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Russell

(Un)popularity of linux

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Why isn''t Linux a realistic option for most people? 1. People want something that works out of the box, with no knowledge required. 2. People are want something that''s easy to use and dummied down. 3. People are lazy. And this is why people use Windows. Got more reasons for why Linux isn''t as popular as it could be?

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Windows owns 90%+ of the market share. You develop for Windows and you have an exponentially larger market to pitch your product towards.

*nix users are well reputed for refusing to pay for anything. Yet another reason not to develop for *nix.

Linux really doesn't have many tangible advantages over Windows anymore. Stability used to be an issue but Windows has slowly been evolving into an extremely stable operating system. Security used to also be an issue, but in current times Linux exploits are routinely published and not always immediately patched. Major Windows exploits are fairly far and few between especially if you consider the dramatic difference in user bases who are actively aimed at "exploiting" the respective operating systems. Malacious users want to write exploits that affect Windows based systems. You write an exploit for a Linux system and you might see the exploit mentioned in a 50 page history list (or a comment in the source after its patched). If you manage to write an exploit that massively effects Windows based PC's you will likely end up on the headlines for CNN.

Windows has a much more intuitive setup and update process. If I am installing a setup on 20 computers I don't want to have to bother with 'tweaking' every single system just to get it to boot.

If you enjoy games, then Windows is virtually a necessity. If you enjoy coding, you will likely end up working on a Windows system professionally.

DirectX is an all in one package for multimedia development on the PC. This has not been replicated and likely will not be replicated on other operating systems.

What can you do on Linux that you cannot do on a Windows system? If Windows does everything that Linux does, has 90%+ market share, has software, has better hardware support and is easier to setup and upgrade-- Why wouldn't you use Windows?

[edited by - haro on June 18, 2003 1:05:01 AM]

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haro''s argument are perfectly valid.

The only reason someone might want something other than Windows is because they want to rebel (use something other than a product of MS), want to save costs, want something a little bit faster.

---------------------------------------------------
laziness is the foundation of efficiency
retrospiral.net | llamas! | megatokyo | FreeBSD | gamedev.net | google

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As a desktop OS, Windows is superior. It more stable*, it performs better, it's easier to manage, and the productivity software is more capable, and the windows management is polished. The superior Windows fonts are also a major factor.

For a casual user, if the system is setup with everything they use - a web browser, email, a couple of card games, it could be hard to tell the difference (ergo Lindows). OpenOffice is usable if crude compared to MSO, too. If you're not picky and are not a heavy/serious user of MSO, OpenOffice could be sufficient. In a business environment, it's just not capable enough - MSO's easy of automation and expandability are too important.

Wine and WineX are both too buggy and incomplete to rely on for running Win32 programs. A number of programs don't work at all, the ones that do work, don't work well, and even then they look like crap due to the font issue.

*Both the NT & Linux kernels are very stable, but the current generation of bundled software is more stable on Windows than on X. How many times does Mozilla crash on you? How often does X behave erratically? The quality of drivers and comprehensiveness of drivers for Windows is generally superior to Linux. Somewhat ironically, the only area Linux that may be superior, is in multi-media - DirectShow continues to be the buggiest area of Windows.

As a server OS, Linux has gained massive ground and companies such as IBM, Oracle, & Novell now have a vested interest in Linux as a server OS. In this arena Linux will continue to gain market share over Windows and other *nix's in the foreseeable future (barring a massive win for SCO).

As a desktop OS, significant progress has been made in the last few years, but it's not yet equal to Windows (much less better).

For development, MSVC is a very good IDE for the price. On Linux you have a couple of free choices and several very expensive ones. The expensive ones are decent but not quite as integrated as MSVC - the same can be said of the free ones. (I haven't used C++ Builder/Kylix though, any one have experience with it?)


[edited by - Magmai Kai Holmlor on June 18, 2003 1:42:07 AM]

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From the comments made, I''m assuming this is about *nix on the desktop. If not, I appologize.

