I enjoy going in debates with Linux fans, and I always enjoy reading about Linux and how it evolves, and how every single calendar year Linux fans consider it Linux Desktop year, however this time I need to write this reply on what is listed on http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/ because some of the reasons just don’t make sense, and it is always the same Linux 2009 vs Windows 9x kind of reasons
I will go through them one by one, and remember this is my own opinion from my experience, it is not by any means Microsoft’s opinion
1- Forget About Viruses
Sure, I am with you, when I Linux has with the most optimistic statistics 1% of market share, with a majority of Geeks (no offense I am a geek myself) that know what they are doing, you sure have to forget about viruses, who is going to waste his time targeting this!
and now seriously, if you accept attachments from people you don’t know, or auto running flash drives that has been used on tons of other non trusted machines, running your machine with Admin rights 100% of the time, not using a decent anti-virus, it is like unsafe sex, if you don’t take care and avoid all warnings you should be responsible.
2- Is Your System Unstable
Sure, my system is stable, I didn’t reinstall my Windows XP back home in Cairo for more than 2 years, let me rephrase it, since I purchased that pc, I have 2 laptops at home with Vista Home * Windows 7 RC, and 2 machines at work with Windows Vista Enterprise, Server 2008, I didn’t reinstall windows on any of these boxes since I got them, I just installed Windows 7 RC on my laptop and I have been enjoying using it since then.
Do you wanna know my secret
Don’t tell me you don’t need the previous two reasons to keep your Linux box stable.
3- Don’t Pay $300 for your Operating System
mmm, this is also not true, especially when you buy an OEM machine, you get the OS almost for free, for example compare Netbooks prices Ubuntu & Windows ones, how much difference? about $20 and what you get is peace of mind for $20 in terms of support and being part of the world (use same programs playing same games) is another thing :)
In the other non OEM case, I can still argue that it depends, especially when customers start returning their Linux netbooks, which means that the $300 is not for nothing, somebody made effort and studies making this use friendly and easy to do real business on, also rates are different $300 is a rough number, it depends on the classifications (students, business, home users) everyone has his way of getting legal software in a way that is suitable for his case, also Developers have to eat :)
Ok, I agree with this point to an extent, the right to copy distribute and modify is certainly a plus in the Linux world, however I strongly disagree with this statement mentioned there
"So what do you care about freedom? Imagine that Microsoft disappears tomorrow (okay, that's not very likely, but what about in 5 years, 10 years?). Or imagine it suddenly triples the price for a Windows or Office license. If you're tied to Windows, there's nothing you can do. You (or your business) relies on this one company, on its software, and you can't possibly make things work without it (what good is a computer without an operating system?). Isn't that a serious problem? You're depending on one single company and trusting it wholeheartedly to let something so important nowadays as your computers work the way they should. If Microsoft decides to charge $1000 for the next version of Windows, there's nothing you can do about it (except switch to Linux, of course). If Windows has a bug that bothers you very much and Microsoft won't fix it, there's nothing you can do (and submitting bugs to Microsoft isn't that easy, see the "Report bugs" section).”
We are still in a free market, the prices are controlled by supply & demand, if Microsoft tripled the price of Windows or Office, there are other Software vendors can compete and already are competing, and also there are Laws that governs the market and everybody knows that it is very tempting for some people to charge Microsoft for anything.
5- When the System has installed, why would you still need to install stuff?
Windows already comes with most of daily use software, and offers free download for more advanced stuff
Most OEM providers preinstall the machine with software like
You can still download your favorite software for other uses, it is your computer customize it the way you want, every single application mentioned on Linux can be used on Windows too, what’s the problem ?
6- Forget About Drivers
Ha, yes I can forget about drivers if I am using Linux, no comment
7- Update all your software with Single Click
This is a very nice feature I like in Ubuntu, and I wish it happens in Windows, Windows Update as far I know only updates Microsoft software + partner drivers but every software needs its own way of managing updates, I really appreciate the effort made in Linux making this happen.
8- Why copy software illegally if you can get it free
Yes, I really encourage if you are not willing to use legal software to use free software.
9- Need new Software, Don’t bother search the web, Linux gets it for you
This is a good way of finding software, Windows Market place is one place to go, however the Windows ecosystem is huge, and it is almost impossible to put everything in one place, however places like download.com does a good job for being a one stop shop for most applications
10 - Jump into the next generation of desktops.
Be my guest exploring the next generation of USABLE desktop http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/videos.aspx with the multi-touch capabilities and tons of time savers and search without the need to turn my desktop into a cube wasting my time rotating the desktop to find my icons, xgl is a nice eye candy, but it is far from usable
11- Does your digital life seem fragmented ?
This is a myth that Linux doesn’t need defragmentation, it is proven so many times, for example here & here, as a matter of fact I didn’t defrag a drive since 2002 :D it just doesn’t do much, and in general Windows boot up time and application startup times are way faster that they are on Linux, even for the same application, try Open Office on Windows Vista & Ubuntu and see the difference.
12- Choose what your desktop looks like.
Having a default consistent UI that evolves with the customer feedbacks is what making Windows great, and what makes customers use windows, and as long you are providing the right API’s for third parties to go crazy you’ve done your job as an operating system, but having inconsistent UI is something that will frustrate users, developers and almost everybody, because different concepts means more points where application can break, an example of third party crazy and cool alternatives are BumpTop or Talisman
13- Why does your Windows get slower day after day
I agree, if you keep installing every piece of junk you find on the internet that adds more services and startup stuff in your machine, and this is simple, more application running, the slower it gets, it doesn’t matter what OS you’re running, of course there are more applications on windows and also more crapware as a side effect, but it is the same as if you know what you’re doing you will have a healthy machine for years, and Windows comes with tools such as msconfig to show you what starts up with your system, and you can use more power tools like sysinternal tools to see exactly what happen to optimize every bit of performance possible, again it is a user behavior problem, not a system fault.
Are you kidding, use Linux to be green?? you can purchase and download Windows online from Microsoft Store as well as any other piece of software, this is not a reason this is waste of time.
15- No backdoors in your software.
Oh my god, have you ever seen a privacy statement, don’t you know if Microsoft is sending private information about its customer without their approval is considered a crime, and it is very easy to prove, this is becoming really silly.
16- Enjoy free and unlimited support
Community support exists as long as there are users, if windows has more users you will find better support, you can ask a friend or a neighbor or ask a question on a forum or mailing list or chat or twitter or …
and the best thing that if you don’t know how to deal with it, for example my mom is not gonna use an IRC to ask for a problem, she can call Support centers, and Microsoft is providing support for its product for up to 10 years (5 basic, 5 extended paid), so imagine people are asking questions for Windows 2000 and Office 2000 till now.
17- Too many windows? Use workspaces.
Different people different keystrokes, in Windows too many windows? use Aero flip3d or Aero peek in Windows 7, or anything else, I have never been a fan of multiple desktops or workspaces, it just wastes time trying to know where stuff are, on which desktop and moving windows around between them, too much work for me
18 - Reporting bugs
Seriously, some bugs in Linux have been there for ages too, the bottom line that there are no software that is bug free and as long as high priority bugs are fixed as fast as possible, this is what makes customer safe and not bothered every single day with an update that affect 0.001% of the user base.
and the funny sentence
“Nearly all open source software (including Linux distributions) have a bug tracking system” I don’t know what to laugh about more, the word Nearly or mentioning the bug tracking system as a modern rocket science silver bullet solution, Microsoft builds bug tracking systems for god’s sake
19- Are your tired of restarting your computer all the time?
