6 things Microsoft needs to do before I’ll take Windows seriously

I’m an IT guy in what is still largely a Windows world. I’ve been managing Windows workstations and servers for a living since 1996 or so, and I’ve always been left shaking my head, wondering how, exactly, Windows is considered “enterprise ready”, especially when better alternatives — as development platforms, as workstations, and especially as servers — are widely available.

While the Information Technology industry hasn’t caught up just yet, I like to consider myself a bit more forward looking than that. The way I see it, Windows isn’t ready for the enterprise yet. Sure, it might be good for playing games, but for doing serious work? For securing customer data and transactions? For safeguarding your company’s future and productivity?

Not even close, not from what I’ve seen. Here are six things Microsoft will need to do before I’ll start recommending Windows as the “best tool for the job”.

1. Improve Stability

As I mentioned above, I manage Windows workstations and servers for a living. While desktop computer instability is more on the level of an annoyance and can lead to lost productivity in the workplace (especially when it’s widespread), when instability strikes server operating systems it can be catastrophic.

In my experience, if a Windows server is up for longer than a month, two things are true:

a. It isn’t taking its updates

b. It’s only a matter of time before it does something “funny”

While I’m going to address security later in this article, let me say one thing about Windows Updates: you need them. If you are not applying updates at least monthly, you will regret it, unless you’re one of those oddball system administrators who doesn’t MIND finding that your servers are part of a botnet, or have been turned into a porn server, or a spam server, or more on the stability side of things, are ridden with bugs that Microsoft has deemed worthy of fixing in a patch or a hotfix.

As for my second truth there, in my experience Windows servers act “funny” when they’ve been up and running (and providing some service, not just sitting idle) for longer than a month or so. Odd things will happen… you might see some out of control paging file usage, bizarre error messages, services that are in some sort of “starting” or “shutting down” limbo (which only a reboot can fix), you know the drill.

My point is, Windows servers need frequent reboots. If you’re a Windows IT person and you don’t think that only a month of uptime isn’t ridiculous, then you obviously haven’t done anything other than Windows in your data center, because I’m here to tell you: it’s nuts.

Microsoft needs to address stability first and foremost, and while they’re at it, and while we’re on the subject of uptime, they need to engineer things in a way that won’t require a reboot for seemingly EVERY SINGLE UPDATE.

My last maintenance evening I had to reboot one particular server four times in order for it to take all of its updates, and it had only been two weeks since its last round of them. That’s ridiculous. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually HAD to reboot a Linux machine after applying pushed-out updates for it.

It’s very difficult to take a server OS seriously that behaves like this.

2. Provide support for other filesystems

Seriously, guys, NTFS and FAT32 are not the only filesystems on the planet. Ext2 has been around since 1992. Ext3 has been around since 2001. These are standard filesystems, out there on literally millions of computers, both workstations and servers. They’re both wide open as well. There is no excuse for acting like they don’t exist.

Oh I know why Microsoft chooses to ignore other filesystems. But at this point it’s just willful stupidity. Microsoft tries to claim that they work hard toward interoperability, but let’s be frank. They don’t care one bit about that. If they did, there would have been full support for ext3 at some point over the last decade and they’ve made absolutely no effort in that area whatsoever.

While they’re at it, they should consider a new default filesystem to replace the aging and decrepit and high maintenance NTFS, because it’s really not doing them any favors, especially when other, far superior filesystems are available out there for free no less. Get with the times, gentlemen.

3. Standards compliance

Lots has been said about Microsoft’s bizarre ideas about “standards”, but in the real world, they’ve become the defacto standard for a lot of things simply by shoving this stuff down everybody’s throats.

That needs to stop. Microsoft needs to make Internet Explorer W3C compliant, and Microsoft Office needs to at least be able to open documents that adhere to the ODF standard, instead of (again) just willfully ignoring anything that they themselves didn’t create. This stuff is everywhere, it’s wide open and available, and lots of other applications out there manage to handle this pretty well… but not MS Office. There’s no excuse, guys. Catch up to the rest of the world, please.

4. Centralize updates (for applications as well as the OS)

One of the things that drives me nuts when managing Windows workstations is the fact that I have to go through the Windows Update process for Windows, and then manually download and install hotfixes and service packs for Microsoft Office, and then let some dumb updater process run all the time for something like Quickbooks, and Java, and myriad other applications.

