I need an OS that doesn't take a lot of care and feeding. I don't want to be a slave to my OS. Windows works. I know that's blasphemy here. But with Windows, I just install it and forget it.
You don't have to install your printer separately? Windows has all the drivers built in (sound, graphics, etc)? I have a Windows install disk, but I also have to have all the other disks to install separately - drivers, peripherals, stuff like that). It takes hours. Then I have to buy and install antivirus, registry cleaner, office software. All separately installed.
Install and forget? I never could, not with Windows. But with Linux Mint, there were no separate drivers to install (my printer works, sound, graphics, all of it). I already have a full office suite, no need for antivirus, defragmenter, "optimizers," registry cleaners, nothing. It took me 15 minutes - done.
If I want a program I download it, fire it up - and I don't have to even THINK about my OS. Stuff just works. I don't want to be a slave to my OS.
Same here. But I don't do it by browsing to some web site, hoping I can trust it, then downloading some .exe file, scanning it with antivirus software to give me some sense of safety, and then having it add toolbars and icons and God only knows what else when I execute it. Instead I just open my already-there package manager and download any number of 38,000-plus software titles - for free - from trustworthy repositories. They install automatically and bingo. Done in seconds, not minutes or hours. I'm like you: I don't want to be a slave to the OS, I just want to run my applications. So that's what I do.
I don't enjoy having to fix programs that break. With Windows, it just hums away in the background and I can forget it. Man, in Linux, I never have that freedom. Stuff breaks, I'm living in a Google or Forum world trying to read how to fix the latest thing that doesn't work. I hate that. Right now I'm in this forum trying to figure out how to get a program running in Mint. I had it running (kind of) but it needs some gyrations to get it right. I've used this program in Windows and it works flawlessly once you download it and install it.
Windows software doesn't run in Linux. But there are "Linux equivalents" to most common Windows programs. We use Firefox (or Qupzilla, Midori, Opera, Seamonkey, Chromium, and more) in place of Internet Explorer. Thunderbird (or Claws Mail, Evolution, and others) in place of Outlook. LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office. Evince instead of Adobe Reader. VLC insttead of Windows Media Player. All of these titles are in Mint's repositories, for free. There is even WINE and Play-on-Linux which allows me to use some Windows software on my Mint OS!
You can return Linux Mint for a full refund on the purchase price if you like.
Some times I step back and look over the incredible array of woes on the Linux forums like this one and laugh in a sick way. People trying to get basic stuff to work and in many cases it's about as pleasant as going to the dentist for a root canal. I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but I do laugh out loud sometimes when I just step back and have a "reality check" moment. We're desperately trying to get basic programs to work on Linux so we can embrace the OS, but I fear we're pretty much in denial. Linux doesn't work as well as Windows.
I'm not trying to be snarky here, but just think about it. What did you pay for Windows?
What do you pay for all the bloatware Windows requires (antivirus, optimizers, defragmentors, registry cleaners, anti-spyware, drivers, peripherals) to make it run and keep it maintained?
There is a learning curve with Linux. It isn't just a free version of Windows that works the same way. You had to learn Windows, maybe a long time ago. The disadvantage that a Windows user has when trying to switch to Linux is the assumption that both OSes work the same way
- just point and click as before. We don't get our software from web sites, but from the repositories. We can't find a cool game or educational stuff at Wal-Mart and install it to a computer running Mint. We have .deb instead of .exe. We don't run as root ("Administrator") all the time like you do in Windows. That is one of the big reasons that Linux is so highly virus-resistant! We don't defrag our hard drives regulary - Linux has no registry to clean! It isn't harder, it's just unfamiliar at first.
I came to Linux from Windows too. No one in my family knew anything about Linux. I was told I couldn't do it because Linux is "only for experts." But after a bit of reading and journaling, I had my first Linux up and running on about 30 minutes. I was 11 years old. Three years later my whole family is using Linux and would never go back. My parents had a harder time learning it than I did because they brought alot of assumptions with them from Windows that just don't apply to Linux. Like downloading programs from the web and getting mad when the "run" command doesn't do anything. It just isn't done that way in Linux. But it took several tries before that lesson sunk in, and we all laugh about it now. Goodness, if we ever had to go back to Windows for any reason, we'd probably be as frustrated by our Linux assumptions as you are by your own assumptions learned from using Windows!
But for me, I would never wish to go back to Windows. But if you are unwilling to learn a little about how this OS works, then stick with what is familiar to you. Just keep some savings in the bank to cover all those anyi-virus subscriptions and license fees and stuff.