Saturday, June 6, 2009

Why Windows is not yet ready for the Desktop

I don't spend my time telling other people which OS should or shouldn't suit their way of working. But it seems there are people who do, and like to get blog hits for it.

The problem with these "critiques" is always that the author is carrying around the self-serving assumption that their preferred OS embodies the only real way to organize a software ecosystem, and all others have inferior value. Moreover, since they are naturally only looking for a way to justify their existing pre-conclusion, they are often sadly misinformed about most of their "complaints", half of which are either entirely subjective, or just flat-out wrong.

And it is thus that I find myself moved enough to mock their contribution to the state of public discourse as follows (public service announcement: this is tongue-in-cheek parody):


In this document we only discuss Windows deficiencies while everyone should keep in mind that there are areas where Windows has excelled other OSes.

A primary target of this comparison is Linux OS.

Windows major shortcomings and problems:

0. Premise: free and open software will stay indefinitely. Full stop. You may argue eternally, but free software is the ultimate disruptive technology, moving up from the low ground, replacing complicated and ill-fitting proprietary alternatives at every turn, such as web-browsers, e-mail clients, video players, office software, etc., which at one point cost money, but now most people find that they can no longer justify spending money to buy an upgrade for more "Clippy the Happy Assistant". Proprietary software will only be able to stay relevant by searching out ever more niche applications, or by massive expenditure on research in high-end applications for which it will take time for the ideas and algorithms to filter down to the greater community, and thus a brief window of profitability will remain. Software patents are nothing but a destructive force to retard innovation, and with more and more of the technology and legal communities realizing this basic fact, software patents are about to go away forever.

1. Security

1.1 History's greatest playground for malicious software. With unpatched machines on the internet taking only minutes to become infested with viruses, or become a slave bot for massive illegal spamming operations, Windows is a blight on the Internet's infrastructure.

1.2 Countless applications are released every year with obvious security holes. The programmers that make Windows applications are clearly some of the worst.

1.3 Microsoft has countless times avoided appropriate steps to secure the OS and limit the potential damage a compromised binary could cause. It has consistently either or added half-measures, out right refused to take necessary steps to ensure a safer computing environment for all users, for fear of making "Auntie Jo'" 10% more confused about the "1.3GHz hard drive" on her desk.

1.4 Every windows application I've ever installed messes with the Registry, places files about my hard drive which it never cleans up, installs icons, or worse surreptitiously installs spy- or ad-ware.

1.5 Any OS that regularly requires a wipe and reinstall to fix is beyond tolerance by any sane person.

1.6 A galore of software bugs across all applications. Just look into Vista, or call Microsoft tech support, pay exorbitant support fees, then wonder why some bugs are now ten years old with over several dozens of duplicates and no one is working on them.

2. User Interface

2.1 No consistent API. Win32? MFC? WinForms? WPF?

2.2 No scripting bindings for UI programming. No Python, Perl, Ruby, Java, etc.

2.3 Themeing and skinning support is laughable. Widget toolkit, display, rendering, input, and window managers, are all joined in a ridgid, monolithic blob, opaque to outside developers. Non-trivial changes to look and behaviour of the UI require either proprietary add-ons or third-party hacks; and even then most of your choices are hard-coded by Microsoft designers.

2.4 Lack of CLI (command line interface) errors for user applications (see clause 4.). All GUI applications should have a CLI errors presentation. Why on earth would you flash some crazy warning message to the user when you should be logging it to a file for a skilled technician to view instead of the poor unsuspecting end-user.

3. Interoperability

3.1 Windows has NO interoperability with non-Windows OSs. Installing Windows arrogantly destroys any previous OS boot-loader you may have had. Totally unable to read non-FAT or NTFS partitions.

3.2 Windows ships no other runtime environments except .NET. Has actively tried to disable or cripple competing platforms such as Netscape or Java.

