May 20, 2008

M$ or Linux?

Now,I am not interested in posting some comparison or Windows bashing.

For once,let's face the truth,Linux is not as great as it is said to be and Windows is not as bad as it is accused to be.

Leave the free software philosophy,source code sharing,license issues etc out.Let's just think from a customer's point of view.

As an operating system,Windows was the one which set the standards for the lay users(lets forget M$ as our enemy for a second,otherwise I know there is a reason and a counter argument for all these).Linux is a comparatively new entry into this area.

Its a fact that, to use Linux properly and to learn its various features,a user must have more technical knowledge compared to the case when Windows is used.I speak based on my experience of using and observing others work on Windows(XP) and Linux(many flavors).

Of the few people who opt to make the wise and brave decision to install a Linux along with their Windows,majority look forward to the so called advantages of Linux,namely internet security.Also there is this beautiful eye-candy called Compiz fusion.So,such users expect to try out Linux for the new experience and at the same time not lose their usual workstation where they can watch their favourite movies,listen to music(mostly as pirated as their OS),do office work on the pirated MS Office,use the tonnes of new and great softwares they have been using over the last few years or so.

People 'know' that installing softwares and packs to bring Linux to almost stand-alone condition where it can do all their work that they are used to in Windows ,is a task that needs downloading,which is not such a good option for majority people(especially the developing countries,where broadband is still not at a standard level or just in the papers).So,they end up using the standard Linux and believe this is what is available.The contribution of tech mags towards Open Source Softwares might change this scenario though.

There also arises times when your 'trusty' application on either OS crash.I say 'either' to maintain the neutrality,as both Linux and Windows apps tend to crash.At such times,the other OS might help you save important data or backup some important data.This,I am saying based on my experience.Also many people express the 'Oh,I should have installed a Linux system ...' type feelings in tech forums regarding data recovery issues.So,what are we pointing at?
Well,I just am trying to convey that the user,as a person who has different issues and uses with his system should ideally have a multi-boot system with a Linux installed in addition to the existing Windows to complement as well as supplement the power of the system.Myself being a FOSS guy have complaints against M$ policies,but that doesn't mean their product,Windows is nothing but a piece of crappy engineering product.It does have issues(lots of them),but then its not sensible to just banish it from the face of the earth or ignore its existence,is it?

Hope M$ decision makers develop more sense and also put more effort into developing better softwares systems.The same goes for Linux developer community.There is not much sense in over-aggressive promotion.Face the facts,Linux has shortcomings.It takes time and creative effort from both sides to develop high standard,user friendly operating systems.After all ,the customer is supposed to choose!!!