Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

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borg101
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Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by borg101 »

Let me explain the title. First, I don't mean this as some pro Microsoft or anti Linux rant. I merely want to showcase why I continue to prefer any iteration of Windows over any iteration of Linux. If you're going to be disparaging or troll/flame me, you'll be ignored. The purpose of this post is to start a discussion on why Linux is still a far way off from being successful, and possible ways to grow its user base.

My background: I work in the IT industry, went to school for computer science, and have been using Linux for about 15 years on and off.

My story: I remember back in the early 90's of command line installers, a teenager being confused by sda and sdb, accidentally creating ghost partitions, etc. Fast forward into the late 90's and early 2000's, easy to use gui installers came about. This was about the time I went to university and because of my major was thrust into Linux full time. I started running it full time on my home computer....until it came to gaming. Linux was promptly removed in favor of Win2k/XP and relegated to a school only machine. Fast forward into the late 2000's, GUIs became much better and I was well off into my career, having several laptops I began using Ubuntu 9, if memory serves. Gaming was still barely viable so Linux was a play thing....browse the internet, write some scripts, light coding, etc. Now we're here, today. Gaming is close to mainstream, with many titles having built in compatibility, many titles work with wine, and best of all.....perfected opensource titles like hedgewars, stk, etc. I run elementary OS on my main laptop. I thought to myself...."why not on my htpc". So I installed it. Installed it, bugs galore, so I tried my number 2 favorite distro.....Mint. Mint 18 is on my windtop and my son's windtop. I got it installed and working perfectly on my HTPC, scaled it to my TV, etc. Then I went to use a flash drive. I needed to make a bootable USB. I've never done this in Linux. So, as I have in all my years past....I read....and read.....and read. I spent about 25 inutes looking for a GUI solution. That was a no go unless you're in Ubuntu.....and I refuse to run Ubuntu. So I turned to the command line, as you inevitably always have to. I learned about "dd" and read the man pages, tutorials, etc. I followed the instructions to a "T". And while making sure I selected the appropriate disk, and double checking I had selected the appropriate disk. I executed the command. There was no progress indicator though. It was a 4 gig image on a 32 gig drive. I figured I'd wait 30 minutes just to be safe. I pulled it out and rebooted. Now my 4TB drive that contained 3.7tb of movies was gone, replaced with the ISO. I tried recovering it with yet more command line programs. Followed the instructions to a "T".....nope....gone.

I apologize for the long diatribe above but I wanted to illustrate a point. I'm an advanced user. I'm a forgiving user. I have a great internet connection and a decent VPN so getting my 3.7tb of movies back shouldn't be a problem....though I'll be downloading rather than ripping most of the titles as that's a PITA. I'll continue to use Linux. But if we want more people to take Linux seriously, we need to incorporate more gui's and less command line. No visual representation and spending hours reading to do fairly simple tasks is keeping the masses from a great OS. In 20 years of using Linux, I've probably spent more time reading how to do something than I have actually doing it. Once I think I get everything setup, I go to use the first thing I setup and it's broken and have to start the process all over again. Windows is FAR from perfect, but it is way easier to use. And here's the food for thought part of it.......who has a much more active user and support base, with a large online community, etc, etc? I'd bet dollars to donuts just ONE popular distro blows the entirety of Windows out of the water in terms of knowledge, support, etc. Why do we, the community as a whole, shy away from GUI's over command line? Why do we continue to spend hours reading instead of doing?
Last edited by Pierre on Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved to Chat, as it's not specifically about LinuxMint.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by AscLinux »

I think you are posting on a wrong forum, this forum is about Linux and using Linux.
Linux is everywhere, in your wrist watch, in your router, smartTV, etc. Stating Linux is nowhere is extremely shortsighted.

As a matter of fact you qualify as a troll. :(

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by richyrich »

If you pump the money into Linux that is being pumped into Microsoft . . .
If you convince hardware and software vendors that bowing to Microsoft is NOT the only way to make money . . .

You will end up with a product that is exactly like Microsoft . . :shock:

not for me . . never !

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by AscLinux »

I'm relatively old netizen, on usenet since 1991. I've seen them all. Every now and then there is a frustrated user who cannot get grip on (whatnot, in this case Linux) so he tries to convince everybody (probably mostly himself) it is not worth it. They are not trolling knowingly, yet they are still trolls.

Don't feed this one!

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by borg101 »

AscLinux wrote:I think you are posting on a wrong forum, this forum is about Linux and using Linux.
Linux is everywhere, in your wrist watch, in your router, smartTV, etc. Stating Linux is nowhere is extremely shortsighted.

As a matter of fact you qualify as a troll. :(

So discussing the usability and the popularity of Linux doesn't count? If this is in the wrong forum, by all means, direct me to the appropriate one. I felt it was the appropriate forum from what I saw in the options.

Did I state Linux was nowhere? If I didn't make it clear, I was referring to the PC variant.

How do I qualify as a troll? I even specifically stated the intent behind my post at the very beginning of it.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by borg101 »

AscLinux wrote:I'm relatively old netizen, on usenet since 1991. I've seen them all. Every now and then there is a frustrated user who cannot get grip on (whatnot, in this case Linux) so he tries to convince everybody (probably mostly himself) it is not worth it. They are not trolling knowingly, yet they are still trolls.

Don't feed this one!

Didn't I say how good Linux is and that I will continue to use it. I have a "grip" on it. Expecting your user base to understand every in and out of any OS is extremely arrogant. One of the reasons I love computer science is because I learn a lot every day. I'm constantly figuring out new ways to solve problems. This isn't a troll post. It's meant to start a dialogue. If you don't wish to contribute, then don't.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by borg101 »

richyrich wrote:If you pump the money into Linux that is being pumped into Microsoft . . .
If you convince hardware and software vendors that bowing to Microsoft is NOT the only way to make money . . .

You will end up with a product that is exactly like Microsoft . . :shock:

not for me . . never !
You're 100% right. That's why we must strive to improve ease of use and find more creative ways to get new devs on board.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by Fred Barclay »

borg101, did you know that Mint comes with a GUI for making bootable usb sticks?
Open the mint menu, type in "usb", and you should see it. ;)
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by borg101 »

Fred Barclay wrote:borg101, did you know that Mint comes with a GUI for making bootable usb sticks?
Open the mint menu, type in "usb", and you should see it. ;)
are you freaking kidding me? lol. I'm going to try it in a bit! Thanks for the info.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by MintBean »

This is open chat, so topic is valid.

I understand the OP's frustrations. I grit my teeth at some of the 'solutions' offered in the beginner's section advising newbies to hit the command line and hack away at configuration files or even delete system files when the solution could be achieved with a couple of clicks in the GUI. Personally, I don't think that's a good way to promote Linux to new 'recruits' and should be considered a last option.

Still, Linux is improving day by day, as the previous couple of posts show. From where I'm standing, it's a lot less hassle than windows right now and a lot more fun!

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by BigEasy »

borg101 wrote:My story: I remember back in the early 90's of command line installers, a teenager being confused by sda and sdb
And never by A: and B: ?
Windows assumes I'm stupid but Linux demands proof of it

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by samriggs »

I agree its valid, although I cannot stand windows myself and have banned as much as possible from my existence the OP has some points.
But actually when I bought this new toy it had windows 10 on it, I found it more confusing and more difficult then linux to use, but that is just me and windows only stays on as long as a back up can be done and all things get updated then it goes away.

As far as more GUI's linux has come a long way in that department and continues to grow, most folks can load and run it now, including my mother who is retired.
She doesn't like windows and also finds it more confusing.

As far as using the terminal goes, I love arch also so I don't mind using the terminal for most anything, but also use GUI's as much as possible, if your good at python and using glade making a GUI to do a lot of terminal stuff is easily possible also.

There is always drivers depending on hardware issues that sometimes needs some extra work but not that much anymore compared to when I first started using it, it has come a long way.

but I will always use the terminal as I got used to it over the years, and I did learn a lot by digging in and finding solutions to most problems that arise.
If you pump the money into Linux that is being pumped into Microsoft . . .
If you convince hardware and software vendors that bowing to Microsoft is NOT the only way to make money . . .

You will end up with a product that is exactly like Microsoft . . :shock:

not for me . . never !
Ya although I love to see more software companies hop on board this part worries me also, I love linux for what it is, I would never want that to change, it's one of the things that attracted me to it.
Plus almost all the software I use is open source except for a few programs I happily pay for on the game making side of things.

Keeping windows around might be good if not for this one thing, plus all the other nonsense that would come along with it.

Borg101 you sound like you can throw together some GUI's yourself by your experience as an IT person, don't know if you know python or glade but it shouldn't much to get to know once fooling around with it for a bit, quite a few tutorials out there.
If you see something that could use a GUI and you know how to make it, hop on board and throw one together the community can use it if it is useful.

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by Moem »

So you prefer Windows over Linux because you, as an advanced user, could not find the GUI tool that's present in your installation that does exactly the thing that you want?
You are free to feel the way you feel, and to base your feelings on absolutely nothing at all if you want, but I can't find your argument very convincing.

Use whatever OS you prefer, it's up to you. But maybe your self-perceived status of 'advanced user' tripped you up here?
Why do we, the community as a whole, shy away from GUI's over command line? Why do we continue to spend hours reading instead of doing?
We don't and we don't. You could have typed 'usb', 'disk' or 'bootable' into the menu search instead, and you would have found exactly what you're looking for. PEBCAK happens, in fact it happens to all of us, but it's not the OS's fault.
Linux based OSses have moved on more than you seem to realise. Have a little more faith in Mint: it's more complete and more friendly, not to mention easier, than you're giving it credit for.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by sphyrth »

I don't know why, but I prefer working with the command prompt than the GUI Windows gives me. The "run" box is my most used GUI if that even counts. So, "shying away" isn't actually the same as "preferring" cmd over gui.