3.3 Microsoft is in regular legal trouble for monopolistic and anti-competitive practices, which as a consumer of non-Microsoft products, means Microsoft considers me an enemy. Why own an OS that is constantly out to defeat you, from a vendor that requires massive anti-trust lawsuits to force it to simply not behave in an under-handed manner?

3.4 It should be possible to configure everything from the command line. Why should I give myself a work-place injury clicking everywhere with the mouse like a tweaking junkie in order to make a change that could be described succinctly in a line or two of text?

4. Drivers

4.1 Windows driver support is so abysmal, each individual device manufacturer must ship drivers with the device itself. If you have to reinstall windows, none of your devices will work until you individually download and install the latest versions from each vendor's website, potentially consuming many long frustrating hours.

4.2 Drivers often need to be installed, tweaked, or configured before they can even be used as intended. They often don't work "out of the box". Moreover, they never seem to be *just* drivers, there is always some application that gets installed without your consent which provides questionable value yet consumes resources and slows your computer down.

4.2 Drivers are one of the main sources of system instability (likely just behind viruses/malware). Poor quality drivers make Windows experience painful.

4.3 Windows has no means to reliably update drivers when critical updates have been made available for them.

4.4 A lot of Linux specific embedded devices do not have any Windows support. An argument that embedded device developers should make their device Windows compatible is silly since that way Windows won't ever gain even a traction of popularity among people who need source-level access to the OS. Why should I install an OS where my own hardware doesn't work?

5. Installing Applications

5.1 Very few Windows applications, by volume, are free or open source; which means you are totally beholden to application developer in ways that would never be allowed by law for makers of physical products. Happen to have your business critical data in a proprietary format when your license runs out? Lost your dongle just before the big presentation? Had to transfer your application to another computer because your laptop was stolen? Sorry to hear you just went out of business.

5.2 Windows has no regular time-based release cycle. You paid good money for a few features and a lot of bugs. It may be a few years from now when you can expect them truly fixed, but you can't count on it. And you'll have to pay again.

5.3 Windows has no central means of downloading new software, their dependencies, or upgrades. Each new application must be purchased from a physical store, or from each individual vendor's website. There is no dependency tracking (or worse no library sharing!), and updating for security, bug-fixes, or features is ad-hoc and entirely dependent on the whim of the vendor. Likely the vendor will use remote updating features to unethically sneak updates to your computer without your knowledge.

5.4 Windows comes almost barren on a fresh install. To get your machine back to a usable state, you must spend hours remembering what applications you had installed, and manually downloading and installing each one individually. With a reboot in between each install.

5.5 Windows applications need to reboot any time a new application or library is installed. 1991 called. They want their loading technology back. I hear DLL-hell isn't a problem any more though.

5.6 Microsoft enforces a great many intra-windows compatibility constraints to minimize the ever-present costs of portability, but it comes at the cost of inconsistent behaviour, buggy programs, and internal complexity that is slowing rotting Windows itself from the inside out.

5.7 Lack of hard-core Linux programs like grep/awk/GDB/valgrind/SystemTap/SELinux. Programmers just won't bother installing Windows until they can work for real.

6. Problems stemming from the fact that Windows isn't Linux

6.1 Ok I am officially tired of this game.

To be clear, I don't necessary truly believe all of the above, as unlike most people, I realize the world is full of complications and subtlety -- I'm just tired of hearing coming in the opposite direction, and had to vent lest my head explode from idiocy-overload.


Anonymous said...

Side comment: "virii"?! Weak. If you don't know Latin, don't try to pretend.

R. McDougall said...

Fixed. By the power of linux:

Can I pretend that I was taught Latin, but poorly?

Would that be better than pretending that catching some obscure grammatical error is a sign of intelligence?

Or should I pretend I know what "try to pretend" means?

Anonymous said...

Very good article!

Anonymous said...

What is this crap you are spewing ?
Are you completely mad ?

Linux is free yet its penetration
on the desktop is and has been negligible (below 1%) with no signs
of taking off.

OSX is gaining marketshare year after year and Windows *owns* the desktop.
I hope you realize how pointless your post is, you only have to open your eyes and see things from a neutral perspective.

