Windows investigate

Letters to the editor about my breakup with Windows

TechRepublic members had a lot to say about my breakup with Windows (though it wasn't totally a breakup). Read the most intelligent responses.

TechRepublic members had a lot to say about my breakup with Windows (though it wasn't totally a breakup). Here is a selection of the most intelligent responses.

A disservice to readers

Hello Jason:

The only thing that bothers me about your moving to Linux and Mac is that 90+% of the world uses Windows; therefore, how can you relate to most of your readers? Also, the only real advantage that Windows has over other OS's is that there is a VERY large bucket of applications that run under windows. There is almost always an application to do anything on both Linux and MacOS; however, it is not the one that most people use. Sure, you can run the apps under a VM with either Mac or Linux; however, you can also drive your Ferrari with a Saturn engine installed in it. But you wouldn't, would you?

I personally believe you are doing your readers a disservice by not using Windows as your primary OS...

Kind regards,

Sedrick

If you want a job ...

Your idea, and the replies are good, but what about MS's 90% marketshare?

My biggest complaint with the Mac operating system has always been that it only runs on outrageously overpriced hardware. Several times I have configured effectively identical computer systems (including both hardware and software), and Apple computers have consistently been 2 to 3 times the price of a Wintel computer.

I have also been looking at Linux, but until Ubuntu, it just wasn't worth the difficulty required to install it, and the shortage of hardware drivers. I just haven't been able to invest enough time to thoroughly study the subject. There are several other Linux distributions that look promising also.

But when everything is said and done, it is really difficult for me (as a computer contractor) to ignore the fact that Microsoft Window's market share for microcomputer operating systems is now up to 90%. While a number of my European friends have become anti-Microsoft, and the official operating systems for both China and Indonesia (at least I think it's Indonesia, it may have been India) are no longer MS Windows, here in the States, it's hard to ignore that total dominance MS has on installed operating systems.

If you want a job here, you've got to be familiar with the current MS products.

Colonial_Boy

Windows 7 does offer improvements

What I like...

First, I won't even comment on Vista. It's a sad OS not even worth mentioning here.

As far as Win7, there is definitely a speed improvement over XP, especially x64. It took awhile to get used to the new taskbar, but now I love it. Better hardware support, which is expected any time a new OS is introduced. An improved Windows Explorer (something Vista failed at). Better control of task manager. There's more under the hood.

As far as stability, I'd say XP and 7 are close, but it took years of Microsoft fine tuning XP to achieve what 7 has out of the gates.

g0dFather

Word from a Windows divorcée

Me too but feels like a divorce after 20 years.

I have had a monogamous and sometimes passionate relationship with Microsoft since 1987. I was always an early adopter: Word to replace Word Perfect, Excel for Lotus 123, PowerPoint for Harvard Graphics and Windows since v2.0.

After suffering the abusive ill treatment of Vista, the blatant ignoring of my needs with Office 2007 (find me a serious Excel user who likes it), I thought I'd give the marriage a final go at reconcilliation with an Upgrade to Windows 7. How naive to think a partner's behaviour could really undergo a such a radical change.

The upgrade process involved a total of 21 hours on support phone lines and emails, 7 attempts at download (each taking more than an hour on an 8 Mbps connection) and 3 full attempts at installation, each taking THREE hours (honest!) before failing. At the third unexplained, bald message "Windows could not be installed, restoring previous version". I gave up, more in sadness than anger. I had spent an outrageous $275 (EUR 199)to upgrade from an acknowledged dog of an OS, had had to uninstall iTunes, McAfee, various drivers - at had taken a ridiculous amount of time away from my business, which the bankers games have already made difficult.

Every step of the process was a disaster, right from the mess of the Microsoft Store interface, confusing emails, "up to 20 days" to send the back up DVD, download sites and forced download managers which didn't work, corrupted download files, one hour on "technical support" which ended with the comment "Well, I'm actually at Microsoft Store and am not trained in technical matters and not really supposed to give technical support", useless help areas... you name it, it was an amateurish mess.

By the time I was finally given access to real Microsoft tech support (well, OK an outsourced company in New Delhi), wihtout having to pay an exorbitant support contract, the people were, indeed, excellent but it was all getting too late. Anyway they couldn't solve the problem other than to ask me to wait for "several" days to get a DVD version and do a clean install - which Was what I wanted to avoid from the outset.

Microsoft - this is what happened to IBM and will undoubtedly one day happen to Google. Too big, too dominant, too complacent, too dismissive of the competition and just basically too tired. I only hope Apple doesn't go the same way - the products may be great but pricing and customer support issues ring some alarm bells too.

Poor old users, we really do get a bum deal.

bennett

How about OS/2?

Hello,

I read your article where your saying that you and Windows are seeing other people. Yes I agree its not really a break-up and I understand that you wish to broaden your horizons. Good for you. I also do some similar types of things with my own systems and I still have my favorites. I'd like to make a suggestion if I may. You said in your article that you will have a primary system (an I7 I think) where you run alternate OS's as well as Win7 in a VM. I'd like to suggest that you also run Ecomstation in a VM as well. While its not as mainstream as Linux is today, its a nice system and you might like it. If your not familiar with Ecomstation, its the successor to IBM's OS/2 and is being supported and enhanced by Serentiy Systems International. If you'd like more info its available at www.ecomstation.com. And remember to have some fun with all of them while your at it.

With Regards,

The Captain (JTC)

Try Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu

Skip Ubuntu, Use Mint!

Everyone talks about using Ubuntu. Problem with Ubuntu is that they've bitten off a bit of the FSF philosophy regarding using "free" software and "free" drivers. That means your Nvidia and ATI cards, wireless cards, as well as some displays will not work.

So instead, if you're going to go Linux, pick Mint. It's basically Ubuntu with a lot of great tweaks and all of the non-"free" drivers available through its own repository.

It also comes with WineDoors, which allows you to run a boatload of Windows apps without virtualization.

Give it a shot. It's the most compelling desktop Linux out there.

stalexone

Same here - Mint is terrific.

I've been a fan of Mint Linux for several years (since 4.0), and watched it improve through it's versions. I've been using Mint 7.0 on my Acer laptop (formerly Vista) for more than a year now, and it hasn't needed one tweak since installing. Just loaded it on one of my desktops as well. Runs most MSWin-based software with Wine, and the open source software it comes with is almost all I need for daily use. Mint 8.0 is supposed to be even better.

I highly recommend Mint as a Windoze alternative. It's completely based on Ubuntu, so you get all that stability and function, but they've also crafted their own installer, updater, and other admin tools to make it more than just a clone of Ubuntu with some extra drivers. Best Linux distro for Window users to migrate to with minimal learning curve. Live DVD, simple installation for either solo or dual-boot install. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

bill

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

233 comments
McClausky
McClausky

Look at this: "....The primary value proposition for Linux is that it's just as good as Windows - or at least "good enough" - and costs a lot less. Occasionally, you'll hear that Linux is more secure or more stable than Windows - which can be true, but that's mostly based on its Unix foundation. But, what innovative features has Linux brought to the world of desktop operating systems. The only one I can think of is the desktop manager / virtual desktop (which Mac OS X eventually adopted as its "Spaces" feature). The technology industry (and the consumers and businesses that support it) are still driven primarily by innovation, and the Linux development community has spent too much time trying to copy Windows and not enough time innovating on its own OS......." Jason Hiner - November 2009

shahdan
shahdan

Well.. That's a good move by you.. I personally won't upgrade to Windows 7(no reason to do that). I'm using Vista & Ubuntu (dual boot). I also did not even try to install MS Office 2007.. What I hate most with Vista & MSO 2007 is the GUI. With the wide screen all over the place, having a tick border or heading making the screen smaller than it should. That's is why I'm using the classic theme and still have MSO 2003 even tho I primarily use OpenOffice.org for my everyday work.. Happy opensourcing :)

jfreedle2
jfreedle2

Years ago I owned a Macintosh Operating System based computer for about six months and I was thanking God that I was able to unload the computer for the price in which I had invested in the computer. Before then I had always wished that I owned a Macintosh computer and since then I have never wished to purchase another Apple product. I have also installed and worked with Linux over the last ten years, and I keep finding that the system is just not ready. I know people find Linux useful for them, I am just not a person that cares to tinker with my operating system on a daily basis to get things working. Microsoft Windows just works, and it works well. The applications that I purchase have great quality and are very nicely developed. Linux on the other hand is rather inconsistant and has mediocre quality. The quality is what you would expect when the developers work on the applications in their spare time. I even installed Linux on a hard drive one, performed an update, and the system would no longer boot. Another time I expanded the hard drive and attempted to expand the partition and after successfully doing so (it was a major feat as you had to look up several commands to perform this easy task in stead of having a graphical user interface form to perform this operation) and the system refused to boot. Linux developers refuse to believe that the command line interface is dead. After ten years of watching and attempting to use Linux as well as having it forced down my throat, I can confidently say that Linux is not ready for use either on the desktop computer or in a server environment.

aharper
aharper

About time you kicked that needy selfish thing to the curb, especially when a great girl is ready to be with you and see to all your needs. Sure she's not the old girlfriend, and she will have all her own quirks, but maybe this relationship will be more of a give and take than your last one.

thamadgreek
thamadgreek

I needed a good laugh today and I got a great one with all these sheep talking. The reason I use the word sheep is because you do what ever you are told. Even though you more than likely have purchased an MS OS just to find out later that they charged you for a product that is not complete ( ME, Vista ) you still craze over this. And the point of market shares yes they have it because that is all you can just about buy for a pre-built PC. I swear I want Bill to tell everyone with an MS OS to jump off a bridge just to see how many lemmings are in the bunch. After the slaughter bet you there would not be many people left. If Linux would get more market support like Microsoft from major vendors but what makes me happy with Linux is that they are building it from the ground up. No matter how many people tell them they will be nothing they still keep pushing and one day they will grow. Of course by then Microsoft will be ion the "clouds" which with their security is a good place for them so when it gets picked at they will have another excuse on the instability.

