Why Windows is Better Than Linux

Posted on 2010/11/03. Filed under: Apple, Computing General, Linux General, Microsoft, Operating Systems |

Don’t be fooled by the title. I use Linux. I avoid Windows. However, all is not rosy in the Linux world. I am active on many Linux help forums. I know the types of problems that most new Linux users face. This is my list of things that could make Linux better, courtesy of Windows users that I have encountered.

Pre-installation

This is the big one. Windows comes pre-installed. Everything is working perfectly at the time of purchase. The user does not have to do anything, but use it. Things may go downhill from there, but at least the user starts off with a clean slate.

Often times new users to Linux face barriers. Most can be overcome, but in a few cases, not. The question is, will these users go to the time and effort? It, of course, depends on the user and the skill of those trying to help them.

These problems could be avoided if Linux came pre-installed. It doesn’t come that way for most users. They buy from major retailers in the hopes of getting the best deal or using equipment from a name brand. But it is not a level playing field. Windows or Mac OS is pre-installed. There is no reason that the same could not be done for Linux, but that is not the case. You need to search around and go to much trouble to find someone selling Linux computers. It is not worth the effort for many users.

Compatibility

Most hardware is made to work on one of two platforms, Windows or Macs. Equipment often ships with disks for one or both of these two platforms. Seldom, if ever, do you find a Linux disk. This has nothing to do with Linux not being able to run said equipment, but rather speaks to the size of the market. Linux is small time.

There usually is not a problem finding Linux compatible equipment. Almost anything relatively new is Linux compatible. But when you buy new equipment, it is a bit of a crap shoot. You don’t know for sure unless you do your homework, but you know that Windows and Mac OS will likely work, so if you are choosing an OS on that basis you are likely to be happier.

Games

Most games are written for Windows. There is no reason why Linux cannot run games, but the sad fact is that if you are a gamer, then you must use Windows for PC gaming. The only other alternative is to buy a console or to try to find a Linux solution. This again requires much effort on the part of the user and in many cases more skill than many Linux newbies have.

Specialised Software

If you use AutoCAD, QuickBooks, Photoshop or other specialised software then you have likely found that it is made to work specifically for one or two platforms, neither of which is Linux. Most of us do not fall into this category, but many users do. Some users also find that there are some barriers to using Linux equivalent software, such as trouble with files or formatting, so you prefer to use applications such as Microsoft Office because you use that at work and know that you will have consistency.

Community Issues

Other OSes do not have the same community issues. They can be seen as a strength or a weakness. We are a fragmented community. What distribution should companies support? What package format should they release their software in? What happens when you upgrade your Linux distribution? Does the software need to be upgraded, too? Surely, that means more work for developers.

We are also a fractious lot. Whenever someone takes the bull by the horns and tries to deal realistically with any of these concerns as Mark Shuttleworth has done at times, then he is accused of trying to speak for the Linux community at large and having ulterior motives ascribed to him. He is after all, trying to push his own agenda, so his detractors say. But, isn’t it in every Linux user’s best interest to deal with these issues? Why should he or anyone else step forward if he is going to be subjected to scorn and abuse?

The problem is that we have no history of working together. Everything that does work together is on a project by project basis. By its nature this creates divisions. There are insiders and outsiders where those on the inside fear or don’t respect those on the outside.  If someone does step forward and try to create a new project then they get labeled and frequently raked over the coals by people who have their own agenda. We hear, you could be helping us, instead you are doing your own thing, therefore, you do not support us and must therefore be against us. It is even worse, if you try to join an existing project and work from the inside. You are branded as someone wanting to take over and a despot. You become the enemy, just for trying to be an agent of change.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and I sometimes think that Linux is what is and will never be any different. I am okay with that. As long as people understand what that entails. We will remain divided. We will remain on the margins of the PC world and that will always be the case. Everything will continue to be an uphill struggle, as it has been for a long time.