Brian Silberbauer said...

I enjoyed that, thanks!

..and ignore the pointless anonymous gits :)

R. McDougall said...

Dear anonymous,

I would like to defer regarding this matter to a wise man, who once said (though I've reason to doubt you'd have hear it), and I quote: "public service announcement: this is tongue-in-cheek parody".

Now if only I could realize the nature of open eyes and pointless posts.

Anonymous said...

I loved it!

Here's a very informative post regarding this, reposted to the ubuntu users mailing list: (I don't know where to find the original) Re: The Ubuntu Experiment

And here is a list of similar articles I collected back in December: Three guys switcing to Windows

Please spread! (Btw, by all means link to the original sources and not to my collection, -the important thing is to spread some facts :)

phil said...

Very good. Enjoyed it a lot.

Anonymous said...

The best way to pull in traffic is to write something controversial or downright offensive to a portion of the Internet.

This is probably both! I loved it too :)

Can you hear that?? That's the sound of the post flying over the heads of the likes of anonymous. I love how they're all too spineless to show their names.


Jazon said...

I abhor Windows. After using Linux for around 1.5 years I find Windows clunky, unpolished and primitive. Whenever I am forced to use it (on a friend's PC or PC rentals) I had to grit my teeth to keep myself from yelling in frustration at its crudeness.

Linux on the other hand is secure, easy to customize to my liking, has an abundance of quality programs and requires less maintenance.

Ubersoldat said...

Really liked your post. I've translated it to spanish with some minor changes. Thanks!

Ubersoldat said...

Always forget to check the follow-up box... grrr

Anonymous said...

Another rant by a frustrated Linux user... booooooring!

rochmo said...

Another comment from someone who clearly doesn't understand the post. Or maybe it's the meaning of "tongue in cheek"? Either way I've heard quite a bit of the "I want to be buried in a windows box" crowd lately and I really do appreciate the parody. Thanks.

Ed Landaveri said...

Mr. McDougall,

It seems that truth hurts by seeing all those anonymous that don't dare to show their names or show their faces.

Permit me to quote:
"Any OS that regularly requires a wipe and reinstall to fix is beyond tolerance by any sane person." on my signature fron now on! Thanks a lot!

Though I'm not Ubuntu user, Ubuntu has now the greater desktop share before Apple. Just because people are FORCED to buy computers/laptop with pre installed OS doesn't mean that all of those machines run Windows. That's the reason why Microsoft fears and why they're paying trolls to harass any site that states the truth && promotes FREEDOM!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous coward here:

The fosstards FUD has reached new levels, which can only mean one thing:

The frustration over their half assed pathetic toy OS has reached a new high!

When will you pathetic people do something useful with your life? Like unplug your Ethernet cord/power cable and go out in the park for a breath of fresh reality?

You're so pathetic I can't be sure I want to laugh or cry about it ...

New dictionary words: fosstard, freetard, lintard

You are a perfect example for those terms.

When the lintards struggle this much, linux must be dying. It's a shame, but if it will make you go away I wont be sorry.

Alvarez said...


Ha! You are funny indeed.

Your best shot was:
"New dictionary words: fosstard, freetard, lintard"

Obviously you are a parody, that's exactly the classic Winchot "user" response, a bunch of insults and the accusation that someone has no life, when just by having Windows in a computer turns it unusable.

My guess, you are just another lammer that spends all night fapping in /c/ (4chan) that doesn't know SHIT about hardware or software.

Marx said...

First let me say I use Linux 98% of the time. I've had my fair share of problems with Windows, but I am not anti-Windows or anti-proprietary software like a lot of other Linux users. Most of the article is spot on. The only argument that I don't like is about drivers. Yes the closed source Windows drivers are AWEFULL. They cause 99% of the problems with Windows and the degradation of the system and registry that causes you to have to reinstall the system. The only reason I don't like that argument is that when people say stuff about Linux hardware support (which is sort of a moot point now) it's always "well if the hardware vendors would just release drivers"...yet you blame Microsoft for the drivers the hardware vendors release. IMO the only hardware driver that I understand being proprietary is for video cards as getting as much performance is what helps their business. I don't think it's MS fault, but hardware vendors who's drivers don't give them a competitive advantage (which are usually the ones that update and fix bugs on their drivers), should just open source the drivers and it would make the issue much better.