ElliottKathy
ElliottKathy

great site really informative i learned a lot great stuff keep it up by anna thesis

lm33
lm33

Windows is my main tool, but I will use every OS that I can. I run linux (Ubuntu) on a desktop, my wife has a Mac ($$$) and I run Vista (:-( on my laptop. I hate Vista, but there is so much free stuff for windows...Mac is expensive, Linux is still some steps away from taking over the world, except for those Apple "fanatics". My advice, do not divorce...take as many "wives" or "husbands" as possible (;-) ...Yes

goodhikers
goodhikers

Several thoughts: first, Win7 is a robust upgrade which will serve MS customers well. Second, MS-Office is the standard not because it is the absolute best software in each individual category, but it is the absolute best set of office software as a whole and there are no serious competitors. Finally, you can't ignore marketshare! First point: Windows 7--for the most part--took the air out of the balloon for most MS bashers. It appears that for the vast majority of users, it is a relatively easy upgrade. On my five very different laptops/desktops, it loaded with minimal effort (under one hour each). Each machine--from the ancient eight-year old dinosaur desktop to the six-month old Dell laptop is humming along without problem. Upgraded from WinXP and WinVista (good riddance!). I have begun upgrading another five for a colleague and have not run into any serious problems. Preparation is key: get the minimum hardware requirements (especially memory), update the drivers and software and have a game plan. A clean install works best, but more work. But...my installs over Vista also worked well with just some minor hiccups that were quickly solved. Second: MS Office works extremely well for the vast majority of customers. With Win7 there is a noticeable increase in speed with Office7. There are no real competitors to the combination of Officer software and they all play together without major conflicts. No, I don't like the new toolbar, but that is not a reason for me to recommend another set of office tools. It just plain works well for all my clients. Finally, you can't ignore market share. When I give traveling presentations, I can count on almost everyone of my hosts to have a fully running Powerpoint environment. The only time I run into trouble is when faced with a small minority of offices who either have Macs or Linux. Frankly, they are a pain to deal with and I avoid it where possible. I'm not absolutely committed to MS products, but as long as they work with greater than 90% efficiency on my diverse machines and their office suite does the same, then I'm sticking with a proven product.

Singer360
Singer360

I find all the frothing at the mouth over how ubiquitous Windows is, how difficult it is to learn a new OS, and why it's foolish to go against the tide, reminiscent of the argument for watching commercial TV, or listening to some kind of schlock pop music: The argument goes: everyone else is doing it, so you should be going that way. And of course that argument, both in terms of choosing an OS and picking what you listen to or watch on TV, is foolish and wrong. The choice, as always, is yours. Pick what works, not what has been dominant for so long. Almost anyone who tries the Mac will like it. Why? Because it's not a patchwork of conflicting, insecure code that's vulnerable to attack, but a well-engineered, beautifully designed family of products. That explains why the hardware is a bit pricier. But in terms of support cost, it's the bargain of the decade.

cabernard
cabernard

Hopefully you articles should only be about Mac & Linux products. Any opinions you have now about windows I will now take with a grain of salt.

parnote
parnote

Jason Hiner has a responsibility to offer different views and to use different OS's other than Windows, which is used by most users. However, it is most used by others, because most people are ill-informed or do not know of other alternatives. Sure, many or most have heard of Apple and OS X, but most casual users cannot afford the steep and inflated price of most Macs. Saying that Jason Hiner should use Windows as his primary OS just because the vast majority of uninformed computer users use it simply amounts to nothing more than mob mentality ... since everyone else is using it, you should use it. This is how innovation and competition become stifled. I say more power to Jason Hiner for daring to go against the popular choices and objectively report on (finally) the other alternatives that are out there ... many of them much better choices and much better products than MS Windows. I took that leap 3 years ago when I switched to Linux, and I have no regrets and have never looked back. There isn't anything that I cannot do in Linux that I did or can do in Windows. Plus, I no longer have to pay excessively high prices for half-baked, bloated software that fails to deliver (e.g., MS Office), and I am free to browse every nook and cranny of the Internet without fear of picking up a virus that will literally bring my system to ruin (had I been running Windows). People really need to open up their minds to other possibilities that are out there. My praise goes out to Jason Hiner for having the courage to do that.