I really dislike when people call Windows users lazy. Basically, I want to use a computer to acheive certain tasks. In my case, these tasks do not involve the inner workings of my OS and its interface, nor do they involve the inner workings of my computer (that is, so long as both are working, i.e. my hard drive can reliably store information, my OS starts the programs I need, etc.). Thus, I don''t feel that I''m being lazy because I use Windows when it doesn''t ask me to care about its inner workings (similarly, I do not feel that I''m lazy because I drive an automatic transmission).

Of course, I would rather use Linux. This isn''t stability or security (Windows is actually doing very well on those points these days), nor is it to make a stand (Microsoft did some illegal things, but, for the most part, they''re just a company trying to make money). I would like to use Linux (or, more correctly, BSD, and that is, to some extent, to make a stand) because it''s free (as in peanuts) so I don''t have to pay for upgrades (if I could upgrade to XP for free, I would, but the cost isn''t worth the improvements). I would also like to use Linux for all the little things (for instance, sloppy focus) that Windows doesn''t have. It''s those little things that make a huge difference in my productivity. It really doesn''t sound like much, but once you get the hang of sloppy focus it''s really hard to do without it (like when I''m forced to use IE or Netscape when I''ve come to love the mouse gestures in Opera).

So, I would like to use Linux, but the cost (in my time) is too significant. And please don''t call me lazy because I''d rather spend the time it would take to learn how to get Linux running (which could be greatly reduced by providing documentation for intermediate level users) on something I find more worthwhile.

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I said people, in general, are lazy, which is true.

And there is plenty of documentation available for almost anything you''d want to know about linux or any app you run on linux. Apparently you didn''t look hard enough. Are you lazy or something?

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quote:
Original post by haro

*nix users are well reputed for refusing to pay for anything. Yet another reason not to develop for *nix.





Heh,

I think you''re nicely blanketing all *nix users under people who have enjoyed and maximized the use of free software and open source.

*nix users have paid hefty costs for hardware and software in all sorts of cases in the past and continue to. This being an entertainment/game development forum, I''ll use SGI and even Sun as a good example ( animation studios, film companies, effects studios, real-time simulations, weapons design, etc ) that''s just a small taste. You pay to play.

People who make a living selling software have to face the fact that they are going to have to make a compelling product when they are likely going up against many rich-featured free products. Thusly, making a market case for your product isn''t a walk in the park and many people don''t bother with pursuing the development of their product in a heterogenous environment.

If people take advantage of using software that is free and they want to promote further development of the kinds of products they use or want to use in the free/open source arena, I don''t see an issue in that. It brings more options for software to the masses ( who have different budgets, etc ) and my personal opinion is that it enhances the quality of software.


.zfod

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quote:
Original post by Magmai Kai Holmlor

*Both the NT & Linux kernels are very stable, but the current generation of bundled software is more stable on Windows than on X. How many times does Mozilla crash on you? How often does X behave erratically? The quality of drivers and comprehensiveness of drivers for Windows is generally superior to Linux. Somewhat ironically, the only area Linux that may be superior, is in multi-media - DirectShow continues to be the buggiest area of Windows.



Just pure windowing and usability.. I don't know, to be perfectly honest. X doesn't behave erratically for me, hell it has been much more stable since I can remember on general *nix OSes ( Irix had about the smoothest windowing system since I can ever remember ). In the advancement of more complex windowing systems I think XFree has had some growing pains under Linux, etc.. but no more than I would expect from free software. I've had a shitload of problems with Internet Explorer, a number of times which has rendered the system completely unusable ( countless other examples exist as well ).


One thing that I particularly don't care for under Windows is that application issues seem to force me to hard reboot more often than not ( yes under various hardware, not just one particularly flaky machine ). I don't have this problem elsewhere.

Windows does have better quality drivers typically for a further reaching product range, which is a huge factor in usability and I'm not trying to bash Windows, because I do use it heavily for various purposes. It can be very stable when doing a certain set of things, but I usually see it break much quicker when I try to do as many diverse things on it at once ( on the same hardware ) as I do on my typical Linux desktop. The mileage varies of course.


.zfod

[edited by - zfod on June 18, 2003 5:24:27 AM]

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