back to article Windows Server 2008 is better than Vista, but why?

IT infrastructure veteran Mark Wilson asks: It seems that, wherever you look, Windows Server 2008 is almost universally acclaimed. And rightly so - I believe that it is a fantastic operating system release (let's face it, Windows Server 2003 and R2 were very good, too) and is packed full of features that have the potential to …

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  1. F Seiler

    vista??

    The original question is interesting from from an achitectural point of view. But as a user, what i really care about is "Is 2008 faster than 2003R2?".

  2. Nexox Enigma

    2008 on the desktop

    I played with 2k8 on my desktop for a couple weeks recently. I loved 2k3 as a desktop OS, until sp1 made it kind of irritating (couldn't play quake anymore...) I haven't run (or wanted to run) Vista on any of my hardware, but 2k8 seemed fast even compared to my previous copy of XP.

    I love some of the things that they've done with Explorer - namely the auto-sizing columns in details view, the actually useful error messages that show up during file copies or delete actions, and the speed boost to just about everything.

    I have all of my moderate collection of music in one large directory, because I'm far too lazy to organize things. It takes XP a while just to show the directory each time I open it, even with the media details disabled. 2k8 not only reads and displays the directory rapidly, but it'll cache the results somewhere, so the second time around is much faster, and that's with the media details displayed.

    I also got approximately double the speed for file copies over gigabit from my samba server (from 40 to 80 MB/s) in addidion to many fewer random pauses and glitches using samba.

    I didn't have Aero on (I'm a fan of the win 2k look,) but my hardware isn't particularly fast or new, and I was impressed with the responsiveness of everything.

    Of course the CAD program that I absolutely need to have didn't want to run on 2k8, so now I'm back on XP. I'm no fan of MS, but it seems like they did a lot of things right. Except that whole snafu with the protected content stuff ruining all the audio and video drivers, it seems like they're on the right track.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Umm, is it me?

    WTF does a SERVER OS need a gui like Aero for? Helloooooo...?

  4. nucrash
    Stop

    Win2K8 Needs a GUI like Aero

    Reason behind this is simple, Terminal Services. Best to give a user the most desktop like experience possible or risk them waking up to the fact that they are actually using a Thin Client.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Coat

    Well really

    17% faster eh. Not bad. Nearly as fast as Linux on half the hardware spec then.

    The one with the 2G RAM cards poking out the pocket.

  6. Phill
    IT Angle

    What new features?

    "The short answer is that Server 2008 delivers new features that customers wanted, whereas Vista delivers new features that Microsoft thought its customers should want."

    ....what new features are these?

  7. Matt Bradley
    Gates Horns

    DRM

    JUst out of interest: how much of fileystem / hardware watching DRM stuff is included in Server 2008? My bet would be that a lot of this hardware crippling code is missing from the server oriented platform?

  8. Dave McEneaney

    Microsoft's own desktops

    I went to the Microsoft campus in Reading last year, to attend what was meant to be a technical discussion but was actually a sales pitch on Exchange 2007 and SharePoint. What I found was that, all the MS employees that brought their laptops up and did demos were running various Server 2008 betas / RCs rather than Vista, and were saying how well it performed.

    I like Vista, I do. But from experience, 2008 Server does run a hell of a lot better.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Not good

    I haven't got a chance to really kick the tires yet, but so far I would say it is as bad as Vista: It is 5GB instead of 700MB (really guys, what is all that for?) It takes just as long to install as Vista, It runs very poorly on the three VM's I've installed it on, noticeably slower than my Win2k3 VM's of the same specs (and don't you give me that "it's supposed to run slower, its new!" BS). They kept the obnoxious dialogs that get in between you and TCP settings, and they have the same deplorable GUI. Oh yeah, and things I used to like to do, like say, alter password policies, I now have to do in ADSI Edit with cryptic key/value pairs, instead of just a nice GUI where I set Password History=5, and away I go.

    I haven't seen a single thing that makes it an improvement over 2k3 yet. (Maybe IIS7, jury’s still out on that).

  10. Mectron
    Flame

    i agree with Matt Bradley

    if vista was cleaned of all the illegal DRM bugging it, it will be a much better(Faster)) OS. How much bribe from the Digital Mafia (MPAA/RIAA) MS as receive to make vista such a fiasco?

  11. Nick Stallman
    Thumb Down

    Someone is working overtime.

    I hope they pay their marketing team overtime.

    They are doing a fantastic job with Win 2k8.

    Now if only any of it was actually true.....

  12. Mark

    2k8 rocks

    About 8 weeks ago I went through the pain of upgrading Vista to SP1 on my laptop, it kind of felt better but still left me wondering if it was time to upgrade the laptop.

    About 5 weeks ago I scratched the lot and installed Win2K8, the difference is startling. It feels like I have a new laptop, the apps respond quickly, throughput is up and it works just great. Almost everything works and I don't have a clutter of useless crud that Vista seems to think I should have.

    The only app that doesn't work is Microsoft's own MSN Messenger, but Trillian sorts that out.

    Vista always seemed to be busy constantly trawling through the hard disk for no known reason and quite reluctant to stop when you wanted it to do something important.

    If you can afford it, or most likely get it from an MSDN subscription, this is the best Windows desktop you'll have until the mythical Windows 7 pops up.

    The kernel between the two systems is virtually identical, but then the kernel is only a few MB of core functions, it's what you do with it that makes all the difference. It's the server group who write and control the kernel and then write the higher level services that manage applications and shovel data. I think this pisses off the workstation group who aren't allowed to touch those bits, makes them feel like 2nd class voles. To make up for it, they design piles of shit to go in to the workstation version and pretend that they're "top gun" programmers.

  13. Pierre Silver badge

    New features, QDOS, and things

    As stated by another contributor, Vista doesn't bring so much in terms of new features. Especially now that MS admitted that they need the anti-malware crowd back in to secure the thing.

    As stated above (again), you can run an alternative OS on hardware with half the specs and still have better performance (with the very same "fnew eatures" - and more).

    Anyway, what would you expect from an OS build on "Quick and Dirty Operating System", especially when they took the "quick" out? MS history tells it all, folks. (To be honest, I believe that QDOS was a good base. Too bad it fell in the wrong hands. MS might even be able to come up with good software if they ditched a few PR droids and hired more developpers instead. How many MS employees does it take to replace a bulb?*)

    Now I'm not saying that MS is a pile of shite and nothing else. A pile of shite it is, but to be honest they made the clueless-lusers-friendly approach mandatory for everyone else, which is why we now have (useless but shiny) "friendly" graphical interfaces for Linux (just an example). And, I'm ashamed but I must admit that I sometimes welcome it (for one-shot jobs, when I'm too lazy to RTFM).

