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What's Keeping You On Windows? 1880

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-slippers dept.
tearmeapart writes "It may be time again for another discussion/flamewar on the reasons why a lot of us are (still) using Microsoft. The last big discussion on Slashdot was close to 10 years ago, and a lot has changed since then: Windows XP and 7 have proven to be stable (and memories of Windows ME are mostly gone.) There are many more distributions for Linux, especially commercial options. Distributions like Ubuntu and CentOS have made GNU/Linux more friendly. Options for word processing, spreadsheets, etc. have grown. Apple and their products have changed considerably, though their philosophy hasn't. Microsoft Silverlight came and is on the way out. Wine and solutions like Transgaming have matured. So... why are a lot of us still using Windows? What would it take for us to switch?"
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What's Keeping You On Windows?

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  • Money... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:11AM (#38021994)

    Not enough money to switch to Mac...

    • Re:Money... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ayourk (1125735) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:33AM (#38022462)
      Actually this should be a non issue. I can buy Mac OS X for about $30 and run it on my existing PC hardware. Take a look at the following web site: http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:45AM (#38022698)

      So I started computing with a TI 99 Computing. (It Played some games, and I learned to program in Basic, I didn't have any way to save my programs)
      Then I switch to an Amstrad 8086 PC, with DOS and GEM Desktop. (I consider it my first real computer.) I collected a lot of DOS apps made some fun little programs
      Then I got a 486dx with MS DOS and Windows 3.1 Where I played my DOS Games and some new stuff and it had a modem to dial into BBS's. After a bit I switched from Windows to Desqview because it multi-tasked better... Then I got Linux Slackware which Multi-tasked a lot better. I switched mostly because I was under the impression that I needed to use a system the the real pro's were using and Linux was a Free (as in beer) Unix with all the features of an OS costing thousands of dollars appealed to me. I kept duel boot for when I wanted to play games. Messed around with DOS Emu and a bunch of other stuff.
      Then I got my Duel CPU Pentium 200. I stayed mostly with Linux, I flirted with FreeBSD and BeOS but went back to Linux. Back then I was a big Open Source Zealot. After a while the reason why I liked Linux wasn't because of the Open Source it was because I just liked the Command line interface and Linux and Unix has a robust command line interface that allows me to do a lot.
      Then I got a SUN Ultra 10. I was use to installing software via Make Clean, Make, Make Install (I liked doing it as separate commands ) So going to a full Unix system was the next step. Going to the Solaris on the Sun, I found out in Linux I was doing a lot of fighting with the OS to get the hardware to work that Solaris seems to do nicely.
      Next up was a Power Book. Mostly because I wanted a Laptop and OS X was Unix based so it seemed like a good choice. Then my eyes were opened to what a modern UI and system can do. It made me realize a lot of the stuff in Unix systems are decades out of date and they didn't realize it. Sure at first I was reluctant and the UI bothered me and I have messed up the system fairly bad because I wasn't doing things the easy way. But after I learned about how the UI works I got use to it, and began to understand and really like it. OS X isn't about eye candy every element and effect had a point (Unlike kSmile or xSnow).
      Then I got a Mac Book Pro I still couldn't bring myself to a windows box and I had baught Photoshop for the Mac so I figured Ill just stay with a Mac.

      Now during this time Have been using Windows on everyone else computer and at work. I know how to use well Windows 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, VISTA, and 7.

      And now I am under the impression why are people still using Windows it is because there is no compelling reason to switch. Whatever platform you currently have and invested time in is probably good enough for you and switching isn't going to solve that many more problems.

      Windows 7 is solid and has a good UI, OS/X is solid and has a good UI, Ubuntu is solid and has a Good UI. What am I going to gain from switching, not too much. Just trying to find alternatives to the software I liked.

      • by Sipper (462582) on Friday November 11, 2011 @07:37PM (#38031244)

        Actually, I think I've got at least one pretty compelling reason to switch, which has to do with reinstallation. Occasionally Windows needs to be reinstalled due to either infection, registry corruption, or other software/hardware issues. This gets into some really interesting problems, because in order to reinstall Windows, you need:

              A) A Windows CD that matches the license key given to the machine. This isn't as simple as it sounds, because license keys are tied to build version, not just the Windows version. So it's not enough to have a copy of "Windows XP Home" if that's what's on the box. :-/ And most people get Windows with their computer, already installed, and are not given reinstall disks to bring the machine back to its original state. So it's common to have to purchase a NEW copy of Windows software in order to "reinstall" it.
              B) Device drivers for Windows for the machine, either via downloads from the manufacturer or from a motherboard CD. End-users typically either forget where this CD is, don't know they ever had it, or were never given it in the first place. "What would I need that for?"
              C) Backups? "Oh, yeah, that. No, I don't have a rolling backup of the machine. Can't you just back up the files before reinstalling Windows?" Except on Windows machines, the user's files can be all over the place. If the computer technician is lucky maybe the user only used their home directory, but in practice this is often not the case.
              D) It's common on Windows machines to have commercial software installed that the end user doesn't have license keys or reinstallation disks for. So the user doesn't want their machine reinstalled unless it's absolutely necessary.

        The end result is that it's often a painful, long process to reinstall a Windows box. You need to prepare by downloading the necessary drivers and have them on hand, get a license for the correct version of Windows -- and that's assuming the version of Windows is supported on the hardware -- and then spend hours doing the install and going through multiple reboots to add drivers, and then lots more reboots that come along with doing Windows updates.

        Let's contrast this with installing a Linux distribution -- for argument's sake let's say it's Debian Stable, and go down the same list:
              A) Assuming a fast internet connection is available, download and burn the latest netinstall.iso. No license key issue.
              B) Generally speaking (although there are exceptions), no special drivers are necessary to do the installation. [Brand new hardware may not be fully supported, so there can occasionally be issues with missing disk drive interface drivers or network drivers. These occasional issues can be tricky to work around.]
              C) User files go in /home so there's just one directory to look into for what to back up, which speeds up the copy process.
              D) Most people only need software within the Debian tree, so even there there's no software disks to find, and no license keys to look for. [The exceptions are for commercial software, but usually the list of this software if there is any at all is small by comparison to most Windows machines.]

