Does Loving Linux Make Us Dislike Windows?: Page 3

Is the Linux-Windows debate about OS politics, or something more pragmatic?
Posted August 8, 2011

Matt Hart

(Page 3 of 3)

The best part is that most distributions offer fairly substantial differences with regard to their desktop experience. From varied desktop environments out of the box, down to the applications installed by default. Even the control options made available tend to flow in different directions from distro to distro.

Repairing what's broken

I would be doing everyone here a disservice if I claimed that the popular Linux distributions available all do everything 100% correctly out of the box. Obviously this isn't the case. However, fixing something that's amiss on the Linux desktop comes with a greater chance of success than with the Windows desktop.

The same issues that might plague a Linux newbie are a sign of control to the more advanced Linux enthusiast. Whether it be a tweak here or a "config file" edit there, most issues are easily fixed once the problem is diagnosed.

The same isn't always the case with the Windows desktop. When something like a wireless dongle isn't working, there is little recourse available other than to try another driver. With Linux, you’ll often find the solution is to tweak the driver that was installed to gain the desired result. While the circumstances on both platforms can be considered a pain, the latter isn't waiting on the manufacturer to "correct" whatever the problem is.

Distaste for Windows vs Disliking Windows

By now, many of you might believe I happen to dislike Windows and all things Microsoft. The truth couldn't be further off.

I do have a strong distaste for Windows 7. It's a buffed up version of XP in my opinion, with some minor improvements sprinkled along the way to make it feel like a new operating system. Unlike Windows XP, however, Win7 has offered nothing of value to the end-user in my opinion.

This view, not a dislike for Microsoft, is why I avoid newer Windows products like the plague. Fact is, Windows XP has a much larger spectrum of peripheral support than Windows 7. Think I'm wrong? Do some testing with older peripherals and you'll be amazed. Running a PC shouldn't require maintaining an active balance on one's credit card.

My reason for sharing this article is to show what it's like to read "Linux reviews" written by proprietary OS shills. The difference with this report, however, is that I share my own honest experiences with both desktops as used on a daily basis.

Unlike many of the Windows-using "Linux reviewers," Windows 7 is my secondary desktop here in my home office. While I avoid using it whenever possible, I do run it out of necessity due to the nature of my work. I need it to compare how things work in contrast to Linux, what advancements have been achieved on the platform, and so on. I do not use it with any of my software, documents or anything that takes place in my daily life. It's used for testing and research only.

The title of this article begs the question of whether using Linux makes end-users such as myself "dislike" Windows. The answer for myself is, no, it doesn't make me dislike Windows at all. Hating an operating system is silly.

I will say, however, that Linux has made me rethink how I spend my money and how I spend my time. Linux is most definitely not a magic bullet for all applications nor is it a match for all computer users. Many of you may be better off with Windows.

But for those who are willing to walk on the wild side, Linux is a tool that has the potential to reshape how you use a computer overnight. However, your own mileage during such an experience may vary.

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Tags: open source, Linux, Windows, Linux desktop, Windows 7

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