The Chinese government is considering a switch to Linux on the desktop to replace the ageing fleet of Windows XP machines currently in use. The ban on Windows 8 has made it necessary to find an alternative to Microsoft software that is currently in use in the country. This is a good thing; Microsoft software is not as secure as the Linux equivalents. Closed source operating systems always have security issues. But the open source Linux kernel and software provides greater security. This is proven by the security record of Linux compared to Windows. And the abominable Windows Modern UI interface does not help one bit. That is a step in a strange direction. Installing apps on a server operating system is something that does not make any sense. But the Windows Server 2012 operating system is more secure than the Windows 8.1 desktop OS. The DEP feature built into Windows Server and turned on by default makes it very secure.
My main gripe with Windows is with Windows Phone 8. When you copy songs onto the sd card to play with the music player, you get multiple copies of the songs for some unknown reason. Even with other music player applications. That is why a Blackberry is a better music player than a Nokia 520. When will they ever fix this? This is a horrible bug and needs to be fixed with a patch. There is only one physical copy of a track, but multiple copies of the track appear in the track listings. As well as no support for FLAC and OGG Vorbis formats. That is what really sucks about a Windows phone. I should buy Android next time instead. Or a new Blackberry. That would have less bugs and problems. The Modern UI interface for Windows 8.1 is an attempt by Microsoft to cash in on the current craze towards mobile interfaces. But why is this included with the server operating system product? That does not make any sense. What will Windows 9 bring to the table? More tablet nonsense on the desktop? It makes more sense to renovate the Windows kernel and associated code to improve security rather than forcing cloud integration upon everyone. And keep the familiar Windows 7 desktop.
The taskbar and start menu has been copied by the Linux Mint distribution and the KDE desktop environment and is a very familiar and usable interface. If you can pin your favourite applications to the start menu, even better. That is why China are adopting a Linux alternative to the Windows 8.1 operating system. They have banned this from Chinese computers and they are sticking with Windows XP for now. But that OS has been out since 2001; it is time for a change. Many businesses still use Windows XP, but the many security holes in this old OS are negating any worth that this desktop OS might have. The XP desktop is very fast and usable, but Windows 2000 is even faster. Much less hardware support though. Linux has the advantage of a good command line and remote SSH access over the network. Windows is only catching up with Powershell. That shell offers remote access, but it is not as good as SSH and the bash shell. I use SSH to access my home machine over the Internet. That allows me to create a SOCKS proxy to tunnel a secure Internet connection through a proxy.
I am not sure how to achieve the same thing with Powershell. I am sure that someone will correct me on that though, someone always corrects me when I write about Powershell. But I should investigate that. There is a TELNET server for Windows, but that sends information in plain text over the Internet. That is an obvious security risk. The SSH connection is encrypted, that protects your data packets from snooping. OpenBSD has the greatest security if all operating systems. Theo De Raadt has done an awesome job. This is the operating system of choice for a mission critical server that is connected to the Internet. FreeBSD is another secure OS, but a Linux system with a secure kernel and only software from the package repositories is pretty secure. Windows needs greater security and reliability. China are right to avoid 8.1 but what will happen with their IT infrastructure if they stick with XP? Windows XP is fun to run in a virtual machine, but as a main desktop operating system, it leaves a lot to be desired. Windows 2000 runs very fast in Virtualbox with the Guest Additions installed.