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Doug's Mailbag: Windowless Russia, OS Thoughts

Here's a response on Doug's blog entry about Russia looking for Microsoft alternatives:

I was fortunate to spend a week in Russia back in the '90s as part of a teacher exchange program. I spent several days living with a Russian family in Ivanovo, and they scheduled a visit to the local university where I spent several hours with a physics professor.  Even though their lab, test and computer equipment were ancient, they did wonders with what they had. Their students were very, very sharp and incredibly motivated and thirsty for knowledge. I was quite impressed with the whole experience.

 As for ditching Windows, I could only do that if another OS appeared that offered the same feature set, hardware vendor independence, price point and wide availability.

Although I work with Linux/Unix and ESX on the server side of things, I've yet to find a Linux/Unix desktop that floats my boat.

Perhaps the Russians can exert some market influence that others have been unable to bring to bear (yeah, right)!

One reader discusses the differences between the Microsoft and Apple OS offerings:

It would be nice if there was less complexity and confusion and more consistency between Microsoft products. And I agree that products from the same company should be easily configured to get along with each other, but comparing Microsoft to a company with such limited and proprietary offerings poorly addresses the issue.

Apple has only two major offerings: OS X and devices (their only real foray into the "cloud" of which I am aware), both of which work only on specific hardware and, as a result, cost far beyond what most of us can afford. Since the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984, the Mac OS has only been written for three hardware lines: Motorola, PowerPC and Intel.

It shocked me when Apple used incompatibility to compete with Vista when the one word that has accompanied the Mac since it first hit the market is incompatibility. Back when I worked on personal computers people would ask if they should get a Mac and I'd say they sure could, but I would point at their [enter any peripheral device here] and say, "I wouldn't plan on using that though." Even today, an amazingly large number of products on Amazon that should work with any computer will have multiple reviews screaming, "DOESN'T WORK WITH THE Mac!"

There's always the Mac OS X servers, but following the "same basic core" logic, why hasn't Apple changed the landscape of the enterprise network?

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Posted by Doug Barney on 11/19/2010 at 1:18 PM


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