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X Windows And Microsoft Windows

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In this paper I will be trying to the best of my knowledge and research capabilities to compare both the advantages and disadvantages to using both X Windows (X) and Microsoft Windows (MS). I will first dig into what each of these technologies is and what they have to offer to the end user.

While researching I found that this would it would be very tough to compare both X Windows and MS Windows as I found out early on that the two technologies seemed to be very different in nature. With X windows be strictly a client-server application and MS Windows being a client only operating system. Thus, to compare the two would prove to be very difficult. So, I have decided to structure my report in such a way that I will present my perceptions of both technologies while giving what I think are the advantages and disadvantages of both.

X Windows

As I stated earlier in my introduction, X Windows is more of a client-server middleware type application that is used to serve up graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on UNIX. Starting its history back 1984, X was introduced at MIT and was built as a collaboration between Digital Equipment (DEC), MIT and IBM. The need to such a technology was solved by creating this server protocol that could deliver GUI type functionality to remote machines.

This technology became very popular amongst many companies in the 80's that wanted to provide many smart terminals the simultaneous connection needed to a large backend server. This was very much the intentions of the technology early on by MIT. Over time the high cost of dedicated hardware for these terminals was the reason for the decline in usage amongst many companies. With PC based machines running an X Server, the choice to go with this cheaper solution was warranted.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is an operating system that has proved its worth for many companies since 1985. This operating system provides a very rich graphical user interface that allows users to perform many business tasks using a myriad of application specifically designed for the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Compared to X Windows the GUI now lives on each Client PC making support and maintenance of these systems to be a daunting task. Whereas the X Windows support can be handled on a single server should upgrades or changes need to be implemented. Although this may have seemed to be a very ambitious task, Microsoft Windows has become the dominant leader in the personal computer market.


When comparing the performance of both X Windows and Microsoft Windows, you first need to understand the hardware requirements of both. For X Windows you first need to have a server that can handle the load of many simultaneous smart terminal connections. Also, the need for a very robust smart terminal or work station is not necessarily a concern with this technology.

Microsoft Windows on the other hand does not



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