless you classify notepad, wordpad, paint and such as useful programs).
    #2. No comment.
    #3. What? There are linux alternatives to Windows DNS (and can be used in the GUI too). And I rarely seen Windows domains on networks (to be fair, one network using domains was installed by me, with Windows NT 4.0). And if Windows DNS is best, than why on my work network is used Fedora instead? And the OS-es used here, beside the Fedora servers, are Windows (98, XP Professional, Vista Ultimate) and (K/Edu)Ubuntu, also it is onother server with SUSE linux.
    #4. I totally disagree. I find Exchange the worst groupware application platform and Outlook unusable.
    #5. Windows has better hardware support with vendor-supported drivers. Yes it is true, but now the hardware comes more and more with linux drivers. And I have seen also new hardware that does not work with either Windows or Linux. Why that? I don’t know. And I have seen hardware which works well on linux and not at all in Windows. And if you want proprietary drivers in linux, you cand find them too (let’s say for video cards – both nVidia and AMD/ATI made such drivers, and I think they both made a very good job).
    I agree with the last statement you made. We must choose the most usable environment available, but with one comment: we must not go broke for that one. And one word for about me: I also worked/learned with Solaris and UNIX, and I have seen also Mac OS (but not the new one, Max OS/X).
    In the end, you can find and run proprietary programs also on Linux, and open-source programs on Windows, if you really need and/or want them.
    Latest: nice joke about the kernel panic, but Windows too has a kernel, and if it had a panic, than you surely have to reinstall all OS and applications, whereas in Linux, all you have to do is to restart the GUI (sometimes to reboot).

  15. kalabumba said,

    April 14, 2008 @ 7:40 am

    yea the kernel panic joke was nice .. rly 😉

  16. Berto-Fett said,

    June 23, 2008 @ 5:42 am


    I miss your views sometimes… Just sometimes.

    For any of you who may not know me, Bill and Jerry both were there as I “grew up” in the IT world. My views on the particular debate were directly influenced by these two gentleman and they both taught me to look at systems with neutrality and with the mindset of what is best for the particular situation.

    I am pretty sure that ALL operating systems suck in some way. I surely wouldn’t give a fresh copy of Ubuntu to my father nor would I give him a copy of Vista for that matter.

    For the “masses”, Microsoft has definitely cornered the market. However, it has cheapened the administration and engineering aspect experience for me.

    We recently implemented an exchange cluster and the amount of money we had to throw at licensing made me shutter. But, we definitely will not have to worry about exchange going down any time soon.

    As far as DNS, IMHO, BIND is the better product for stability. IIS vs. Apache, MSSQL vs. MYSQL… we know the pros and cons.

    The bottom line is that MS has created the “Vanilla” product that will work exceptionally well with their own products and services. The same holds true with Red hat, Solaris and any other *nix flavor. IBM has one of the best databases out there, but the typical company doesn’t have money to burn on a 400.

    It’s not a matter of what is the better product; it’s a matter of integration and how much money you want to throw at licensing and administration. Jerry once told me that the typical UNIX guy can do Windows administration with ease, the opposite is mostly untrue. The reason why I wanted to become a UNIX administrator was the fact that I could make a little more money, there are far less UNIX administrators out there than Windows administrators. (Fog this mirror, here’s your MCSE)

    It’s impossible to say that one is better than the other and give hard evidence to support the argument.

    Bill, keep plugging along and thanks for the topic. It will NEVER be solved or answered, but it will always provide a subject for a debate.


  17. Rafal said,

    June 26, 2008 @ 9:01 am

    I cannot agree about Exchange 2007. Probably Lotus Domino 7.x or 8.x is far better than Exchange.

  18. Matt said,

    July 18, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

    Hi guys
    Windows is better in some ways, but Linux is better in more ways.

  19. Berto-Fett said,

    July 23, 2008 @ 7:58 pm


    I’m glad to see that someone actually reads my posts. I want to reply to your comment regarding Lotus being superior to Exchange.

    Let me paint a picture for you…

    When a member of the Mormon Church knocks on my door, I tell them that I will convert to their religion if they can prove to me that what they preach is true. I put one caveat into my bargain with them, you will have to provide me with unequivocal evidence that what they are saying is true and that you can use it using the defacto source (in Christianity being the Bible)

    With that being said, provide to me evidence that Lotus is a superior product in ALL situations when 90+ % of all major businesses use some sort of Exchange solution to provide what these two products do. Also, find me an administrator that knows Lotus whom I can pay the least amount of money. I can find an administrator with an MCSE that can hit the ground running for less that 50K a year starting (a green guy of course) with no bad habits or opinions that have been garnered by posts such as this. The more obscure the application or platform, salary requirements rise.

    To compound that, how much harder would it be to find a person to replace the Lotus admin if they left? If you were at the helm of a multi-billion dollar company and didn’t want to have to deal with finding admins that know obscure (let’s face it, it really is obscure compared to any MS or UNIX product) applications, what would you want to implement?

    If you were starting a company with a miniscule IT budget and you needed to hire IT for cheap, what would you probably start with? Probably the solution that would have the least short and long term costs.

