We Need OS Diplomacy, Not OS Wars - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
9/28/2007
03:57 PM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

We Need OS Diplomacy, Not OS Wars

Some of the responses posted to my Linux blog entries have been filled with an amazing amount of venom -- directed not at me, but at other posters. The hate some people have for other people just because they elect to use another operating system on their computers never ceases to shock me.

Some of the responses posted to my Linux blog entries have been filled with an amazing amount of venom -- directed not at me, but at other posters. The hate some people have for other people just because they elect to use another operating system on their computers never ceases to shock me.

Maybe the absurdity of it all doesn't smack you in the face until you recast it in terms that have nothing to do with computers. Imagine hollering invectives at someone on an English-language message board because they have the nerve to read more books that were translated from another language than anything written in their native and beloved English. You'd think, "Why is this an issue? The more good books, the better, no matter where they're from." And you'd be right.

If you're passionate about something, it's all too easy to get myopic about it. One of my other big hobbies is movies -- not just any movies, but the best of the breed, the classics offered through the Criterion Collection and other labels. I have to accept that many people today have never seen or heard of films such as Citizen Kane, The Seven Samurai, La Dolce Vita, or M. I don't get angry about it. I do try to introduce people to the classics casually, as an adjunct to what it is they like now -- since they're often familiar with more recent films that are arguably just as good (Alien, The Shining, GoodFellas, and Blade Runner). If they get bitten by the bug, great. If not, well -- you're not always going to get the reaction you want, even if you are civil.

The same goes for the OS world. If someone's having a lot of PC trouble and doesn't have a lot of money to throw around, I introduce them to a variety of Linux as a possibility. If they pass and decide instead to drop $600 on a new Dell (with Windows), then I'll roll with that and show them what I know about how to get the most from Windows and not repeat their previous mistakes . . . and maybe hook them on some free/open-source software for Windows in the bargain. If they go Linux, then I show them how to make the best of it, too. Each one's an opportunity to get it right in a new way.

It doesn't get me riled up when someone chooses Linux over Windows or vice-versa. I've done enough of choosing both in my time to know that in each case someone typically has a legitimate reason for doing do. Because for most people it is simply not that big a deal. And it shouldn't be. The OS, and the computer, are just a means to an end for them.

I wrote before that Linux users should lead by example -- and, come to think of it, Windows users should do the same. Each one has something to demonstrate: that Linux can and should be an easy and viable alternative, and that Windows can run with great stability and security. Nobody is going to prove to the other side the merits of their way of doing things through insult, invective, or spluttering sophomoric insults.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
IT Careers: 12 Job Skills in Demand for 2020
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/1/2019
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Multi-Cloud Adoption
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  9/27/2019
Commentary
5 Ways CIOs Can Better Compete to Recruit Top Tech Talent
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  10/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll