Why Linux?


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Ya know, when I first tried Ubuntu I felt the same way. What am I going to use this for? How do I do simple things like install programs? Well, after a few months of using Ubuntu 7.10, I actually get sad when I have to load Windows to play games or run BOINC. If I could figure how to use BOINC (and set it up so it actually works) I would only use Windows a few hours a day for gaming. It's not perfect, but it's faster than XP and I like it.

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TtamNedlog

Yeah I noticed that Master Volume in the "taskbar" was set at 80%. I turned it up to 100%, but it was still significantly quieter than Windows. If I do a full Ubuntu install I'll see if I can find some better drivers maybe. I dunno.

What's the IRC support channel for Ubuntu?

And thanks for the Compiz Fuzion help. I'll check that out when I do the full install.

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Foub
Yeah I noticed that Master Volume in the "taskbar" was set at 80%. I turned it up to 100%, but it was still significantly quieter than Windows. If I do a full Ubuntu install I'll see if I can find some better drivers maybe. I dunno.

What's the IRC support channel for Ubuntu?

And thanks for the Compiz Fuzion help. I'll check that out when I do the full install.

I don't know since I don't use IRC myself, but you could try this;

http://www.ubuntu.com/support/community/chatirc

The forums there are also very good at helping you out.

My volume is pretty loud. What you do is go to the Open Volume Control option in the Volume control from the "System Tray" (Right-click on the icon) and add things, from the preferences section, to the options there like for Playback, Recording, and Switches, and this will really boost the sound levels. You may have to close this and reopen it to see the extra settings afterward. Its very similar to Windows as well.

Edited by Foub
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Shane2
I play the occasional game (Team Fortress 2 and WoW), Photoshop CS3, and occasional Office apps. From what I've read (and tried), the open-source office alternatives are plenty suitable for me since all I do is type up a paper from time to time and throw together a simple power point. Gimp doesn't cut it though, so gaming and Photoshop sound like problem areas. I've read about Wine, but it sounds hit or miss. Some people do alright with it, some people have problems.

Photoshop... good luck I doubt that will ever work. As for TF2 and WoW you will need a cedega subscription (pay monthly) so much for free software eh.

First of all, it's free.

Second of all, it's free in the sense that everything is open to you. The amount of modification a Linux user can do to his OS is on a scale that a Windows user can only dream of. Also, the open nature means that instead of seeing many competing products and packages for Linux that don't work together, they all work to make each other better. The Package Manager (a way of upgrading everything and installing anything in one place) and the Progress Manager in KDE 4 (a way of seeing the progress of anything currently happening, like burning a CD all in one place) are two examples that spring to mind.

Linux is very secure (hence why a lot of servers use it) and the amount of viruses is in the double figures. You're extremely unlikely to get a virus. I haven't even looked into anti-virus for my Linux because I know (almost arrogantly you might say) I won't get a virus.

You don't need to worry about help and assistance, there's a huge Linux community out there, even here on Neowin :)

Gaming on Linux is almost non-existant, even more so than Mac. But there are some games out for Linux (like UT3) so who knows. Remember, with Ubuntu you can try right off the CD before installing to see if you like it or not :)

And because something is free it simply has to be better right? wrong. A lot of people seem to make the assumption that free software is always better, whereas in factual terms less than 5% of the population (and thats a generous guess) would be able to write and program their own software. As a Windows user I also call BS on your customisation argument, I can customise windows very easily, in fact to the average joe that cannot program Windows is a hell of a lot easier to use than Linux is.

I believe de-fragging is not necessary in Linux because it uses a different file system.

I now use Linux as my main system (Fedora Core 8) but I still have Windows Vista installed. The only reason I go back to Vista is to use Photoshop. Everything you do in windows, you can do in Linux but 100 times quicker and more efficiently.

I love Linux and I won't go back to Windows as a main system. Windows runs sooooooo much slower on my brand new laptop. Linux always seems squeaky clean and runs very nicely (although, I agree, not totally bug-free).

I would advise you (at very least) to get the Ubuntu live CD. This will allow you to test out the OS WITHOUT installing anything on your hard drive, the OS basically runs straight off the CD. It gives a very good taster as to what you can do in Linux. Good luck with it.