Meanwhile we will have to continue welcoming new users and fight fires as they get used to Linux and our peculiar ways. We will have to continue to buy our own computers with Windows or Mac OS pre-installed and fight to get refunds or build our own computers or accept second rate ones with Linux pre-installed. We will have to face limitations such as not having games or big commercial programmes. Some of us say, hooray. We do not need either, but we may be shooting ourselves in the foot the process. In getting our way, we isolate ourselves and limit our options.

Windows users have things handed to them (although they pay money up front for the privilege). But we are in control of our own destiny. We create our own world through our actions and many times impose limitations on ourselves by the decisions we make. We need to be clear on that.

Final thought. Technologically there is no reason why Linux cannot do all the things that Windows or Mac OD does. Things are the way they are for many reasons. Linux in itself is not the limiting factor.

Note: I am playing  a bit of Devil’s advocate here. I use mainly free software and do not long for Photoshop. However, I sometimes wince at what sometimes comes out of the Linux community (and even at some of the things that I write in trying to speak out). :)

We risk being seen as crusaders for speaking out one way or the other. The silent majority sits back and wonders as both sides try to sort it out. I don’t think that we are creating division by speaking out, but we are certainly drawing attention to division that already exists. These conversations do not occur in other communities and most people are not even aware of debates that rage within the community. The GNOME and Ubuntu Unity debate springs to mind, but there are others.  Mono. Qt or GTK.  Package manager. Release cycles. Desktop environments. Number of distributions. Forks of all kinds. Basically where there is an issue we divide and become even more split.

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27 Responses to “Why Windows is Better Than Linux”

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[quote]Windows comes pre-installed. Everything is working perfectly at the time of purchase.[/quote]
Yes, it’s preinstalled, but it does not always, or actually quite often, not work perfectly. A typical scenario in the Windows world is that you actually are forced to wipe the disk and make a clean install. Why? Because manufacturers integrate their own solutions, and some of them don’t work well, but unfortunately it is at times cumbersome, thus making a clean install easier.

[quote]Most hardware is made to work on one of two platforms, Windows or Macs.[/quote]
Might be, and nevertheless some devices and peripherals work better with Linux drivers. Besides some network stuff happening once in a while, we recently encountered such a problem with a Kyocera printer (professional laswer colour printer), and it’s certainly not the only example of Linux having better support for even printers. Furthermore another problem for Windows users is that companies tend to be lazy when it comes to update drivers for new versions of Windows, something that can be a nightmare to fix.

[quote]Specialised Software[/quote]
Linux also has specialized software. Some available for the Mac platform, but not for the Windows one. It would be more correct to write “some specialized software”. The whole working environment, e g desktop, has varieties not working well, or not at all, on Mac or Windows.

[quote](Community issues) Windows users have things handed to them (although they pay money up front for the privilege).[/quote]
A call to India? Honestly, what do you refer to. How many good options do Windows users have for support? In my opinion this is a myth.

I love it when I play the Devil’s advocate and people provide all the solutions. It should be easy to pick apart my points. I would take offense, if only I believed them.

Yeah, pre-installed with all the crapware you have to remove, which then breaks your system because it did some nasty thing to your registry. Nagware and all the rest, they can keep it. I prefer to install my own GNU/Linux system and totally avoid the ever decreasing performance of Windows.

I forgot about crapware. Nice one!

The “crapware” is said to pay some of the costs of getting a new computer. It is easily ignored if you are a Windows user in the first place and it is not so universally rejected either. The suppliers such as Intuit, McAfee, Symantec, seem to feel that it is a valid way to promote their products.

If you are going to overwrite the Windows with a Linux distribution, it is of no consequence, so why sneer? The world would cost more without it.

It is gravy for those OEMs that choose to inflict it on users. Not all OEMs do. Therefore, it is not necessary, just beneficial to the bottom line, which should concern shareholders, but not computer users. If you ask for a Windows refund then you see the cost of Windows.