    --

    * 20 PR droids to trick the customer into thinking that he doesn't need light right now, while the only tech is building a new bulb from used parts.

  14. Chris C

    Same codebase

    If Server 2008 really is the same codebase as Vista, then we should expect The Long Goodbye to occur on Server 2008. Wouldn't that be something -- a server choking on a simple file copy. But hey, it's not like it was designed for that at all...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    I doubt the DRM is out of 2008....

    ...they spent too much work putting it in Vista. If every music pirating asshole (sorry guys), could just install 2008, they would. Besides that, MS has built the whole driver architecture around DRM. You *really* think that, when vendors can't even come up with a set of drivers that work for Vista, they are going to miraculously create *another* set of working, DRM-free 2008 drivers? I bloody well fucking doubt it. Just like Server users are forced to have the same slow-ass GUI code in place, they will definitely be subject to the same DRM crippled drivers, ironically on machines that will never have a monitor attached, and certainly never play an blue ray DVD.

    And all this because MS realizes the market expansion for consumer OS's is dead, as they are essentially feature complete, there is no more (paying) user base to add, and no one wants a new OS anyway, much less to pay $400 for it.

    Instead they are working on a model where they make money from the back-end (content producers), essentially the same as Comcast and AT&T are trying to do. Consumers are cheap sods, and corporations are always looking for increasing revenues, so they will try to create as many hidden revenue streams as they can.

    The sad thing is that this is all at the expense of the IT pro's who just want a fucking OS that works. And everyone will just run to Linux anyway. Same as how CompuServe died when the Internet reached consumers. You can lock people in to create revenue, but only until something else comes out, and they leave. Far better to just give them all what they want all along, but who am I to judge what I want anyway?

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  17. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Re: I doubt the DRM is out of 2008....

    I this takes a bit of imagination, but maybe the engineers at MS are smart enough to write DRM code that can de simply disabled in builds where it's not deemed to be needed. Drivers are hardly an issue - who puts an "XFi Xtreme Audio" card or a TV card in a server and, yes, without DRM, maybe even Creative could come up with half decent drivers. As for "asshole" pirates They'll continue to use XP or switch to Linux. The DRM in Vista isn't there to stop pirates. How much torrented copyrighted material has the DRM left in? Exactly none, I'll bet. It's there to stop casual copying which it does very effectively. That this is a solution to an issue that has long since passed into history is, well, typical of MS.

    I'm with Matt and Mectron on this - cherchez la DRM.

  18. Paul Talbot

    Working OS?

    "Server 2008 delivers new features that customers wanted, whereas Vista delivers new features that Microsoft thought its customers should want. "

    Not exactly. Server 2008 seems to deliver features with the ability to customise them and not lose performance when performing the same tasks as 2003. (I say seems because I haven't used it yet).

    Whereas Vista was apparently incapable of copying files across my home network when I had the misfortune of obtaining a machine pre-installed with it. That's the big difference I think - Vista has a shinier interface but doesn't seem to work properly for even basic tasks. Server 2008 at least seems capable of performing the task requested of it.

  19. boe

    I second the question about 2k3 vs 2k8

    I would like to see some benchmarks comparing 2003 R2 to 2008.

    I here a rumor not sure if there is any truth that 2008 does not have DRM built in so it is faster- not sure who asked for it to be built into Vista - hopefully they'll skip in in Windows 7 or leak a patch on how to remove it from Vista if that is the cause for the incredibly bad performance with Vista.

  20. David
    Thumb Up

    Win Server 2008 + Desktop Experience

    As CTO & professional developer for a software company I ran Win 2003 Server for years as it gave me access to all the server features such as IIS6 that our software runs on.

    I moved to Longhorn and to Visual Studio 2008 as my dev platform which was a bit unstable and seemed quite sluggish sometimes - WiFi regularly crashed the machine for example so I only used it when I had to. Aero was pretty cool.

    I've recently rebuilt the machine with the release version of Server 2008 and VS08 and have to say that its brilliant. Its faster than Win2k3 and the Aero UI is great to work with. WiFi works now and its faster than Longhorn.

    All in all - its by far the best working environment I've ever used (I use a Dell M6300 laptop which is also pretty good).

    Big thumbs up from me!!

  21. Robin
    Happy

    re: I doubt the DRM is out of 2008....

    "I bloody well fucking doubt it"

    And the award for potty-mouth of the weekend goes to ...

    That's some top-class swearing there! I'm off to the pub to get some practice in.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. William Towle
    Boffin

    Re: "What New Features?" (Phill)

    "

    "The short answer is that Server 2008 delivers new features that customers wanted, whereas Vista delivers new features that Microsoft thought its customers should want."

    ....what new features are these?

    "

    Does that question come from the premise you're a customer? Given the interesting(ly twisted) definition of "customer" we use at work (in that it has an "internal" and an "external" context), if you've bought a computer with Windows preinstalled, you're the shop's customer and the shop is Microsoft's.

    Food for thought.

  24. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    Vista and 2008

    I use both, vista at home and vista & 2008 at work, I've had no issues with either apart from the early RC's. I've had no performance issues with either and all the people who moan about performance are idiots with crap machines. Guess what Linux on a 64MB 90Mhz P1 won't run my MPEGs, technology moves on and so do OS's, if your not going to update you machine don't bother updating your OS, sometimes I think the Linux lot just want us to live in some nostalgic past of shell interfaces.

    Microsoft OS's are the all round best, with them you can work and play on the same machine.

  25. Gordon Fecyk
    Stop

    MS admitted the needed the anti-malware crowd?!

    "Especially now that MS admitted that they need the anti-malware crowd back in to secure the thing."

    Who in Hades said that?! Wasn't it only a few short days ago that Virus Bulletin Magazine trashed 17 out of 37 (or something) anti-virus products because they couldn't do their job on Vista?

    The only ones I've heard say something like that was VB Magazine themselves. But then, their revenue comes from AV ad subscriptions. Saying anything else would kill their business model. But you have to give them credit for this line:

    "Security vendors have had plenty of time to develop Vista products, so there's little excuse for the failure rates unearthed by the [VB100 2007] test."

    That was from last year. They told their readers that popular anti-virus software failed to do its job. I never thought I'd see someone INSIDE the PC security industry say that.

    I could get Vista to run securely and reasonably quickly on a 512 MB machine, P4 2 GHz, integrated video. Sure it wouldn't launch Aero (not enough RAM), but I'm about the Win2K look myself. Basic worked fine. Java apps worked fine. And it was safe enough - I went to a few adware sponsored sites and I couldn't trash the machine. Of course I used a standard user account...

