Enterprise Software

In Response: Does reliability actually exist in operating systems?

Welcome to the first edition of In Response, a weekly feedback column dedicated to gathering opinions and informing IT professionals. This week, we ask for your take on the notion of system reliability.

Welcome to the first edition of In Response, a weekly feedback column dedicated to gathering opinions and informing IT professionals. This column will use TechRepublic member opinions to help inform you and your peers on the world of IT.
Does reliability exist?
Recently, during a car trip from Washington, DC to Louisville, KY, I had an opportunity to speak with Dom Bosco, head of the IT department here at TechRepublic.

During a conversation about Windows 2000 vs. Windows NT 4.0, I brought up the question of reliability in the two operating systems and asked Mr. Bosco’s opinion on the subject. Dom explained to me that he didn’t believe the term reliability existed within an operating system. Below you will find his points on why he believes reliability does not exist in an OS.

  • Point #1
    An operating system is only as good as the person who is administering it.
  • Point #2
    Any software that has been installed on a machine by someone other than an IT professional poses a potential risk of crashing.
  • Point #3
    Poorly written software can cause a system to crash, no matter how well the operating system is written.
  • Point #4
    Some operating systems, such as past versions of Mac OS, have strict standards in which programmers can write applications. This control over the programmers makes sure that the software developed for the OS will work properly and will not crash as frequently. Note, however, that Mac OS X will be an exception to this rule as it is part open source code.
  • Point #5
    Reliability is a media word. It is used to sell an operating system to those people that believe that one OS is more reliable than another OS.
Do you believe that reliability in operating systems doesn’t exist? Perhaps you have an opinion that differs from Mr. Bosco’s view? Let us know your thoughts! Post a message below or feel free to send us a note.

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