Government // Enterprise Architecture
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2/13/2009
10:55 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Linux Vs. Windows ... Round 2,671,852

I'm becoming resigned to the fact that whenever Linux and Windows are mentioned in the same breath, it'll be as "Linux vs. Windows". Worse things could happen, I guess -- and if the tone of the L vs W discussion we get is mature and sensible, that's probably the best we can hope for. Here's an example of that.

I'm becoming resigned to the fact that whenever Linux and Windows are mentioned in the same breath, it'll be as "Linux vs. Windows". Worse things could happen, I guess -- and if the tone of the L vs W discussion we get is mature and sensible, that's probably the best we can hope for. Here's an example of that.

Over at Serverwatch, there's a piece entitled "Is Linux Cheaper On The Desktop Than Windows?" The easy answer would be "Of course it is", but the discussion's smart enough to encompass things like lifecycle support, hardware failures, and other details that often fall by the wayside. The whole thing's been constructed as a way to get your to reflect on what you might not be taking into account if you're considering a switch.

It's not a long article, although a full treatment of this subject could easily fill a book -- or at the very least a lengthy report. What's worth noting, again, is the tone of the whole thing -- it's written from the point of view that free is indeed great, but not the entire story.

Amongst friends and professional acquaintances, I stump constantly for free solutions when I can -- OpenOffice or AbiWord instead of for-pay suites, or maybe Thunderbird instead of Outlook. But I'm also wary of recommending free software when I know full well the free versions are simply not mature enough to compete with the commercial offerings out there.

Case in point: the web design app NVU / KompoZer, which bulks mighty small next to Dreamweaver or even Microsoft's Expression Web product. The folks who need a web-design product aren't going to have the patience to deal with something half-baked; they need a full solution that covers all the territory right now.

So, ultimately, perhaps the whole "X vs. Y" formula of dealing with Linux and Windows -- or free vs. non-free -- isn't the problem. It's how you do it. There has to be at least some semblance of fairness. If you do it with the assumption that the deck deserves to be stacked one way or the other ahead of time, what's the point of even pretending to compare?


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