        The end result is that reinstalling Debian can be finished much faster than for Windows, and without lots of reboots.
        However, this seems to be forgotten most of the time, because *nix free software distributions generally don't need reinstallation in the first place.

        So looking at it that way, there's a major benefit of getting off of Windows, if possible.

    • Re:Money... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:51AM (#38022778)

      This is actually more a profound statement than most would think......

      With OSX, you have *nix level CLI tools such as bash (yes, its a shell, I know), grep, cat, vim, awk, pwd, who, ls, etc..etc.. WITH Microsoft branded applications like Office.

      OpenOffice is great, but in a Windows environment, Outlook is KING, and there is no open-source equivalent.
      I am speaking as someone who now runs OSX on the desktop (company provided) supporting Sun and Linux Servers, and running Win7 at home.
      I do believe it would be beneficial for Apple to adopt a traditional key-mapping, though.

  • Work and fun (Score:5, Informative)

    by Etylowy (1283284) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:12AM (#38022002)

    Adobe software and games - that's about it.
    Sadly Gimp is no replacement for Photoshop at this point.

    • Re:Work and fun (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcvos (645701) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:16AM (#38022076)

      Just games. I don't know much about Adobe software, but there's plenty available for Mac. For games, however, Windows is still the leading platform.

      • Re:Work and fun (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tbannist (230135) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:24AM (#38022240)

        Similarly, I dual boot, the only time I boot Windows is to play some Windows only games and I don't do that very often. I spend more time playing games on the console than I do on Windows now. I've found that computer games have become much less compelling, and that many of the games I might want to play on the PC have console ports. The gamin companies I used to respect have mostly been bought and sold and are now soulless shells of their former selves.

        I find GIMP is easier for me to use than Photoshop, but that may be because I never learned "the Photoshop way" of doing things. So really, nothing is keeping me on Windows, I just keep a copy around because it came with my computer and I may occasionally want to use it for something.

      • Re:Work and fun (Score:4, Insightful)

        by somersault (912633) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:34AM (#38022478) Homepage Journal

        Ditto. I switched to console gaming a few years ago because I really couldn't be bothered with Windows at home any more.

        Recently though I've decided that there are a few games worth playing on PC. WINE still isn't really perfect, but I can use Windows as a base OS and run Linux VMs inside of it, so I get the best of both worlds without having to dual boot.

        At work, I've been running Linux as a base OS with occasional use of a Windows VM when necessary.

        Couple of things off the top of my head which Windows still would do better in an ideal world:

        • Consolidated update centre as in Linux and OSX - ie system updates and application updates can be applied/controlled from one place.
        • Stop being so messy, fragmented and disorganised when it comes to the Control Panel and various system setting GUIs. There's things to click to the left and right and all over the place. All the options seem to be just the Windows 95 designs, but in more confusing locations.
      • Re:Work and fun (Score:4, Interesting)

        by poetmatt (793785) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:44AM (#38022648) Journal

        Yep. Seconded. Thanks to Microsoft's proprietary DirectX, almost no new game runs worth a damn in wine vs windows. If it wasn't for that, I'd have no reason to use windows.

    • Re:Work and fun (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:35AM (#38022506)

      Eh, I do a pretty fair amount of stuff with GIMP and Inkscape. Photoshop definitely has its pluses and if it were open source there'd be no reason not to switch, but it sure as heck isn't worth what they ask for it unless you're making money off it, that's for sure. Even if I WAS running Windows I'd still be using the free stuff.

      In my world the only thing missing on Linux at this point is .NET/SL (No, Moonlight doesn't count, it's worthless). Now and then someone trots out some other obscure piece of software that I can't run without booting up the old VirtualBox. Overall though, nothing has kept ME on Windows, I ditched that turkey for good 10 years ago and Mandriva has suited me fine ever since (sadly that seems to be melting down now, but ah well, there's always openSUSE...).

      Clearly though application availability is Linux's desktop achille's heel, as ever. In any way you can measure my system runs better, is more stable, and more secure than what I see people running with either OSX or Windows.

  • What keeps me (Score:5, Informative)

    by moongate (917431) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:12AM (#38022004)
    at home: nothing - at work: my boss
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ellep (1746938)
      I second that, although IT just told me I may run linux on my 'old' (1yr old) laptop when my 'new' laptop arrives. The new one will probably only be used to gather dust and an occasional e-mail.
    • Re:What keeps me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by El Lobo (994537) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:46AM (#38022712)
      It's cool and hip here on slashdot to suppose that everyone is looking for solutions to leave Windows and that it can't be possible to like it. Well, I like Windows (Windows 7 is almost godly perfect for me), I hate OSX with a passion but unfortunately I need to use it at work. I have 3 Linux servers that I use because of price reasons. On the desktop, I don't look for anything else at the moment. I like the "Windows 7 experience": it's stable, fast, reliable, most software runs on it. So, sue me.
      • Re:What keeps me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nursie (632944) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:56AM (#38022868)

        Stable?

        7 is at least two orders of magnitude better than the 9x series, and one above 2k and early XP... I'll agree.

        But I've still seen it bluescreen. Or redscreen. Sure it may be bad drivers, but the fact they can *still* cause problems is not a good thing.

        I keep win 7 around for games but for anything else I get frustrated at the lack of tools and useful software available at the click of a button, something I've got used to with Linux.

        • Re:What keeps me (Score:5, Informative)

          by PCM2 (4486) on Friday November 11, 2011 @04:06PM (#38029116) Homepage

          But I've still seen it bluescreen. Or redscreen. Sure it may be bad drivers, but the fact they can *still* cause problems is not a good thing.

          Not me. Never. And if you have, I suspect you're talking about the x86 version with someone's ancient drivers. It's only true that they *still* cause problems if you *still* keep trying to jam those drivers in where they don't belong. You can't do it on the x64 version, which requires code-signed drivers, and is the version that ships with pretty much all new hardware these days.

    • Re:What keeps me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daem0n1x (748565) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:33AM (#38023536)

      I use Linux exclusively at home. At work, they give me a laptop installed with the company default stuff. I could switch to Linux if I wanted to, but then, every time ANY thing went wrong, I'd be blamed for it, because I had gone off the "standard" and used "weird" software.

      Don't underestimate the power of the Microsoft drones.

  • The view (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:13AM (#38022014)

    I quite like the outside view it offers me. Plus it lets some light in. More people should have windows installed.

  • Games like D3 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:13AM (#38022018)

    When I game, I don't want to have to mess around with drivers/tuning/performance/etc. That's my relaxation time, and running (for example) Diablo 3 -> DX11 -> Windows 7 x64 -> solid graphics card(s) is really the only solution.

  • by syngularyx (1070768) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:13AM (#38022030)
    OriginLab. Nothing else.
  • Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xouumalperxe (815707) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:14AM (#38022032)
    Games. I tried migrating towards consoles, but certain key games are still PC-specific.
    • Re:Games (Score:5, Interesting)

      by moongate (917431) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:17AM (#38022106)
      Gaming is the reasing I actually stick with Linux. Everytime I was gaming, I realized that I wasted my time instead of doing something productive. With non Win/Mac-OSes I'm very limted with this and won't be tempted.
      • Re:Games (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:23AM (#38022226)

        yeah, same here, with sleep, every time I sleep I realize I could do something productive.

        or same with spending time with other people, I could be doing something productive then.
        Same with being on slashdot discussing why I am on linux rather then on windows. I could do something productive instead of that.

      • Re:Games (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TrekkieGod (627867) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:35AM (#38022508) Homepage Journal

        Gaming is the reasing I actually stick with Linux. Everytime I was gaming, I realized that I wasted my time instead of doing something productive. With non Win/Mac-OSes I'm very limted with this and won't be tempted.

        Your priorities are screwed up. You do productive stuff in order to get money in order to do things that are completely unproductive but make you happy. Ideally, you wouldn't do anything productive at all, and you'd spend all your time doing entertaining things with your family and friends (and by yourself, because honestly, we all need a break from people).

        • Re:Games (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wolf@@@yahoo...com> on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:28AM (#38023446)
          Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing. - Robert Heinlein

          I disagree with your implicit assertion that happiness is all about fun and leisure. Every life needs lots of fun and leisure, because all work and no play makes Jack a deranged alcoholic. But ideally all of us would find at least one pet project that we devote some of our free time to - soup kitchens, political lobbying (for a worthy cause), volunteer work at a school, volunteer work at a library, mentoring kids, contributing to Wikipedia and similar projects, maintaining a historical monument, improving energy efficiency, or writing free software. Then you can look back at your life with a sense of accomplishment above and beyond 2000 fun hours of Team Fortress 2.
          • Re:Games (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TrekkieGod (627867) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:41AM (#38023690) Homepage Journal

            But ideally all of us would find at least one pet project that we devote some of our free time to - soup kitchens, political lobbying (for a worthy cause), volunteer work at a school, volunteer work at a library, mentoring kids, contributing to Wikipedia and similar projects, maintaining a historical monument, improving energy efficiency, or writing free software.

            If doing those things make you happy, and it does to most people, then by all means. You don't do them because they're "productive" activities, though. You do them because you get enjoyment out of them.

            The point I was trying to make is that a worthwhile activity is not determined by a measure of how much you got done, but rather by a measure of whether you enjoyed yourself while doing it. Don't go volunteer to mentor kids if you hate kids just because you think the world is in need of mentors. Go volunteer to mentor kids if you enjoy spending time with them. Similarly, don't decide you shouldn't play games because "nothing was accomplished" while you were gaming. If you enjoyed your time playing, it was time well-spent.

    • Re:Games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:28AM (#38022330) Journal

      This. Absolutely and definitely this. And nothing will dislodge Windows from absolute dominance in the desktop market until something happens to change the fact that "computer gaming" basically means "Windows gaming".

      This is why it's always surprised me that MS pushed into console gaming. People keep Windows on their home PC because they and/or their kids use it for games. Dual-booting is possible, but is more of a pain in the backside than most people are prepared to countenance. Because of this, we have a general population which knows how to use and is comfortable with Windows - but not other desktop OSes.

      And because of this, businesses and public sector employers know that if they run Windows on their office desktops, they can assume that 95% of new employees will know how to do at least the basics - move files around, use Word and Powerpoint and so on. This is a huge saving in terms of staff training. This virtuous circle - which is rarely remarked upon - is, I suspect, a big part of the reason why Windows has proved basically impossible to dislodge from the desktop market over the last couple of decades. As I said before, I'm just surprised that MS don't seem to realise this themselves - if they did, I can't believe they'd jeopardise it by pushing so heavily at a competing console gaming platform (and I say this as a perfectly contended Xbox 360 owner).

      Oh, and by "games", I mean proper, big budget commercial games. Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Skyrim, that kind of thing - not a bunch of low budget indie roguelikes and puzzlers - if you're pointing at the presence of those as a reason why another OS is competitive in gaming terms, then I suggest you pay reality a visit once in a while. I also mean "being able to play it on the day it's released", not "somebody will have a hack to get it working in a month or two". My view - until there's another desktop platform that can offer the above, Windows will never suffer any kind of serious challenge to its desktop dominance - and given the number of games that depend on directx, I can't see that happening any time soon.

      Cloud gaming services? Maybe they'll be what tips it. But I've yet to be convinced.

      • Re:Games (Score:5, Informative)

        by Nemyst (1383049) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:10AM (#38023134) Homepage

        Call of Duty, Mas Effect or Skyrim aren't the big PC pushers. Most of those AAA games have been targeted at consoles first and foremost for a while now, with the PC getting mediocre to acceptable ports (with a few notable exceptions) of them.

        There are very few developers who consider the PC their primary platform, and the real reason PC gaming is still popular isn't what it was 10 years ago.