Anonymous said...


Is all I read. I guess this article makes a fun read for people who don't use windows, not so much for those who know what they're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Quality post :)
That was really funny, thanks a lot. I can't remember how many times I was sent that 'Why Linux Isn't Ready'- summary.
Why don't you finish it?

R. McDougall said...

Anonymous: have any new dictionary words for people who selectively (don't) read a blog post and thus miss the point entirely?

JumpingEarth said...

Brilliant article! :-)

Brian Bell said...

I love how all the mac & window people are posting as "Anonymous" Pussies. You KNOW Linux totally rapes your weak and pathetic Operating systems.

BRAVO TO THE AUTHOR!! Very well written indeed :) Thank you, I enjoyed it very much!!

Michael said...

I think most people call for the hardware vendor to offer specs. So one can understand how the hardware works, so programming can be done. If a vender wants to keep there specs, then make something that interfaces with the linux model. Example: Intel and there wireless microcode. Look into it. I really wish there was a place where people could understand that an operating system is about choice. For the normal desktop user, linux has a lot of choices. But I feel are radically selfish society thinks that people cant do something that is generally good for all society. I think windows has its place but I dont think most people want to be in that place, but I wish everyone luck in finding where they belong....including the trolls :).

Hans said...

Nice to see the same old phrases used for Windows. Well done!

Here are a few more:

1. On every (re)install looking for an activation key.

2. Annoying confirmation requests that cannot or can hardly been turned off.

3. Bad defaults: e.g. hiding file extensions, which is happily exploited by all kinds of malware. ("readthis.txt.exe" displayed as "readthis.txt")

4. Restricted to x86 hardware.

5. Bad TCP/IP stack on desktops (most likely to avoid possible server use)

6. Impossible to use files as devices. I like mounting a downloaded or copied CD or DVD using the "loop" device in Linux.

7. Booting from USB-stick is impossible

8. Booting from the network is impossible (or heavily restricted)

9. Poor file locking. In Unix it's possible to delete a file, while another application still uses it. Once the other application releases the file, it's removed.

10. Problem solving: once it works again, you almost never know, why it failed and how it was resolved. In Linux it costs a while to find, what went wrong, but once it's resolved, it gives me confidence it won't happen again.
In the end, you have the source :)

At work I use Windows mostly to change my password every 2 months or so. And we have one application that I sometimes need.
Except that I have not used Windows at all for the past 10 years, so maybe one of the issues is resolved in the mean time. Would surprise me, though.

Unix is a really user-friendly operating system, once you know it. Costs a little more effort in the beginning, but it's well worth the investment.


Artem S. Tashkinov said...


I'm the author of the original essay and I'm really glad you have posted this counter-article.

Let me share a few information about myself. I've been using Linux exclusively since 1999 but the list of the Linux deficiencies I wrote is just a sum of my own experience.

Many people all over the net seem to disagree with me and they usually say that my distro (which is indeed Fedora 11 right now) is somehow crippled or maybe my hands are not straight enough. :) That made me laugh, of course.

First of all, I'm familiar with a lot of Linux distros and the problems I outlined do affect each and every distro. My biggest mistake when I wrote my message is that I didn't share enough information on every clause and most people of course just turned into blind anger considering that they either misunderstood something or having never faced "my" problems, called me a liar (some even accused me of spreading FUD). Of course, it's now useless to lock the stable-door after the horse is stolen and it's also senseless to find justification.

Still it's sad that people took my post as an offense. The thing that worries me most is that Linux fanboys and aficionados are against proprietary software. There's one very important thing everyone should always keep in mind. Linux will always be a server only OS or a niche product if there's no proprietary software for it.

Linus Torvalds recently said that he owns a Sony PS3 video console and all his computers run Linux. That's pity because until there is a lot of good (expensive) native games for Linux, this OS will never become a mainstream OS. And people who say that there ARE games for Linux are not gamers because in fact for every Linux "game" there is a hundred games for Windows. Let's not argue about Windows games quality or numbers. Of course, there is a lot of unplayable games which are only meant to be forgotten. But there are hundreds hi-quality games which have millions of fans (WoW and other MMORPGs, Crysis, SIM, race games, RPG games, Role Play games, etc.) - and as I said in my article there could be no equivalents for them in Linux because such titles require a lot of money investment, a hard work of hundreds of developers, level designers, artists, etc.

Let's refute a couple more of your arguments.

You say that "Drivers are one of the main sources of system instability". Of course, YMMV but I administer a hundred of Windows XP workstations (and probably up to 30 PCs/laptops/netbooks of my friends and acquaintances) and for the last five years I've had zero problems with drivers. Not a single blue-screen, no other crashes.

You say "Windows has no means to reliably update drivers when critical updates have been made available for them." Have you ever tried using Windows Update? What critical updates for drivers do you really mean? I'm not even sure what you are talking about ;) Drivers usually don't interact with the Internet, as such I can hardly imagine why they need updates :) Most modern Windows software has different internal methods of updating - yes, it's a huge mess but it's not that bad as you try to portray it.

All other your points seem to valid but they doesn't preclude an average person from working with Windows.

Artem S. Tashkinov said...

However there's one thing that slips your mind. With all its problems Windows has become a plug-and-play OS - you insert a DVD into your DVD drive, hit install and there you go. Yes, there are thousands of viruses, yes, registry is a big trash can for all applications, yes Windows need to be reinstalled if you install a lot of "bad" software ... but in the end it just works :) Install a free AV solution, do NOT disable automatic updates, firewall for ALL incoming connections, get rid of administrator rights and Windows will likely work for until your hardware dies. Yes, it's just that simple. You will spend a bit more time to download and install drivers but the end result is usually known - an OS which is ready to work with, an OS which just let you work, an OS that has millions of software titles including freeware and ... open source software.

Of course, if an OS means browsing the Internet, listening to the music and typing documents then Linux will be absolutely satisfactory for you. But if you suddenly want much more, prepare for pain. Because here and there this or that thing doesn't work, or isn't available or works in only God knows which ways.

Hans said...

I thought, that the article was about how clumsy Windows is for the average Linux user. Not ready for the desktop.

One more: the lack of links (symbolic or real) in the file system. And no, 'Shortcut' is not the solution.

R. McDougall said...


Thank you for coming over to my blog.

I admit you clearly are familiar with Linux after regular use of it, which is why I easily concede half your points -- they are true.

However I feel that the other half are subjective or out of date, and basically don't related to "what's wrong with linux", rather "how linux is different from windows (and therefore wrong to me)".

The way in which my blog was a parody was mixing window's obvious weaknesses with ways in which a linux user would dislike it because it's not windows.

As for your points: as a sysadmin you choose the hardware and the drivers. A linux sysadmin could do just as well. However being a random user, walk into a random store, and buy a random piece of hardware -- preferably from the "bargain bin". Install the included drivers and be amazed! :)

Windows Update is not a *reliable* means of driver updates. Last time I checked it only had a couple updates here or there for a couple choice vendors. I admit I don't know the matter deeply, but the point remains: drivers are the vendor's problem -- not MS.

Lastly about plug-and-play. It's been my experience that linux gives me that experience far better, because when it works on linux is works well and in an integrated way. That's probably because I use my computer differently than you -- usually I only buy second or third generation hardware, when it's cheap and stable.

Because I use it differently, it fits me better. For you that's different -- which is precisely the whole point: my list of pros/cons depends on me, and would be different for each observer. That's why it's a bad idea to make lists which presume too much about the "right" or "wrong" ways to use an OS.

Anonymous said...