    And Happy Hatching Day, El Reg!

  26. Pierre Silver badge

    Anti-malware crowd

    Gordon, I think the reference you are looking for is:

    http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2008/04/08/mundie_windows_interoperability/

    Anyway, Windows just doesn't float my boat, I have to run very ressource-hungry processes and I can't afford to spend 2,000 $ per desktop. Especially when I can have the work done on 700$ machines, with the same performances, just by using another OS.

  27. Bob Davis
    Linux

    Vista's ok, 2008 seems better

    Vista's been running ok for me using MS-supplied bits, exceptions are a couple Dell notebooks with Vista pre-installed. A support rep let slip in chat with my daughter that the M1330 factory Vista image might have been a little bit corrupted and she may want a bare-metal install from DVD. (Next day another tech nixed that and had her re-image -again- from the rescue partition.)

    Meanwhile the home-built system using MS' dvd runs fine. DRM seems to slow Media Player pretty bad once you load it up with a few hundred CD's.

    2008 has surprised me in the lab for quickness and stability. The GUI makes it deceptively easy for more people to manage. Not everyone wants to know the joy, power, and intuitive ease-of-use vi and vim can afford us, and even some admins think they have better things to do than write their own device drivers.

    For appliances, though, I don't think we'll be jumping off RHEL, centOS or Suse anytime soon. Nothing like an arcane OS where the only standard look-and-feel is the command line, to keep people from touching your stuff.

  28. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Down

    @spitefulGOD

    "Microsoft OS's are the all round best, with them you can work and play on the same machine."

    zomg, are you serial? super serial?

  29. Pierre Silver badge

    @ SpitefulDOG

    "Guess what Linux on a 64MB 90Mhz P1 won't run my MPEGs"

    Guess what, it will. Perfectly good example. Thank you very much for proving how clueless MS fanbuoys are about the REAL capacities of a computer.

    "I think the Linux lot just want us to live in some nostalgic past of shell interfaces."

    I think you never actually saw a Linux box. I also think you have no idea on how console mode is thousand times more efficient than lame point-and-click for about everything.

    "Microsoft OS's are the all round best, with them you can work and play on the same machine."

    MS OS are the best, you can play and play (and play) on the same machine. Provided it is a state-of-the-art overpowered superbox. Work? Sure. Work efficiently? Not.

    On the other hand, you can run Linux on a cheap machine and work (efficiently) and play. With better performances. Or you can run Linux on your superbox and have 10 times better performances than with MS OS. And more features. You could probably have even better perfs by running a less "generic" OS, but you'd not be able to run so many games as under Linux probably.

    Now if you want to waste good hardware by running a crippled OS on it, go ahead.

  30. Pierre Silver badge
    Joke

    @ Bob Davis

    "my daughter [...] Nothing like an arcane OS where the only standard look-and-feel is the command line, to keep people from touching your stuff."

    Shurely some geek lady still managed to type "set ERECT=TRUE"...

  31. Christian Berger Silver badge

    It's the competition

    While some people who have never seen Ubuntu claim that Linux is not yet ready for the Desktop, it is not disputed that Linux is a good choice for servers.

    So the competition for Microsoft is a lot stiffer in the server business, so they actually need to put some effort into offering what the user wants. After all, even Dell sells servers without pre-installed operating system.

    On the Desktop side you can just force Vista on your customers. Most people won't know the difference between Vista and Ubuntu anyhow.They take what they get without questioning.

    If I was Microsoft, I'd slowly work on positioning Windows servers as application servers, where you just connect via RDP and execute your Windows applications. There is no need to place a Windows box at every workplace. One application server per department is enough.

  32. Chika
    Coat

    Curiouser and curiouserererer

    OK, I'll admit it (I admitted as much months ago on my LJ anyway). I tried W2k8 and I didn't exactly hate it. It was Beta 3 though, and it did flash up at least one mention of its Vista heritage during the installation, but it went on reasonably enough. I tried it with and without the Desktop Experience (my only though as to why you might want it is if you have a remote access setup where the users might actually want it).

    I will also admit that the installation was on a fairly low spec machine too. A PIII laptop, to be exact!

    I'm a little annoyed that it has all the nags that Vista has but, aside from that and the amount of work required to open up the bits you need that W2K3 and earlier always assumed you would need anyway, it didn't handle too badly. The machine it was loaded on had WXP prior to that, and it seemed that there was little difference in the overall handling, though obviously there were odd bits and pieces that needed work at the time.

    The thing is, however, given the recent agg about Vista, the availability of SP1 and all its problems, the ongoing nags about its handling and the inevitable gripes about trying to get it to work on older machines and such, I really wonder if M$ has someone in the workstation side of things whose job it is to deliberately sabotage the product?

    (Oh yes, and this was entered from my newly upgraded openSuSE 10.3 machine... then I find that they are upgrading to version 11 in a couple of months! I just can't win!!!)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    DRM - "who asked for it to be built into Vista"

    Are there any HD (as in HDTV, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, etc) capabilities built to Server 2008?

    The DRM in Vista was demanded by the "entertainment" industry, under the guise of "Trusted Computing". Trusted computing didn't mean that the end user could trust their OS to be safe, secure, or even work right, it meant that the pigopolists could trust MS not to let HD DVDs (oops) and other valuable "content" be "backed up" as easily as they can under earlier OSes. HD support gives them and MS an excuse to put the "trust" stuff into the OS. No HD support, no need for the "trust" baggage. (For various technical reasons, the HD/DRM support needs to be there even when HD content is not actually involved, if the system has HD capability).

    The reason the entertainment corporates are scared wotsitless about this "trust" stuff is that they have a business model at risk; for every iTunes download the record companies get half the revenue, which is around five times what the performer gets, five times what the writer gets. See why they're scared?

  34. Rune Moberg

    @ Pierre, Linux superperformance

    "Guess what, it will. Perfectly good example. Thank you very much for proving how clueless MS fanbuoys are about the REAL capacities of a computer."

    Uhm, dude... Throw in a modern mpeg4 with HD content, and I seriously doubt that 90MHz first generation Pentium will do you much good. It usually takes a 2GHz+ CPU bonded together with a powerful GPU to cough out anything watchable with today's mpegs, regardless of OS.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @nucrash

    Fine. So give Aero as an installable option for TS servers, if your TS users are really such fwagile bunny wabbits that they'll sulk if they don't get all the frippery.

    But why inflict it on servers that are just... being servers and serving...?

  36. no
    Paris Hilton

    @ SpitefulGOD

    "I've had no performance issues with either and all the people who moan about performance are idiots with crap machines"

    An amazing statement considering the constant issues have hit mainstream press repeatedly.