Microsoft needs to make an effort to centralize some of this. While working with tons of software vendors is largely like herding cats, folks in the open source universe manage to do this pretty well, and things are a lot more “wild west” where that’s concerned. You can’t tell me that Microsoft couldn’t put pressure on software vendors to work with them on this and create a single, streamlined update point to make things easier on everyone, sysadmins and end users alike.

5. Improve performance

Anyone who has tried using a netbook or an older workstation with Windows on it will know what I mean when I say that Windows is sluggish on limited hardware.

But even on newer, more substantial hardware, Windows is underwhelming in performance when one compares it to other operating systems. I recently configured several new Windows 7 workstations for a client, and these were good machines. Brand new, Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 2GB of RAM, good middle-of-the-road video cards.

And Windows 7 was a dog. Took over a minute to boot up, had to wait around a lot when navigating, opening files. I’ve been using heavier Linux based desktop OSes lately, like Ubuntu and Mint, and even with Compiz turned on in all its glory they’re a damn sight faster on comparable hardware than Windows 7 is.

And on something older? Forget it!

In the server side of things it’s even worse. Microsoft needs to figure out the simple truth: server operating systems don’t need an effects-heavy graphical environment up and running all the time. That eats up precious overhead that, 99% of the time, is just sitting idle, since most servers don’t have an admin sitting in front of them doing stuff all day every day.

While being able to configure a server graphically is important in this day and age there needs to be a way to shut all of that overhead eating garbage off when the server is just sitting in its rack, doing its job.

It’s difficult to take Windows seriously as a server OS when it eats up that much of a server’s resources just sitting idle.

6. Improve security

You knew I was going to get to this sooner or later. Security in the Windows world is, well, a joke.

There is not a week that goes by that I don’t end up cleaning spyware off of some end user’s workstation. And I’m not just talking about XP. I’m talking Vista and yes, even Microsoft’s darling Windows 7.

Basically put, in the hurricane of spyware, malware, adware, trojans, and viruses that is the World Wide Web, taking Windows out into that storm is like driving a convertible in the deluge with all the doors propped wide open and the top down.

While Linux based operating systems have their share of security issues, I simply don’t ever see this problem getting this incredibly bad even if something like Ubuntu were to have 50% market share. The weakest point is always going to be the end user, true, but if you put the end user on a platform that prone to security issues by default, you’re going to have far more problems than if they were in something that had all the holes sealed up (or at least fewer, smaller holes to worry about).

Conclusion

I always find it funny when I read articles that are mostly FUD that say things like “Linux is not ready for the desktop” and “not ready for the enterprise”, because as I just discussed, the reality of the situation is that well, neither is Windows. Whether you’re running XP or Windows 7, Server 2003 or Server 2008, you’ll find that compared to the alternatives, you’re running something that requires constant attention, constant hand holding, constant reboots, constant patching, constant reloading, troubleshooting, more hardware requirements, and more security-mindedness in your administrative approach, just to do its job.

I can’t, as a professional, in good conscience recommend this platform to anybody if I don’t want to feel dishonest. Maybe if Microsoft addresses these points even partway my opinion will change, but until then, I can’t take Windows seriously as an operating system, not on servers or workstations.

Keep working on it, guys! You’ll get there some day!

– Trent

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47 thoughts on “6 things Microsoft needs to do before I’ll take Windows seriously

  1. Worthless anecdotal evidence time!

    It’s been my experience that the vast majority of users championing Windows as an OS have never really tried using the alternatives on a daily basis.

    There’s a lot to be said for the effect of familiarity on people’s preferences; I don’t want to compare Windows to an abusive spouse (because I’m afraid I’ll fall down the stairs again), but it seems like people stick with it because it’s all they know.

    The real problem is introducing people to the alternatives while avoiding the trap of becoming their permanent tech support.

    • I can’t stand using a Mac. It’s like trying to write with my left hand. I like Linux and Solaris, as long as I stay at the command prompt. I primary use those platforms for view and manipulating log files. Pipe is the coolest thing ever.