It takes time to remove crapware. For me, it is not even an annoyance because as you point out, I don’t use it. But should a users experience with a new computer be greeted to it in this way? I think not. Besides, who’s sneering? I did not even mention crapware, until the comments.

Windows should be for those who like it and can live with its limitations. The same could be said for Linux. Both have their pluses and minuses. They just happen to be a different set. Which is why it is nice to compare.

[Therefore, it is not necessary, just beneficial to the bottom line, which should concern shareholders, but not computer users.]

The users benefit from a reduced price for the package. Maybe the OEMs try to keep whatever they are paid to themselves, but, overall, the profitability of the package determines its pricing and if a bunch of ISVs are willing to throw something into the pot, it makes computers less expensive for all, albeit the user may have to clean it up if they don’t want to use the free offers.

[Besides, who’s sneering? I did not even mention crapware, until the comments.]

It seems to me that the term “crapware” itself is a sneer. If you were not deriding it, you would say “trial software”.

The “crapware” is not really pre-installed, it is pre-loaded and available for one-click install, but you still have to want to install it. None of the issues occur if you simply do not go through the actual install process and click Delete instead.

As for games, I would not count on seeing any improvements, that is if you are an Ubuntu user. Mark Shuttlesworth is very much like his idol Steve Jobs. They both are not gamers.

I don’t know that Shuttleworth admires Jobs , so much as he has Mac envy. It is an elegant operating system, but then again when they make the hardware and software anything short of perfection is a failure.

Don’t forget about shortened battery capacity under Linux, partial OGL support, partial or non existent video decoding acceleration, poor video card power management and a less forgiving ACPI subsystem.

shortened battery capacity on linux? wat are u smokin’ boy?

Shortened battery capacity? I think you MIGHT mean shorter battery life, and even then, that is completely inaccurate. Linux may have SOME background process’ that run continually, but no where NEAR as much as Windows. It boils down to what you want your machine to do. Personally, (and I have tried this with several of my other machines), I find Linux to boot quicker, run smoother, have a longer battery life, and run better in general then my Windows, or Mac machines. Furthermore, anything you can do in Windows for the most part, I can do in Linux, just faster. :). A perfect example, say you want to install VLC. In Windows, you open your browser, go to Google.com, type VLC into the search bar, find the target, bounce around a bit, then wait for it to download, then run the install. In Linux, you open Terminal, type sudo apt-get install VLC. Type your password, select Y (says yes to the install), then sit back and wait. It installs for you, and everything is good to go. But, again, different folks, different strokes.

Yeah dude, agree. Linux is not worth the effort. Sometimes when you come home from work – just the thought of having to sift through obscure archives and forums to get the internet to work is a pain in the butt. Having a 2nd computer helps – imagine if you only had one. “okay wait the internet is not working due to incompatibilities with my ethernet ADSL connection – F^%$@! i can’t even get help cause the internet doesnt work.”

I will answer you, point by point. I am also a linux user and my work computer and home computers run Ubuntu Linux. I can do basically “almost” everything under Linux.
Preinstallation. This is not a Linux problem. If the user is such an ignorant who cannot install linux by him/her-self, it’s better to stay with mac-windows. Linux users are like car users who are not afraid of opening the hood and get their hands dirty. It is all about curiosity and thirst of knowledge.
GAMES. Are you kidding me? If you are a gamer, get yourself a dedicated console for games. Besides, how many windows users are playing solitaire during working hours?
SPECIALIZED SOFTWARE. definitely, it is the fault of those proprietary software companies who sell their souls to Microsoft. It’s not the fault of Linux. Here there is no choice, and my lab is forced to run equipment with windows because of that.
Finally, Linux is not the perfect OS I admit, and the problems are mostly due to redundancy and loss of focus, resources are diluted into a miriad of small projects. If only linux developers could join into a massive group and get rid of most problems that plage linux (badly written code; bugs not solved; remove bloatting lines, etc), then it would be very very much the best OS ever.