    Now, if for some reason, the shop you work at started with Lotus products from day one, then yes, I would have to say that in that specific situation Lotus would be superior to Exchange. It would be fiscally smart due to the cost of integration.

    In no way am I defending Microsoft. Domino is pretty slick mainly because you can tie it into a DB2 Database. But again, how many companies want to burn capital in initial and recurring costs on an IBM product. I am a big believer in open source and will defend it to the bitter end. However, I cannot let my opinions get in the way of the success of my company. That goes beyond being an admin, an engineer, or a janitor for that matter. If an open source solution would work better than a MS in a specific situation for me, I’ll use it. The some holds true with the opposite.

    To sum up what I am trying to convey here… As I mentioned before, there is no way anyone can say that one is better than the other. If you do, you need to come up with hard evidence and very sound business reasons to do so.


  20. bill said,

    July 23, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

    Sniff. Jerry and I are holding back the tears. Our little Berto-Fett has grown up! Applying business logic and ROI to a technology decision? Who could have guessed! Berto, we are so proud… 😉

  21. Jman6495 said,

    July 30, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

    congratulations you just offended 90% of the worlds hackers!

  22. Farhan said,

    July 31, 2008 @ 3:44 am

    I think the author of this article is a misrosoft employee :)

  23. bill said,

    July 31, 2008 @ 6:02 am

    Sorry Farhan, but no. Thanks for playing!

  24. Latecomer said,

    September 20, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

    I just know one thing: as a safe practice I have to reboot my windows box every week, If I forget and go for 2 weeks without a reboot it tends to crash or become unbearably slow.

    I can’t remember the last time I had to reboot my linux based boxes.

    Yeah, like they say, it just works!

  25. kuba said,

    November 24, 2008 @ 5:59 am

    Well, eDirectory running on Linux is much more powerful than Active directory.

  26. Jeff said,

    December 19, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

    Windows is the better operating system — tell that to users who are down for 1 to 24 hours looking for the latest virus definitions or clearing mal-ware. Don;t get me started on “Defender”, Win’s Firewall, or the other nonsense.

    From the Corporate side of the house (which I am currently converting Windows to openSUSE running Fedora DS) from a security standpoint Windows is the short-bus candidate. If the first brink in the wall is crumbling, then that wall is going to fall over sooner more tan later. (There is a REASON the NSA chose Linux to build their super secure system with, hence SELinux)

    As far as AD being superior to anything else, sorry that one’s a wash. Novell’s eDirectory has far more years doing the things that AD is just now getting into doing. Fedora Directory server, originally based on netscape Directory server, (and SUN has a nice one based on that too) gives flexibility to all of the UNIX, Linux, Apple, Main Frame, AS 400, etc etc etc applications, AND operating systems out there.

    If Microsoft’s Servers are so very stable, then why are more business critical databases/applications/web sites hosted on Debian/SUN/Red Hat than Mickey Mouse O’soft’s IIS?

    Why is it that when a virus makes its way into the company, the Windows admins call me and ask me to ‘quickly’ download the virus definitions for them to my ftp server…

    Why is it that if you are not a Microsoft system, you can;t quite use the full functionality of Windows DNS services… (believe me, it is a pain)

    If AD is so special, then why is it I can get a Windows system authenticating to OpenLDAP, or FDS quickly and without much fuss, but with AD, I have (or had to) extend schema, load Services for NIS (or with R2 populate the attributes), THEN hope it will actually allow my system to authenticate IF I join the ‘domain’ ..

    Exchange? hahahahaha, should I really comment? I cannot believe you deem this as a collaboration suite. it is an email server with shared folders. You ever look into SME server? Zimbra? or any other OSS servers out there? How is Exchange better than Groupwise? and to answer your question from another poster, have you ever USED Lotus Domino/Notes? Now THAT is a collaboration server. mail, shared calendaring, shared workspace, private workspace, integrated communications, SECURITY, and you don;t have to have OUTLOOK as the sole locked in interface to get on a Notes box. .. Any 12 year old with a Windows for Hackers second hand book can bring an Exchange server to it’s knees.

    Active Directory/GAL/Exchange — there is a reason that it tells you to run backups of the directory, GAL, and mailbox structure.. so next month when it corrupts, you have a point to run back and lose all of that extra ‘worthless’ data. One bad partial, or bad update and your database is corrupt .. press ‘any’ key to continue… You get a bad replication with eDirectory, and it might corrupt one box, but you still have the others that refused to replicate the bad data. Same with FDS, and openLDAP.

    Windows is better that Linux desktops — one word.. VISTA.. an OS so bad, Microsoft is even trying to bury it…

  27. DNSCMD Kung Fu | edgeblog said,

    December 23, 2008 @ 12:14 am

    […] a previous article, I extolled the virtues of DNS on Windows. In particular, I love the scripting interface that […]

  28. » Windows is better than Unix/Linux, sometimes. > Notes from Jerry’s Composition Book said,

    January 7, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

    […] here: http://www.edgeblog.net/2008/windows-is-better-than-unixlinux-sometimes/ Well, I agreed with Bill’s last article, until I read the part that said “Windows is better than […]

  29. Gilberto Rojas said,

    March 9, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    You don’t know a damn worthless shit about what you’re talking, do you?
    You may mock unix with kernel panic, but then hide better your nasty BSOD!

