Why Windows is not ready for general usage

There's this new Windows thing that people keep talking about, and which attempts to replace Linux as the major operating system. I've given it a look, but there's a wide range of problems with using it:

  • When you buy some hardware for your Windows machine, it hardly ever works out of the box: you first have to fiddle with some CD-ROM or manually (as opposed to through your software manager) download something from the Internet, or any number of other things (and in some cases even all of the above), before it'll even do anything useful. This is even true for keyboards and mice: the first time you plug in a USB keyboard to a Windows machine, it'll take about 30 seconds before they will work. It's much easier to have drivers for everything shipped with the operating system, so that things become really plug-and-play.
  • According to Microsoft, faulty hardware drivers are the main cause for Windows crashes. It would be better if Microsoft were to develop all (or almost all) hardware drivers for Windows themselves, like the Linux kernel people do; by doing this, the quality assurance for the drivers could be guaranteed as is the case for Linux drivers, and Windows users would have much a more stable system.
  • There is no public bug tracking system for Windows. What this means is that if you've got a problem with Windows that you'd like the developers to take a look at, you're out of luck.
  • Many Windows programs and drivers come with an "updater" which every so often checks online for newer versions of the software. While this is something Linux distributions also do, in Linux distributions this is done through a central updater; in contrast, Windows applications all have their own updater. The result is a situation where you have something like 5 to 10 updaters running in the background, eating memory and other resources, and slowing your system down.
  • Every major update of Windows since Windows 2000 has seen a complete overhaul of the user interface. As a result, everything you've learned goes out the door, and you have to relearn how to use the system all over again. This is about things like "where in the control panel is <foo>" or "what does my desktop look like"
  • Windows does not support focus-follows-mouse without manually calculating bit masks in a registry key.
  • Windows does not support virtual desktops without extra software.
  • If you don't like the Windows interface, it's almost impossible to swap it out entirely for something else, like you can switch from Gnome to KDE and back under Linux. Different people have different preferences, so should be able to swap the user interface for something that better suits them. This is child's play under Linux, and impossible under Windows.
  • While much of the Windows interface can be controlled without the use of a mouse, parts of it cannot be. If you're doing the same tasks every day, then using the mouse will slow you down; a keyboard is so much faster. Under Linux, it's perfectly possible to use the system without the use of a mouse, and without losing any functionality (except if you want to play games, but this list is about Desktop usage, not about game console stuff)
  • It is impossible to try out the new Windows without investing large amounts of money into a recent computer. In contrast, this blog post is being typed on a 7-year-old Macintosh PowerBook running a recent version of Linux.
  • It is very difficult to use a single Windows application (i.e., not an entire desktop) over the network. In Linux, you can just use SSH to log in to a server and start the GUI administration console there, but run your desktop environment (and whatever else) on your local machine. Windows doesn't have that, so you need to add large amounts of memory to Windows servers just so they can run a full (unneeded) desktop just so that you can maintain them.
  • Windows doesn't have mandatory access control subsystems like SELinux or AppArmor. What this means is that anyone who knows of a bug in a part of the system that runs with administrator or system privileges, has the ability to take over your entire system. With mandatory access control, this isn't possible. There is "Mandatory Integrity Control", but it uses a simplistic level-based system, and is only supported on the desktop; so on servers, where it would be most needed, this isn't available.
  • Windows cooperates very badly with other operating systems. If your company has a hybrid environment, you'll always need to special-case the Windows systems in the environment for one reason or another. What this means is that if you're the first user in your company to use this Windows, you'll probably not get much work done.
  • The new Windows only runs on the x86 processor family. If you have invested in, say, a mainframe, or in a rack full of PowerPC or MIPS processors, you're out of luck and had better stuck with Linux instead.
  • Windows has bad backwards compatibility. When I have this old Linux application that I still need to run for one reason or another and which doesn't run on a recent Linux installation (which is very rare in and of itself), I can install an older version of Linux in a chroot without having to run a full emulated machine, and the older application can then run in that chroot. Windows has a "compatibility mode" for older applications, but it doesn't work in all cases; when it doesn't, you would need to run a full virtual machine in which you run the older Windows just so you can run the older application. That's just a terrible waste of resources. It's also not possible to do this without installing extra sofware.
  • The standard Windows installation doesn't contain a lot of software. there is a basic word processor, but it doesn't have many features. There are almost no games, other than a few boring card games. There is a graphics editing program, but its feature set is fairly limited.
  • Unbelievably, you need to pay for most Windows software. This is just strange; you can do many useful things on a Linux system without ever having to pay anything for off-the-shelf software. While some of the tried and true Linux software that we all know is now also available for Windows, if you want to use, e.g., Microsoft's productivity suite, you'll have to pay for it.
  • Speaking of that productivity suite: there's a well-designed and widely accepted open standard, called ODF, describing the file formats that productivity suites should use. Yet, Microsoft chose to design their own; their description of this file format encompasses more than 5000 pages, and is in general fairly badly documented. What this means is that once you start using Microsoft's productivity suite, you'll have a very hard time moving away from it again. I recommend against ever starting to use it in the first place
  • And last but not least, Windows doesn't come with the source code. What this means is that you can't just look at the code and learn how things are done, or develop your own extensions, or audit the code for bugs, or any of a number of other things that you'd want to do with a regular operating system. Instead, you'll have to trust that Microsoft did the right thing, and beg, hope, and pray that they'll fix your bugs if you ever need to. I'm not sure what the hell they were thinking when they decided that.

