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What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013? 1215

Posted by timothy
from the corporate-myopia-plays-a-part dept.
Five years ago today, reader J.J. Ramsey asked what's keeping you off Windows (itself a followup to this question about the opposite situation). With five years of development time gone by for Windows as well as all the alternative OSes, where does Windows stand for you today? (Is it the year of Linux on the Desktop yet?)
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What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:18PM (#43948773)

    For actual work and play I use windows. Everything works best on it.

    Every now and then I boot into the latest linux distro currently in favor and give it a spin. And I've always ended up disappointed.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:46PM (#43948955)
      also, excel on windows is extraordinary useful if you're a power user. there's nothing like it on other platforms, and don't say excel for mac or even worse numbers for mac.
      • by fisted (2295862) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:54PM (#43948999)
        Excel...the Windows killer-app.
        You Sir^H^H^H"Power-User", made my day.
        • by pla (258480) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:06PM (#43949081) Journal
          Excel...the Windows killer-app. You Sir^H^H^H"Power-User", made my day.

          Sorry that it hurts so much, but so, so true in the business world.

          I love Linux. I use it for servers, I've rolled my own kernels, even my own embedded distros (and I mean back before Knoppix remastering made that trivially easy). But for day to day desktop use?

          Quite simply, Linux sucks ass as a desktop OS. Some of that doesn't count as its own fault, but rather, that of a Windows-centric world. Others (like getting something as basic as sound to work reliably), I consider a major shortcoming. Either way, sorry, but I just can't call myself a desktop Linux user. And I say that as someone who would switch in a frickin' heartbeat if it really counted as a serious option.

          For home use, I could probably get away with it. But at the office, no way in hell.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:34PM (#43949281)

            Representatives of Microsoft may be hanging out on the social news site voting up positive comments about the Xbox One, voting down negative comments and adding pro-Xbox comments of their own, Misty Silver says.

            While at Microsoft for a meeting, Misty Silver saw and overheard some employees on Reddit. She looked at one of the employee’s screens:

            “I noticed he was mass-downvoting a ton of posts and comments, and he kept switching to other tabs to make posts and comments of his own. I couldn’t make out exactly what he was posting, but I presumed he was doing RM (reputation management) and asked my boss about it later. According to my boss, MS have[sic] just brought in a huge sweep of SMM managers to handle reputation management for the Xbox One,” Silver reported.

            “Reputation management” is the term social media marketers use to “pose as happy customers” on social media sites. They upvote/downvote and make comments.

            http://au.businessinsider.com/microsoft-positive-reddit-comments-2013-6 [businessinsider.com] [businessinsider.com] [businessinsider.com]

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Nagaru (2772269)
            Ahhh spoken as a true excel power user. For everyone else, including non power users, sounds just works. And it has for over 10 years.
          • by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @11:05PM (#43949883)

            If your definition of a desktop OS is running "windows centric apps" then I can see why Linux sucks for you. As a desktop for me it's fabulous. I can do anything I need to do on a Linux desktop and the only place I find the need to use another OS is in video editing. The programs on my Mac are much better than the Linux video applications but things there are improving. Having used Linux as my primary desktop for 14 years I've never been tempted to use windows for my home system but then I don't really play games. If I was a video game player I'd have to dual boot 'cause Linux gaming is really pretty far behind. I don't get the sound problem. Haven't seen that in like 8 or 9 years. Wifi was the last real hurdle I had for a Linux install and that's been about 3 years since I've had to open a terminal to fix that.

          • by atriusofbricia (686672) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @01:19AM (#43950453) Journal

            Every time this type of question comes up someone pipes up with this kind of statement.

            It always makes me wonder if I'm the only one that has zero problems with sound? Or pretty much anything? Am I just that lucky and skillful and freaking awesome in selecting hardware?

            For other desktop uses I again must just be some kind of freak outlier. The only time I've had problems using Linux in the office was when I worked at places that were outright Linux (really "non-Windows") hostile and would actively prevent you from using anything else or at best just didn't help a lick. If it wasn't that kind of place I had no problems doing everything everyone else was doing. Maybe it was just that my job didn't require me to be some fancy Excel jockey or something.