    Besides, windows is the most disorganized OS ever existed.

  30. bill said,

    March 9, 2009 @ 9:57 pm


    Your comments are typical of a mindless fan boy. If you’d like to discuss one of the 5 points above, feel free to comment again.

  31. Zadarmo said,

    March 31, 2009 @ 5:45 am

    you want an OS that is stable, fast, supports every hardware device

    Does Windows support every hardware device without searching for drivers? NO? Weird isn’t it? Every OS supports devices when it has drivers. But Windows doesn’t have too much drivers with it. A user without the drivers on CD and without the internet connection (hey, to connect to the internet most users must have drivers downloaded from… quess what. Yes, the internet! ) has nothing really useful at all.

    Have you seen any BSoD or any other big error in Ubuntu (Linux’s distro) while surfing the net (on F-Secure site. my Windows (sorry, I got only a license to use it, it’s not mine) displayed BSoD while scanning the computer for malware)? NO? Weird, huh?

    Windows after installing is fast. That’s right. But you said it support every device, so I guess we are talking about Windows after installing applications, right? So Windows after installing any app (even anti-virus!) slows down. Windows won’t be useful if you won’t install much apps, so you get more apps, and more, and more. Windows slows down, and slows, and slows. Then it’s extremely slow.

    Three things. That’s not too much. Let’s talk more!

    Office Suite – an another thing you need to buy. Windows after installing doesn;t have it. Sigh…. Windows is nit cheap, Office is not cheap… I don;t have much money for that!

    Wireless – drivers. See the first thing I said.

    VPN – don’t make me laugh. See VPN Connections section in Ubuntu.

    All of those things belong to distro’s. Linux is a kernel so it won;t work by itself. Every distro is a little (or big) bit different than the other ones, so talking about only Linux, not about one of it’s distro is just nonsense.

    I presented you Ubuntu. And, you know… If eeePC comes with Linux, the distro it has by itself MUST support it at all.

    I can show you a polish article on ubuntu site which says how to fully support your eepc. Search in Google and you’ll find an English one, but here’s a Polish one: http://forum.ubuntu.pl/showthread.php?p=544007

  32. bill said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    Here’s a bunch of more reasons why Linux Sucks: http://lunduke.com/?p=429 from the Linux community itself.

  33. Frank L said,

    May 20, 2009 @ 5:07 am

    You shouldn’t compare operating systems. They all have their advantages or disadvantages.

    OF EVERYTHING… Why Linux and Windows? That’s like comparing oranges and apples. They’re different and function differently. One’s proprietary the other is open source. You can’t compare something that’s ‘free’ to something a multiBILLION dollar corporation created.

    Mind you that Linux accomplished a lot during the recent decades where dedicated programmers around the world spent time for no charge creating such a sophisticated alternative to Windows.

    p.s. Don’t flame this… I use both Windows and Linux and I can say that both of them are good on some features and bad in others.


  34. arif said,

    June 2, 2009 @ 2:18 am

    Great article, and no doubt about it that windows operating system remained at top in history, and i think it will be.

    But if you think upon cost of development of the two operating systems i.e linux and windows, microsoft is spending millions of dollars on development of windows, on the other hand linux is developed by mostly by community based efforts, so its a good effort of community to reach at a level where people are trying to compare these two and a lot of discussion is going on that which one is better, I think its great achievment of this community based OS.

    So far linux is really struggling to fight with its dependency hell and complex OS structure. further if we compare technically windows xp with any mainstream linux disro, XP is far more easier and ready to use operating system than any linux distro. No doubt you could use it only if you have lot of money in your pocket.

  35. arif said,

    June 2, 2009 @ 2:33 am

    A long time ago some body told me that linux is best operating system and i started using it and using it since 3 years, for the last two years i kept on thinking that as i am new to this system so thats why i am getting problem, and my system crashes because i didnot knew how to use linux, but after using almost all the distros available on internet and wasting a huge sum of my time i am now back to windows xp. I think still much development is needed in these 5 points discussed in detail above. I am using currently ubuntu jaunty and windows xp together. all the productive work i do is on xp, and linux distro is just for fun there to play around with my pc :) but really a tough and time consuming job to make it useful for you because when ever i install on working software it installs it in the form of ten’s of packages, and when i remove this software only one package is removed leaving all the unused packages there :)

  36. Red said,

    August 9, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the article, I haven’t laughed so much in years.

    Regarding your interview questions..
    (Why Microsoft is better (not windows))-
    1. Marketing,
    2. Hardware (unfortunately not software),
    3. Dirty tricks (allowing windows to be pirated to claim a larger stake).
    4. Games (Ok, DirectX is to blame here – although OpenGL has a larger scope for portability & works on more than 2 platforms).
    5. Familiarity.

