Okay, I promised it, so here it is.
Imho the author of Why Linux is better (from hereon WLIB) doesn't really distinguis between Server vs. workstation, user vs. power user, and so on, which is a shame. Also, I don't like how he says "Pirates" instead of "malware writers".
Anyway, here goes - I've tried commenting on each of his categories. Haven't proofread or even splelchcked.Forget about viruses
Windows is easier to target than linux, since linux is by no means a homogenous platform (with all the grief that causes developers and supporters), that's true. And it's true that windows is the most targetted platform because it's the most widespread platform.
"you can go inside the system folder and delete whatever you want: Windows won't complain
" is plain wrong, though - on windows, even running as an administrator, you can't delete in-use files, so this will fail. On linux, running as root, try doing "rm -fr /" - this will
Also while, sadly, the default setup for XP is to have the user run admin, any corporate computer will be set up with limited accounts, which means you can't do much harm. When I set up a computer for possibly irresponsible users, I make sure to make limited accounts.
"More eyes make fewer security flaws.
" is a pretty theoretical argument. Most of the userbase won't
scrutinize your source, they won't even see it because they'll be installing a binary package. And even if you're a programmer, for larger projects, it'll take too long "diving into" the project for this to be of use. This isn't meant to say that opensource is useless, just that it's less of an advantage than it's being touted as, especially in the context of regular users
.Is your system unstable?
This part is pretty FUDy.
First, for the last many years (basically since moving to win2k, and then to XP) I haven't seen a BSOD that wasn't caused by bad hardware or a bad driver (and that being 3rd-party non-Microsoft code). This includes my own box, my mothers laptop, my brothers two PCs, and the 10+ machines at the museum I admin.
The only instance of "error messages telling you that the computer needs to be shut down for obscure reasons?
" I've seen is pre-SP2 XP machines getting hit with the RPC exploit.
Next, this item seems to confuse workstation and server use, they're quite
different (and if anybody tells you differently, be sure to fire them if they're your server admin). I've seen win2k servers, running IIS
, with more than a year uptime. The trick is common sense - don't use the machine as a workstation, don't install superfluous shit on it, and keep it firewalled. The same goes no matter which OS you run, by the way. And on a workstation, multiple years of uptime is irrelevant. I've had 20+ days on my XP anyway, and I could have had more if there had been a reason to keep it on.Linux protects your computer
First, I'm pretty sure the claim that even an XP+SP2 will get infected automatically. Sure, vanilla XP or XP+SP1 connected to the net without NAT'ing. And yes, that is bad
, and it's a problem. But I'm pretty sure that a vanilla XP+SP2 slipstream (without any of the update packs) with the default windows firewall enabled won't
get drive-by infected.
Once you apply latest updates (or your OEM or power-user has done it for you), things aren't too bad unless you engange in moronic practices. I ran IE6 safely for years, including visits to the "bad parts" of the web. But yes, internet explorer does have a fair share of vulnerabilities, and even clean sites have banner ads that can be exploited (which is how I eventually got an infection).
While IE is the default browser, though, both FireFox and Opera are pretty safe, and of course available for free.
"It is really a matter of how fast a security flaw can be solved once it has been discovered.
" - I'd rewrite this to "how fast the flaw is auto-patched on all systems". It doesn't really matter how
fast it's discovered or patched
if the patch isn't installed.
"Microsoft doesn't have that much manpower
" - rewrite this as "The Open Source community doesn't run a shitload of compatibility testing to see if their patches break anything". Not that Microsoft hasn't ended up breaking stuff even after those tests, though Don't pay $300 for your operating system
"The price for a Windows license amounts to an average of one fourth of each new computer's price.
" - say... what? Perhaps if you're buying very low-end hardware and/or don't buy a screen, mouse and keyboard with it. And are counting retail rather than OEM license, or are picking Vista Ultimate just to skew the statistics, when the user probably only needs XP Home.
"Where do you think Microsoft gets its money from?
" from the Office suite
But yeah, windows does cost, and it doesn't even entitle you to support.Freedom!
There's decent points in this one. Relatively irrelevant for an end-user, but that doesn't void the points. If Microsoft goes bust in 5 years, ReactOS
might have reached a usable state, though :p
And bugs can
be fixed without having source code avaiable. It's tedious, but don't underestimate how dedicated people can be if needed.When the system has installed[...]
This is a case of confusing power users and regular users, and not considering who's doing the installation.A power user
doesn't want a lot of cruft installed automatically that they'll have to remove before they start adding the software they need.An end-user
is not installing the operating system himself, but will get an OEM from Dell or whatever. This tends to include a bunch of bundled software that's quite sufficient for most people.
And by the way, you can
view .doc files without installing Office, it's called Wordpad and is installed by default on windows - including .doc file association.Update all your software with a single click.
...if somebody has bothered to make a package for it. Doesn't always happen with some of the smaller apps. But okay, focusing on end-users as we should, it works fine most of the time. And this is
a decent feature - especially considering that unfinished state a lot of open-source software is being shipped in Why copy software illegally if you can get it for free?
This section assumes that people are pirates, and that everybody needs a boatload of software.
As the page already shows, lots of the opensource software he picked is already available for windows, and for the ones that aren't you can probably find either another opensource app, a freeware app, or a cheap(er) shareware app.Need new software? Don't bother searching the web, Linux gets it for you.
Useful feature for end-users. Limits the results you get somewhat, but steers you clear of malware sites etc.Jump into the next generation of desktops.
Pretty cute if you're into eye-candy, but goddamn Beryl is unstable; I played with it a a girl_friend's computer yesterday, was setup by her brother who's decent with linux. Something as simple as resizing the window ended up causing veeeery weird effects that I'll have a hard time describing.
On the plus side, it ran pretty well before it messed up, considering the lowly GeForce 4200 Ti card in the machine.Does your digital life seem fragmented ?
And here's where things go really wrong
Every standard filesystem fragments. Period. Windows zealot fanboys also claimed that NTFS doesn't fragment, but of course it does. So does EXT2/3, ReiserFS, XFS, etc. - problem is that there doesn't seem to be any decent defragmenters around for linux, so you're told one of:
- Linux doesn't fragment
- Every moron knows that you should always keep 20% space free on your volume
- Copy to a new location, rm -fr the old, and mv back in place
The last one is the only useful solution, but won't work if the filesystem is heavily fragmented.
As for the guy's claim and filing cabinet analogy, well, that only happens when you know in advance how much data you're going to write, which isn't always the case. Furthermore, you need to utilize that information, which isn't always done either. And last, windows supports this as well - for a new file, seek to the expected filesize, set end-of-file-pointer, and seek back to beginning of file and do your data writing. Presto, file allocated using as few fragments as possible.Choose what your desktop looks like.
Totally ignores the fact that there's a lot of replacement desktops available for windows.Why does your Windows get slower day after day?
This is folklore myth. Yes, it does
get slower if you're hammered with malware, and it can
get slower if you install useless crap all the time.
I've had more than one install of windows that spanned a year or more, with no slowdown. Eventually did a reinstall because of new hardware or because I simply wanted to play with slipstreaming and tweaking.
Now, to quote a friend:
My XP has not been reinstalled since 2002. Still runs like a charm. I don't see any weird processes in my task manager... I don't see excessive memory usage... I don't see any diminished results in benchmarks etc.
...and he's mad enough that he didn't do a reinstall when going AMD->Intel - I'm quite surprised that actually worked, but with a little driver un+reinstall, well - it's doable.Enjoy free and unlimited support
Try saying that again if a lot of regular users start using linux and start asking stupid questions
My own personal & biased experience with linux "support" has usually been pretty bad. Any "trivial" question has usually been asked with a RTFM, or deafening silence. More tricky stuff the same, and if you point out that you've RTFM'ed and even skimmed some of the source code, more than once I've had a kickban from efnet #linux , #linuxhelp or whatever for "being smart".
This includes issues with (and not limited to) proftpd, oidentd and samba. But okay, mailing lists or LUGs or freenode might have been better places to ask. I'm not overly confident, though, considering what I've looked at when googling and sifting through mailing list archives.
Fortunately, returning focus to the end-users
, those people can probably get help for the trivial problems they'll face.Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, with a single program
GAIM is availble on Windows too, so this isn't really a pro-linux argument. There's miranda
as well, which also consolidates multiple protocols... and they're not the only ones.Save some energy : let your computer sleep or hibernate.
Windows does hibernate too, so this isn't really a pro-linux argument. <fud>And is linux hibernation even stable by now?</fud>Too many windows? Use workspaces.
There's plenty of virtual desktop apps around for Windows, including a Virtual Desktop Manager
powertoy from Microsoft.Reporting bugs
Yup, it's pretty damn hard getting Microsoft to do something about a bug if you're reporting as an individual or a small corporation, and same for many of the big software vendors.
At least it tends to work better for opensource projects, unless you're simply told "source is there, fix it yourself".Are your tired of restarting your computer all the time?
Yeah, you're often asked to restart your computer when installing stuff on windows. Most of the time it's not really necessary to do so, however, and is just part of a standard braindead installer.
For windows update, it's usually necessary as well, but at least that makes sense, when core components (whether that be drivers or usermode code) are replaced. You can easily continue using the machine without booting though, if the update doesn't sound important to you (but yeah, regular users
won't know that, so they'll reboot).
Linux needs a reboot on kernel update too, though. And if any major piece of software or shared library is updated, you'll need to shut down and re-start applications affected... in the end, it's probably easier just rebooting the machine.
"And if you happen to be away from your computer and you didn't see the question, it will happily reboot automatically. Bye bye long download.
" - since when has windows update rebooted the system automatically? Fud, fud and fud.
"It is only necessary when a part from the heart of the system has been updated, and that only happens once every several weeks.
" - funny, that's about the same interval where I need a reboot because of windows update?
Again, the author starts mentioning servers and uptime, which isn't too relevant for the end-user. And again, it's perfectly possible to have several years of uptime on windows as well.Let your old computer have a second life
Linux does have lower hardware requirements than recent windows versions, but if you're only going to "perform usual tasks (surfing the web, writing documents, etc.)
", then either XP or Win2k will do just fine on most hardware as well. Really old hardware won't be running the latest-and-greatest games and whatever anyway, so there's no reason to stuff Vista on it (if there's ever going to be a reason for that
You do need to tweak especially XP a bit to run on slower hardware, but something as simple as changing to classic UI and disabling a few services works wonders. Play hundreds of games for free
Lots of stuff available for free on windows as well, so again a pretty moot point. If targetting a gamer, rather than a standard end-user, they'll be disappointed with linux though. Of course there's cedega
, but that's payware... and even worse, subscriptionware. Pretty cheap, sure, but still payware. And how well does it run the various copy-protections that's present on just about every game?Help other countries, and your own
Ho humm, this becomes too political, so I'll not address it. (PS: KAPITALISM IS EVIL!)Get a great music player
winamp, foobar, musikcube, iTunes (if you swing that way), MusicBrainz, ... - the choices are endless.Keep and eye on the weather.
Vista has those (imho useless) widgets built-in, but there's several offerings for windows, including http://widgets.yahoo.com/
*phew*, that was quite a bit. I might not have been 100% objective and provided links for every claim etc. yadda yadda whatever, but neither did the WLIB author.