[opensource] Linux vs. Windows

Charlie Hayes hayes.465 at osu.edu
Wed Oct 25 13:11:25 EDT 2006

On Oct 25, 2006, at 12:07 PM, Paul Betts wrote:

> On Wed, 2006-10-25 at 11:41 -0400, Charlie Hayes wrote:
>> At this point the general security of Windows is about the same as
>> GNU/Linux system.
> Can you cite _any_ examples to back up this point? Or more simply,
> please find me a Linux machine infested with spyware, and I'll find  
> you
> a Windows machine infested with spyware, we'll see who returns first.

Yes, there are tons of Windows computers infested with Spyware, it is  
unfortunate. However, with the advent of the free Windows Defender,  
Spyware on new systems isn't an issue. As a Windows user, I have only  
once ever had spyware installed on my machine and it was extremely  
easy to remove.

>> The time and energy spent on installing, updating, and maintaining a
>> GNU/Linux system is arguably much greater than the time spent on the
>> same tasks in Windows or MacOS.
> This used to be true, but isn't anymore on Ubuntu; keeping your  
> software
> up-to-date on Windows is much slower. You have to go to Windows  
> Update,
> reboot a few times, then track down the updates for every program on
> your machine individually. 'sudo apt-get upgrade' is much quicker.

What time frame are we talking about here? This past summer I  
witnessed otherwise (see my previous reply to Bill).

>> I would advise continuing in Windows. You should keep your
>> instillation of Windows up-to-date using Windows Update and make sure
>> to install Windows Defender and keep it up-to-date.
> I would advise against it, but I agree with the advice about WU and
> Defender.
>> If you are extremely concerned with security, usability, and
>> compatibility, you may consider getting a Mac, however it will cost
>> you at least $700.
>> GNU/Linux would be a nice choice for 'tinkering', playing around, and
>> learning a Unix-like operating system.
>> Either way, I believe abandoning GNU/Linux for personal and desktop
>> use would be the best choice, at least until any distribution
>> achieves a level of maturity that Windows or MacOS has achieved.
> What is immature about Linux? (there are points that are, but they're
> pretty small, and on par with the deficiencies in Windows and MacOSX).

I have no concrete evidence that GNU/Linux is immature. But as a  
MacOS and Windows user, I have tried many distributions of GNU/Linux  
and every time I find at least 20 usability problems in less than 5  
minutes that were solved many years ago on Windows or MacOS. Just  
compare install, startup, and shut down times. Or commercial  
application support. Or the fact that every major distribution names  
their 'start menu items' differently and that many applications in  
those menus duplicate functionality to the point where there are ~4  
applications to change your IP address. Or integration such as drag- 
and-drop, copy-and-paste, OLE/COM, etc. Or (this only applies to  
MacOS) the quality of applications that ship with the OS or are  
available. GNU/Linux is making strides to reach where Windows and  
MacOS were many years ago, which is amazing for free software, but at  
the same time, Windows and MacOS are moving forward as-well.

> I
> can do pretty much everything you can do on Windows, and a lot of  
> things
> you _can't_ do on Windows (try using someone else's iPod on  
> Windows, or
> making a PDF without paying extra).

Thats a pretty crazy claim. Driver support, application support, etc  
are all much greater on Windows. Wine still isn't to the point where  
you can run any Windows application. GNU/Linux has many legacy  
drivers, but it still lacks driver support. It's much better than it  
was a few years ago, but it is still quite a ways from Windows. The  
reason there is purely economical and not technical. There are free  
PDF printing utilities for Windows (most likely the exact same tools  
you use on Linux, I believe GhostScript is one choice) and there are  
a TON of iPod utilities for Windows and MacOS that do many things,  
including copying music off them.


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