jrudich
jrudich

I never had a problem with Vista, in fact I still run it on one machine, and when I had a MINOR issue after an upgrade and sent Microsoft an email and then forgot about it, they sent me several follow ups. I got a chat with a qualified technical person , and the issue was resolved in ten minutes. I have Windows 7, and while the performance is good, the user interface feels like half baked windows XP. I run Mac Os Snow Leopard in the kitchen, but find the applications wanting (the numbers and other products seem written by amateurs) , hate iTunes and it's near daily update reminders and generally find it a closed in limited platform. I have used every kind of Unix, Linux , IBM Mainframeand every kind of computer since punch tape and cards, but there is very little other then Mac os, that compares with Windows for ease of use and presentation. Linux desktops , every time any thing important needs doing, its jump to the command prompt. I think Vista and Win 7 haters are just people who got confused by the UI (it does feel unfinished) but never bothered to learn it, instead blaming it for all their problems. Like those drivers who blame the road for bad driving. s

jpgeek5704
jpgeek5704

I'm really surprised at the "Word from a Windows divorc?e" posting. I upgraded a 4 year old machine and followed instruction from this site recommending creating a new partition and running the compatibility routine. After taking much advise about upgrading the video drivers I made the switch and WOW I had a new machine, faster and better looking. At work I just stood up a new Dell Precision 3500 with win 7-64 and WOW!!! again it is amazingly fast and feels like driving that Ferrari. I think MS finally got it write and I'm buying stock again. Way to go Billy!

chaz15
chaz15

Forgot to mention, what was it? Loinix? Makes you feel you've got tiny balls! Feel the pressure down below when something doesn't work and you can't Google an EASY solution! Linux is still a ball-crushing nightmare! Still way too many technical issues with Linux, not to mention very dodgy NTFS support and possibly weak hardware support, especially from 'Live' CDs. Try looking up solutions to 'common problems' with Linux without a good computing PhD. Many apps simply don't run under Linux and you end up loking for 'new' programs to learn and use. A polite no thanks as of right now!!!!

chaz15
chaz15

Your choice, but the vast majority of sensible users carry on with XP. Why upgrade if your software and games work well, unless splashing out on a new PC. I've no intention of spending ?150 upwards per PC to get Win 7 Ultimate to ensure XP compatibility! Rock on XP Baby, you're doing Fine >>>>>......

kujam
kujam

Not surprised at your choice. I work for a very large IT company, and we actually have a mac program and alot of the employees are moving to Macbook pros. Aside from minor scheduling issues through entourage (which is being resolved with Outlook 2010 for Mac) the computers are lightning fast, compatible with all of our apps and daily functions and by using VMware Fusion, Windows seems to work the same if not faster than a native machine. It actually feels more like a Ferrari with a Bugatti Veyron engine. In addition, using the Unity function within VMware make the user experience seamless between windows and Mac. Anyway, not surprised at your decision. It seems to be a very common decision where I work.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

What are your personal responses to the first question about Windows' user share vs what you're doing now?

jodyandterry
jodyandterry

Ladies & Gentlemen we are all born with an unbeatable CPU. Look how overclocking has cooked it! Chill out and solve the challenges = we all move forward; damn the torpedos! Noddles anyone? Brain food says my thirteen year young grand daughter. Everything IS brain fodder. Who's server is serving chow and how fast? Children let the man indulge his gray matter in as many nodes as his wishes. No one owns anothers brainor it's functioning. Let me know when desert is ready. I need carbon. Bubble memory anyone? What does XP mean? Pap

songhurst
songhurst

I seem to hear the theme music to The Twilight Zone playing in the background as last week I too replaced Vista with Linux Ubunto 9.10. This was not possible until recently due to a lack of drivers for the WiFi card in my Acer laptop, now 9.10 has the drivers and I can connect to the Internet. Unfortunately the connection speed is pathetic. I've tried several of the suggested cures on various Linux Ubuntu forums with no improvement. I see in the last selected comment by "bill" that he has Mint on an Acer laptop so might give that a try - presumably Bill has no problem with Internet access speed? Acer customer support were useless when it came to upgrading the laptop from the dreaded Vista to any other OS including Win 7.

Sheldont
Sheldont

Well I am unemployed and it seems that every interview I go on asks if I know LINUX. I seem to think because I am not that familiar with it I have lost out on those jobs. Those companies and also school districts are switching from windows to Linux. It is more cost effective in a time when budgets are being cut to keep operating costs down. Also computer manufacturing companies are offering LINUX as a alternative.

levilan
levilan

"The only thing that bothers me about your moving to Linux and Mac is that 90+% of the world uses Windows;" 90% are driving Toyota which doesn't turn Windows/Toyota into MacOX/Ferrari/Porche.

pyro404
pyro404

Wile I took several courses including but not limited to the ever useless A+ and MCSA, for the most part I am self taught with computers. I have used various linux and windows OS'. My personal opinion is that Windows Vista is to Windows 7 as Windows ME is to Windows 2000. Not using windows 7 based on a vista experience is ignorant at best. I'm sure lots of people with old hardware are having issues running windows 7, it's a "Next generation" OS, so dont expect it to work well with the same machine that you've had for 3 years. This is COMMON SENSE. Did windows xp run well on a 486? Get new gear and it'll install more easily and faster then any previous version of Windows (at least in my experience. In conclusion If you dont want to get new hardware, stick with the old software. I'm a gamer so I still need to use windows but to each their own. If you want to best serve your readers you will need to use Win7 as well as the other OS'.

