Considering the much talked about subject these days, I thought this might be a good topic for discussion. I saw some discussion on the topic in some other threads, but I think the subject deserves it's own thread.
So guys, which OS do you think is better? Windows or Linux?
I've written down my opinions at http://www.ashik.frih.net/winvslin.htm
Well, when I saw the topic, I thought I would find a very long list of posts discussing the systems.. but apparently FriHoster are OS agnostic!
Even though my vote in poll comes without thinking twice, one needs to be very precise when accessing these two systems - and keeping in mind we are leaving others outside the discussion.
My opinion is, without Windows we wouldn't be where we are today. Not even Linux would the success it is. The argument is the way Windows entered the market - at a time when Unixes where fighting for users, using lock-in, licensing the products with hardware dongles, Windows required a few diskettes and an easily obtainable key. Cheaper, easier and it spread like wildfire..
Then there's the user friendliness - even today, you need formation to properly operate a Unix system, whereas Windows, with the point-and-click system made it easier to learn by exploring. Of course, some tasks were still beyond the casual user, but you could go far just looking around. And so did Windows grow.
Then came the agressive marketing strategy - getting hardware and software vendors in, providing packets to firms and schools - trying to occupy every possible niche from the very start. But that's a different issue.
The fact is, Windows made it possible for people like me to learn about computers, and eventually deepen that knowledge. Then there's the usability of the system - since Windows has been around longer, installing, using and being productive in a Windows system is easier. Linux has a lot of sharp edges where word-webmail-mp3 users still stumble.
But if you add a pinch of formation to the user, then deploying one of the new distros is a piece of cake. Carefully coaching the user to use alternative tools, like OpenOffice, or the KDE suite enables him/her to get as far as with Windows. A series of 'features' still require considerable admin work to make the system as pleasant as Windows, but in return you have a safer system.
And then my own view: I get all worked up everytime I have to do something with Windows. First, the array of tools a standard linux distro offers is greatly superior - at least for my task list. Then, the freedom of movement Linux offers is unparalleled. Any environment is Linux's environment. And the price - for me, it's free. For a corporation or institution, save on software and invest in admin and formation. And live in a transparent world - without blackboxes, ever increasing version numbers and the like.
To sum up, Windows is definitely a very fine piece of software. You can learn much from the strategies of the corporation. But Linux is already catching up with it - and offers many advantages.
There is already an official topic on favourite Operating Systems here. Please search before posting.