Windows

I don't want to live in a world without Microsoft and neither do you

As popular as the notion might be in some circles, a world without Microsoft would make our lives worse, not better.

Last week, I wrote about the "post-PC world" that is the current vision of choice for many tech pundits. Some conversations I've overheard recently suggest that some people believe it goes further than that; they suggest that we're on the verge of a Brave New World that not only won't include PCs but eventually won't include Microsoft at all.

These are generally the same people who claim the company is failing (despite record profits), becoming irrelevant (despite the almost ubiquitous nature of its software), and is destined to fade into the annals of history sooner than later. I think that's a ridiculous point of view, but if it did happen, it would be a sad thing for all of us, including those who only use Macs or Linux and those who don't own or use computers at all. Although many might rejoice at the idea, I don't think they would enjoy the reality quite as much as they think.

The impossible dream

The idea that a company with a $214.65 billion market cap and over $50 billion in cash is going to go away anytime soon is patently absurd on the face of it. If General Motors and Bank of America (with market caps of $37 billion and $83 billion, respectively) are deemed "too big to fail," surely the tech giants fit into that category, as well.

Courtesy of Yahoo Finance

But let's presume for a moment that it could happen. The effect on the economy if Microsoft were to suddenly go out of business would be devastating. Not only would over 90,000 people who are directly employed by Microsoft be out of a job, but so would many companies and individual consultants who install Microsoft technologies. In fact, an IDC paper issued last March estimated that in 2010 the Microsoft Partner ecosystem alone generated revenues of $580 billion. That's more than twice the federal budget for general government, education and transportation combined.

Of course, one could also argue that if Microsoft were to suddenly go out of business, there would be a big opportunity for companies that support Microsoft software. After all, it's highly unlikely that the 87.59% of computer users who are currently running Windows would immediately switch to something else. With Microsoft no longer there to support them, someone would have to.

But would those companies take over for Microsoft in such areas as creating and issuing patches to fix issues and vulnerabilities? Even if they did, would each supporting company do its own thing, so that there would be dozens of different versions of those patches? With no standardization, things could get pretty wild and woolly, and compatibility issues would be more likely.

Who would be hurt?

If Microsoft did disappear, what would the impact be on all those who would find themselves stuck with an unsupported, end-of-the-line OS? Certainly they could continue to run it for ten-plus years, as many have done with XP (and, in fact, there are some computers still running Windows 98, 2000, and NT). But eventually systems break down and have to be replaced. The cost of retraining users on a brand-new system would be significant (despite all the complaints about changes when users upgrade to a new version of Windows, there are still enough basic similarities to make it easier than switching to Mac or Linux).

End users, however, are only part of the equation. Millions of IT pros who have spent their entire careers learning all the ins and outs of Windows server products would have to start over and learn UNIX, the only viable replacement. Or would the demise of Microsoft lead to the end of on-premise datacenters and thus the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs? Would we all end up living in a UNIX-based cloud? I believe taking Microsoft out of the picture would change the face of IT dramatically -- and not for the better.

A big problem in moving off of Windows is not about the OS at all; it's about applications. The millions of programs written to work on Windows would have to be ported to another platform, or users would have to switch to new apps. For companies that run expensive proprietary special-purpose software, the cost could be astronomical.

The beneficiaries

Of course, not every company would be hurt by Microsoft's demise, and the two that would obviously stand to benefit most are Apple and Google. Left without Microsoft to provide a middle road, we might see an all-out war break out between the two very different philosophies: Apple's policies of extreme lockdown and control and Google's professed dedication to openness and choice. The real problem would arise if one or the other became a clear winner. The company that prevailed would be in the same sort of monopolistic situation that Microsoft once enjoyed, but operating from a more extreme position.

Beyond computers

What many of those who want to dance on Microsoft's grave don't realize is just how many pies the company has its fingers in. When we think of Microsoft, most of us think of Windows client and server operating systems, Office and related productivity software, the server systems (Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, Lync), management tools (System Center family), and maybe Windows Phone and Xbox. But there are a huge number of dedicated devices out there running the Windows embedded operating systems, from Point of Sale terminals to vending machines to automobiles and more.

Microsoft also provides special services and support to many vertical markets, such as health care, bioscience, education, government, law enforcement, manufacturing, the energy industry, aviation, retail, financial services, and more. If those resources were suddenly withdrawn, it would have a substantial impact on those industries.

Microsoft's Research division operates laboratories all over the world and collaborates with top institutions such as M.I.T., Carnegie-Mellon, and Barcelona Supercomputing Center on futuristic projects. They employ many top experts in computer science, math, and physics, including a number of Turing award winners. With the deep pockets of Microsoft behind them, these people are able to pursue new ideas that could end up changing our lives.

Microsoft sponsors scholarship programs that enable talented young people to pursue careers as programmers, developers, and software engineers. They also run a summer internship program to help students get a taste of the real world of software development and production.

Parting shot

As popular as the notion might be in some circles, I believe a world without Microsoft would make our lives worse, not better. Even if you prefer a different OS, your life and your computing experience would be affected. The competition from Microsoft helps to motivate other companies to come up with new innovations. And Microsoft does much more than just make personal computer operating systems and applications. They sit at the core of a huge ecosystem, the collapse of which would turn that "impossible dream" of a world without Redmond's influence into a nightmare.

Also read

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

190 comments
todd_dsm
todd_dsm

@j-mccurdy Try to stay on point, focus on the subject - forget about, grammar, syntax, or your interpretation of how to properly mis-spell latin words. Every time you do this your essentially talking without a point; this is something 13 year old girls do. Get the OCD under control. Squirrel ! @Spitfire_Sysop Really? You wanna put the virus discussion on the table? Given the gajillions of viruses, malware, etc. on the Windows platform. And the 1 single option for attackers on the Linux platform? Are you SURE you wanna do this? Linux-1 / Win-32,243,938,014,264,507,933 - Really? You couldn't possibly take that to the platform; this is a newbie problem. I could ask my neighbors dog to come up with better security security policy stronger than the conditions you are alluding to. The dog would keep the rootkits out. If you wanna trash the whole platform because someone uses the word 'password' for a password then I guess you could; that's more a measure of your reasoning than the strength or weakness of the platform. Now stop wasting everyone's time. I gotta go get the blood off my knuckles now. T out-