    Reviewers and press are going to be the last people to be running "crap machines". If they are running fast machines and are having issues, how do you think the bloke who goes to PCWorld and buys a Celeron with 512 meg of RAM is going to cope with Vista being pre-installed?

    Then again, who are they to have an opinion if your machine is working fine?

    Paris: Not even she has upgraded to Vista.

  37. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    @Pierre, no, storng.bare.durid

    I'm not being a 'tard about this, I know a whole load of OS's do a lot of things a lot better than windows does, and I know that windows is bloated. But no other OS that I've used does what I need a PC to do and that's monitor hundred of server and client PCs, develop scalable application fast and play games. Hey maybe in 5 years I might try linux again but at the moment I doubt (unless you have the time to waste) it can be more than a home OS for playing videos and surfing the web.

    Anywho don't flame me for this, I know the capabilities of linux, I know my TV, router, and telephone exchange, hey even my PC has an inbuilt Webserver running it, I know it can do brilliant things efficiently, but that ain't going to make me no cash, only Windows can do that, which is my point.

    And it's true all my machines are big and beefy and Vista run perfectly on them, they sit there running web services, streaming Sky to the rest of my house and playing my games. Yes it is "An amazing statement considering the constant issues have hit mainstream press repeatedly." but I have never had any issues and I would think that the majority of vista users who have half a brain and don't go clicking porn ads can speak from the same slate.

  38. Pierre Silver badge
    Boffin

    @ Rune Moberg

    "Throw in a modern mpeg4 with HD content, and I seriously doubt that 90MHz first generation Pentium will do you much good."

    It clearly depends on the mpeg. I also admit you'd get a VERY frustrating "viewing experience" with a huge HD mpeg4. but it will run nonetheless. Now try to launch the same mpeg on the same machine with any MS OS installed. I'm not sure you could even install the codecs before you throw the box through the window. A friend of mine asked to "fix" her old box (PII cadenced at 333 MHz, RAM=64M) for her parents to browse the interwub on it. Even Win98 was swapping like hell (just the OS, before you'd try to run any app). It was running just fine with a DSL liveCD though. Internet experience: perfect, advanced interactive image processing (300 Mo TIFF stacks): acceptable, text processing: very good, movie watching: excellent (I didn't throw recent mpeg files at it though, I like my movies without glitches and lag. But again, all was running in RAM with no swap space). She was impressed by the performance of her old PC, but strangely she didn't let me reformat the thing and install a Slackware or a Debian on it. Too bad, as this still perfectly usable machine is probably in a dumpster by now.

    As for the "2Ghz" limit, I'm pretty sure you can seemlessly play any MPEG4 movie with less than half that processing power (in the Asus EEE, the Celeron is cadenced at 900 MHz. Still roughtly10 times more than 90MHz, but I never implied that a huge mpeg could run _seemlessly_ on the PI box depicted above. It will run, which is in itself impressive).

    Now a "green computing" advice to all the MS fanbuoys around: instead of dumping your 7-yo box, give it to a *NIX fanbuoy, he will still be able to get more work out of it than you'd ever get out a state-of-the-art Winbox (and he will waste his time playing stupid old CPC games on it, too). Advice number 2: keep the old box in the attic for 15 more years, and then SELL it to a *NIX fanbuoy (Oooops, shouldn't have said that).

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sloooow

    Recently done some direct benchmarking on lightweight laptops.

    Vista? 40% slower than XP.

  40. tempemeaty
    Alert

    I would also like to know what is in Vista that is not in Server 2008

    How much of fileystem / USER watching stuff is included in Server 2008? Does Server 2008 collect user data and send it home?

  41. Pierre Silver badge

    @ Spitefull... WHAT, again? about cashflow

    I'm currently experiencing deity problems, sorry if I didn't get your pseudo right.

    Anyway, I understand your point of view. Especially the "I need to make cash and who else than MS can help me with that" part. 2 things:

    - sucks to be you, mate (sorry, couldn't resist)

    -Linux can do much more for you than "browsing the web and watching vids". Actually, that's what Windows was designed to do. Linux is supposed to allow you to use your computer instead. I think that you might want to avoid saying things like "at the moment I doubt (unless you have the time to waste) it can be more than a home OS for playing videos and surfing the web." unless you want to be seen as a complete moron. The main use of Linux in the modern world is as part of LAMP, which has very little to do with watching vids at home (except that it allows the servers to run of course). Now if your angst was directed at Ubuntu, I might agree. I'd help you wiping this thing off the face of the world. Once we're done with Windows, that is.

    -"Anywho don't flame me for this, I know the capabilities of linux, I know my TV, router, and telephone exchange, hey even my PC has an inbuilt Webserver running it, I know it can do brilliant things efficiently, but that ain't going to make me no cash, only Windows can do that, which is my point." The cash thing is acceptable (you could also earn money in the Open Source world, but not as much and not as easily probably). The rest is just flame bait. I'm running Linux on a few machines, and I can do text processing, data analysis, figure formatting and "sysadmining" much faster than on any MS OS. I get better/shinier/more reliable (apply where relevant) results, too. I did have to patch some code to have things done EXACTLY the way I wanted, but with "closed" code I wouldn't even have known how things were done! (btw, I know it's 3 things now and not 2, but the first hardly counts, right?)

    -(now it's 4) Linux is probably not the Jesus OS. There are more secure OSes around. There are faster OSes too. But heck, none of them is designed by MS! Bwahahahaha!

  42. Shakje
    Stop

    Really.

    You're right of course, reviewers and the press are going to be the last people to be running "crap machines". On the negative side there's a feature from a Register writer, and on one of them there's a low user rating. If you look through the comments form users, most of them are either not users of Vista, or running bad machines.

    Seriously, can we just drop the FUD now, it's been out long enough, it IS a good OS, if you have the hardware for it. We've been through this every time a new MS OS comes out, and eventually people end up liking it (except for ME, but that one was understandable). It HAS good reviews, the people who use it on a capable system ARE happy with it in general, and a lot of the issues are down to either badly written 3rd party software/drivers or just poor hardware. Yes, the zipping and network copying still needs a bit of work, but the other file issues have been fixed with SP1. So really, let's just stop this already. It's getting boring. It still isn't the year of Linux, Macs will always be overpriced and inherently flaky, and Windows will always require better hardware on a version upgrade, and use a few more resources. But overall, it's a better and easier user experience, and anyone who posts complaining because they can't turn off UAC needs to stop reading an IT news site and re-evaluate the job they're in, as does anyone who bought a Dell or PC World computer and found out it was underpowered. If you want to spend that much on a PC you might as well buy a Mac, it'll be easier on everyone.