            Am I really alone in that?

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          Clearly you haven't tried "Excel for supercomputers. [cnet.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by camperdave (969942)
        Excel, no. What keeps me from wiping windows and going full on Linux is OneNote.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The opposite for me. I use Linux for actual work and stuff. I use Windows for games.

    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:41PM (#43949329)

      If you look at msdn you will still see some ancient articles of mine. I have written books about .net and c#. When windows 8 was announced I decided that I will switch. Windows 8'to me was a piece of do do. I switched to osx and Linux. And now I use for the most part Linux.

      As I trade the market my main concern was excel. But what was interesting is that I ended up not needing it because I changed the way that I write algos. I used to be my algos would use excel as the front end. Now I use HTML. Let me tell you HTML rocks, and excel sucks. What is more impressive with HTML is its ability to do whatever I want. If I want a grid with spreadsheet like functionality it is possible. Do I want to insert a graph, no problem. It really is an evolution.

      What made the switch hard was the leap of faith. I have used Linux since 94, but was always a bit disappointed. However now with both osx and Linux I can honestly say windows is not needed anymore. And if you say you need it, then it is because you don't want to make the leap of faith. Especially with osx around.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:43PM (#43949351) Homepage

      Linux is not a toy. If it were true, then Cisco, VMWare and dozens of other highly respected and expensive technology brands are foisting toys upon the world.

      But even so, Linux on the Desktop will never be a "mainstream thing." But that's perfectly okay. Windows (and DOS before it) was always designed to be a desktop system... a non-critical desktop system. And of course, it has critical mass which is why "everything works best on it." But don't confuse that apparent fact to mean that means Windows is the best.

      I do use Linux on the desktop and mainly because I can trust it a great deal more than Windows. And in today's ridiculous political climate? You'd be an absolute fool to use anything but Linux today. After all, if you disagree with the tremendous amount of government overreach lately (and the vast majority of us do) I can't imagine why you couldn't presume your Windows isn't compromised already. Seriously. It's mainstream news. It's not "conspiracy theory" any more. And it runs things nicely and well.

      So why won't there ever be a year of the Linux Desktop? Well... that's because it's the desktop itself that's on it way out. And it happens that Linux is already dominating its replacements and Microsoft/Windows has already been soundly rejected by the consumer community.

    • by Smallpond (221300)

      For actual work and play I use windows. Everything works best on it.

      Every now and then I boot into the latest linux distro currently in favor and give it a spin. And I've always ended up disappointed.

      How do you do something as basic as copy a file securely to another computer? I use scp on Linux.

    • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:39PM (#43949701)

      I remember one time I was getting a medical diagnostic scan and the computers for operating the equipment were running some flavor of Linux or Unix. Not exactly what I'd call a toy.

      No, desktop Linux isn't there yet, but it has made *huge* strides since it's infancy. I still remember ongoing forum threads of people excited that their computers *actually* worked ran Linux! Today, Ubuntu runs on pretty well anything other than maybe high end or obscure hardware.

      Really, the only thing preventing mass acceptance at this point is good software. If Microsoft keeps chugging down the Metro koolaid, we may actually see some Linux desktop adoption.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Opposite here. Never really used windows except at work where it's all we have and is misery personified. I got my first computer in 1983, a Commodore 64 with the big clunky 1541 disk drive. 64 Kilobytes of Ram (48K free) and 170K of storage on 5.25" floppies. Later I moved to an Amiga 500 then an Amiga 3000 which I upgraded time after time until 1999 when I got an Intel dual P3 tower and looked around and picked up a box of SUSE Linux at Best Buy for $70. It took a while to get over the fact it wasn't

    • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:05AM (#43951183)

      I'm the same, unfortunately. I have Mint and Ubuntu VMs for Android stuff and general screwing around, but any time I actually want to work or play, it's plain old Windows 7. Reasons are the following, in order of most to least important:

      1. Battery life. I'm getting about 12 hours per charge of wireless web & office out of a single 9-cell (approx. 90Wh) on my T520. On Linux, I'm lucky to get 8 hours... there ARE people out there who get similarly awesome battery life on Linux, but I can't for the life of me reproduce their settings - either I'm too Linux-Nooby to understand them or they're unable to explain properly. I've tried TLP, all the suggested kernel parameters, using powertop to find power-hogs... so far, instead of the ~6W I'm hitting in Windows, I'm lucky to hit 8 or 9W in Linux when doing the same things with the same display brightness.

