I'd rather use Linux than Windows 8.1 and I make that choice every day.
I can understand why some people, many even, would rather run Windows that Linux. I'm relatively new to Linux and I like it a lot, but there are things that are easier to do in Windows, mostly because of the lack of support that even major electronics corporations provide for Linux.
I've used CP/M, MS-DOS, and every Windows up to and including 8.1. (I've never liked Apple computers.) Windows 8 was a huge, and typical, screw up on the part of Microsoft. However, 8.1 is easy for a Windows XP or 7 user to adapt to. The start screen, as it comes installed, is annoying. It's larded up with what are essentially commercial tiles of several different sizes. Personally, I think that makes for a messy, disorganized layout. Fortunately, Windows makes it easy to delete all the extraneous stuff and resize the remaining tiles for a more efficient start screen. For those who are used to the desktop and start button, both are there in 8.1 and there is no rational reason why they shouldn't heve been included in Windows 8. Their absense was just one more example of one of the big names in tech trying to force unnecessary and often counterproductive changes on unwilling customers. Google does is all the time, but it's easier to get away with it when your products are free. Firefox, when it moved to Australis created a huge amount of ill will. Suddenly, things that had been easy to do before (like put the tabs where they belong -- below the bookmarks, address, and search bars, IMO) were no longer possible. Fortunately, because Firefox is open source, someone immediately created an add-on to allow users to customize Australis. I was amazed by the negativity on Mozilla Firefox's feedback page. Negative responses ran at 80% and above. Of course, people who are unhappy complain; happy people just smile, take their happiness for granted, and much less often openly express their satisfaction.
I have three computers -- a relatively new computer running a triple boot system with Windows 8, Windows 7, and Deepin Linux 2014.1. The other computers, an old desktop and a middle-aged laptop are both running dual boot systems with Windows Vista and Linux. The desktop in running Mint 13 (I couldn't get 17 to work on it), while the laptop is running Deepin 2014.1. I like Mint a lot, but there are things about Deepin's setup that I like better. If Deepin didn't exist, I'd be perfectly happy running some form of Mint on all my computers. It's a great OS.
At this point, I expect to run and use Linux as my main OS for the rest of my life (I'm pretty old.) Altogether I've tried almost twenty different Linux distros and my three favorites are Deepin, Mint, and Elementary OS. I keep Windows around as a backup and in some cases to run legacy software. I've found it's really nice having a second computer computer for times when the main desktop isn't working correctly -- whether because of hard- or software failures.
Windows 7 is a good operating system. People with more expertize than i have, have written that both 7 and 8/8.1 are now much more secure than older versions of Windows. But it's still necessary to run various anti-virus and malware software. In addition, I have found Canon printers to be easier to install and use in Windows, but I recently picked up a used HP all-in-one printer/scanner/copier and it was easier to install in Linux and it took much less time. Unlike Lexmark, and to a lesser extent, Canon, HP provides real support for Linux. It's been a long time since I had an Epson printer, so I can't offer an opinion about using them with Linux.
I could live with Windows 8.1 as my only operating system, but I'd rather use Linux day in and day out. If tech companies, including ISPs, would provide the same level of support for Linux that they do for Windows and Macs, Linux would be a lot more popular. Or I think so. In my opinion, there is no good reason why my ISP – CenturyLink (my only choice) – doesn't treat Windows, MacOS, and Linux equally. But they don't provide any technical support for Linux. Of course that is going to scare people away. In fact, it did me, years ago when it was a lot harder to get Linux to connect to the Internet. I had a computer that came with Windows, hardware and software that were compatible with Windows, and it was a lot harder to get Linux to work with modems/routers, printers, and other hardware. Plus, MS Office wouldn't work with Linux. Today, I have Libre Office installed on all my computers and MS Office, which does still do some things better than Libre or Open Office, is just a memory.
I wrote this on my laptop computer running Deepin 2014.1. And it's nice being able to say "Windows? I don't need no steenking Windows!"