Unix guy shares his experience in switching to Windows


Simon Gerber wrote a slightly-negative article titled Switching to Windows: Not as easy as you think.


Any Windows developer should read this article. Why? Beyond anything else, it is a perfect example of how a Unix/Linux-oriented people are sincerely viewing Windows, especially when they are forced to switch due to one reason or another. They are coming to Windows with a predefined bias. And, more importantly, every issue raised here (and similar others) will be more and more obstacles against switching to Windows.

Comments (3)

  1. Joku says:

    I’d also like a central update system for all Windows software, atleast for small security patches, where I could opt-in for automatic security update for any 3rd party software. This service would of course be provided free for companies by Microsoft. Otherwise all that security work MS is doing goes to waste cause there is so many holes in 3rd party apps that cannot be quickly and easily patched. The patches could be very small in size if they only involve sending version specific compressed byte difference patches for security update purposes. MS would provide that the service is up and available reliably. Too much asked?

  2. AdiOltean says:

    >> I’d also like a central update system for all Windows software, atleast for small security patches, where I could opt-in for automatic security update for any 3rd party software. This service would of course be provided free for companies by Microsoft. Otherwise all that security work MS is doing goes to waste cause there is so many holes in 3rd party apps that cannot be quickly and easily patched. The patches could be very small in size if they only involve sending version specific compressed byte difference patches for security update purposes. MS would provide that the service is up and available reliably. Too much asked?

    Very interesting idea – I’m sure that the Windows Update team is alaready working on something around these lines.

    For example the new Microsoft Update (which is designed to replace the existing Windows Update) sends patches for severalMS products like Windows, Office, Exchange, SQL, etc.

    Also, the differential compression is already implemented in the latest Microsoft Update, if I’m not mistaken.

    Now, it Microsoft Update doesn’t send patches for third-party products, however. I think the main problem here is trust and liability. How does Microsoft make sure that some small company has all clean patches?

    This web update is goodness but on the other side it can be formidably dangerous if it falls in the wrong hands. For example, if it is used to spread a virused patch. Just think of it – there are hundreds of millions of machines out there which are configured to accept any patches for Windows Update (with the acknowledgement of their owners of course). Beyond anything, Microsoft needs to be careful on controlling what goes into it.

  3. Van Wyk De Waal says:

    I read his article and I found it rather appalling!

    I started off on MS-DOS and progressed to Win95 before I was introduced to the wonderous techie world of Linux. I installed and re-installed, tweaked, twisted and re-wrote the operating system until it suited my deepest darkest fantasy. I’m a vi wizard, Perl flows like water from my fingers. Everyday I read about more and more Windows security flaws: hackers gaining access, rootkits, unstability. I laughed and laughed at all these "Windoze idiots".

    Then, one day, I was yanked from my now familier and much loved Suse Linux distro, to figure out and write a VBA app to do email statistics on Outlook. I was outraged! A colleage of mine had succesfully written this tool in Perl! Why did I have to redo it with the help of the dark side of the force?

    I got stuck in, and… found it rather enjoyable. A new challenge. The Outlook object model didn’t give me all of the answers I required, so I had to dig and I found Redemption (the software package – not forgiveness). Intrigued, I obtained windows XP and installed it on a spare machine. The commands were straight forward, yet distressingly I didn’t have to configure anything. Yet a couple of reboots later, I had an operating system in front of me. On the suggestion of a coleague, I downloaded and installed C# express 2005. I learned of .NET and web services. I learned of plenty of AntiSoftware, built in firewalls and antispyware programs to keep my machine safe.

    Everyday is a new world for me. I’m now saving up for a copy of Visual Studio. I can’t afford to buy it and C# express is not giving me enough! I want more, MORE!

    My opinion is that this article was written by a very biased person. I’m finding the switch from loveable Linux to Windows XP refreshing. And not so bad at all. Sure some things bother me, but a lot about Linux bothered me as well. I’m converted. Windows rocks.