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Linux vs. Windows Vista: Is There a Contest?

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We know we’ve said it before, but the answer to any question most often depends on whom you ask. Whether the bad press surrounding Windows Vista’s anti-piracy program will hurt Microsoft’s share of the OS market in favor of Linux is no exception.

On one side of the equation is the Linux enthusiast who says that Vista’s anti-piracy (a.k.a. “spyware”) controversy will be the best thing that ever happened to Linux.

On the other side of the equation are those like ZDNet’s Paul Murphy. In a recent blog post he posits that Microsoft is so convinced that Linux poses no threat to Vista’s share of the market that it can, and probably will, get away with huge inconveniences like the anti-piracy program.

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re: Linux vs WIndows

Is there a contest? No.

For the longest time, MacFreaks would spout on and on about how Mac's are soooo much better at graphics, desktop publishing, AV production, etc.

The reality is (and has been for the last decade or so) that Photoshop is Photoshop regardless of the OS (as are the other graphic apps).

Why then did Mac's seem to have all the numbers - because they did. Since those app's first appeared for the Mac OS that's the platform that was adopted by early graphic shops, typesetter shops, video production shops, etc.

If the app's are the same, why didn't all these shops change to Intel/Windows once they had a clear cut speed advantage? Money! None of the core app's had anytype of cross platform discount or upgrade plan etc (image if you were a typical design shop with 25 workstations each with 3-4 must have graphic app's - then calculate how many flyer's/ads/business card's you'd have to design in order to just break even - trust me, it's not an attractive business model). Of course no shop is going to say "we're to poor to make the change" so the myth that those "special" apps really only run "the artist way" on the Mac OS was born.

It's the SAME THING with Windows Vista. Large (and not so large) Businesses have HUGE (HUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGEEEEE) investments in Microsoft infrastructure. They're not going to abandon all that buy in (both in hard dollars and time/training/staff) to change over to Linux without a major feature benefit (i.e. it will make them big money - either directly or thru soft dollars - time/staff/overhead/etc.)

Can Linux integrate with AD, barely. Can Linux integrate with a zillion different apps that are tied to AD - no. Can Linux run native core app's developed for the windows platform - no.

Linux can do alot of things as good or better then Microsoft's NOS (and depending who you ask, Unix) and is appearing more and more in server racks worldwide (even those that were labeled diehard Microsoft shops). Also virtualization could be the magic app that changes the roi formula speeding up the adoption/changeover pace.

But just because Microsoft tightens their anti-piracy methods for their desktop OS doesn't mean Corp. Earth will drop them. OS costs to big companies are a drop in the bucket (compared to their total IT budget) and roll out is handled by push or image technology (not individual OS installs and activations). Plus big business doesn't pirate OS licenses (at least in the civilized parts of the world) since the cost/risk ratio is way way too high (it's just doesn't cost enough money NOT to be legal).

Some Linux freaks will be sure to label this as nonsense. That for every reason I listed there's a clever open source solution, I'm just too stupid to know it. To those people, I say, re-read my little story about graphic shops and why they STILL use Mac's when a Windows/Intel platform will do the same thing better and for less money. It's the inertia of business and the dollars tied to changing the vector of that inertia that will keep Microsoft on the Desktop and in most server racks for many many years to come.

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