100 times more efficient and fast. Thats a laugh for sure, on the computer I am using (866 MHZ P3, havent got the money to upgrade at the moment), XP with SP2 runs a dam site faster than any Linux distribution I have ever tried, in fact applications in general take ages to launch in Linux, whereas for me they launch quickly in windows

The reason I'm using ubuntu anyway, is so I can actually use the old PC we have downstairs. The newest version of windows that will work well on it is Win 98. With, I can have a OS that isn't too slow, and has all the modern features that Win 98 doesn't

Not an advisable move. As I mentioned above, I have an older and slower PC and every linux distro I have tried on it runs like cack.

Apparently the CD I downloaded had the Live CD on it, because I'm running Ubuntu as I post this. So far I'm fairly impressed. It feels quite polished, especially compared to Mandrake that I tried years ago. Not sure if it's because Ubuntu is nicer than Mandrake, or just the fact that it's been at least 3 years since then and Linux has improved a lot.

I assume my sound works by default now as well, as I heard some little jingle when Ubuntu started up. I am looking for my mp3's to verify this, but I can't find them. EDIT: I found them. I had to "mount" my other partitions. Crazy Linux terminology lolz?! Anyway, I tried to play an MP3 but it didn't work. It said I lacked the required media codecs. Is this just because I'm running on the Live CD? Would a full Ubuntu install let me play mp3s?

Also, where are temp files being saved while I'm on this Live CD? For example Firefox is already keeping history of the sites I visit. When I reboot without the Live CD, will all temp files like that be wiped from my drive?

Due to the nature of Linux, some things are against the licenses they use (as in they are not open source) and some multimedia codecs fall into this category, therefore they are not installed as default.

You like posting pointless posts dont you? I'm beginning to think postwhore, have you even looked into gaming on Linux? I doubt it.

I however have looked into Gaming on Linux, in fact I have tried it myself with the newest versions of Wine and Cedega and I can tell you now it is poor. On Windows, everything works, but on Cedega/Wine less than half my games work. Linux is quiet simply not a Gamer's OS

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Barney T.

The Ubuntu CD is a Live CD, with the option to install to your hard drive. The icon should be on the desktop.

Some of the programs to run MP3s and such need to be downloaded once you've installed Ubuntu. There are loads of how to's on the Ubuntu website. Live CDs store their contents in memory, so once you turn off the computer, all is gone. You can, however usually store things to another disk or some media storage device, if need be.

Glad that you like Linux. :laugh:

Edit: The OP is asking for Linux help. This thread is not about Linux bashing. If you wish to do so, go somewhere else to do it.

Thank you.

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Janitor
And because something is free it simply has to be better right? wrong. A lot of people seem to make the assumption that free software is always better, whereas in factual terms less than 5% of the population (and thats a generous guess) would be able to write and program their own software. As a Windows user I also call BS on your customisation argument, I can customise windows very easily, in fact to the average joe that cannot program Windows is a hell of a lot easier to use than Linux is.

That statement is completely false, infact i hope it's your opinion at least that way you wont be wrong.

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Foub

Linux Myths....

That statement is completely false, infact i hope it's your opinion at least that way you wont be wrong.

He is conveniently leaving out that you have to patch Windows in order to use user themes that are not APPROVED by Microsoft..... Linux is completely, and easily customizable. He just has to go to www.gnome-look.org for proof of this.

I use to think the same as he does, but then Vista came out and was a total disaster, which drove me to something else, and I tried Linux and fell in love with it because of all of the reasons that others above had mentioned.

Edited by Foub
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TtamNedlog

Yeah Vista blows so far. That's why I was interested in dual booting XP/Linux and not Vista/Linux.

I'm sure Vista will mature in the coming years just as XP did, but Microsoft should seriously consider making sure their future OSes are a lot more mature from the get-go. People shouldn't have to "wait for the first or second service pack" before adopting a new OS. =\

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Foub
Yeah Vista blows so far. That's why I was interested in dual booting XP/Linux and not Vista/Linux.

I'm sure Vista will mature in the coming years just as XP did, but Microsoft should seriously consider making sure their future OSes are a lot more mature from the get-go. People shouldn't have to "wait for the first or second service pack" before adopting a new OS. =\

I'm currently dual booting with a stripped down version of XP just for games, but I'm seriously considering just getting rid of XP altogether since I'm using the XP partition less and less.

