Microsoft have been advertising Windows Server very aggressively in the recent years. While i’m happy to see competition in the server market, there are just some marketing techniques and OSs that do not belong there.
Microsoft constantly argue that Windows Server not only runs web applications better then Linux, but also that their platform is more secure and stable.
However this in fact false, in-fact the most used web-application languages we’re originally created for Unix systems, and Windows was half-assed ported down the line. Such as PHP, Perl and Python.
Even Apache is proven to run better on *nix systems. In terms of stability Linux servers can stay up for years and years without needing a reboot (using KSPlice etc for kernel updates)
In terms of security even though Linux contains 70+% of the server market share, Windows Server is still the most exploited operating system.
In terms of deployment, you can have a Linux Server deployed and installed in a matter of seconds. Im sure the same could exist for Windows, but you would have to pay perhaps an extra $50 just for a license and more hardware.
Also, for Mail Server usage, Exchange is a memory drainer and is closed source protocol. Meaning that no one can go out and make a client for it without first going to pay Microsoft. You’re having to pay just to access your mail?
IMAP support is much wider spread, and with GroupWare such as Zimbra (although a memory hog), Citadel (with its half-ass done IMAP implementation) and Google Apps, IMAP will soon overcome Exchange due to its stability, compatibly and security.
In terms of updates, sure newer Windows Server versions are more secure then their older counterparts, but you have to pay for that. Shouldn’t you want an OS that is secure from day 1 and that security updates are free.
In terms of support, there are 1000s of Linux Forums out there, and if you can’t find something that answers your question, then ask it. You’re be amazed at how willing people are to help. Although you paid for Windows, I still see Microsoft’s support as inferior to Linux. In-fact i’ve had a ticket open with Microsoft for over 3 months and still waiting for a reply. Of course if you need premium help then the good old folks at Red-Hat and Novell would be willing to help you out for a fee.
Its your choice, but if you want security, stability, freedom of choice, open-ness and a warm fuzzily feeling, then Linux is for you. On the other hand if you want to feel stressed sorting all them licenses, an emptier wallet, constant crashes, reboots, attacks, BSODs 24/7, virus scanners, wasted recourses. Then I have to say Windows is for you.
The web is instant, the web is open, and the web should be free. (or close enough)