Posted by Fred Wu
Jack Wallen from TechRepublic has posted an article titled “10 reasons why Linux will triumph over Windows“. The article has attracted many readers and comments, so, here’s my question: why should Linux triumph Windows?
Let’s start by taking Jack’s points one by one.
1: Inconsistent Windows releases
So, according to Jack, “One of the things you can always count on from Microsoft is that you can’t count on its new operating systems to be reliable“.
Seems fair enough?
Until you see his take on Windows NT as “Attempted to bring enterprise-level seriousness to the operating system; would have succeeded had it not taken Steven Hawking-like intelligence to get it working“.
Let’s see, when was Windows NT released? 3.1 in 1993, 3.5 in 1994 and 4.0 in 1996. Obviously Jack is a Linux guru, so he was already very familiar with the ins and outs of Linux, but what about us general consumers? I know when I used Red Hat 6.0 around the Windows 98 days, I hated it. Back then Linux’s GUI was nowhere near as glamorous as Ubuntu’s or <insert the name of your favorite Linux distro>’s is today.
I know I’m looking forward to the Windows 7 release. The early (leaked) betas and the public beta have impressed me.
2: Consistent Linux releases
I’m not exactly sure what Jack is comparing Windows to, Linux or Red Hat? Surely I wouldn’t call this consistent. Please, Linux has its fair share of inconsistencies due to the number of distributions available (or no longer available for that matter).
3. Continuing Windows price hikes
Let’s be honest, no one likes to pay for things that are also available for free. But ask these guys why they use RHEL when there is CentOS.
Apple has ‘Apple tax’ on its hardware, why shouldn’t Microsoft apply ‘Microsoft tax’ on its software?
4. Stable Linux “prices”
To simply put, the society wouldn’t work without economy. No reputable Linux distributions can survive without a strong financial backup. The money has to come from somewhere. Instead of arguing Linux being free, I would have thought that arguing about Linux’s open standards would be more effective.
5: Windows hardware incompatibility
Oh dear! You are not serious, are you? Last time I checked, installing my digital TV tuner on Windows XP/Vista was just a matter of installing the driver came with it. On Linux? Nope, not a chance even with hacking.
Don’t get me wrong, Linux’s hardware compatibility has been improved drastically, but there is still a long way to go until most of the major hardware vendors start releasing Linux drivers.
6: Linux hardware compatibility
“With new distributions (such as Fedora 10), X configuration is becoming a thing of the past“. Well, I beg to differ. Unless messing around with x.conf isn’t considered part of configuration.
7: Windows promises
Apparently Jack takes marketing gimmicks too seriously. I don’t even want to argue this point…
8: Linux transparency
Seriously, the majority of consumer users couldn’t care less. Don’t believe me? Talk to anyone who is not an enthusiast (which happen to be most of the users).
9: Feature comparison
Among the 10 points Jack listed, this has to be the most pointless one. Since when could any individual know what others need/want?
10: Hardware requirements
Yes I am very impressed with Linux being able to run on mid 90′s hardware, so what? It doesn’t concern most of us. It’s not like I will be using Windows 7 for my server needs or anything. Another pointless point.
Am I biased? I don’t know. I love Linux, all my websites have been / are hosted by either a Linux distro (mostly Debian and CentOS) or FreeBSD. I have been a long time Windows user (from Windows 3.1 to 7 beta). I am now a full time Mac OS X user.
My question still remains, why should Linux triumph Windows? I am happy to have choices.