      I even bought a Linux-friendly version of the T520 - Intel graphics only, Intel 6300 Ultimate-N Wireless, no WWAN, regular old Bluetooth...

      2. Perfect window and desktop management with the following tools: Dexpot, Allsnap, Winsplit Revolution and AutoHotKey. Linux distros offer many of these features built into its DE, but they're always missing something that the above combination of tools offers, and I haven't found separately installable Linux alternatives to all of them yet.

      3. I quite like my Windows applications - Photoshop, MS Office, Matlab, Winamp... even ACDSee Pro. Running these applications in a virtualized environment on battery life would be stupid...

      4. Windows (at least since Vista/7) seems less prone to breakage than common Linux distros. I can't count the times that a few simple updates have rendered my Mint or Ubuntu VMs unusable because of some setting or package I'd installed beforehand... if someone could tell me WTF I'm doing to keep fucking this up, I'd be very grateful.

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:19PM (#43948777)

    There is no serious personal tax software to run on GNU/Linux (or BSD), and many websites, systems management GUI and appliances still require IE to access. Hideous state of affairs, I hate it, but there it is.

  • Apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:19PM (#43948781)

    I know w/ Windows any new app or game comes out and it WILL be released for it. Yeah, maybe your favorite game is available on another platform, but what happens when you get bored w/ it?

  • by lesincompetent (2836253) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:20PM (#43948785)
    If i hear that question again i'm gonna start swimming head first in concrete.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:20PM (#43948797)

    Is a necessary evil because I need or want to run certain software which won't run on Linux, or customers expect they will be able to use the software I write in a Windows environment.

    Otherwise it could shrivel up and blow away and I'd be happy to see it go.

  • Windows problems (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:24PM (#43948825)

    Off the top of my head:
    1. Windows has a terrible interface, both Windows 7 and 8 have ugly, inflexible displays.
    2. Windows still doesn't have proper package management. Which leads to...
    3. With Windows every app has its own update process that takes up resources and nag the user.
    4. Malware and adware is thick on Windows.
    5. Windows doesn't come bundled with common tools I use, such as a compiler, OpenSSH, productivity suite, etc.
    6. Windows seems to need to reboot almost constantly and takes a long time to apply updates.
    7. Windows is expensive compared to most other operating systems.
    8. Release/upgrade cycles are not at fixed/predictable times.
    9. Windows lacks containers/jails.
    10. Windows lacks a good, advanced file system like ZFS.
    11. Windows has poor driver support, requiring hardware be bundled with driver discs that take a long time to load and include apps that nag the user.
    12. I can't hack on the Windows source code.

    So there's a dozen reasons, take your favourite.

    • by avxo (861854) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:59PM (#43949037)
      I know that these are your specific complaints against Windows, and that's fine, but I am going to piggyback on this to talk more generally since most of your complaints are fairly generic or can be generalized.

      1. Windows has a terrible interface, both Windows 7 and 8 have ugly, inflexible displays.

      "ugly" is in the eye of the beholder - frankly, I find KDE and Gnome to be ugly (especially the font rendering... shit, it's 2013, can't you figure out how to render fonts yet?) As far as flexibility, Windows is a lot more flexible that any Linux I've tried when it comes to multi-monitor setups without me having to muck with configs. And my settings don't randomly get lost.

      2. Windows still doesn't have proper package management. Which leads to... 3. With Windows every app has its own update process that takes up resources and nag the user.

      No doubt. It's a serious issue. However, can you imagine hell that everyone would raise if Microsoft wanted to offer such a service? They catch flak for almost everything they do.