blarman
blarman

"I'm sorry, but when a company hoards their cash to the point that they have more than the US government" What company DOESN'T have more than the US government right now? lol! Investment is all about risk vs return, and it is a gamble. You invest in companies that you think are going to provide you a reasonable return on reasonable risk. When I'm going to invest, here's what I look at: 1) past 5 years performance 2) past 30 years performance 3) upcoming product/service offerings 4) competitors' product/service offerings 5) Corporate leadership We've already looked at both the past 30-year (which favors Microsoft) and the more-indicative 5-year (which strongly favors Apple). The other thing I would strongly recommend you consider is a stock split. Apple could very easily split their stock in the next year (in fact I would bet strongly for that move). What future products does Microsoft have coming out that will cause the stock price to move? You have iPad and iPhone vs Windows Phone 7, and Windows 8. Also, toss in there Android as a competitor and things get crowded in a hurry with Microsoft trailing both platforms badly. Kinect may be a shining star for Microsoft, but it isn't going to move the share price by itself. Office is strong, but it, too, isn't going to move the share price without substantial gains, and that is tough when you already control >50 of the market there. Now look at corporate leadership. What has Ballmer presided over? Stagnation. I suspect that Windows 8 is a make-or-break for Ballmer or he will be forced out by the shareholders. I give him until end of 2012, and if Windows 8 isn't gaining market share significantly in mobile devices (note that I am _not_ going to count desktops), I am betting that Ballmer gets his walking papers. Apple is going to face an interesting road now that Jobs' health issues have forced him to retire. We've seen the past Apple flounder without him at the top, and we've seen Apple shine and outperform with him at the head. But even Jobs replacement will come in to robust sales and key product lines at the top of their game; I don't see this changing in the next 2-3 years without a complete implosion. Here's my grades for the two: 1) Microsoft - B+, Apple B- 2) Microsoft - D, Apple A+ 3) Microsoft - B, Apple A 4) Microsoft - C+, Apple A- 5) Microsoft - D-, Apple B There is clearly a world of difference there and all the current trends and analysis give a clear winner for investors: Apple. Just so you know, I currently don't own ANY stock of any kind, but I have an MBA and know what to look for. If I had $10K to invest, this wouldn't be a tough decision for me at all - GOLD! But if I were only given the options of Microsoft and Apple, I'd go with Apple.

aikiwolfie
aikiwolfie

Reading through this article I was astounded at the level of blatant and wilful ignorance displayed by the author. UNIX is the only viable replacement to Windows? Seriously? Clearly it has escaped the authors attention that UNIX has been in decline for decades and is now a mere shadows of it's former market power. Linux now dominates in all of UNIX's former strong holds. Linux is also the dominant OS used to run web servers, data centres and commodity appliances. Things like set-top boxes, home network routers, children's toys and NASA robots. Although BSD is also making in roads in some of these areas. Virgin Media for example uses BSD on it's V+ box. Linux is also strong in other embedded markets like automotive manufacturing while Solaris is still running Xerox's industrial range of printers. Linux is also available for the desktop. And the truth is Linux works just fine as a desktop OS. It does everything Windows does and more. Canonical have recently renewed their efforts to get clients in the corporate sector to adopt their cloud solution, built in partnership with IBM. VAR's and channel partners would not suffer much from Microsoft's demise. They'd simply retrain. As they retain already when a new product comes to market. Retraining in the IT sector is common place. Why do you think all those training courses are so lucrative? Clearly the author does not understand how the ICT ecosystem works. As for retraining users. Most of the current alternative office suits currently doing the rounds still follow the formula they've followed for decades. What other user retraining will there be? It really won't take users long to acclimatise to a Gnome, KDE or even a Mac desktop. Most applications are already being ported to the cloud anyway and have been for the last few years. The "web based interface" is where it's at. Now as for applications being ported to new systems. This already happens all the time. Even within the confines of the Windows ecosystem things break when a new version of Windows appears. The change from Windows 9x to XP broke device driver compatibility for some devices. Which took time to fix. The same happened again with the introduction of Vista, XP sp3, Windows 7 and no doubt Windows 8 will break some stuff as well. In fact Microsoft has already told all of those software developers to go and retrain. Because all their Windows 7 developer skills will be useless in Windows 8. Which cause major grumblings of disgust and concern. So really the question shouldn't be about a world without Microsoft. The question really should be why did the Tech Republic editors let such a poorly written, biased and unreserched article ever get published in the first place? I call FUD on this piece and shame on the author for stooping so low. Here's my parting shot. Microsoft have already made quite a few redundancies from that 90,000 strong head count and those redundancies will no doubt continue as Microsoft ships American jobs out to China. Glad I'm not American and glad I don't pay to read this tripe.

HarveyWright
HarveyWright

Why do you even care? What are you all a bunch of giddy school girls? Who care who has the biggest market share? Are you a casual user, a business user or just a gamer that like to waste their time to earn experience or trying to blow away the most aliens? IT DOES NOT MATTER!!!! I have used Windows, I have used UNIX and I have used Linux and some other Branded Operating Systems. Every System can be hacked, it does not matter what one it only matters on the hacker???s skill and his/her desires. The reason Windows has been hacked so often is because it has the most software for the casual user and it makes an easy target for a skilled/determined hacker. They can say; ** LOOK AT ME! - I DID THIS! ** . If UNIX, Linux or Apple ever got as large as MS then you would be asking what would happen if??? (Replace MS OSs with any other OSs) then it would be that company. Think!!! I am so glad I am not smart enough to be a hacker, I would direct all my time at kill the other OSs and I would find away; someday some gutsy hacker will hack your OS, remember that!

Chief Bottle Washer
Chief Bottle Washer

Throughout it's development Micro$oft has managed to imbed its software, into the world's culture, as the only choice for computers based on motherboard/system architecture designed by IBM. The same company Apple/Macintosh built its own computer hardware & system architecture. M$ will never go away. The company will simply experience a metamorphosis. It is a natural evolutionary change that applies to all organic structures on this planet. Today M$, tomorrow Apple and the next may be Linux. Who knows? One thing is certain whoever makes it to the top must constantly develop "Higher Quality" products that the general public will find not only appealing but also make their lives a little easier to deal with.

alfkh
alfkh

this view is far too short-sighted. the reason why we have computers around is to make work lighter, not to create work so that people around have work to do. I have 2 OS running on my pc, 1x windows, 4x different flavors of linux. I have to consciously keep track of all the ms software & software from 3party vendors. For Linux, all software takes care of itself, including os, applications the latest drivers etc prob with the exception of proprietary, non-open source software, which comes up to like 2 packages. With windows, it's 1 dozen. Life is better with microsoft, but that's only for people who make a living out of supporting microsoft software.

David_Brown
David_Brown

I've always known that Microsoft is the Best way forward. to the sadly deluded and the blindly stupid i say "Grow up"

gadams
gadams

Albeit that MS employs a lot of people & has dominated the industry with, what has now become a fairly reliable set of OS's but historically, they have stifled the software industry by stealing code and making it their own (too many law suits to mention) and selling second rate programs that were marketed rather keenly. MS was too big to put right. Bill Gates intention was to be rich and to crush the competition by any means possible. Anything that came along that was innovative was copied or stolen and transformed into something ugly. He, along with Steve Jobs, got the ball rolling but the ball became a heat seeking missile out to destroy anything pure & good.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

If MS was to disappear by anything other than divine intervention, it wouldn't happen overnight. It's also incredibly unlikely that MS will last forever, forever is a long time, you know? If MS goes away it will happen the old fashioned way, slow attrition. Market shares lost here and there, rivals gradually strengthening. The 90000 employees won't find themselves on the street out of nowhere. But I guess that's your point, Deb.