bgrindle
bgrindle

My old reliable XP Desktop started having problems a few months ago. Installed Ubuntu because I'd had it with Windows for many reasons. Ubuntu came back after the install and said "This hard drive has so many errors, I won't boot from it". Imagine, an OS that gives you accurate information about hardware errors (vs BSOD BS). One $79 hard drive later with Ubuntu installed and I have a faster, more reliable desktop computer than before. Have used Open Office and Firefox for years. So long Microsoft. You can keep on milking the suckers for their hard earned $, but I'm going to stick with a real OS and apps.

gfetters
gfetters

I am going through a similar separation from Windows. I will probably never be completely free of Windows but about a year ago I bought a mac and I simply love it. It just works out of the box no tweaking the drivers, no wrestling with antivirus, and spyware apps that don't coexhist. There's another thing about 90% market share, it gets 99.9% of the viruses. I am also playing with ubuntu. I look forward to an open (sourced) opinion in your future work. G,

KiloWatt1975
KiloWatt1975

I read the thread and agree and disagree. I simply love the AmigaForever emulation, but then remember those years, some of you not born yet. ANY older WinBox PC can regain a new life, with the least of overhead for an OS. The learning curve is like ANY OS, the more time you spend, the more use you will have. As this may be an EU community of users, who know how close Mac and LinuxXYZ are to AmiKit and AmigaForever, software emulation of this OS only requires knowledge of how the Amiga would have lasted longer with Motorola CPU's and chipsets, if Mac had not become the no-brainer PC it did in the G4/G5 years. But consumers are being told that MacTel is the better bang for the buck, unable to know they are paying 2k for an OS. I really don't need this, and as long as there are iMovie FCP users, it is job security when they bring their edits to me to fix in a MicroSoft OS. The world will explode before the Amiga dies! LOL

wwgorman
wwgorman

I was pleased to see that some else who upgraded to Windows 7 (See Bennett in the original Letters) took a long time to upgrade (21 hours for him). It took me two tries and 7 hours each. I took some criticism about the long upgrade when I posted on CBS Market Watch when I said it took 7 hours. I took Windows 7 out. It was not to my liking and it took longer to load than Windows Vista but it didn't run some expensive programs that Vista did (Oxford English Dictionary). Office 2007 is a disaster and I was pleased to see some comments in that regard. I also bought and installed that application and took it out after a week. I even bought the third party menu program for Office 2007 (how stupid of Microsoft to leave out the menus!). I'm back to Office 2003. Lo and Behold! I re-installed Windows Vista and with recent upgrades from Microsoft it runs some old programs that it previously wouldn't. It even will use the XP driver for my little Sony post card printer (Sony has declined to upgrade the driver)so I can now print postcards----a favorite communication technique of mine.

MikeGall
MikeGall

Did you just compare Windows to a Ferrari? I agree that if you run exclusively on Linux or a Mac you find yourself using things that most people in the world don't use, ie not the most popular product. For example even if you use MS Office on a Mac you are using something like version 2004 or 2008 not the 2003/2007 that most people use and the UI is quite different. That said: what is the market of TR? If it is helpdesk support then yeah you might be forgoing valuable knowledge. But if it is server admins, a whole lot of servers (possibly a majority) are *NIX based. I personally haven't had to use a Windows box for the last couple years, as in I literally haven't used a windows box other than probably a total of 30min trying to help someone figure out why their computer doesn't work. Do I wish I knew more about windows after XP? Yeah, but my job isn't desktop support so I don't need to know about it.

bitdoctor
bitdoctor

And, you're right - 7 should be free upgrade from Vista - and maybe even XP for that matter, since they are so keen on 'forcing' people to love Windows 7. And give me SOFTWARE + LICENSE that I can re-install ONE COPY of on ANY hardware, in case my h/w breaks! MS makes TON of money on this "OEM TIED-DOWN TO ONE VENDOR'S MACHINE" strategy! Your HP with pre-loaded windows BREAKS - your only option, BUY NEW SOFTWARE O/W [AND] HARDWARE! You can't re-install Windows XP Home or Professional OEM on another hardware box!