Again to Windows 9x culture that all Linux users are using to compare with Linux, My work machine has been up for weeks, I don’t restart my laptop unless I want to switch between Windows Vista & 7 mostly for fun, and I don’t bother restart if a windows update is provided, it is a good reason to restart especially it doesn’t take more than few seconds, compared to most Linux distros boot times
20- Let your old computer have a second life
This is also another meaningless point, at any point of time you will always have two different supported Windows Systems, if your computer is an above average you would like to use this hardware capabilities and run the newer version of Windows, otherwise you can still use the older version of windows, the same happens all the time, Windows 98, ME & Windows XP, Windows XP & Windows Vista, Windows Vista & Windows 7
and if you can install the latest Windows 7 Ultimate on a 1 GB ram, 1.6 Ghz Atom processor on a netbook, I think we don’t need to comment more.
21- Play hundreds of games for free
LOL, Are you serious games on Linux?
22- Help other countries, and your own
Hehehehe, so stop using Intel, AMD, MSI, Nokia, HTC, … etc every manufacturer has a country of origin, welcome to Planet Earth.
23- Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, with a single program
What prevents you from doing this on Windows, the same programs that provides these capabilities on Linux, do that on Windows too
24- Get a great music player
Oh my god, I will change my entire OS to get a music player while I have (Windows Media Player, Winamp, GomPlayer, Windows Media Player Classic, Zune Player, iTunes, Quicktime, Real Player …. etc)
25- Keep and eye on the weather.
A weather application, I would give up my games and applications for a weather application, it is done with a gadget on Windows Vista and tons of other applications since forever, I still don’t see a point of mentioning this as reason.
The base line is so far Linux is not even close in terms of functionality, support of business to what windows is offering especially if you combined Windows + office or even with any well known and widely used software such as Adobe photoshop or Auto-CAD or 3D studio max … etc.
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TAKE THAT LINUX FANBOYS :)
Kidding. I always enjoyed linux vs apple vs windows debates with all my friends.
I guess my arguments will be stronger as i only knew a few of the above points by intuition.
I too don't reinstall windows or have any issues. Infact, I just installed Windows 7 RC after having Vista Home Premium 64bit running smooth for a year and half (since i bought it!)
very nice article and thanks for all the efforts you did ya beshmohandes for this Amazing post here you go my comments :)
i havent seen any driver CD that includes a folder for linux!
Microsoft have another Marketplace which target my region Souk Windows http://www.arabia.msn.com/soukwindows/
in terms of performance and time consuming why i should care with a rounding cube! i just wanna get things done and this is what windows help me to do!
what community support! to be visiting forums looking for answers? or to contact the Microsoft Call center to get whatever i need?
it's so funny when i hear about a guy who is a folks in MAC or linux to compare them with Windows. at least for me i don't need a superior computer to run MAC with their 70$ mighty mouse and their 80$ keyboard.
I agree with your criticisms of whylinuxisbetter to a degree. The site is a bit overzealous in its evangelism and half-truths.
But some of your rebuttals are also half-truths, too.
For example, it isn't difficult to secure a Windows computer, as you say, but if you're using XP (which many Windows users still are) then running a limited user account all the time doesn't make Windows updates, certain control panel options, and even adjusting the clock settings very convenient. Most Linux distros allow you to password-authenticate to change system-wide settings, and this is a great way to balance security and usability.
Also, you don't have to reboot Windows all the time, but every time you install a Windows update, you pretty much do. Only kernel updates require a restart in Linux.
And the driver thing is a serious issue if you are installing Windows from scratch (instead of buying it preinstalled or using a restore disk). Granted, most people don't install Windows from scratch, but if I am given a choice between installing Windows and installing Linux, I'll take a Linux installation any day. I hate those unhelpful yellow question marks and exclamation points in the Windows device manager.