Solarian
Solarian

It isn't up to me to decide if Microsoft should disappear or not, but if it does disappear it will do so. And if it does, it will be the end of one system followed hopefully by a period of creativity. Once this period is over, it will be dominated by another entity like Microsoft does now. :) Yes we will suffer on a economic, politcal and financial basis. But once the correction is over, once we have discovered new paradigms, a new world will rise. Those who are students of history will tell you that an empire grows, dominates then fall by the side to be replace by another.

Thumper1
Thumper1

In 1986 I left the automotive industry and entered the computer industry, since all of my education was self taught, first thing I did was to go to the best information service available at the time. Back then we had these things called magazines, they were made out of paper, published monthly usually, and, if you could get around the advertising, contained a lot of useful information. One such magazine was titled "P.C. Magazine" A lot of computer heavy hitters wrote articles. PC Mag was considered the gold standard for computers. In the first couple of issues I read they were talking about this upstart company, namely Microsoft. They said MS was the defacto operating system for the PC, and it was going public, but they advised AGAINST buying any stock. Their premise was MS was going to disappear as soon as IBM released OS2. We all know how THAT worked out! I remember thinking at the time that if I had any money, I should by some of that stock. I didn't get around to doing that until 1995, I wouldn't count MS out just yet.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

I understand that the end of a glory day is can be seen on the horizon; you can hear it in the desperate rhetoric of those in Redmond as they are trying to tell you how well things are going. But, history shows us that death and extinction are non-negotiable facts of our constant evolution. Holding on to that past is like wishing in the wind. Change is difficult but it's only impossible for people that are psychologically incapable; everyone else just has to suck it up. I'll go you one better; there's a reason major universities teach computer-science courses and those courses don't have anything to do with Microsoft or Windows. The reason is that science requires all of its tools to be measurable; everything else is tagged as anomalous. The POSIX standard provides a baseline from which to begin measuring. Microsoft has no such standard so the Windows platform simply isn't measurable. It's mostly due to incomplete documentation at the heart of the swamp: The Registry. SOLUTION: I generally don't like to point at a failure unless I have a solution to fix it. And, I do... Microsoft has a few more releases before, even the most delusional stop kidding themselves. The problem isn't singular ??? it's plural. Cost, Security, Standardization. In a few years Linux will be as glossy and friendly as OS X and, subsequently, Windows 7. Microsoft will have to fight a battle with an OS that is just as EZ to use but costs nothing. a) Microsoft will have to lower their prices. To be taken seriously, by highly technical users, that virus problem has got to be dealt with in a decidedly aggressive fashion. POSIX users watch you Windows guys with the viruses and we just scratch our heads and wonder why you put up with it. That concept is getting a more solid footing every day. b) Windows Security will need a re-design. The current implementation is jacked. The security of the system itself cannot be fixed without a meaningful redesign. During the re-design make the system POSIX compliant and MAYBE a professor at one of the universities MIGHT take a look at it for course work at the level of higher education. c) Standardization of the Windows platform to become POSIX compliant. Once that happens, a whole new world will open up for our friends at Redmond; clouds will part, the sun will shine, and birds will sing for them again. I say this as a 10-year MCSE, and a 3-year Linux Admin. Money can fight truth, but not forever. And the truth is, all things being equal, Linux is free and OS X is an amazing user experience. This one fact will erode Microsoft's business incrementally over time. No matter what else happens though, you don't really buy Windows. You're only paying to use it for a while. Then, when you get a new laptop, you pay again, over, and over, and over... Challenge: You might even change your mind about this very subject if you were to download Linux Mint or Fedora. But, you have to fully commit to giving it a meaningful review. Try some shell scripting, see what you think. You may as well. You already own the software. We all do.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

This is the fastest computer in the world and it runs a POSIX OS: http://top500.org/system/10587 Why, because if the kernel is too fat, bloated, and hogging resources, you can download the source code, fix it, test it, and implement it. The Windows NT Kernel does not allow for that kind of flexibility. But, maybe the real test is to see if Microsoft uses Linux; here, I'll use the Netcraft service to query the entire Microsoft domain name space: http://searchdns.netcraft.com/?restriction=site+contains&host=microsoft.com&lookup=wait..&position=limited OMG even Microsoft uses Linux!

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

We ARE living in a cloud but its a Linux cloud - not UNIX, there is a difference and, believe it or not, it's the same problem - licensing. Besides that, we open source people use Libre Office; it opens word, excel, power-point, and many more documents just fine. It's a snap to install and use for free. There are many such programs that are help in different ways as well. To address the assertion that a company with a $214.65 billion market cap and over $50 billion in cash is going to go away anytime soon is patently absurd on the face of it. Just so we are clear and direct, Companies do not define whether or not they stay in business, the customers decide that, based of course on the Company's value to the customer. In 1910 horse driven carriages were first scared off the road by automobiles. By 1920 carriages were no longer a problem unless you were traveling past a Mennonite colony. The market changed and those that did not change with it suffered the consequences. A company's size will only insulate them from these harsh realities for a while - but not forever. This might be a surprise to you but Apple, for the first time in recent history, has unseated HP in mobile computing. Linux use is on the rise as well. Red Hat has been slowly posting improved profits every year since 2002. I'm not sure your statistical analysis makes up for this fact. Perhaps you are drinking too much company Kool-Aid? Would companies take over for Microsoft in such areas as creating and issuing patches to fix issues and vulnerabilities. Only if Microsoft was willing to open-source the platform before they turned the lights off in Redmond, then yes, of course someone would. "Would each supporting company do its own thing, so that there would be dozens of different versions of those patches? With no standardization?" Apparently you are not familiar with open source programming. It's not the programmers that do stupid things during a product release it's managers that push a product out before it's really ready. Programmers know better and are generally in no hurry to release software that is not tested and stable. What good would it be? You wanna fix software fire bad managers. "The cost of retraining users on a brand new system would be significant". Not at all. You simply have to choose from the available options, all of which are more stable, resilient, and manageable than anything Microsoft makes. At that point it's not a question of should I switch? or shouldn't I? Within this context it's simply a matter of necessity; again, they spent the money before they will simply have to spend it again or shut the company down. Business is cruel that way.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

Who cares. Both are equally competent organizations with differing models. Apple taught Microsoft what it means to be proprietary and charges a premium, but you can judge by the level of user-devotion if it's worth the price of admission; Google gives everything away for free and figures out how to charge for it later. You can make your own assumptions about how that might play out. As for special purpose software having to be re-built, first ??? the companies that bought into Microsoft spent some money to accomplish their goal; they will whine but ultimately they will just pay to make new software. They did it once, they will do it again. Second, what do you think the cloud is about? This is exactly its intended purpose: cross-platform access for EVERYONE; regardless of platform. Pandora's box has been opened - ain't no closing it now. This, more than anything else will chip away at their stone.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

