Let us marry Linux to Windows

We have watched Linux (procnounced Lin-uks), the pride and joy of Linus Torvalds, grow up into a beautiful, well-respected person… escuse me … piece of operating software. Windows, the stallion of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, gives the notion of being mature on the personal computer platform for quite some time now. He (Windows) has basically been the leader on the PC platform for years now by extending the dynasty started by DOS before him. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to look too closely to see that the old regime offered by DOS still exists within Windows.

Anyway, enough blabbering. My concern is that Windows has existed (for the most part) by himself. Is Windows getting too old? Will he survive the recent attacks on his father’s company, Microsoft? Let me answer that: He will but he will need a strong backbone, no pun intended. I’ll venture to suggest the unthinkable: Let’s marry Windows to a strong backbone operating system. What better bride can I think of than Linux. Don’t laugh yet.

Linux is an operating system that is, for all practical purposes, free. She sports many looks ( called distributions by the different ‘cloners’ ) that will dazzle you. You see, the heart of Linux (called the kernel) is non-proprietary so these ‘cloners’ can use the heart as is but augment her appearance and features in any way they wish. Designer dresses from companies like Red Hat, Caldera, Corel, and others, make Linux seem like different operating systems. However, don’t be fooled. As with any special [potential] bride, the heart is what matters, not just the outward appearance or many flavors. One might utter the word ‘schizophrenic’ in this context now that one ‘product’ can display this many faces, but remember that the heart (and sometimes the brain – X86-compatible personal computers) of all the Linux distributions are the same. So, essentially, when one chooses a distribution of Linux, one should do so with the knowledge that the kernel is the same but each one offers its own special features like graphical user interfaces (GUIs), personal information managers (PIMs), database servers, productivity tools, etceteras.

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Windows is and has been a ruler on the desktop for almost a decade now. A very shrewd OS, Windows includes the strengths of DOS before it. Actually, I should say, that Windows = Windows + DOS. Hmmmm? Right now, Windows is a 32-bit OS but will run most DOS applications ever created. Because DOS ruled, and Windows included DOS, Windows also has ruled the desktop. According to Linus Torvalds, when you rule the desktop, you control the market. That is obviously true… but behind every good desktop OS stands a good server OS.

Windows clients have worked very well with Windows servers over the years, sometimes too well, according to some of Microsoft’s competition during that time span. We can now say that this self-marriage ( Windows clients to Windows servers) is not neccessarilly the best thing going forward for Windows. Remember when Dennis Rodman was his own bride? It was interesting, intriguing, … for a while.

Let us plan the wedding of the new millennium whether you agree with me that the new millennium began January 1, 2001, or that it began on January 1, 2000.





Leave a Reply