Internet Applications

The Internet has grown from a communications network for government agencies in the late 1960s to the engine that is driving the U.S. economy in the late 1990s. The different strengths of Linux and Windows make it not only possible to mix environments, but desirable.

Due to its UNIX heritage, Linux's native TCP/IP protocol support, stability, and low cost make it ideal as a server. According to a count of servers by leb.net (http://leb.net/hzo/ioscount/), Linux is the most popular server on the Internet. Linux also runs Apache, which is by far the most popular Web server on the Internet according to a Netcraft survey (http://www.netcraft.com/survey/).

Although Linux is starting to catch up, Windows still has a lot more end-user applications than any other OS. Many applications such as Microsoft Office, Media Player, Out-look, and Exchange are not available for Linux. According to International Data Corporation (http://www.idc.com/), Microsoft Windows has about 87% of the desktop OS market as compared to about 4% for Linux. This gives tremendous incentive for companies to release the Windows version of desktop programs first.

This chapter is not going to cover every Internet application or go into details about the configuration of any of them. Those subjects would take much more than one book to cover. Instead, I intend to cover some of the common interoperability issues in dealing with mixed environments on the Internet.

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