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Julius Caro

Basically, it depends on what type of computer user you are. For a typical windows user with user-level knowledge, maybe it is not worth it to "adapt" to the new thing (even though right now linux is great as a user-level OS).

For a more advanced user, linux is totally worth it. As an operating system, it rocks, and I guess it does perform better than wubdiws in areas such as user handling, memory management, etc. Of course, that's my impression.

Not only that, with linux you can be a lot faster at performing certain tasks. The command line is powerful, and in windows you are very limited by the GUI. Windows could work this way too, it also has a command line, and a lot of administrative tasks can be performed by command line.

Plus, ANYTHING can be altered :D

Linux should polish its GUIs though. I'm never pleased. I can't get something as essential as fonts to look the same across ALL applications. GTK 1, GTK 2, QT... it drives me nuts. And certain details, like a hover effect in tab buttons... even though they're all eye-candy, they DO help. Well, Gnome doesnt even has that. That's a silly example though. Things like Compiz are really good IMO. Some people like all-over-the-place effects but I figured that enabling only just a few of them makes the desktop better and more comfortable to work with.

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Unto Darkness
I'm sure these threads have been done a million time, but I'm not bashing Linux, I'm just wondering what the advantages are over Windows XP Pro (which is what I have atm).

I ask because I saw some Ubuntu Beryl/Compiz/whatever vids on youtube and wanted to setup a dual boot for Ubuntu and XP, but then I got to wondering what would I actually do in Linux? There would have to be some reason for me to actually boot into Ubuntu instead of XP at least sometimes, otherwise there's no point in my setting up a dual boot heh.

I play the occasional game (Team Fortress 2 and WoW), Photoshop CS3, and occasional Office apps. From what I've read (and tried), the open-source office alternatives are plenty suitable for me since all I do is type up a paper from time to time and throw together a simple power point. Gimp doesn't cut it though, so gaming and Photoshop sound like problem areas. I've read about Wine, but it sounds hit or miss. Some people do alright with it, some people have problems. Photoshop supposedly runs buggy in Wine. *shrug*

So what would I do? Just get on Ubuntu to browse the net or chat/email with buddies? Then boot back into XP if I wanted to play a game or use Photoshop? Even then I'm not sure why I would want to browse/chat in Ubuntu aside from the purdy Compiz UI. I know the security this and security that about Windows, but 95% of that is related to how computer savvy you are to begin with. Common sense and know-how go a lot farther than antiviruses and firewalls. This is what concerns me about trying to use Linux. While I constantly use XP (as administrator for that matter) and know what I'm doing, I would basically be clueless in Linux. That eliminates the "know-how" and I think I would be more likely to stumble upon a virus in Linux than I would XP. =\

What advantages does Linux provide?

Well in your case, using a Linux distro is absolutely pointless.

- Linux is mainly used for old systems which can't support the new Windows or Mac OSs, since Linux is not very "resource demanding".

- Many people also use it for programming since it has a good environment with compilers and debuggers. [just for your info, those working in Google, or intending to work there, need to have an extensive knowledge of Linux]

- Some people also use Linux if they do not usually do intensive stuff on their computers like photo editing, gaming etc. , mainly for surfing, media and chatting [maybe programming as well] in a secure environment.

- For extremely paranoid people who need that "unpenetrable system"

If you fall into neither of the categories above, you should stick with Windows XP, like me :laugh:

Many people say that Linux is more secure than Windows XP. I came across this article recently in the Neowin forums:

HOW TO SECURE Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 & EVEN Vista in 12 steps, SECURITY HARDENING WINDOWS NT-based OS family INTRO

In that, we can see that a default Linux distro has a score of just over 45, whereas in a windows XP system with some moderate tweaking, you can get as far as 60. The entire article shows you that even Windows XP can be hardened to get close to Linux [when hardened], if you are that security paranoid person.

Also, it is a pain in the ass to dual boot Linux with Windows XP. I have tried one solution, which is Wubi [Windows Ubuntu Installer] which worked flawlessly, but in the end, it was far slower than XP. It took over a minute and a half to startup!

So stick to Windows XP. It will suit you best.

PS: No matter what they say, Linux is not ENTIRELY new-user-friendly. It is still hard to get to uninstall programs you don't need in Ubuntu.