Artem S. Tashkinov said...

"- and as I said in my article there could be no equivalents for them in Linux because such titles require a lot of money investment, a hard work of hundreds of developers, level designers, artists, etc."

Why not? You make a Linux version of your proprietary software, then you charge people for it. Seems simple to me.

Anonymous said...

> "Windows Update is not a *reliable* means of driver updates. Last time I checked it only had a couple updates here or there for a couple choice vendors. I admit I don't know the matter deeply, but the point remains: drivers are the vendor's problem -- not MS."

Oh really?
Let me check my update history:

Oh ... here (straight from my update history):


Realtek Semiconductor Corp. driver update for Realtek AC'97 Audio

Installation date: ‎5/‎11/‎2009 8:38 PM

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Recommended

This driver was provided by Realtek Semiconductor Corp. for support of Realtek AC'97 Audio


NVIDIA driver update for NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (Prerelease - WDDM 1.0)

Installation date: ‎5/‎11/‎2009 8:38 PM

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Optional

This driver was provided by NVIDIA for support of NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (Prerelease - WDDM 1.0)

The rest of my drivers already are WDDM 1.0 and were available at installation time, not to mention that my system ran perfectly fine with previous drivers without updates, anyway.

Coyote said...

@ anonymous,

Linux is dying?! You obviously haven't done your research. Here, let me help you,

At this site, check out major websites such as, ',, or even ' and find out what they are using for their webserver. Yes, they are using Linux and probably will be for some time.

Or how about the top 500 fastest computers in the world. Why are only 5 of them using Windows? Over 80% of them use Linux in one form or another. As a matter of fact, the top 10 are all using Linux.

Oh, my apologies, I forgot one more major Linux using site,

(No Mr. Balmer, sorry, but you can't have my chair right now. Go find another to throw around...)

R. McDougall said...


Oh really?
Let me check my update history:

Oh ... here (straight from my update history):


Web Cam from Butt-fuck China:

Nope, didn't even bother. Sorry.

As in "I cannot trust that MS will update Butt-fuckCo SupperHappyWebCam, because it's Butt-fuckCo's job to apply and pass WHQL -- and even then only *select* drivers are updated through Windows Update."

If you had ever used linux you'd know *all* drivers are packaged an updated. If it runs, you get updates for it.


Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:

"Because Windows doesn't fucking have driver issues !!!"

Actually it does.
I have hardware (Maudio24/96) which is about six years old and *still* has no official windows driver. You have to do that WHQL bypass hack every time you install it. And it is most certainly not updated as part of the OS.

With Linux it just works, and I got sound after the first install. Linux did not ask me any questions, or accuse me of using 'unsigned drivers', it just got the damm thing working.

Other hardware I have is now useless as the last drivers were Win98 only, and that was the last time the devices worked. :( Once a driver is in the Linux kernel it tends to stay there, not just be around for one version like windows.

Rob said...

Yeah, well, at least Windows 7 still works with my Intel graphics chip (I'm on a laptop, I don't have a choice...)

Plus, while I mean no offence, a lot of your points seem outdated, as they've been fixed since Windows XP.

I don't really consider the lack of a regular release cycle for Windows to be a bad thing, since getting a few new features every 6 months always seems to break something else. Usually audio, which worked right away on a fresh install of Win 7.

As for Windows having bugs that have been there for 10 years, the same can easily be said about Linux.

Now all this said, Windows is pretty far from perfect itself. I mean, I think a better file system was promised for Vista and now we're heading into the next version with no sign of it. I do miss the speedy file operations in Ubuntu. That and the registry *shudder*

Simply put, both operating systems have their pros and cons and after using Ubuntu exclusively for around 8 months before trying Windows 7, I find the latter to be the best operating system for myself.

For what it's worth, I do still run as much open source software as possible but sometimes the proprietary versions are just too much better to ignore.

Anonymous said...

This one makes this "Anonymous Coward" so laughable:

"Linux is free yet its penetration
on the desktop is and has been negligible (below 1%) with no signs
of taking off."