      4. Malware and adware is thick on Windows.

      Windows 7 has made tremendous strides forward when it comes to security. I'm no Microsoft apologist, but when they try to improve things three things bite them in the ass: (a) backwards compatibility (aka "my Windows 95 program can't do X! Why doesn't it work, stupid Microsoft!"); (b) users who insist on running with elevated privileges. (c) complaints when good stuff gets implemented (such as PatchGuard, which antivirus vendors went crazy about).

      5. Windows doesn't come bundled with common tools I use, such as a compiler, OpenSSH, productivity suite, etc.

      And cars don't come bundled with gasoline. And houses don't come bundled with furniture. And groceries don't come bundled with chefs. You are seriously complaining because Windows doesn't come bundled with stuff? And wasn't bundling stuff what got Microsoft into trouble before?

      9. Windows lacks containers/jails.

      "The esoteric feature that I want is missing. It serves no practical purpose and isn't needed in the product's target market, but I want it. And it's not there. Why is it not there!?!?"

      10. Windows lacks a good, advanced file system like ZFS.

      NTFS is a pretty decent filesystem. It doesn't have flashy features and it's not hip, but it gets the job done, it's reliable and you know what... those are the two primary considerations for a filesystem. At least for most people.

      11. Windows has poor driver support, requiring hardware be bundled with driver discs that take a long time to load and include apps that nag the user.

      You're joking, right? Windows hardware support is excellent and it comes bundled with not only a boatload of drivers, but offers a way of automatically downloading and installing drivers for new devices. Don't blame Windows if some vendors don't want to allow Microsoft to ship drivers, or if their hardware requires a super-special driver to set a hardware register to the length of the lead hardware engineers penis before it will work. As for the driver discs, you'll find that they almost always bundled with crap - the vendor's "custom" scan toolkit, a copy of Acrobat, a manual in PDF form, etc.

      12. I can't hack on the Windows source code.

      Don't take this personally, but your programming skills almost certainly make that a good thing. And let's be realistic - for the overwhelming majority of computer users, the computer is an appliance. They don't need or want to know how it works. They just want it to work. So you can imagine how they feel about "hacking source code."

      • You're joking, right? Windows hardware support is excellent and it comes bundled with not only a boatload of drivers, but offers a way of automatically downloading and installing drivers for new devices. Don't blame Windows if some vendors don't want to allow Microsoft to ship drivers, or if their hardware requires a super-special driver to set a hardware register to the length of the lead hardware engineers penis before it will work. As for the driver discs, you'll find that they almost always bundled with crap - the vendor's "custom" scan toolkit, a copy of Acrobat, a manual in PDF form, etc.

        12. I can't hack on the Windows source code.

        He's most likely not used Windows since 7 came out, pre-7 driver support from Windows update was questionable, now you can get almost any driver you need automatically (as long as you have your network driver) but in the XP and earlier days it was...not so good.

        • by fazig (2909523) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:50PM (#43949389)
          His first point was that the interface was ugly and inflexible. Most likely his main reason to not look further into the OS.
          To be honest I don't know why the Windows 7 GUI receives so much hate, I get it that W8's metro GUI isn't quite the right thing for desktop computers, but where does Windows 7 fail in that discipline so horribly?
          The interface might take up some computer resources you could use otherwise, but we live in 2013. Our PCs have plenty of CPU cores that most of the time are 'bored', we have 32GB of RAM and multiple terabytes of HDD space. Who is actually still counting bits and processor cycles on their desktop computer?

          As for drivers, I often have problems with USB devices like external hard disks or flash drives on Windows 7, then I usually have to troubleshoot the problem via a rather complicated process for non computer savvy people or simply plug in the device again and again until it works on its own.
          This combined with the somewhat outdated filesystem NTFS (prone to data fragmentation) are the only true downsides of Windows 7 for me as a user. And as long as I get my Windows copies for free and 100% legally from my university I will stick with it as my main OS, although I've omitted W8 so far, which I didn't even do with Vista.
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:38PM (#43949695)

        It kinda depends on what people mean too. If what you mean is a central software repository, where you can download stuff, then nope, Windows doesn't really have that. Part of it comes from the fact that much of the software on Windows is commercial and thus they can't just give it so you. It'd be a store, not just a download utility. However they are trying to introduce that, the Windows Store in Win 8 and as you say, people are raising hell. Not because it is crap (it is) but because evil MS wants to rule all your downloads (they don't). People have raised hue and cry over the idea.

        However if by package management you mean something that deal with installing and uninstalling software or other things, and tracking changes, well then Windows has long had one and it is great: the Windows Installer. That is what manages those MSI files you'll see and most software uses it, even if they wrap their own executable around the startup. It is extremely robust, flexible, and good at what it does. It keeps apps from breaking one another, can be used to script installs, offer software from central enterprise repositories, and so on.

        So depending on what you mean, MS has it, and you just might not have known it. But as for the "one place to get your software" they've decided they want that and as you say, people are raising hell.

  • Gaming console (Score:5, Insightful)

    by devent (1627873) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:28PM (#43948845) Homepage

    For me Windows is just a gaming console for my computer. All my work I do from Linux and hibernate to switch to Windows to start a game, and then switch to Linux again do to web surfing and work. I guess I could try and install some games with Wine but since Windows comes pre-installed I can use it for the games.

    I'm using Fedora Linux with KDE. Works extremely well. I use LibreOffice, Java development in Eclipse, Firefox, Skype, TeamViewer, and Latex for documents, letters and presentations.

    For me Windows is just a toy system that is only good to start my games, since the AAA games don't target Linux. Lets see maybe it will change with Steam for Linux.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:29PM (#43948855)

    I try to keep up to date with the three major desktop operating systems. Flexibility in skills (and philosophy) is a pretty good way to remain adaptable to future trends in technology. That, and each platform is interesting and useful in their own way.

  • windows 7 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by superwiz (655733) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:29PM (#43948857) Journal
    windows 7 is just plain awesome. It's actually quite ridiculous how good UI is. It lacks in the flexibility of the underlying system objects, but it's not what I want from my Desktop. I want to get me to where I need to be while using the desktop... not while typing. I have other tools for massive text processing and low-level data processing. The desktop has to to just do things and never break. Windows 7 is beautiful at it.
  • It works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:33PM (#43948881) Journal

    I created this name 12 years ago because I was young, immature, and hated Microsoft with a passion.
    (typical slashdotter at the time in 1999)

    Windows crashed and DOS was horrible though slashdot had its loyalists I should not by 1993 create autoexec.bat files for Monkey Island and another to play Doom because of expanded vs extended memory?? WTF this is a 486 not a 8086?!

    Around the time they were asked 10 years ago on what kept me off Windows questions

    I tried Linux then and fell in love with the aspects of free software, tons of apps on cd (I was on dialup then), I did not have to pay $$$$ for compilers for game development, could get any gui I wanted, I could get paid a shit load of money if I had Unix on my resume.

    I fell in love with FreeBSD. It was stable, never changed, just worked, unless I did something stupid to it. I started disliking Linux. It was beta quality and kept crashing compared to FreeBSD and Solaris. I felt it was the Windows version of Linux where crapware and hardware are thrown on it and it is not tested well.

    I took a java programming course and gave up on FreeBSD as I needed Java 5 in 2004. I reluctantly started using XP.
    Why in 2013 I stick with Windows

    It works and no longer blows and sucks. For the slashdotters who have ran Linux for 10 years you have to ask yourself if your memories of IE 6 and WindowsME still apply today?

    Windows 7 is stable, IE 10 is a modern browser and has 90% of Firefox's HTML 5 features, Office has its issues but it still is professional, and Adobe products are nice to have but they also exist on the Mac as well. Windows Server 2012 is ok. It is finally catching up and is finally VM ready.

    Linux never just works and has problems with updates with my ATI and AMD hardware due to the lack of a stable ABI. It doesn't have Microsoft Office. Java is butt ugly as the fonts are broken in Debian/Ubuntu distros as the bug is 6 years old now! WTF. FreeBSD is out of the question today as 5.x and 6.x were horrible! I stuck with the 4.x all the way until 4.12 which was now quite stale by 2005.

    My exwife asked me (no not flamebait moderators but her real opinion and words) why I use such an inferior system? My response was WTF Windows sucks, Windows blows, Windows is unstable, and went on and on. Her response was well you are the one who always has to reinstall your operating system. My Vista just works? Whose is better now?

    She is right. World of Warcraft was a pain with Wine, then I had to get Ventrillo to work, and then Office. In the end it just is not worth it.

    I keep CentOS around in virtualbox and VMWare. It rocks as a server

    In 2011 after gnome 3 I gave up. Sorry guys. I put Windows 7 on and it just works. I have reinstalled it a few times but that is it. Compared to Windows 3.1 it is certainly tolerable.

  • MS Access (Score:5, Informative)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:36PM (#43948903)

    I have about 100k lines of VBA code in Access that would be downright painful to rewrite in .NET, and completely unwritable on any *Nix platform.

  • Linux for years (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jonathan P. Bennett (2872425) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:40PM (#43948917)
    I've run Linux since college. I dual booted Fedora Linux (it was Fedora core back then) and Windows xp on my Laptop. I was in the habit of reinstalling windows xp every 6 months. After one such install, I went to my C: drive to tweak something, and the files were hidden with the message that it was dangerous to change any files. I suddenly realized that message encapsulated everything I disliked about Windows. My computer was telling me I wasn't to be trusted with anything under the hood. I wiped out that windows install and have exclusively run Linux on my main machine ever since. Now I actually have control over my computer and what runs on it. It's also more usable than a Windows machine for IT and server administration. My two disappointments are that one: I am still running the proprietary video card drivers (though with the upcoming Fedora release, I'll probably run with the foss drivers), and two: Coreboot doesn't yet work with my mobo and processor combination.
  • why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:40PM (#43948919) Homepage
    A more appropriate question would be: why wouldn't I use Windows? Works great for both my business and personal stuff. No reason to spend a ton of money on Apple stuff, and no reason to spend tons of time with *nix stuff.
  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:45PM (#43948951) Journal

    What keeps me on Windows is the same thing that made me switch from Mac 20 years ago -- games. Both could surf. Both had Word and Excel. Both had C programming IDEs.

    What keeps me now? Nothing. Windows is where the Mac was then. The Mac got games that were PC ports, and only the most popular at that.

    Here, Windows now gets the ports rather than native games, and console-oriented games at that. Very few powers, and frequently you must choose an even smaller subset to be active at that. So screw it.

    I'd rather play simple stuff for smartphones and tablets than the MMORPGs of the past 3 years.

    So nothing holds me to Windows except inertia. My next will probably be an Android tablet with bigger screen and mouse and keyboard, if such a thing can be configured, sitting on my sofa with everyone else on the planet simultaneously watching TV.

    And MS, like Big Blue before it, can see why 2014 won't be like 1984.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:46PM (#43948953)

    lots of laptops have windows only drivers for some of there parts / chips used.

  • by MarioMax (907837) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:47PM (#43948963)

    I'm not gonna pretend that viruses and malware don't exist on Linux. They do.

    However the final straw that drove me to Linux over Windows 7 was a very, very nasty Java virus that managed to disable my antivirus program outright, disable my administrator account's admin privs, and even manage to corrupt some core DLLs required to boot Windows. At that point, I literally said "fuck it" and downloaded the then-current version of Linux Mint and gave it a whirl (after a few months I settled into Arch Linux and never looked back).

    Also, I realized that I only really needed Windows 7 to play games, and I just don't have as much time for games as I used to. I still keep it around on a separate hard drive, ready to boot into at any time, but it is no longer my primary OS.

  • A host of things (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:51PM (#43948977)

    In rough order of importance:

    1) Games. I am a gamer, I'd rather play video games than watch TV for entertainment. I also find that the games I like the best are either PC only (like Civ), or better on the PC (like Skyrim). So a PC it is. Well, Windows is far and away the best for games. Any other platform has way, WAY less games. So all other things equal, I'd be on Windows just for that.

