Linux over Windows..? Well, the argument continues

Well here we go, stirring the hornet’s nest again. Linux over Windows or is it Windows over Linux? Agree or disagree, advocates for both have something to say that linux-logomakes it better than the other. Why? These are two sides of the same coin but we all know that heads are the favorites over tails, right? So, let the arguments begin.


Argument 1- Windows-TCO >>>Linux

Yes, one has to admit that the Total Cost of Ownership for Windows is much, much higher than what it would take to start-off on a Linux. Windows simply cannot operate without licenses, antivirus and a multitude of proprietary software for secured use. Forget about all that on a Linux. Operational costs are zero on Linux. You will not be paying through your nose for the next licensed version. For home PCs, these costs would be incidental but scale the costs to organizational costs and IT budgets would definitely go overboard.

Argument 2- Linux desktop >windows

There are no second thoughts about it. With GNOME and KDE, Linux desktops are top-of-the-line products that are sleek, compact and innately user friendly. Linux desktop in fact go beyond being user friendly they are outright flexible. On Linux you simply change distros you no longer want or need. You keep what you need and simply build along as your requirements grow. Most times your Linux desktop is a reflection of your mind. You are doing intense mind-games then you will have the toughest looking distro running. Need to space out and want some relax time then in come the light-hearted distros tickling your brain cells. Bet you cannot even think of creativity with a Windows on your desktop.

Argument 3-No monopoly on servers

Linux wins this argument hands-down, for with a millions of minds the terabytes crunched to churn out servers for every conceivable requirement is unbelievable. Windows server portfolio is comprehensive indeed but it is definitely no match to the collective creativity of a million minds. Besides the TCO factor plays up again at the end of the day you will be using only what your require on priority and never be able to use servers that are not of maximum utility to your entire organization.

Argument 4- Security plugged on minimum TAT on Linux

Being an open source Linux is always on top to plug any security loops in matter of hours to days. One cannot even comprehend a zero turnaround time happening on Windows. The minimum TAT for a Window patch appearing would be in the next quarter to at least a year. Linux is always fast-tracked on these because there are close to a million constantly working on them and it is simply a matter of time before they detect an unsavory plug. Again the power of collective thinking manifests and in no time collaborative work weaves powerful patches to plug every security threats.

Argument 5- Flexibility the core of Linux

The USP of Linux is the power it brings to distros because of the flexibility factor. Linux in today’s parlance is a touch-screen application. You simply use the tip of your fingers to keep at what you want, delve deeper into it and if you do not want something on your desktop simply tap into deletion. The sheer magnitude to what you can do using your Linux is limited to your imagination.

These are some arguments that merely scratch the surface. Windows is proprietary software. Whatever be the investment to bring in innovation, it is limited by creativity. There is no need for an investment in Linux as creativity is unbound. As long as operating systems are around, Linux will remain the forerunner there are no two thoughts about it. This paradigm shift will happen in following net generations as each passing year brings in higher literates of server-side programmers more conversant with open sourcing will slowly replace the non-literate computer users.

Linux is the future of Operating Systems. Open Source is the future and creative solutions that far exceed proprietary software will come to dominate in the next few decades.

  • ROP

    I agree with everything that Anuradha Shukla has said but……Linux lacks drivers, and in some cases good peripheral programs. Example, HP 6500 all in one has a slick windows program for scanning. No Linux. I love linux but I still cannot cut the umbilical cord until things like that are fixed. Forget wallpaper and all the other crap, just make my computer experience total and compatible. I don’t understand why this is so difficult to understand. Compatibility, not bells and whistles.

  • Kenny

    Linux may be great for servers and the like but fails miserably when it comes to providing an easy to use system for unskilled home users.

    "Oh, you want to install an application? Just type in this little command: apt-get install xyz" – "Where do I have to type that in?" – "Into the shell." – "What is a shell?" – "That black window. It’s called the terminal window." – "I don’t have that."…

    "I wanted to install application xyz, but apt-get install does not work." – "Why not just download the sources and compile them yourself?" – "What does compile mean?" – "Create the binary on your own. It’s simple. Just type in configure, make, make install and make clean." – "It says that it needs some parameters." – [hours later] "Oh, now it says that the gcc is missing." – [minutes later] "It says that it did not find some library."…

  • Miroslav

    Have you seen the Ubuntu Software Center? It is an application market, where average Joe can do the installation on simple click.

    I do agree that application names might be an issue for average Joe, at least in the begging.

  • Adam Gonnerman

    My non-technical wife and my mother (in her 60s) both have no problem using Ubuntu. There’s practically no reason I can think of for a user to go to the terminal…unless she wants to do so.

  • mechatotoro

    "Linux may be great for servers and the like but fails miserably when it comes to providing an easy to use system for unskilled home users."

    This is a myth. Mandriva has Mandriva Control Center. Pardus has PSi, Ubuntu has Ubuntu Control Center. My non-technical mother (in her 50s) uses Pardus Linux without any problem. I’ve seem more users experience problems with Windows 7 than she does with Pardus.

  • Fred

    ROP, I have an HP all-in-one, and I can scan. Yeah, I know that scanners have been somewhat of a problem for Linux, but it’s not that hard to fix. Have you tried installing "hplip"? Just go to your distro’s package manager, search for that, download and install it, and also isntall "xsane" if you haven’t already done so, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    And Kenny, while it is faster to type those commands if you already know the program you need, like I said to ROP, there’s always the package manager (usually Synaptic if you’re on Debian, Ubuntu, or another Debian- or Ubuntu-based distro) or YUM, which greatly simplifies that process and gives you a graphical user interface with which to search, browse, download, and install stuff. Please — give it an honest try and tell me what you think afterwards, OK?

  • Warren

    I found this article hard to understand. The author’s grasp of english sentence structure, and grammar goes from "informal" to "unparseable" very quickly.

    I like Linux, but the TCO argument is a silly concept no metter whether "Linux has lower TCO", or "Windows has lower TCO"; TCO is a "made up" concept that tries to say that something that is free isn’t necessarily going to save your business money, over something that costs 837 gigabucks. The scale of the insanity that goes on under the name "TCO" is such that you should avoid using the term.

    Linux is free. Freedom is not about money only. But it’s also less expensive than things that cost money, and expensive studies by people who have vested interests that produce results that blatantly contradict common sense, only fool stupid people.

    But when we start using the "TCO" term and buying into the current diseased IT management mindsets, we are merely contributing more noise, in an already noisy world.

    Linux is about freedom, not money. In the developing world, especially, Linux, and Piracy are the two feasible options. I say, for both moral reasons and economic reasons, choose to be free.


  • Richard

    Interesting points on a widely debated subject & both OS’s have their devoted followers.
    (You can always tell devoted followers -in this case Linux or Windows users- but you can never tell them much! :-) LOL!?!)
    I have recently switched from Vista to Linux (I started with Ubuntu & now am using Fedora14-though it is a dualboot with Vista). IMHO both OS’s have pluses & minuses & direct comparison is difficult as they are rather different in structure & output.
    I am though a big fan of Open Source material so Linux sure wins that comparison!
    (Kenny’s comments are sooo good though for an average computer user who wants only to point & click to run programs-nice one Kenny!).
    My only other point is I am surprised that Linux is not as stable an OS as I thought it proclaims to be (Ubuntu kept crashing on my comp & Fedora is better but still crashes periodically. Vista is not immune to the odd crash but I have sure had more crashes with Linux. Possibly just my bad luck!!).
    Well let the reasoned debate continue on this interesting subject….
    Best wishes

  • Mr337

    I disagree, Linux has drivers for some stuff but not everything. HP thankfully has drivers for most of their products.

    The printer you mentioned is supported with the hplip

    Most distributions have hplip installed so I simply plug in my MFC and in about 5 seconds it’s ready to go.

    For scanning I use Xsane which has loads of stuff to do. As long as the driver is working any scanning software will work (not just Xsane).

    Remember it is the responsibility of the manuf. to produce Linux drivers. The responsibility should not always fall on Linux developers.

  • paleoflatus

    I enjoyed DRDOS, then OS/2 until it failed and a brief agony with MS Windows 95 drove me to Linux (Mandrake). I moved to Debian sid with KDE years ago and maintain it with smxi. It’s paradise for me!
    I’m 82 years old and have no technical training, but always found Linux to be easy to use, fast, reliable and cheap (on my ageing computers).
    I find it convenient to use a few bash commands occasionally on yakuake, although the command prompt is only an option these days.
    I gave up helping MS Windows friends with their problems years ago and can no longer understand that convoluted, awkward, expensive, intrusive system with its nursery-style appearance.

  • Jack

    For the majority of computer users, Linux is an obvious choice, and should be more widely advertised to that audience. The issue is that it’s so widely advertised to geeks, who usually have jobs related to software, and that software usually tends to run on Windows and sometimes only Windows if they’re not already into Linux.

    So advertising Linux to Windows geeks is probably the hardest battle to win when it comes to selling a product. Most consumers, on the other hand, love what Linux has to offer, especially compared to a Mac. It’s just a matter of public image, and Android is actually doing a lot to change that. People around here are starting to use Linux in droves.

    It just highlights that these OSes can be enjoyed in tandem, and as processors and virtualization get better and better, the lines will continually blur over the next decade.

    Especially if this ‘cloud’ thing catches on. Anyway, good solid arguments. When it all comes down to it, aversion to Linux is usually due to a specific application or sometimes a driver for highly specific hardware (still quite rare these days).

    Whenever someone has no attachments to driverless hardware (extremely common) or a closed Windows program (often, but often easily replaced), they tend to have no complaints with Linux unless they’re a bit of a geek/perfectionist.

  • Yonah

    A majority of people don’t give a damn about radically changing the look of their Windows desktop. For those that do, there are tools available to do so.

    "Bet you cannot even think of creativity with a Windows on your desktop."

    Typical partisan insults that are flat out wrong. Happy trolling.

  • Thierry Andriamirado

    Simply said, the game industry is maybe the only one where Linux is lacking, even if OpenGL is "better than DirectX" (hey.. don’t shoot ;-)).
    I’m not talking a about when users absolutely want (need?) to use a software, not a free one.
    That said, my slogan is "do you know how to use a mouse?" If yes, you know how to use Linux ;-)

  • http://enteryoursiteURL... Michael

    The above arguments are the same drivel that I have seen in a multitude of other places. The TCO one is hilarious. The only cost mentioned is initially acquiring the software. nothing of the retraining necessary to make people aware of how to use it and become efficient with it. Another consideration is the lack of "GOOD" software for Linux. I do a great deal of work in the design and coding of automation. There is nothing for Linux in this field that is even remotely useful. Even the CAD programs that are available are far from production ready. Many corporations have invested in either their own software or some other proprietary software (databases, financial, etc.)that would be expensive to replace on a large scale even if a replacement is available. I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t have the time to go write these applications and few companies are willing to invest the time and money to develop an alternative to something they already have. The only place that Linux would be able to replace Windows is in a home environment or small office where all I need is web and basic office apps or as in my case I use it as a primary operating system with Vmware to run Windows for all the things that Linux lacks software for. Oh, and yes I tried other virtual machines but they are lacking by comparison to Vmware. The one benefit of proprietary software is that they want to actually sell it and to do so they have to make it so that I would want to actually pay for it as opposed to taking the free alternative. I personally have no issue paying people for their work. That also holds true for software. Granted many of these companies go out of their way to make some things far too expensive (Autodesk and Eplan are great examples)because they believe the market will bear it.
    In terms of servers Linux makes a decent alternative but NFS is still a problem in terms of the fine grained access control that I do have in Windows. Samba still is not up to snuff in my view for interfacing to the Windows machines. Although it has made great strides over the past few years. I do like using Linux as a mail and web server and it has performed relatively well in that regard. Zimbra went a long way to convince me to migrate over as it was well written and very functional. This is one area Microsoft has really failed as it is far too complex to set up a good web and mail server, secure it and maintain it over the long term.

    Overall I would like to see Linux improve and become a viable option for more than the casual user.

  • HP

    Linux over Windows is exactly the same X-rated as Windows over Linux.
    IMHO both the OS should remain ‘genuine authentic’ and compatible only at file exchange level.

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