I have the choice, and I still don’t use Windows

Apparently it’s possible to seamlessly integrate Windows and Linux, in one desktop, without “interpretation layers” or virtual machines, running Linux as a port to the Windows kernel. Applications run side-by-side as naturally as you could want, as if they had lived together forever.

And to be honest, I have almost no interest in it, aside from morbid curiosity (I think it would be fun to try and break 😈 ).

It’s not that I think andLinux is misguided or a waste of time — quite to the contrary. I think it’s an excellent and useful tool for people who use Windows.

But the fact is, I consider Windows to be sub-par now. I have higher expectations than Windows can meet, and merging Linux into Windows isn’t what I want or need. I have legitimate licenses for a version of Windows on two of the four machines I have right now, but I don’t run Windows on any of them, because Windows doesn’t fulfill my expectations.

And I have come to the point that I doubt it ever will. I’ll repeat that, just so I’m clear: Windows is a failure for me.

I’m more than two years into Linux and I have demands that Windows can’t meet. I want speed without bulk — after Windows 2000, I never saw that again (unless I scraped away at XP with nlite). I expect stability, which again, I don’t recall having after Win2k, although opinions vary on that issue. I expect flexibility and customization, and aside from changing the wallpaper or the color of the menu bars, I don’t see what Windows offers me (unless I dump even more money into it).

But maybe most of all, licensing issues, DRM and closed-source software aren’t what I want any more. I can’t suffer updates that “might” break the system without being given the option to fix it myself. Or software that’s going to make changes to my system without telling me. And I certainly wouldn’t pay money for a product that did those things.

I’m very happy with Linux, start to finish. It meshes perfectly with what I want from a computer, and gives me dozens of other options if it isn’t “just right.” I don’t expect I will ever get the same things from Microsoft (or any other proprietary OS vendor … that means you, Mac fans), but I’m very comfortable with that. Those who want and need it can use it — you have my blessing. But at present my Windows discs are buried in a box in the closet. And I expect they will stay there forever.

8 thoughts on “I have the choice, and I still don’t use Windows

  1. xabbott

    I understand why some still use Windows, especially gamers. I know so many PC gamers who would love to switch but it still isn’t a viable option.

    They need to be able to play new games. They need hardware and/or drivers that aren’t treated like second class citizens.

    I know a few people who switched to Mac recently. The tipping point? It played WoW and had a Ventrilo client. I know a lot of people play WoW in Linux. But these are the kind of computer users who want to insert DVD and play.

    I myself am more of a console guy, if I even play at all.

  2. Sam

    I think these points definitely apply to me. I’ve only been using linux properly for about a year and a half (from XP and Vista Beta), starting off with Ubuntu, the Kubuntu, then Debian and now Arch but every time I use Windows I miss my Linux desktop which is customised exactly how I want it and with all my neat little scripts to do those repetitive tasks such as backing up and converting video.

    I also can’t stand the lack of a good command line and command line tools; over the last few months I’ve gravitated more and more towards the power of the command line to do tasks quickly and simply, from backing up to file management to P2P. Finally I can’t live without my package manager (pacman or apt-get); how did I ever live without having a plethora of programs for every task imaginable available in seconds from a simple command, all for free and legally?

    In conclusion…I ❀ my Linux Desktop (and my server for that matter) and I could never go back to Windows.

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