Now, you are talking out of your ears.

Hardware’s lack of support on Linux? Are you in 1991? Most computers (that includes PC’s, Mac’s and whatever you call a PC) from any era simply “works out of the box” when you install Linux. In fact, it works with most Live-CD’s available out there. Even mobile phones can run a couple of modded Linux distributions. Even my Microsoft XBOX runs Linux. Even my satellite box runs Linux. So does my TV (Linux firmware) and so does my toaster (now I’m exaggerating – I know). Sony officially supported Linux on Playstation for years. Until it was cracked…

Specialized software: I will give you that. There is no official support for many (or most) of the ones you’ve mentioned. However, Linux users tend to be more, let’s say, intelligent than Windows users and can easily figure out a way to make either AutoCAD or Photoshop work via Wine. Even better than it works on Windows.

Pre-installed? Well. Any computer that comes with pre-installed operating systems theoretically come with a working operating system. I’ve seen many netbooks with a bad Linux distribution (such as Linpus) and yet it was working. All you needed to do was press the power button and let it load.

Games? Well… That falls into the “Specialized software” category. Many games are working 100% via Wine and some still require some work. But still, that is just a matter of time. Yet, Linux users are not really into games as far as I can see. The gamers who use Linux ALWAYS have two operating systems and boot Windows whenever they feel like playing or seeing blue screens.

Having that said, I think that the only problem with Linux today is the amount of choices. People usually don’t know what to do when they have too many choices to make. And that affects Linux badly. Today we have many packages for many different distributions. The Debian-based ones (Debian itself, Ubuntu, Mint and so on) use the .deb packages to “auto install” with a simple “next, next, finish”. There are also RPM’s for some distros, YUM for other distros and many other options for every single distribution. So that is where Linux fails. Maybe one day, all the developers will come to an arrangement and decide that only one “auto-pack” will be in place. Only then, third parties will look at Linux as a promising market. It would be much easier for Rockstar Games (the company that makes Grand Theft Auto) to release a CD with a couple of installation files for Linux. Today, they would have to make a CD for Ubuntu, a CD for Slackware, a CD for SUSE and the list will be endless.

I don’t know if you filter browser headers there… But I am using Ubuntu at this moment on this PC… It’s not my cup of tea but I rather use Ubuntu than Windows (actually, I would love to be using Gentoo right now). In fact, I don’t use Windows since the late 90’s (I never owned a Windows licence, never used a cracked copy or never had not even a Virtual Machine).

But I agree with a few things you’ve said: First, both Mac and Linux are UNIX-based. Theoretically, they should have a similar support for everything. I also agree with these bad community members that use one distro and hate everything else and start quite hot debates for everything.

The reason why I believe that Mac took off and Linux didn’t take off in the Software-compatibility thing is, to me, quite obvious: we all know that Apple and MS always tried to keep Linux away from them (although Mac is only a few inches away in the number of users compared to Linux – Windows is the leader and it’s simply undeniable). So it means that the other options available (read Windows and MacOS) simply boycott Linux. That is the way I see it. I could be wrong.

I used to write software in Python and Tcl/Tk in the past and it works in crossed-platforms only for a few months. Then MS changes everything and nothing works anymore from Linux. I don’t know if that is done on purpose or if that’s something they do because they have nothing else to do and decide to change something that works for something that also works. But it does happen.

But hey… Linux still runs the internets, doesn’t it? What would happen if Apache decided not to make software anymore? Would we rely on Windows Server? I don’t think so…

Yet, I am very thankful for this Windows thing: without the Microsoft Windows platform, I would simply have no customers coming to my small repair centre.

Like Voltaire said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. That is freedom of speech. Freedom of choice. And also is a very open-source thinking.

I use Kubuntu and have not used Windows in awhile. I wrote this tongue in cheek. It gets responses both ways. The old Windows vs Linux controversy lives on. Thanks for the reply.

