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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Driven to Linux by Microsoft

I could rephrase this to "Driven away from Windows by Microsoft". No matter which way one words that, Microsoft has driven me away to Linux. As a staunch and long term Microsoft developer since DOS1, a few years back I would not have believed that today I am writing code in Ubuntu using MonoDevelop/Mono.

What causes me to wander away from Microsoft? Several.

1) The advent of machine with Hardware Virtualization Support and Microsoft's draconian unfriendly licensing requirements, including the consumer unfriendly activation scheme is largely the impetus for me to desert Windows. Virtualization (I use VMPlayer but I could easily use VirtualBox) allows developers and ordinary users to have a number of 'dedicated' machines or 'machines' that one can restore very quickly. But if the VM uses Windows, it becomes very expensive. You literally requiring one license per VM. Not only Windows but Office etc.

With more and more multi-core 64-bit machines being released, they are ripe for running VM but Microsoft's not making that easier and economically. Don't try to defend this with XP Mode as it requires XP Professional while other virtual machine software runs happily in lower edition of Windows and offering wider guest OS support.

In fact, Microsoft went out of their way to frighten their customers.

2) Running up a Windows VM and UBuntu VM is like watching a race between a Tortoise and a Hare. Even the size of the VM is a stark contrast. MonoDevelop is also lightningly fast compared VS2010. This shows how inefficient Windows has grown to.

3) It is also my "Pay Microsoft minimum amount" policy. UBuntu has MonoDevelop and OpenOffice and are all free. Who needs to buy Office? I could continue to use my Office 2000 in say XP VM or Win2K VM (no activation).

4) UBuntu brings back the feeling of the carefree days of early Windows experience - no activation to worry and no worry of installing another copy. So carefree and joy to use. Not anymore with Windows. The unknown of UBuntu/Linux is like unchartered water to this newbie with new things awaiting me to discover. Just like the days with Windows in the '80.

5) Mono, not a product from Microsoft, offers me cross-platform cross-language development without using Java that Microsoft has steadfastly refused to embrace. Sorry, you have lost my vote. There are so many good and solid tools that are running fine in both Windows and Linux.

So it takes a lot for this staunch Windows supporter to look for greener pasture but the step is well worth it. I urge all Windows users to give this a try. It is free and nothing to lose! Send a message to Microsoft. It is a joy to live in the Ubuntu VM!

1 comment:

Friendless said...

Wow, I never would have thought we'd seduce even you! Welcome, grasshopper.

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