A vbscript to recursively remove folders and sub-folers: Dim arrFolders() intSize = 0 strComputer = "." Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2") strFolderName = "c:\scripts\archive" Set colSubfolders = objWMIService.ExecQuery _ ("Associators of {Win32_Directory.Name='" & strFolderName & "'} " _ & "Where AssocClass = Win32_Subdirectory " _ & "ResultRole = PartComponent") ReDim Preserve arrFolders(intSize) arrFolders(intSize) = strFolderName intSize = intSize + 1 For Each objFolder in colSubfolders GetSubFolders strFolderName Next Sub GetSubFolders(strFolderName) Set colSubfolders2 = objWMIService.ExecQuery _ ("Associators of {Win32_Directory.Name='" & strFolderName & "'} " _ & "Where AssocClass = Win32_Subdirectory " _ & "ResultRole = PartComponent") For Each objFolder2 in colSubfolders2 strFolderName = objFolder2.Name ReDim Preserve arrFolders(intSize) arrFolders(intSize) = strFolderName intSize = intSize + 1 GetSubFolders strFolderName Next End Sub For i = Ubound(arrFolders) to 0 Step -1 strFolder = arrFolders(i) strFolder = Replace(strFolder, "\", "\\") Set colFolders = objWMIService.ExecQuery _ ("Select * from Win32_Directory where Name = '" & strFolder & "'") For Each objFolder in colFolders errResults = objFolder.Delete Next Next --- The Linux equivalent: $ rm -rf FolderName Explained: that's rm (short for remove) -rf (recursively & forcefully) FolderName (the name of the folder you want to delete). That's it! This is the primary reason why I say the Windows Platform is a swamp. You will find these parallels everywhere, no matter what the problem, removing folders or scouring databases with Perl to create statistical reports. POSIX is easier to learn ??? it wont be a problem. Further, anything open source is doesn't require a scholarship program. You only need a cheap laptop; you can install any Linux distro of your choosing and the internet is your University. All current and historic documentation is posted and freely available. IRC channels provide real-time support on the freenode network and there are people willing to help - for free. Example: I know a young Indian gentleman, best Java programmer I may ever know. He picked up a P3 laptop for $50, taught himself Java programming, and ended up (years later) designing and programming the search feature at Expedia. Before that, his family was poverty stricken in a 3rd-world country for generations. You can't improve on that by adding expensive licensing, charging more and delivering less. I hope that ends the question of education.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

We'll start with your Parting Shot and skip around from there. First off, you suffer from vendor lock-in; it's the first documented case of it happening to an individual I've ever heard. This is why you're a little off-base: The assertion that "They sit at the core of a huge ecosystem" is mostly false. They sit at usability's edge and market a dictatorial perspective on the actual ecosystem. --All of the really cool stuff that makes server technology *necessary* was built on a POSIX OS; this is the short list: email (smtp/pop/imap), Ipv4 and v6, TCP/UDP, DNS, dhcp, ftp, ntp, rpc, ldap, tls/ssl, and vpn, just to name a few. Microsoft simply put a pretty face on these technologies. But they are quite simply invent them or anything else for that matter. Exchange, for example, is but 1 implementation of an MTA (message transfer agent) leveraging the E/SMTP, POP, and IMAP protocols - again envisioned, designed, and created on a POSIX OS. Sendmail, a UNIX mail server - released in 1979, difficult to implement and manage; MS Exchange - released in 1996, easy to install, and operate. Is it scalable? Yahoo has over 270 million users on their email platform. It's essentially a series of clustered Linux servers leveraging Qmail. Now, for the down-side; as a result of Microsoft's effort to make things easier for admins, they have inadvertently lowered the level of technical expertise required for IT 'professions' in the field - forever. While administering a POSIX OS you must be part admin and part programmer. If you don't like how your DHCP server is performing, you pull the source code, fix, test, and implement. The Microsoft platform is surrounded by people that don't know what to do when their Install Wizard fails. This is bad for all of the obvious reasons, mostly for computing in general though. As for the Internet, it will continue to work as it always has ??? without Microsoft. All core internet services are served by Linux servers. The root DNS servers, for example, are served by a program named BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain Server). BIND is the de facto standard DNS servers.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

Long-time Microsoft Basher, First-time Caller That being said, I'll first explain why Microsoft is important. As mark.fancourt has pointed out, they did make some technical problems much easier to deal with and therefore did have a positive impact on end users getting familiar with some more complex subjects; things like dhcp, dns, smtp, and ldap (especially ldap), just to name a few. You don't have to scour the internet too long to find out that I am a fervent supporter of all things Linux. And, I still have to say, Microsoft has made a valuable contribution; God save my soul. Apple tried out a server (with Open Directory for example) and failed. Users had an option and went with Microsoft; the market has spoken. The Linux guys could have done this for them selves but chose not to. I preach usability at every turn with these folks, they haven't historically been interested; this is both good and bad. Good in the sense that you must do the work to play with the big boys - there's a lot of reading involved; it's bad in the sense that if you cannot gain wide-spread adoption, your project is doomed to be unused or used very little. Microsoft proved the importance of this very lesson and became the tip of the industry spear, then they took it to the bank. Which, for any business is the one, single, defining factor for financial success. Apple lost, Linux lost - that's that, it's done. And, I have to say I'm happy that it was done; it's a valuable lesson learned for my team.

l.kobiernicki
l.kobiernicki

Nonsense. Linux and UNIX go ever onwards, from strength to strength. The advantages are solidly documented, tested, proven. I will only add the following, which are perhaps not so well-known. 1. The *nix platform does not blow up the hardware. 2. It manages the hardware better ( not leading to 1 ). 3. When updates are available, virtually the whole OS - plus all the applications carried by its designated repositories - are updated in a single session, of between 1???-2 hours. 4. It does not create thousands of 0 byte files, effectively filling up the disk. 5. It manages its temporary files better. 6. It is community-based, so bog-standard users easily graduate to customizers, bug-report posters, and advisors to other colleagues. 7. A worldwide network of amateurs, yields developers with full access to the code, who can collaborate on bug-fixes and updates more freely. 8. *nix users help each other gratis, only charging the corporates ( rightly so ). 9. *nix filesystems themselves evolve, undergoing major improvements as time moves on. 10. There are no BSODs - frozen apps. are easily terminated. There are many more benefits than this. I will close with the most impressive: my Linux is between 3-10 times faster - depending on which task I'm performing. AND it's all free !