panda
panda

After using Windows for more than 10 years (Windows 3.0, 95, 98, XP and Vista) I decided to switched to the Mac. My previous computer was a Lenovo T60p with 2 GB in RAM and Windows Vista Business. It was the worst experience I have ever had, the most common message was "not responding". I tried Windows 7 RC, it was a little better, but not good enough. The tech support from Lenovo is outstanding, I had a couple of problems (hard drive, CD player) that showed how good the support was. My main concern about the change to the Mac was compatibility. I bought a MacBook Pro (2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HD). I also ordered the faster 7200 rpm HD and the anti glare screen. It has been the best decision I have ever taken! Fast, stable, reliable. What a contrast with Vista/7! I installed VM Fusion 3.0 for those occasions I need to run Windows. I installed Vista Enterprise, XP and Ubuntu 9.1. I had the option to run Windows natively using Boot Camp but I have not needed that so far. I must say I am extremely happy with the change, it has been a tremendously positive experience. The key for those who are thinking about a change is: what kind of applications they are running. Regarding the price of Macs, they are less expensive now, and the gap is less every day. Have in mind also, that with a Mac you are getting a very high quality computer, well above the average with the best technical support (also Lenovo). Compare computers of the same category: an Accura with a BMW, a Chrysler with a GM. Finally, I have to say I am an IT professional with more than 20 years of experience, I worked for an international company for 17 years, and I have a master degree in Information Systems Security Management.

bryan_es
bryan_es

The very first reader response likened running a Linux host and Windows VM to "Running a Ferrari with a Saturn engine in it". Running a Windows host compared to a Linux host would be like trying to compare a Yugo to a Veyron. Said to the opposite of Sedrick, running Windows as the primary OS IS ths disservice to readers because it continues posting the same old blah blah that everyone already knows rather than exposing readers the vast array of horsepower Linux brings to the table or the nice clean efficiency (albeit even more closed minded than Windows) of a MAC. Jason, you go ahead and file the divorce papers and feel the freedom. You can always drunk dial your ex if you can't bring one home from the bar!

r3j14e57
r3j14e57

I am just your basic everyday user and had no problems upgrading from Windows XP Pro to Window 7. In fact I have never had any problems with any Windows products with the exception of the normal bug issues and some nasty viruses. I have the originals of every Microsoft Operating systems from 1.1 to 7. The only time I had a problem installing an operating system was my fault for not know what I needed to do in what order. If you have problems loading any Microsoft Operating system it has to be on your end. Sorry if that hits a bad note for some of you but like I said I have never had a problem with Microsoft products, in fact I urge people who ask to use Microsoft exclusively, I do.

widd11e
widd11e

I too plan to make the switch. My next computer will be a Linux computer. The only problem is choosing a flavor.

SysAdminII
SysAdminII

Welcome to the real world Jason. You have chosen not to conform to the Microsoft ways.

madmalc567
madmalc567

I always thought you were a twiglet :-)

kbsookram
kbsookram

When I was in college, back in the 90s when Linux was new, I started to switch. I was a poor student and I felt I was much too dependent on purchased software, a lot of which I could not afford. That began my ongoing love affair with UNIX. But I did not shut windows out. As someone mentioned 90% of the market share is plenty. I used Wintel machines at school and later at work. To me the real issue became integration, getting the best of all worlds, and minimizing the worst. Two things happened to get me on to macs. I eventually could afford it, and the OS became based on BSD. What I found was an environment where most of my linux apps could be ported, and where I could easily virtualize or dual boot Windows. Today I have a mac at home, a windows laptop and a linux box running Debian at work (in a predominantly windows environment). I use a lot of cross platform apps, but can comfortably use the best tool on the platform that best suits it. Its like cars, MS is your sturdy (cough cough) everyday Toyota that almost everyone has, OS X is that expensive ferrari (without a Saturn engine), and Linux is the hot rod you have been tinkering with in the garage. Its a limited analogy, but I think you get the point. Different circumstances may call for different tools, and as a craftsman in the trade you should know all of them.

swdswan
swdswan

Microsoft is the best MARKETED computer software in the world. On the basis of BUSINESS STRATEGY and MARKET PENETRATION, one is forced to concede that yes, Microsoft is the leader. On a product by product technical basis, some individual products have been leaders. A few products continue to be leaders. The problem is (as some writers have pointed out) overall many products do not stand up to their marketing. Microsoft devotees will insist one HAS to have MS. This is not true. On the reverse face of things, the same devotees refuse to acknowledge that MS is the most hacked software in the world, and to use MS security products (or Windows based security products) means you don't know where your security holes are. As a corporation Microsoft has gone where IBM was (and Toyota is now). They are a large slow moving organism that does what it takes to survive. This does not mean they will look after their customers first. The Marketing Department is responsible for managing and spinning information to the client base. It does not mean Microsoft will create 'new' products. Innovation does not tend to come from large corporations and formal organizations. I believe Microsoft will suffer the fate of IBM of 20 years ago. Over time it will lose its position in the marketplace as it loses touch with its customers. Like IBM of old, Microsoft will kill off some (many?) of its clients with systems that can not perform as required. Microsoft may have the dominant market share. Clients and contractors should note that that market share is decreasing. It is a smart move to understand why that market dominance is slipping and take advantage of alternatives.

pgit
pgit

Try elive, I have been a 100% Linux establishment for over 10 years now (though most of my support is obviously in windows) and I've had great experiences with Mandrake/Mandriva over the years. My primary OS currently is Mandriva 2010.0 running KDE 4.4. But I recently tried the elive live CD distribution and I was floored... It identified and configured ALL my hardware, including a broadcom wireless that Mandriva has had trouble with for years. It set up my antique nvidia card with a proprietary driver and set the 1080p resolution on my monitor correctly, also something Mandriva does OK but not out of the box. (this is on a first gen DVI output to boot, impressive) I am an instant fan of elive, I have always like the enlightenment DE and e17 in particular, which no one has made as functional as the elive folks. I think there's a new sheriff in town with this distribution. Stuff ubuntu and the brown gnome where it belongs... in the "free software, take one!" bin. elive is a keeper. Mandriva is nothing to sneeze at, but it is a bit more for the tech savvy rather than typical end user. elive went home on a woman's laptop yesterday that had a gunked up windows vista install on it. It's flat-head easy to set up an use.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

hardware or are doing something wrong. I've been using Linux as my main system for several years and do no tinkering at all. Yet, my son who has XP Pro is constantly tinkering with his system to make it work right. I've installed many thousands of systems with Microsoft Windows, and NEVER had one that 'just works' - the only time I've seen a system like that was a system from Dell or HP where they used hardware designed, from scratch, to work with Windows and the Windows installation was tailored to the hardware in the system. Essentially, Dell / HP, / etc. did all the tinkering to start with. A hell broke loose if you tried to install anything new that wasn't on their approved list of tested software.

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

If you arent "us" you are "them" or they. Point being that "they" is not very tangible. I cite the abysmal failure of Red Hat in marketing Linux.

madox99c
madox99c

Many here who like to show the 90% market quote on this forum but seem to forget how MS was able to get that 90%. When ever I go to Dell or TigerDirect, walk into Best Buy and even CoumpUSA (when it was a store) all I saw was MS supplied computers. If you lived in a town that only sold Fords how could you buy anything else. People buy the cheapest products. They may not be the best but they work and are cheap. Using the same type of analogy. 90% are driving a Toyota instead of lets say Mercedes because of the price not the quality. They both do the same, get you to to point A. Have 4 wheels, 2 doors and a motor. Basicly they have all the basics, But Mercedes seems to be built a little better, have more features and a nicer ride. Also the ratio of Toyota dealers to Mercedes dealers. Look Familiar??

jk2001
jk2001

It boots off a CD and runs a fully functional Ubuntu system, complete with some apps, networking, and Firefox. To install, you double-click on an icon. While you wait for the install to complete, you can surf the web, run apps, etc. It's the easiest install I've used so far.

KiloWatt1975
KiloWatt1975

AmigaForever Emulation is like $40.00. Even has a download. Once you see how it needs nothing to do with the new VM buzz word, AmiKit is free, with some of the oldest of games. The EU community and willingness to help new users, only needs you to find a Group of those users. The Amiga is often associated with gaming, even though the adoption of most all modern formats, HTML ect.. are able to be implemented. Take this off list if you want. KiloVideo AT gmail.

jk2001
jk2001

If someone doesn't like dealing with computer stuff, I tell them to get a Mac. Everyone's been happy. They don't "do" a lot of stuff with the computer, and the Mac tends to self-maintain better than Windows. We got some iPhones at work. They work fine. People who could hardly use the web on Windows Mobile are now installing free apps and running them. Apple's really good at making the user interface work for people who are not "computer savvy". BTW, we use Windows and MS Office in house. Our data processing is centered around accounting and an MS Access database (and a lot of web apps). We also have an internal Linux server that's a workhorse, and host our website and web apps on LAMP.

naplesjoe
naplesjoe

Good analogy except it may be apples to oranges. As I recall IBM chose to go another direction and away from the PC platform. Bill was there to pick up the peices. I think IBM is still around someplace. As for market share? When you have a 90% share, where in the world would you expect it to go other than down? That certainly doesn't mean you should sell off your MS shares today. Toyota? I wouldn't buy one if they sold it to me for my last penny. But it is still one of the best cars built for the money. It's just not me. I'm an old fashion Ford man. Has to do with the bailout thing, the good old stars and stripes and it's great for what I use it for. But Toyota like MS is getting a very bad rap. Ford has gained market share because they improved thier public perception. The freebee OS's & MAC have a long way to go as 99% of the 90% folks who comprise the MS market share have no idea who and what they are.

edh1215
edh1215

maybe you are the one that's doing something wrong. If you can't get Windows to just work on any system, OEM or self-built, then you have serious issues. Windows is meant to work, and does work on anything. Like you I have installed thousands of systems, and many of them were/are homegrown, not Dell or HP. They were/are all Windows and had/have no issues. What you say in your post just points out something about Apple. They make the hardware and the OS.. gee I wonder why there are fewer issues? The hardware is designed FOR the OS - just like you are bashing here. I agree with the other poster, Linux is not ready for mainstream and most likely will never be. You get what you pay for and since Linux is free, well...

