Windows, Linux, The Debate: which is best?

Sasha Tsykin stsykin at
Tue Jan 17 10:52:11 UTC 2006

Bry wrote:

>> Message: 8 Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 09:08:05 +0200 From: "Billy 
>> Verreynne \(JW\)" <VerreyB at> Subject: RE: Windows, Linux, 
>> The Debate: which is best? To: "Ubuntu Help and User Discussions" 
>> <ubuntu-users at> Message-ID: 
>> <445F36B0271AE1419CEE0B9589044B4321B346 at> 
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Cybe R. Wizard wrote:
>>> > 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:
>> <snipped>
>> So what? Since when does 'the truth' make a difference in world of
>> sellers and buyers? Seriously.
>> You cannot attack the Windows Desktop Market with a "my o/s is better
>> than yours". Marketing 101.
>> End-users does not give a damn about the so-called technical
>> superiority of Linux over Windows (which is arguable anyway). They are
>> driven by different needs and requirements.
>> For Linux to make in-roads into the home user desktop market requires
>> not technical superiority, but some common marketing savvy. Or even
>> better, a grokking the basic principles of warfare as per von
>> Clausewitz. Never attack a bigger enemy in entrenched positions with a
>> frontal attack. Outflank them. Wage guerilla warfare against them.
>> But proclaiming that your shiny gun is technically superior than that
>> of the enemy when outgunned a million to one is just plain stupid.
>> Battles and wars are not won that way. Nor marketing share.
>> -- 
>> Billy
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> I would like to point out that being the "best" does not necessarily 
> mean much of anything.
> Myself and many other users/former users (including most of the 
> world's banks ) of OS/2 can testify to this.
> Last month OS/2 was discontinued by IBM. It is alive now only as an 
> "OEM" (their words ..not mine :-)  ) distribution called eCS by a 
> relatively small company called Serenity.
> OS/2 indeed brought a number of  innovations to computer use and is in 
> some aspects what the "non dos" versions (NT) of windows borrowed from.
> I still consider OS/2 (eCS) superior to windows... Even though we are 
> gradually migrating at my business to Linux I still have OS/2 in it's 
> eCS form on my personal desktop. From it I can run all the legacy apps 
> we have used through the years, run some ported Linux apps  (GIMP 
> Imagemagick etc) as I have installed XFree86 on it and run a number of 
> win32 apps via ODIN which one might say is OS/2's version of wine.
> Migrating to linux is somewhat of a necessity as despite the OS being 
> kept alive by serenity systems, there just isn't the developer numbers 
> to keep up porting and patching things now that IBM has turned toward 
> Linux. ( the amount of developers working on ODIN for example can be 
> counted on one hand at the moment). I have my doubts on the longevity 
> of eCS as an alternative.
> We DO have a couple of windows workstations ,(specifically for Corel 
> and Serif Graphics suites...they don't run on crossover OR wine) but I 
> haven't trusted our data to windows computers (all the work archived 
> on eCS or Linux) for about 8 years and I'm not about to start. In Many 
> ways I think OS/2 was FAR superior to windows and in some aspects is 
> still superior to Linux. However  OS/2 lost the marketing wars years 
> ago and at this point IBM won't sell it directly and has suspended all 
> development.
> Marketing decisions have always been more influential than technical 
> superiority in computing.
> Motorola's 6809 and 68000 chips vs Intel's at the beginning,  (remeber 
> the coco on OS-9 , the Amiga etc
> for that matter the 8086 vs 8088 in the original pcs
> Linux MAY be superior in some windows  but that doesn't 
> necessarily mean much to most people.
> Most people don't CARE about the structure of the operating system any 
> more than they do about the internal design of their toaster or 
> microwave, or cell phone. They care that they can use it ...and don't 
> have to study things to make it work.
> They also don't care about open source vs proprietary code.
> Computers to most are an appliance. Yes there is an awareness of 
> "other" operating systems to some extent, but that is to them the same 
> as buying aftermarket high performance parts for their car or 
> something similiar. they don't have to install special stuff in their 
> TV Toaster or Dishwasher. To them the Over the counter windows 
> computer is ENOUGH trouble without having to bother to change things 
> around. Most never even install a new Operating system. When the one 
> they buy quits working either from component failure or operating 
> system failure, they trash it and get a new one.
> Linux is a good deal. More and more businesses and governments are 
> looking at it . IBM is supporting it, Novell and DELL also to 
> COMMERCIAL customers. Walmart is experimenting with Linux computers 
> retail as are a few others but they are the exception to the rule.
> I Don't think we're going to see Linux suddenly become popular. we'll 
> see a gradual shift toward Linux FIRST from those using proprietary 
> Unix and OS/2 (yes OS/2 died years ago...on the consumer desktop, but 
> NOT in business. ). I think SUN sees this hence open solaris.
> I don't think by the time the majority heads to open source Linux or 
> GNU or or Open Solaris will exist. I think as hardware evolves it will 
> force may aspects of Personal Computers to be more standardized.
> But that's just a wag.
> FWIW We moved to Ubuntu from SuSE for migration for two reasons:
> 1. a SINGLE basic CD installation...and get the accessories you want 
> later.
> Our first SuSe Installation had me pulling out 100 odd games. 
> Commodore 64 emulators and a really serious amount of  junk apps( like 
> Krpm) "earth" etc etc for weeks.
> 2. Novell bought SuSe....I remember taking that red box of Novell 
> Networking and  pitching it from three stories to a dumpster. ...And 
> then installing Lantastic..(now also extinct) It was a traumatic 
> experience paying what I did for those headaches :-)
> Bryann
very true. Ultimately it will be marketing that plays a big part in the 
"OS wars," but not only marketing. Also important is usability. That is 
crucial because somebody might have decent knowledge of computers, 
migrate to linux, and then decide to leave it alone (happened to me 
about one and half years ago, the first time I tried linux). The third 
thing that linux needs is the support of major companies such as IBM, 
Many people buy their pc's with an operating system already installed, 
and linxu needs the major vendors to do that not only with windows. IBM 
will apparently start packaging computers with linux. Then there will 
probably be no issues with drivers and software. That is crucial to 
linux's continued progress on the desktop.


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