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ViperAFK
Apparently the CD I downloaded had the Live CD on it, because I'm running Ubuntu as I post this. So far I'm fairly impressed. It feels quite polished, especially compared to Mandrake that I tried years ago. Not sure if it's because Ubuntu is nicer than Mandrake, or just the fact that it's been at least 3 years since then and Linux has improved a lot.

I assume my sound works by default now as well, as I heard some little jingle when Ubuntu started up. I am looking for my mp3's to verify this, but I can't find them. EDIT: I found them. I had to "mount" my other partitions. Crazy Linux terminology lolz?! Anyway, I tried to play an MP3 but it didn't work. It said I lacked the required media codecs. Is this just because I'm running on the Live CD? Would a full Ubuntu install let me play mp3s?

Also, where are temp files being saved while I'm on this Live CD? For example Firefox is already keeping history of the sites I visit. When I reboot without the Live CD, will all temp files like that be wiped from my drive?

nothing is saved when running the live cd, All the settings are probably stored in RAM. When ubuntu is installed and you try and play an mp3 it will automatically prompt you to download the appropriate codec.

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cork1958

Personally,

I like Linux because it just looks so much better on my computers, whether fairly newer ones or ancient relics.

Also love the security and no messing around with all the maintenance junk of Windows!

I forced myself to do Linux for a year a couple years ago. Went with Kubuntu initially for about 6 months, but that got me to thinking about Firefox and all it's fanboys. I'm an underdog kind of person all the way, so I went searching for something not so popular, where people weren't shoving it down your throat, saying how great it is and all, like the Firefox fanboys, as previously mentioned!

I now use Zenwalk 4.8 on 4 machines and Blag on 3. Have XP Pro also installed on all those machines. (Best of both worlds. Had Vista on one, but, man, that OS just plain sucks!)

Overall, I generally boot into Linux, as all my machines are set to boot that way. Not a gamer at all, so that isn't an issue, but sure do have a lot more time for doing anything else without having to do spyware scans, av scans, defrags, registry cleaners, etc...........

FWIW,

I believe I like Blag over Zenwalk, of these 2 distros.

Edited by cork1958
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Malisk

For me, the most noticeable differences with Linux compared to Vista are:

- Overall lower resource usage and background services kicking in both when you're working and not. Even on my Core 2 Duo E6600 / 2 GB RAM, I can notice quite a difference at times.

- Much better options for desktop managers and extending them. There are Windows explorer replacements, but since Windows wasn't built for this in its foundation, they're often more limited. For example, it's very hard to do something seamless as a hardware accelerated Compiz for Vista. There have been DWM hacks, but not too much more than that.

- Desktop-oriented Linux distros often use convenient application management systems that are so easy that they tend to grow onto you. :)

- Microsoft/Windows Update update Windows products for you. However, the counterpart in e.g. Ubuntu update any software you have installed from its package manager, not just from the distribution vendor!

- Software is more commonly free and/or open source. This may or may not matter to you depending on your ideals, wealth, etc. ;)

There are two potentially major disadvantages though:

- Application compatibility and support. You'll especially run into these if using certain commercial-grade applications or games. For example, Autodesk doesn't do an AutoCAD for Linux, and it's practically the industry standard CAD environment in many parts of the world. Same goes for Photoshop. However, there are sometimes ways out of this in solutions like WINE. In the case of Photoshop, you can check out their application database entry for that application and others. For Windows/DirectX gaming, there is Cedega that may help. People can play for example World of Warcraft and Guild Wars in Linux. It doesn't actually have to be a big deal.

- Hardware support. This can be lacking especially with more esoteric hardware, but you may also have no problems at all.

One probably need to do some research before deciding.

For many, I think the best, although perhaps sometimes cumbersome, solution might be to use two partitions or hard drives, each with their own OS. For example for the home gamer and average office application user, using Linux for office apps (e.g. OpenOffice, Evolution, etc), and Windows as a "gaming OS". That often goes a very long way to resolving many Linux issues, not just in software, but in hardware you only use for gaming anyway (if you'd have a headset that doesn't work in Linux, etc., or even a graphics card not getting accelerated too well). Of course, if you only play common games like WoW or GW or Counterstrike, chances are high that either WINE or Cedega will solve things for you and let you run them even from inside Linux.