    (why linux is better)
    1. Lower TCO,
    2. Performance (lack of necessary virus scanner, efficient Filesystems that don’t need defrag to operate effectively),
    3. Security,
    4. Viruses – have to be manually installed by a sysadmin to infect the computer.
    5. Portability (Linux apps can usually be easily ported to other OSes, Windows apps – not so easy)
    6. Compatability – Have you tried running an old app on windows, only to find that an API/ABI has changed so much that the app no longer works? Have you tried doing the same on linux to find that it works fine?
    7. TCD (total cost of development) – Linux applications usually only cost the electricity needed to power the computer as there’s lots of GPLed APIs out there, windows – lots of proprietary APIs that cost extra & are a nightmare to learn.
    8. Code complexity – easy look at the source for a linux app, do the same for a windows app – the linux app usually has a lot less code to do the same task.

    Your reasons (pulled apart)
    1. Wine.
    2. Ok, no real argument here – eDirectory
    3. This would be true if the networking code worked properly on windows – look at google, one of the biggest internet companies, do they run windows 2003 on their servers, i think not.
    4. Evolution vs. Outlook – I’d go for evolution any day.
    5. Only because microsoft pay device manufacturers money to solely develop drivers for windows.

    and as far as configuration tools go… YaST anyone?

    As you may be able to tell, I’m biased towards Linux – and so would many others if the majority of games companies released their games for linux, windows would probably die overnight if that happened.

  37. Nyan said,

    August 28, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

    Don’t forget to mention that IE crashes too often for no reason. So i switch to firefox. Microsoft Office is expensive!!! And windows becomes slow as you use. Gaming ? I’m not gamer. I dual boot windows and linux but mostly i use linux =)
    In my experience, Windows xp is not that stable. Sometimes it just freezes and hang that I’ve to do hardware shutdown.
    I use fedora and everything just works ( wireless, sound card,etc…) and I love live usb!!!
    The thing I hate most in windows is that windows reboots by itself!!!! (after update) What?? Anti-virus yes I __need__ it on windows. And they are not free( cost,resource,etc,…)

    And I get linux for free-of-charge.
    I’m quite sure that I’m going to completely remove windows if I don’t need to run some apps in windows =)

  38. camus said,

    September 8, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

    THis article is an “opinion piece” there is no data to back anything up, just an appeal to face validity: i.e.: surely we can all agree that this is true, etc etc.
    For example: Windows XP is more “productive”.
    Define productive first. Then realize that most users have never used a linux desktop.
    There is no formal evidence to determine which desktop requires more training, and where users are more productive after adequate training. It’s just your opinion, stated as “obviously true”.
    And so on for all your other points.
    Just opinions.
    We all have one.

  39. bill said,

    September 8, 2009 @ 6:38 pm


    Yep, it is an opinion piece. Most blogs are. It represents my experience, which is considerable. Thanks for reading.

  40. LoveLinux said,

    December 14, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

    Dude, I have been using Ubuntu Linux for around four years now, and I have to say that in every enviroment I have brought it into it far outstrips Windows in security, flexibility, aesthetics, and general prductivity. I fucking challenge you to show me how windows is better in any enviroment.you asked kit for evidnece, I ASK YOU FOR EVIDENCE! My windows system needs defragmentation on a monthly basis as I have XP whereas in Ubuntu I have only defragged the thing thrice! When running a windows server it is necessary to reboot to maintain the best possible condition, I have watched a LINUX server run for 8 years uninterrupted at a nearby college! I honestly dont know what fucking planet you are on!

  41. Azzeddine said,

    January 14, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    As an Oracle DBA, I have been to some shows, and I was amazed to hear how Oracle lecturers were baching Microsoft (Oracle is cool, Microsft sucks), but when it came to presentations they were all performed on Microsoft desktop laptops (ehu …)

    Oracle is not better than Microsoft SQL Server just because I use Oracle, neither is Unix/Linux better that Windows, just becasue Bill Gates is making too much money and I am not.

  42. That One Guy said,

    March 8, 2010 @ 1:05 am

    I’m really not going to go into depth with this, I just don’t care enough.
    You rely on your “I’m better than you” mindset to give you security in your statements. You may say you’re open-minded to other opinions, but let’s face the facts. You aren’t.
    You’ve done nothing but present yourself as an arrogant fool.
    You’ll think differently of this, I know it, and it’ll only further validate my point.
    PS I know nothing about *nix and this article still disgusted me.

  43. daniel forga said,

    May 19, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    good article

    you may want to update it, now that se7en is out :)


  44. daniel forga said,

    May 19, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    Ok, so I got to reading some of the comments under the article, and decided to post some thoughts on the issue – even though we are outnumbered – stultorum infinitus est numerus… :)

    Overall, I couldn’t agree more, even though it is hard to find a balance, and usually people are very biased.

    Some people leave windows as a platform, discover Linux and start seeing everything upside down, just because. :) This the psychological/subjective dimension of it, that has to do with rebellion from any form of authority etc. So basically it’s only natural that one should start using Linux and feel more “free”. The only problem is, not to stop there.

