Red Hat Enterprise Linux is more secure than Windows, survey reveals

Linux appears to have won the perception war, which is no small feat in its bid to unseat Microsoft's Windows product. Perception is reality.

One reason for the rise of Linux is its impeccable security credentials. Sure, Microsoft has been trying to convince people for years that Windows is more secure, but it's hard to convince people against the facts of their daily experience. For 70 percent of IT workers recently surveyed, therefore, it was a no-brainer: Red Hat Enterprise Linux is more secure than Windows. Period.

Granted, this survey measured beliefs about Red Hat Enterprise Linux security rather than actual security, but perception is actually worth more in the market than established facts. People buy based on their perceptions. Just ask Microsoft's customers over the past three decades.

Another open-source advantage that is broadly recognized by the survey participants is security. Over 70 percent said that Red Hat Linux is less vulnerable to security issues than Microsoft's operating system.

When questioned on quality and reliability, the survey participants didn't see as much of a gap--22 percent said that Red Hat Linux offers higher quality than Windows and 66 percent said that the two products offer comparable quality.

Let Microsoft continue to buy reports that claim its Windows product is more secure. In the meantime, customers will keep buying Linux - including Red Hat Enterprise Linux - because of a belief born of experience that Linux actually is more secure, whatever Microsoft's marketing department might be trying to tell them.

Nice to see perception on Linux's side. There's no going back. Perception is reality.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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