Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Windows Server 2008 Core == Lame!

With Microsoft Windows Server 2008 actually coming out this week, I thought I would take a quick look at their offering. I had heard about the GUI-less Windows Server 2008 and thought maybe Microsoft had finally got their act together. Could Microsoft finally have some real competition for Linux on the server side?

Well the short answer is no. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 actually still has a GUI, in fact its not just a GUI, but something based on Windows Vista. Short of being seriously drunk or seriously stupid, putting anything based off Vista on a server is a flat out bad idea. Microsoft are rolling out Windows Server 2008 in the usual multiple flavors - Enterprise, Datacenter, and so on. The only version that offers the "GUI-less" version is Windows Server 2008 Core.

So when folks start saying Windows Server 2008 Core is competition for Linux, you can now officially just laugh! I was expecting something maybe interesting, like 64-bit DOS with advanced networking and filesystem capabilities. What do we get? We get the GUI, but instead of the explorer stuff with the task bar, start menu and other things. Your default shell is the command prompt. Yes folks, you read that right. All Microsoft has really done is stripped out the GUI tools and other things like .NET from the release, changed the default shell and added some command line utilities for you to get the job done.

Microsoft have made it so confusing that even their own pundits and experts are having a hard time doing basic configuration tasks such as setting up the hostname - click here to see an example on YouTube.

So if you need any of the key functionality in Windows Server 2008, such as .NET, you basically can't use core. Core is a very lame attempt at trying to say they have a CLI. Sure they have a CLI, but this would be like me starting X and loading xterm as the window manager! I'm still using tons of resources for the GUI.

So Windows Server 2008 still has the GUI, sure it has a "GUI-Lite" version thats got limited functionality, but this is no match for Linux. Windows Server 2008 looks like yet another flop from Microsoft. Microsoft shouldn't worry about Open Source, looks like they are taking themselves out between this and their efforts with Windows Vista!

No comments: