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I'm currently taking an operating systems course in my comp sci engineering education. All the examples are UNIX with a "Windows (or MS-DOS) does this slightly different" footnote. It seems like everything is just slightly worse in Windows/MS-DOS (no clear definition of syscalls, FAT, etc.)

This got me wondering... is there anything in the Windows operating system that UNIX looks at and say "Yep, we should've done it like that"?

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    File permissions/ACLs are better done in Windows than POSIX. You can set and view very granular permissions. Some Linux filesystems have the idea of xattrs, but they're generally difficult to work with and are unused in my experience. Mar 25, 2016 at 14:03
  • @mkomarinski That sounds like it should be an answer. Mar 25, 2016 at 14:20
  • "slightly worse"? You mean excluding issues like security? Security qualifies as "much worse" in my book. Mar 25, 2016 at 14:43

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UNIX was developed by computer scientists. Windows was initially developed by college kids. That's not a good start for most things.

UNIX and Unix-like systems have always been in the domain of professional operations and universities around the world and its target user is such organizations. Windows target has always been the average user, even those average users within corporations now.

Why oh why corporations have their mission critical software run on Windows is beyond me, and I belong to a franchised operation that does such a thing, and Windows, along with its related software, is a constant source of fundamental problems for us.

Meanwhile, my "real job" runs on FreeBSD, where I have had zero issues worth mentioning since 2004.

UNIX and Unix-like systems are professional operating systems for professionals. That is the answer to your question.

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  • Actually, I thought Bill Gates was a college student when he started MS. Possibly the other people he worked with were too. So, perhaps that should be "college kids"? Mar 25, 2016 at 14:40
  • @FaheemMitha Yes, I'll edit it cause he was a year or two into classes when he formed Micro-Soft.
    – Rob
    Mar 25, 2016 at 14:45
  • That's a pretty simplistic view of both sites. Linux was started by a college kid, part of what's in today's Windows OS comes from VMS and other operating systems, the idea of Windows came from research from Xerox PARC. There's a lot of places where one isn't necessarily better or worse than the other, they're just different approaches to the same problem. Mar 25, 2016 at 15:22
  • @mkomarinski Linux was modeled after Minix which was modeled on Unix. But that was about the beginnings of those OSes; their foundations. Another key is their target user which I also talk about.
    – Rob
    Mar 25, 2016 at 15:36
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In many cases power management is better done under Windows. This is a situation that has improved by leaps and bounds using Linux, though it is still not quite parity.

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File permissions/ACLs are better done in Windows than POSIX. You can set and view very granular permissions. Some Linux filesystems have the idea of xattrs, but they're generally difficult to work with and are unused in my experience. This really shows up when trying to provide network shares to POSIX and Windows clients. If a Windows client sets granular permissions, it's extremely difficult to translate that into something that a POSIX system can understand.

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