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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.

  • Taxes in the cloud (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:24PM (#43948817) Homepage Journal
    Then move your tax software to The Cloud(tm) like I did, when I prepared my federal and state income tax returns for both 2012 and 2013 in H&R Block At Home in Firefox in Xubuntu.
  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:21PM (#43949183)

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

  • by MarchHare (82901) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:27PM (#43949231)

    Yeah, in science, it's usually rare to have serious development done on Windows, except for the occasional data acquisition station or for some control computer attached to a commercial lab apparatus. Just have a look at the Top 500 supercomputer clusters, most of them run a flavor of Linux or UNIX. I've worked for genomics companies and now I'm at a neurological institute, and all the heavy duty HPC pipelines are designed to integrate with such clusters, and the scientists themselves work on Linux desktops. We're shuffling terabytes of medical images back and forth, with large data trees on shared filesystems that are continuously updated by scripts in bash, Perl, Ruby, Python, and Java. If Microsoft had the power to force us to switch to Windows for everything, science would grind to a halt for 15 years while we re-code everything, and even then it would probably still not be as functional as what we have right now. There is great beauty and power in command-line processing, when done well.

    Does anyone know of any big science project that's all done on Windows? Really, I'm asking because I'm curious. As far as I know, in physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, medecine etc, any project that requires complex custom HPC pipelines are created on Linux (or UNIX). Windows? Never heard of one. But it might exist, I suppose.

  • 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. [] [] []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:35PM (#43949291)

    what can excel do that libreoffice calc can't? answer that truthfully and sincerely and you may convert me. till then i refuse to pay for supposed extraordinary power user features that i can't find to take advantage of.

    Compatibility with VB macros. And if you think that's not a necessity in the business environment think again.

  • Fedora. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lost Penguin (636359) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:07PM (#43949499) Homepage
    Fedora Linux does everything I need, I don't really do more than email, web reading and office documents.
    If I was a gamer I am sure it would require Windows.

    My current desktop is a Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3(rev 1.0) with an i7-2600K and 16GB of RAM; everything works flawlessly. I don't even have a video card, I am just using the SandyBridge integrated graphics via HDMI...

    Why change?
  • Wow a whole 126 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:10PM (#43949527)

    For reference, I own more than that on Steam, 165 currently. Sorry man but trying to sell gaming on Linux right now is a non-starter. 126 games is not an impressive number, it is rather pathetic.

    That aside with games the number has never been really what has mattered, it is the quality, the specific titles that you can get. I don't want 165 random games, I want the 165 games I have (well ok, I want about 150 of them, some have ended up sucking). That's why I bought them.

    Will gaming on Linux get better? Maybe, we'll have to see. But don't try and sell Steam as being some big thing. Right now, there are vanishingly few games available, and basically all of them indy titles. That's fine, but not likely to be of much interest to most gamers.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:21PM (#43949603) Homepage Journal

    The integration with GDB and Valgrind is to die for. One runthrough with Valgrind and you're given all of the lines that allocated junk left on the heap at shutdown, and tracing with GDB is much easier than with IntelliTrace, as everything has symbols and the call stack isn't interleaved with weird MS wrappers. Personally I'm also very fond of the C code analysis, which is somewhere between the obsessiveness of the Java analysis in NetBeans (although it still complains about missing return statements prematurely) and the laissez-faire and/or neglectful step-uncle attitude of Visual Studio (which also likes to forget the compiler's warning annotations if an object doesn't have to be rebuilt—say goodbye to all of those stupid threats about casting between float and double that it gripes about endlessly... as well as the warnings you actually cared about.)

    Still, it's not perfect—my installation at work recently went rogue and decided size_t was ambiguous. That took a lot of wrestling to fix, and I think there may still be a few system headers that it's confused about. I'm definitely much happier using it than VS, though.

  • by Nagaru (2772269) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:29PM (#43949643)
    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 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.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:46PM (#43949743) Homepage

    That's funny because just the other day I had trouble with a spreadsheet in a genuine copy of Excel that didn't display right until I took that file and converted into a CSV.

    If it's so important that you would worry about some other program buggering things, then you can't trust it to the real thing either. Problems between Microsoft products are so common that an actual LibreOffice issue won't be recognized as such.

  • by pepty (1976012) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @10:51PM (#43949769)
    I'd still need MS Office for each time it turns out a feature of a spreadsheet/document/macro that I have to work with isn't compatible with LibreOffice.

    The alternatives work well for one person, but things tend to fall apart when collaborators use different programs.

  • 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.

  • Yes, but Microsoft Office fails at that. We had a .docx created in Word 2013 not open in 2007 recently, and macros in Excel 2010 not work in 2007. And don't even try crossing versions of Access.

  • by tibit (1762298) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @12:35AM (#43950299)

    Presumably many games use game engines, and those things abstract DirectX/OpenGL away and simply run on both. Unreal engine would come to mind. I mean, come on, that thing even runs in a browser [] (seriously).

  • by staalmannen (1705340) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @02:27AM (#43950733)

    I built a model to calculate the fuel consumption of locomotives on 24 routes crossing the nation. on each route, i had a record every tenth of a mile that calculated instantaneous speed, acceleration, and power. rolled it all up to aggregate fuel economy, horsepower, etc. metrics. more than 10^6 records. power user, bitch.

    Model building like that is probably better done in R anyway

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:36AM (#43951813)

    82 results fo Social Media Marketing at Microsoft jobs []

    Social advertising has become a staple of the media mix as marketers look to leverage their campaigns to drive valuable word of mouth and influence. Microsoft Advertising has helped some of the world’s biggest brands tell their stories []

    Case Study: How Does Microsoft Do Social Media Marketing? []

    Starbucks, Microsoft are mighty in social-media marketing

    And let’s not forget: Social media are free to use. That saves Microsoft some money in getting out its targeted marketing messages. Though the social-engagement report found a correlation between social marketing and a company’s financial performance, it was not definitively a causal relationship. []

    Communication –Blogs, discussions groups, and Twitter were used to provide continuing updates to the company’s followers during the development process for Windows 7. By providing frequent updates, Microsoft was able to build hype for Windows 7 among technology innovators. By increasing excitement of the innovators segment, Microsoft was able to encourage this segment act as brand ambassadors, willing to use their own social networks to pitch Windows 7 to early adopters. []

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