        On one hand, you have the "big gaming" with the last entrenched PC devs/publishers: Valve, Blizzard, Paradox, CD Projekt, etc. More and more of these games are distributed through the likes of Steam, GOG.com, Gamersgate, Impulse, Greenmangaming, etc. THIS is where a lot of the strength of PC is found; DD on PC is much better, much more varied, and often insanely cheaper. Pricing on PC games is lower at launch and goes down faster than on consoles, to the extent that unless the PC port is absolutely terrible or the game is unsuitable to the PC, it's often better to wait a few months and get it on PC for 50% off while it's still full price on console for the next three years.

        On the other hand, you have "social" gaming. This means both MMOs and Facebook. These two things make up an extremely large amount of gamers who plain and simply cannot play on consoles. The Xbox 360's online architecture prevents most MMOs from operating and Sony's lackluster infrastructure means they tend to avoid the PS3. This leaves the PC for all MMOs, of which there are now hundreds. The elephant in the room, WoW, is still grossing millions every month, despite a decrease in subscribers. Then you have Facebook, whose gaming platform has created tens of millions of "casual gamers". They likely never will move from Farmville, but they're still gaming on PC and often spending money on the platform.

        Facebook is currently the sole thing easily transfered to another OS since it does not rely on DirectX. Anything else will be hard work. I also dearly hope that cloud gaming like OnLive and Gaikai fail miserably. If people complain about Ubisoft's DRM now, I don't know what they'll do about how restrictive cloud gaming is...

      • Re:Games (Score:4, Insightful)

        by g4b (956118) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:15AM (#38023228) Homepage

        i think it is because humans still combine "gaming" with "kids" and dont take it seriously. which is simply not the truth about games.

        you need games in your daily life, since this is the major way to learn and train intelligence (not knowledge). because of our society marking you as "adult" if you reach a certain age, part of this "maturity" is to stop gaming, or at least, hide your gaming habits or even repress them until they express themselves as perversions (like playing games with people).

        microsoft is a business company. it evolved in the era of humankind, where serious business evolved into a fantastic myth of adults doing hard and serious stuff and only being a serious managing adult mature business man in a suit and a thousand certificates can be trusted upon, while a playful (childish) person might not be trustworthy. while daily life tells us, actually its the other way round most of the time.

        it is this image, which not only haunts microsoft, but currently the whole western civilization. there are lots of other hints about this actually, if you study history, the "cultivation" of the "adult" myth even leads to great misconceptions about children per se, or how we perceive the past, and leads to major crisis in a lot of people's lives, who stay juvenile the rest of their lives (because the juvenile person is the one who tries to negate his childhood)

        i could go on and on about this topic, since it even hits deep foundations of christian and jewish faith ("respect your elders" e.g. as a commandment was actually meant for adults, to respect old people because "if you want your days to grow long" means, you should treat an elder person, like you want to be treated if YOUR days get long),...

        people are children. and people take the easy route. also, those who really taught the adults how to use computers, actually were their children most of the time.

        to realize, your platform is actually successful because it is mostly used for gaming, well, that would conclude not only a lot of things about your customers, your product, but also about yourself.

        Since the most powerful people on earth are usually not the most intelligent or reflected ones, even if they think they are, I dont think, this will ever be widely discovered, I rather think, somebody comes along and proves another wild theory which does not involve confessing that actually everybody is just a big child out there, cultivated thru a harsh millenia old society of distrust, and explain, that in reality, windows conquered the market because of stuff like "office", or because of piratery, which may be cofactors, but the reason why you pirated DOS or windoze back in the days, were still games, and they were better than the AMIGA or C64 stuff, so yeah, you started using IBM machines to play civ, bubble bobble or prince of persia.

        the games on mac sucked, they had to turn their whole OS into a game to reconquer the market.

        so. if you know, its gaming, which makes you use windows, at least you can conclude, being mature does not mean to stop being the child you once were inside, but rather taking responsibility for yourself.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:11AM (#38023148)

      I like PC gaming far more than console gaming for many reasons, and Windows is the platform for that.

      Another big thing that rules Linux out for me is media. I mess around with media creation a whole lot and the tools I've been shown on Linux are extremely poor at best and usually abysmal. They are free to be sure, but I'll drop a couple hundred dollars to have stuff that works well, sounds good, and so on. I've seen nothing that even comes close to the software and samples available for Windows (and Mac too).

      Finally it is just the ability to get shit to work. Perhaps it is just because I've done more support on Windows but I find it is much easier for me to solve problems on. I have trouble getting Linux to do many of the things I want and I also seem to have a talent for finding near unsolvable problems in Linux quickly (like I ask experts to help me and they end up saying "I dunno"). Computer support is my profession so at home I want them to "just work". For me, I find Windows does that. It has few problems and when it does have one, I find it easy to fix.

      Plus the only real reason to switch would be lower cost, which isn't very much for me. I'm willing to pay to have things I want. I'm a pragmatist, not an idealist, I won't use Linux for idealistic reasons, only practical ones. Thus I'd have to see a way that it is at least as good as what I have now, and probably better since there is just the inertia of why change what works.

  • Working drivers... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Splab (574204) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:14AM (#38022036)

    For quite some time Radeon was actually quite stable and useful under linux, but after some kernel changes and a decision not to update old drivers from ATI, I can no longer use "latest and greatest" linux.

    Windows on the other hand, works just fine.

    Also, a lot of windows tools are vastly superior to the Linux alternatives, for instance IntelliJ vs. Eclipse. (Yes intelliJ costs money, but compared to the hassle of Eclipse you are saving money in the long run).

    Gaming under WINE still lacks as far as I can tell, I know some of my friends manage to play EVE under WINE, but they often complain about problems; in windows, it just works [tm].

  • Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by samael (12612) * <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:14AM (#38022038) Homepage

    Borderlands.
    Modern Warfare 3.
    Heck, Steam in general.

    (And yes, I know there are hacks, but Windows Just Works for me. I can't think of a good reason to switch.)

