Monday, December 18, 2006

Don't switch to Linux just because you can

Let me sum up the situation: Yes, it's Linux. But there's no reason for me to use it. Yes, it's free, and yes, it's secure, but I don't need it.

I'm not against Linux: I think it's a great OS, certainly, but I'm not going to switch to it. Reading Digg every day exposes me to a slew of articles about why now is the right time to switch to Linux and how "So-And-So moved from Windows to Linux and never looked back!" but I really see no incentive to move to Linux.

You how everyone knows that Microsoft is copying Apple, and everyone is pretty vocal about it? Well, if you think about it, Linux is copying Microsoft, but no one seems to be talking about it. Admit it, Linux developers are trying to copy Microsoft, even going so far as to emulate it (a.k.a. WINE). Why should I switch to Linux when there's still a desire in the community to run Windows programs? Isn't Linux supposed to replace Windows? It would be like switching to a Mac and claiming that OSX is superior to XP, but then installing Parallels and XP on the Mac. If Linux is really so great, why does it need offerings compatible with another operating system? I know it looks like I'm saying that a smaller software library for Linux makes it inferior, but it is inferior to me.

I have considered switching. But every time I've considered it, I've found a reason to not do it. The big reason is that Windows is easy to use. Ignore the stigma that Windows always crashes; I seemly suffer it naught. Windows recognizes any worthwhile device I can throw at it (not advisable), and it's simple. The Linux community as a whole believes that you should only bother with Linux if you're willing to make it work. This attitude even prevails among the community of desktop Linux users. Lost is my ability to count the numerations of the aforementioned comments on Digg stories. Few Linux supporters that I have witnessed actively believe that Linux should be so easy to use that you don't have to tinker it; that for me is enough to drive me away. I have installed MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP on various computers. (I love how you need to install DOS on your computer before you can install Windows 95 on it!) Windows XP is such a cinch to install and use that there's no reason to switch. I'm happy that my computer works just like that. I don't want to use an operating system that needs tinkering to work. You know what I call that? Beta software.

I know I haven't covered security. One word: Router. Now, I'll not be disingenuous. Symantec Antivirus 9 is installed on my computer, although I've never had any viruses on my computer. Simply put, I've never had a security crisis on my computer. If you're smart enough, it won't happen. I'm not advocating Windows to the general public based on my experience, because generally people don't have common sense. (Why on Earth would you click on a pop-up that says, "Click me!"?) Even if Linux does have better security, I don't need it.

Yes, yes, Linux is not all that shabby. But I'm not about to switch to Linux just because it's Linux/it's not Windows. Look, Linux people. You want to hook me in? Here's what I want: Your operating system has to be so easy to use that it will work right out of the box, no tinkering whatsoever; it has to have support from developers that will port all of their Windows software to Linux; it has to have compatibility with every driver Windows can handle; and it must do everything Windows can do, and more. Until then, I'm happy where I am.


Anonymous said...

Same goes for OSX! Sure it works, but until it does everything Windows does and more (including running games), XP is king.

Anonymous said...

you're doing a great favor to all linux users if you don't switch.
i can vividly imagine the kind of posts you would be writing in help forums and mailing lists.

Anonymous said...

Linux do everything windows can do ?

Oh you mean play the mainstream games and appliactions, it's users like yourself that don't contribute to the solution and remain part of the problem.

ie. Lazy.

More people = more support .. More userbase = more interest from traditional commercial developers if you're so inclined to use their products.

But then again, perhaps your content with piracy along with the rest of the population on the windows platform.

Anonymous said...

you're doing a great favor to all linux users if you don't switch.
i can vividly imagine the kind of posts you would be writing in help forums and mailing lists.

This is typical of the arrogant, elitist attitude that many Linux users have. The idea is "you're not smart enough to use Linux". I hate these people. I thought computers and information were supposed to remove elitism. I guess most Linux users don't mind it.

Anonymous said...

no. i haven't said: "you'r to dumb to use linux". i said "you don't have the right attitude to use linux".

what you represent is
the typical arrogant, lazy and sheep-like attitude that many windows users have.
i'm not saying you cannot think, i say you don't want to think.
and as long as there are people using operating systems that steal, deny and lie, computers will be build to make money, not to remove elitism.

i hate people like you.

Daniel said...

I agree completely and wholeheartedly with you on this post. Being a web developer I have used Linux plenty in my days but like that demotivational poster says, I don't want to build my car from scratch. Most of my paid projects involve Windows server in some version and .Net. It works, no hacking, C# <3.

I found that using linux made me spend so much extra time hunting for drivers on the net or hacking through text files or c files to get things working. Hell I even spent 6 hours trying to get my Creative soundcard to work in Ubuntu once, till I found a remedy by rebooting and installing Vista instead.

One of the anonymous posts above say that we would be part of the problem. Why should WE (the end user) work to port the software? There is no point in having to hack a program to make it work on your OS when you can just run it nice and easy on Windows. I don't feel like gimping around with half-working device drivers and programs nor spending hours to get things just to work somewhat normally.

One thing that amuses me greatly is that Linux actually supports .Net. They bash Microsoft so much but decide to support their invention, even if the implementation is half-baked.

Personally I think Linux suffers from the Too Many Cooks syndrome. It's one million elitist nerds who all know THE best way to do everything.