Replacing Windows with FreeBSD (was: my brother is making me learn FreeBSD...)

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Fri Mar 21 02:02:37 PDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Nejc Škoberne
> Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:51 AM
> To: User Questions
> Subject: Replacing Windows with FreeBSD (was: my brother is making me
> learn FreeBSD...)
> Sorry, but OpenOffice is more featureless than MS Office 2007.
> There are things
> which you can do with MS Office so MUCH easily than with
> OpenOffice. For feature
> comparison see:
> Not to mention performance issues with OpenOffice:

The interface in Office 2007 is completely different than Office
2003 and most people in business that I know are not running
Office 2007 and have no plans to upgrade.  Even when they buy
brand new systems.  Office 2003 runs great on Vista so why
change?  Since the interface is different, any business that
does change is going to suffer a huge cut in productivity for
a long time while their accountants and secretaries and such
all retrain.  The reports of Office 2007 sales are grossly
inflated because most businesses are on a yearly Microsoft
site license that they pay a lot to maintain, and that license
gives them free upgrades to the new software - so after MS
released Office 2007 every time a business anniversary renewal
came up MS counted those as sales, even though for most
companies don't load the new Office.

The reason a lot of companies are looking at OpenOffice right
now is they are looking into dropping MS Office completely
from their site licenses due to the cost savings.  Since OpenOffice
is compatible with all their Office 2003 Word and Excel documents
it's a good time to look at switching.

> want to use things nicely. For example, let's look at the mail
> system. You could
> put a Postfix+amavisd-new+spamassassin+Horde+postfixadmin+ ...
> bla bla stuff on
> your FreeBSD server (I actually run this on many servers). But in
> that webmail,
> you are not able to manage your spam quarantine for example - you
> have to logout
> of Horde and login to Maia Mailguard (before you have to install
> that too), which
> is complicated for users.

Not true.  All you need do is install spamassassin, and have it
tag mail and forward it to the user.  Then setup procmail as the LDA
and sort the tagged mail into a SPAM folder in the users home
directory.  From IMP or OpenWebmail you have access to local
mail folders on the server and you just instruct your users that
the SPAM folder is their quarentine.

> Microsoft usually (!) provides that (naturally, because it
> produces all those
> pieces).

Microsoft does no more integration than most others.  For an
example of a really integrated product look at Lotus Notes.  But,
most users dislike it because it puts a huge amount of control
over their work into the hands of the company.  You don't walk
into a Notes shop and see the adminstrative assistants working
on e-mails to their boyfriends, the way that you do in a MS
Office shop.

> Probably you use it more than I do, I really run FreeBSD servers
> mostly. And I
> have problems with providing nice-packaged, easy-to-use,
> all-in-one software to
> users who are used to that. I use FreeBSD/OS mostly because it is
> free of charge
> and because it is quite costumisable. If MS products would be
> free of charge, I
> would probably switch to them in most cases.

Never gonna happen.  There's a fundamental difference here between
free open source and commercial software.

Commercial software mostly caters to what subgroups of users within
the market want.  Take MS Word for example.  Most people never use more
than a 10th of it's features.  But, most people don't all use the
same 10th.  In order to keep selling Word, MS has to put all these
small fringe demands of the subgroups into Word.

Open source mostly caters to what the majority of users agree is needed.
That is why you won't ever find an open source package that is
all things to all people.  If your a user who has all your needs
met it's a great thing.  But if your a user who has one specific
need that the open source packages don't have, then even though all
of the rest of your needs could be met by open source, you likely
will not switch over.

> I just don't agree with the statement, that Windows servers are
> completely inferior
> to FreeBSD and you could replace all of them with FreeBSD boxen.
> If that would be
> possible, I would do it already.
> I really am a FreeBSD guy, I run it for more than 6 years now and
> I like it a lot.
> But I learned to be reasonable and not to say that it is in every
> way superior to
> everything else in the world.

Nothing out there is in every way superior to everything else in
the world.  Even Microsoft software, you said it yourself, simply
has nothing to offer to people who don't have much more money
than what it costs to purchase the computer hardware itself.


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