    If you've used Vista SP1 on capable hardware for a prolonged period then fine, comment. If your problem is with drivers or software, or you don't really have a clue about Vista but want to comment to look clever, stop. Never have I seen so much bollocks talked about a new OS, or as many sheep just trotting quite happily off a cliff to fit in.

    From the first page of googling Vista review:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/bits/2007/01/30/Windows_Vista_review/7

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/software/review/2007/01/30/Microsoft-Windows-Vista/p1

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,2088443,00.asp

    http://reviews.cnet.com/windows/windows-vista-ultimate/4505-3672_7-32013603.html

    Can't be arsed to find any more than that. 4 is more than enough.

  43. Ian

    Sounds familiar.

    Many people felt Windows NT, designed for business desktops and Windows 2000 to an extent were far superior on the home desktop to Windows 95, 98 and ME to the point people hacked DirectX to work on NT4 so they could play games on it.

    It really does seem that Microsoft are much more sensible when it comes to their server OS.

    In all honest, for all the slagging off Microsoft gets, major parts of their business are quite good nowadays - certainly their developer section is second to none, their office suite is certainly the best out there, their games division is pretty cool and as pointed out here, nowadays their server OS's are also pretty damn good.

    It's really just Microsoft desktop OS that's always been full of problems, whilst there were some good releases i.e. Windows 2000, and Windows XP SP2 the others have been relatively poor.

    Microsoft's biggest problem is that it's their desktop OS that most people know them for, more people see Windows desktop every day than any of their other products by a massive difference and as such if Microsoft want to change the image people have of them they need to make people like their desktop OS.

  44. Greg

    Serious question

    Does DX10 work on 2K8?

    I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from here.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a bit OT, but...

    This is a bit OT of this article, but i had to respond to this:

    "I've had no performance issues with either and all the people who moan about performance are idiots with crap machines"

    I have a Laptop (Core2Duo 2.2ghz 3gb ram (mb can´t handle more) 2x 160gb hd and a Nvidia GF8), i only have Vista and office + firefox + updated drivers installed, i don´t use Aero. It´s not the fastest laptop you can buy, but should be enough for Vista, however Vista is so slow on my computer that it unusable, everything is slow, showing a menu can take 1-5sek (and that was both with a clean install and factory install). If i run Xp pro on the same laptop and start a new Xp + .Net and Netbeans (under Wmvare) that second Xp (on emulated hardware) is still alot faster than Vista is when NO PROGRAM IS EVEN USED IN VISTA.

    And if all computers that is slow in Vista is crap, how fast Laptop do you need just to run Office? (i don´t even want to know how slow Vista would be on the 1.6ghz 1gb ram Laptops being sold with Vista).

  46. Charles Manning

    Same codebase != same binaries

    The "same codebase" only means that the source code is common. That source code likely has many conditional compilation switches and other configuration parameters that can vastly alter performance of the resulting binaries.

    For example:

    * Different buffer sizes (maybe some server drivers/stacks are configured with bigger buffers).

    * Turning various features on/off (caching, DRM, etc etc).

  47. Pierre Silver badge

    @ "direct benchmarking" AC

    "Vista? 40% slower than XP"

    Stoopid, stop being "an idiot with [a] crap machine". "if your not going to update you machine don't bother updating your OS". Obviously "technology moves on and so do OS's", stop moaning and welcome our Vista overlords who found a use for all these unemployed CPU cycles! (Copyright SpitefulTHING for all the double-quoted material.)

    I finally got my hands on a 2008 machine, I must admit that it seems much more usable than Vista (OK, the hardware was beasty, so I probably missed the performance issues, but I tried Vista on beefy hardware too, and it still kinda sucked). AFAIK, Server2008: 1, Vista: 0 (and, of course, anything not MS:>10^8. But I might well be biased, somehow).

  48. Stuart Castle

    RE: @nucrash

    "Fine. So give Aero as an installable option for TS servers, if your TS users are really such fwagile bunny wabbits that they'll sulk if they don't get all the frippery.

    But why inflict it on servers that are just... being servers and serving...?"

    If it's an installable option, how is that infliciting it on your servers?

  49. Anony Mous

    Why hate Vista? Cause it doesn't @$%#ing work!

    I have seen the most bizarre software glitches in Vista, on several machines. Actually, on every machine with Vista that I have had the misfortune to work with. It is shiny, yes, but the bizarre glitches and random crashes make Vista one operating system that I hope to avoid for as long as possible. My two primary computers still run XP.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Desktop Linux is not an option -- no, really

    "While some people who have never seen Ubuntu claim that Linux is not yet ready for the Desktop"

    Having just installed Ubuntu 7.10, I can tell you Linux is definitely not ready for the Desktop. Out of the box (fresh off the install CD) it came up with a static IP address. Not DHCP, static IP. Heloooo? A desktop OS with static IP?!

    Attempting to reconfigure the network interface (enter password first -- Vista UAC looking positively sleek in comparison) to use DHCP resulted in the error "no default route entered". As if a DHCP-configured system needs a default route -- it'll get one from the DHCP server! But no, I had to enter one to get out of the config app. OK, so I told it to use DHCP. Has it got an IP address yet? No, seems configuring DHCP doesn't actually mean it drops the static IP and tries to get an IP address. At this point I rebooted back into XP... had better things to do with my time.

  51. Brett Brennan
    Heart

    The difference between Vista and Server 2008

    It's real simple.

    The OEM version of Vista Ultimate is US$189 at a major online computer retailer.

    The OEM version of Server 2008 Standard is US$699 at the same retailer.

    Server 2008 retail is really Vista for Power Users - meaning anyone that wants to use Windows, have the cool graphics of Vista, but actually get WORK done.

    So, Microsoft marketing did a FANTASTIC job with this one. Release a shoddy, substandard product to all the OEMs so that every new machine gets stuck with it, THEN release the REAL cool product for triple the price, and everyone will flock to buy it at RETAIL prices to get away from the shoddy original product.

    And MS makes out by (1) selling copies of the original shoddy OS to everyone the first year and (2) selling them ANOTHER OS a year later for three times the price!

    God, I love their marketing guys!

  52. Andrew Richards
    Alert

    @Rik Hemsley

    If your UAC "screen mode" change is the screen flashing and you've an Nvidia g/c card it's a known issue. A quick Google for "vista UAC flash" should sort you out. HTH, Andrew

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why

    Why is it being compared to Vista?

    However it's pretty funny

    win xp = bleh - bareable os

    win 2k3 = bleh - acceptable server os for dns/exchange/ad/dhcp

    win vista = piece of c--- that users need to learn all over again

    win 2k8= better then vista

    But being better then vista doesn't say much, I was looking at an etchasketch the otherday and that responded better then vista.