swdswan
swdswan

The point of my IBM reference is IBM moved away from what its customers wanted. Yes they are still around, but not nearly as dominant a market force as they once were. . Toyota was known for (maybe they still are) great value for their vehicles. What seems to be emerging in various hearings is that they have been slow responding to problems with their cars. When the public started to clue in, Toyota sales started to take a hit. Microsoft gets off lucky here - as computers don't usually kill people that way a faulty car can. . This is not the only publication where I have noted increasing references to Mac and Linux. There are a number of publications that earn the bulk of their money from Microsoft advertising. Some of them now regularly talk about other OS. . Is this a 'Critical Problem'. No. Just another indicator that the folks from Redmond may be losing their midas touch.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But reloading any system with a Windows OS is time consuming and painful. First you install the OS which in the case of XP is 600 Odd Meg and then install the drivers which if you are not building the unit and are just presented with it to load after the user has tried to fix it involves ages spent looking for drivers if it's not a system build like Dell, HP and so on. Then after installing the OS which takes about 40 Minutes and the Drivers which takes longer you then start to apply any Service Packs and Hot Fixes. Add in another 700 MEG for that and at least another 2 hours. Strange that the Service Packs and Hot Fixes are actually bigger than the original OS. But I must be doing something wrong there after grabbing my SP Install Disc's installing them at about 40-60 minutes per install and then connecting to the Net and hitting the Windows Update Servers. If I was downloading the Service Packs it would be several times the Original OS Size. But maybe it's just me seeing something wrong with that picture. :^0 Then you can start to install the Applications which is another several hours depending on what is involved to several days. If that is [b]Just Working[/b] you're welcome to it as to me that's anything but Just Working as I'm nonproductive during the reload. If I drop in a Nix Disc it takes about 30 Minters till I'm up and going on the same hardware, to me that's [b]Just Working.[/b] But the reality of the situation here is that it all depends on what it is you need to do on an individual station by station basis. Windows is a lost cause if you need to do Intensive Graphics Editing which the Mac excels at or if you want to do animation Windows is way too slow and expensive to use. That is where the Nix Systems excel for unimportant things like Cartoon Animation or Computer Generated Images. I maintain a 6K CPU Blade which just works running SUSE to do that work. When the In House Windows Guru hit that Blade and installed Windows Server 2003 on it besides the costs involved in Licensing Windows for that many CPU's the system just didn't work at all well was way slower than the Nix OS things that should have taken 3 days to render took over 4 weeks and probably more importantly the Million $ + Software which was the preferred Software to use wouldn't work on Windows. OH and just a observation here Linux isn't free there are [b]Paid For[/b] versions from all makers and for some funny reason you get decent support when you are paying for it. Unlike the Microsoft Alternative where you are treated as an Idiot, by the Help Center Staff who do not listen to what you have told them [i]For instance when you tell them you are using Volume License Product and then say that it's installed and not working properly on 10 systems they try to start a Piracy Report on you.[/i] Or when you say that applying this Service Pack wiped the HDD they then start on the Compatible Hardware List as if they are the first option you take instead of the last resort when their products do not work. With that one I had to solve the problem and it was a Firmware version on [b]"Compatible Hardware"[/b] wasn't compatible with the Service Pack. Took ages to work out what was wrong, where as on a Nix Distro they had a solution to my problem in under 48 Hours which required recoding. Hardly the support I get from M$ at all. ;) Col

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

is NOT designed to just work on anything - back in the early 1990s the industry controlling bodies came to an agreement of a set of hardware and software command sets. The use of these command sets meant that no drivers were needed for any hardware or software as they were built, from scratch, to use the same commands. For a little while Windows did just work, plug a new device in and whoosh it worked. Then, with Windows 95, Microsoft turned their back on that concept as it meant all hardware and software would work on any hardware and software ad infinitum. By walking about from the standards Microsoft have been able to greatly increase their profits by forcing software upgrades onto the public by having new version incompatible with older software and hardware. BTW Microsoft executives have complained about the lack of 64 bit drivers for some hardware for Windows - which shows they know things do NOT 'just work' with Windows. Hell, even TR is huge sections of blogs and posts about how to tweak Windows, and other Microsoft programs, to work properly on systems. I could write whole pages about the Windows Blue Screen of Death, and the Red Screen of Death - all due to Windows NOT 'just working.' Over the years, I've installed many thousands of systems with Windows, usually the full retail versions, and every single one required extra work to get them working with the vast majority of hardware as the standard installation doesn't work the hardware to its best advantage. As to getting what you pay for, no Microsoft applications gives better than about 10% of value for what they charge, due to all the security vulnerabilities in them and the poor coding they do NOT bother to properly check.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

and worth less than what I paid for it. edit: The last time I built a Windows PC, it took about 15 minutes to assemble the hardware, then another 3-plus hours to install the OS and the hardware drivers. Then I started on the user applications. If that's "just working", you can have it.