I've been a little unfair to the Windows crew the last few weeks. I've been going on and on about Unix administration and occasionally using Windows as an example of how not to do things. But as I reflect back on those posts, I must admit the Windows I've been bashing belongs mostly to the past.
The Windows Server of today has more in common with Unix than many people want to admit. The upside: more stable servers, greater scope of services, better adherence to standards, and Microsoft's newfound willingness to work with its competition. The downside is that Windows may have become more complex than Unix from a management and administration point of view.
The good stuff is really good. Newer tools like PowerShell show Microsoft understands it needs solid and complete scripting languages for serious admins to take it, well, seriously. PowerShell has been around for several years, but only recently has grown into what I'd think of as a truly useful tool.
Then there's Hyper-V, Microsoft's virtualization solution, which has matured over the years. During that time, Microsoft has shown great interest in ensuring that Linux virtual machines run smoothly, even writing kernel modules and drivers specifically to support a variety of Linux distributions. This is not the same Microsoft of the "Linux is a cancer" days -- not at all.
Those are but a few examples of what might be called a kinder, gentler Microsoft that sees the need to coexist -- not try to dominate -- the rest of the computing world. Heck, Microsoft Operations Manager will automatically SSH into an RHEL box and install Microsoft RPMs for management. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Of course, the other side of that coin is the old truth that those who don't understand Unix are doomed to re-create it poorly. I see that happening to Windows these days, but perhaps not as you might expect, and maybe not so poorly.
Windows was built on a platform of relative simplicity: While the rest of the IT world was buried in Unix shells and mainframe prompts, Windows offered a relatively cheap and simple way to deploy business services to companies of any size. A few clicks here and there and off you go.