Seven Reasons Why Windows is Better Than Linux Distributions

Continuing the Linux vs. Windows debate begun in my previous post, let’s take a look at the advantages Windows has over Linux. As I have stated before, I have used Linux for many years. However, I grew up on Windows, so I still have things to say about it.

Windows Has More Software
Windows has a larger share of the market, so naturally, developers tend to target Windows first, and other operating systems second (and unfortunately, they rarely move past their first target). This is especially true for software produced by big companies. The money is in the market share, and the market share lies with Windows. This is a good thing, of course, as Windows users typically have great tools available to them to make really cool stuff with their computers (Sony Vegas, Adobe Photoshop, etc.).

Windows is More “Feature Complete”
This can be tricky to explain. See, Microsoft is paying people to work on Windows, and most Windows software is created because companies are paying for the development. As a result, you will see that the software that you pay for will almost always be “feature complete.” Linux software, on the other hand, is always a work in progress. Sure, you will get updates frequently and bleeding edge software, but it will usually be at the cost of missing features that you might require to get any real work done.

There’s More Commercial Support for Windows
Big corporations don’t want to waste time diagnosing computer issues. Rather, they like to call in support troopers from the company that designed the software they’re using. Because Microsoft supports Windows commercially, businesses are more likely to turn to Windows software, as they can be sure they will get professional support for their issues rather than the possibility arising that they are left to deal with those issues on their own.

Windows is Familiar
Like I said before, I grew up on Windows. Thanks to its gigantic market share, Windows is pretty much a household name and, as a result, many people can identify it and work with it. If I were to switch my mom over to Linux, for example, I would also probably have to sit down with her on a couple occasions to explain how to do the common things you’d do on Windows. Of course, Linux distributions nowadays are pretty straightforward to use, but there are always exists the little things that you can get caught up on.


Windows is Gamer Friendly
Just as with general software, you are more likely to find the next major game title on Windows as opposed to Linux distributions, and for the same reasons as general software, too. As long as there’s more money in Windows, game developers will make it a priority to flock to it.

Apart from the games themselves, Windows typically has support for the various physical accessories that gamers utilize to get the most out of their gaming experience. Logitech, for example, will release specialized software for their products on Windows, but might pass over Linux users entirely.

Windows Has Better Driver Support
When manufacturers release new hardware, Windows is usually the first operating system to receive working drivers. Unfortunately, some manufacturers leave out other operating systems out entirely. Quite often, you’ll see Linux distributions including open source drivers developed by the community. While it is nice that there are then at least drivers available, those drivers still aren’t officially supported by the manufacturer, so as a result some things still may not work as you expect them to.

One example of open source drivers vs proprietary, manufacturer-provided drivers is that of Nvidia’s graphics drivers. I run Nvidia’s proprietary Linux driver on my machine, but there are projects out there attempting to create an entirely free and open source driver. The downside to these projects are that they do not really have Nvidia’s support, so as a result they are generally incomplete.

Windows is (Usually) Pre-Installed by the Manufacturer
While there are a few manufacturers today that will preload their computers with a Linux distribution, for the most part you will have to install Linux distributions yourself after you have received your computer. I build my own computers, so the hard drive is going to start out blank anyway, but the general population will appreciate not having to go through the setup process to get their computer in working order.

Final Thoughts
So, that brings an end to my own mini-series on Linux Distributions vs. Windows. If you haven’t read the first post, please do so. Like I said in my previous post, I dual boot, and I recommend that others do as well if they truly want to maximize their computing experience. The more you know, the more of an informed decision you will be able to make when you need to decide what will work best for you.

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  • BigGuyWhoKills

    “Feature complete” is only half a point. Are you talking about the OS being feature complete, or application being feature complete?  If it’s the OS, then you are wrong (or maybe just mostly wrong).  If it’s applications, you have a point for some software.  However, most Windows programs can run in Linux just fine (and do not require any advanced technical expertise).  There are many examples of faulty Windows programs as well.
    Your third point,  ”There’s More Commercial Support for Windows”, is misleading at best, and outright false at it’s worst.  Canonical and RHEL both have support that you can pay for.  How is that any different than calling Microsoft and paying them for support?Gamer friendly is 100% spot on, at least for DX10 and DX11 games.  And that is why I dual-boot between the two OS’.
    Familiarity is valid, until Windows releases a new version.  Switching from Windows XP to Vista or 7 was no more difficult than switching from any Windows version to any modern Linux disto.
    Your nVidia driver support point was confusing.  nVidia releases proprietary drivers for Linux on almost the same schedule as the Windows driver.  For most users, the proprietary driver is all that they will ever need.  Your last sentence made it sound like nVidia owners are somehow out of luck in Linux, and that is not true at all.  ATI, ymmv.
    My final thoughts: I value Windows for the thousands of dollars of software that I have bought for it.  I value Linux because I have paid NOTHING for it.  There is something liberating about updating numerous parts of the OS, and not having to reboot.  Booting up Linux in a quarter of the time it takes Win7 is nice.  And having all my software update from one application is a level of elegance that Windows users will never experience.  But Windows is still the best gaming OS out there.

