Microsoft vs. Linux. >

  Gaz 25 03:47 20 Jul 2004

Well what a laugh this page was on Gates's site:

click here

Ah, well why cant they just leave each other alone.

I mean windows is easy to use and compatible with almost every software and hardware item avaliable.

But... linux is more reliable, secure and configurable.

Both have their pros and cons.

I have:

Windows XP,

Mandrake Linux 10.0 PowerPack,

RedHat/fredora 9 Workstation,

SuSE Linux

and FreeBSD.

All have goods and their bads! For novices - stay with MS, they have a good market for easy to use software.

For us professionals - give linux a go, if anything its something different to play about with.


  Charence 00:22 22 Jul 2004

I have downloaded Redhat 9, but I am unsure whether I should install it because I do not know where to buy programs for it. Do you think I should install it? And any ideas of where I can get good software for it?

Cheers, Charence

  Forum Editor 07:42 22 Jul 2004

but this professional wouldn't run Linux on a desktop - certainly not at the moment anyway.

I will happily work with Linux on servers util the cows come home, but for desktops give me Windows XP every time. As for Linux being more secure than Windows.........where did you get that idea from?

  Taran 16:33 22 Jul 2004

At the risk of repeating myself yet again, there is only one way in which you will ever get a Linux machine to be 'more secure' than a Windows machine and that is to control the environment yourself.

Linux, like Windows, requires updates to be applied but, unlike Windows, it also requires someone with a lot of knowledge and ability to get the best out of it. A default installation of some mainstream Linux distributions is wide open in security terms and is no more secure than any Windows installation.

About the only things Linux can beat Windows on in the desktop arena is on its ease of installation (in the case of Mandrake and SuSE for example), in the sheer amount of available software it ships with and, most significantly, in cost.

I've lost count of the amount of times people I know have tried Linux and become hopelessly lost or experienced more crashes, system errors or just general usability problems than enough. I'd also like to go on record (again) as saying that for many purposes you can certainly end up at the same place with Linux in terms of getting a job done, but often the route to get there will be far longer, less usable, less user friendly and take a lot longer (AKA less efficient=higher cost).

A typical example is in data handling. On Windows you have anything from spreadsheet programs to some very serious database programs like Access, Alpha Five, FileMaker Pro, Lotus Approach and so on.

Linux has MySQL (or postreSGL or similar) with PHP running in a browser via Apache. If you manage to get a user friendly desktop database application out of that my hat goes off to you. It can be done, but only by someone who really nows how to do it, which is hardly your average desktop user. The only other realistic alternative is a product called ADABAS which, although very capable in the right hands, also falls short as a truly serious alternative to Access.

Linux has a lot to offer and I love it to bits. Being a complete geek I use it almost daily but compared to Windows and all the applications I have and like to run on it I have to agree with FE; it is no match as a desktop system, although capable in the right environment and for the right user. It is improving all the time but so is Windows.

One point for you: if the licensing cost to install Linux on a PC was the same as Windows, Linux would not be a threat to Microsoft at all and would not be so widely used, therefore we wouldn't even be having this debate. That's what it boils down to at the end of the day - cost.

What currently makes Linux a threat is its comparatively low cost and superb capabilities as a network server and especially as a web server. Apply a licensing fee to equal XP Pro and see how many Linux users are still out there, doggedly using it as a desktop OS.

  Diodorus Siculus 17:20 22 Jul 2004

click here
Office 2003 vs. Openoffice.Org

Got this link this morning and thought it is worth posting - different arguments but same field I suppose.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:50 22 Jul 2004

Taran has said it all. When I see Linux on 92% of all computers I will believe that it is good enough.


  Gaz 25 18:52 22 Jul 2004

I use linux quite a lot...

Not just for any webserver type applications... but to do word documents in Kword, or simalar.

Use WINE and run MS Office.

Linux for me is - more reliable.

  justme 19:34 22 Jul 2004

"What currently makes Linux a threat is its comparatively low cost ... Apply a licensing fee to equal XP Pro and see how many Linux users are still out there, doggedly using it as a desktop OS. "

If we are to believe your statement about relative costs then surely all Microsoft has to do is reduce the price of Windows and Linux will disappear never to be seen again.