Rndmacts
Rndmacts

I am reading the posts here and can tell those that actually work in IT and those that say they work in IT.The fallacy that most data centres operate on Linux, show me one 100% Linux data centre, there are none, even Google uses Microsoft products. Linux has its uses but in the data centre it is a one trick pony, each machine runs one function only, this is fine in large organizations but in small to medium organizations you need the multi tasking abilities of Microsoft products, you place your Linux boxes facing the Internet as firewalls but your main assets run on Microsoft hardware and if not on pure Unix machines. Apple realized they couldn't compete and have stopped their server business, Microsoft just has to many platforms and software solutions to help the small business go about its business. A world without Microsoft basically is saying we are going to be in the second great depression because too much of today's infrastructure is tied to Microsoft and its products, governments would fail, trains, planes and ships would grind to a halt, most of the traffic lights would stop functioning because neither Linux or Apple have the resources to substitute for Microsoft's array of products. One thing can be said of Microsoft, no matter how large they have become they never have been accused of misusing clients information, a statement that neither Apple or Google can make with a clear concious. Apple may make the claim to the largest market cap because they don't split their stock like other companies, but they still have a long way to go before they have the revenues of a Microsoft, Microsoft has made many more multi-millionaires and billionaires than Apple has. I think if anything the big tech company that is going to fail is Google, they have made to many infringements on personal data and misused these resources so that not just the DOJ is investigating them, but every privacy commissioner around the world is looking at their operations.

dpandshe
dpandshe

Are any of her points valid? Plenty of Microsoft OS's versions are end-of-life, forcing users to change the OS. The change from WinXP to Vista was virtually as painful as going from WinXP to Mac. Granted, if MS failed, plenty of people would be forced to re-train. It's analagous to being a tobacco farmer in the 80's. A lot of them needed to be change to a different crop to continue to make a living. The only reason that the internet became as big and popular as it did is because there was finally an alternative to the high-priced Windows OS. Businesses and individuals could get a web server up and running quickly for a lot less money. Many (most?) datacenters run Linux environments. Most virtual environments run on linux servers (VMWare, Xen, etc). For almost every MS application, there are Linux or Mac applications that are just as good if not better. I'm not saying that MS should disappear, but you can't validate a company's existence just because a lot of people work there. Yes, we bailed out some financial institutions because they were too big to fail. But, hopefully lessons were learned to avoid having to bail out companies.

Kent SEO Company
Kent SEO Company

Never mind microsoft, I would be lost without my MAC and i'm proud of it. Kent SEO Company

wmdratcliffe
wmdratcliffe

Windows 8 can't get away from DOS even. Fix a problem with the Boot Sector on a HD or Server. It may be hidden ! Boot from the Windows 7 disc. Get pass the log screen or Boot screen and guess what always loads first in most all platforms out there.... The beginnings. Dos 2.0 came after Dos 1.0 etc. Microsoft Windows 3.1 then on and on. Microsoft still has the biggest hold on ALL PC and Laptops in the World today. I remember when I first got on the internet. IT WAS ALL Non-GUI. Only text.... ALL platforms out here usually use some type of Loader, to get into a graphic based interface. or GUI.. Think about this.. Cloud Storage would most likely be null and void for Google, Cisco etc without the growth that evolved from the DOS/Text based platforms. Without MS, I don't think MAC/Apple would even be where it is today....even if it improves on it's system DUE to competition ! What's an simulator or an emulation system built around anyway? Hardware without Software, wouldn't work... I rest my case... -=William=-

steve.hammill
steve.hammill

Without Microsoft, what would IT and other techies have to whine about? It would certainly devastate my world and terminate all of my well-worn excuses. :)

geary_t2000
geary_t2000

Mobile devises though attractive for pro are more what i call the superficial. That is all flash but not real computing power over the long haul. Desk tops will always be needed nor the pro's who use it for heavy lifting. Graphics, and true photo-editing with application that take a lot of power to run. Windows in that regard is a much better friend and Apple is over priced and does not allow for regular up-grades. That does not break the bank!

russoisraeli
russoisraeli

Besides for the points that Microsoft aids the economy (just as any large corporation), and employs a bunch of people, the other points are mute. In a world without M$, people who should have never become IT technicians, will look for other careers, where they could clickety-click just as well - with the same productivity. People will stop assuming that they or their children can fix anything on their PC, just because "it's easy". Finally, we, the real IT folk will stop dealing with stupid problems, that should have been nonexistent - such as unexplainable software malfunction, the only fix to which is to reinstall the O/S, and start dealing with something more interesting. People surviving without Windows? Bring me any Windows junkie, and I can bet that I can teach them the basics of using Mac OS X in 24 hours.

jck
jck

the inflow of new users includes flaming fanboys. B-)

blarman
blarman

Of course Microsoft isn't going to up and disappear in the next 5 and probably 10 years. There is a lot to be said for inertia. That being said, however, the tech industry is changing a lot, and Microsoft is losing in the one area it used to be dominant in - personal PC's. If you include smartphones and pad devices, Microsoft's dominance on the desktop is really headed downhill right now. Is Microsoft finished? No. But really, let's look at this from a reality standpoint. Microsoft is finding out just what every other monopoly has found out - they are impossible to maintain in a free market. The customer base is too wide and needs to diverse for any one company to continue to satisfy them, so customers begin looking to competitors for products that more closely fit their needs. This is a normal part of market action that happens as companies grow larger and larger - they have to generalize their product offerings and the process of generalization leaves some customers less satisfied. I don't see Microsoft out of the software business any time soon, but I do see market equilibrium creeping up. I wouldn't be surprised at all that in 10 years, Microsoft's desktop marketshare is down to 30-35%, simply due to these forces. In the bigger picture, I see this as very good for consumers as they will get products that are better for their individual needs - something it is very hard for big companies to focus on and deliver.

dschlesak
dschlesak

In the early 1980's people would have said that IBM (who controlled 90% of the worlds computers) was too big and powerful to fail. Well, it was replaced by Microsoft who in the beginning was very customer oriented and IBM was "Do it our way or not at all." mentality. I fully believe Microsoft will go the way of IBM. It will not happen overnight but over a number of years. More and more people are getting disgruntled with Microsoft's attitude the same way they did with IBM. Microsoft will still be around just like IBM is but in a consulting role (as IBM is).

Dethpod
Dethpod

Should not expect to be taken seriously. Period. It is sophomoric at best.

Solarian
Solarian

No one can really say. Personally, I would tend to agree with you. Imagine if it came to a worst case scenario, that Microsoft disappears overnight. I hate to imagine the fallout of that. If you look at the past, in the majority of cases, empires have slowly been replaced.

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

You just listed one of the main reasons Linux will remain at the bottom in PC market share. The average person has no interest in learning that stuff. They want to click and go, that's it. Most people are scared to death and confused by a freakin install wizard. And you seriously think they are going to type even the most simple commands? It's not going to happen, EVER! And guess what else will NEVER happen? The developers will never dumb down Linux enough to make the masses happy. Because the Linux people like Linux the way it is. They like having an OS that requires you to use the command line to get even simple things done. And if they ever did dumb it down enough for the masses, you guys would be furious. Then you would make a new command line version, and it would start all over again. Because you people do not want something that's simple enough for everybody to use. Shell Scripting, give me a break. About 1% of the population wants to do "shell scripting". The rest of us want to click and be done with it. Or do nothing and be done with it. I have looked at enough Linux help forums to see what should be simple stuff that people have trouble with while using Linux. I fix Windows computers so I know how dumb people are at doing the most simple tasks. Yet you people still think non tech people are going to type commands to do the stuff that was either automated or requires a click or two with a mouse. HA HA HA. Hey why won't this solitaire game install? Oh that's easy Just open up a terminal and type sudo, Get bla#%&fkf / hfjsfff / fvinstall. don't worry it's easy. [New Linux user] WHAT? I just want to play my game. Um I think I need my Windows 7 back, like now.

