Sunday, September 13, 2009

Linux vs Microsoft At It Again

Here we are poised for another round in the war for desktop supremacy. For now Microsoft will win this battle but with their recent propaganda campaign it is clear that the folks in Redmond are getting worried. What makes Redmond worried? Progress by the competition that's what. And to double their fear Linux is free. (consumers still have to pay for Mac OS) That alone will make the suits in Redmond worry about their bottom line. Windows is the flagship product and it is natural for them to try and protect it. But here's my opinion on why it won't work in the long run.
  1. Microsoft will never be safe from those that prey upon their users. Malware alone will help keep the sales of Mac OS going steadily up and will bring more people seeking stability and safety to Linux. After all it's free to try free to use.
  2. One could argue that Microsoft's flaws have always been a catalyst for those that can, to produce stable alternatives. Can you see why Linux leads in this arena? Linux is ultimately driven by developers who are creating and writing the code because they are passionate about Linux. September 9th the Linux kernel 2.26.31 was officially released. Think about this, over 11,000 patches were added from 200 different companies representing 1100 developers, 19% of those represented themselves.  (source)
  3. End users really don't care what OS is running as long as they can do what they want to do. Whether that is chat, email, write novels or crunch numbers as long as the machine can do these things it simply won't matter what is the underlying OS. Can anyone say cloud computing?
  4. Too many jobs depend on Microsoft Windows and I'm not talking just in Redmond. Techs everywhere and also entire shops depend on Windows breaking to earn their living. Even my own job depends on Windows. 
  5. Ever wonder what keeps the internet running so smooth? The majority are running some kind of Linux server. Routers everywhere run Linux too. Why? Stability and performance. Microsoft may have the lion's share when it comes to business servers but that market is shrinking too. And to date Microsoft has yet to deliver a product completely bug free and never will since there are just too many variables in software and hardware to meet this challenge. And to be fair Linux too will suffer from similar issues in ever changing hardware. It is the passion of developers that will help Linux succeed here. See point number two.
So there you have it, my opinion on why their propaganda campiagn will not succeed. Its a given that Microsoft will succeed in some areas and hurt some companies along the way. Just as they have in the past. But as it always happens new competition, new ideas will always find ways into the market. And as computers evolve, so will the way we interact with them. The market will decide as it always does eventually.


  1. I like your article. I just start using Ubuntu on my laptop and i think for personal use (home) i will use linux.

  2. Ubuntu is a good choice for someone new to Linux. Read in Ubuntu's forums about installing the non-free repositories and that will make installing Flash and other codecs a lot easier.


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