    • Re:Games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mvar (1386987) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:29AM (#38022354)
      This. Bring Steam on Linux and i'll gladly delete the windows partition.
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:14AM (#38023206)

        You want Steam's catalogue on Linux and that's a different thing. Getting Steam on Linux wouldn't be all that hard. As Valve demonstrated recently, they can port it if they want to when they ported it to Mac. However all that would do is get you the tiny library of Linux titles on Steam. What you want is all those Windows games. Unfortunately that is a completely different thing. You'd need all the developers to port all the games and that isn't happening.

        Remember: Steam is just a distribution service. It just lets people sell their games in an easy way (also gives them free DRM to use). It doesn't have anything to do with development or porting. That is still 100% on the developer.

  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaVince21 (1342819) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:14AM (#38022040) Homepage

    Games. And sometimes, random apps that don't want to work well in Wine.

    Also, I honestly don't mind using Windows. I'll just work with whatever OS I happen to be in. I dual boot, so I will occasionally reboot my system as the urge to do something that works better in the other OS grows (Windows for playing games, Linux for developing stuff).

  • Skyrim (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:14AM (#38022042)

    Skyrim. As good as Wine and Transgaming are doing, until I can play a new release on the day it comes out, I will continue to need a Windows machine for the most important thing computers do (gaming).

    OTOH, my employers keep the terminals on Windows for proprietary network monitoring software that doesn't run correctly in a virtual environment (even though we have one program that has to be run in the virtual XP mode since it is so old!)

  • by Pollux (102520) <speter@tedata.[ ].eg ['net' in gap]> on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:14AM (#38022050) Journal

    As a user:

    1) It works. Pretty well.
    2) It's supported by 99% of software makers
    3) It works. Pretty well.

    As an administrator:

    1) Active Directory
    2) It works. Pretty well.
    3) Active Directory

  • by theodp (442580) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:15AM (#38022064)

    $349 Win7 laptop + $99 Office 2010 and you're good to go.

  • by Random2 (1412773) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:19AM (#38022148) Journal

    Currently, everything I need to do for work, home, or anywhere else runs on windows just fine. Additionally, most any program that I want to use is primarily supported on windows, and only marginally supported on Mac or Linux distros. So, put simply, the other operating systems either 1) don't do what I need to, or 2) don't have the support for what I need to run.

    And sure, from the work perspective, we MIGHT be able to use other programs, but that requires going through a complete Verification and Validation of the software, which takes more time and money than it's worth. Especially if the software is written by volunteers, we can't necessarily get support quickly or hold people accountable for issues as they arise. The medical field (where I work) requires too high of reliability to simply switch for the sake of switching, there needs to be a measurable and tangible benefit.

    I suppose learning the nuances of new programs is somewhat of a trivial reason to stay with what I'm using, but I'd rather continue being productive with what I'm familiar with than spend days learning the new programs simply for the sake of learning them. And yes, I have tried venturing out into the Ubuntu and Open Source realms. ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:19AM (#38022154)

    Why would i switch?

    Windows 7 hasn't crashed on me a single time. It's fast, it uses my SSD drive and memory well.
    Every application i want to run, and might want to run in the future just works.

    Device drivers are plentiful, i won't have to choose devices according to Linux support.
    I'll need the same antivirus etc for linux as well.

    My laptops also run Windows, the hibernate, the wifi, gps, 3g all work out of the box.

    I'm happy to pay 100 euros for a working product.

    Why would i switch to Linux? I ran Linux only on all my computers for about 3-5 years before getting a new computer and going Windows.
    And you know what? I've had a lot less problems with Windows than what i had with Linux..

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:19AM (#38022164) Homepage Journal

    I was on Mac (2001-2008, then Linux (2008-2010), but then my linux buddy switched back to Windows 7. I was skeptical at first, but his glowing reviews that "everything just worked on the desktop - graphics card, drivers, audio, sleep/restore, etc every time. No more configuring random crap to try and get it to work until a real patch was released. He and I still deploy Linux for work servers, but on day to day desktop, I've seen the light, and it's Windows 7. I installed Win7 in ~Sept 2010 and haven't had any configuration problems since then. It's super speedy and all my games work with it.
     
    Coding is a bit of an issue on Windows, but Python, Ruby and Java are easy enough to develop on the Windows platform these days. Between CoreFTP, WinSCP, Putty and the other various tools, Windows is extremely functional for day to day power users. Linux had started getting an edge over XP, but Win7 is just so easy to use, it's really difficult to switch back to tinkering with things 2-3 times a week with Linux. OEM copies of Win7 are often $100 on NewEgg - when I think about it, $100 is well worth me not spending 10-20 hours a year configuring and tweaking my OS to keep it running in top shape.
     
    I dearly want to love Ubuntu on the desktop, but after 9.10 they switched to Unity and it makes me sick to my stomach to use that crap interface. Gnome 2 was rock solid and a very functional interface. I might look at Ubuntu again once they solve all the problems with Unity, or Gnome3 is fully usable. Wine is top notch these days and handles 95% of my windows needs.... but for $100, Windows7 is just less of a hassle to deal with right now.

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:31AM (#38022400) Homepage

      I was on Mac (2001-2008, then Linux (2008-2010), but then my linux buddy switched back to Windows 7. I was skeptical at first, but his glowing reviews that "everything just worked on the desktop - graphics card, drivers, audio, sleep/restore, etc every time. No more configuring random crap to try and get it to work until a real patch was released. He and I still deploy Linux for work servers, but on day to day desktop, I've seen the light, and it's Windows 7. I installed Win7 in ~Sept 2010 and haven't had any configuration problems since then. It's super speedy and all my games work with it.

      Similar is my story: I was a Linux user for almost 10 years, but then sometime after Win7 was released I finally got tired with the constant need to fix or tweak this or that to keep things working and tried Win7. Haven't looked back since, 7 just works and it works well. Not to mention that I can actually use all the features my hardware supports whereas I'd be missing some very important features if I went back to Linux. I only use it on my server where it works fine.

      Sure, I am an F/OSS supporter and I really do wish F/OSS philosophy was even more widespread than it already is, but.. well, I don't want to constantly have to fix things getting broken and I want to be able to fully utilize whatever hardware I have and Linux just doesn't fit the bill.

