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.
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.