      • I’ve never tried writing with your left hand so I’m not sure what that’s like. ;)

        I wasn’t specifically advocating Macs as an alternative to Windows; they’re an alternative that will certainly meet many users’ needs, but by no means all of them. People should use the best tool for the job they’re trying to do.

        My point was simply that a lot of users’ reliance on Windows comes from a lack of interest in exploring the other options. They’re locked in because it’s easier than looking around.

        • well, basically I totally agree, but otoh we have a lot of users depending on certain softwares, which are honestly only available to the Windows platform.

          Try to walk in a architecture office or for more younger and open minded people, in the architecture faculty of any university, ask them about Linux. The simple answer is: no going to happen, because the (useful) tools are based only on Windows. Of course there is some CAD software for Linux as well, but honestly, it is decades behind the state of the art. And that part of the software world being a small niche, the vendors are trapped, because their users are 100% on Windows, and even if there is a small crowd of willing testers and potential users on different platforms, the calculation denies that. Sad but part of the reality. Though I still hope to see some vendors in certain niches to try the step.

          Well, another example – even more sad – is Traktor, a DJ mixing app, which has its first appearance was called Finalscratch and – tadaa – was released on Linux first! Well, only the first version ..
          Ok, now you tell me about the myriades of FLOSS alternatives, but before trying that: did you ever try in that dungeon of Linux audio frameworks to run a decent DJ mixing app? I did, and have to say since some months it starts to be there, but still messy, problematic, compiling trunk .. and hey, Laptop DJing is state of the art since .. uh .. 10 years?
          The point I tried to make: there *was* a software, it discontinued on Linux but continued on Windows :(

          The reality has more weak points, than the fails of Microsoft .. But then again, there is hope and Linux still growing, slowly but steady. Time to approach the niches!

  2. 6. Improve security

    Windows security can’t be improved. Microsoft made it impossible to properly secure the operating system. The O/S needs to be completely rewritten from scratch. Seriously.

    • I got out of server & workstation repairs in 2004, but this post echoes every sentiment I’ve ever had about Windows during the previous 9 years spent in a support or service role using Windows PCs. I’m working at home doing medical transcription. I run Ubuntu on everything I own. The only time that I have to run Windows is for work to use their proprietary transcription package, and I do so in a virtual machine hosted on my Ubuntu equipment. I’ve seen too many times where I or people from the PC service company I worked for would get trapped on a virus clean up, or a drive on a server took a dump and the mirror broke months before then, and then the tape backup didn’t do it’s job, and all kinds of other nightmares because of one thing — Windows is crap. We had lots of dental clients all running a Unix with their billing systems on it. We got far fewer support calls on those clients and when we did, they were easily fixed.

  3. Actually Windows 7 has made leaps and bounds as far as security…in fact, they’re actually more secure than a Mac with a quicker turnaround for patching than that of MacOSX.

    Stability is much improved as well with Windows 2008 R2 and Win 7.

    I’m not saying I’d trade it in for a properly configured Windows desktop/server I’m just saying that they’ve made major improvements in the past 2 yrs.

    • While I’ll concede that security and stability improvements have been made in both Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, in my experience they still have a long way to go, and are in some cases just as prone to some of the same exploits as previous versions of Windows.

      That tells me that the underlying architecture, for all Microsoft’s hype, is still essentially the same leaky boat.

      • This reminds me of a review of Win95. (dates me too)
        The upshot was that one should upgrade because:
        “Win95 sucks a lot less than win 3.1″

        Which, I will admit, was a true statement.

    • Leaps and bounds, ie. their greed knows no BOUNDS and Apple LEAPs over them in market cap.

      Wake up MS fan boys … the ride of ignorance is over.

      Android and other Linux devices (PC and otherwise) are eating their lunch.

      Oh, yeah, and Mac too.

      B

      • Apple had some good time but mark my words it’s shares are over valued right now with only 3 products, while ms has tons of stable products…for some reason ms has not done some amazing job recently…

        Though what android is gonna do it hurt apple shares all they way, see shares price by end of year

  4. Security is the major issue why I didnt stick any longer to Windows. Even with Win7, I wasnt feeling more comfortable. But regarding applications availability its by far the most practical OS.

    • Jean-Jacques Ranaivo said:

      “regarding applications availability [Windows is] by far the most practical OS”

      Had to jump in here.