In short, while this Windows thing has some promise, the above list shows that there's clearly still quite some work to be done before anyone can even think about starting to use it seriously. Hopefully the Windows developers will understand that and work on the above list of serious issues; otherwise, I'm afraid Windows will not be used by many people.

Update: before you go all berserk and start commenting on this list, please read my followup to this post, which explains the point I was trying to make.

Nice article.
I like yours way better than the original.
Comment by Anonymous Sun Nov 4 07:37:36 2012
expanding the list
  • Windows doesn't know any of the normal commands that all other operating systems do like: ls, grep, cut, head, tail, file, type, alias, bash, ps and many more. Why don't they just compile these into Windows by default ?
  • Windows (even the recent server editions) cannot have multiple ip-addresses on one network card if one of them is a dhcp client (the only way to have more than one ip-address is to have them all fixed)
  • Windows doesn't have a fall back command line login in case there is a problem with the graphics driver. (Reboot in safe-mode does not compare to an Alt-F1 getty to fix a problem)
Comment by paul (paul.cobbaut@gmail.com) Sun Nov 4 10:54:23 2012
Very nice :-)

I'm sorry in advance for my tone but I couldn't help giggling while reading your arguments ;-)

  1. But working drivers are there in the box :) And they work for years without fiddling or any troubles. And once installed they do work. In Linux we have drivers for almost everything but more than half of them either doesn't always work (wi-fi), or they are dog slow (3d drivers), or break (sound), or lack features (webcams, printers, scanners, gadgets) or make your life intolerable. Great!

  2. In my past 13 years of Windows usage I haven't seen a single drivers related BSOD. Sorry.

  3. So what? Most open source bugzilla's are semi-functional - thousands of bug reports have zero activity and they are totally disregarded by developers. Nice!

  4. True, I fully agree with that. But that's not Microsoft's or Windows' flaw - it's because ISVs cannot agree on one common updater/installer - competition and NIH syndrome, you know. Besides, you know, software upgrades cost real money which make these updaters kinda useless.

  5. Now compare Gnome 3 and 2, or KDE 4 and 3. Keep on! :-)

  6. There are dozens of utilities which enable this thing, and most Windows users just don't need it and they've never missed it :-)

  7. Yep it takes like 3 minutes to install such software. ;-)

  8. Really? ;-) Gnome 3 and KDE 4 are both 100% unusable without mouse. In Windows 7 (let's not talk about the abomination called Win8 - which is a failed experiment) - you can do pretty much everything with just your keyboard.

  9. An outright lie. Windows 8 can be installed on an 8 years old Pentium 4 class PC with just 1GB of RAM - which, surprise, will not be enough for KDE, as it requires over 1GB of RAM just for itself. Proof? Here it goes:

http://e17releasemanager.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/2012-desktop-shootout/

  1. Who needs this thing anyway? Like 0.1% of users? :-)

  2. No comments. It's a stuff for a very long discussion and you won't be pleased if I start refuting your opinion.

  3. No comments, Windows works just fine with Windows - it's what Microsoft strives for. Linux doesn't work well even with Linux as it has nothing to replace Windows File Sharing for instance.

