LINUX vs. WINDOWS
The debate on Windows vs. Linux is truly an on going one with no end in site. Regardless how you come at this juncture you are usually a UNIX supporter or a customer of Microsoft OS and products who are grateful for products of Microsoft. We will in the following paragraphs try to compare the advantages and disadvantages of these different systems. We will give a brief description on the cost of these products, what kind of market-share these two systems hold, the availability of application software, and the different types of Hardware needed. We will briefly describe the functionality, performance, File System Comparisons, and the Security that comes with these products. On the Personal Computer show in December 2003 John C. Dvorak forecasted a brilliant outlook for Linux. His key points being: it's free, the applications are getting more mainstream, Open Office is a "remarkable" product, the GUI is pretty much like Windows, it's high quality, bullet proof and resistant to the thousands of Windows viruses and worms. If he owned a company with thousands of PCs, he would put everyone on Linux. To date the only organizations that we found using hundreds or thousands of Linux based computers are government agencies in countries all over the world. They may be driven by cost and/or security concerns. Some countries also may not like being beholden to a U.S. based company for so much of their software. For a long time because of Microsoft's aggressive marketing practices, millions of users who have no idea what an operating system is have been using Windows operating systems given to them when they purchased their PCs. Many others are not aware that there are operating systems other than Windows. Many users because of their familiarity with windows seem to think that system is overwhelmingly superior to any other products. When we start breaking down different aspects of these products we can see how it is adaptable to different situation. One system maybe bests for one situation the other for another situation. In regards to cost for a desktop or home use, Windows is expensive, but Linux is very cheap or free. For server use, Linux is very cheap compared to Windows. Microsoft allows a single copy of Windows to be used on only one computer. In contrast, once you have purchased Linux, you can run it on any number of computers for no additional charge. As of January 2005, the upgrade edition of Windows XP Home Edition sells for about $100; XP Professional is about $200. The "full" version of XP Home is about $200; the full version of XP Professional is $300. Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition with 10 Client licenses is about $1,100. Wal-Mart can sell a Linux based computer for $200 whereas their cheapest Windows XP computer is $300. You can purchase various distributions of Linux in a box with a CD and manuals and technical support for around $40 to $80. Regular updates and ongoing support range from $35 a year for a desktop version of Linux to $1,500 for a high-end server version. August 2004 Red Hat started selling a desktop oriented version of Linux for under $6 per user per year. Computer World magazine quoted the chief technology architect at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York as saying that "the cost of running Linux is typically a tenth of the cost of Microsoft alternatives." The head technician at oil company Amerada Hess manages 400 Linux servers by himself. He was quoted as saying "It takes fewer people to manage the Linux machines than Windows machines." Microsoft's creative marketing made it possible for them to get a strangle hold on the other competitors in the market place. Their market share on the OS systems for a desktop is an incredible 90%. Microsoft striking deals with pc manufactures from early on made this possible for them. Most of today's users grew up on Windows so they are familiar with it. Industry seems to be pleased in using Windows for their low end systems, but for high-end...
References: Burgess M., (2001). A comparison of Linux and Windows, Edition 2.2. Retrieved on December 20, 2005 from: http://www.michaelhorowitz.com/Linux.vs.Windows.html
Kirch, John (1998). Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 versus UNIX. www.lege.com. Retrieved online on January 8, 2006 from http://www.lege.com/unix-nt/#graphs
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