Why Windows > Linux

Discussion in 'News and Article Comments' started by Big B, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    I stumbled across a link to an editorial at DesktopLinux with four reasons why Windows still manages to open a can of whup-ass on Linux.

    Before I start, though, let me say -- because people always assume I'm anti-Linux when I write pieces like this -- that I use Linux desktops every day. I'm writing this on a SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 system, I run MEPIS 6.01 and Xandros Professional Desktop 4.1 on my laptops, and on my other desktops that I use at least weekly, you'll find Freespire 1.0, Fedora Core 6, and openSUSE 10.2. In short, I use Linux. I love Linux. But, that doesn't mean I'm blind to business reality, Windows virtues, or Linux flaws.

    I really agree with his points, and have said as much on a few occasions around here. This isn't about the superiority of an OS over another. It's about reality.
     
  2. Addis

    Addis The King

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    Those points are true, Windows does have better hardware vendor and pc vendor support. It does also have better software support because of its large install base.

    These factors are extremely significant. They can determine which product wins in the market, but if that's the case then Linux would have died down long before. IMO the 2 main things Linux has going for it; technical superiority and a (relatively) small community dedicated to help it get better, have allowed it to compete with Windows. The ideological difference is probably the root of the first 2.

    The technical superiority has helped Linux in the server market, which is a place where you don't need to have 1-click installation but performance and stability.

    I agree with the move to make installation systems standard. It is a massive pain and hassle to create debs, rpms and tgzs. If there was one standard package management and installation standard, as well as stricter and more inclusive LSB standards (or at least LSB base and desktop) then it may cause more developers to develop for Linux.
     
  3. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    And to be fair, Linux support has come a long way. With the LDN that's been finally started up, the tables may turn. I think a major stride would have a simpler way of installing software. That alone would do wonders in adoption, IMO. Linux basic design is superior, but it's the ease of use compared to Windows that's lacking as far as general support. I think that people scoffing at Vista may be more enticed to Linux for an OS upgrade if it's not too much more of a hassle than a reinstall. With the number of distros that have a GUI-based install right off the bat and the optional levels of install (n00b, expert), a lot of them are able to satisfy the newbie and the expert. Most people like being able to click on something to install a program rather than having to bring up a console and use any sort of text.

    Sure, Linux is free, but for many people, it's worth the money for an OS that's easier to use and will have automatic support out of the box. That, IMO, is probably the biggest barrier. If that happens, I think the other nagging issues will fall into place. The LDN is a major step toward this, and I do look forward to it.

    I can do at least half the crap Vista sports on my dual Celeron 466 box with 256MB of RAM and a GeForce 2 MX on CentOS 4.4. I'm not crazy about Vista, and if it's not such a pain in thet ass (compared with Windows) to install something, that's a major plus.
     
  4. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    Funny that this topic came up... I've had the day from hell, and it's thanks to that "well-supported OS" everybody loves to make excuses for. I was going to post this in the war zone, but it might as well be here.

    Let me preface by saying that I work at an IT company which is dominated by Windows on the corporate end, even though our main product is Unix-based. The reason for this strange climate is that we were two companies that merged, so each had different ideas about how things should be done. But for example, over the course of the last month, literally everything on our network which runs Windows has failed at least once. That includes our CRM system, accounting system, mail servers, domain controllers, corporate web servers (1 hacked, 1 defaced, all have crashed at least once), public FTP, update servers, support chat services, and now the MS-SQL backend is down as well. I think that pretty much covers every aspect of our corporate infrastructure except the desktops themselves, which are also Windows. And of course, nobody really expects Windows desktops to be stable, especially if you multitask. So anyway, today just about everything I've mentioned thus far actually went down at one time another. It was quite embarrassing not even being able to pull up basic customer data because our infrastructure was in total shambles.

    In case you haven't guessed, I am not one of the IT staff which is responsible for this mess we call a network; I actually support the Unix-based product I mentioned earlier. But I feel that I can safely say that if those servers had been running some variety of Unix, we would not be in such a mess now. It's frustrating for me to have a home network which does more for less, and has something like 1000% better uptime than the so-called enterprise network at my place of employment. I payed zero for my software, and my hardware is nothing too impressive. But you know what? I am more productive at home, and my network and computers "just work", and are there when I need them to be. Just something to chew on guys, before you prematurely rationalize yourselves into technological obscurity.
     
  5. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

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    Big B and Addis have already made the point that Linux is technically superior, and that Linux, for the most part, is alive because of the dedicated community and its greater server superiority. But also as they said, and as it is apparent, installing and finding drivers or whatever is a lot harder than it is for windows, and in most cases or in my opinion more work than any normal person wants to put in, for desktops.
     
  6. Addis

    Addis The King

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    I don't necessarily think its more work Swansen. Don't forget that with a Windows desktop you have security as a major issue. In Linux you don't need to run an AV or firewall. That's two big hassles gone.
     
  7. zeus

    zeus out of date

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    Not all PCs are on the net though. A weak argument but true. For me the internet security thing and the fact that many distros are free are the best Linux have going for it for normal home users... though you need the net to get it! Which means you need an OS in the first place, and most people go to PC world and the likes to get their PC which means they have windows pre-installed.
    Its not just about MS donning the PCs in shops though either... Walmart started to sell PCs with Linux on and I think that drew to a close so... Besides thats America, we certainly cant buy PCs in PC World and Curry's etc with Linux on. Those laptops they are selling cheap to countries to give to kids are based on Linux so I suppose most PCs sold with Linux will be those.

    tbh I couldnt care less for the Linux vs Windows arguments... at the end of the day most people dont want to learn computers they just want to use them... and Windows is easier to both learn and use.
     
