I don’t claim to be an expert on Microsoft networks, I have just been using them pretty much since Day One (which by my count, was 1/1/80…) I stay current because in a way, Microsoft has basically paid for my car, my house, you name it.
I only know smaller networks. How small? About 1000 users or less. As a retail networking guy, I actually used to take care of two-user networks – that’s right, two desktop computers, and a high-dollar file server, tape backup, and so on. A salesperson actually talked them into that, especially if it was government (!)
They have a few things going for them:
- Direct, comprehensive, and easily accessible support for all the good hardware (HP, Dell, Lenovo)
- They still make a heckuva file server – NTFS rocks
- Active Directory is actually very solid
- They also make a great print server – hardware support, again
- Terminal Services still has no competition to speak of
- Since about 2003, the “Help” function in most products actually works
My printer is a business-class HP laser, bought while I was employed there – friends don’t let friends use Deskjets.
What I don’t use
My Windows computers have never had anti-virus, anti-malware, or anything like that. Make no mistake – I have spent enough hours cleaning up other people’s computers, but I have never needed it – the fact is, that if you keep them up to date, and are reasonably careful where you go and what you click on, you’ll be fine. I also believe running x64 helps a bit. Anyway, Window 8 now basically has anti-malware built in. If you are really worried, run Linux.