  4. Oh year, that's why I still can run seasoned Windows 95 software under Windows 8 64. :) Not everything, of course. Now try to run recent enough KDE3 software under modern Linux distros. No KDE3 libraries? Oops! ;-) You cannot compile them as GCC throws hundreds of errors? Oops ;-) Old games which require OSS cannot start under Pulse/ALSA? Oops! Yeah, that's called real compatibility.

  5. There are like four totally free office suites for Windows including LibreOffice, which, surprise, works in Windows. In fact in Linux the only decent office suite is LibreOffice and in Windows you have industry standard MS Office, WordPerfect Office and many crossplatform ones.

  6. Unbelievably almost all Linux software is available for free on Windows, but Windows has tens of thousands more different software titles. Unbelievable! Now go buy or download for free any recent AAA Windows game for Linux. There are none? Or professional DVD/BluRay authoring suites. Oops. Everything, read - almost nothing for Linux is free. Great!

  7. LibreOffice is available for Windows. Do you have anything else to say? ;-)

  8. Linux comes with source code and still has hundreds times more bugs which people don't have time or resources to resolve as software development requires tangible investments.

The bottom line:

Now find real reason why Windows sucks on the desktop as I haven't yet seen anything reputable or worthy of my attention.

In fact I know these reasons very well but you haven't listed a single one of them.

If you are interested I can write a decent article why Windows sucks on the desktop - and there's one thing which you totally fail to understand - I don't want to criticize Linux - I do want to make it usable, but open source developers won't listen - you will cover your years and shout "We have no problems! You are exaggerating! Other OSes have even bigger problems! You are here to spread FUD! Linux is better - people just don't understand that!"

By constantly breaking APIs, by not caring about stability, compatibility you are alienating developers and users. Compatibility and stability are the things which are PARAMOUNT in our world.

Again, it's not why this article was written in the first place -

  • ALL I WANT IS TO MAKE LINUX TRULY USABLE STABLE AND COMPETITIVE. *

Mark my words. Read them again and again.

And once you try to install and run Linux you will realize how ready and usable it really is.

Artem

Comment by Artem S. Tashkinov (t.artem@mailcity.com) Sun Nov 4 11:15:53 2012
Ok, parts of this list are outdated and/or weird.

Ok, parts of this list are outdated and/or weird.

The new Windows only runs on the x86 processor family.
The new Windows runs on ARM...
Many Windows programs and drivers come with an "updater" which every so often checks online for newer versions of the software
In Windows 8 you have the app store, and in Windows RT that's the only way to install software (AFAIU).
Every major update of Windows since Windows 2000 has seen a complete overhaul of the user interface.
Every major update of GNOME and KDE has seen a complete overhaul of the user interface. And then there's Unity...
While much of the Windows interface can be controlled without the use of a mouse, parts of it cannot be.
This is a weird one. As far as I know, Windows has always been the only fully keyboard accessible GUI (even if sometimes awkwardly). GNOME 2 came close, but the GNOME developers have thrown that all away.

Comment by pdw Sun Nov 4 12:36:07 2012
Re: Very nice :-)

@Artem S. Tashkinov

  1. I often hear Windows people complain they are dropping off the wi-fi, yet my Linux sees no drop in connectivity (not only Vista).

  2. Plugging the logitech-usb-laser-pointer in Linux (or even Mac or Solaris) just works (as within one second!). On Windows 7 the system is unusable for a full minute because it is 'detecting hardware' and 'installing drivers'.

  3. Linux has more bugs ? I think not! I agree that more bugs are solved on Linux because of the open source thing, but Windows has far more severe bugs, you just don't know about all the remote exploits that crackers use until a white hat exposes them. What OS is used for botnets ? Where is spam coming from ? Why do large organizations put MS Exchange behind a firewall and have a Linux machine answer outside smtp connections ?

17b. If you want to include KDE/Gnome/gcc/pulse/alsa/whatever bugs, then also include 15.000 Windows applications in your bugcount please.

  1. Most Windows people get a heart attack if you close their laptop because it won't come back up.

  2. And they can't even shut down when they want to because Windows needs to install another 12 updates during shutdown ?! (What moron decided that "during shutdown" is the perfect time for installing updates?)

