Microsoft releases more propaganda; some surprised

The folks at Microsoft’s “Linux and Open Source Lab” have done a ‘study‘ (and I use the term as loosely as possible here) to “dispel the myth that Linux will run on legacy hardware”. They claim their sudy shows more or less that Windows runs as well as Linux on legacy hardware. Interesting.

The problem is they compare the most recent Linux enterprise releases (Fedora Core 3, Slackware 10.1, etc) against Windows 2003, Windows XP (both fair enough) and, um, Windows CE. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t comparing an OS designed to work on minimalist hardware with a full install of the latest Linux distros just a tad unfair?

I urge them to compare a Linux distro that is designed to work on legacy hardware like Damn Small Linux or an early Debian release to Windows 95 or 98. The problem for them is they would find that the Linux versions are under development (DSL above), customizable (no GUI? no problem!), and work well under the hardware requirements. The Windows versions are officially unsupported (no patches for critical problems), not very customizable, and just about run on the same hardware.

Was this an effective study from Redmond? Puh-lease!

6 Replies to “Microsoft releases more propaganda; some surprised”

  1. The good old Windows vs Linux or MS vs the world debate. After wuickly reading that article, and from that article alone, I have to side with Microsoft. They state (basically) that out-of-the-box, their software performs better than Linux software. Linux do not dispute this, but say their software runs better, after modifying, and that is the beauty of Linux. Both very good arguements. However, in the context of developing world countries, MS have the upper-hand. How many IT professionals do you think are avaliable there and how many will know enough to be able to modify Linux to run as they want? MS is easier and quicker to install.

    I doubt most people will agree with me, but hey, I have nothing against Microsoft, and the few times I have tried to use Linux, it hasn’t worked out (Once it was just shity, and more than once it just wouldn’t install). I want my computer to run, do what I want and support the stuff I want. For those needs, MS fits the bill. For those who want control over every aspect of their computer, or those running servers for years on end, use Linux by all means…but as MS say themselves, for the average user, Windows is better.


  2. Hmm. The study is flawed though – Fedora Core 3 wasn’t designed to work with circa 1995-1997 hardware. Windows CE was. I guarentee you an “out of the box” install of Red Hat 6 will work better.

    And you can multiply the “betterness” by a factor of 10 if you have a broadband internet connection.

    I don’t know when you last tried Linux, but I vaguely recall it was perhaps Red Hat 8 or 9 ? Anyhow, I had troubles installing a desktop environment for that, although at a place I worked they had me set up with Red Hat in a couple hours — and that’s *with* all the downloading.

    Anyway, my point is this — grab a recent distro. In fact, grab Debain sarge or etch, and you’ll se the hardware autodetection is on par with windows. The Debian netinstaller is the most pleasent installer I’ve worked with – select a package set or sets, and it will grab the appropriate versions and do all the dependency checking automatically. Come back in half an hour to an hour when it has all downloaded, and you are set with a desktop environment; ready to go.

    Simply put, it “just works” 😛

    I’ll admit Linux was less user-friendly in the past, but this report is biased. A modern smaller distro like DamnSmallLinux will work “out of the box” better than Win 95/98/CE, and it will have better support.

    Although to be fair that last point isn’t hard since MS has recently stopped supporting even Windows 2000 (which I actually use for one of my servers, but never mind).

  3. Seen just this morning on /. : 

    I’m sure this could never happen to Linux… Sure, it’s a great OS but hardly anybody knows how to make it work when the slightest problem occurs.

    Sorry, I think you misspelled *Windows*

  4. I would like to try Linux again sometime (although it was only last October I last tried, and I tried various distros…) but at the moment I don’t have the time, and mainly I don’t have the resources to experiment. My last “spare” PC went a couple months ago, and I don’t want to have to start mucking around with paritions on this PC in order to get one free.

    I also don’t have a reason to, apart from curiosity, as Windows XP does everything I need it to. Maybe if I did more programming/scripting I could find a use for it, but as is I don’t. I only use my PC for the internet and playing games – I have yet to hear good things about playing the latest games on Linux. If the oppurtunity comes around again, I will try out some more…but at the moment it will have to wait.

  5. Call of Duty 2 has a native Linux client, as does Doom 3, Civ 4 and others. A lot of people (well, people I have spoken to) say that performance is better under Linux — which makes sense; less background processes, and you can run a minimal GUI, etc. Of course the problem is getting the non-natively supported games to work in some cases, but cedega reputedly does this quite well. I will definitely be trying it once I get the time.

    At the moment I wouldn’t give up Windows solely for Linux, but the more I use Linux, the more I like it. Things (programs and tasks in general) are faster, I feel more productive on it, and I find the Linux versions or equivalents of Windows tools to be better (more customizable).

    What I will grant you is that older distros won’t be as pleasent, and that the change can be rough; but Debian/Ubuntu/Suse/Slackware should do a better job of detecting hardware and setup than XP.

    Seriously, try Linux for a week (no Windows), or a month with using Windows minimally (say for gaming), and it *will* grow on you.

  6. As I say, I would like to, but I really don’t have the motivation, since Windows does everything I need and it will be a pain trying to get a partition for it sorted. I know the old “you don’t know what your missing” and all that, but I can’t see myself doing it until I get more time and motivation.

    I am not one of those people who find Windows buggy and slow, I find it fast and have found no bugs which have affected me thus far. I only use my PC for a few things (albiet a lot of the few) but it suits me fine, and this is the main reason I am not pushing to get Linux.

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