Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X: CIO John Halamka Tests Ubuntu

As part of his ongoing effort to find a secure, stable, user-friendly alternative to the Windows desktop operating system, CareGroup CIO John Halamka got to know Ubuntu.

Tue, July 31, 2007



Last summer, CareGroup CIO John Halamka began looking for a viable alternative to the Microsoft Windows desktop operating system. After 16 years using Windows, he had enough of its instability and the countless updates that automatically installed themselves on his computer—often at inopportune times, like when he was in the middle of a presentation. As CIO of a health-care organization and affiliated medical school with 40,000 employees and 9 million patient records, Halamka has to be sure that the computers in the hospital, its administrative offices and medical school are secure, stable and easy to use.

With Linux, Google and Apple beginning to threaten Microsoft’s desktop dominance, the time was right for Halamka to investigate the options. Last July, he quit Windows cold turkey and used a MacBook running OS X as his sole computing machine to see how it stacked up against Windows. In August, he worked with two Linux distributions: Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core. The following month, he returned to Windows XP to more clearly see how its stability, reliability, security and ease of use compared with the other operating systems. reported on Halamka’s experiences using each operating system and about their future in his enterprise in Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X.

Since that story was published, Halamka has also investigated two other Linux distributions: enterprise-ready SUSE and consumer-friendly Ubuntu. He used each distribution as his exclusive computing platform for a month, as he did with Mac OS X, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and Windows XP.

Halamka’s month with Ubuntu concludes his formal operating system evaluations. What follows are the details of his experience running Ubuntu and his plans for his company’s enterprise desktops and laptops moving forward. Will he finally replace Windows forever with OS X or Linux? You’ll see...

Ubuntu: A Consumer-Friendly Version of Linux with a User-Friendly Interface and Intuitive Management Tools >>

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