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

I have never seen anyone use so many question marks. They're in almost every sentence, even when not asking a question?????? A lot of you Linux people are a bunch of weirdos. When you are that emotionally attached or repulsed ,obsessed by a product, you are unable to make a sound assessment. I know plenty of people are able to use Linux or Mac, without it turning them into a total nut job. So it is possible. The truth is the vast majority of us use and like Windows products. We just tend to not be obsessed with it, It's just tools that work quite well for us. We don't really give it a lot of thought.

spdragoo
spdragoo

So you're going to compare the code used to create a function in a program -- i.e. at the pre-compiled level -- with a command typed in at the DOS-prompt equivalent? Gee, Microsoft has that, too: RMDIR /S] /Q FolderName Explained: RMDIR (short for "ReMove DIRectory) /S (remove all files & subdirectories in the directory) /Q (don't ask to confirm that the directories & files will be deleted). A simple, one-line command. The command's been around since MS-DOS, with Windows 2000 adding the ability to delete the directories & files all at the same time -- although prior to that, you could use "DELTREE /Y FolderName" to do it as well.

sgriffithsnz
sgriffithsnz

While the *nix varieties are certainly continuing to grow stronger, I'd challenge a number of your positions: 1. Neither does MS (or Mac for that matter). In fact, the only hardware "blown up" I have ever come across in all my years in tech have been due to power problems or overclocking by the user. 2. Perhaps, perhaps not. Is it just that *nix makes less calls to the hardware to deliver some results instead of challenging the hardware to perform how it should? 3. And how often do updates come out for *nix? Perhaps they don't come out often enough, leaving vulnerabilities in place for too long. And what if I don't want a portion of my installation upgraded, what then? At least MS gives us a choice for each MS App and each patch. 4. I call bull. I've seen some on a couple of my *nix installations at times as well as Windows (don't own a Mac so cannot comment). And what's to say it's Windows creating those files? I have seen many an application/game do this - a bit generalistic to blame MS for a 3rd party app filling your drive. Perhaps that's some poor choices on your part. 5. Can't comment - I've never had any trouble with temp file management that caused me concern on any OS. 6 & 7. You've also got a large community of developers, many who develop for free, supporting Windows or Mac OS and apps, so what makes *nix so different in this respect? I see no differences across the board on any OS. 8. So do other OS users. I participate in this fashion almost daily and usually nothing to do with any *nix variants, which are often not mainstream enough. 9. So do the Windows or Mac OS editions...... where's your point of difference? Just because the non-*nix OSes do major releases doesn't make them inferior, they still get "major improvements as time moves on". 10. There sure are BSODs! Ever seen a purple BSOD? terminating apps too can have it's own challenge whatever the OS. I think you're not a mature tech with a broad perspective, you sound more like a *nix fanboi, unable to appreciate what each OS brings to the table. Come back in a few years of real-world experience and maybe you'll better appreciate the beauty of each platform and how to look at things more holistically.

gadams
gadams

Albeit that MS employs a lot of people & has dominated the industry with, what has now become a fairly reliable set of OS's but historically, they have stifled the software industry by stealing code and making it their own (too many law suits to mention) and selling second rate programs that were marketed rather keenly. MS was too big to put right. Bill Gates intention was to be rich and to crush the competition by any means possible. Anything that came along that was innovative was copied or stolen and transformed into something ugly. He, along with Steve Jobs, got the ball rolling but the ball became a heat seeking missile out to destroy anything pure & good.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

Really? You didn't want to talk about comp-sci programs completely ignoring M$ and ONLY embracing a standardized OS? OK... My grandmother has been using Linux Mint for 4 years now. And solitaire is a big part of it, to be sure; that and shop for B-Day and Xmas gifts for the kids, then maybe a few emails to friends. But, no problems, and I taught her how to pull her own updates. She really thinks she's a crack computer wizard now. Same thing for a 56 year old friend of mine. All he does is surf, check email and poke people on facebook. The only thing that doesn't work is Zynga Texas Hold'Em Poker in facebook. I've tracked that down to a MS control embedded in the middle of a big, 99% standards-compliant, web application - it's the only part that just won't work. Other than that it works just fine - never a complaint. And my virus-related calls have dropped by 100%. But, to round this out - if you are talking about technicians that don't want to get into the command line, those people will make themselves extinct. As a scripter, I can do the work of dozens of technicians, in just a few minutes. Until you understand the power of bash, grep, sed, and perl you simply don't have any lines here; this is a monologue. Eventually, someone like me will put someone like you out of work. I suggest you get crackin'.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

Forget about the quotes being translated into question marks and offer something relevant to the discussion. As a tech, you should try out all platforms before making assertions like this. But, let me give you an example... Of all the boxes that were produced by my hands, the only ones that stand up long-term, and we're talking in years now, are the Linux and Mac implementations. You have to remove patching from the equation because patching is unavoidable on any platform. Hardware must also be removed from the criteria, HW failures are unavoidable. I have Linux servers in the field since 2003 that ALL they've needed is patching and upgrades. They've never fallen down 1 time - NOT ONE TIME. Now, being a Windows Admin since 2000, I cannot say that about any Windows solution I've ever put in place - and neither can you. It simply isn't possible. Every time Symantec upgrades their software, or whoever, you are already over the cost line on a Linux box which, due to a better security design, doesn't require software like that. Most of us aren't zealots, we have tried all solutions and we're just confused that some of you can't do some simple math. Here's the difference in cost: Starting Cost: Win: Hardware+Licensing+Implementation Lin: Hardware+Implementation Maintenance Cost: (patches and upgrades) Win: Licensing+Implementation Lin: Implementation When you can save your clients $1,000s and give them a system that won't fall over then, as a technician... Why wouldn't you be jazzed about that?

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

"The Windows sub-system is superior to Linux". That's all you have to say to invalidate yourself. That or you are committing yourself to DOS - a 5,000 year old dead language. Which is it? Either will do. Regardless of any other factors, there is no need for a script like the (vbscript) example in Linux - NEVER. Perl isn't that demanding - and Perl can be a bear. Dude, really - the point is that educational transition from Win to Lin isn't a big jump. All you have to do is commit yourself to doing it - that's the hard part. The rest is reading & testing - lots of reading, lots of testing. So, are you not a "reader" or is it the testing that bothers you? Besides that, the rest of the world is made easier for administrators, everybody really; programmers have to do the most work and they don't even have to do as much today as even 10 years ago. Going from 1 line: RMDIR /S] /Q FolderName - to the vb example is looks like it's all heading backwards - becoming less easy. Poor design, planning, and implementation. But it's your carpal tunnel I guess.

Kostaghus
Kostaghus

I gues for most of you it's hard to imagine that this is the stoneage of computing. We'll soon be over the whole OS concept and networking issues and so on. Even over the whole computer concept. Think about what planes used to be in 1915 and then compare them to a F-22 or a Space Shuttle. And keep in mind that the development pace of computers is several times faster than that of aircraft. So... you're just being silly and talking nonsense. Reminds me of printing plant managers back in the 1970's who said that lead letters will always be the core of the printing plant. And what do you know? We're close to having no printing plants at all!