      After two years on Ubuntu, I bought a new laptop — and was forced to buy Windows 7 with it (they wouldn’t sell it naked; damn Microsoft tax). Spent about four months with the OS, until it crashed irretrievably, then replaced it with Ubuntu. Now, I have to say Win7 wasn’t that bad an OS — aside from $50 I paid for the license, and the extra $100 or so I dropped on firewall, anti-virus and malware software — but the centralized repositories Trent talked about were one of the things I really missed about Linux.

      With only four repositories configured, literally tens of thousands of Linux applications are a half-dozen mouse clicks away — and all free. Getting an app in Windows (I’m talking legally now) generally means handing my credit card number over to an online store somewhere, then waiting ten days or so for delivery. In Linux I can have it installed in three minutes — no credit card necessary.

      I will admit during my transition to Linux it was the apps that kept me going back. But I eventually realized it wasn’t because comparable functionality wasn’t available in Linux, it was just because I *wanted* the Windows app – or a Linux clone of it. Once I finally got over that, I haven’t missed Windows for a day.

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  7. Trent,

    I started using computers in 1978 at age 11, when MS was a 3 year old company. I’ve worked with every version of Windows ever made (both server and client versions), and in the last 32 of my computing life, I can confidently say this: It has NEVER changed with Microsoft — and it probably NEVER will.

    • Ron,

      Oh, you and I both know that. They’ll never change. I like Scott‘s comment (the first one on this post) referring to them as an “abusive spouse”.

      As long as you keep going back to them, they’ll keep making you tell people you “fell”.

  8. To be fair, Microsoft DOES support (one) more filesystem than you give them credit for, and it’s possibly the best candidate for real cross-platform use – UDF.

    I think Microsoft calls it “Live FileSystem” or something of the sort, but any major OS in the last few years can both read and write to it out of the box. (XP needs third-party stuff to write, but can read. It’s the filesystem used for DVD’s, after all…)

    Wish more embedded device makers (besides DVD and BluRay players) would include support. I was somewhat irritated that Android doesn’t seem to ship with it. (Seems stupid to me for Android to REQUIRE SD Cards be MS-FAT only…)

    • Wow, really? I’ll freely admit I did not know that.

      Well that’s good to know… I might actually have to play around with that and see if it can be put to any good, practical use (for things other than DVDs).

      Thanks!

      • Trent, I don’t want to derail this discussion into a tech-fix, but I ran into trouble trying to get Mint 9 to recognize a DVD which contains a UDF file (Wrath of the Lich King, Wow expansion). The forums didn’t easily help, and the one suggestion involved /etc/fstab which didn’t exist until I MADE it, and even then I couldn’t get support. I installed some libs from the repositories that seemed to include UDF support but still no go. Feel free to email me if you have time to help me figure this out, it’s frustrating.

  9. WINDOWS IS REALLY EASY 2 USE U IDIOT

    IF U JUST TRIED IT U WOULD KNO ITS WAY BETTER THEN LINUX WHICH MOST PEOPLE CAN HARDLY USE

    PEOPLE USE WATS EASY NOT WAT IS SUPOSEDLY BETER

    • Apparently TOO easy…

      Sarcasm aside, familiarity != ease-of-use
      Oh wait, I was about to talk about package managers, how things were different and not necessarily complicated, and so on… But really I wonder why I should bother.

      • Try giving Linux to non geek users and you will surely have lot of fun…all those issues and viruses will suddenly become Linux issue…

        Essence: its not os its the user which ensure how safe is his OS, and virus will be created for the systems which most of theses non geek users use not otherwise…

        Hope this make sense to some of you!!!

    • Easy to USE … maybe … no easier to use that Linux or Mac.

      Easy to KEEP RUNNING (if you EVER plan to surf the web), no way.

      By the way, a few thing LINUX users never do:

      * defrag weekly
      * get rid of all the crap the UPDATES leave behind
      * buy ANTI-MALWARE
      * run ANTI-MALWARE
      * fix machines that ANTI-MALWARE didn’t protect or broke
      * reconfig every app not to run in background and eat resources
      * tremble in fear every time we visit an unfamiliar website or
      * keep a second machine for ONLINE BANKING

      Instead, we volunteer our time to others and FIX THEIR MACHINES instead. Linux gives us the free time to do that.