Edited by Jugalator
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Shadrack
He is conveniently leaving out that you have to patch Windows in order to use user themes that are not APPROVED by Microsoft..... Linux is completely, and easily customizable. He just has to go to www.gnome-look.org for proof of this.

I use to think the same as he does, but then Vista came out and was a total disaster, which drove me to something else, and I tried Linux and fell in love with it because of all of the reasons that others above had mentioned.

From that article you pointed to:

What makes that even more fascinating is that the backlash against Windows Vista is not reason enough to fuel the move to Linux.

The current "backlash" seems to be comprised by people who have not really tried Windows Vista (apparently). I do not understand why everyone has a chip on their shoulder regarding Windows Vista. I have a lot of OS experience, from Solaris, to Windows, to Linux, and Windows Vista is a good OS. If your hardware is supported on Windows Vista you will have an enjoyable experience unless you aren't so biased you can't see straight.

Linux is just another choice and it is the right choice for some people and some applications. For instance, LAMP servers kick ass (Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP)! You can't beat the performance/cost ratio of that setup for any mid-level web application platform. In fact, most linux distros can be configured as a LAMP from installation. Its awesome.

One thing I do not care for is the POSIX (the standards that Linux upholds) way of organizing binaries in the directory structure. It is very confusing to me and does not seem to be very organized at all. I'm not sure it is any better than DLL hell. At least in Windows Vista the "Users" directory structure makes more sense than the old "Documents and Settings" directory structure of XP/2000.

-shad

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Foub
The current "backlash" seems to be comprised by people who have not really tried Windows Vista (apparently). I do not understand why everyone has a chip on their shoulder regarding Windows Vista. I have a lot of OS experience, from Solaris, to Windows, to Linux, and Windows Vista is a good OS. If your hardware is supported on Windows Vista you will have an enjoyable experience unless you aren't so biased you can't see straight.

People shouldn't go to Linux just because Vista is c*ap. They should switch because it is better than Vista in so many ways, some of which are outlined above. In my nearly 2 and a half decades of using Microsoft's products I never had as much fun with an OS as I did when I switched over the Ubuntu. I dreaded turning on my system each day under Vista. I no longer dread turning it now that I'm using Linux. Of course it isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be and still be better.

I tried Vista for nearly 6 months before I finally tossed that garbage. I had even bought a copy the day after it officially came out. What finally turned me was when it deactivated over a simple video card (ATI x1650 Pro) driver update when the previous several updates, with the same card from the same source, went without a hitch. I have too much self-respect to have to constantly call India and beg for permission to continue to use my system.

BTW, my system scored a 5.9 under Vista so it was more than what was needed to properly run it. Anyways as far as I'm concerned blaming a user's hardware is lame. For every person that has had little or no problems with Vista there are several more, like me, who have had nothing but trouble with it. I had far less problems with Win ME than I did with this piece of c*ap.

Edited by Foub
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Shadrack
People shouldn't go to Linux just because Vista is c*ap. They should switch because it is better than Vista in so many ways, some of which are outlined above. In my nearly 2 and a half decades of using Microsoft's products I never had as much fun with an OS as I did when I switched over the Ubuntu. I dreaded turning on my system each day under Vista. I no longer dread turning it now that I'm using Linux. Of course it isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be and still be better.

I tried Vista for nearly 6 months before I finally tossed that garbage. I had even bought a copy the day after it officially came out. What finally turned me was when it deactivated over a simple video card (ATI x1650 Pro) driver update when the previous several updates, with the same card from the same source, went without a hitch. I have too much self-respect to have to constantly call India and beg for permission to continue to use my system.

BTW, my system scored a 5.9 under Vista so it was more than what was needed to properly run it. Anyways as far as I'm concerned blaming a user's hardware is lame. For every person that has had little or no problems with Vista there are several more, like me, who have had nothing but trouble with it. I had far less problems with Win ME than I did with this piece of c*ap.

Well, I said that if the drivers work with Windows Vista than you will have a good experience. I didn't say it was your fault for not having hardware that worked. It is debatable as to if the problem lies on the shoulders of Microsoft or the hardware vendors. That being said, I've had equally as much problems with hardware support in Linux so I believe the same can be applied to Linux. If your hardware works in Linux then you will have a good experience. Unfortunatly, most people become fanatical about whatever they use and just because someone has a different preference then them their opinions must be based on utter ignorance. Riiiggghhhhttt... I think there is a definite trend of know-it-all'ism on this particular forum (neowin as a whole), and it is getting very exhausting.

