Windows NT is an interesting beast. It's amazing that Microsoft has managed to make such a mess of Windows in general.
Things Windows does reasonably well:
- High performance graphics necessary for gameplay.
- Providing security holes for script kiddies (and those more competent) to exploit.
- Requring a high-end Pentium to do basic things like word processing.
- Requiring lots of memory to even boot. (You ought to experience the horrors of a P-90 with 16MB running Windows 98. Shudder.)
- Doing things related to the web. Many sites are designed so as to require all sorts of bizarre features which aren't really needed (that's a different node).
Things Windows is really bad at:
- Any basic network functionality which isn't related to web browsing. This includes telnet, ftp, irc, etc. In the case of telnet and ftp, it's because Microsoft didn't feel it necessary to write decent programs to perform these functions. I just haven't seen a good IRC client yet. (mIRC is pathetic.)
- Anything related to security.
- Having any software what-so-ever which has source distributed.
A few years ago I did run Windows NT Workstation 4.0 for a while. I stopped using it for a lot of reasons:
- It was a money pit. Buy the OS. Now buy a compiler for a couple hundred dollars. Now buy a telnet client, ftp client, IRC client... (I only bought a compiler. I pirated everything else or wrote my own versions.)
- Plain vanilla NT 4.0 (with SP1, I think) idled at about 18MB memory usage with nothing going on. That isn't great, but hell, it's a better memory footprint than what's going on with X11. When I installed SP3, it shot up to about 23MB. When I installed IE 4.0 (or whatever version had the active desktop, which wasn't on, by the way) it shot up to something like 32MB. I trashed it at that point, because it was requiring almost twice the memory, but wasn't doing anything more to show for it.
- There was a complete lack of open-source software for it.
Now, this isn't to say that Linux doesn't have its problems. More on that under the "Linux" node.