  10. Regarding filesystems, what to expect when arrogance is deeply rooted in company culture? “Not invented here, Daddy knows best”… No wait, scratch the “not invented here”, make it “not pushed out of our doors”, much more accurate *wink wink*
    And they managed to make the successor of FAT32 the next standard FS for flash media… Thank you, lobbying power…

    ODF? Forget it, that people are still dependent upon MS’s own formats is one of the few things that ensure the company’s market dominance. Technically speaking they have nothing worthwhile, but they hold users’ proverbial balls when it comes to data.
    And they know it…

    Much better to target efforts at facilitating the switch for users than making lengthy wish-lists of change from Microsoft.
    And that includes fighting user inertia… :(

  11. I find that your article mirrors my sediments very closely. I to also was a windows administrator and always said that it paid the bills.
    I use a Linux desktop or laptop to monitor and support the windows environment that I am in, and been doing it that way since 1997.
    I don’t use windows I support it. Or I wouldn’t have a job.
    Linux really should be the de facto OS on all production hardware.

  12. Been saying the same thing about M$ myself for years. Finally got friends and family to switch to Linux by NOT supporting Windows anymore.
    Once friends and family start using Linux they never want Windows again.

  13. Likewise, stopped supporting windows years ago. Life with linux has been heaven…:-) We live in interesting times, the world is changing…patience, patience…:-)

  14. You forgot one. Another thing MS has to do to be taken seriously is to make it practical to run more than one function on a server. You can always tell a MS shop, they have more boxes running than a TV store. The savings in power and cooling alone should justify switching to an OS that can really multitask. Not only do you have to put up with their other shortcomings, you have to multiply those by a box for every function.

    • Actually, CWW that really still goes to “stability” and “performance” more than anything else. If Windows were more stable and reliable, and didn’t eat up so incredibly much overhead just to do a few rather simple things, it’d be a lot more realistic to assign more than just one or two roles to a single server.

  15. I really can’t help agreeing to everything in that article. The “acting funny” thing annoys me so much and I am forced to deal with it daily. I can’t remember the last time one of my Linux servers “acted funny” – though the times they have you can fairly easily track it down to memory or hardrives or something. Errors that make some sense – Microsoft should take baby steps and start there.

  16. and yet why is it that Microsoft dominates the said “enterprise market”?

    to help beginning to understand the answer to that, we must first go back to about 400bc and read Plato’s allegory of the cave:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave

    in that, a population lives pretty much immobilized in captivity inside a cave only being able to watch the shadows of objects being cast against the far wall of the cave… each other is only a voice
    they can hear and they take the shadows for the real objects. one member of this group frees himself and is able to go out of the cave and observe the world – and the sun and the trees – for what it really is… going back to the cave to free his friends, he is temporarily blinded by the darkness and his cave-mates think of him as crazy and what to punish him.

    sounds familiar yet?

    people get comfortable with the weirdest situations… it is easier to see if you are not involved! another example (for the cops amongst
    us): have you ever received a domestic call and arrived to find a wife-beater and the wife that refuses to leave him. when you ask her why such destructive behavior, the answer is a variant of “but i really love him!” or “but he is so sweet 1/1000th of the time!” or whatever else… well, as techs in a Windows world we are choosing not
    to move in a cave with a wife-beater beating the crap out of us. Why? it is better than finding what else is out there, it makes our behavior more justifiable to others that have no clue, since the whole world is doing it… what if we get out of the cave and see an OS for what it really should be? when we return we would be blinded by the darkness and outcast as lunatics and heretics!

    Now let’s look at what is meant by “enterprise ready”, shall we? going a bit into cartesian theory, part of what makes an object (and even people) to exist and to have a set of qualities is collective coherence of observation. under the cave allegory, the shadows would be taken as the real objects and that is the world we live in! Things have the intrinsic value we attribute them to us and ollectively that makes it “real”. Had Germany won the WWII we would be speaking German right now and the Jewish people would have been devil’s outcasts!