  54. Kevin Bailey

    Reply to: Desktop Linux is not an option -- no, really

    Strange.

    Everyone else who installs ubuntu has zero problems with setting up networking.

    Can only think that your probably infected XP setup has borked something in the BIOS - seen it before.

    I respectfully suggest you stop being a fanatic and keep your eyes open. MS operating systems are rightly being slated and are not likely ot get better.

  55. Tom Mason

    bitness?

    IIRC server 2008 is 64 bit only. Where people have previously tested vista my question is were they testing the 32 bit version (i.e. almost all OEM copies) or the 64 bit one? In my experience the 64bit Vista is a heck of a lot better than the 32 bit one assuming you have enough RAM.

  56. Bob Gender

    Media Center?

    Does 2K8 have a media center?

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Pierre

    That 40% hit was on brand new dual-core laptops, with 1Gb RAM...

    General user experience of 'em? Well, the icon says it all.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Shock horror

    Everybody is saying what a good job MS have done with 2008 and all the rabid anti-ms lobby can't handle it. Praise where praise is due people, it doesn't matter who makes it, if it is a quality product it deserves to be recognised regardless of manufacturer. Now if only Apple could do the same instead of concentrating on making things shiny and fooling lots of people they are paying through the nose for 'quality'

  59. MarkMac
    Flame

    @Bob Davis

    "only standard look-and-feel is the command line"?

    Clearly you have ZERO experience of Linux. Sure you can pick window managers, but for most users either KDE or Gnome is autoinstalled, and both are close enough to MacOS and even Windows that anyone with a brain could use it on day 1.

    As for Vista - just "experienced" that again this weekend. Two-three second pause between pressing delete and getting files deleted. And no, this isn't a hosed install. Its a brand new dual-core machine with Vista Home Premium, taken out of the box on Friday, booted into the follow-the-bouncing-ball autoconfigure that MS wrote, allowed to patch itself from Windows Update and then rebooted.

  60. Peter Kay

    BIOS/PSU/UAC bullshit

    The *BIOS* is affecting the network under Linux? Oh really? Please come back to earth when the drugs have worn off.

    I'm really fed up of idiots who don't know what they're talking about blaming everything on 1) The BIOS and 2) The PSU. 99% of the time problems are not due to either.

    Whilst we're on the subject - if you don't actually understand how Vista and the UAC work, do everyone a favour and shut up. By default, the UAC switches to a secure desktop (stopping things like mouse pointer hooks and suchlike clicking the button for you). Optionally you can either insist on a password instead of a button, or (if you're stupid) turn it off.

    There were a few cases of UAC being somewhat overenthusiastic on release (needing 3-4 clicks to perform certain actions). SP1 has reduced most (not all, admittedly) of them.

    Still, if W2K8 really is faster that's interesting. Vista SP1 x64 is nice and fast here, but optimisation is always a good thing.

  61. Rune Moberg
    Gates Halo

    @Pierre

    "It clearly depends on the mpeg. I also admit you'd get a VERY frustrating "viewing experience" with a huge HD mpeg4. but it will run nonetheless."

    You get absolutely no viewing experience at all. The PCI bus on that old Pentium is barely capable of pushing that kind of data at all, and that is before you're choking that poor CPU to death trying to decompress H.264 and whatnot. 1920x1080, multiplied with 4 since you want truecolor, multiplied with 25 to get 25fps, and you end up with 197MB/s. 33MHz 32-bit PCI bus pushes what? 132MB/s as a theoretical maximum? OK, you'll get the compressed stream off the blu-ray reader, but then what do you do with the thing? Drop it to /dev/null?

    Rendering HD mpeg isn't about the OS. It is all about having enough CPU and GPU power to get the job done. If MS has a 1% CPU time penalty over Linux (highly doubtful when it comes to video codecs, it is probably the other way around, but...), then you're not going to notice it at all. (you are however going to notice Linux' lack of DRM support if you want to legally play a blu-ray movie)

    I've seen "Linux is more efficient" statements before. Last time it was followed by "oh, but those idiots didn't use the updated TCP/IP stack that was released a month after the test was done!". Okok... We get it. _We're_ the idiots. Yeah, right. Tell me that the next time you install Fedora without having to key in heaps of install switches when booting the setup CD. (Or have they finally made a modern filesystem the default now?)

  62. alyn
    Happy

    It's not 2k8 or 2k3

    It is not Server 2k8 (or 2k3) that would be server 2800, maybe when we reach year 2800 MS will finally produce a decent OS.

    BTW I have tried Server 2k008 and SHOCK, HORROR I actually like the changes Microsoft have made. The new IIS Manager is far better than previous versions,similarly the new DNS management program.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    2k8, Ubuntu network and HD playback?

    Hi, couple of notes:

    My experience of Win2k8 has been really pleasant from RC3 onwards. I mean that, it's been a joy to use, everything laid out in a fairly useful way, and for someone who has done the SysAdmin role a side thing, rather than as a main role [so limited experience] it's been simple to use and maintain.

    Can't argue - about to use a Win2k8 server with AD, DHCP and WDS to demonstrate why the place I am in needs a server setup rather than workgroups, and it's a breeze to get up. And by gum, there is no way I'm an MS fanboi, they just really seem to have hit the bullseye with this in my experience so far.

    Anyways, Linux stuff - RE ACs DHCP woes with Ububtu 7.10 - I have set up Ubuntu a few times now, and never, ever had a problem with it getting a DHCP address. Never. It might be a driver issue, mind, but if it is, chances are that unless it's a stupidly rare adapter that it would have come up before and be noted somewhere on 'tinternet. Maybe even with a fix. If it was a true hardware problem [as some people suggest] I'd be genuinely surprised though - I can't remember the last time I saw a dead/FUBAR'd NIC...

    As for the suggested specs for HD playback, my old Tecra A2 running Ubuntu 8.04 Beta will quite happily play back Serenity in 720p without a hiccup, although starting other tasks off in the background can make it drop some frames.

    that's a Centrino single core 1.7Ghz, 768Mb RAM and intel 845 graphics [DX7 standard in MS terms]

    My windows box [AXP 3200, 1Gb RAM, GFX5700] constantly jumps and skips - it only plays back smoothly when I install the X1650 I have, then it's happy as larry to play it back.

    Haven't tried with any 1080p content yet mind, but then I haven't got a moniter to take advantage of it, and what am I? Your benchmark/video testing slave? Sod off and do it yourself.

    Cheers

    Someone :-)

  64. Roy Whitehead Silver badge
    IT Angle

    MS or Linux - Why not use them all

    <start_rant>

    At home and at work I have machines running, XP, Vista, W2K8 ( Trial Version) and Ubuntu. Each of these systems have their own advantages, ( Vista not quite there yet though).