  • http://twitter.com/matthartley Matt Hartley

    Good article overall, however factually, you’re mistaken on Linux drivers. Windows 7 driver support is not even remotely close to modern Linux distros. Windows, even in 2011 going on 2012…STILL leans heavily on those antiquated driver CDs as Windows update is useless in this department. 

    Example: My mom’s new Windows 7 desktop left her with a choice — stick with that OS and buy a new printer/scanner, new Bluetooth dongle, etc, or switch to a Linux distro. What kept her using Windows, was her need of MS Publisher and the docs that are locked into the Publisher format. Because of that lone app, she was forced to make some hard choices. She kept Windows and dropped hundreds of $$ in new stuff to stay current. It sucks, but she made her choice.Now I can see the merit in the other points made, however I needed to point out that the driver point is completely myth-based. Where this myth comes from, is due to wifi dongles and the revolving chipsets for dongles offering the same model number as the previous one. Wifi dongles suck under Linux, from an end user perspective. This is due to distro heads being morons and not simply branding a handful of solid chipsets such as Atheros or Ralink. Instead, they’re trying to support everything under the sun using crap like NDISWrapper or poorly supported Broadcom attempts.For anyone interested, here’s a good read (2010) on the Linux Driver myth.http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/locutus/washing-the-windows-myths-device-support-38896and this as well…further explains why most people still don’t fully understand the differences.http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_Windows_have_better_driver_support_than_LinuxQuote: “The current Linux kernel supports more devices than any single Windows release. Linux also supports more legacy devices than Windows Vista or Windows 7 and supports numerous architectures not supported at all by Windows. Drivers in Linux are also usually considered to be more stable than the drivers supplied by the manufacturer for Windows.My ranting aside, not a bad article. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/matthartley Matt Hartley

    (cont)…..as for the NVIDIA driver issue…you have a good point there. Graphics are one area where Windows has an advantage. While the FoSS video drivers are pretty darned good, the proprietary ones blow pretty hard. I run dual-monitors, I use the non-proprietary drivers successfully whereas the proprietary are a mixed bag. 

    But man, the idea that Windows has better driver support made milk come out of my nose. Come on, you know that subheading was bogus! :)

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      Then things have changed last I looked. :) It’s easy to find “Windows” or “Mac” drivers on a manufacturer’s web site…

      • http://twitter.com/matthartley Matt Hartley

        For newer devices when using Windows 7, certainly. As for legacy devices, it’s hit and miss. I’ve been down this road with legacy stuff for Windows 7 PCs and it blows. 

        Unlike XP which did a solid job in this department with manufacturer driver downloads, Win 7 is taking a hit and forcing new hardware/peripheral purchase when it shouldn’t even be necessary.

        As for OS X, things are a little better. Still, we must suck up to the manufacturer and pray for better legacy device support. Example: It took forever to get decent inkjet HP drivers for a number of models on Snow Leopard. Epson on the other hand, did a solid job and deserves huge props for getting things out when the new release first launched. Epson is a winner on OS X – they always have been in my experience.

        Then we have Linux. Once again, thanks to the **manufacturers, the proprietary video drivers are all over the map. Like Windows and OS X, this isn’t the fault of the Linux developers. It’s the manufacturers not wanting to provide a stellar experience on this platform.

        So you have to forgive my cynicism toward manufacturer website driver downloads. They’re great if you can find the right driver…but sadly, it’s not always possible for users of legacy devices.

        **manufacturers do this because fiscally speaking, supporting legacy devices is self-defeating. I run a business, I get this. But by the same token, I as a customer pay close attn to the manufacturers that support my platform and support it well. So it call comes out in the wash.

        • http://twitter.com/FearedBliss Jonathan Vasquez

          That’s weird because on my computer, I run the proprietary NVIDIA drivers on Arch Linux and they work excellent and flawlessly @ 60 FPS etc, with all the bells and whistles including SLI (2x NVIDIA GTX 460s).

          • http://twitter.com/matthartley Matt Hartley

            Not saying it never happens, just that the proprietary drivers can be hit and miss sometimes on the video driver front. That said, I too, have had great success with NVIDIA and reasonable success with ATI proprietary drivers. That said, I run the FoSS drivers (for stability) whenever possible. ;)

        • http://twitter.com/FearedBliss Jonathan Vasquez

          That’s weird because on my computer, I run the proprietary NVIDIA drivers on Arch Linux and they work excellent and flawlessly @ 60 FPS etc, with all the bells and whistles including SLI (2x NVIDIA GTX 460s).

        • guest

          well how old is your legacy? xp is being discontinued soon and last I checked all my xp drivers worked fine on 7, if theres vista drivers even better, they even work on 8 for me. The hardest are old video cards since you need at least vista drivers.

  • Kerns Phoegon

    Meh I don’t care much either way in preferance for linux vs. windows OS.   Though with all honesty I stick with windows, because the games and programs I do use, I will have better ‘official’ and easier to search support because I’m looking on a supported platform, and I don’t play many games that would run ‘officially’ on a linux system (though they can and most do run fine)

    It’s kinda simple as that for me,  better support from my 3rd parties honestly.

    Though there are some Linux builds I’d love to see be publicly supported by 3rd parties, but that is not likely to happen considering that all the distributions of linux can differ greatly in their coding, and are not in any centralized organization when it comes to devs, making 3rd parties work harder to make their game for it, and provide support for their titles, while also having to worry about major drivers they already account for (video, sound, directx, openGL,& the like) having a stable driver/install on the linux, where the coding for the same hardware drivers are vastly different.

    I support linux, and I’m GLAD to see it come as far as it has, but I don’t see it becoming popular with major 3rd party software companies until someone centralizes and controls a Linux coding and development.

  • Anonymous

    I can agree with you on a couple points, but some of your points are outdated and  misleading.

    “Microsoft is paying people to work on Windows”
    Who is Microsoft paying?  Either way, throwing money at something doesn’t necessarily  make it better. I agree with you that proprietary software can be higher quality than  open source products at times, because they have the money and resources to throw at it.   But, proprietary products can go too far and become bloated, too.  Open source  (GNU/Linux) products also have similar monetary backing by companies like Red Hat which  have the resources to do so.  I’ve found countless GNU/Linux software that is very high  quality, if not better than their proprietary counterparts, and are this way because the  developers take pride in their work and develop quality software.

    “Windows is Familiar”
    I agree, most people know Windows.  But you are basing your conclusions on hypotheticals.   I have migrated many people from Windows to GNU/Linux (Gnome 2.0 desktop) and have  received highly rated feedback from them.  Gnome 2.0 is easy to navigate, and I seldom  get any questions on where to find things because it’s quite user friendly in design.  In  the rare occasion that I need to show them something, it’s usually help changing some  type of administrative setting.  Once I show them, they are surprised at how easy it is.   I used to get the same type of questions when they ran Windows, too.

    “Windows is Gamer Friendly”
    I agree with you here.  But Windows is only developed for more, because it has a majority  of the desktop market.  While GNU/Linux makes a good effort to run Windows games in Wine,  it is not perfect and can’t guarantee to work.

    “Windows Has Better Driver Support”
    I’ve found the opposite to be true.  With Windows, yes, the money is there, but the Linux  kernel developers around the world have done an outstanding job of making sure hardware  is supported.  To this day, I have not found anything that is not supported.  The nVidia  example is unfortunately a political one, where nVidia does not want to release the code  for the proprietary driver to the Linux kernel team.  This is what has spawned the  Nouveau project you mention (the open source alternative).  The Linux kernel has all  hardware support either compiled directly or as modules, so it is truly a plug & play  system without a lot of hassle.  There is no searching for 3rd party drivers and  installers to get hardware working.  Printers are probably the top example of this, where  in GNU/Linux, you plug in a printer and it’s installed for you automatically.

    “Windows is (Usually) Pre-Installed by the Manufacturer”
    Yep and this will be the case as long as Microsoft continues to dominate the desktop  market.  Hardware vendors (as well as software vendors) will shift to where the market  is.  You are correct, most of the time the user must install GNU/Linux themselves.

    I usually recommend migrating the GNU/Linux, and locate the applications you need in the  vast repository available with most distributions.  I use Fedora (Red Hat) which has  tremendous community support and software.  It takes research to find products to replace  proprietary Windows ones, but it can be done.  There are lists available out there, but  you must do the research.

    • http://twitter.com/FearedBliss Jonathan Vasquez

      I dual boot between Windows and Arch Linux, and I’m an advocate of OSS (Specifically GPL2 (Not 3) and BSD/MIT licenses). Wanted to state that so you don’t think I’m a troll or something :).

      1. Microsoft is paying their employees. I agree with you on that throwing money at something doesn’t make it better, but it definitely makes it easier to spend man hours on, whether or not the outcome is good, which for Microsoft Windows, IMHO, has gotten and will continue to get better.

      2. How is this a hypothetical? The Desktop market is dominated my Windows. People are familiar with it and therefore people think it’s better and easier to use then anything that is not familiar. This doesn’t mean that it is better, but as I said before, since people are familiar with it, and grew up around it, they have “settled” down on that environment. People don’t exactly like to switch, especially from one environment to a completely different environment.

      3. I agree, Windows is developed for because it has the majority. That’s the point of business. A business tries to make money by trying to get as many people as possible to buy their product, this happens to be where Windows triumphs others.

      4. Windows does have better driver support since the 3rd party developers are developing their own drivers for their own hardware. Of course a Linux driver can eventually become better then the vendor ones, but it takes time to reverse engineer and write drivers for a product. Especially if you are writing them indirectly (You don’t own the device). This happens especially with touchscreen drivers on Linux. I also believe that if NVIDIA doesn’t want to release their source code, they don’t have to. It’s not exactly a political decision, and it also doesn’t mean that NVIDIA’s proprietary driver is bad. It’s actually excellent, and runs flawlessly at 60 FPS with my 2 NVIDIA GTX 460s on SLI.

