Linux or Windows for Business? (especially for SMEs)

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Business
Linux
Linux versus Windows
SME
Windows
Hi, I wanted to know which OS is more suitable for business especially for SMEs? Is it Linux, Windows or both??? Which is superior based on their: Funcitonality Usability Security Relaibility Scalability Efficiency Robustness Portablity Could you provide some links which will detail the above mentioned points as I am researching on this topic! Thanks

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I’ve never been a Linux admin but I can tell you – based on what I hear from my clients – and what I see in my work performing security assessments that Linux, by and large, has the same issues as Windows. It may look different and it may require different expertise but it’s still a computer OS that needs TLC.

I must disagree. Linux does not share the same issues with Windows, in fact it plays well with Windows and with other office applications (I use OpenOffice.org office suite) and I have NEVER had to deal with annoying anti virus warnings.

I run Ubuntu 8.10 on one desktop, Have installed Ubuntu 9.04 on another, and am dual booting A notebook with Vista/Ubuntu. I share files back and forth between the two and I am quite satisfied that Linux has proved to be a much more stable OS on the desktop than I could have imagined. Having been the “go-to guy” in IT for many years, support Windows servers and workstations, I am happy to report that using Linux has reduced “lock ups” and crashes to zilch.

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  • Vnoome
    Coolestgolfer, The question you are posing opens up a whole can of worms. There are those that are pro Windows and then there are those who are pro Linux. The question you are asking can swing both ways when it comes to which is the right one to use... The answer can be based on SO many variables... I have used Linux for many years and used various distributions. I have found that the biggest question to ask is what is ROE. I did consulting work in South Africa for a huge clothing chain that use to be a windows only company. Based on their requirements both Linux or Windows could work for them. After a few discussion with the VP of Finance we came to the conclusion that instead of spending $$$ on software that the company would rather invest $$$ in people. The company started hiring a group of Linux pro's. In total about 12 or so.... This company went from Windows to completely rolled out Linux environment in 6 months with LFS and has written their own financial applications. After their integration they reduced their downtime on server with close to 85%. Desktop support went down with 90%. So today, instead of purchasing software from various vendors the cost of writing their own is paying itself. Now I am not saying that this will be the case for every company. You have to really look at what the business does. Remember that choosing Linux over Windows or visa versa is not just based on just a few key questions you might have as outlined in your original question. Every operating system has their downfall.... From my personal choice....for server environment I would run Linux without a doubt. Messaging becomes a more Windows based OS as a lot of people like the Outlook integration with back office app like MOSS and OCS.... One could spends days pondering about which way to go but in all honesty it has become a catch 22 situation. Cost vs. functionality. To sum it up, it all depends what you want to do..... I would prefer Linux as much as possible!!! Cheers, Vincent
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  • Pressler2904
    Although this MAY be considered a bit off-topic, as it concerns neither Windows nor Linux, you may also wish to insider the Macintosh (Mac OS X): easily configurable as a dual-boot XP/Mac OS or Vista/MacOS (or Linux/Mac OS) system, it is somewhat more stable than Windows (not perfect, but more stable) and its' Unix underpinnings (it's based upon BSD Unix) allow a variety of Unix and Linux software to be utilized either "out of the box" (so to speak) or with some minor tweaking. Additionally, there are many Mac programs written specifically for the OS, including versions of both MS Office and Open Office (version 3.1.0 is available for the Intel Mac platform). The Macintosh hardware platform is the fastest most stable HARDWARE out there for commercial (i.e. widespread and easily available) use (this is supported by several polls and surveys from leading IT research organizations - it's not just me being a Mac fanatic - I support them but do not own one...) and is the fastet Windows XP system on the market (no kidding...). Just my $0.02...
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  • Vnoome
    Pressler2904, With regards to your response......I would say you may give your $0.02......lol I did not want to go down that route as his question was directed to 2 options....but hey.....OSX....brilliant in my books..... Like they say....different strokes for different folks.... I suppose we have to be fair to all operating system providers out there....there is enough sun for everyone... Cheers, Vincent
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  • DoneThat
    From reading a few of the posts I'll make the following comment for the record: as my career has moved from software/IT orientation to general business executive, I'm not "pro" Windows or Linux. I am pro $. Everything about running a business is cost control, value add and profit generation. A computer OS is a cost center. Microsoft has dropped the ball and it's getting worse. Although I've been using Windows since (ugh)...present day Windows suffers 3 significant problems. 1) Windows has grown, literally, into an unstable mess. Every time Microsoft sends out a patch, almost invariably, something breaks. In the SME, you just don't have the people/time to vet every patch as completely as you would like. Our 25 desktops AND SBS are day to day and require a full time admin to keep everything taped together. Now THAT's expensive. There is NEVER a week that goes by that either a desktop or the SBS goes down. And I'm being generous. 2) Microsoft will NOT provide UI backward compatibility nor sensible upgrades. ARE THEY NUTS? It's up to me to upgrade/change my systems - not them. There is absolutely NOTHING in the Vista UI that improves productivity. I would upgrade if (a) it looked and acted like XP and (b) did not require much more than load&go. But everything about Microsoft's upgrade path involves huge costs in training, compatibility & TIME. 3) Windows disk structure is out of control. Installing a program spreads files all over the hard disk and entries up and down the registry. Of course this becomes unstable. It's inherent. Vista redoubles Microsoft's effort to convolute the internal structure. Having said all of the above, most of us must use Windows because that's where our experience and history are. We have a Linux server up which we have targeted to take over all file sharing. But progress is slow because of (a) time available to learn and (b) confidence. I have Ubuntu running in Virtual Box - very stable. Open office is enough like Office 2003 to make the transition fairly painless. BUT I created a significant application in MS Office using VBA so that's another problem. There is NO value in paying to upgrade to Office 2007. So to answer your question directly: if your experience/expertise in Linux/Windows is equal and the applications you want for your business run under Linux - choose Linux. TCO will be much lower (unless you read a Microsoft sponsored study) and reliability will be much higher. Windows is not portable. Some version of Linux will run in a bottle of olive oil pretty soon! Your other bullet points: functionality, usability, security, scalability, efficiency, robustness are arguable for both platforms. Gary
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