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Linux versus Microsoft

If you're going to manage your chunk of cyperspace by yourself, to even a small degree, then the most important decision you need to make at the start is Microsoft or Linux?
You can change your mind about many things once you've started but this is arguably the one that will shape you technical life from here on in (for the next few years anyway).
Some would label this decision 'Microsoft or Open Source?'.
For various reasons I chose Linux, or, to be more precise I chose 'Open Source'. I have never once regretted this decision.
The biggest benefits I have received from this decision, all important - none more than any other, are:
*  control;
*  choice; and
*  cost.
At the same time as a friend of mine found himself in trouble with his web hosting, my first hosting contract was coming to an end.
So I started to shop around. At this time I had little or no idea about the differences between the two schools let alone the importance of the decision.
By chance I was working in a company of dyed-in-the-wool Linux developers, and I'd heard enough about the costs of Microsoft add-on products, and the risks of being locked into a very specific technological path, that I decided that I needed an Open Source hosting company.
Of course, my colleagues were biased but... I knew them well enough to take that as a given and trust that they knew more about the subject than I - and also to trust that there was some basis for their stance.
My criteria therefore was a stable, Australian land based company that provided Unix (and preferably Linux) hosting.
I shopped around a bit... but not enough... it later turned out. I didn't choose too badly, just not as well as I could have.
As it turned out I chose a Microsoft hosting company that sold a small amount of Linux hosting. They were very stable (which is good) but they had a Microsoft pricing mindset. That is, they charged for every little thing I decided to add on.
[The move to my third hosting company - a predominantly Linux hosting company - reduced my annual bill by about 70%! And that's not even taking into account reseller discounts / profits.]
[Content of this page last reviewed: 12-Jun-2004]
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