      5. Yup pretty much, As long as Windows keeps being the most popular Desktop OS, it will continue to be preinstalled. But the consumer also has to be vigilant and use their right to request for a refund if they do not accept Microsoft’s EULA. They have stated this in their EULA and in PR. The problem is that some OEM’s won’t return the money. Technically they aren’t suppose to do that, and it’s pretty monopolistic even though Microsoft supports people yelling at the OEMs over that. It isn’t Microsoft’s fault if Microsoft says that the consumer has the right, but the OEM refuses to give a refund to the consumer when the consumer asks for it. I personally don’t buy from OEMs if I don’t have the option to buy a computer _without_ Windows in the first place (I still buy Windows with the computer though for the most part, but the option is the important part).

      For the people that are interesting in moving to Linux or even BSD, I recommend for them to do it little by little. What I mean by this is too slowly replace the applications that you use on Windows with OSS versions that are also found on Linux, and then once you have that sorted out, then you can choose a Linux distro, and just reinstall the Linux equivalent versions of those applications. This is the method that seems most efficient to me rather then switching cold turkey (and I’ve done both).

      • Anonymous

        “How is this a hypothetical?”
        The author mentions “If I were to switch my mom over to Linux”… but bases everything stated after that on hypotheticals.  Has he actually tried it?  What was the result?  I’ve migrated many from Windows to Linux, including those that only know Windows, and I’ve received very good feedback as I already mentioned.  I also no longer get support calls all of the time.

        “Windows does have better driver support since the 3rd party developers are developing their own drivers for their own hardware.”
        To some extent this is true, but what about the cases where drivers are dropped by the 3rd party for some versions of Windows?  Or what about the cases where drivers just don’t work?  Only the vendor, who is in control of the source, can fix it.  With the Linux kernel, the source is open to everybody.  With Windows, you have thousands of 3rd parties all in the mix submitting their driver to the public, there is no way to test each and every installed driver against every other one, and this is one reason why we see driver instability in Windows. With Linux, everything is filtered down through the kernel development team, and every driver is included either compiled or as a module. My point was that with the Linux kernel, everything is included with the distribution so there aren’t issues with searching for drivers and installing them, the devices either work or they don’t. And upgrading the kernel is as easy as a couple of clicks, and older or previous kernels can be retained and booted to if needed.  To me this design in ingenious.  And I agree with you, in the example of nVidia, the proprietary driver is excellent.  I like nVidia and their products, and I commend them for releasing an excellent nVidia driver for the Linux kernel.  But I’m not sure why they want to keep it proprietary?  Other companies, like Broadcom, which once released only proprietary drivers have finally released the source so that everything can be integrated much better with Linux kernel releases.

        “But the consumer also has to be vigilant and use their right to request for a refund if they do not accept Microsoft’s EULA”
        Have you looked at the EULA for Windows 7 lately?  Microsoft has changed the wording, so that operating system is now purposely tied to each and every computer that the OEM ships.  Read it carefully.  This was purposely done by Microsoft, not the OEM, because consumers were getting Windows refunds when XP/Vista were out.  Now, with Windows 7, the consumer can no longer get a refund for Windows, they must return the entire PC.

        “For the people that are interesting in moving to Linux or even BSD, I recommend for them to do it little by little.”
        I agree with you here, a migration is no easy task.  And like you said there has to be a reason.  For me, it was to end constant troubleshooting of Windows and get back to using my computer for what it was meant for, and to end having to open my wallet all of the time to re-buy software I had already purchased.  The core operating system is one layer, and I recommend cutting over to GNU/Linux for that.  Do some research ahead of time and get a list of open source GNU/Linux applications that will replace the Windows proprietary ones. Then, while running GNU/Linux, use Wine or VirtualBox to run Windows applications for as long as you need them, so that you can run both at the same time and migrate.  Once you are done migrating applications, you will be done with your migration and running on GNU/Linux.  :)

        • http://twitter.com/FearedBliss Jonathan Vasquez

          1. I agree with you, I’ve also migrated one of my friends to Linux from Windows. He still uses Windows for some applications because he is studying to become a Biomedical Engineer and some of the applications don’t run on Linux. He was also open minded though to try out something new, and he didn’t want to spend money on software. He also isn’t a techy so I choose Linux Mint for him since I consider it to be an excellent distro.

          2. The same thing happens for Linux though, a lot of OSS developers develop drivers that aren’t yet complete and need more testing. Of course, the longer they develop those drivers, the better they get, but it takes time. You are also right that the drivers that the OEMs make aren’t as tested as they can be, but for a proprietary developer, they most likely do their own testing closed doors, maybe even in a “Eat your own dog food” approach, which I do as well. I don’t mind NVIDIA keeping their drivers proprietary as long as they are excellent. I also support them because their excellent Linux driver, so for me, having the code open isn’t the most important thing. Having a functional system is, which is my personal preference.