    Now let’s add “the need to survive” into the mix. No, not the need to survive individually, cuz that is what we have now and here where people can hide comfortably and not learn anything new under the guise of using the “de facto standards” such as Microsoft or Cisco, hence reinforcing the “dead-sea effect” in the workplace http://brucefwebster.com/2008/04/11/the-wetware-crisis-the-dead-sea-effect/ … I mean the need to survive as an organization in very bad economic turmoil. I don’t even mean the pseudo depression we face, i mean total and complete
    financial holocaust, like, say, countries similar to Brazil. There you can see massive adoption of open-source software, cuz that is a matter
    of collective survival. Brazil is not the only one, countries across the world are starting to do that.

    To wrap up, I am not saying Microsoft is all-evil and Linux is the second coming. What I am saying is that people’s collective behavior
    prevent real progress from taking place. Windows wide-spread acceptance is not “the cause”… it is the effect and we gotta live with it because “we love it so much…” :)

    • I actually feel you’re right about much of this. In my experience in the IT world, so many Microsoft-only shops have perfectly capable IT personnel who stick to what they know largely (I suspect) because they’re deathly afraid of something they don’t fully understand, and are unwilling to risk looking the fool (even a little bit) by giving something outside of that comfortable Microsoft box a try.

      It’s very difficult to overcome that prejudice, and like most prejudices, this one is based almost completely out of fear.

      It’s really amazing what people will put up with in order to avoid facing their fears. They’ll even put up with an extremely expensive, unreliable, insecure platform like Windows, even with all the liability that comes with it, in order to avoid facing the possibility that if they give something else a try, they might not understand it enough to do it properly and face ridicule or even career suicide.

      I don’t know the solution to that, other than to keep spreading the word and expose more fledgling IT people to alternatives early on so that they don’t develop that total fear of the unknown and get themselves so locked into the Windows way of doing things that they’re there forever.

      • Fear is a powerful inhibitor, and so is lack of proper interest! Companies don’t care what they use. By “companies” I mean the higher-ups that are accountable for performance of the organization and have to report to stock-holders, etc… They (and I was part of “they” for a good chunk of my life) want something that will allow the organization to exchange documents and data with its partners. Since a Windows/MS Office is so ubiquitous, it is a compelling (but faulty) argument that it is better for our organization to use the same product.

        Now take the perspective from the IT management. This new “they” are held accountable to the previous group for their choices in technology. You’d think they wanted bottom-line results, but they don’t! They want proper liability waiver once something goes south. Don’t believe me? Then imagine this: a MS Exchange upgrade goes wrong and the process gets delayed for 3 extra months. Now, the guy did his homework and even hired a vendor to use as consultant during the process. Everything is done on test servers and no service interruption is experienced. It costs a small fortune to do this, but since you had your MCSE working in tandem with the vendor that is Gold Partner. All bases are covered and you get some explanation as to why these things can happen from the vendor. The IT Manager can go to the board meeting say there was nothing else they could have done, but perhaps next time they choose a different consulting partner. Now flip this around to the open-source guys that work on proprietary code mentality… First sign of problem and folks are running with a nose looking for the first neck to hang. Besides being free, community-supported open-source needs to be flawless, as if the closed source stuff was without fault! It is a double-standards environment.

        Lastly, take the technician position… Are you a Linux guy? Then I bet you are a technology enthusiast. You enjoy discovering, learning and developing new ways technology can make life easier. You know whatever is the standard today will be obsolete in a few years and you are always trying to grok new technologies. Are you a Windows guy? Then you can very well be like the group I just described (I know I was windows-only and part of that group up to a decade ago!), but there is also that chance you came from another industry and did a 6-month super-hyper-superficial course in some technology (managing windows, networks, databases, what-have-you) and now you are an “expert” but have no clue of how stuff works… You are taught how to go through the motions to do whatever it is you are supposed to do, but ultimately, you don’t care, all you want is that bigger pay-check in the end of the pay-period. And if someone approaches the bosses about using another piece of software that you are not used to, but that costs little or nothing to the company and does more, may that person burn in hell.

        Maybe this conditioned behavior begins in scholl, like Ken Robinson argues http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html, but I think we can help change that. Hopefully not all is lost. We have awesome companies like 37signals, box.net and Fog Creek Software that seem to get it right! There is a critical mass building up and I think the harsh economic environment we face today is partly the cataliser for that. There is an emergence of self-published software and social-software development (freshmeat/sourceforge in the recent past and github/gitorious now). The have faith the world is slowly moving away from a read-only culture to that of read-write culture, like Larry Lassig mentions on his TED talk about creativity http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity.html

        The trick is to at least not get yourself de-motivated and, if possible, help motivate others to think outside the license-bound box.