  8. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

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  9. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    I think we have a better chance of seeing the desktop issues for Linux addressed sooner than Windows security issues being addressed.
     
  10. megamaced

    megamaced Geek Geek Geek!

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    Well that really depends on what you want to do with your computer. Lets take installing programs for an example. I want to install the GIMP.

    On Linux I do:
    Step 1: Open up a terminal
    Step 2: Type 'sudo aptitude install gimp'
    Step 3: Open the GIMP and start drawing some crazy sh1t.

    Now let's see how many steps it's gonna take under Windows..

    Step 1: Open up IE
    Step 2: Get pwned because someone hijacked your homepage
    Step 3: Whilst inspecting your new homepage a virsus is opening up a backdoor
    Step 4: BSOD. Restart the computer and run AV scans.
    Step 5: Virus has terminated. Head to Mozilla's website and download Firefox
    Step 6: Open up Firefox and navigate to the GIMP's website. Download once there
    Step 7: Kill the adaware that keeps appearing in the system tray. You begin to think downloading that tacky cursor theming application was a bad move....
    Step 8: Launch the GIMP installer
    Step 9: Press 'Next'
    Step 10: Press 'Next'
    Step 11: Press 'Next'
    Step 12: After all that hard work finally you can start messing around with those spray cans. Oh wait.... Another BSOD :crying:

    Are you sure Windows is easier to use? :p
     
  11. Matt555

    Matt555 iMod

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    *applause*

    The reason people say "Windows is easier to use" is because that's what people are often 'forced' (I use that term loosley) to use Windows (either at home as it's just what comes with their PC, or in Schools / Colleges etc).

    If people knew about Linux and spent that little bit of time using and getting used to it (like the first time they use Windows) then they'd discover just how much easier it is to use!

    Also sitting here now (I'm using Windows as I wanted to watch the Apple Keynote speech and as far as I know QT isn't available for Linux) and my laptop is burning around the HDD area, in Linux it's cool as it's not constantly being used for swap etc - So Windows is detrimental to your PC hardware!
     
  12. megamaced

    megamaced Geek Geek Geek!

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    Code:
    sudo aptitude install firefox mozilla-mplayer
    You will need to install the w32codecs if you haven't done so already. You can get them by typing:

    Code:
    wget -c http://www.debian-multimedia.org/pool/main/w/w32codecs/w32codecs_20061022-0.0_i386.deb
    And install by:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg -i w32codecs_20061022-0.0_i386.deb
     
  13. Matt555

    Matt555 iMod

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    Thanks man!!

    Although it won't connect in Windows or Linux, Uni must have it blocked, oh well.
     
  14. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

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    lol, ok thats just way to much hate for ones own health. Lol, yes i have windows, because i play the crap out of games. And Mega you simplified it way up as far as instal goes. And no every time you get on the net you won't get a virus, just don't download anything. Windows instal, put in cd, click next a bunch on times your good. Thats all people want to do, period. If you have linux, you have to have a command, but first you need to find and download the software, and sadly but thats way to much for people to hanlde, like everyone has been saying.
     
  15. megamaced

    megamaced Geek Geek Geek!

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    What's the point having a computer in the first place if you are restricted?

    Yeah, because programs like Synaptic, Adept and KPackage are mere fantasy :)
     
  16. Matt555

    Matt555 iMod

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    Haha nice one megamaced, that's the thing, program managers in Linux are so easy to use, I can install nearly 19,000 packages and search effortlessly for a package based on what I want!

    About the whole Windows on the net thing, in a magazine I had recently they did a test, a clean install on Windows XP and IE with no add-ons for protection, after an hour and a half of general web-browsing the system crashed, rebooted and it never worked properly, after a while the system was crashing so often and being so buggy and slow after the reboot they had to format and re-install...now that's sucky!
     
  17. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    Right, Windows' package manager is much better than any of Linux's many package managers. What was Windows' package manager again? Oh, that's right! It doesn't have one. Each and every program is responsible for it's own installation... and un-installation. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Addis

    Addis The King

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    please, don't let me tell you all of my experiences with Windows ME. Please...*emotional breakdown*.
     
  19. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    I don't think some of the points here are being considered:

    Not everyone is as l33t as we are, and they just want the damn thing to work. OS is irrelevant. They want to be able to install something with a few clicks, not type anything in a command line to install it, specifically from a disc. I think this is a major hurdle, and I'm hoping that the Linux Developers Network will manage that.

    The problem is that the average person doesn't care what OS they have, so long as the OS does what they want without a lot of trouble. I totally agree that Linux is a superior OS, but so was Betamax. Hardware compatibility is still there, but it's not nearly as much of an issue. The author does pin most of the problem on the hardware manufacturer failing to give the support.

    I still think the user friendly aspect of Linux needs a little more polish, even in KDE (Gnome can go to hell). The pure command-line isn't where I'm really making a big deal. It's the base of Linux, and changing that would kinda make the OS not Linux. Even these complaints being raised are becoming less of a problem.

    Vista gives me Win ME vibes. The only thing I don't see with Vista is a crashing problem like ME had. The bloat, extra programs, etc. is obvious. Vista promised so much and delivered so little.

    I think Vista might drive more people to, at the very least, sample Linux.
     
  20. Swansen

    Swansen The Ninj

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    i was being sarcastic about not downloading anything, just not from an abviously dumb site, i've had windows xp since it came out, and i've only contracted two viruses in my entire use, i'm not advocating windows use or anything, i'm just saying you have to be smart. Anyways
     

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