          3. Of course I’ve read the EULA ;), Multiple times including the OEM, Retail, and System Builder licenses. The license you are describing is the Microsoft OEM license that comes preinstalled on the users machines from the OEM. 

          For the OEM it says the following: 

          “By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the software is installed.”

          Which is perfectly ok with me since the point of the OEM licenses is so that the manufacturer can preinstall it into their machines for distribution. The license is also “suppose” to be cheaper then if you were to buy it retail yourself since the OEMs can get batch copies via VLKs. Of course, the OEM doesn’t have to charge you a cheaper price and can abuse you by charging retail costs with the bundle and you most likely wouldn’t even know.

          The good thing is that they have the option for you to return the machine. The also thing that I said before was that when you want to buy the hardware, you should buy from Manufacturers that let you buy the machine without Windows installed, therefore eliminating the need to even deny the EULA. For example: If you call Dell, and ask them that you want to order a Dell XPS 14z but without Windows, they will sell you the machine, without any OS installed (Or you can ask them to install FreeDOS haha). This has been done before. I would assume that if a person wanted to buy a machine from an OEM and wanted to reject the Windows EULA, they might have read at least the beginning of the Windows EULA or have researched about doing this.

          The retail EULA says the following: 

          “By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit. If you cannot obtain a refund there, contact Microsoft or the Microsoft affiliate serving your country for information about Microsoft’s refund policies. See http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide. In the United States and Canada, call (800) MICROSOFT or see http://www.microsoft.com/info/nareturns.htm.”

          I personally don’t have a problem with Microsoft, they make good software for me, I also don’t have a problem with Linux and as I said before I’m an advocate for OSS under GPL2 and BSD/MIT licenses. I also noticed you term Linux as GNU/Linux, long debate over semantics haha.. I pretty much go completely with Linus’ views on this. The person who makes the distribution gets to name their OS. I could easily make my own distro with a BSD userland. That doesn’t mean I need to call my OS BSD/Linux.

      • Anonymous

        “How is this a hypothetical?”
        The author mentions “If I were to switch my mom over to Linux”… but bases everything stated after that on hypotheticals.  Has he actually tried it?  What was the result?  I’ve migrated many from Windows to Linux, including those that only know Windows, and I’ve received very good feedback as I already mentioned.  I also no longer get support calls all of the time.

        “Windows does have better driver support since the 3rd party developers are developing their own drivers for their own hardware.”
        To some extent this is true, but what about the cases where drivers are dropped by the 3rd party for some versions of Windows?  Or what about the cases where drivers just don’t work?  Only the vendor, who is in control of the source, can fix it.  With the Linux kernel, the source is open to everybody.  With Windows, you have thousands of 3rd parties all in the mix submitting their driver to the public, there is no way to test each and every installed driver against every other one, and this is one reason why we see driver instability in Windows. With Linux, everything is filtered down through the kernel development team, and every driver is included either compiled or as a module. My point was that with the Linux kernel, everything is included with the distribution so there aren’t issues with searching for drivers and installing them, the devices either work or they don’t. And upgrading the kernel is as easy as a couple of clicks, and older or previous kernels can be retained and booted to if needed.  To me this design in ingenious.  And I agree with you, in the example of nVidia, the proprietary driver is excellent.  I like nVidia and their products, and I commend them for releasing an excellent nVidia driver for the Linux kernel.  But I’m not sure why they want to keep it proprietary?  Other companies, like Broadcom, which once released only proprietary drivers have finally released the source so that everything can be integrated much better with Linux kernel releases.

        “But the consumer also has to be vigilant and use their right to request for a refund if they do not accept Microsoft’s EULA”
        Have you looked at the EULA for Windows 7 lately?  Microsoft has changed the wording, so that operating system is now purposely tied to each and every computer that the OEM ships.  Read it carefully.  This was purposely done by Microsoft, not the OEM, because consumers were getting Windows refunds when XP/Vista were out.  Now, with Windows 7, the consumer can no longer get a refund for Windows, they must return the entire PC.

        “For the people that are interesting in moving to Linux or even BSD, I recommend for them to do it little by little.”
        I agree with you here, a migration is no easy task.  And like you said there has to be a reason.  For me, it was to end constant troubleshooting of Windows and get back to using my computer for what it was meant for, and to end having to open my wallet all of the time to re-buy software I had already purchased.  The core operating system is one layer, and I recommend cutting over to GNU/Linux for that.  Do some research ahead of time and get a list of open source GNU/Linux applications that will replace the Windows proprietary ones. Then, while running GNU/Linux, use Wine or VirtualBox to run Windows applications for as long as you need them, so that you can run both at the same time and migrate.  Once you are done migrating applications, you will be done with your migration and running on GNU/Linux.  :)

    • http://twitter.com/FearedBliss Jonathan Vasquez

      I dual boot between Windows and Arch Linux, and I’m an advocate of OSS (Specifically GPL2 (Not 3) and BSD/MIT licenses). Wanted to state that so you don’t think I’m a troll or something :).

