Windows and Open Source
It used to be that open source software was primarily developed only for UNIX-based operating systems. Many developers consider Windows and the company behind it as being the antithesis of what open source software stands for. And the company hasn't denied the charge; in fact, Microsoft has commissioned studies that show open source in a bad light, and heavily markets against the Linux operating system, which is starting to encroach on its market share in the server arena. However, no matter what the Microsoft attitude is towards the concept, Windows users have been busy creating programs for it and releasing them as open source. There are ports of most of the major tools in the UNIX and Linux world for Windows. These programs are sometimes not full versions of their UNIX brethren, but there are also open source programs that are released only on the Windows platform, such as the wireless sniffer NetStumbler that is reviewed in Chapter 10.
Many times, technical personnel will be limited in what operating systems they can run on their company's LAN. Even if they have carte blanche, they may just not be able to dedicate the time to loading and learning one of the open source operating systems I recommend in the next chapter. So for each area mentioned in this book, I try to present both a UNIX and a Windows option (they are often the same program). Like it or not, Windows is the dominant operating system on most desktops, and ignoring this would be doing a disservice to a large body of technical professionals who could benefit from open source software.