Ok, to all those saying they can do most things in linux faster and easier than people in windows, i say BS. i have used every OS under the sun that is worth trying, and unless your idea of “most things” is browsing the net and sending email, then you are off your rocker. to do most things in linux it requires some sort of messing around and tweaking.

dont get me wrong, i love the idea of linux, and i would love to scrap windows forever. but i highly doubt that is ever going to be possible. linux is for people who like screwing around with stuff trying to make it work decently. but it would also be good for the computer noob who does nothing but facebook and youtube and doesnt want to worry about viruses. (tho viruses can easily be avoided under windows by not being a moron) for gamers, just forget it, its never going to happen so long as windows holds like 80% of the market share in home computing.

i saw someone say that most windows programs and games were working 100% under wine. that couldnt be further from the truth. sure they work under wine, if you want to get 10 different versions of wine and tweak each one because there is always some program that used to work in an older version that now doesnt in the new version. hence “playonlinux”. the game support under wine is terrible, sure quite a few games run, but the performance is weak. hell even some games from 2004 still dont run great under wine no matter how much tweaking you do. there may be the odd game out there that actually runs better than on windows but the only example of this i have seen is GTA Vice City. other than that its pretty well guaranteed that whatever you are trying to run with wine is not even going to compare to the performance you will get under windows. even tho “wine is not an emulator” it might as well be one, in order to get decent performance under wine you need hardware that is far beyond the games requirements and even then its a toss up.

also i see people acting like linux doesnt ever crash, and has no stability problems. again that is far from the truth. i have seen programs crash in linux many times, infact i just tried out ubuntu 12.04 lts and im writing this in windows because i got sick of the app crash handler poping up. since i got windows 7 i havent seen a blue screen and its been a few years now. microsoft finally got something right with windows 7. and even over the course of 2 years i havent really seen my system performance drop. the thing with windows is that its not great for morons who like to click on everything they see on the internet like “congradulations! youve won!” but for someone who isnt a retard and knows how to avoid stupid crap windows is fine.

bottom line. ive used linux and ive used mac. and windows is the only OS out there that will let me do ANYTHING right out of the box with minimal screwing around. installing a driver or a program to me is nothing compared to the hassle of trying to do some things in linux. and i do everything from PROFESSIONAL video and audio editing (not sound recorder and movie maker), gameing, social networking, coding, presentations and all the rest. windows is the ONLY OS that can do this out of the box. sure linux has it uses and it is more powerful when it comes to certain things that most home computer users wouldnt even want to do, (i use it for console modding and a bunch of other things) but windows is good all around. i boot it up and i do what i want. i cannot say the same for linux or mac.

You make some good points.

I must be off my rocker. I use Linux full time (for over ten years) and do way more than e-mail and browsing. I burn DVDs. I use media. I access music players, e-readers, my tablet and smartphone, external drives, usb keys. I use my Wacom Bamboo, draw, paint, manage a large photo collection, edit photos and videos (HD). I write on everything possible from text editors to desktop publishers. I manage multiple drives with over 20 partions with every possible file system from Linux and Windows. I run virtual machines with every conceivable operating system. I have file encryption and run anonymizers, like Tor and Vidalia. I print servers and use ipp. I use Samba to connect to Windows. I run XP in a VM if I need a Windows application, but never use Wine.

I also have Windows 7 and XP. I could do many but not all of these things in Windows. I have not paid for a single application in all of that time, including on Windows and do not pirate. I use all open source and free software. I boot into Windows about once a year and hang around long enough to curse its stupidity. WP always wants to re-boot my machine several times in succession till it gets caught up on updates and W7 will take forever to shutdown as it does hundreds of updates before I can get my machine back. Yes, if I used Windows more often the pain would be spread out, but it would still be present.