    2) Pro Audio. I like to play with audio creation and production. This is something I could do on a Mac, though not with my prefered tool (Cakewalk Sonar). I couldn't do it on Linux though, the audio production software there is abysmal, and even if it wasn't all the samples I own are Windows and Mac only, and I do not wish to rebuy them, nor have I found any for Linux remotely close in quality.

    3) Price. This relates only to switching to a Mac, but to get what I want, that being a tower unit with some good hardware, it would be monkey-fuck retarded expensive compared to PC hardware. I am not a rich man, so while I'll spend a good bit on computers, I can't afford to just blow money for no reason.

    4) Hardware support. Linux in particular has issues with much of the hardware I choose to use. I really don't feel like compromising on that, I don't want to have to say "Man I'd like to use that, but it won't work on my OS." Thus far, no piece of hardware I've want has not had Windows support.

    5) Ease of use. Perhaps it is just my lack of familiarity with it, or my somewhat odd requirements for use (like pro audio and good 3D acceleration) but I seem to be able to find an unsolvable problem in Linux rather quickly. When I've tried to use it at work I'll find something I can't get to work that even stumps the Linux guys. I feel like I have to fight with the OS to get it to do things, and often the solution is "Oh just write a script," or "Just modify the code and recompile," which isn't an option. I'm not a programmer and have no wish to become one.

    6) It works. I'm not big on change for change sake. Were I to move to another platform, someone would have to convince me of the superiority. They'd have to show me what it is I could do there I can't do now, or how I could do what I do better. Even if it is just equal, I've little interest in changing.

    That's my reasons at home. At work, well I'm the Windows lead, so of course I use Windows. I need to be familiar with it and be able to easily administer the Windows servers because that's what I'm expected to do.

  • by xiando (770382) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:52PM (#43948983) Homepage Journal
    I've heard this Windows thing has become better, much much better, since Windows 95. I've seen it on other peoples computer and it looks real nice. What's keeping me off trying this Windows thing is that I'm really happy with my computer as it is, I have the software I need and it's stable and I get what I need to get done. I've also got the impression that this Windows this is very limited when it comes to the command line (which I use all the time), multiple virtual desktops, good editors and so on. But I may be wrong, all these things and more may exist in the Windows world - I haven't really paid much attention to what's going on there, but I do have the impression that Windows has become a lot better since I switched.
  • Because it's better (Score:4, Interesting)

    by enter to exit (1049190) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:09PM (#43949105)
    I'm going to be marked as troll and care very little about it but:

    There is something to be said about using an OS 90+% of the population uses. There are intangible and tangible benefits, like hardware working properly and to full capacity (not the lowest common denominator support Linux often boasts), like MS Office working well, saving you the effort of mucking about with Libre/Openoffice, Strange IE-only sites not being a issue, not worrying about updates breaking your system (updates are much more likely to break things under Linux), A stable video-editor (Linux has nothing compared to the windows side), being able to connect to a projector.

    There is also the stability you get when you buy a complete desktop OS from the same vendor, with everything from the kernel to the UI because closely coordinated. This is better than the Linux approach of fiefdoms with everything being plugged together by the distros, praying that updating one package won't break another package because it's often impossible to test all the possible configuration variables.

    When MS introduced UAC, discouraged the use of the registry (preferring a local approach to settings management), and separated the update manager from the browser windows and began offering a decent AV, all in vista, windows became a superior option. Linux offers litter benefit to the user because MS has largely addressed their problems.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      When was the last time you used Linux, exactly? The criticisms you made sound on par for 2003. I've not had any hardware not work out of the box, even on Debian Stable, in years. IE-only sites? Please. A stable video editor? Why not just say "it doesn't have Premiere", because your complaint is invalid otherwise.

      "Stability when you buy a complete desktop OS from the same vendor" - now you're just being a shill. I stopped reading here. I've not had a single OEM install which was even remotely stable, ever. E

  • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte.gmail@com> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:13PM (#43949135)

    I used IBM DOS, sometimes running the oh so ugly IBM DOS Shell on top, then switched briefly to MS DOS 6.22 with Win 3.0 on top, then to OS/2. Then very briefly used a mac, then got started with Slackware, and that's what I used until I moved to Ubuntu 3 years ago (I'm looking to going back to Slackware, but I simply don't have the time to mess with my system anymore, and that's a requirement to do just about anything on Slackware).

