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Debating Linux versus Windows: Which platform is better?

Other than cost, what is the number one argument you'd use against a Windows proponent in a Linux versus Windows debate?

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My number one argument would be reliability, with security and performance tied for second. There is no blue screen of death in Linux. It just works. On Windows machines, you constantly need to reboot to resolve problems (or even after making certain network or configuration changes). This is just not something that happens to customers who run Linux or Unix boxes. I have seen Unix boxes in a production environment that were not rebooted in close to a year (I have similar Linux stories); when was the last time you heard someone make that claim on a Windows box? Granted, more recent versions of Windows are supposed to be more reliable, but I wouldn't run 24/7 mission-critical databases on a Windows server.

Since security problems will impact reliability, I'll throw that in here as well. The vast majority of viruses would not touch a Linux platform, as they are written for Windows. Windows machines are inherently much more susceptible to downtime because of this very reason.

This was first published in December 2003

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