What I do not have to do is pay for software (aside from Windows itself), use an anti-virus, or defragment a drive. I have not had a virus or malware ever in Linux and I use no protection. In that same time period my wife has had several on her Windows box and she runs a firewall, up-to-date AV, and anti-malware (several kinds). I have had to re-install Windows many times from XP to Vista to W7, either because of infection, degrading performance (not as much an issue in W7), or corrupted file system or registry.

My skill level is advanced, but I have been doing this a long time. I learned by using and making mistakes. I never use the commandline unless I need to which is seldom. I tutor others and always defer to GUI approaches.

The best point that you make is that Linux is not perfect. Neither is Windows. People should use what works best for them. I find Linux meets my needs and this post was written a long time ago to counter nonsense that Linux is only for geeks. That has not been the case for many years. The average person can use Linux for most things. People with specialised needs or those who need to run a specific application for Windows or Mac should use that. Video editing eats up resources and would not work well in a VM so I would run that natively and dual boot.

I deal with hundreds of people on a daily basis who use Windows and have come to try Linux for various reason. Many just want to try it and lots come back to install it. Some run dual boot and many say to me that they prefer Linux and use Windows less and less. I seldom hear the reverse. You can do everything that you want on Linux, even profession video. Blender and Cinepaint are used by studios and many studios use only Linux. Avatar was made using Linux. There are still deficiencies in Linux, games and CAD, for example, but that has nothing to do with Windows or Linux. There is nothing to prevent Linux from running any application that runs on Windows. It is powerful and simple at the same time. Most of the world’s super computers run on Linux.

I say Linux is simple because you do not HAVE to do anything once it is set up and running. You can run it without re-booting or updating for years at a time. You can run a rolling release and avoid any re-installing. You have choice which is a problem for most Windows people because they are not used to it.

Gratned you can do all those things in linux, however windows can do all the same things and more, the only thing i saw you mention that windows cant do is deal with multiple partitions using non microsoft files system. and its not that windows cant, its that microsoft doesnt want you to. now lets get 1 thing straight. im not saying anything is the fault of linux, after all linux is just a kernel, the potential in it is un measureable. however if anything, it is the fault of software companies not making stuff for linux, and hardware companies not making decent drivers for linux. a perfect example of something i simply cannot do in linux is audio editing. i need top notch audio editing software and i need that software to work with my hardware. that simply is not possible, audacity sucks, and my recording interface just does not work with linux untill the hardware manufacturer makes a driver for it, or someone reverse engineers a driver that works half decently. ( photoshop would be nice too) linux is a good OS, i think it has tons of power and potential. but untill the software and hardware companies get behind it itll just be something a small percent of computer users like to play with as far as real home desktop computing goes. now servers are a completely differnent story, obviously linux wins hands down. but im talking the average person desktop home computing.

i use linux for a few tasks windows cant do, ive always found linux disk tools to be superior and i use it for modding xbox’s and gaining access to files and drives microsoft things i should have access to. but that is about as far as it goes.

even tho windows does have problems with malware and viruses, its been said for years that if mac or linux had 80% of the market share in home computing they would be just as much a target. dont kid yourself linux is not rock solid and unhackable or impervious to viruses. its just that people arent going to waste their time only to target 5% of home computer users. and i will always stand by the statement that if you arent a moron online you should never have a problem with malware and viruses. i run windows 90% of the time because i am sick of dual booting every time i want to do something that cant be done in linux. and i run no firewall other than what comes on my router, no anti malware and no virus scanner ( ive even disabled the crappy windows firewall and AV ) and i have never had to format and reinstall because of any kind of infection because i actually pay attention to what im clicking on and what i am installing. the old saying 90% of computer problems are user error couldnt be more true with windows, the only time i ever have to do that is because i get sick of all the clutter of files everywhere because of my own bad file keeping habbits, but if someone actually reads what they are doing and pays attention their problems should be minimal. i also work doing computer repair and i can say all of my clients problems have never been the fault of the OS itself.