    I see this as a classic example of a Hegelian dialectic – we all start using Windows, since it’s ubiquitous, then some of us rebel like Neo in the Matrix, they want to be free and move out, so you do that and then you realize that the world outside the Matrix is not quite as pretty as it seemed. So then you return to the Matrix and start living in it, only this time you move differently, because of the experience you had “outside of the box”.

    (One could also relate to Plato’s Myth of the Cave in the Republic, the story of the prodigal son in the Bible etc., take your pick. :P)

    So it takes a while before you realize that Linux is not all roses and Windows much better than event most Windows admins realize it is. (It’s so stupid when sometimes Linux admins mock at the Windows admins, and the average Windows admin looks with awe and envy at the other guy. :) But that also has an explanation – it has to do with the fact that Windows Administration is usually done in a GUI, whereas Linux in a CLI – hence another prejudice, yet pretty powerful – Linux must be better, since the level of expertise required is higher).

    Windows comes in binary format, so you don’t have access to the source code, cannot recompile the kernel everyday etc. – hence another prejudice. (The fact that you cannot do that doesn’t make the system better or worse.)

    The market share supports that too – like you said, has nothing to do with conspiracy theories marketing or monopole – it’s a free market, let the best guys win. It’s better designed, more reliable, better integrated etc.

    The products developed by Microsoft around the client and the server provide a real working environment – MS Office, Unified Communications, Exchange, AD, SQL, SharePoint, System Center etc.

    Dave Cutler – the main man behind VMS/WNT – once said: “Unix is a junk operating system designed by a committee of Ph.D.s.”

    Now, I wouldn’t go that far, since UNIX has become pretty standardized in the recent years, but with what cost! :) (See the Unix wars.) And Linux is doing the same mistakes again…

    Microsoft doesn’t need to worry so much about Linux as a competitor, as long as they shoot themselves in the foot anyway. :) The Romans, when going to war, used to follow the strategy – divide et impera – divide and rule. Well, Linux does it to itself alone. :) No need for anyone to try and undermine Linux or whatever – it does a fairly fine job at that on its own. 😀

    Hell, Linux is just about as old as WinNT, yet NT dominates the market as a platform, because those guys tend to think, plan and design before they act – whereas Linux and open source are, how do they call it – “no design by design” 😀 How stupid is that? Then they come up with stupid excuses like – things have gotten to complex for one person to conceive it all.

    Well then, if designing a system you have no guarantee of success, how much worse are things going to get if you don’t plan ahead? 😛

    I think there’s a lot of really smart people that got involved with UNIX/Linux over the years, – Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Stallman, Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Bill Joy – but that doesn’t change the situation; they didn’t work together as a team on the system, and sparks of genius here and there don’t add up to a well designed/integrated OS.

    A bazaar is what it is, and you cannot compare it with a Gothic cathedral (to quote Raymond’s metaphor). People whine about their disks being fragmented under Windows, but they fail to see the fragmentation that eats Linux, like gangrene, from inside out, overall, as a system/platform. :) Ridiculous.

    Unix has a few advantages of its own, but is generally too twisted (read, fucked up) to make a difference. :) It’s simplicity is an advantage, until it becomes a burden (when things tend to become simplistic); Unix tries to do one thing at a time and do it well (which is good), but then it’s rather one-dimensional (not so good) – think Mac OS X desktop experience. (I like Mac OS X, to be true, but it still feels kind of confined in there, compared to the Windows experience.)

    WinNT is much more complex as a platform; complexity can lead to complications (see Multics), so one needs to be careful and find a balance. But all in all, it’s better positioned – facts speak for themselves; UNIX is older than VMS, and Linux is just about as old as WNT, and yet they have failed to catch up because of the chaotic way in which they have been developed; might be good for practice and research, as in a computer lab, but definitely no option in real life or production.

    I used to think – Windows is the better choice on the desktop, Linux on the server. Now I know – Linux sucks both ways, Windows NT is a much better choice – as a client, as well as a server.

    Still I run about a dozen Linux virtual machines on my machines, but my main platform is either Se7en nowadays (WinNT 6.1 to be precise) or Win Server 2008 R2 (same build). Both of which rock.

    Linux has become sort of a playground for me lately – useful, you get to learn interesting things along the way, but that doesn’t change the situation overall at all.

    Where is Linux better or shall we say comparable to Windows? On the server side, as long as we speak about a web or file server. The webhosting companies may be running Linux or FreeBSD, they’re both good at that one particular task :) But that’s that. And it’s not a lot. Actually, pretty little.

    By the way – I don’t expect most of the Linux zealots posting here to understand this – they’re going through the rebellion phase now. :) It’s a necessary step, so let’s just bear our feelings for now; they will get it – hopefully – later.

    Dixi et salvavi…

  45. Gary Davis said,

    May 31, 2010 @ 9:41 am

    I confess that I am more than a little disappointed. I came here looking for a side-by-side comparison of these two operating environments and instead found 5 ‘points’ that were not only incorrect, for the most part, but are insignificant in scope of Enterprise computing.

    I work for a Class A railway and am part of a team that manaages hundreds of servers of various platforms (mainly, Windows, Unix(AIX) and mainframe) and over 400 custom written applications. Although my IT training path was through WIndows Server, I’ve really come to respect Unix since working here.

