(this was triggered by a near-religious linux post in a thread about windows XP. I figured I wouldn't pollute that with my rant and will just rant where people can ignore it easier)
Please don't come and tell me that your particular OS is the bestest of them all, super stable, easy to manage, easy to learn, no security issues. It isn't. None of them are. If you think so you have forgotten all the times you scratched your head or tore your hair trying to figure out how to do...
It always bothers me when I see people get religious about an OS (or programming language) - this started as an open minded conversation and at some point it starts being an advocacy discussion - with people using the usual myths about each other's OS (linux is not that user unfriendly and mishmashy, neither is windows that insecure or unstable). The worst is that most of the people get all religious not about the reality of their OS (or language) but the idea of the OS, and the image it projects about them.
Once someone gets religious, then others feel they have to defend their choice (even if they weren't religious about it, their image has been attacked, implying that they are morons/heretics for using something else. Hard to shut up after that)
I have used: several flavors of DOS, Vax/VMS, SunOS, Solaris, Opensolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, desktop distributions of BSD, Windows 3.11, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows Server (NT, 2003, 2008), AIX, OS/2, HPUX, SGI, MacOS, about 20+ flavors of linux over 15 years.
I have administrered/managed, in a commercial setting: DOS, SunOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, Windows (the whole list above except for server 2008 which i only played with), AIX, OS/2, MacOS, Linux: Slackware, Redhat, fedora, debian, DLD, Suse, Centos, and a few specialised one (router/firewall) i can't remember right now. Some as servers, some as desktops.
So when people talk to me about how wonderful X is, or how innovative, I tend to see red.
First, If you cannot list at least 3 ways in which the other person's OS is better than yours (things you wish your OS had) then you don't know enough to debate in the first place. This is called Nebbe's rule when applied to programming languages, i'll call it iphi's rule for OSes.
1. All OSes suck - they fall way short of what an OS should be and might be one day - but most of them don't suck enough that we cannot get used to them and like them
2. All OSes are unstable - at least any one I have ever used with a GUI has had mysterious crashes, problems, freezes. The worst was probably redhat/fedora, and that even without a GUI.
3. Updates and software install are a problem on all OSes. There will be numerous cases and people who have had things mess up just by trying to install or uninstall on any OS - whether windows, macos, solaris, bsd, aix, linux distributions. If you think you haven't had any you either have been extremely lucky, or you have forgotten the teething problems in your enjoyment of the idea of your OS.
4. All OSes are insecure in the hands of an uninformed user. Granted, some are safer because an uninformed use cannot even begin to use them.
5. All OSes are frustrating - With any OS, there's a time right out of the box where they are fun. Then as you start to really do work with them, especially with deadlines, the cracks will appear and you will tear your hair out. Then if you stick with them you will get to the point where they are stable, work to your satisfaction, and you will be comfortable like and old couple. It can take a month or 18 to get there, depending on luck, the match between the chosen OS and the task you are trying etc.
6. All OSes are fun if you use them to dabble. If you use an OS mostly to have fun and dabble, without pressure, you will like it better. So if you used windows at work but linux at home, linux will feel infinitely more easy, fun, stable - because you can just put up or ignore things that are less than ideal, and what projects you conceive will be projects that fit within the limitations of your chosen platform. If you have linux at work but windows at home (for games and chatting), you might feel otherwise. I have at some point or another absolutely hated every single OS I have had to use, except for the ones I have only ever dabbled with.