also you cant deny that there is alot of tweaking and setting up in linux to do very simple tasks. ( multiple monitor setups, dealing with a VM just because there is some windows app you cant get away from or dealing with multiple versions of wine if thats the route you choose, dealing with the head aches that come with owning an ati graphics card and actually wanting to use its 3d acceleration, their terrible sound implementation and trying to deal with multiple sound cards and installing some software) for instance today i was trying to install amsn on ubuntu 12 and of course its no longer in the repositories. so i downloaded it and when it boots up it tells me there is a new version. do you think i could find that new version? only in source. so i download the source, anyway after about an hour of pissing around with build dependancies i eventually questioned why i am even bothering and went back to windows where MSN Messenger works flawlessly. sure i could have used pidgin but i kind of like sharing files with my friends and lots of other features that the linux msn clones just dont have not even amsn but amsn is the closest.

now i suppose if you were able to just use linux, and anything that linux could do and have no need to do anything outside of linux, then sure itd probably pretty good. infact i would recommend it to people who are generally stupid with computers, like parents, grand parents, kids. becuase yes it is pretty secure. and it can do all the things that those people like to do like facebook, email, youtube (when flash works properly) etc. but for the wide range of things i do and most people do, it is simply not time efficient to dual boot all the time. if you dont like paying for software there are ways around that. sure piracy is illegal, but what do you really care if you dont want to pay for software anyway. would you rather use cheap clones or the real thing? either way those software companies arent getting your business. thats a personal choice one has to make.

all in all yes linux is a good OS its biggest problems are lack of support from 3rd party companies. and also the ridiculous amount of rendundant projects, i mean really we dont need 10 different projects with different names all trying to make a software that does the same thing. that to me is the biggest problem with the open source community. the amount of distros out there is simply retarded when they all basically do the same damn thing. i love it when you install a distro and it says ” hundres of software titles” sure hundreds of titles but how many of them try to do the same thing? if those resources were pooled and focused on 1 project you might end up with 1 really kick ass piece of software instead of 10 that are mediocre at best.

here is an interesting video from the linux community you should check out, about why linux sucks.

BTW that video is not a linux bashing video, its a video from the community about the problems with linux and what should and could be done to fix them.

[...] In case you may think that in a Windows vs Linux comparison, Windows may take the advantage, here you have this guy saying that windows is not better than Linux. [...]

This is two years old now.

All this seems a little silly to me. How do you get a Linux PC? Simple, you buy a Windows PC and install Linux. You would have to be crazy to do anything else since the Linux PCs on the market cost more than Windows with the same specs, and you have to buy a System 76 instead of a Dell. Who wants the risk?

If you are going to install Linux and play around with computers rather than use them like normal people, that is fine, too. But there is almost 20 years now of Windows history in the market and that is not going to change unless someone wants to spend the money needed to advertise Linux and no one is ever going to do that since they could never get their money back.

As a long time Linux server user, I must say Linux sucks on the desktop mainly because of the huge amount of distributions. When you think Windows or Mac, there’s only one. When you think Linux, another question has to be made: which Linux? This sucks.

This article is old now.

At the heart of open source or free software is user choice. You have to embrace freedom of choice to appreciate the number of distributions. Under the Microsoft and Apple models they technically own the operating system and you can use it. In Linux you own your computer and the operating system. You have complete control. Developers can alter the code and give it away. They can tailor it to individual needs. There are distributions for fixing Windows and Macs. There are distributions for blind users. There are distributions for security. There are distributions for just about everything. That is not bad if you want a specialised operating system.

One distribution for all removes choice and gives control to others. That is good as long as you agree with the developer’s decisions. But what happens if they go in a direction that you do not like?

If the distributions go in a direction that you do not like, you are equally out of luck. There isn’t one user in a thousand capable of editing the Linux source (or any of the applications that come with it) in order to do something unique. The same holds true for the “many eyes” myths about Linux bug crushing. 99,9999% of the users have to take what they can get. The rest don’t really matter much.


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