Disclaimer (I switched to Linux on the Desktop when OS/2 became legacy).

Comment by paul (paul.cobbaut@gmail.com) Sun Nov 4 14:57:18 2012
Addition to the list
Windows applications only run well on monitors from the previous decade. Try running Windows on a 1920x1080 13" laptop screen - most third-party applications will either look blurry because of bitmap-based upscaling, or have tiny fonts, or mismatched button/label sizes.
Comment by Alexander Patrakov Sun Nov 4 15:45:12 2012
Re: Ok, parts of this list are outdated and/or weird.

The new Windows only runs on the x86 processor family. The new Windows runs on ARM...

They are not the same Windows !

Comment by humilis Sun Nov 4 22:31:43 2012
Many Errors

Several statements you make are simply not true: 1. Plenty of hardware works just fine out of the box: Windows includes a massive number of drivers, and can download most WHQL drivers from Windows Update directly. That's "OOB" even if it's not immediate. I can't remember hte last time I /had/ to provided/download drivers. I can remember the last time I had to carefully pick which piece of hardware I was buying for my Linux machine, because that happens every time I buy hardware for Linux.

  1. Plenty of drivers in the mainline kernel aren't developed by the core Linux kernel team, and their stability and functionality suffers as a result. For example, most wireless drivers, many non-standard USB drivers, the XFS filesystem...

  2. While there is no public bug tracking, you can always call MS support with legitimate issues. Legitimate bugs have the support costs waived.

  3. I'm not sure what resources update check services consume besides some RAM. I'm not really sure how that can slow a system down in a noticeable fashion.

  4. Windows 2000 -> XP cannot be called a major UI update. Neither can Vista -> 7. And even if this is a legitimate issue, you can't advance it along with 8 as part of a consistent argument.

  5. A mouse is faster for plenty of tasks over a keyboard, and any basic UI design text will tell you this. Your premise is false, but there are plenty of ways to script Windows if your goal is to reduce repetition.

  6. RDP supports forwarding single applications and has for some time. Running the local console on a Windows server takes no appreciable resources beyond a graphics card, something which is included in every motherboard these days.

  7. Windows has mandatory access control and uses it to implement IE protected mode, among other things.

  8. Windows' backwards compatibility is absolutely legendary, and probably the only platform with a better track record are some IBM mainframe platforms. Being able to install two userspaces on Linux is a wonderful feature, but hardly the solution to all compatibility problems. It is not a panacea or even close.

  9. You have to pay for most software on most platforms. Linux is the exception, not the rule.

  10. This is all nonsense. First, Office predates ODF by decades. Second, Office does support ODF. You can complain about OOXML all you want, but the length of the standard is unfortunately necessary. Few things are clean after existing for decades.

  11. It is certainly possible to get access to the Windows source code if you're a partner. But again, Linux is the exception, not the rule here.

Comment by Adam Sun Nov 4 23:01:40 2012
Re: Very nice :-)
Sorry for the tone.. I have been using Linux for more than 3yrs.. I am much more satisfied with Linux than with Windows.. And I have a much bigger list of complaints against Windows... Please use Linux and then comment.. don't just simply bluff and keep saying want to make Linux usable.. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE LINUX USABLE, Join the community, you don't need to program, file bugs you find and follow up with them.. there are irc's and many more ways you can get it fixed and can find many more number of workarounds... try some linux and then pls come back..
Comment by mahii Mon Nov 5 04:46:52 2012
Re: Many Errors

Ahem be aware I would've had to upgrade both my scanner, webcam and printer since there are no drivers for them online that I could get working in a recent version of Windows, and I especially had to go get myself a new dvd-drive before I could even get the installer working for Windows 8. Yeah all of those work out of the box on a recent Linux distribution, so. Only real issue I've had with a new install of Linux has been with nouveau which are installed by default not compatible with my GPU. If I wasn't so lazy it would probably be fixed by now as well.

Comment by dyrvere Mon Nov 5 16:06:15 2012
Nice Jokes!
Loved reading them. Most of your jokes made me feel like I am back in 2000. Keep up the good work, some day you might be a comedian.
Comment by jitendra (jitendragarg@gmail.com) Mon Nov 5 23:55:00 2012
Re: Many Errors

Few things are clean after existing for decades

Except Unix.

