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Linux, OpenBSD, Windows Server Comparison: Application Summary

In summary, there are many more applications for Windows but the apparent advantage is reduced by products created specifically to provide widely needed functionality not included with the basic Windows operating system as well as frequently a plethora of similar overlapping products. Still, even reducing the application counts for these, there are more Windows applications including niche and vertical market products for Windows than any other platform.

On the other hand there enough products available for the cost of the operating system that some businesses can run mostly on open source solutions and that advanced e-commerce applications can be built entirely from open source products. Open source may represent the bulk of applications available for OpenBSD but Linux has a significant and rapidly growing selection of commercial (proprietary) products. As Linux is eating into Windows server market share, expect the application advantage for Windows servers to shrink and perhaps disappear. Expect to see UNIX vendors that have already made the port to Windows, make the much easier port to Linux. Expect those that did not, to make the more cost effective port to Linux. Maintaining an application for Linux and other UNIX variants is minor compared to UNIX and Windows. Thus, even though Linux still has a smaller market share than Windows, its a very attractive port for any UNIX vendor which has not done so as Linux has a larger market share than other UNIX servers, where Windows is not an attractive port due, to the large architecture differences.

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