    Why is it always considered than anything non-windows is "alternative"? With Android growing the way it is, OSX becoming more popular, and GNU/Linux growing more popular, specially in corporate environments, how is it exactly that anything non-ms is alternative? Sure, Windows enjoyed some almost complete market dominance, but it lasted but a decade (Windows became dominant around '95, and started its rapid decline around '05/'06).

    Isn't it time we stop using the word "alternative" to describe anything other than windows?

  • by PrimaryConsult (1546585) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:50PM (#43949391)

    It really is just those two things.

    At home, games: (Debian) Linux does everything I want except play games. Windows does everything I want [in a desktop] including play games. Linux has some advantages (middle click to paste what was selected, pasting text or image data on the desktop creates a file of appropriate type, easy always on top for arbitrary windows, less scary full disk encryption) but a lot of them have been disappearing (ie: Windows 7 includes desktop slideshow, a feature that kept me going back to KDE). I do have a Linux file server using Samba 4 which gives me all the non-desktop goodies that I am missing from Windows (SSH access, rtorrent, irc, DNS server, real scripting, etc).

    At work, Outlook: Yes I can get the email all kinds of ways but that is only 10% of Outlook in an Exchange environment. Creating complex filters and rules, the colored flags, scheduling, calendar, and tasks are all necessary parts of the Outlook experience (even more so when there are shared mailboxes involved) and Evolution isn't quite there yet. I do have a Linux box as well but until that's ironed out, I am stuck with Windows as well.

  • by cinnamon colbert (732724) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:52PM (#43949407) Journal

    Linux as a serious OS has been around for what, 10 years ?
    Yet almost no one uses it.
    At some point, you have to say, the market has spoken.
    For whatever reason, people don't like it.
    I work with a set of modest geeks, and none of them (not one) uses linux for anything. They all have tried it.
    SO, ymmv, but at some point you have to stop blaming the evil MS, and face up to the truth: people have had 10 years to try linux, and they have said NO
    (my personal opinion is the silly idea that choice is good, which accounts for all the distros, is a major factor in the lack of linux uptake)

  • by spagthorpe (111133) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:01PM (#43949477)

    I have zero issues with Windows 7 at home. It's been very stable for me, and I'm able to do all I need with it. I have VMWare when I need it for any other OS.

    I use Linux at work exclusively, currently Mint 14 with Mate. Overall, it's a great distro, with an intuitive feel most of the time.

    I guess the thing that keeps me from using Linux at home is that I'm comfortable with the collection of applications I use at home, and there are no comparable equivalents for Linux that I've seen. So much work goes into improving the Linux Desktop experience....I wish the same level of resources would go into the application base. The office suites are fairly mature, but it's just all the smaller peripheral applications I use that aren't really there. I could probably make some combination of Linux programs work, but there is zero incentive for me to break what currently works.

  • by anthony_greer (2623521) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:10PM (#43949523)

    Windows is a great platform for development - Nothing really compares to Visual Studio+TFS+MSDN for business dev

    Windows is manageable - You can do it by hand with batch scripts run on work group PCs via remote PowerShel sessions for real small shops,and scale into use of AD as you grow, and further manage all aspects with tools like System Center and Intune. Nothing else offers this level of control,

    Windows is pretty bullet proof...I know in a controlled datacenter environment Linux is rock solid, but my only use of linux is on my Roku and Nexus 7 - both have crashed 2 times in the last week - I have had 0 BSODs in Windows 7 or 8 since 2009, including use of pre release code on both versions. I know that is antidotal but hey, I know what I see and I haven't had a windows system crash that was not caused by hardware failure in many many years.

  • by jacobsm (661831) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:11PM (#43949539)

    The average non-technical user couldn't give a rats ass which OS they're using. They want their apps, they want it simple, they don't want to mess with the guts of the computer.

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