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  19. I found most of your reasons baseless…why let’s see

    More than 90% users and out of that 99% are non geeks use windows for it’s simplicity and don’t know meaning of virus actually…I use it for years and hardly ever got a virus and even then removing it was a joke…and I don’t even use antivirus most of the time…

    Windows 2003 r2 was one of a very stable system and i have more than 200+ systems to support and
    I don’t see it needs an reboot except the cum security patch, other patches are not required, and as I understand you are doing you are taking a big risk with your system, actually you need to hire a good windows admin who can guide you how to manage systems with an ease

    Servers crashing is a thing of past…win2k3 r2 is one of the best os as of date and don’t crash as long as you are buying compatible hardware

    You seems to be completely negative about windows but you need to understand with every new release windows marketshare is not only increasing it’s proving itself as more competent server system, you like it or not you will continue to support this, so either learn to do it proper or keep complaining like an ameture

    For windows 7 I have used it as well as snow leopard….there is no comparison with windows, only users who want to see email, check website and listen music they will like mac others who need some real tech stuff will either install parallels or do bootcamp

    I did install red hat though I don’t like the interface and 100 things which doesn’t work there yet…

    If you stop installing 100 of free software available windows 7 will suddenly starts feeling very stable to you

    One last thing, next time when you want a server try using core installation of windows 2008 r2 for best security, this will save you from many troubles

    I don’t say that windows is most stable system or beat unix flavors, though for 99% of the applications which are not mission critical and can afford a downtime windows servers are the easiest choice, yes even though it’s not free…

    Btw Microsoft has 100 products and competitors but for majority of those competitors Microsoft is the only competition…

    • Wow… are you for real?

      Boy, where to start?


      More than 90% users and out of that 99% are non geeks use windows for it’s simplicity and don’t know meaning of virus actually…I use it for years and hardly ever got a virus and even then removing it was a joke…and I don’t even use antivirus most of the time…

      Unfortunately, reality is quite different from this. The reality of the situation is that statistically speaking, every Windows user out there will get a virus of some sort eventually, and this is even WITH antivirus in use.

      Additionally, spyware, adware, and other malware are rampant. Also even if a good antivirus program is in use.

      If you don’t get viruses and you don’t use antivirus, fine. But you likely have one or more things infecting your Windows computer that you might not even know about, right now.


      Windows 2003 r2 was one of a very stable system and i have more than 200+ systems to support and I don’t see it needs an reboot except the cum security patch,

      You’ve obviously never had a service get hung up then? Or a file that needs deleting and you get “access is denied” for some reason, and the only way to get rid of it is to reboot before you can delete it?

      And if that wasn’t enough, even if it were only the security patches that required reboots, that’s still enough to lead to at least one reboot a week (but most often far more than that) if you keep up with patching.


      other patches are not required, and as I understand you are doing you are taking a big risk with your system, actually you need to hire a good windows admin who can guide you how to manage systems with an ease

      Ah, be careful friend. Your troll is showing. I am a “good windows admin”. I’ve been doing this for a long time, which is why I’m able to make these observations.


      Servers crashing is a thing of past…win2k3 r2 is one of the best os as of date and don’t crash as long as you are buying compatible hardware

      What are you, a Microsoft salesman?


      so either learn to do it proper or keep complaining like an ameture

      The correct way to spell that is “amateur”.


      I did install red hat though I don’t like the interface and 100 things which doesn’t work there yet…

      I can’t say anything about Red Hat, as I haven’t used it in probably 7 or 8 years.


      If you stop installing 100 of free software available windows 7 will suddenly starts feeling very stable to you

      I’m not sure what you’re talking about here. I don’t use Windows 7 on a daily basis. My experience with Win7 has been on the dozen or so workstations I’ve configured for clients. I didn’t install “100 of free software available”, I just set up user accounts, installed the productivity software the clients requested, and joined their computers to the domain.

      And I found Windows 7 to be sluggish, slow to respond, slow to boot, and it felt a little outdated as far as the interface goes. Windows 7 feels to me like an operating system from 2005. Microsoft has a little catch up to do with regard to that.