But then Unix programmers traditionally dedicate themselves to writing clean code and building clean designs.

Whereas Windows has kludge after kludge thrown on top of one another in the hope that one of them sticks. Try to find out how to do something that would be a few lines, using standard functions, in Unix, like I don't know, running a program and capturing its output. I've come across lots of instances where you find out first about some API and a whole (crappy) conceptualisation of the problem, spend about a day learning about it; and then eventually find there's another way that was added later, which is more efficient, only you know have to learn a whole new set of variables, constants and yaf crappy conceptualisation of the problem. Which wasn't really a problem in your head, til you started reading about how Windows goes about it.

It really is completely lame at the code level, the design level, and of course the implementation (except where it's been lifted from BSD.)

Still, "no-one ever got fired for buying IBM." Their company went bust instead.

And now a new generation seems to be coming into Linux world, infected with the same thinking (oh we'll just incorporate that library since we don't know how to do it otherwise, of course XML config files are fine for a system daemon, and let's use binary logs to speed things up, since our "integrated" setup seems to be so slow.. this is Enterprise man, and if anyone complains we just tell them we ruined their distros "for free".)

Comment by igli Tue Nov 6 00:44:28 2012
Yes, this windows is rather broken

My own take at the same issue. http://seegras.discordia.ch/Blog/whats-wrong-with-windows/

Comment by Seegras (seegras@discordia.ch) Mon Nov 12 13:08:33 2012
Re: Ok, parts of this list are outdated and/or weird.

"In Windows 8 you have the app store, and in Windows RT that's the only way to install software (AFAIU)."

It doesn't do automatic updates AFAIK.

Comment by DJS Tue Nov 13 03:55:01 2012
Be fair - don't be Windozed

Get the facts!

I believe in two essential principles:

  • TRANSPARENCY: Properly qualified marketing professionals - not amateur blog writers and self-confessed "hackers" - should choose winners in the desktop market place. Consumers benefit from less choices in the desktop marketplace competing to confuse users, stifling innovation and producing too many choices of products to compare results transparently. When desktop reviewers engage in discrimination – manipulating marketing results to promote a favoured product and demote competitors – consumers pay the price.
  • INNOVATION: Consumers benefit when reduced competition in the marketplace forces companies to continue to innovate and develop the best solutions for desktop products. No more than one company should be allowed to use to dominate the desktop – particularly in high-value applications, like internet explorers, internet explorer application servers, word processors, file systems, networking, image editing tools, business presentation applications, media playing and Bing searching.
  • OPENESSNESS and SECURITY: Security and Competition and Openessness go hand in hand. If you have too much Competition Security is impossible because of the lack of Openessness - and Terrorrism creeps in. Terrorrism is like malaria and mosquitos - the only way to eliminate is to kill all of it. "Alternatives" like Linux are the hidden reservoirs where Terrorrism breeds and constantly attacks business critical Desktop applications.

Dear "Wouter" (if that's your real name - what was your mother taking?). In the spirit of Openessness I wish to point out some crucial facts you left out of thinly disguised propaganda "comparison" of home-made Desktop software to professional, serious, enterprise ready, quality, never-mind-the-size-of-the-updates-just-feel-the-vibe, Desktop Operating System.

