Response to “Why Arguing That Windows is Better Than Linux Makes You Look Silly”

This is a response to the web article entitled “Why Arguing That Windows is Better Than Linux Makes You Look Silly” found at (https://www.linux.com/news/software/applications/768257-why-arguing-that-windows-is-better-than-linux-makes-you-look-silly).  Please note that I mean no disrespect to the article’s author in anything I say.

Author’s words in red and my responses are in black.

1. “Reason #1: As soon as you mention one distro, all the fanboys go insane claiming you’ve made the wrong choice.”

You didn’t just hallucinate.

The #1 reason to not use Linux, stated by a technology writer for both ZDNet and CNN, is that other people use Linux also. Some of those people have opinions. And you, with your obvious inability to exist within a universe with other people in it, will simply collapse into a fetal position and give up using computers altogether.

Bottom of the barrel reasoning. Heck. Not even in the barrel. In a box next to the barrel with the words “just some fish or something” scribbled on the top with a sharpie. But let’s jump past that relatively catastrophic level of goobery-ness and tackle some of the more reasonable (at first glance) points that are made in many of these sorts of articles.

Linux has so many different distributions that it is virtually impossible for any software company to support their software on Linux. One Linux distribution (e.g. Ubuntu 15.04) might have different software libraries than say CentOS 7 or even Debian. That is why you find software companies that have Linux software only supporting a limited selection of Linux distributions. If a software company tried to support every single Linux desktop / server distribution out there, they would have a nightmare on their hands!

If you don’t mind Linux having 80+ different distributions, then that is fine. However, please do not expect the rest of the world to not see all of those 80+ distributions as confusing and intimidating.

 

2. “Windows has more software.”

One of the common mantras in making the case against Linux, particularly on the Desktop, is that Windows simply has more software available than Linux. In fact, I don’t even think you can use the phrase “Windows is better than Linux” in an article without trotting out this tired old argument.

This is usually backed up by an example of an important piece of software that doesn’t run on Linux, such as Adobe Photoshop.

There’s just one problem with that argument: It’s not at all true. Want to run Adobe Photoshop (or the vast majority of software often used to make this argument)… you can. With Wine.

Sure, you could make the argument that not all Windows software runs perfectly using Wine on Linux. Then again… I could make that same argument about Windows software not always running well on Windows itself. Which would be a far more damning point to make. And, because I’m not the type to kick a guy when he’s down, I’m just going to move on…

Actually the majority of software available to the everyday user out-there is Windows only. Using “Wine” for Linux is not the go-to solution for everything. Most Windows software either does not run correctly or not at all on “wine”. Why would someone go to Linux, if they have software that requires Windows in the first place (never mind the fact that software companies probably would not help you with their software, if they found out that you were using their Windows-only software on “wine” on Linux)?

“Sure, you could make the argument that not all Windows software runs perfectly using Wine on Linux. Then again… I could make that same argument about Windows software not always running well on Windows itself.”

You are comparing apples to oranges here.  What does Windows-only software running on Windows itself have to do with Windows software running under “wine” on Linux?  These are two separate topics altogether!

 

3. “Windows has more commercial support.”

This one gets pulled out fairly often.

The idea here is that people and companies want professional support – the ability to pick up the phone and call someone when they have a problem. This is, obviously, super critical. Especially for big businesses who have mission-critical work happening on their computers.

When this gets written, I feel like the writer wasn’t even trying. This argument is immediately disproven by a quick Google search for “linux enterprise support” and checking out the number of options on that first page of results alone. Multiple high profile companies offering various support options for both Linux servers and desktops.

In other words, “Lots and lots of commercial support for Linux”.

In this case, it really is a matter of what a company is currently using in its infrastructure. If they use Windows software to run their business, they are going to want to use Windows. If they use Linux software, then they are going to pick a professional Linux distribution that they can get support with.

 

4. “Windows is pre-installed.”

Ah, now here’s a valid point. At least it would be, if installing operating systems were difficult at this point in human history. It also assumes nobody has ever had to re-install Windows which, I am pretty sure, is a task that has been done at least 50 times by every man, woman and child on planet Earth (on average).

Also… the logic here is “You already have this thing… so don’t worry about that other thing that might be better. Also buy some new versions of the thing you have. But, seriously. Don’t think about other, better things.”

People are not looking to install a completely different OS (that they probably are not familiar with) when they buy a new computer. Sure tech savvy guys might wipe Windows off a new system and put Linux on, but don’t expect the “everyday” person to want to do that. Also, if you are just installing Linux “just because it is not Windows” then that is a silly reason to begin with!  Note: I make use of Linux too and don’t hate it. I just use whatever OS best suits my needs.

If I am doing something that I feel is better suited on Windows, then I will use Windows. If I am doing something that I feel is better suited on Linux, then I will use Linux. Simple as that! 🙂

5. “Windows is easier to use.”

The core of the argument here usually revolves around how it is impossible to use Linux without spending all day hunched over the terminal and typing archaic commands into Emacs. Which is both completely wrong (Linux desktop distros tend to be astoundingly easy to use nowadays), and also a wee bit insulting for the reader.

If a person is reading a technology article comparing two different operating systems… my guess is they don’t have a panic attack the moment they need to type two words on their keyboard. I know, call me crazy.

I could go on and on with this but I think the point has been made. It sort of feels like all of these “X Reasons Windows is Better than Linux” articles are regurgitated versions of similar articles written in 1998. And, in the end, simply make the writers look uninformed about Linux.

Also goobery. It makes them look a bit goobery.

Actually I have used Linux for over a decade. Both desktop and server distributions still require the user to be somewhat knowledgeable about the terminal.

Saying “Which is both completely wrong (Linux desktop distros tend to be astoundingly easy to use nowadays), and also a wee bit insulting for the reader.” is actually itself not entirely correct! However you are entitled to your opinion.

“It sort of feels like all of these “X Reasons Windows is Better than Linux” articles are regurgitated versions of similar articles written in 1998. And, in the end, simply make the writers look uninformed about Linux.”

Linux has many advocates involved with its use and development. I have talked with several myself on the Internet. In my experience, roughly 98% of the time, Linux advocates trash Windows and parade Linux, but never really give any factual or technical reasons beyond “Linux is more secure than Windows…” or “Linux is more stable than Windows…”.

Those statements would not really make an individual or company want to switch to Linux (no technical arguments in those statements), nor do they make the Linux advocate saying them look smart.

I actually had one Linux advocate who implied that open-source software cannot be backdoor-ed by the NSA!  How could he know that the NSA hasn’t and / or cannot have people working undercover to infiltrate open-source software? He cannot! He is just making an assumption (and a dangerous one at that!).

In the end, in my experience, it is usually the Linux advocates who talk uninformed about both Linux and Windows! I am not saying this to be mean, but that has been my experience.

——————

Both Windows and Linux are tools to get things done with. Would you say a hammer is better than a wrench? Probably not! They both are different tools to accomplish tasks that need to be completed.


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems