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The Glass Ceiling Over Linux

Date/Time Permalink: 03/13/07 07:01:03 pm
Category: Humor

It's really hard to miss how Linux and Windows are relatively judged in the tech blogosphere. Consider the following attributes and their praise or criticism, completely based on what operating system they happen to accompany:

1. A free graphics program bundled with the system.
(a) On Windows: Cool! A free paint program! Hey, everybody, check out this awesome pixel-art I did!
(b) On Linux: The interface is completely wrong! It needs to be just like Photoshop!

2. The system has a command line.
(a) On Linux: It's this archaic dependency on outdated interfaces that is holding Linux back.
(b) On Windows: The new Windows Power Shell innovation is a bold leap forward that gives Windows more power! Order your copy for $100 today!

3. The system search feature.
(a) On Windows: It's easy, all you do is type "command line folder:interactions type:doc myfile" to quickly locate your file!
(b) On Linux: This is just the problem with the command line I'm talking about! "Locate myfile" will never be something the average person can remember to type in.

4. Lots of distros.
(a) On Linux: The lack of standardization is a huge stumble. Having too many choices is confusing for the end user. Even if it were narrowed down to just Ubuntu and Kubuntu, that's still too many.
(b) On Windows: The Vista editions run to Home Premium, Home Basic, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate, or you can stay with XP or 2000, and even NT and Me and 98 SE are still out there. Giving a consumer their choice is what makes capitalism work!

5. Charity.
(a) On Windows: Gates gives away a portion of income to charity, so I know I'm doing something good for the community just by buying Windows.
(b) On Linux: The whole damned operating system is free in the first place so you can donate your own money how you want? Well, then, that just goes to show that they're all anti-establishment hippies, doesn't it?

6. Support.
(a) On Linux: Nobody knows it, nobody understands it, it's too difficult to learn.
(b) On Windows: Anybody with a copy of "Windows for Dummies", an MSCE certificate, and a paid-up per-incident MS Live support account can administer this baby.

7. User education.
(a) On Windows: Sure I had to re-learn how to do everything going from Word 2003 to Word 2007, but it's worth it for all the extra features and improvements in it.
(b) On Linux: It doesn't work just like Windows! Waaaahhhhhhh!

8. Tabbed Browsing.
(a) On Linux: Yeah, yeah, so Firefox has tabs. Can somebody get the fanboi out of here, please?
(b) On Windows: The IE 7 tab feature is a Microsoft innovation that changed my life forever.

9. Daylight Savings Time.
(a) On Windows: The heroic efforts of the developers and system administrators to apply all the patches in time was a touching moment in IT teamwork.
(b) On Linux: Yeah, yeah, so the system automatically corrected itself while you slept! Can somebody get the fanboi out of here, please?

10. Cost.
(a) On Linux: Mysteriously, the fact that the software is free somehow causes training and support costs to be 100x as much as for Windows, wherever it's reported.
(b) On Windows: Mysteriously, the additional cost for installing each piece of commercial software, having to upgrade hardware, lost productivity due to downtime, buying an anti-virus program, and taking the box to the shop every two weeks to clean it out is never mentioned anywhere.

11. The Dominant Browser in Web Stats
(a) On Windows: Ha! this site shows twice as many Internet Explorer users as Firefox users! That proves that the Firefox stories about downloads are all hype!
(b) On Linux: Well, of course the stats for show twice as many Firefox users as Internet Explorer users; obviously the site markets to a huge share of geeks which skews the numbers!

UPDATE: A comment in the Ubuntu forums linking here does mention that the Daylight Savings Time change did have some glitches on some systems. All I can say is that my 3 installed Linux boxen (Slackware, grml, and Damn Small) handled the change nicely (I keep them updated). But then I just have a home set-up, not an enterprise-class network.

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