Vista vs Linux

I don’t run Linux on a day to day basis, but I was interested to see the sparring between Joe Wilcox and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols both from eWeek both trying to make the case for the superiority of Vista and Linux respectively.  My own take, I’m with Joe – I think XP is the competition for Vista and like Joe I think Vista is improving steadily as Microsoft drip feed us updates on a regular basis.  I’m lucky though – I don’t have to wait for these updates because on my Desktop (I don’t stress my laptop) I run Vista 64 and it’s already rock solid.

For me Vista is approaching the level of reliability of an appliance, it just always works.  I’ve not had an operating system crash, or problem that forced a reboot for nearly 6 months.  Applications still crash, but they seem to crash just as often when I run Linux.

Steven has a point though, disruptions start small and at the extremes.  Linux is powering along replacing Unix Workstations and we are seeing a lot of activity in handheld, low end (kids) laptops, thin clients and low end PCs.  Microsoft need to watch these under and over served Windows user populations. 

However I’m confident that Microsoft understand disruptive innovation very well and I think it’s unlikely that they don’t have contingency plans, one example might be the re-architecting of windows to allow several different variants of windows (probably including the mobile ones) all to run off a single (micro) kernal.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

3 Responses

  1. Interesting post Steve.

    Its good to hear Vista is getting more stable, but my concern is the bloat that is coming with it, built in. Thats bloat most users can do without, with Linux I can go and get what I need, not have what I don’t want forced on me.

    Competition is good, so I think you’re right, Microsoft will react, they have to! But how, and how quickly remains to be seen. Whilst I have no doubt they feel the threat from Linux, I’m not so sure they can react quickly enough to keep their current position. That might not be a bad thing either, choice is good for the consumer!

    Whether they re-architect Windows, or start from scratch is another story, wasn’t Vista a rewrite? Look how long that took to get out the door. The rate at which Linux and Apple are innovating is far ahead of MS in my opinion.

  2. admin says:

    Simon, there’s bloat in Vista for sure, but that’s the sort of thing IT folks worry about not most people, but I agree with you that their current position of near complete monopoly will definately be eroded and in some ways I think they would welcome that as it would free them from some of their regulatory constraints on innovation.

    I agree that Apple are innovating at a faster pace, which is easy as they don’t have the diversity of applications and hardware to support and hold them back.

    As for Linux I agree its also very innovative, but I think Microsoft are better equiped to innovate in many synergistic directions, collaboration, mobile, car, work, home, entertainment etc.

    It’s an interesting time.

  3. Good point on the regulatory pressure on MS innovation, however if they took a more open approach, maybe they wouldn’t be such a target.

    How do you think that the breadth of skills that Linux, being Open Source, can bring to the table, matches up compared to that of MS?

    I tend to think that the diversity brought to Linux through the open licensing, with innovative contributions being fed back into the core code, goes way beyond what MS can achieve through 3rd-party relationships and acquisitions.

    But certainly, interesting times!

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