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

I've set up networks that would cause you to cry, nerdling. But, I'll give you an example just to properly shut you down. An unnamed school district needs a network face-lift, my friend gets a call, he calls me and 3 others. The job: to take them from a half ad-hoc peer-to-peer network and half crappy AD structure to a proper directory structure with bullet-proof network security. Constraint: use as much existing hardware and software as possible. Crap, we will have to use AD again, oh well. 1) Verify WAN links are up for all 5 buildings with some cursory security; scripted: in 30 minutes - with programmatic precision. 2) Scan the entire network, over VPN connections, for all hosts dumping 1,500 nodes into a csv file with ip's, host names, mac addresses, and OS with version; scripted: done in under 4 minutes - with programmatic precision. 3) Standardized new admin user names and passwords for all local mac and windows computer accounts; scripted: done in under 30 minutes. Sent a team to manually change non-standardized accounts; stragglers identified via programmatic precision. 4) Dump all email accounts from (some off-brand) email server; scripted: done in under 10 minutes - with programmatic precision. 5) Dump all Active Directory accounts from poor AD implementation with vbscript, wmi, and wsh; scripted: done in under 30 minutes - with programmatic precision. 6) Use Perl to fix poor AD user structure in ldifde file; scripted: done in under 1 hour - with programmatic precision. 7) Build Linux Security boundary (firewalls) for all 5 buildings. Auto-installed and configured at our offices; scripted: each done in around 30 minutes - with programmatic precision. And delivered. 8) Rebuild a proper AD structure on new box. Re-inject user accounts from ldifde file; scripted: done in approx 2 hours - with programmatic precision. 9) Re-add all Mac and Windows PC's to AD; scripted: done in under 1 hour - with programmatic precision. Sent a team to manually add remaining stragglers identified via programmatic precision. 10) Had a team manually add and share all network printers via group policy. Used vbscript, wmi, and wsh to add them back to the correct machines with the correct drivers for the applicable OS's; scripted: done in under 4 hours - with programmatic precision. 11) Spent another 2 hours running various scripts both internally and externally (from a Starbucks) to verify basic network security. Scripts checked for over 1,200 known network flaws. Since we replaced their proprietary firewalls with our custom Linux firewall, for all 5 buildings, these flaws were built OUT of their network. 12) Auto-built Zimbra server (in our office) and delivered; scripted: done in approx 1.5 hours - with programmatic precision. Pointed Zimbra at AD to auth and find user accounts. 13) Sent team to manually spot-check and "meet and greet" with skeleton staff to verify connectivity, login scripts (mapped drives) email access, and printer function. Which people to "spot-check"? - they were identified with scripting. A few servers & 1,500 (mac/win) nodes done; billed the client for a 12 hour day and went home. The difference between what you think you're doing and what I actually do is the difference between computer work - and computer science. I get to create, and re-use scripts. Those scripts are beautiful for 3 reasons: 1) I don't have to do my work more than once. Being that you promote the manual method - you do. I can write them for 1 job and use them for the rest of my life, improving them along the way. 2) They are light years faster than the manual method. 3) When I'm done, everything is consistent: ip schemes, host names, AD structures, every billable thing you can think of. When you can move this fast, Junior - THEN you can talk. Until that happens, your at the children's table. And, since you spoke out of turn, I may opt to wrap up all of my scripts and send them to a local IT shop in your area. Then you can think about how powerful the command line is from the unemployment line. It's fortunate for the both of us that I'm a greedy capitalist.

jos.paglia
jos.paglia

So, if he had setup his Grandmother on Windows "so she can point and click at her 3 favourite apps", she wouldn't be a Windows user? If the command line is such a poor *administration* tool, then why did Microsoft release PowerShell?

sgriffithsnz
sgriffithsnz

Sure, you can set up your Grandmother's install so she can point and click at her 3 favourite apps, but does that make her a Linux user? No, she's just an average person doing avergae things on the average OS like any other. Your spouted rhetoric on how commanline is supposedly "the next big thing" is well off the mark. Comandline was around probably before you were born (given your grasp of grammar) and will continue for a very long time, and yes there is a lot you can do with it, but it's not the be-all and end-all. Go ahead, become a script kiddie, but that'll only get you so far. Until you understand and have an appreciation for systems and OSes across the board, you'll probably only serve a niche market. Sadly, as a scripter, you'll never be able to cover off half the work dozens of technicians do. It's so much bigger than I think you realize.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

Dude, people don't compile on Linux (much) any more, unless they select an OS that's specifically old school (Linux From Scratch), or they are just feeling nostalgic. Depending on your system it's usually 1 of 2 commands: yum install package-name apt-get install package-name Dependencies are resolved automatically and, even a big install, which is escaping me right now, might take 3 minutes mostly because of the downloading. And your right, my cost does have a value but, as a Win tech for other companies in town it was/is approx $150/hr for me to be pimped by someone else. I get around half. That's a common model I get that. Selling my own Linux wares, my prices are much less, I charge $80/hr. All of my solutions are automated, so they are all exactly the same, and very supportable. I kick off an automated script, have a sandwich, and I've got bullet-proof technology boxed up, ready for the client. Power, data, turn it on and stand back. With just a little scripting - anyone could do this. As for your box, it must be holding MP3's or something useless to not have been brought down, even once in 11 years. Mine run Small Business Services, LAMP, Phones, File and Print, Email, Gateways and VPNs, whatever. The fact is, each one of the above represents a manual install for you; for me this is all inexpensive hardware and automated installs - big cost savings. Since your mojo is old and outdated, you will have to buy hardware to support things I would not have to: PBX, VPN, Gateways; for me this can all be run on Dell PE 110 for around $500 for hardware (with warranty) - giant cost savings. I do the implementation, the trouble-shooting, and the automation. Every time a small problem is found, I work it OUT of the automation and it's never a problem again, for any client. I can't imagine a process that would allow you to auto-build Windows server to that degree. And the biggest PITA - Exchange; no single piece of software will cost you more in cash, supporting software (AV), or hardware, or stress. I use Zimbra. It does all the same stuff and never breaks, falls down, or otherwise causes expensive headaches. That, you cannot touch. I've been an Exchange admin since 2000; this is a fact. Since I can build all of these solutions automatically, anywhere from 15m for a small gateway to an hour for a full-blown small business server, I can charge less than I would setting up a Windows server manually; usually hundreds, sometimes thousands less. Given the same hardware yours will cost for OS and Supporting Apps: MS SBS: $1,800 + Symantec SBS: about another 1,200. Ours: $1,200 over the hardware. Most Windows shops charge between $125-175/hour for any problems. Ours are covered under a service contract. You can pay, for an average sale, $600/year (service contract) for your solution, and never a dime more; we will cover everything after that. Would a Windows shop DARE pull a stunt like that? I have yet to see or hear about it. I know my technology won't break down, I can rely on it; this is due to months and months of rigorous testing (computer science). I KNOW it won't flake out. Unless I'm missing something, like a method to reliably auto-build Windows servers for consistency, yours are just always gong to cost more - much more. Check it out: http://solutions.ssiresults.com/zerver.html

sgriffithsnz
sgriffithsnz

I've had Windows servers that have been operating since 2000 that have not fallen down either - so how does that stack up? So it is actually possible. And if you really want to bring cost into it, Linux has a cost. No, not licensing, but in maintenance and compiling and updating and all that stuff. For business it's the cost of getting someone to do that work, either in-house or external specialists (there goes your thousands of dollars saved on licensing), for the home user it's time spent - how much is your time worth to you? And don't spout on about how "it's something I love", that's just trying to win an argument by obfuscation. Your time still has a value - have you ever tried telling your kids "no i can't come and do xyz because I'm implementing my next Linux OS"? What was that time worth? People need to remember that it's all relative - the pros and cons will always be subjective to the one trying to justify their position. In my opinion each OS has it's strength and weaknesses, they all have costs (hidden or up front), and they each have their merit. Arguiing over what's best is simply wasting time, and how much was that worth again?

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

And it's Libre Office by the way - a product that has to be compatible with MS Office...

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

This is why we have open debates: so we can all learn from one another. Bash programming is the lowest-level scripting language on the Linux platform, this is a given. Perl and vbscript would be direct competitors. Perl being the most flexible of all standardized languages changes nothing. You could still use the same line in Perl as in bash, because you are simply using commands like rm from one language or the other (bash, perl, python, etc). The only reason there is a PERL is that some people thought it would be easier to access the functionality of a few critical programs (sed and awk) from a single interface. For the sake of full disclosure, PERL does a better job where awk is concerned (generating reports) but still cannot replace sed on the command line. PERL also goes places where bash has no intention of going; it can dig through databases, and can also make calls to C libraries. On the other hand, vbscript is taking a huge leap into the NEW guts of the system for administration purposes using the Windows Scripting Host and Windows Management Interface so you, the scriptwriter, can access the CIMv2 space on any system. The CIMv2 space, within every Windows OS, is a remarkably powerful and necessary step for the Windows platform. It's due mainly to the advent of change from NT4 style Windows to Win2000 (and above) that are Microsoft's attempt to 'modernize' their OS. Why modernize the OS? Because, as it was originally envisioned, it was not scalable (due to its inherent un-manageability) in its current NT4 form. Microsoft knew it and they made the change - kudos. The size of this unmanageable state IS the same size of the swamp of a foundation the Windows OS is built on. Thus the band-aid that Microsoft applied was HUGE. An OS redesign would have been the right step here. The difference is that Linux did not have to go through a similar change. Its original design was based on an OS (UNIX) that was 20 years old before Bill ever wrote his first lines of code for Microsoft. It had a great deal of refinement built-in to the OS from the starting blocks. What changes did Linux have to make, as a result, to answer the the ever-changing needs of the market? Only minor (but meaningful) updates to the native scripting language BASH; as the platform in general is a nearly perfect design. A grand over-haul was not necessary as it was on the Windows platform. It's a matter of design. Proper design practices dictate a few common rules: 1) Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. 2) Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away On Linux, all configuration is stored in simple ASCII text files. The Windows Registry is the equivalent and it's the farthest thing from Simple there is. Text files rarely, if ever, get corrupted; registry hives, on the other hand, are corrupted by many outside factors. Software, viruses, MS-platform bugs, and early HDD 'sputters' that precede failure. Where the registry is not concerned, you have more glorious problems that need attending, let's say LDAP or AD management. You are forced to use vbscript if you want to add 100's of users at one time; the process is more convoluted and painful than necessary when you see the final script; as opposed to what is necessary on Linux, which is to write a few lines to a script, kick it off, and go make a sandwich. It's just not necessary for Bash to go through the variant changes that your scripting has to go through; nor, to get as far away from simplicity as possible to achieve a similar, albeit more stable, result. @aikiwolfie Com'on man, C is the language used to make programs like rm, grep, awk, and sed. They have nothing to do with this conversation. The end result is, that you have to try both, otherwise your opinion is less valid and bias by it's very nature. Once you make the conscious decision to give it a meaningful chance a few things will happen. 1) You will do a lot of reading. 2) You will become very frustrated 3) You will eventually setup systems that will not fail. 4) You will spend your days on a golf course, boat, or your girl friend 5) You will NOT be worried about your technology 7) You will NOT ever get called into the bosses office because something went down, and 6) You will NOT pay anything for it I put in 11 years with Windows and 3 years with Linux. Trust me, it's sunnier on this side of the street. How do you think an OS, that is minimally funded by it's users, has grown from a seed to a major thorn in Microsoft's side, in 20 years - with no marketing? Because it works ;-) Why are all the major companies contributing development time to it? http://techcrunch.com/2009/08/21/linux-is-big-business/ Most importantly - why is Microsoft contributing code to the Linux kernel? http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/072009-microsoft-linux-source-code.html?ap1=rcb I won't answer these questions for you. Dig deep and give them meaningful consideration. Answer these questions for yourselves. Then, just try it...I would suggest either Fedora or Linux Mint. Case closed - I'm going golfing (and it's only 11:30AM)!

aikiwolfie
aikiwolfie

I agree that comparing command line commands to VBscript is stupid. It's apples and oranges. However what is true is that the Linux command shell is more like a high level programming language than the Windows DOS Prompt. In fact the syntax for most Linux command shells (there are many) is generally based on C. In that respect the Linux and Windows command shells just aren't comparable. But then again, for years now Microsoft's policy has been to obfuscate the power of the command shell and push techs to GUI's. Only recently reversing that decision because headless servers don't need a GUI and Microsoft really wants to compete in the server market. I just won't survive as an OS vendor if it can't.

spdragoo
spdragoo

So stop trying to claim I said something I didn't. I *never* said Windows was superior to Linux. I've never used Linux myself, so I wouldn't presume to pretend to be an expert. But to claim that Linux is "superior" because it uses a UNIX-style shell command, but berate Windows because it can still use updated DOS commands -- when UNIX & DOS are *both* command-line operating systems -- reveals your own bias. However, I am calling bull**** again, because it looks like you're comparing higher-level programming (VisualBASIC) to Linux's "shell programming"... and from what I can tell, Linux shell programming is more akin to Windows' .BAT files -- you know, those text files that let you save a list of command-line commands to be executed by running a single batch file (or clicking on it in the Windows interface). I'm not saying that Linux doesn't make more commands available in its shell programming than Windows does... but since they're both about using command-line commands, that's the comparison that matters. And yes, this is information I was able to find on *pro*-Linux sites, after a fairly quick (1-2 minutes) search on the Internet. If I'm wrong about what "shell programming" is, that's fine, provide the proof. But again, shell programming seems to be a step below higher-level programming... like, say, the coding needed to create applications for Linux like OpenOffice, KStars, Acrobat Reader, etc. Now, if you want to compare programming in Windows vs. programming in Linux, that's fine. You want to show us the code needed in, say, C++ for a Windows program for the above procedure, & then show us the equivalent C++ code for a Linux program, that would be great. Although I strongly suspect that any differences in code will be minor, at best.

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