Linux Vs Windows
1. Why has Microsoft been so successful with Windows?
Windows has been successful with Windows for a number of reasons such as below: *
Dominant Operating System/Large Installation Base: Windows was first launched in 1983, and has been the most dominant Operating System with a huge market share and installation base. * Enormous plethora of GUIs: Microsoft windows provide a range of features from a step-by-step user interface for novice users to powerful interfaces for the computer professionals. It provides GUI for almost all features. * High marketing and R&D budget: Microsoft invested heavily in Marketing and R&D. They provide regular updates to both their operating systems and applications. * Contracts with OEM: Around 80% of Microsoft’s revenue of its client segment is generated through the pre-installation of Windows operating systems on PCs, for which the OEMs pay Microsoft a licensing fee depending on the version of windows. * Other Windows compatible applications and software: Microsoft offered Microsoft Office and other software application, taken care of by a dedicated product segment called “Information Worker”. They also invest specialized division to support ISVs (Individual Software Vendors) to ensure the compatibility of externally written applications with their latest operating systems. * Server and Tools Division: This division of Microsoft produced the server version of windows like Windows Server 2008 R2 and development tools like Microsoft Visual Studio, a web application framework. * Significant switching cost from Windows: The high switching costs of OS from windows also protects windows as the enterprises and customers using Windows operating systems. * Piracy has pluses: Piracy of windows indirectly helps windows build a larger customer base and also compensate of the ‘free operating system’ segment of Linux, which helps it sustain better in the market and yield more profits.
a) Why have Open Source Software (OSS) and Linux been so successful?
* Diversity of brains: Thousands of Professional programmers work on Linux development and make contributions and suggestions. * Prices at zero: By its inherent characteristic, Linux/OSS is freely available, and the sources are available to everyone. * Natural style of development: Linux Inc. is unlike a traditional corporation, with no CEO, no annual report. It is not even a single company. Programmers work at their own will to make Linux better software. Linus Torvalds remains at the center, but has delegated control to enable the handling of vast inputs and changes required. A couple of core developers known as lieutenants help review the significant changes and decide on code freezing. * Dedicates investment from various Software companies: Many firms contribute to Linux projects, primarily by paying the programmers, and then making money by selling Linux packages including products and services, like help manuals, customer service and regular updates wrapped with the software itself. For eg, IBM has more than 600 programmers working for Linux development, while Red Hat has 200. * Free and independent participation: Linux promoted the free will for any programmer to work on anything they wanted. So the developers had the freedom to work on the projects they were interested in, leading to high quality work output. * ‘Release often, Release early and listen to your customers’ mantra: This philosophy that is followed by Linux Inc. points to frequent releases (4-6 weeks), short development cycles and results in a tight feedback loop from end users. Also, transparency to everyone is supported. So once a bug comes in, anyone could characterize and fix it.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of OSS?
Scalability, Security & Stability: Linux has more scalable structure. Also it has been a very secure and much more...
References: * Microsoft vs. Open Source: Who Will Win? By Sean Silverthorne, 2005
* Linux Inc. – Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine, 2005
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