In Windows XP and even Windows 2000 you could still run some application as different user even though you are logging with a limited one, just right click on the application and select Run-As and you will be prompted to enter the username and password of the other account, it has just made easier in Windows Vista & 7
Even if you are running with Admin account you are not in such danger as all Linux fans are claiming, as long as you have an updated anti-virus you will be safe, as I mentioned before don't have an unsafe sex and then blame the viruses, you shoud blame yourself, and starting from Windows Vista the problem of running on Admin rights all the time.
For restarts problem, it is not an issue to restart your box when you can delay it whenever you are free to restart, and in Windows Vista even if the machine was idle and restarted itself, all you unsaved data are restored to the exent of the caret position inside an application, so you might have restarted overnight and you don't notice this.
Oh sorry I miss your installation point.
As I mentioned please don't compare Drivers experience between Windows & Linux, it is not even comparable, when every single hardware you buy comes wih a CD that contains all drivers for your hardware, I have never asked whether this VGA card or modem or anything will work on Windows before I buy it? it just works and even if you didn't find your CD, you can just download the driver from the web site of the manufacurer, how hard is to install a driver, Windows make it as easy as installing a game, nothing more than another package you install, and that's it.
and about working out of the box, Windows will recognize all your basic hardware like Network cards, VGA, Monitor, Modem, DVD, USB mice & keyboards even wireless ones, flash drives, every single type of hard drives, you name it, if you have a special hardware feature that requires the driver for it just install it.
and as you mentioned after you have a clean install make an image out of it, we all do this and it saves time.
On linux I might need to recompile my kernel to install a new driver, and edit bunch of config files that are not even following the same structure, and if I am lucky enough I could make things work.
If you are bold enough to build your own PC, you should be at least able to find your drivers, on Windows this is not rocket science, on Linux it is not either but it is easy to hit a wall when you find that you can't make the sound work accross applications because your driver is stupid
Windows XP put nail in the coffin of the instability argument. In my IT experience, XP Blue-screens are rare. And when they do occur it usually isn't Window's fault (blame drivers/hardware).
As far as Windows slowing down over time, I've been running the same XP install for over 4 years on my desktop. It's likely a little slower, but it's still fairly snappy.
My experiences with Linux, while enthusiastic, are often ruined by poor/nonexistent driver support and the lack of appealing software (appealing to me, at least). However I commend those who successfully use Linux as their daily driver, as long as they don't pushy about it.
I use both Fedora Linux, and Windows, but prefer some points in Linux
- Linux is open source == more innovative, and remember thought you think eye candy and 3d effects are unpractical, MS used the same eye candy look of Vista as a plus
- A standard way to install almost any program using yum, apt, .. with online repositories
- Installation size is much moooore less than Vista installation size
There is no direct relation between open source & innovative work, for example (To not talk about Microsoft) Apple is considered one of the most innovative companies and their software/hardware is more closed than Microsoft.
I strongly disagree with your claim that there is a standard way to install programs on Linux, you have so may different packages + some times you need to build from source, and some times you have packages that are supported on a distro out of box while on the other distro is not, .. etc this issue is being solved but very slowly.
Installation size is not an OS feature, Istallation time is, Windows in general installs in less time than any Linux distro with similar features,
This is a very clear justification of why Windows use more space
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I hope it get colder .... Linux is the better until now for users and server .... XBOX for games ... :)
I think I was polite enough in my response, if you have a point to prove don't hesitate, if you don't have a point at least be polite
PC Gaming is not going anywhere, everybody knows this, and the investments in the PC gaming are increasing continuously, XBOX is great for gaming in general, but PC still where you can play as well as work as well as surf internet ... etc, it is the all purpose hub for work, entertainment, study, creativity and anything in between.
Linux for users is still far behind, if Linux want to success it shouldn't declare victory now, it should work harder and hrder and harder, and in the same time Windows & MacOSX are not staying still, they are working harder and harder.
let's not be so ungrateful, linux has made a great effect on the technical market, without linux Microsoft wouldn't find a reasonable competitor to invest so much in the usability of their OS and we wouldn't see any thing after win me!!