  1. When you install drivers for Linux do you follow the industry leader approved process of rebooting the computer? Everytime? Do those drivers all come from proper businesses that have commited large amounts of money to ensure those drivers carry the "Linux approved" stamp of approval?
  2. According to Microsoft studies almost all Linux crashes are caused by loss of electricity or PEBKAC. Wouldn't it be better if Linux came with it's own power generation and UPS. What the hell is PEBCAK? I asked my Desktop support guy this morning when came to open my laptop for me and he said it had something to do with daemons and posixtrons - and that I shouldn't worry about it because Microsoft fixed those problems on the second Tuesday of every month (whatever that means).
  3. Windows doesn't need a central bug tracking system. It's produced in state of the art cubicles with proper bug exterminator programs not some dirty squat where hippies eat their tofu while hunched over their keyboards. I see what you're doing there.
  4. Windows doesn't put all it's eggs in one basket with updates. It's called security - have you heard of it?. If your desktop is running slow you are obviously not running Windows 8. Otherwise I suggest you check that your copy of Windows is valid, and that the computer has the Windows 8 logo.
  5. Every version of Windows is a complete rework from head to toe. It's called constant innovation. That's why Microsoft are the industry leaders, every one else is just a pale imitation.
  6. Linux doesn't even have a registry! Huh!
  7. Windows doesn't need pretend Desktops - it has real ones. If pretend Desktops were better they'd be the most common - but they're not.
  8. If you don't like Windows 7 way you don't have to use it. You can buy Windows Surface - it's got a touch screen - have you heard of it? You don't have to actually "use" Windows - lots of people just buy it so they can have it on display, and to continually reinstall. I sure do. At Microsoft we support choice.
  9. Everybody knows Linux has no games either. But I get it - you're just letting off Steam.
  10. Why would anyone want to use an ancient computer. You can't leverage more out of old hardware with new software. It's not rocket science (or the Lunar Explorer, or the Hubble telescope). Since when have Macintosh laptops not required the investment of large amounts of money? I paid nothing for my laptop (or the Desktop support guy who opens it for me every morning and turns on my daily screen-saver). If you could program you'd have a proper job in a cubicle and earn money - you could hire a secretary to do your typing with money.
  11. Have you heard of Office 360? Huh, huh? It lives in the clouds. My secretary uses it so it can't be difficult.
  12. Have you heard of UAC? Linux doesn't have that!
  13. I see what you did there. Windows products are designed to not work in insecure environments.
  14. Windows is constant improvements. Does Linux support 386? I think not.
  15. People like choices. It's the basis of democracy and liberty. Microsoft supports choice and letting people vote with their wallet. Why clutter the Desktop with 20,000 programs that people don't want. Not everyone is a dirty hippy living in a communal squat.
  16. You haven't tried Surface have you? At Microsoft we listen to what marketing tell us and only provide what people need. People don't want to be productive. Haven't you seen MSN? Microsoft own that. Have you heard of Fffacebook - we own lots of that too.
  17. I'll take your whiny ODF and raise you a shiny OFX. Microsoft is an industry leader - haven't you seen Bing?
  18. Why would anyone other than a country like China or Russia want source code? People want a Desktop that just works - not one that needs instructions that only over-educated egg-heads understand so they can fix it themselves. People want properly qualified professionals to fix things for them. And usually that's unnecessary anyway - just either reboot or reinstall. Even a chicken can do that if you put a chunk of bread on the Enter key. Give that chicken some money and it can get an industry recognised MCE and a job in a state of the art cubicle. With vending machines. When was the last time you saw a chicken with an RCE or an LPI? Huh,huh?

Based on growing evidence that Linux is abusing its server, embedded, and mobile device monopoly to thwart competition, I believe policy-makers must act now to prevent competition, transparency and innovation in the fair marketing of Desktop Operating Systems, Desktop applications, and dual purpose net-books with skateboard wheels attached.

TRUST US?

"TRUST US" IS NOT ENOUGH

It's often said by "Open Source" propagandists and apologists like yourself that Linux is Open Source and somehow magically more secure because "anyone can review the code". How many people actually read that code? All Windows code is reviewed not once - but many times. First by the actual programmers, second by their group leaders, and yet again by team leaders. And the reviews don't stop there - Microsoft also gets the source code reviewed in China and Russia, so you know it's good.

Who are these Linux "programmers? Nobody actually knows for sure. For all I know they could be a commune of unwashed hippies living on welfare in some inner city squat.

Windows on the other hand is a proper business, using tried and true Human Wave development techniques - where all development takes place under strict supervision in special cubicles overseen by watchful supervisors. Linux apologists would have you believe that unsupervised (alleged) programmers - some, who by their own admission, never meet somehow magically produce more secure code!

Is Linux really original? Linux has been investigated many times for theft of intellectual property in courts throughout the greater world. No smoke without fire I say. Consider that Microsoft needs to import 20,000 workers into the USA just to meet it's programming needs - and much of Windows is outsourced to trusted development partners. How is it possible that Linux can write original code for dozens of different Desktops and thousands of applications? You do the math.

How could Linux possibly pay all those people when the OS is free? Huh, huh?

