How has Windows Server gained such a foothold in the IT field?

I work at a Webhost, we probably have 75% of our clients hosted (at the client’s request!) on Windows servers. Part of this is becuase a lot of our customers are ColdFusion users, which we only run on Windows. The other day, we had a problem with a new customer which we setup on one of our Windows 2000 servers, with Front Page 2002 extensions. They were unable to login. Front Page gave a nice vague error of something like “You are not authorized to preform the current operation”.

I spent two bloody hours troubleshooting this! It sounds simple right? Permissions? I’d say so, but you’d be wrong. Well, actually, I can’t say you’d be wrong, because I don’t know for sure what fixed it! I spent most of that 2 hours repeating the exact same steps in different orders. Which eventually fixed the problem. I found documentation from Microsoft that says that the site must be configured to accept Digest authentication for FP to work, but then i found another doc that said that Digest authentication will break FP’s extensions, and you need Basic authentication. Now, Basic authentication is CLEAR TEXT! No encryption, just plain old text. Let’s hear it for security. Basic authentication ended up working, along with resetting some permissions, reinstalling the FP Server Extensions (at least twice) and running the “Check server extensions” deal at least twice.

What a load of crap this OS is! 2003 is only slightly better, it’d added a few new features that make it much more bearable, but still just as cumbersome at the same time.

And what about error logging? Windows does a terriffic job of logging just enough data to tell you there was a problem, and not enough to give you even a hint at where to start digging. Why?! My CentOS server not only usually gives you a descriptive error message, but also tells you (gasp!) what file you might be able to find that error in! What a concept!

I guess Micro$oft has a better marketing department, and that’s what _really_ matters anymore, not stability, or dependability, or even optimum use of resources. No, pretty gui’s, and apparent ease of use is what draws in todays customers. I’ve been running this server on a 670Mhz Intel PIII for years! It’s up all the time, runs a database server, web, mail, and a host of other little gadgets that i tinker with. It serves as a development platform for my projects, hosts my personal mail server, and every site i’ve ever thrown at it, and aside from my initial investment in hardware, it’s ALL FREE!

Yea, it takes some knowhow to make it all work, but isn’t that what IT admin’s get paid for? I thought so….