To anybody who is still reading.
I'm not going to make another post on this thread after this one.
I don't think that Alexander and I are actually commenting on the same thing. I did not say that I don't use MS software. I said I try to avoid it where I can. But... I currently have 7 systems running XP, 2 running Windows 2000, and a couple running older versions of Windows. Hardly MS free.
This is mainly because they came with Windows. The rest of my family use Windows, except my daughter, who uses MacOS. I am their technical support department, so I get to see lots of Windows problems, with networking, printing, Office software and many other obscure problems, including the normal gamut of viruses and trojans. Linux definitely wins here.
I have not used Vista, I admit, but I would say that in this case 'better' is subjective. I read C very well, and I have looked at Genetic UNIX source (AT&T derived), BSD and Linux. I know much of the philosophy behind UNIX development, having worked inside AT&T and IBM. Generally speaking the code is very, very good in in all cases. I have not seen the Windows code, but from what I have heard and seen, some of the Windows code is not actually understood by Microsoft (one rumor I have heard is that IBM still provide support for some of the OS/2 derived code in the UI). Obviously, this is information by proxy, but what I've heard can't all be wrong.
Of course, Vista is supposed to be a significant re-write, and if the reported resource use is as bad as it sounds (even now), then there is something quite wrong in Vista. Do you think that Windows 7 would be getting as much exposure as it is if Microsoft had not finally recognised that at least the perception of Vista was flawed, even if they do not think the OS itself is.
My personal thoughts about Windows is that the design itself is flawed, in it's security, and it's resource use, and also in the way that users use it. Trying to make Vista secure broke applications left, right and centre, because apps expected to be able to write to strange parts of the filetree.
25+ years ago, Sun came up with a model for using networked computers where a system was never personal. If you used a NFS connected diskless workstation, or even a shared server, your environment moved with you. The systems could all be near identical, and you could log on to whichever one you wanted, and use it as if it was your home workstation. The UNIX security model needed almost no tweaking to make it work, even the split between users and administrators worked. All that was needed was a little segregation of system data into read-only, read-mostly, and read-write data. There was even an application deployment method that allowed you to install the software just on the servers, and have it used on the network workstations. There was even a model that allowed heterogeneous systems in the same environment. This was a sys-admin's dream.
Microsoft in the elapsed 25 years have not managed to come up with a model that works nearly as well. A Windows desktop system is still a Personal Computer in 2009, even with roving profiles, sharepoint, Active Director, and all of the other technology they have rolled out. This is because the basic design is flawed, and there is no point in building on cracked foundations. This makes it basically unsuitable for business, even though much effort has been put in to try to make it so. Just go to a desktop Windows system, log in, and see all of the junk left behind in the copies of all of the profiles of users who have previously used the system. And application deployment? After installing MS Office on every desktop, even with scripted installs, one would have thought that someone would have realized that something could be done better.
And what is being rolled out now? Windows 'Mainframes' accessed via Windows Terminal Server, or Citrix XenApp. Hardly progress. It's almost exactly like IBM's VM/CMS environment (in concept, I'm not suggesting that 3270 terminals ran a GUI).
The world has moved on, and I know that the UNIX NFS model is now dated, particularly the network security. But replace UNIX with Linux, NFS with Kerborised NFS 4, or GPFS, or even CIFS, and the model still works. Linux plugs straight in to this environment, and is bringing in new developments.
It is this type of design that I think is superior. It needs to evolve, and be pushed forward, and I think that groups like X.org are making this happen (the UI has needed a re-work for quite some time), but with the render extensions, and integrated GL in the Xserver, this is happening. Look at Compiz Fusion, and there is scope for UI's to be as pretty and as functional as anything Microsoft or Apple can push out. And guess what. Much of this is being done for free, often by people who code in their working life and contribute on their own time, so can produce good code. Debian is a good distro, and is proved to be so by being selected as the bas for so many other distro's.
This is turning into an essay, so I'll shut up now. To the moderator, sorry I had to put you through all of this. If it is too much, I'll not be too annoyed if you choose not to post it.