    As a desktop environment, nothing even comes close to XP, reactive, assez stable

    but prone to virii, malware etc... ( Amazing what a bloody good Firewall and up to date AntiVirus can do to help these problems though)

    Vista, been a couple of months now, just doesn't seem to be getting any better, definitely not ready for a business environment. SP1 did'nt really help much ( network transfers no where near what they should be)

    W2K8, far more reactive than Vista, some nice new features TS over HTTP, love the idea. Initial installation took only 20 mins, Services ( roles) can be added easily and according to necessity. Not a resource hog like Vista.

    I am running all 3 of the above systems on a Thinkpad T43p with 2 Gb ram and a 80Gb 7200 Hitachi Travelstar. I don't run Aero, I don't see any advantage.

    (Obviously our Office Workstations and Servers run on appropriate hardware).

    In terms of speed XP = Excellent, W2K8 = Superb, Vista = Average.

    I have also run Ubuntu ( Hardy Heron ) on the same machine, T43p, response times etc excellent.

    I have Gutsy Gibbon running on a 1Ghz machine with 512Mb RAM, runs OK but definitely not a world beater, OK for the Web and some basic Open office files.

    I use all of these systems on a daily basis, mostly for work and also to keep myself up to date. None of them caused any problems during installation.

    I have been trying various versions of Linux for years now and although I like its stability etc I just hate it for the Interface ( Gnome, KDE, XFCE ) . The various interfaces just don't "feel" as reactive as the MS versions ( Vista Aside) . The interfaces feel like a mixture between PlayMobil and Lego. Ok the command line is excellent, but try taking a CLI into the office and explaining the advantages of Bash to your average user.

    W2K8 runs like I would have imagined Vista should have run. Maybe Windows 7 will use the same kernel, heres hoping. For the moment it looks like the most promising system that MS have ever offered. I find it difficult to understand how anyone can criticize it, TS over HTTP, Powershell ( CLI), excellent interface, what more could a SysAdmin want, it appears to cater for everyone.

    Anyway, rather than critic one OS or another, people should just simply use the OS that corresponds to their needs and put away the FanBoy attitude. I think you will find that it is far more interesting to learn multiple systems and use whichever system is required for whatever job you need done.

    </end_rant>

  65. David Parker
    Unhappy

    Re: It's not 2k8 or 2k3

    Wait, what? Wouldn't 2800 be 2.8K?

    According to your logic, 2K12 would be, what, 21,200?

    Try again, please.

  66. alyn

    No, you try again

    A resistor marked 2k2 is 2200 ohms 2k12 is an invalid value ,so its irrelevent.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DRM

    Could it be because Vista is laced with DRM?

  68. Chris
    Heart

    I heart all OSes (except the ones I have to buy the box with - That's you TI-99/4A)

    @Rune Moberg & Pierre

    From Experience:

    On a Pentium 200MMX Running Slackware 7, MPEG-4 decoding performance was too slow to acceptably run a 640x480 video in realtime. (Couple of frames every 2-3 seconds)

    Running Windows XP (you were able to run XP on that??!?!) it was also too slow to run in realtime. Although slower than the Linux install - (Maybe one or two frames every 8-10 seconds) it was still viewable (although not watchable).

    And yes I said Slackware and yes I remember the static/ELF debacle and the 4/7 version numbering fracas. I just think the name Volkerding flows.

  69. Elfoad Regfoad
    Gates Horns

    no thanks

    I feel this whole "server 2008" babble stems from the fact that Vista ME2 is so dire that noone is daring to speak up for it anymore. So if you're astroturfing MS products, you're left promoting this one. MS on the server is such an obviously absurd idea that server 2008 may indeed be best used on a desktop. But not on my one!

    Since I've gone to Linux (straight from Win2K/XP in 2003), the hardware upgrade cycle has ceased. All PCs I had at that stage are still in operation as servers or secondary terminals. The newer laptops I've bought since then are of course much faster than the previous ones. Moore's law thus finally arrived in my household/office- following stagnant performance from win 3.1 to XP.

    And I'm not toughing Vista!!!

  70. Pierre Silver badge

    @Rune, Roy, and AC

    "1920x1080, multiplied with 4 since you want truecolor, multiplied with 25 to get 25fps, and you end up with 197MB/s."

    Extreme case but that's fair. You won't be able to watch such a movie in good conditions on the depicted machine.

    "33MHz 32-bit PCI bus pushes what? 132MB/s as a theoretical maximum? OK, you'll get the compressed stream off the blu-ray reader, but then what do you do with the thing? Drop it to /dev/null?"

    dev/null is a bit extreme, though it would still run. You not being able to watch it is another problem. Thanks, I didn't think of that trick. More seriously, "Linux" doesn't mean "full-fledged bloated Ubunto". Nor Fedora. Unlike Wins, the system can be stripped down drastically, and you can find graphical interface that barely eat any ressource at all. And very lightweight media players.

    @AC:

    "That 40% hit was on brand new dual-core laptops, with 1Gb RAM... General user experience of 'em? Well, the icon says it all."

    Does the expression "tongue in cheek" ring a bell? I did agree with your benchmark comment. Don't take the piss so easily.

    @Roy:

    "The various interfaces just don't "feel" as reactive as the MS versions ( Vista Aside)"

    Sorry? Maybe you need to get more familiar with them. Having as many desktops as you like is a good thing for example, especially when you're doing various things simutaneously (which is my case, most of the time). And switching between them instantly by rolling a crank on the mouse wheel is not especially "less reactive" than having to bring windows up and down on the same desktop. I would say it's CONSIDERABLY more reactive actually.

    "The interfaces feel like a mixture between PlayMobil and Lego."

    So you'd get fancyness over efficiency? Get a Mac.

    "Ok the command line is excellent, but try taking a CLI into the office and explaining the advantages of Bash to your average user."

    Are you saying that you are taking the "average user's" advice on performance seriously??? OK, for most "average users" already used to Windows, and when you have enough budget to buy the all very good desktops (and expensive licences), there's no reason to switch. Especially as 1) they will bother you all the time during the learning phase and 2) once they are educated, they'll annoy you by trying to mess with YOUR systems. But they don't really have to understand anything about bash, csh, or whatever. They don't need that amount of control most of the time anyway.

    As for me, I switched to Linux by necessity -the things I had to do simply wouldn't run under Windows on the machines I had at hand. Some Unis are not that rich!

