In today's distorted marketplace, the business planner is immediately faced
with a simple, but gut wrenching decision. This decision will control every
other decision from here on out. It was bad enough before, but Windows 2000
has made the whole issue more urgent. So here it is, straight up!
Which phrase matches your company?
- "Microsoft Windows will make us so productive we can afford the $8,000 to
$14,000 per PC per year it will cost."
(cost from Gartner Group, Forester Research, Intel and others).
- "We don't have any choice - we have to be 'All Microsoft' regardless of cost."
- "We have to be Microsoft on the desktop, but lets keep it off the servers."
- "We need a low cost, stable, secure environment that will provide
year-in, year-out productivity, and we're willing to go through some effort to
- "We're an on-line business. Adherence to Internet standards, stability
and security are critical, and those don't come from Redmond."
- "Windows came on the computers - what's to decide?".
Here's your background material.
Why do we say "All Microsoft" or "No Microsoft"? Well, it's almost as
difficult to be "a little bit Microsoft" as it is to be "a little bit
pregnant". It's the old camel's nose story - once the camel gets his nose
under the tent, soon the rest of the camel is under the tent. To use a
favorite Microsoft tech support phrase, "This behavior is by design".
Bill Gates' mission plan, "A PC on every desk, running only Microsoft
software" does not leave room for any other significant Windows software
developers or publishers for the business market. Microsoft now has the power
to achieve this goal. There will be Microsoft software, and there will be
Microsoft Certified customizers using Microsoft tools to adjust Microsoft
software to your business in Microsoft approved ways.
"Ok, what are the alternatives and is there any software for any of them?"
Our Comparison Chart shows what software
people typically run under Windows, Linux and OS/2. For general business
applications, vertical market software, or for a highly customized solution,
there are plenty of choices. If you want games and entertainment, it's
Windows for you. If you depend on a specialized software package only
available for Windows, you have to run Windows (though you could run it
in a VMWare Windows session under Linux).
Listed here are some available high performance desktop and server
operating systems. Just click on the name for detailed information.
- Unix - What Windows NT wants to be when it grows
up. Unix boxes with 700 days uptime are not unusual - NT servers do about 7
days (according to Bill Gates). Unix servers routinely support 200 users -
NT generally chokes above 20. A Unix server can run a dozen major tasks
simultaneously - Microsoft recommends a separate NT server for each major
task. Microsoft has been imitating Unix features since they added
subdirectories to DOS (v2.0) - why not get the real thing? It costs less and
works better. PC clients and/or terminals are supported.
- Linux - Unix for the people, by the people.
A no cost / low cost Unix created and maintained by volunteers.
It is now common for Linux to replace Windows NT where NT has failed to
perform. In large companies this is often done without informing management
due to a "Microsoft only" corporate policy. With the server slot pretty well
nailed, software developers and the Linux community are now giving serious
attention to the desktop. PC clients and/or terminals are supported. See also
Linux News for late breaking items.
- OS/2 - What you should be using on the
desktop instead of Windows. Realizing how superior OS/2 is to Windows,
Microsoft has applied every trick their money could buy to suppress it. Today,
OS/2 is used where Windows' unreliability is intolerable: banks, insurance,
airlines, supermarkets, the Century freeway, Automation Access, Wal Mart
. . . . OS/2 currently leads the way in centrally managed PCs (IBM's WSOD) and
Java applications. Network server and/or client. Supports DOS, OS/2, and all
Windows clients. See also
OS/2 News for late breaking items.
- AS/400 - Total security and 99.94% uptime
without a cluster, scaling from small business ($7000) to multinational
mega-corp. This is the premier platform for serious business. PC networks
and/or terminals are supported.
- Novell NetWare - Once king of the PC network,
once again a serious contender, especially in larger companies. NetWare
Directory Services (NDS) make it ideal for managing large networks. Novell is
betting on a Java future. PC Clients (Windows, OS/2, DOS, Linux) are supported.
- Mix any two - All these environments have
specific strong points. Fortunately, they all get along well
together, so if you want OS/2 on the desktop and Linux on the server, you
can do that. Despite Microsoft's best efforts, they all interoperate well
with Windows too.
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