The only reason I see Terminal Linux tutorials is that they are trying tone as distro-agnostic as possible. But times have changed. Pick a distro, then find all the GUI tutorials you need. They're out there now.

Also, I don't think that one GUI will overthrow Windows. Windows has a record of being inconsistent with its own GUI. Think 7, 8, and 10.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by English Invader »

I think part of the problem is that there are a lot of people who experienced Linux in its infancy, became settled with Windows and didn't really keep abrest of its development over the past 5-6 years and therefore have an outdated impression of Linux (not really thinking of the OP here but he does seem to be on the periphery of that group). When they try and use Linux, they assume everything will be as primitive as it was before and spend hours tinkering with the command line for things that can now be done at the click of a mouse.

I have the opposite problem. I'm used to Linux and can't get on with Windows. The only thing I wonder about are specialist programs for transferring old media (which seem to be in short supply on Linux) for those who have a VHS/Betamax or vinyl collection they want to archive on their PC.

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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by Pjotr »

This topic is funny. :lol:

Anyone can overlook the presence of mintstick in the menu. We all overlook the obvious from time to time.

But you're apparently able to find this forum for posting this rant. So why didn't it occur to you, to simply ask on this forum how to make a bootable USB stick in Mint? :shock:
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by altair4 »

We get your kind of posts all the time and as a long time Linux user myself ( ~15 years or so ) I understand your argument but this isn't the correct forum for your post. I don't think there is a "correct" forum for your post.

In my experience Linux works best under two conditions:

** As a server OS in the hands of a trained Systems Administrator.

** As an embedded OS in a device where the manufacturer has complete control over how it operates and what features are enabled.

Linux on the desktop is another matter. It's made up of too many parts that a Mint, or an Ubuntu, or a Fedora has absolutely no control over. No desktop Linux distro is in control over all these parts.

I am a Windows 10 "Insider" and installed it before it "shipped". Every few days they released a new build. Features where removed and new ones added. Bugs were fixed and new ones appeared. It was closest thing to a Linux-like experience I've ever had in Windows except it was all happening at a faster pace. But then it was shipped and it is what it is. As an insider things continue to evolve but one entity is in charge here. They have a "vision" of how the system should operate and how the user interacts with all it's parts. Just like a macOS. You may not like the results but all the parts conform to this vision. There is no counterpart to this kind of control in Linux outside of the kernel.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by Pjotr »

altair4 wrote:Linux on the desktop is another matter.
Not for me.

I've been, and still am, a fulltime Linux desktop user for over a decade (I switched to Linux in the summer of 2006). I'm very much satisfied with it, especially since I switched to LTS-only (first the *buntu's, now Mint).

Reliable, secure, stable as a rock. In my Linux decade, I've run into showstopper bugs maybe two or three times. That's about it.

The point you're bringing up may be valid theoretically, but not in real life. Not on my Linux rigs.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by Moem »

altair4 wrote:Linux on the desktop is another matter. It's made up of too many parts that a Mint, or an Ubuntu, or a Fedora has absolutely no control over. No desktop Linux distro is in control over all these parts.
I'm with Pjotr on this. Desk/laptop Linux works just fine for me as a user.
Furthermore, I don't see these points reflected in the OP's complaints. S/he just seems to be saying 'Mint is too difficult to use and there aren't enough GUI tools', both of which run counter to my experience.
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Re: Why I still prefer Windows over Linux

Post by srq2625 »

borg101 wrote:The purpose of this post is to start a discussion on why Linux is still a far way off from being successful, and possible ways to grow its user base.
I may be wrong (the likelihood of me being incorrect does, in many case, approach 1), but I think there might be a number of incorrect assumptions in play here; the most significant being "GNU/Linux is in competition for market-share with MS Windows and Apple OSX". Please attend:

Unless things have changed recently, there's not much push or interest on the part of GNU/Linux developers to increase market-share. As long as GNU/Linux remains viable enough to support their needs, they just don't care about market-share.

Richard Stallman, Debian, and that camp are, at least in part, concerned with the continued freedom to use computing devices as THEY wish and not be constrained by the profit motivated restrictions imposed by for-profit enterprises. Some individuals are more or less evangelical about it, but as long as GNU/Linux remains viable enough to support this - they're happy.

Many (most?, I don't know) GNU/Linux developers develop code to solve THEIR problems. They write the code, maybe slap a rudimentary GUI on it, and use the product of their labors to solve their problem. Many of these (again, most?) developers then release the efforts of their work to the FOSS community with the hope that they will - this is not an exhaustive list - (1) be recognized, (2) help someone else, (3) someone else with take their work and improve it and, in-turn, re-release it to the community.

There are obviously some in the community who feel that this boon should be heartily embrace by everyone and, to that end and hoping it will bring more to see the light, will take the developed software and improve the user experience.

To my view, there appears to be very little incentive for a developer to want to increase the number of “non-contributing” users.

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