And how good are those alleged programmers? Ask yourself if you'd rather live on welfare, code (allegedly) for nothing, and live in a dirty squat when you could be working at Microsoft in your own cubicle and have a net-book with skateboard wheels - and vending machines! Would a skilled programmer rather spend his time working for a "project" that doesn't even have a marketing division - or work for a company where everyone gets to meet Steve Balmer once a year for a sing-along. Really - I ask you to ponder that for a moment.

If Linux "alleged" usage believable. Consider that almost all desktop computers and laptops are sold with Windows already installed. Then count the number of copies of Windows sold. Add it up. It's not rocket science - and it's hardly possible that Linux is actually installed on more than a handful of computers, over and over again. And where do the Linux "install" figures come from? Huh, huh?

Lastly - when you go to buy a car do you listen to the trusted and experienced professional salesman - or some grubby mechanic with no sales or marketing training? Huh, huh?

Comment by "Mark Fri Jan 4 23:12:38 2013
Re: Very nice :-)
1. But *working* drivers are there in the box

Having spent many years supporting and deploying Windows on a large range of hardware with lots of different peripheral devices I'd suggest your experience is extremely limited. Yes - the most common, at the time immediately prior to the Windows version release, drivers are included. Otherwise no, and in most cases you are best going with the most recent versions from the manufacturer as rarely do they invest in the MS aproval for every version.

2. In my past 13 years of Windows usage I haven't seen a single drivers related BSOD.

You need to get out more and see other computers ;) ...and I suspect you're describing OEM computers, from a very limited range of experiences. Apples to apples (no pun intended). Linux has it's OEMs too - all the drivers are on the box no BSODs (one is called Android - have you heard of it?). The Screen of Death isn't blue anymore - but it still exists.

3. So what? Most open source bugzilla's are semi-functional - thousands of bug reports have zero activity and they are *totally* disregarded by developers.

Apples to Apples or it's BS and FUD. Let's compare all Closed Source and all Open Source. Just in case just, um, tired and emotional - All Open Source with Bugzilla programs != all Linux.

4. *True*, I fully agree with that. But that's not Microsoft's or Windows' flaw

Oh really? Have you heard of Apple. What about Firefox? It's not just Linux that manages to manage.

Besides, you know, software upgrades cost real money which make these updaters kinda useless.

So does Windows. ATI, Nvidia, Adobe, Oracle, and many others don't throw up their hands and say "no updates 'cause they cost money.

5. Now compare Gnome 3 and 2, or KDE 4 and 3. Keep on!

OK - I will. In the GNU/Linux world when a major version number increments it's because there are major framework changes. The point you are dodging, unsuccessfully, is that dyes the dog a different colour and claims it's a whole new dog. Is using the latest GNOME, or KDE a radically different user process to the first versions? The answer is no. Different dog which knows new tricks - but it still does most of the old ones.

6. There are dozens of utilities which enable this thing

Name some that you've personally used - and found easily available, simple to install, and trouble free to use. And I'll raise you an #apt-get install foo

, and most Windows users just don't need it and they've never missed it

I call that the assymetrical choice argument. If you don't know about it you can't evaluate it. I've only ever driven a Holden - they're the best.

7. Yep it takes like 3 minutes to install such software.

Oh really? Including reboot? Just one click on the item in the App shop and three minutes later you've got multiple desktops huh? I think not. NOTE: Windows does have virtual desktops, currently v1.02. You can have 4 virtual desktops. Or 4 virtual desktops. And you can't move applications between them (they use an object model from W2K).

8. Really? ;-) Gnome 3 and KDE 4 are both 100% unusable without mouse. In Windows 7 (let's not talk about the abomination called Win8 - which is a failed experiment) - you can do pretty much everything with just your keyboard.

I can't speak for GNOME as I rarely use it. "Pretty much everything" ain't everything compared to KDE 4 - where I rarely use a mouse. Why not talk about W8? Or Vista, or ME? You cherrypick your critisism of GNU/Linux. ;)

9. An outright lie. Windows 8 can be installed on an 8 years old Pentium 4 class PC with just 1GB of RAM - which, surprise, will not be enough for KDE, as it requires over 1GB of RAM just for *itself*.

