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Why is windows more crashable and less stable than linux?

Posted on 2008-10-04
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greetings. from my own experience i see windows is more crashable and less secure than linux.Many ppl I know have the same opinion. So what is this secret? is it the programming language used for creating windows or is it the programers fault? I read linux command-line programs, in general, are powerful, so if I create a command-line program for windows will it be less buggy?
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Question by:SystemSys
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 22640360
You are not starting from a position of fact - simply supposition.

Windows as an entity is emminently stable - if it wasn't then MS would have gone under years ago. The truth is that Windows is an enabling technology (in the same way that Linux is). Crashes/issues/problems/opportunities nearly always stem from the fact that someone wants to interface 'something' to that entity requiring drivers, api's etc to 'interact' with the 'something' and the operating system. The standards by which this is done has been set and then updated many, many times but frequently are not implemented equally as they include perceptions and views on what those standards actually mean.

MS has tried to address this with Vista which is why there was a huge number of appllications and third-party drivers that would no longer operate with the new OS. Many people stated that Vista was crap because of this limitation - others viewed this as a huge step forward as the likely result was far less crashes as the standards were being enforced and greatly improved the likelihood of well-defined applications and drivers were seamlessly together reducing the crash scenario's.

MS command-line programms are normally fine (as are Linux) when written correctly, tested appropriately and implemented to the right standards.

Keith
MS Forefront: Edge MVP
MS Security Evangelist
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by:EricTViking
ID: 22640449
Couldn't agree more Keith.

I have configured hundreds of Windows boxes and Windows itself has been rock solid for all of them (Properly setup on good hardware).

By contrast I have spent this past week configuring an IP PBX running Centos 5 (Based on red hat linux) and it's been kernel panicking, locking up and hanging like you wouldn't believe. The cause is conflicting PCI devices, and device driver problems. That and the dependancy hell that is inherent with Linux.

From that I could colnclude that Windows is far more stable than Linux, but the real reason is that I operate at a professional level with Windows operating systems, whereas with Linux I am by my own admission an enthusiastic amateur.

Either operating system is excellent in the right hands, put either in the hands of an amateur and the problems will be spectacular.  Garbage in - garbage out ;-)
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 22641304
I don't know that Windows is necessarily more crashable than Linux.  One of Windows main problems is that it's so popular and MS doesn't control anything outside of Windows itself. OK... perhaps that's an arguable point :). MS approach, while good in once sense breeds problems in another.  MS will certify hardware, but there is no way that every possible combination of hardware can be certified. MS attempts to maintain backward compatibility with not only chipset level items but most software as well. This is good in one sense because I don't have to get new programs every time a new version of Windows comes out. The downside of this is that it's nearly impossible to maintain that level of compatibility and stability at the same time. I'm hoping in Windows 7 (or whatever it's called) that MS will start to abandon this for really old stuff so that we might actually end up with a more stable OS.

MS does some times shoot itself in the foot though. I can't tell you how many times on a brand new install of Windows that Windows updates will fail.  Now explain that... here's a brand new install of Windows, on a Windows web site using a Windows browser attempting to download and install updates to Windows and it fails. I've had this happen to me three times this weeks on different PCs.

Linux is a simpler OS that is newer and has a more narrow range of hardware and software that it will work with. I think that in it's earlier days Windows probably fit this description as well and it was more stable.

Also contrast this to the Apple OS.  Apple not only controls the software, it controls the hardware and to some extent it also mandates that some programs will not work on newer version of the OS.  Not that a Mac will never crash, but it's way more stable than any Windows PC.
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mokelly1 earned 500 total points
ID: 22644062
if it wasn't then MS would have gone under years ago - sometimes it is hard to run a monopoly out of business.

Crashes/issues/problems/opportunities nearly always stem from the fact that someone wants to interface 'something' to that entity requiring drivers, api's etc to 'interact' with the 'something' and the operating system. -

True for both linux and windows. But with linux the end user has the source code.  Since thousands of more people have the opprotunity to fix problems with linux, they are more likely to be fixed.  People are more willing to try new things with linux since anything can be fixed.  

It is frustrating to be 2 months into a project and find out that something major must be changed with Windows or you have to scrap the project.  Never the case with Linux.  People do not abandon problem projects with Linux, they solve the problem and start another distribution!

I recently spent 2 hours trying to get my favicons to work in IE7.  If I had the source code I could have fixed it in minutes.  It seems that if your desktop icons setting is above 48 your interntet explorer favicons wont' work.

With thousands more people contributing to the stability of Linux, it is more likely to be stable.  This is true of all open source software.  Open source software has more features and more stability.  Take webERP accounting and compare to Quickbooks.  The difference in flexibility and stability is alarming.  Why do people use Quickbooks?  It is difficult to set up, difficult to maintain, constantly wants to udate and pops balloons in front of my face daily wanting to fix some securtiy problem.

I think the number of days remaining for proprietary software are numbered.  Software companies will join the open source revolution or they will be history.

Mo
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 22644068
We all have our own views - which is only to the good over all . I do agree with that last comment though that the days of proprietary usage are limited.

The new versions of MS Office, Server and the new desktop OS are all geared more to providing services on an open standard and reducing the client footprint - if not necessarily reducing it yet to simply a browser for everything.
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Author Closing Comment

by:SystemSys
ID: 31503012
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by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 22662481
Sorry that you thought that our contribution to your question was worthless. I'll have to try harder next time.

Keith
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