Pingdom recently did a comparison of uptime for the home pages of major OS distributors -- 16 Linux distros, Apple, and Microsoft. (The image is a reduced screen grab of their chart -- see the whole thing.)
Over the course of a month Apple's downtime was 2 minutes, putting them in the middle of the pack. Microsoft's? An hour and 19 minutes.
Microsoft's corporate home page is a favorite target for script kiddies and no-goodniks everywhere. The page is complex and constantly changing. And no matter how big your budget the page, in the end, is always the work of a small team.
I can't imagine Microsoft has someone whose job it is to sit in front of a terminal with the home page in front of them and jump or ring an alarm bell if it goes down.
Now, I have to give Red Hat credit. Both their corporate and Fedora home pages were bulletproof during the test period. But what if the power goes out tomorrow? Is their software suddenly bogus?
There are a lot of ways to compare operating systems in a Web environment. One is how your own home page holds up, and the pages behind it. Another is to look at faults over a period of time and count only those tied to software.
But this comparison, to my way of thinking, is unfair and silly.
Let me end on a humorous anecdote. My son, who is in high school, has a running gag. He wants us to give him a grant so he can create a "time machine," based on an experiment in which he throws rocks at our house until it goes back in time.
Should I send him to Pingdom for the grant money?