Linked by snydeq on Tue 8th Mar 2011 23:54 UTC
Windows Grizzled Unix vet Paul Venezia tips his cap to the Windows Server crew, suggesting that the lessons of Unix history have not been lost on Microsoft -- and that's one reason why Windows Server has become so complex. 'The Windows Server of today has more in common with Unix than many people want to admit. The upside: more stable servers, greater scope of services, better adherence to standards, and Microsoft's newfound willingness to work with its competition. The downside is that Windows has become more complex than Unix from a management and administration point of view,' Venezia writes, even if he still sees some Windows admin practices as prime examples of how not to administer servers.
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A rather immediate reason
by vaette on Wed 9th Mar 2011 15:25 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

It is pretty easy to see that one should take notice of what Windows Server does just from the fact that it is ridiculously successful, which is a relatively recent phenomena. Windows Server has grabbed most of its market share in just the last 10 years, in a time when Linux had a huge head-start with a great pricing advantage, and against UNIX as the established leader.

Also things like Windows Server running on 5 of the supercomputers on the top500.org list. Certainly a very small share, but who could have imagined even a single Windows machine in the top 500 supercomputers of the world 10 years ago? Overall it is easy to go along with the pervasive idea that Microsoft has done nothing but live off their desktop/office monopoly the last 15 years, but the Windows Server side is really a rather recent success story.

The technical reasons for the development aren't exactly crystal-clear to me. The UNIX vendors clearly failed since they were useless dinosaurs, ridiculously overpricing specialized hardware and to a great extent archaic software stacks (HP to this day sells the compiler suite for HP-UX for thousands of dollars, and makes debugging without it artificially difficult). I would personally suspect that it is hasty to assume that Windows Server only succeeds due to business strong-arming or such however, there is always a lesson to learn from every new-comer.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You have to be careful when talking about windows server market share, as there are very different and distinct markets. Microsoft isn't only the OS provider, but also one of the main application providers for the servers. Its not easily possible to tell if the popularity of the server is due to the "design of the os" or the applications that sit on top. If Microsoft offered Exchange,Active Directory, share point, or IIS for Linux or other non MS Operating systems. Then we could attribute the OS's popularity to its design alone.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: A rather immediate reason
by dpJudas on Wed 9th Mar 2011 15:52 in reply to "A rather immediate reason"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

It is quite simple, really.

The secret of Windows server is that server software written in Visual Studio runs only on Windows Server unless the developers made special efforts to target something else. By the end of the day its more important to businesses what the software on the server enables them to do than what OS the system administrators prefer.

One of Microsoft's key secrets to success has always been that they've gone out of their way to please software developers by virtually giving away all development tools so they can make the money back on that server it has to run on. Just imagine what Oracle or SAP would charge for access to MSDN.

Reply Parent Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

No it is not that simple.

Both Linux and Unix vendors have not cared about the small or medium business markets or working to make it easier to integrate Windows networks with Unix services. Samba has been underfunded for years and companies like Novell don't seem to care.

MS keeps improving software like SBS, exchange, sharepoint and AD while companies like Red Hat continue to focus on big Unix migrations.

Red Hat has even stated that they aren't trying to convert MS shops.

Reply Parent Score: 2