Just because your hardware does not work does not necessarily mean that it is a piece of crap. I think that some people (ahem) need to keep a level head about things. I have had a lot of problems with ATI graphics cards in any OS. Out of the two I have had (9200 and a 9800 pro) they were nothing but grief in any OS I tried. nVidia has much better driver support across all platforms in my experience.

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tablet_user

The biggest fact is its FREE. Thats the only reason linux is even a known word is because kids dont have to pay for software. The phrase "you get what you pay for" does still come into play though so dont think your getting this great OS with great software. Alot of time its just weak clones of great windows software (pidgin or amsn compared to windows live messenger for example).

If linux distros decided today that you have to pay for software and buy linux like you do windows the userbase would drop to 0.

I use Gentoo Linux so im not some windows basher coming on here to start crap im just stating the obvious. Linux is only an option because its free. Viruses arent an issue for a careful user (been clean since windows 98 without even installing an antivirus).

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Janitor
(been clean since windows 98 without even installing an antivirus).

Heh..

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tablet_user
Heh..

heh what? you really buy into the crap about all windows users get infected?

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Janitor
heh what? you really buy into the crap about all windows users get infected?

No not really, the security of the OS depends on the knowledge of the end user.

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tablet_user
No not really, the security of the OS depends on the knowledge of the end user.

Exactly what i said in my message. I just didnt want to be rude or get a warning by calling virus carriers idiots lol

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Janitor
Exactly what i said in my message. I just didnt want to be rude or get a warning by calling virus carriers idiots lol

Warnings are phun! :laugh:

Anyway we're drifting off topic.

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Foub
Well, I said that if the drivers work with Windows Vista than you will have a good experience. I didn't say it was your fault for not having hardware that worked. It is debatable as to if the problem lies on the shoulders of Microsoft or the hardware vendors. That being said, I've had equally as much problems with hardware support in Linux so I believe the same can be applied to Linux. If your hardware works in Linux then you will have a good experience. Unfortunatly, most people become fanatical about whatever they use and just because someone has a different preference then them their opinions must be based on utter ignorance. Riiiggghhhhttt... I think there is a definite trend of know-it-all'ism on this particular forum (neowin as a whole), and it is getting very exhausting.

Just because your hardware does not work does not necessarily mean that it is a piece of crap. I think that some people (ahem) need to keep a level head about things. I have had a lot of problems with ATI graphics cards in any OS. Out of the two I have had (9200 and a 9800 pro) they were nothing but grief in any OS I tried. nVidia has much better driver support across all platforms in my experience.

It wasn't just hardware but many, many, many other issues as well. Its not as if I'm in a minority here with any of this. It is quite a percentage of Vista users in the same boat as I am. Most likely you're the one in the minority as far as what I've been reading and seeing all over the place.

Speaking of issues, you apparently have a few yourself. :whistle:

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Xenomorph

I've asked myself and others that as well - "Why Linux?"

To most people, it offers nothing over Windows, yet it also lacks so much.

Why would you load up Linux just to then load up Wine to run your Windows applications, or dual boot Windows to run games?

Why not just stay in Windows?

I use Windows at home and at work. I have no stability issues. No security issues. No performance issues.

Most of the software I use on my computer is free anyway. A lot of it is even open source. If it is not free, then I have valid licenses for it, such as Windows XP Professional, Vista Business and Ultimate, and Office 2003 and 2007.

The company I work for even makes big bucks helping people switch to Windows from Linux after they made the mistake of believing the Linux hype and installing something like Red Hat on their servers.

If you want stability, compatibility, functionality, and support, Windows is where it's at.

To sum up:

Microsoft has stated several times that Linux costs more than Windows, and I believe it. My company believes it, and our clients believe it. Linux is nothing but trouble. Of course, the Linux fanboys are still claiming how great it is, and that it's even "ready for the Desktop".

For the home Desktop, Windows offers more.

For the business users, Windows offers more.

People use what's best. You can claim that Microsoft is evil and has forced people to use Windows. That's a load of bull. If something out there was better, everyone would be using it.

Edited by Xenomorph
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