Source: ZDNet.com | IT Project Failures
The article on ZDNet is about why Michael Krigsman (CEO of a IT consulting company) loves Windows 7, hates Linux and thinks the Mac is lame. The article is pretty short and gives 3 reasons to be satisfied by Windows 7, by presenting an old screenshot of Linux to present it in a miserable way and displaying a fake version of Apple Mac vs. PC advertisement. All a good laugh if it was not serious.
After reading Michael’s post, I cannot help but remember this: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
Blogger or journalist, there is a point in common: fairness and ethics. Michael’s article misses both, I will try to argue why.
First of all, Michael presents briefly the origin of Windows before going after Linux. His first statement is: “[Linux] faces an identity crisis”?!? Who said that, this assertion clearly needs support which Michael’s post does not bring. Instead, he goes on pretending that Linux advocates are pretentious and look upon people who do not know Linux. Another assertion without proofs. His next statements are:
“Although [Ubuntu] represents an inspiring philosophy, it remains virtually opaque to all but the most committed fans. Disagree with that statement? Install Ubuntu and try manually configuring any hardware that doesn’t work right. Good luck, because you’re gonna need it.”
I agree that when the hardware does not work right after installing Ubuntu, one might be in for some trouble, even though the community is quite helpful. But this use case can also happen with Windows. An acquaintance of mine recently acquired a laptop with Vista pre-installed. She had another desktop PC running XP, which her husband uses, with a USB printer (Canon MP630) plugged to it and shared over the network. All computers in the house could print on it via the network (i-e. an old Windows Me desktop, a Ubuntu desktop, a Mac OS X MacBook and a Windows XP laptop). But it was impossible to add the printer on Vista! And even after downloading/installing/rebooting the Vista driver from the official Canon web site, it did not work: the driver is only working when the printer is directly plugged to Vista via USB, no network support. I agree, this is not Microsoft’s fault, and so one has to agree that it is not Ubuntu’s fault either that hardware manufacturers do not publish proper drivers. However one big difference: if this would have happened with Ubuntu, someone could have helped her out and a generic printer driver (which would print letters, website, etc.) easily installed. By easily, I really mean it. Just add the printer and select generic printer driver, and you’re done. With Vista, she had to buy a new printer!
And just for fun one should try to install Windows XP on a new computer, almost no hardware is recognised and one has a lengthy process of downloading/installing/rebooting for each driver… Install Ubuntu, and apart from the webcam, you might not need to download any driver.
Second, Michael presents an example of a screen when the computer is booting using Linux. His article is from January the 26th 2009, but the example given is VectorLinux 5 (not even Ubuntu, which never had such a screen) which is 4 years old and is a minimalist Linux: the aim of VectorLinux is to be light and small. It is not for the casual desktop user, but for people with limited hardware or for those who do not mind a simpler interface but better performance. And even though, Vector Linux is minimalist the current version has a boot screen more like Vista or Mac OS X or Ubuntu, see by yourself (credits: VectorLinux CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
In my opinion, Michael was clearly unethical with Ubuntu! What a shame!
Third, and this is another funny part of Michael’s post, Michael wants to talk about Apple Mac OS X. But the point of comparing in an ethical correct way different operating systems is missed again. Michael does not talk about Mac OS X features, he does not even mention the new system in development (named Snow Leopard). He just goes on an unsupported rant about Mac users and how lame they are (these are not my words, but Michael Krigsman’s own words). Even his vocabulary shows how much biased he is: “Windows users”, “Linux devotees” and “Macintosh adherents”. And he – as a Windows user – is part of the practical folks, while I (though not personally mentioned, but I’m using Linux) am in my technical ivory tower (sure, check my web site!) or my girlfriend (she has a MacBook) should be a … well this is too hilarious, check by yourself in his article.
Oh and by the way, the youtube video in Michael’s article is ridiculous. Who is believing that the big belly guy is actually “skiing” on week-ends… He sure ought to ski! And the cliché with the woman is so naive and macho.
And finally, as the real cherry on the cake, Michael gives 3 small and unsupported claims that Windows 7 is better.
The first one is that “Performance over Vista is vastly improved.” Well I hope so, and everyone does if it would be the same, nobody would want Windows 7. A better test would have been: given the same hardware, is Windows 7 finally better than XP in performance? And the answer should not be just about feelings, but facts.
The second point is only about a vague feeling from the author… I won’t even waste my time on this!
The third point is about the Windows base that is so vast you can always find help (or so Michael tries to convince us). Sure the Windows base is big, but what about the community, the help and support you can get from others? No facts are given and I have myself no idea on this. But one thing is for sure, the Windows 7 base (what all his article is about!) is a niche, which, apart from a few geeks, nobody has installed. So come on Michael and be serious for once!