    I could respond with an article explaining 5 ways that Unix is better than Windows, and those reasons would in-fact have merit, however I won’t. I will, however provide a single statement that, if expanded on, says everything.

    – We flip the workloads on our HA Unix servers once every
    3 months. Then we reboot them. Not because we need to,
    simply because it allow us to perform maintenance and
    testing on our HA clusters.

    – We reboot ALL our Windows servers once every two weeks.
    This is not by choice, but because we need to. This allows us to
    plan, rather schedule an ‘outage’ in our HA environment. With
    Windows Server, failure to schedule these ‘maintenance’ reboots
    every two weeks increases the risks of an unplanned outage in
    production. Anyone with IT experisnce knows why this is an issue
    so I won’t go into explaining the complexities

    My point is, this blog seems quite biased and fails to properly compare the operating systems being reviewed.

  46. bill said,

    May 31, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    Gary, sorry you missed the point of the article. If you are seriously still rebooting your Windows boxes every 2 weeks, you either A) are running Windows NT 4; B) need some new sysadmins; or C) need better coders. The only reason I’d reboot my windows boxes every 2 weeks these days is if my custom code had a memory leak. I have heavily used production servers running more than a year without reboot.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  47. noah said,

    September 5, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    the problem with this is that you don’t give any comparisons, for example why is microsoft office better than open office?, you claim it is because open office is a cheap knock off, just because something is cheaper, doesn’t mean it isn’t better, and yes open office is compatible with the rest of the world, it can even make .doc files, you clearly have never tried open office, or you never tried to get used to using it, you clearly only gave it five minutes of studying, otherwise you would have noticed the “.doc” feature on it

  48. spencer said,

    September 29, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

    All your points (that I happen to disagree with) aside, in the end I would rather be free than slightly convinced by and terrible, predatory company .

    “When you tell me I should give proprietary software a fair technical evaluation because its features are so nice, what you are actually doing is saying “Look at the shine on those manacles!” to someone who remembers feeling like a slave.”
    `Eric S Raymond

  49. spencer said,

    September 30, 2010 @ 12:52 am

    @ daniel forga

    Thanks for dumping on the dreams “rebellious” linux users and developers who wish for a world of transparent standards and vendor freedom. I would rather be a deluded “linux zealot” than a sell out any day to the week. I know I’m just in a “rebellious stage” but not everyone gives up on their beliefs and conforms like a spineless, capitalist fsck.

    One final argument for my beloved platform, if there is something that you do not like in linux you are empowered to change it to suit your needs. If you cannot/do not want to modify the programming yourself you can reach out to your peers through physical or web based communities or if the need is really dire you can hire the programmer of your choice to do it for you. With winblows you do not have this flexibility. The product comes “as is” and you are at the mercy of mircosux, who I might add has there own interest ($$$) in mind and not the users. I have heard this compared to buying a car thats hood is locked and can only be opened and maintained by the cars manufacturer. I myself am not going to crack my hood open and overhaul my engine in the near future but, I have the freedom to chose any mechanic I prefer and the peace of mind knowing I can discover my engine’s inner-workings and learn to fix and modify it myself. A future where a society holds a powerful and life controlling technology that they do not fully understand and respect is a dangerous one. The only reason windows became such a prolific operating system is through microsoft’s ruthless, underhanded, and predatory business practices such as telling PC system vendors they can sell only microsoft OS’s or no microsoft OS’s. That is not the American way.

    In my opinion as a lifelong technology user and enthusiast, microsofts operating systems are unstable, insecure, and unforgivably inflexible. The only good reason to defile the sanctity of you HDD with micro$ux garbage is to play Direct X games.

    UNIX – Live Free of Die

    (Oh and daniel, if you use less emotocons (sic) and Latin phrases you would sound like less of a smug, pompous, self-important jack-ass.)

  50. daniel said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 4:13 am

    just to keep a balanced perspective on things – unix (and i’m talking about commercial unices here) kicks windows (or linux, for that matter) in the butt in terms of RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability), consolidation, virtualization etc. think power/aix, powervm, lvm, lpar, wpar technologies etc. different game 😉

  51. Raff said,

    November 4, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    I personally love Linux and what it brought in our IT lives.
    The Open Source freedom delivered a great capacity of innovation, but on the other hand a plethora of projects that sometime looked pointless and just a waste of resources.

    But if this article is more focused on IT for businesses, than it looks to me that Microsoft in the past 8 years focused on the business products (i.e. SQL 2008/2008, Win 2003/2008, Sharepoint etc..) with great results.
    They are stable and reliable products (at least for 90% of companies needs) with a lower cost than their Unix/IBM/Oracle alternative.

    Sadly, I love Linux but I use it for fun.
    I work with Windows because its more reliable and I need to get my job done.
    I hope Open Source movement finds a way to better organise its resources and focus on lesser projects to better refine them.

    Ciao a tutti!

  52. Henry said,

    February 10, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    UNIX? What’s UNIX? LOL. Windows Server 2008 R2 ROCKS!!