Is 1% of the World market something you can really call negligible?? Can't you just imagine how much computers it actually means!?

BTW, thanks R. McDougall for this article. You say it's a parody but I also consider it as an interesting reference when reminding people why Windows is not as good as they believe... ;-)

Anonymous said...

as every article about windows defects, parody or not, it again leaves out the memory management issue, that was the last turd in my windows shit-bucket years ago:

Absolutely no equivalent for "swappiness" setting. There are some settings for "not swapping out every last bit of kernel" and some weird priority stuff that's always in one position anyway on desktop, but..

Practically two options for swap are:

* default stupidity where machine with 4GB of RAM is swapping itself silly every chance it gets OR

* hope you have enough memory and switch off paging completely, risking running out of memory and experiencing crashes no program can handle, let alone expects on todays computers.

And to top it off, 64bit vista is still under some "curious circumstances" trying to fit 8GB file into 4GB file cache swapping everything relentlessly out, ON A FREAKING COPY OPERATION!!


Shane kerns said...

Awesome and fun to read article. Ignore those that post anonymous crap, its typical of Wind-hoze err... WindoZe losers.
You have very succinctly summed up everything that doesn't make WindoZe a good OS. Spot on man.

Richard Gates ballmer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hans said...

Artem S. Tashkinov said: "Linux will always be a server only OS or a niche product if there's no proprietary software for it."

I doubt that.

Read why open source will dominate over proprietary software in the long term:

Besides: Linux does not exclude proprietary software.

Hans said...

Again, but now as a link:
Shoulders of Giants -- A Paper on the Inevitability of Open Source Dominance

Anonymous said...

I like Unix and all its flavors too but its less of extreme love for it but more how I dislike Windows. I have tried pretty much all the flavors of Linux and even though I do see a consistent improvement in it's usability on Desktops and user interfaces but I don't think it has primed to a level of OSX to seriously challenge Windows. Simple little things like using Yahoo Messenger with WebCam and Audio facilities is almost impossible for a common person to configure. Day to day applications are so easy to find for Windows than Linux. Apple OS is what it is today because it has addressed simple little things that a common computer user faces. You use Windows because you are not as smart of a user as a Linux Guy is no reason for adoption and only shows misplaced frustration. Windows still monopolizing the market (corporate + personal) with other competitors been in market for years tells something about something seriously not right about Linux.

Neil Bartlett said...

I really like this post because it challenges the implied assumption of the old "Linux Not Ready" article that Windows *is* ready. That's an assumption that almost everybody makes simply because it's the incumbent dominant O/S, but it absolutely needs to be challenged. Remember, Windows got to be dominant not because it was more "ready" technically than other O/Ses but through a combination of luck and bullying.

Suppose an alien were to visit Earth and abduct a standard PC and two operating system DVDs: Windows Vista and Ubuntu/Linux. The alien has no data on the comparative popularity of these operating systems, so he must evaluate them both objectively and only on their technical merits. He then sits down to write his weekly column for Computer Universe Weekly with the headline "X Shows Promise, But Still Not Ready for the Desktop".

What is "X"?

Lord Juan said...

Considering the alien says "Shows Promise" he is certain to be speaking about Linux, otherwise he would have post in the Computer Universe Weekly "it's completely hopeless, I had to hack it just to install it (activation) and then it fail to recognize most of the hardware, ate plenty of disk space and system resources, and the programs it had included were very primitive".

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that this is a rather well thought out parody article. As you've stated in the comments already, it's not necessarily JUST problems with Windows, but how Windows would be inferior in the eyes of a Linux (or possibly even Unix) user. Though I'm appalled by the number of people in the comments that can't seem to realize your intention with this article.

All in all, I felt it was informative despite being a parody, and just goes to show you that these OS war arguments are little better than personal opinion most of the time (as can be seen by numerous Anonymous responses (Linux is dying~ lol. How droll.)). Kudos to you. :) Go Linux users, and best of wishes to those that use all other OSs.