      One last thing, next time when you want a server try using core installation of windows 2008 r2 for best security, this will save you from many troubles

      Been there, done that. Unfortunately, it was my experiences with Windows Server 2008 r2 that led me ultimately to write this article.

  20. The problem with Windows OS’ tends to come from kernel up. Monolithic vs hybrid… hmm.

    Monolithic kernel (linux for instance) tends to allow dropping levels of services, apps, processes etc down and getting them up again. All, or individually. Related components are also handled.

    Hybrid kernel is unable to do this. Windows simply cannot shut down, change and restart a core service (or replace a file, say winlogon.exe for instance).

    Hybrid kernels also have other issues. Upper level stack items are able to have almost direct access to kernel itself. That is a _major_ security issue. Malware able to use Windows 7 default UAC (default UAC settings allow turning UAC OFF! without UAC prompt… HELLO MICROSOFT, IS THIS AN ISSUE?) as a stepping stone to work around AV/FW programs trying to protect the computer itself. Bootkits, infective kernel items, rootkits, infected and binary patched service files (TDL3), virut and more. And all of this (literally, all) because upper level items are able to have direct impact on lower level items. Yes, it gives interesting ways of working with hardware and drivers and gives more power to the coder, but that power can be used wrong. A monolithic kernel would not allow access beyond certain point before certain steps are taken. An infected service that is hijacked will only run on the permissions given to the service. If upper level program or service is infected I can always drop runlevel down a notch, kill the offending item, remove and purge remains and move on (done this with a proof-of-concept malware). I cannot drop core GUI items off anymore in windows. I cannot tell Windows 7 not to use any graphical drivers (it will default to “Safe video options” anyway) or to use boot time parameters to ignore basic bootup settings and to load a different kernel that is _secure_ safe box without anything to do with the rest of the OS (Recovery console from OS media might work with Windows, but even their “recovery environment” shipped with Windows 7 is not “secure” as it can be destroyed from within the normal windows OS using RAW file and I/O access by malware).

    As noted, the issue begins from the core. In this case, the kernel.

  21. I’m reading this, and I find that some of your reasons are so incredibly ludicrous that it seems like you were really struggling to find reasons. Like your “java update” reason and your “Microsoft Office” update reason, all parts that aren’t a standard part of the operating system.

    “Windows security is a joke” of course it might seem that way to someone who is entirely bias. But I repair Windows computers all of the time, and it is always the fault of the user when they get a virus. But linux is just as exploitable as Windows, All you need is a 3rd party person to take the time to find that exploit and bam ^.~ and Mac OSX is the most vulnerable “Popular” OS I know of.

    I am still using Windows XP a practically ancient OS in terms of the computer world. How many anti viruses am I running? Let me see, I’m not even running one, the last time I even got a virus wasn’t even through a microsoft program it was VIA SunJava/Adobe Reader. So seriously your security answer is just another bias attempt, and a completely unnecessary attempt at hitting windows because of it’s popularity.

    “Improved Performance” FYI: I use Windows XP Pro on my netbook that is 1.66GHZ, it boots in 17 seconds, and plays most the games I play on my desktop. The system performance is very VERY smooth. Can’t say the same about Vista ( although with some customization I am certain I can make vista run smoothly ), but I CAN say the same about Windows 7

    • Well, I’ve been using Windows since 3.1 all the way up to Win7 (DOS Junkie before graphics), also I am a MacOSX power user and recently found a nice home at Linux and I can say I agree 100% with Trent about this article.

      Windows security is a joke!!! Period!!! Bootkits, and Rootkits and far worse than virus and they are not detected by most antimalware!

      The non Adminitrator accounts can perform the most catastrophic of actions!!!! That is what security as a joke means to any flavor of windows.

      Linux on the other hand (and other *nixes including MacOSX) work around this by efectively applying security policies at File System / Core level so no matter how dumb or inexpert you are, you won’t affect the system, at the most your home dir will get vulnerable/corrupted but easyly fixed…

      That is all I have to say in response to your comment since there are no bias… I use Windows the most and that helps me understand I don’t need it at home :) M$ biases us… Making us turn away… Simple as that ;)

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