Somehow I think that Bill Gates and his staff will have looked at this possibility and decided that Linux would still be there even if they gave Windows away for nothing.

Some people like Linux and prefer it to Windows.

  Gaz 25 20:13 22 Jul 2004


Windows is easy to use.

Linux is more complex.

but.. at the end of the day I find it stupid that microsoft can create some campaign against linux.

I do like MS products and servcies but the odd occasion I like my linux box instead.

Linux in most cases is far more reliable, otherwise why are most servers running it?

I find windows gets slower and slower the more its used, the longer its booted for.

But... for most things like DTP windows can be better. More software and hardware compatability.

Its personal preference I guess.

  Taran 21:50 22 Jul 2004

With respect, I'm not sure where I said or hinted at the concept that all Microsoft had to do is lower their licensing costs to make Linux disappear. The suggestion is ludicrous and I certainly did not intend to give that impression. It is the duty of any business to keep their shareholders investments returning well, and the mere concept of Microsoft lowering prices to try and remove a so-called threat when they currently run 92% plus of all computers is just a tad extreme, don't you think ? Also totally unnecessary.

Cost was merely one factor in the argument, but if you ask anyone in IT for their opinion of Linux as a viable desktop system then cost will be one of the only major reasons for possible migration. It certainly wouldn't be ease of use (to the user) or ease of administration across a large networked system. Cost on its own as the only governing factor was not what I'd intended to convey, so my apologies to anyone who thought that was the point I was trying to make. I notice though, that in quoting me you chose to edit out the two other major reasons I mentioned in the same sentence for the popularity and mainstream use of Linux at present: '... superb capabilities as a network server and especially as a web server'.

I do feel very strongly that in the desktop environment if the cost to download and install Linux was equivalent or even close to MS Windows XP Pro, we wouldn't even be having any formal discussion on these lines.

The arguable strengths of Linux are, perversely, also some its greatest weaknesses.

The individual distibutions of Linux and the amazing network of people who develop them all over the world have my greatest admiration. That very fragmentation though, goes a long way towards hindering as much as aiding development.

Let's put it this way. Jane Doe decides to install an OS onto a new PC he has just built. She goes into PC World, onto the Amazon site or whatever. Her choices for the PC are any one of several distributions of Linux or Windows XP Pro. The choice she makes would probably be based on previous experience. Now lets put this into the mix. If all the mainstream Linux distributions as they currently stand were the same cost to buy as Windows XP Pro, Jane Doe would have only one real choice if she wanted to have a computer that she could work on in a familiar environment to her place of work or study.

Let's go one stage further: if Jane Doe has children, how far will they get coming home from school wanting to do homework in Word or Excel, only to have to learn a completely different software package running on a desktop installation of Linux to do their homework ? The homework on its own is one thing - learning a new software program to do it is another.

Anyone who has used the GIMP and learned anything about it knows just how powerful it is. Most people who really know it will also admit that compared to Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Fireworks or PhotoImpact it is not nearly as user friendly. Capability is one thing. Usability is something else. Personally I'd argue in the strongest terms that one without the other is pretty close to useless.

Try running an Excel spreadsheet with loads of complex macros and VBA in any of the so called compatible Linux based spreadsheet apps and see how far you get.

I can do most of what I'd do on Windows on a Linux desktop PC, but there are a great many reasons why the vast bulk of my work is done on Windows, followed by my Apple Macs, with Linux dragging at the rear. I am as guilty of enthusiastically championing the Linux cause as anyone, as I've demonstrated many times in the past in these forums. I also know that many people prefer Linux for one or another reason and I often use it myself. I do like to keep a foot very firmly in the real world though, and that means Windows for more reasons than we could possibly go into here. Cost is just one of a great many factors.

  Taran 21:55 22 Jul 2004

There is a very, very wide gap between a Linux desktop PC and a fully blown Linux network or web server.

Most of the fame and fortune that Linux enjoys stems from its ability as a server and rightly so. In this it is absolutely superb, but that has almost nothing at all to do with a dekstop Linux environment and the similarities are minimal.

I think it is important that people undertand that desktop Linux is still a long way off desktop Windows and is also nothing at all like a fully blown Linux web server, as any system administrator will be able to testify.

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