Not easily - and it runs like a fat cow on iceskates. I run, and use, Debian Squeeze with backports using the KDE4 DE on a Thinkpad T22 with 256MB of PC100 RAM. Have you tried Slax? Maybe you should try eating your own dogfood before you poison the pooch ;)

10. Who needs this thing anyway? Like 0.1% of users?

Huh? That doesn't even make sense. At best it sounds like you're saying - sure the market share is rapidly declining but...

11. No comments. It's a stuff for a very long discussion

Perhaps you could summarise. It's not hard. Either you can natively run an application other that Office 360 over the network, or you can't. Pretend we have experience in multiple operating systems and have more than a passing knowledge of RDP.

and you won't be pleased if I start refuting your opinion.

But we're interested in truth for the purposes of expanding our knowledge. Don't suddenly, and inconsistently, let concern about contradicting percieved opinions stop you. Why did you post again? Because if it was for the purpose of agreeing then you failed.

12. No comments, Windows works just fine with Windows - it's what Microsoft strives for. Linux doesn't work well even with Linux as it has nothing to replace Windows File Sharing for instance.

No - you skipped 12 and jumped to 13. 12 was about fine grained security controls of which only two Linux mechanisms were mentioned.

(Really 13) The latest version of SAMBA works well with all useful SMB/CIFS features - it's just that it is a Completely Redundant And Pointless exercise when you compare it's capabilities with the other network systems Linux supports.

Many of my clients disagree with you - and move to Linux because they value the opinions and preferences of their highly paid and skilled staff who chose to run Apple for graphics and publishing - Windows for sales, HR, and marketing - Linux for servers, technical, accounting and management. For the purposes of data sharing and backups MS addons to the ancient SUN files system is, um, less than optimal. And that's just the networking aspect of interoperability.

14. Oh year, that's why I still can run seasoned Windows 95 software under Windows 8 64. :) Not everything, of course. Now try to run recent enough KDE3 software under modern Linux distros.

Simple - just compare apples with apples. It's called an emulator. Want an Open Source one rather than VmWare? It's called VirtualBox and builds on the same codebase that the emulator you run a limited number of Windows legacy apps under on Win7. Except that it doesn't have the same limitations - it will do Remote Desktop, it can be installed on a headless server, etc, etc.

Old games which require OSS cannot start under Pulse/ALSA?

Fiddlesticks and balderdash.

14. There are like four totally free office suites for Windows including LibreOffice, which, surprise, works in Windows.

Cherry picking again. They're notMicrosoft. They're not "the standard Windows installation".

In fact in Linux the only decent office suite is LibreOffice

More fiddlesticks and balderdash

  1. Open Office
  2. KOffice (Calligra)
  3. Corel (Word Perfect)
  4. GNOME Office
  5. Maxwell
  6. AbiSource
  7. Andrew
  8. ANGOSS
  9. Siag
  10. others I couldn't be bothered listing

And most any office suite that runs on MS will run in WINE. But not visa versa.

15. Unbelievably almost all Linux software is available for free on Windows, but Windows has tens of thousands more different software titles. Unbelievable! Now go buy or download for free any recent AAA Windows game for Linux. There are none? Or professional DVD/BluRay authoring suites. Oops. Everything, read - almost nothing for Linux is free. Great!

You make no sense. No free Windows games for Linux. Well der! Oh - you are trying to say that the same titles (often with exclusive MS deals) aren't available in native Linux versions. Mostly that is the case. Steam plan on changing that - and WINE already had made it often unnecessary.

16. LibreOffice is available for Windows.

I see your problem. You haven't been nailed to the floor. Microsoft does not use ODF. Simple enough for you?

17. Linux comes with source code and still has hundreds times more bugs

Than what? Another of your sophistic FUD claims. Let's compare apples with apples. Debian Lenny with default KDE 3.5 (now archived). Provides more applications than a default Windows XP. But lets ignore the mismatch - and measure the total size and number of updates and patches. Even if you include the upgrades (Etch and Squeeze) MS has still issued more code fixes and has more unfixed bugs.

Just because something is more popular doesn't mean it's the best. And I'm not claiming "Linux" is the best desktop. It's the best desktop for me - it's not often it's the best desktop for my clients. But I don't use poor logic and, um, mistruths as criteria for selecting the right desktop for a given situation.

And yes - I want to make GNU/Linux the best it can be. Continue improvement and fact checking are part of that process.

Comment by ScottFerguson Sat Jan 5 02:01:15 2013