Sunday, October 25, 2009

Can we rethink on Linux vs Windows debate?

The launch of Windows 7 and imminent launch of Ubuntu 9.10 three days hence, all within a span of just a week or so have sent people mad. The fence sitters wondering whether to go Linux or Windows. They now have good reasons to stick to Win. The hardcore Linux geeks tightening their teeth-'Ah, let the hackers get it. Sooner the better' and the Win guys getting reassured -'Aha, the Waiting for Godot script now needs to be altered. Windows has arrived after all. Better late than never, even if after a decade, so what?'. Of course, Mac guys laughing all the way, 'What a broken promise!'

I too have been following the goings on the Internet closely. A whole book can come out of the battle between the two camps. Whatever the criticism or the praise on either side, it is largely individual, more of personal preferences, individual choices dictated by operating system mercenaries whether free or sponsored. Somewhere society at large has been missed out. It's been always 'me' and rarely 'we'.

I come from the so called third world, and a country called India (which once was the first world) having a population of 1.15 billion souls (and thus the second largest populous country in the world). In such a vast country can we afford the luxury to allow the bridges of crossing the Digital Divide to be built by anything or everything just depending upon personal choices, individual preferences and subjective opinions?

This to me should have been the foundation of the debates over Linux vs Windows in India and in all those countries that are grappling with digital Divide.

This much for now...Till then keep thinking for a better society ... the best technology...

3 comments:

Punit said...

yes

Sandipan said...

To me Windows is an example of 'power of marketing'. Windows with its all errors and trials still claims considerably bigger market. It may steal ideas from others but pushes itself so much beyond others. The end user may not always settle down with windows because he thinks it is best but he lacks the knowledge of existence of other platforms and unlimited powers each one have. I, myself, in my 11 years of IT infrastructure management career have mostly used windows for all mission critical applications. If i had not explored linux I would not have realized the infinite possibilities this kernal have. In fact it proved to a huge win in both data and voice based platforms ranging from SMBs to enterprise level setups. Without going into specific strengths I would say the user base is clearly devided between client and server. Linux have undoubtedly more power, stability, flexibility and most importantly free source than windows when it comes to server computing. However, we still have long way to go before linux is adopted by each end user. The gap is narrowing down each day. What is interesting to see is what next from windows not in terms of technology but in terms of advocating linux but selling windows. Till then we will continue to see the unfortunate digital divide.

MK Yadava said...

Yes, agreed. You are right, the market has taken too much of a toll, and so has the marketing skills of Microsoft. However, at this stage there is a need for a set of strategies. Any suggestions on that...