  53. Love said,

    March 11, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    here what I think. I think their is nothing wrong with making money and closing the source of your software, and yet it is true that somethings you can do better with windows then with linux. in the end, Linux is still better then windows because they do not use horrible DRMS and tell me how to use software that I purchased. I believe its unethical to limit how many installs I have for a product I bought or tell me I cant make a back up copies for myself. other then that windows and Linux are both good.

  54. TheFish123 said,

    May 23, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Latecomer said “I just know one thing: as a safe practice I have to reboot my windows box every week, If I forget and go for 2 weeks without a reboot it tends to crash or become unbearably slow.”

    Latecomer, I seriously get a kick out of it when people say stuff like this. Are you running Windows 3.1 boxes or something?!?!?

    Stop trying to perpetuate this antiquated myth that Windows is unstable. If your Windows boxes need frequent reboots maybe you shold roll up your sleeves and find the problem. I have Windows boxes filling mission critical roles in businesses across the GTA and I do Windows-based web hosting. This idea that Windows needs to be rebooted regularly is so patently untrue. If your boxes are that unstable maybe you should bring in a good Windows admin who really understands Windows.

    As for this idea that Unix admins make good Windows admins but not the other way around… the worst Windows setups I have *ever* seen are by Unix/Linux admins.

    The Fish

    PS: I am posting this from Linux Mint Debian Edition so don’t lecture me about loving Linux :-)

  55. TheFish123 said,

    May 23, 2011 @ 11:37 am


    “The product [Windows] comes “as is” and you are at the mercy of mircosux, who I might add has there own interest ($$$) in mind and not the users”

    Don’t you think that spelling Microsoft as “microsux” is a little juvenile? Perhaps somewhat indicative of an adolescent style “rebellious” streak?

    Oh, and yes, Microsoft has their own interest in producing software for the purpose of generating revenue (or $$$ as you would call it). How terrible of them to have a viable business model?!?!?!

    Did you know that Honda has their own reasons for building cars? They don’t just do it for the pure joy of building cars. Shocking I know but they want to *sell* their cars to consumers for $$$. How evil of them.

    Oh, and Toyota, Coke, Pepsi and just about every other company on the face of the Earth that produces a product or provides a services likes to do so for $$$.

    The Fish

  56. TheFish123 said,

    May 23, 2011 @ 11:38 am


    “The product [Windows] comes “as is” and you are at the mercy of mircosux, who I might add has there own interest ($$$) in mind and not the users”

    Spencer, don’t you think that spelling Microsoft as “microsux” is a little juvenile? Perhaps somewhat indicative of an adolescent style “rebellious” streak?

    Oh, and yes, Microsoft has their own interest in producing software for the purpose of generating revenue (or $$$ as you would call it). How terrible of them to have a viable business model?!?!?!

    Did you know that Honda has their own reasons for building cars? They don’t just do it for the pure joy of building cars. Shocking I know but they want to *sell* their cars to consumers for $$$. How evil of them.

    Oh, and Toyota, Coke, Pepsi and just about every other company on the face of the Earth that produces a product or provides a services likes to do so for $$$.

  57. Sahrule said,

    May 31, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I’m using Ubuntu..it greats..doesn’t have money to buy genuine Windows..

  58. bdw said,

    July 7, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    If i cant see the engine and automate “anything” i want from the command line then im not wasting anytime with that os, period end of story. I dont think the windows people will ever get it.

  59. Shikhar Mall said,

    July 11, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Always remember, “which OS do you like?” is a MCQ.

  60. anonymus said,

    July 11, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    you now the only reason windows is more popular is because people are to lazy to install or learn a new os and dont want to pay for a mac but.
    point 3 i dont agree with it and with 5 i think linux and windows is the same exept if you put it like you did

  61. johnny said,

    September 16, 2011 @ 12:42 am

    Linux vs Windows… I’d probably pick Windows. And I stuck with Windows for a long time (it just offered me better performance/stability/usability than Linux – I have tried a number of distros such as Slackware/Ubuntu/Debian/etc and the closest that comes to usability is Mint – though they all take a long time to boot up and are slower than Windows 95 was to start – not to mention come full with apps I will never use) too.

    But of course now I am moving slowly to the BSDs. they are much better for what I do. Windows has merits. Linux probably has merits. BSDs have merits. Mac OS X has merits.

    Also, everything TheFish123 said in his last two comments before this one.

  62. johnny said,

    September 16, 2011 @ 12:43 am

    And also…

    from “anonymous” above:
    “you now the only reason windows is more popular is because people are to lazy to install or learn a new os and dont want to pay for a mac but.
    point 3 i dont agree with it and with 5 i think linux and windows is the same exept if you put it like you did”

    I wonder what you were smoking…

  63. daniel forga said,

    November 18, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    novelties since previous comments… android came along and infected the whole landscape :)) but no worrries, it will sabotage it self, like it always does…. after all its still linux 😉 look at the ipad, seamless integration… or aix and power systems on the server side for that matter

  64. imray pinasheep said,

    January 27, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    hahahahaha wow your a fucking idiot.