      1. Microsoft is paying their employees. I agree with you on that throwing money at something doesn’t make it better, but it definitely makes it easier to spend man hours on, whether or not the outcome is good, which for Microsoft Windows, IMHO, has gotten and will continue to get better.

      2. How is this a hypothetical? The Desktop market is dominated my Windows. People are familiar with it and therefore people think it’s better and easier to use then anything that is not familiar. This doesn’t mean that it is better, but as I said before, since people are familiar with it, and grew up around it, they have “settled” down on that environment. People don’t exactly like to switch, especially from one environment to a completely different environment.

      3. I agree, Windows is developed for because it has the majority. That’s the point of business. A business tries to make money by trying to get as many people as possible to buy their product, this happens to be where Windows triumphs others.

      4. Windows does have better driver support since the 3rd party developers are developing their own drivers for their own hardware. Of course a Linux driver can eventually become better then the vendor ones, but it takes time to reverse engineer and write drivers for a product. Especially if you are writing them indirectly (You don’t own the device). This happens especially with touchscreen drivers on Linux. I also believe that if NVIDIA doesn’t want to release their source code, they don’t have to. It’s not exactly a political decision, and it also doesn’t mean that NVIDIA’s proprietary driver is bad. It’s actually excellent, and runs flawlessly at 60 FPS with my 2 NVIDIA GTX 460s on SLI.

      5. Yup pretty much, As long as Windows keeps being the most popular Desktop OS, it will continue to be preinstalled. But the consumer also has to be vigilant and use their right to request for a refund if they do not accept Microsoft’s EULA. They have stated this in their EULA and in PR. The problem is that some OEM’s won’t return the money. Technically they aren’t suppose to do that, and it’s pretty monopolistic even though Microsoft supports people yelling at the OEMs over that. It isn’t Microsoft’s fault if Microsoft says that the consumer has the right, but the OEM refuses to give a refund to the consumer when the consumer asks for it. I personally don’t buy from OEMs if I don’t have the option to buy a computer _without_ Windows in the first place (I still buy Windows with the computer though for the most part, but the option is the important part).

      For the people that are interesting in moving to Linux or even BSD, I recommend for them to do it little by little. What I mean by this is too slowly replace the applications that you use on Windows with OSS versions that are also found on Linux, and then once you have that sorted out, then you can choose a Linux distro, and just reinstall the Linux equivalent versions of those applications. This is the method that seems most efficient to me rather then switching cold turkey (and I’ve done both).

  • http://gislikarl.com Gísli Karl Gíslason

    Most of the advantages Windows has over Linux are because Windows is the dominating operating system. If more people would use Linux, vendors would make their hardware and software work with Linux. If that would be the case Linux would hands down be much better because lets just face it;Windows is flawed in its design due to the use of registry and DLL files :)

    Another thing I would like to add is that the reason why Ubuntu is the most successfull Linux distribution ever is because it’s funded by Canonical so there is both a business and an open source model running the development the operating system;Ubuntu is the proof that almost any Open Source project can be user friendly and sucessfull as long as money is being made. Canonical only makes a very small fraction of what the big companies like Microsoft make, imagine what it would be like if Canonical made something like that. Then we would get both the benefits of having an open source software and software funded by large enterprises.

    The only way Linux can affect Windows’ market share is if more money is being put in the open source projects and if more people start to use it. If schools would stop using propritary software like Windows and Office and use instead alternatives like Ubuntu and LibreOffice it would have a huge impact because future generations wouldn’t feel the need to buy something they grew up with but instead they would live in the free world and be familiar with it. If hardware vendors would install Linux on new machines that would also make a huge impact.

    But these things are very unlikely to happen if we allow Microsoft to use this kind of monopoly that’s hurting your community.

    http://en.windows7sins.org/

  • http://sysmatters.com/what-is-computer/ Imran Soudagar

    The reason Windows is popular is that it is user friendly and most of the pc’s come pre-installed with Windows and this makes the user more familiar with Windows. If Linux also does the same as Windows then there will be more competition to Windows. If we just glance on the Operating System market then we can see that there is no worthy competitor to Microsoft. What we need today is a company that can challenge Microsoft in IBM standard pc’s.

    • Brandt

      Windows is not nearly as user friendly as Linux, at least as far as Ubuntu and Mint go. I’ve used Linux for a while, and it’s nice having the menu split into Games and Office and such instead of having a different folder for each company or product. If you want to type a paper and browse the web, Windows works. Anything else, and Linux is far superior.

      • Anonymous

        OH HELL NO. Windows is used for just about everything, sure linux is better for configuration but linux is not what a program is normally made for when it first starts out.

        • wtf

          wat

  • Email

    Really?! People thinking like you are the reason M$ ruins it for everyone. The “reasons” you present are mostly the stereotypes one uses to justify self for using windows, and paying for it too.
    My family and I have been using Linux for everything for more than 8 years and not missing on paying M$ for sub-par software. No matter the ages (3 and up), no one had any significant problems making the switch.
    I’ve been trying Linux many years before that and was very disappointed to see how M$ treats its rivals – Corel Linux anyone? We keep talking about market share – but M$ killing Corel Linux one could argue it pushed Linux 10 years back as far as the market goes. Latest windows now can barely compete with Linux, win 95 or 98 would’ve stood no chance!

    So, due to pseudo-reasons like your “feature complete” and “familiar”, combined with our business’ management lack of information on computers (and agreeing to pay for that) and our IT unable to learn anything but Windows, I am now stuck with Windows 7 at work, dealing with more than a couple of things your mom deals with.
    For example, Access 2010 and Windows 7 don’t like my Access 2007 DB and SharePoint 2007. My Excel 2007 queries error out for ‘no installable ISAM’ and only 50% of the macros are running. Word 2010 doesn’t create a document workspace anymore because M$ decided so (feature discontinued) I am not even going to complain about the new “ribbon” menu. IE8 keeps asking for credentials regardless if I check remember credentials box. Access changes to Japanese keyboard layout when editing fields. Outlook opens multiple windows of the same mailbox. XP mode complains about integration features. Getting “desktop has stopped working” every few days. And yes, this is “pre-installed by manufacturer”.
    If this were Linux everyone would use these problems as proof of why it shouldn’t be used!

    Other notes:- Windows Has More Software = Windows Has More Commercial Software – Linux comes with thousands of free applications – please check how many come with windows.- Windows is More “Feature Complete” = Windows is More “Feature Closed” – It is as “complete” as M$ decides (see different versions of windows).- There’s More Commercial Support for Windows = maybe, and that’s probably because it needs it! There are a good number of businesses offering commercial support for Linux.
    - Windows is Familiar – depends on the family, and people “get familiar” with things.
    - Windows is Gamer Friendly – check out PlayOnLinux, Wine, Cedega, DOSbox, FUSE, etc (besides the original Linux games and multi-platform games). Then there’s PS3, Wii, etc.
    - Windows Has Better Driver Support – maybe, only for the newest hardware! That’s actually one of the main reasons to stick to Linux – refusing to discard older hardware to support new windows. I still use my 12 years old parallel port Mustek scanner – nobody makes windows drivers for it for many years now. My Logitech webcam works fine in Linux but didn’t with Vista or Win 7.- Windows is (Usually) Pre-Installed by the Manufacturer – see above for the benefits!

  • phaNtom

    “Windows Has More Software”
    I think for most people, Linux got everything they need or really good alternatives (like Libre Office instead of M$ Office, GIMP instead of Adobe Photoshop)

    “Windows is More “Feature Complete””
    Okay, M$ is paying their programmers, Linux (or in the following as an exemple Ubuntu) not everyone. There are many people programming for Ubuntu because they just enjoy it, not to get money. They just have got a better motivation.
    And of course, the Software is WIP, like Windows. Or why do we have Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8? Windows XP was not Feature Complete, like Vista, 7 and probably 8. But i think with Ubuntu, you feel it more because the devs show what they wanna do with it. And the community can say what features they would like to have on sites like Ubuntu Brainstorm

    “Windows is Familiar”
    When i switched over from Windows XP to Ubuntu 11.10 (Unity), i needed around 1 hour for setting it up. In this time, i learnt everything i needed about Multitasking, the Dash, etc.
    And after 3 days, i was able to use Ubuntu as fast as Windows.

  • Agency

    Adobe products are available for Linux.

    PC gamers are a small portion of the market, console gaming is much more popular in terms of user base.

    The XBOX 360 controller is supported by default in Linux, you need a driver download in Windows, and the Linux version handles the Trigger Axis better than the Windows version.

    Google continues to eat the Internet, and they run Linux. Android is the only competitor to iPad at the moment.

    Windows continues to absorb open-source structure, and that has greatly benefited them, but it was hardly their effort. Eating SUSE and spitting out desktop security is a victory for us, not them.

    People getting paid to work on something may do it for a job, but that doesn’t inherently make them great at it. Windows is and remains to this day the easiest OS to hack, and the easiest OS to put a trojan/virus/malware/spyware on.

    People may have grown up on Windows XP, but Windows 8 represents the future, and that is so different from a normal Windows distro that people will once again be asking how to do the most basic tasks while swimming through a sea of rectangle menu options.

    • guest

      you do know that the reason it’s the easiest it’s because it has the most benefit for hackers since it has the biggest market share again? At least that’s what I read in an article some time back where someone hacked OSX and Linux very easily

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Stone/100000752222313 Tim Stone

    The big issue with linux is that the same software is available for Windows as well. Chrome, Apache, mysql, php, Inkscape, blender, Firefox, Filezilla, Pidgin, VirtualBox, GIMP, Open Office, and DosBox etc… are all available on Windows. So who needs Linux?

    The only program that I have seen that Linux is actually useful for is Asterisk and freepbx. That is about it.

    Also, you are still using M$ which died a long time ago and makes you look like a fanboy and less like someone who has knowledge. I use Linux Mint, Kubuntu, and CentOS.

    Oh, also downloading drivers from Logitech does wonders for old webcams, that takes about 3 minutes, not a big deal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Stone/100000752222313 Tim Stone

    The big issue with linux is that the same software is available for Windows as well. Chrome, Apache, mysql, php, Inkscape, blender, Firefox, Filezilla, Pidgin, VirtualBox, GIMP, Open Office, and DosBox etc… are all available on Windows. So who needs Linux?

    The only program that I have seen that Linux is actually useful for is Asterisk and freepbx. That is about it.

    Also, you are still using M$ which died a long time ago and makes you look like a fanboy and less like someone who has knowledge. I use Linux Mint, Kubuntu, and CentOS.

    Oh, also downloading drivers from Logitech does wonders for old webcams, that takes about 3 minutes, not a big deal.

  • jfriman

    Arguing about which OS is the best is like arguing who has the best spouse. In my computer life I found that polygamy is actually the best. Not one operating system is best for all situations. Linux has made long strides into client-end computing and I use it as that for certain tasks — like banking. It is more secure. On the other hand when I want to do complex spreadsheets or do some heavy duty word processing, I fire up MS office. It feels most robust and easy to use. LibreOffice is good, but not quite on the same level as MS Office. Visio is also awesome on Windows. Now let’s say you want to do some serious graphics work and movie stuff. Both PC and Linux try in this area, but Mac really wins out. In business Windows makes a good desktop computer, but Linux machines on the back end are much better suited to run large databases. When you have super large databases then even Linux which is mostly found on Intel platform can choke. Then I move to UNIX systems such as Solaris, HP-UX and other flavors of UNIX running on larger computers. Then back down the most personal device of them all – the cell phone. Android and I-OS dominate because they both do a good job. Operating Systems are like vehicles you see on the freeways. It takes big trucks, little trucks, busses, sports cars, sedans, and family SUVs to run the world. The best OS is actually not an OS but the fact that we have so many to choose from for various tasks. The worst OS would be if we only had one to choose from whether it would be Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Solaris, HP-UX. AIX, VMS and so on. Stick to your one real spouse, but when it comes to OSs experience the joy of polygamy and get involved with as many as you can. For desktop computing I use Windows, Linux and Mac. For server computing I do not like Mac or Windows even though both are pushing their way in. They are just not good work horses and they should stick to what they do best.

  • Dutch Debian user

    I don’t think you can say Windows **IS** better than Linux.
    Since this can only be an opinion, not a fact.

    There are many different computers and people in the world.
    The best operating system is the one that suits your wishes and needs most.

    To find your personal best operating system you may wonder the following:
    ( – What do I want to do with your computer?)
    ( – How do I want things to be done on my computer?)
    ( – What are the capabilities of my computer?)

    ( – Do I like to work in a lightweight desktop enviroment?)
    ( – Do I like to work in a heavyweight but eyecandy rich desktop enviroment?)
    ( – Do I even need a graphical desktop enviroment?)

    ( – What should I use? Closed, open or free software?)

    • Dutch Debian User

      ** (- What do I want to do with my computer?)

  • Celso

    My friend, you need to study more not to make the mistake of talking so much shit in a text, as you just did. A strong hug.

  • Holden Plays

    Linux doesn’t have drivers, and PlayOnLinux makes windows gaming “gamer Friendly” furthermore, Linux IS easy to use, people are just too lazy to use a few new programs

  • Jared Deklems

    Some of these reasons are stupid, in 2010 and in 2014:
    -Commercial support
    In 2010, RedHat, Canonical, and many other companies offer (and still do) commercial support.
    -Feature Complete
    No program is EVER feature complete. There will always be something that has to be added, to be improved or fixed. This statement is NULL.

    Now, most of these arguments as of today (3 years later) are invalid:
    -Driver Support
    Drivers are hardly an issue, and almost any computer you throw at Linux will work.
    -Gamer Friendly
    With the birth of Steam on Linux, Linux is now open for gamers.
    -Familiar
    There are many distros that mimic the look of Windows perfectly, such has Zorin, etc.
    It seems that this argument, as many, isn’t against Linux a whole, just most distributions of Linux.
    -More Software
    Linux is growing ever-so-greatly and is receiving much more support. This will hardly be a problem in a couple of years!
    -Pre-installed on Computers
    There are many companies that make Linux laptops/desktops now, such as System76, Lenovo, and Dell.

    Now, every single on of Eddie’s reasons are invalid and null as of 2014.

  • Marra

    “Windows is Gamer Friendly”
    So is every other OS which runs a decent OpenGL Platform. Windows isn’t any more “Gamer Friendly” than Linux or MacOS, it’s the lazy ass devs of the major games which only develop for Windows/DirectCancer

  • Marra

    “Windows Has Better Driver Support”
    Where did you get that from?
    If i run Windows on my home PC i need to download the Driver for my Graphics Card, which is about 400MB. On Linux, MacOS, Anything else I dont.

  • Marra

    “Windows is (Usually) Pre-Installed by the Manufacturer”
    That’s like saying “Game X comes with Graphics Card Y so it has to be good”
    See how that makes no sense?