    • by TargetBoy (322020) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:36AM (#38022520)

      Pretty much matches my experience. The Windows 7 experience is so good, I have no real desire to spend a lot of time making something else work. Additionally my experience with desktop Linux, even Ubuntu has been no where as good as Windows 7.

  • by lsolano (398432) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:20AM (#38022168)

    "Options for word processing, spreadsheets, etc. have grown. "

    Not quite true.

    For simple things, yes, LibreOffice works great, but, in most cases, you can not change the MSExcel to a economist.

    Also, In my personal experience, MSVisio is a must have, and there is not a real replacement. In fact, there is not any alternative at all if you receive visio files. You can even open them to look at them.

    At home (suft the web mostly) I use Ubuntu. Perfect.

    At work, I have a Mac and I love it, but I sill have to run XP in VBox just to run Visio.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      I really like visio as well. But on Mac I use graffle [omnigroup.com], and also about a decade I used concept draw [conceptdraw.com] which at the time was more full featured than Visio (!). If you are a Mac guy might be worth taking a look.

  • Software (Score:4, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:20AM (#38022172) Homepage Journal

    Programs, or apps as the kids say. There are people I work with that require software that is unavailable on Linux. Or what is available on Linux isn't sufficient.

    I use a custom made program for work that only runs on Windows.
    I use a service that requires what I send them to be in MS Publisher format. (And even if they didn't the closest to Publisher on Linux is Scribus but it lacks mail merge which I require.)
    And for work I use Skype a lot. The Linux version is old and doesn't support a number of features I use regularly. I'm on my linux machine most of the day so I have Skype running on it for chat and single person voice but when I need to do group stuff, I have to switch over to my Windows machine and run skype there. I don't foresee Microsoft pouring a lot of effort into the Linux Skype client any time in the near future.

    I think those 3 things are all that's left. I don't mind it though. I spend 90% of my time on my Linux machines and hop over to Windows as required. It's not a big deal. My normal work day I use 3 machines, two running Fedora and one running Windows 7. I have synergy to share a keyboard/mouse between them and I don't have a hard time doing what I want. When I travel I often only have the Windows machine as it's the smallest and has the best battery life. But I don't do a lot of heavy work on the road either. Mostly presentations, email, etc. If I knew ahead of time I would want to really do a lot of work somewhere else, I'd bring the Linux laptop instead.

  • by laird (2705) <lairdp AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:20AM (#38022178) Journal

    I pretty much use Mac (client) and Linux (server) for everything.

    But I still use Windows because there are some specific, very useful apps, that are Windows native, so I run them on a PC or on Parallels. Yes, there are web-based alternatives, but, to be honest, they suck to use - the web app UIs are clunky and slow compared to a native app. In the long run, I hope that web based alternatives surpass the native Windows apps, but right now it's more important that I be able to work efficiently than be cross-platform. Parallels is cheap and works fine, so I can run Windows apps on my Mac and they nearly feel like native apps.

  • by frozentier (1542099) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:21AM (#38022180)
    I have zero reason NOT to be with Microsoft, that's why. Win7 is stable, doesn't slow my computer down, runs all the programs I could ever need, and I haven't actually "caught" a virus on Windows in the last 15 years, so why on earth would I switch to something else other than just for the sake of switching? That would just be stupid. Learn a brand new operating system and lose 95% of the programs that I use now? Fuck that, that makes no sense.
    • by gsslay (807818) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:54AM (#38022830)

      Yeah, it's puzzling the way the contributor has posed the question. It's phrased like, of course, everyone would like to dump Windows and move to Linux, but something is stopping them, damn it!

      This is a false premise.

      Windows does what I need. It is what I'm most used to. I can be reasonably assured that for every computing need I have, there's a Window based solution for it. Linux is a excellent server environment, but is still a long behind Windows in providing what I require from a desktop computer. Too many of its fringe applications and products suck big time, either in functionality, usability or stability. It would simply be giving me extra work and hassle to change to Linux, now and for all the foreseeable future. So why on earth would I want to do that?

      I am not financially strapped, nor am I fanatical masochist who will never, ever use propriety software, even if my life depended on it. So whether it is open source or free does determine my choice of OS or software. I try to pick what's best for the job.

      Talk of Wine and other compatibility products is foolishness. Why would I want something that's kind of sort of like Windows, sometimes, when I can have the actual Windows. I don't want to spend any of my time struggling to get a Windows application functioning correctly on not-Windows.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:21AM (#38022184) Homepage

    At work - my boss, and MS Exchange. The MS Exchange thing can be solved technically, but the "boss" part of the equation can't.

    At home - some games, slightly better support of unusual video formats. But I'm semi-switched already, and run Linux regularly on both my primary desktop and my netbook.

  • Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:22AM (#38022214)
    I have a macbook. It's become my main development and all around computer. I have a linux box that performs some server duties. I have a windows machine around for games mostly. I've tried wine and transgaming. In my experience, I could either spend my time trying to get wine and transgaming to support the games i want to play, and then, honestly, deal with subpar performance. Or, I could just buy a windows box and play the games.

    Steam on the mac is a step towards a world where i no longer have windows, but TF2 still runs far better on my windows laptop than my macbook. I can afford to indulge so i do.
  • by kenh (9056) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:23AM (#38022218) Homepage Journal

    People use computers to solve problems and in many cases to make money. When taken as an entire ecosystem, the Windows Server environment is reasonably priced for the value it offers. Once you get past acquisition cost differences, the included network management tool exceed those available for Linux, and when you factor in the purchase price of Linux management tool the price differential tilts towards Windows in many cases.

    The much discussed 'Windows Tax' on computers amounts to about $30-40/year, and for that a home computer user gets a computer running the most popular operating system in the world (by a wide margin), ready access to a large number of pro bono support people (relatives, co-workers, neighbors), they can run almost anything on the shelf at GameStop, best buy, or other retailer, and their computer hardware purchases are typically priced lower than comparable Apple offerings. And bespoke Linux hardware/software offerings (PCs w/ Linux pre-installed typically aren't cheaper than systems on sale at Dell, Best Buy, etc.

