Windows, Linux, The Debate: which is best?

Cybe R. Wizard cyber_wizard at
Tue Jan 17 06:46:39 UTC 2006

I'd like to quote a post from 2004 by Kelsey Bjarnason on alt.os.linux.
When someone said Linux was always in the future:

Quote below
> ROFL.  Let me give you a few quotes to ponder.
> "Up and running, not up and coming"
> "Not Today"
> "Wait for us, we're the leaders"
> Do you know where those came from?  From the OS/2 camp.  When IBM had 
> released its latest version of OS/2, and Microsoft's competitive 
> offering was facing delays, slipping schedules and much public
> ridicule.
> Windows is not "always in the here and now", it is frequently in the 
> "maybe tomorrow" category.  In fact, that's where it is *right now*.  
> The version of Windows which is supposed to magically cure all those 
> security problems, render viruses harmless, make a perfect cup of
> coffee and tie your shoelaces is going to be released - *maybe* - in
> 2006... but, according to MS, with a crippled feature set.  And it'll
> *still* only run on an x86.
> Meanwhile, Linux is running everything from palmtops to
> supercomputers and doesn't have the virus problem.  What it does have
> is a rich set of applications and tools, and a license that lets
> *you* decide what to do with *your* computer.
> But, since you're suggesting Windows is "here and now" and Linux is 
> "sometime later", let's see what Windows offers now that Linux
> doesn't, shall we?
> Windows, of course, has a journalling file system, NTFS.  Mind you,
> as I understand it, NTFS only does metadata journalling... unlike,
> say, ext3.
> Windows, of course, supports multiple virtual desktops.  Oops, no, it 
> doesn't.  Yet virtually all the WMs and DMs for Linux do.
> Windows, of course, supports multiple GUIs, from lightweight ones
> good for remote access to serious heavyweights with all the bells and 
> whistles.  Ooops, no, it doesn't.  Linux does.
> Windows, of course, supports sensible package management for 
> installation and removal of programs, even when those programs aren't 
> from Microft, right?  Ooops, no, it doesn't.  It doesn't even have
> this for its own applications.
> But wait... Windows *does* have "Windows update", a nice little tool
> for determining, downloading and deploying the latest bugfixes and
> the like... except it only works for Windows.  It doesn't even do
> this for Microsoft's own applications, such as Visual Studio or
> Office.  Funny, my Linux system has just such an update feature...
> but it works for all the packages it knows about - several thousand
> of them from hundreds of vendors.
> Well, okay... but Windows comes bundled with all the things you need
> to get up and running, right?  Development tools for the code
> monkeys, database servers for the DB geeks, web servers, mail servers
> and the like for web developers, irc clients, IM clients, streaming
> media tools, intrusion detection, firewalling, spreadsheets, word
> processors, spell checkers, dictionaries, browsers supporting
> ad-blocking, popup blocking, tabbed browsing and the like... Windows
> does include all this, right? Sorry, was that a no?  Oh, well, Linux
> does.
> How about hardware support?  I have some old 486 boxes here which are 
> perfectly usable... I *can* run current Windows versions on them,
> right? No?  Hmm; I can run current Linux versions on them just fine.
> Well, okay, how about configuration options?  Let's try something 
> simple: I have a server which has no monitor attached - I do all the 
> maintenance via an ssh connection.  So I don't need - or want - a GUI
> on the box.  Just wastes resources which could be better used for
> what the box actually does, nameley, serving.  I *can* remove the GUI
> in Windows, right?  Hmm.  I can in Linux.
> Well, okay, that brings up another item - administration.  Windows
> does, in fact, make it simple to adminster the machine via the
> command line, right?  That is, I can perform every administrative
> task, from starting and stopping services to user and group
> administration to group policy editing to audit tracking and more,
> all from the command line, right? Even so far as doing software
> isntallation, removal and upgrades? Whoops, no, not quite.  The tools
> to do such things in Windows are at best primitive, and sometimes
> don't exist at all.  Odd, though, that I can do all that in Linux.
> Hmm. This is getting more limiting by the minute.  Okay, here's an
> easy one.  I want to perform a series of operations on a half-dozen
> machines at the same time.  Why?  Well, I'm upgrading the
> accountants' machines, and the simplest way is just to ssh into each
> of them, then issue a couple of commands to start the update.  So, as
> I said, I just ssh into them, set the terminal to echo the input
> across all the sessions, then go.  Windows can do this, right?
> Whoops... Windows doesn't even come with ssh, does it?  Well, okay,
> so we'll use telnet.  I *can* fire up 6 telnet sessions and, by
> typing in one, have the information automatically transmitted to all
> of them, right?  Guess not.
> Well, at least, finally, XP brought in multiple user logins.  So now, 
> the wife can use her machine and I can log into it, do some word 
> processing or whatever, and she can keep right on using the machine, 
> right?  Oops... nope, that's Linux again.
> Wait a sec... Windows, as it ships, *cannot* do, or *does not*
> include:
> Office tools
> Development tools
> Server tools
> Database tools
> Multiple virtual desktop support
> A range of GUIs
> The ability to completely disable the GUI
> Tabbed browsing
> Pop-up blocking
> Ad blocking
> ssh
> cross-terminal-session input broadcasting
> IRC clients
> IM clients
> Streaming media
> Command-line administration that works
> Package management
> Software updating that works
> Intrusion detection
> File-alteration monitoring
> Flexible firewalling
> Multi-user logons
> Decent graphics editing
> Decent video editing
> Okay, now wait a sec.  All of this is available, right now, in
> Linux. Most of the popular distros - Debian, DeadRat, Mandrake,
> Gentoo, SuSe, etc have all of these and more.  Several of them are
> also available for a variety of hardware platforms.  This is all here
> now, and Windows doesn't have a bit of it.  This, in your mind, makes
> "Linux in the future, and Windows in the here and now"?
> Oh, wait.  I get it.  You're saying "Windows is now" because there
> are more people willing to *pay* to get such limitations than there
> are people willing to be freed of such limitations for a lower price,
> or even no price at all.  Well... yes, that does seem to be the case, 
> doesn't it?  Doesn't make much sense, but there it is.
> BTW, for the record, I do, in fact, still run Windows on occasion.
> It makes for a good gaming station.  On the other hand, if faced with 
> paying $200 for a new version of Windows, or a similar amount for a
> game console... well... let's just say my trusty old Win2K setup will
> remain just that - Win2K.
End quote

But I guess that's just one man's opinion, right?

Cybe R. Wizard
Q: What's the difference between MicroSoft Windows and a virus? 
A: Apart from the fact that viruses are supported by their authors, 
use optimized, small code and usually perform well, none.

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