    @ all the "Linux is not friendly/not ready for the desktop/other lame whining": I have a couple of users who wanted to switch from MS Office 2003 to Office 2007, so I installed the thing on their machines. Half of them asked me to remove it after a week or so, and the others had a learning period of just over one month on average. Which is the learning period it would have taken to just ditch Windows as a whole and switch to whatever other OS. Food for thought. (I very much dread the time when I'll have to deploy Vista...)

  71. Pierre Silver badge
    Linux

    @ Chris (from experience)

    "On a Pentium 200MMX Running Slackware 7, MPEG-4 decoding performance was too slow to acceptably run a 640x480 video in realtime. (Couple of frames every 2-3 seconds)"

    I wouldn't expect much more. What graphical front-end were you using? I wouldn't dare trying that on anything more demanding than Openbox or Ratpoison.

    "Running Windows XP (you were able to run XP on that??!?!)"

    Kudos for being patient enough!

    "Although slower than the Linux install - (Maybe one or two frames every 8-10 seconds) it was still viewable (although not watchable)."

    Sounds like an acceptable real-life benchmaking to me. So, you're saying that it was at least 3 times faster under Slack than under XP. I guess you didn't dare to try Vista. I also guess that the Slack was up-to-date (which XP is not) and not optimally stripped down (I'm thinking graphical environment here. And also "useless" daemons and services). This would make the difference even larger.

    Thank you for this very informative testimony. Crow soup anyone?

    Disclaimer: yes, I'm a fanbuoy beyond recovery. And I'm flame-baiting, too.

  72. John Q Public
    Jobs Halo

    Vista file copy problems???

    ...I run a very heterogeneous network...Win2K...XP...Vista64...OS X...Linux and OS2...so far as file copying problems in Vista...after changing a couple security policies regarding file sharing outside MS Specific networking...haven't had any issues regarding moving files...including a roughly 5000 file transfer logging in at over 22GB between OS X and Vista...

    ...actually I've encountered more issues transferring files too and from "Uncle Steve's" OS X than Vista...but part of that is the antiquated PowerBook I keep using over buying anything newer...

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Linux

    > Uhm, dude... Throw in a modern mpeg4 with HD content, and I seriously doubt that

    > 90MHz first generation Pentium will do you much good

    And who needs HD content? I get along perfectly fine with videos at ancient QVGA resolutions. For me, video doesn't matter, sound does (why I totally dissed vi$ta when I can't get my well loved SBLive 5.1 working on it).

    > "On a Pentium 200MMX Running Slackware 7, MPEG-4 decoding performance was

    > too slow to acceptably run a 640x480 video in realtime. (Couple of frames every

    > 2-3 seconds)"

    Try MPlayer on SVGALib (or even better, CVidiX on a supported piece of hardware like a TNT2 M64). My P166 with 96MB RAM actually hit fluid framerates while playing back a 640x480 movie on it.

    And I will tell you this: I can get work done on a linux distro under the bash shell 5 times faster than under XP. Because I type fast, remember commands well, and don't have to look through the start menu or hunt for a particular icon on the desktop, and don't have to wait for disk thrashing and those fancy effects.

  74. Wardy
    Happy

    Strong minds

    Why are people so vicious about an OS ?

    At the end of the day I am a software architect and responsible for 137 government servers using a wide variety of OSes and applications.

    My experience is that Microsoft OSes are (asa general rule) ...

    1. easier to maintain and monitor

    2. easier to configure and work with on a day to day basis

    3. generally more friendly and easier to teach people on.

    Linux may be more efficient when you complex operational stuff to do but unless you have servers that are constantly at capacity (eg google) there is no need for an OS that MUST use every CPU cycle perfectly.

    What happens when things go wrong ?

    If your linux box falls over potentially you could have real problems for hours but with my windows based servers I make 1 call and MS arrange to have the server sorted very quickly.

    I am of course talking at huge scale levels where alot is going on. We have built business cases based on research for each server we have an at least 80% of the time windows does the job better, i admit it might not be more efficient but it does the job better because it serves our purpose.

    A true test of an OS is to take it out of it's known "comfort zone" and make it do something it wasn't designed to do.

    A good example here is state of the art graphical work.

    If i want to do some 3d rendering in windows (custom stuff) I can quickly get (direct from Microsoft) a strong set of tools that make my life easy to create whatever i need that currently does not exist.

    My experience with Linux is that I have to search for long periods of time on multiple corners of the internet for often sub-standard or badly supported tools.

    This is not so much a dig at the OS but more a statement that Linux is just generally harder to work with on a day to day basis.

    Now before all you Linux buffs come out and say "Ah yes but you don't knowwhat you're looking for and if you go to site A and site B you get everything" or something like "if you install this app it does it for you" let me point something out.

    If i want something that works on windows I go to Microsoft and chances are its all sorted on one of their forums already.

    With Linux there's forums based on versions, there's issues with compatability and often you have to use tools for that version as other versions have bits in them that just won't agree with the application.

    Another interesting thing that comes back a lot is the issue of security ... "Linux is more secure" i hear people say.

    I actually gave a Linux guy open access to my windows box at home one day, i shut down all my firewalling and AV software and told him to go to town with it.

    He first told me i was lying at that the machine wasn't even switched on so i showed him my router interface.

    Then he said I must have had something protecting it because windows wouldn't just let him in.

    My point being that windows is not really as bad as the average Linux guy would let on and progress is faster when there's money involved (Direct X being a prime example here).

    I don't agree with many of the things MS do and I'm open to using other systems but at the end of the day I feel that MS solve my Corporate problems as well as my Desktop problems.

    Another interesting point ...

    GUI's.

    Linux users say this is "not required bloat that slows the system down", i think personally it's just a way to make the system the more friendly and more efficient to use and as stated above there are many GUI's for Linux ... yet another issue I have with it ... no standardisation ... new versions / distributions means learning a new set of tools, apps and often some new key shell commands.

    I don't want to be learning how to do basic tasks all the time I just want to get the job done and move on is that too much to ask ?

    One thing i think MS could do well to learn from though is the ability to number crunch that linux has, it's hardly fundamental to my needs (despite me being responsible for a network of servers) but a little more performance would be great.

    I have tested some code I wrote a while back in C++ on both windows and linux designed to keep a computer busy for a reasonable amount of time (for load testing) and Linux isn't actuallya lot faster so all that stuff about how fast linux is ....

    yeh ... about 4% (at this low level).

    The key here ...

    The "extra bloat" that comes with a new version of windows also comes with new versions of Linux, any Linux user would simply shut that down whereas most windows users are not technically minded enough to know whats needed and how to shut the extras down.

    If you're a Linux user you will probably slag most of what I just said off now but hey I get paid a lot of money to do exactly this kind of research every day so I can't be far wrong else I wouldn't have a job would I?

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