    Linux is phenomenal at certain tasks, but those tasks represent a small portion of the installed computer base - web & file servers aren't ubiquitous (yet), so it is no surprise that the OS with the largest paid & unpaid support infrastructure, widest support OS application software, and lowest hardware prices is still dominant.

  • Dont run windows (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:23AM (#38022220) Homepage Journal

    Back with Windows 3.1 went to Windows 95, I went from Windows 3.1 to Linux.

    Most say they are on windows for the games well, I have a PS2, PS3, Wii, and Xbox360 for games. Less hassles and plays on the big screen.

    Ill admit that I was a VERY early adopter of Linux and I have never regretted it. It has been a struggle at times, but well worth it.

    • by cerberusss (660701) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:37AM (#38023612) Homepage Journal

      early adopter of Linux and I have never regretted it. It has been a struggle at times, but well worth it.

      Me too. But man, it's still a struggle actually. I bought a new laptop and installed Ubuntu. Of course, sleep/wakeup doesn't work (just crashes the laptop). But I like the fights, the struggle!

      Like you, I suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. I tell Linux, "come here baby". Then she smiles and sits on my lap, looks me in the eye and then slaps me in the face. She says, hand raised again: "you like that, huh bitch?" Teary-eyed, I stammer, "yes, Linux, I like that." Then she slaps me again, two or three times, while saying: "What about this?" *slaps* "And this, you goddamn pussy!"

      And then Ubuntu upgrades the kernel, and my WiFi no longer works. The pain is now in a whole new dimension. But as you said, it's a struggle, but it's worth it.

  • I like it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nick Fel (1320709) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:23AM (#38022230)
    I've used OSX and a few Linux flavours. I still prefer Windows. There's an underlying assumption in the question that everyone's secretly yearning to get away, which is silly.
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:26AM (#38022272)

    Billing people who use products that only run on Windows. It may not be the best rate, but it is consistent and in my industry the people who build the products have no interest in moving off Windows.

  • by andreicristianpetcu (1964402) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:26AM (#38022280)
    The joy of installing monitor drivers, cipset drivers, printer drivers, LAN drivers, WLAN drivers and many many more! I just love figuring out just exactly what drivers are needed to make my new laptop work. It's quite challenging and fun. FUCK, I forgot IE I just love his whole darn family! Hmmmm can I mark my own comment as troll? :D
  • MS Office (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msevior (145103) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:26AM (#38022282)

    MS Office is the defacto standard. I need it to inter-operate in my workplace.

    Despite all the progress made by AbiWord and even LibreOffice they're still not good enough at interoperability.

    On the other hand http://abicollab.net/ [abicollab.net] offers a different and genuine way around it. Once you do real real-time collaboration in the cloud, emailing MS Office docs around seems pretty stupid.

    (Disclaimer AbiWord and http://abicollab.net/ [abicollab.net] are my babies)

    • Re:MS Office (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zebedeu (739988) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:57AM (#38022874)

      I found out that if you really need to use MS Office, you can just run in on a virtual machine.
      If you use seamless mode it works perfectly, and you get the advantages of running a Linux desktop (virtual desktops, for one). Copying text works between systems, and you can configure it so that Windows has read-write access to whatever folders you need on your host computer.

      The only issue I have is that I use Alt-F# to move between my virtual desktops, and the virtual machine steals those.
      For that reason, I always keep Windows on the 4th desktop, so that I don't press Alt-F4 and close the currently running program.

  • Works for me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by csrster (861411) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:26AM (#38022284)
    If people stopped developing stuff like cygwin, virtualbox, and assorted FOSS products that actually make Windows usable then I suppose I'd stop using it.
  • by wonkavader (605434) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:27AM (#38022298)

    I used to only use my Windows box to play games. Now the humble bundles have removed that need. I don't play any games on windows anymore.

    And yet, I still have to run a windows VM. I own a iPod Nano 6g, can't get RockBox on it, and am stuck using friggin' iTunes. What cripple-ware we put up with -- would it have killed them to let me drop files onto it as a storage device? (I guess it would have, they SO want me to be stuck using iTunes, thinking I'll buy their music. Not a chance, guys -- already got more than I need.) If only someone else would make a small player with a good, solid clip!

    Then I could completely ditch Windows.

  • by Corbets (169101) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:27AM (#38022320) Homepage

    I'm a mac guy at home, but my employer gives me a PC. Until that changes, I'll keep using Windows...

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:30AM (#38022392)
    I have just brought a Thinkpad E525. I have tried to install Ubuntu (dual boot) but it won't load except in the command-line recovery mode. I think that this is a graphics driver comaptability issue but until I sort it its Windows 7 for me.
  • by PIBM (588930) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:31AM (#38022420) Homepage

    As windows has matured too, I find that there's nothing I can't be doing in windows 7. It has an uptime longer than I care for, allow me to play any game I wish at full speed and without hassle, allows me to run VMs of linux if I need it, I ssh into my servers, vnc into others or even remote desktop without problems. It has no problem with 3 dell 3007wfp running on 3d accelerated sli-ed video cards (I just stopped trying on linux), the multimedia stack is way better and allows me to play 3d video or games on my hdtv without hassle too, and my sound system is automatically recognized and adjusted.. So, the question should perhaps be, why would we be interested in switching our main computer to linux ?

  • by misfit815 (875442) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:35AM (#38022488)

    Seriously, most of the responses are going to be along the same lines: games, work, not on windows. I'd be interested in the numbers.

    As for me, personally, I run Win7 at work because I have to, Win7 on the "family" computer because that's where the games are, WinXP on the HTPC because that's what I got to work (after trying Ubuntu, Mythbuntu, Win2k, and Win7), and Debian/Xfce on my personal laptop because the other systems address all of my issues with doing so.

  • by neokushan (932374) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:35AM (#38022516)

    ...but what keeps me with Windows is the fact that, in my mind, nearly every important system variable can be accessed via a GUI element that's usually in an obviouis/sane place. Sure, there is the odd occasion where you'll have to dig into the registry, or open the command line, but generally you won't have to.