  65. bill said,

    January 27, 2012 @ 11:43 pm


    The next time you feel like insulting my intelligence, you might try learning the difference between “your” and “you’re” first. You probably also should learn to use a proxy or at least not post from your work IP address since that tells me you work for a small Microsoft integrator in Grand Rapids, MI. I guarantee you I’ve managed more Linux AND more Windows hosts than you’ve ever dreamed of. But hey, thanks for reading my blog, dumb@ss.

  66. Chris said,

    March 17, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    I love it when an article critical of Linux brings out the hivemind. It’s like their egos are too damaged by the criticism, so they end up resorting to personal attack. To me, that’s one big problem I see with the *nix community is that criticism isn’t taken seriously. They always seem to think that Microsoft is trying to co-opt them at every turn when it may be themselves that is creating problems.

    I’d add another thing to the list and that is the .NET framework. Having multiple languages compile to the same IL is a great at integrating developers. It also makes jumping around languages a lot easier. So what you learn in VB.NET can be transferred over to C# and vice-versa. Try doing that with VB 6 and C++ or Java! Unfortunately, the *nix community has been pretty hostile toward the Mono framework simply because it was done by Microsoft. How childish.

    At work, we use all Windows Server stuff for the backend, but we do have to deal with a non-Microsoft product and that’s Oracle. Want to see complicated? Try trying to troubleshoot that database sometime. SQL Server is miles ahead in that department.

  67. Johnny Who said,

    August 2, 2012 @ 3:25 am

    I will provide you with some raw technical info. In every windows system I have used, W7 and xp, the OS itself, with no apps running, used more than half of my ram and well about 30% of my cpu power. Linux only use roughly the one fourth of my system resources. Of cources, I am talking about slow machines with Pentium cpus and a maximum of 2GB of RAM. Apart from that, in Windows, when a programme gets stack and you want to end it (by clicking “End Now” in the dialog box, it may take 2′ to do so. In similar situations in linux, when you click “KIll Process”, the app is terminated immediatly. This is because of the structure of the os.

  68. Harry said,

    August 17, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    LOL. MSTard masquerading as an open minded analyst. Nice try dumb@ss. Wonder who gave you a job and let you manage so many servers not to mention hire people. LMAO.

  69. Check said,

    September 5, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    Oracle is a “not open source likeing” company.
    Please use Forks of their products and of course only use Java, if it is really really needed.

    Hm, i have done some research on non-sql databases and they are quite smooth.

  70. jcunit said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

    You fucking disgust me. “If you cannot recognize the areas where Microsoft excels, you are artificially narrowing your view of the world, which means you aren’t making the best technology decisions for your company, which means you can’t work for me.” Do you not realize how fucking ignorant and close-minded you are? I would spit on the floor out of sheer disrespect and leave your office if I was interviewing with you. “Narrowing your views of the world”, HA! How the hell are THEY are narrowing their views of the world? YOU are the one who is being a stubborn fucker by saying that IF you can’t tell me how Microshit Windows is better than Linux, then you can’t work for me. What a fucking waste of air.

  71. bill said,

    April 12, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the comments JC. I hope you have a nice career flipping burgers.

  72. CharlyChoco said,

    April 9, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    Do you really think that having a blog allows you to write crap and throw it on a monster like Linux?

    I can not let you say booshits like that! Let me explain briefly why you’re a severely retarded :

    For each of your items :

    1. Windows XP is the best productivity (and gaming) desktop
    You can not order it! It is unacceptable to say that Windows XP is the best productivity deskop! Go see “GNOME3 Shell” and we’ll talk after! Windows should take lessons ergonomics from Gnome 3, especially XP!

    2. Windows 2003 Active Directory Service is the best directory service
    The best?! Really? Many solutions exist on Linux for SSO with LDAP. User rights and file system rights are much simpler to manage with Linux!

    3. Windows DNS is the best internal DNS server
    Let me laugh! 67.5% of websites use Linux and 60.7% of web serveur use Apache against only 14.1% for Microsoft IIS!… You do not think there is an obvious reason?

    4. Exchange 2007 is the best groupware application platform
    What nonsense! Ever heard of Thunderbird? I don’t believe you to be aware of all the possibilities with this Open Source Software. Take a look to Lighting Calendar and Yousendit extention! Than more, Thunderbird is now compatible with Ubunutu One (for exemple).

    5. Windows has better hardware support with vendor-supported drivers
    Out of your cave Bill ! Linux is now compatible with more hardware and makes things more transparent for the users. The time when we couldn’t connect the printer or his phone for fear it’s not recognized is gone! Look toward Fedora 20 or Ubuntu 14 and you’ll see the difference!

    Before declaring absurdities as obtuse as “Windows is better than Linux or Unix” documents you on the latest novelty of both!
    And even if I say that Linux and Unix are (and will be) always superior to Windows I’m not going so far as to write an article and shouting loudly that “it’s like that and that’s all”.

    Linux has always evolve faster than Windows, both in terms of ergonomics and safety. And this is even more true today!

    Now for regular users or for developers: Linux is a quality solution and Windows no longer has the monopole of the “best”.

    Next time : better think before you write an article!

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