Phil H said...

Good article. If the Windows folk think this article is ridiculous then they should look at some of the crap they claim about Linux. Most of the time the Linux complaints can also be found in Windows but they are simply overlooked.

And I can't help but laugh at the "Wintards" that talk about Linux dying or small market share. Linux doesn't need market share the way Windows does to stay alive so it a really just a sad desperation argument tossed out when theres nothing left to say.

Anonymous said...

Keep hugging yourselves linux fanboys.

Coyote said...

Right back at ya Anonymous. I hope the article at the following URL helps.

If you've you ever had technical experience in supporting and installing both Windows and Linux then you'll know what the author of this article is talking about. Here's the link,

Hey, years ago I used to be a Windows fanboy just like yourself. Even ran a home based PC repair business. After a few years though it became too much. As my pool of computers became larger the call backs became too much. Wasn't profitable enough. Windows just keeps breaking with many of the same issues that stay unresolved.

At about 4 years ago I gave in and started playing around with Linux. I was so impressed at how far Linux had come along that after a while I started switching my clients over to desktop Linux. After a brief transition period where they had to learn to click in 'slightly' different places almost all of them ended up loving it.

Aside from 'some' Windows games Linux was able to do everything else, and I mean 'everything'. Jeepers, let's face it, to them not only did it 'just work' but it was also free! 4 years later it's still working for them. Not only that but business is even better! People see and hear this and want it for themelves too! (By the bye, A simple dual boot with Windows solved the game thing for those few who needed it.)

Hope this helps. Oh, and don't forget to give yourself a hug!

Coyote said...

Sorry,the 'ml' didn't make it on the end of the link I gave. Here's the corrected one.

Anonymous said...


No argument over OS of choice.

Linux is a exclusive OS, and the riff raff who, by choice use windows or other, have not (can not) be enlightened & thus arent (wont) be part of that exclusive club.

Much like a Golf club, no riff raff please.

Anonymous said...

very nice aricle!

Ray said...

A pile of bitter crap. Sorry couldn't say it in any other way.

Anonymous said...

Writing from suse 11.1: Linux has a loooong way to go before is ready for a desktop, come on, these self serving rhetoric is useless for linux, I like windows...mostly, yet I'd like an alternative, which linux is still not... the amount of little and no so little showstoppers are many. While windows has several shortcomings and vista is plain utter crap IMHO, windows xp is still lightyears ahead of linux regarding desktop usage, linux might be good, even great for certain uses but lacks a ton of software, WTF!! but linux has 20,000 30,000 packages in x repository? yup most ofthem duplicated efforts of the same things, a ton of libraries, thousands of buggy/unfinished/unintuitive software. Dude I've spent time figuring out how to make the nvidia driver work, is working now don't ask me how or why, sound is not very good btw, a winrar/winzip/7zip gui? theres encrypt&archive context commands but a simple archive rar/bzip/zip/whatever oh noes. looking throught the linux alternatives I find tons of not really alternative because the funtionality is incomplete or different(as in not doing what the original software does).

I really would like to have a free(don't care much if OSS) of windows but linux is not there, and seems like it never will be more than a server os and a frustrating experience for the desktop user, shame, guess I'll try FreeBSD now, at least with it there's not GPL nutcases akin to those evangelist loons. Well time for FixMBR.

btw, there's tons of OSS/and freeware apps for windows, we get the absolutely best of OSS and the complete features of the freeware.

Sharpnet UK Admin said...

Interesting point of view, and good Post! I started to reply but it got too big so I have posted my comment on my Blog


John said...

To basically sum up this whole situation...

Windows: User friendly, vulnerable to malware, horrible support and proprietary software, closed source.

Mac: User friendly, horrible support, propriety software is easy to use but lacks many features, is very resistant to viruses, closed source.

Linux: Not very user friendly, Great support, proprietary software is more dev based and harder to use, no such things as viruses on a linux (lol), and its OPEN SOURCE!

Anonymous said...

microsoft= 100 monkeys banging on typewriters