    Linux, on the other hand, necessitates that you drop into a terminal to change some trivial value. Or it'll be stored in a random text file that has its own unique format, which you MUST adhere to or you'll hose the whole system. Sure, you can recover from that and probably a lot easier than recovering a windows installation, but that's not the point.

    I would, genuinely, LOVE to switch to Linux. Aside from gaming, I don't have a need to run windows for every day tasks like web browsing, document writing and even development (I do use VS as it's what I do with my day job, but I'm happy enough with Eclipse or Code::Blocks), but the fact that I know how it all works keeps me here. Every time I make the switch to Linux, I always find myself fighting for hours on finding a missing driver, figuring out how to INSTALL that missing driver (assuming it exists) and configuring the system for every day tasks. Not to mention that learning an entirely new UI isn't easy, especially when Linux seems to have at least 5 popular flavours of UI, with people being unable to agree which is "best" or even what "best" is).

    Seriously, if someone could make a Linux distro that was Linux in every way, but had the same UI layout as Windows, I'd give it a go. And by UI Layout, I don't just mean looks a bit like windows, I mean it has all the usual options in the same place Windows does. Call it Control Panel, call it Add/Remove Programs, hell call it C:\ drive, do it and I'll switch.

  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:36AM (#38022522) Homepage Journal

    I use Windows 7 at home because I have four monitors. In my attempts to install Linux on my system, I find I'm only able to use one monitor. The docs I've found on line to use multiple monitors are pretty much for a dual monitor setup and not for dual card dual monitor per card setup. So it's a hassle to go through all the work to try to get it working when Windows 7 natively supports four monitors and lets me rotate them to support my layout. One center monitor, one flipped 180 and above it, one to the right rotated 90* and one to the left rotated 270*. So I have a couple of other systems that I can ssh to (cygwin is installed on the windows box) and I have virtualbox where I can startup ubuntu or freebsd when needed.

    [John]

  • Wrong Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RazzleFrog (537054) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:42AM (#38022634)

    Shouldn't the question be why should I switch? It works and it's easy to use. It's like asking what would it take me to switch to hopping on one leg while rubbing my belly instead of just walking.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:55AM (#38022852)

    I use Ubuntu at home.
    I use Gentoo on a laptop but might change it to Ubuntu.
    I use CentOS, RHEL or Solaris on all but 2 servers at work. We need to test our software on windows so we need a couple of machines for that.
    Almost everyone at my work uses CentOS on their desktops.
    A few finance staff use windows because they need software that only runs on windows. Maybe it would run under wine, we never tried.
    Three stubbon office staff insist on windows not linux because they refuse to use anything new. Given the choice I'd fire them. If they won't learn anything new they are a liability to the company.

    Windows has already lost as far as I'm concerned. The world is better off without it. Now if only I could buy laptops without paying for a windows license..

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:37AM (#38023604)

    Windows is the only platform for which one can reliably download binaries directly from software authors.

    On Linux, if you want software, you use apt-get, yum, etc. If the package you want exists in the repository, great. If not, things get tricky. Enter building from source, tracking down dependencies, and praying you get through ./configure and make.

    Some Mac software is available in binary form in nice DMG images, and when it is, installation is a snap. But these images are still much less ubiquitous than Windows installers, and when they are not available, you're left typing "./configure; make" just like on Linux -- only now with less support.

    An advantage to the Windows culture of software distribution is that you can have a relatively unchanging operating system running underneath everything without lagging behind in terms of individual programs. Contrast this with the unpleasant choice you face if you want to run Linux: Choose e.g. Debian Stable, and get new software years after it comes out; or choose e.g. Ubuntu and jump through a distro upgrade (which breaks everything) every year. Ironically, the issue is that, culturally, it's Linux distros that are centralized and Windows that's distributed.

    Much of Windows' usability also comes, again perhaps with a bit of irony, from Open Source programs. Right now, I'm running Firefox, Thunderbird, and SMPlayer. For instant messaging, I use Pidgin. For LaTeX, I use MiKTeX (which is the most complete LaTeX distribution I've seen on any platform) and TeXStudio (which is just as good as Kile). I even get bash and ssh from Cygwin. Why do I need Linux when all the best open source programs have easy-to-install Windows binaries?

  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday November 11, 2011 @10:17AM (#38024262) Homepage

    Long background, short summary: Been fiddling with Linux since 1999-2000, switched to Linux as primary desktop in 2007 and returned to Windows in April last year.

    Primary reasons:
    1. Applications. Games. The Linux knock-offs - and yes, that's what they mostly are - aren't nearly as good and WINE, Virtualbox is more tedious than just running them under Windows. Too many people with a reality distortion field stronger than Steve Jobs, but of the one man variety.
    2. A lot of the open source applications that are actually worth having also exist for Windows, so I didn't actually lose anything much going back. It's more going back to a best of breed-solution than abandoning all open source, as long as I got rid of the sore points.
    3. Less hardware/driver/version/plugin/upgrade issues. I sort of hoped the snowball would start rolling but it never really did. When I switched to Linux it was to get away from Vista, but in the years I was on Linux they went from Vista SP0 to Win7 SP1 while my Linux desktop still had glitches.
    4. A change of attitude, a bigger interest in just paying my way out of problems. I still think it's fun to tinker with computers but not that kind of tinkering. Now I'm writing more code, not fixing broken systems or tweaking WINE settings.
    5. Less ideology. I'm tired of being told I should just accept that it sucks because of $reason. That's an explanation, but it doesn't really change the situation. There's only so long you bother fighting the windmills, particularly when you realize they're not coming down.

    If Microsoft pulls another Vista then I wouldn't mind trying again when Win7 is approaching EOL, I'm not in the "never again" category. But I'm on a platform now that works really well, simple as that. I've got no plans to upgrade to Metro or to a Mac or back to Linux any time soon. Testing, switching and getting used to everything has its costs and they're just not worth doing too often.

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