Thursday, July 30, 2009

How a die-hard UNIX head switched to Windows

If you know me, you'll have heard me lavish praise on UNIX and Linux and deride Microsoft for nearly everything. But as Keynes said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

Here are some facts/opinions/hunches

Windows 7
  • Windows 7 is fast enough. It's a lot faster than Vista -and boots in a similar time to Ubuntu
  • Windows 7 has a usable, attractive, well-thought out UI.
  • Windows 7's power options and Switch-User work. Consistently.
  • Office 2007 still beats OpenOffice 3.x and is only £50 for 3 licences (assuming you have a kid).
  • Most stable version of Windows on the desktop yet.
Development
  • Visual Studio 2008 is better than Eclipse, Netbeans, JDeveloper, etc.
  • The CLR is more efficient than the JVM in terms of RAM and speed.
  • C# is better than Java. (Being, fundamentally, a re-engineered, re-thought out version of Java with more features).
  • LINQ to * (very clever).
  • Silverlight 3 beats Flash and Java applets hands down in resource usage.
Servers
  • Windows still may not have UNIX-levels of stability, but 2008 does appear to actually be stable. At last. (I don't have enough data to judge this).
  • Active Directory is the de facto SSO/Directory mechanism for many enterprises. It works.
The Linux desktop
  • I don't like KDE - it's brilliant "under the hood" but isn't usable.
  • GNOME is usable, simple and attractive. It would like to be written in C# and run on the Mono CLR, but there's no way a bunch of Free Software advocates are going to do that. Expect a fork and both versions to die slowly. KDE wins (and usability suffers).
Other comments
  • It's just a shame that Outlook and Exchange suck so much. ;-)
  • I have no experience with SQL Server 2008 but I hear good things
  • Is IIS 7.x stable?
  • Expression Blend is pretty cool
  • I wish I had multiple desktops.
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