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Pros and Cons...
So, you might be thinking.. "Why did
you, and why do you think I might want to switch from an operating
system that I'm familar with to one that I know nothing about?"
Here's just a few reasons:
- It’s free: Microsoft will force you to
upgrade to Windows 8.1/10 which means you’ll have to spend
around $120 just for the OS. Linux OS, on the other hand, is
completely free. If you choose to switch to Linux, you save at
least a hundred bucks.
- Windows 10 is very intrusive: it is very
apparent that Windows 10 tracks you — a lot. In fact, it’s
fairly safe to say that Windows 10 tracks just about everything
you do on your computer. It can keep track of what apps you’ve
installed, how long you’ve used them, which websites you’ve
visited, recordings of your voice via Cortana (and it records
non-stop so long as “Hey Cortana” is enabled), and probably
much more. You can turn many of these settings off in order to
protect your privacy as much as possible, but this doesn’t
stop everything and the fact that most of these are enabled by
default says a lot about Microsoft’s intentions. With Linux,
you won’t have to worry about your computer spying on you at
an operating system level.
- More Secure, no need of any anti-virus
software: In Windows, you cannot live without antivirus
software. Even with an antivirus product, your system is
continuously at risk of catching a virus. In Linux, you don’t
need an antivirus. Virus and malware are alien to the Linux
world. Linux is known for its security features. Switching to
Linux will save you the money you spend on antivirus software as
well as all the grief this type software causes.
- Compatible with lower end hardware:
Welcome to Linux world - there is a Linux OS for everyone. Most
of the Linux OS does not require a heavyweight computer system.
But even if your system is one of those of late 90’s or early
2000’s, there are plenty of lightweight Linux distributions.
In other words, hardware is no constraint for Linux OS.
- Drivers included: As a Windows user, you
must have struggled with drivers. Finding the correct driver for
your system was a difficult task. But with Linux, most of these
drivers are supported directly by the Linux kernel. Which means
its more like plug and play, generally there is no struggling
- Ease of use: The one misconception about
Linux is that it is “geeks only” and one needs to be
computer genius and command line ninja to use Linux. No, it is
not true since the 90’s where Linux was a complicated
operating system. These days desktop Linux OSes run out of the
box, have GUI tools and have all the functionality that you look
for in Windows.
- It looks sexy - and you'll like it: When
it comes to looks, desktop Linux rules over Windows if you like
to keep things simple or prefer the "flash". Be it
Unity, Cinnamon, Gnome 3, KDE or even low end desktop
environments like Xfce or Lxde, they are much more good looking
than the Windows desktop. So if you think Linux desktop to be a
plain boring and dull looking, you are definitely wrong. Best of
all, you can choose a desktop flavor according to your choice.
- Software repository: Most of the desktop
Linux OS have their own ‘app store’ or ‘software
repository’. You can look for any kind of application,
libraries at one single place without the need of searching all
over the internet for it. Moreover, the software thus installed
will be safe, compatible with your OS and will be getting
automatic updates. Most all software offered is free to boot!
- Better updating process: Windows updates
are a real pain. First Windows will notify that you have system
updates. When you install them, it will be configured at
shutdown time at a pace that even a tortoise can beat. You will
be told to “preparing to configure Windows, do not shutdown
your system” and the wait is eternal. And that’s not the
end. At the next boot, it will again be configuring the updates.
Moreover, the software and applications installed in Windows
provide their updates separately. Remember Java, Adobe or iTunes
updates pop up? Linux updates are fast and non-intrusive.
But your mileage may vary - lets look at
some of the 'negatives' of using Linux:
- Please feel free to contact
- Installing new Software:
My biggest gripe. Other then installing software that is in the
Distros Software Repository (which is a simple click) - trying
to figure out how to install software that's downloaded off the
iNet is somewhat of a nightmare. There is no conformity and hard
for a newbie to understand. However - unless you need a real
specialized piece of software this is never a problem using the
included "Software Repository".
- Linux doesn't run some of the serious
production applications: Linux
doesn't run the Adobe Creative Cloud applications. There's no
Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, After Effects, Premiere, and
so forth. Let's go one further. Microsoft Office doesn't run
natively on Linux. Okay, settle down - it runs Open Office or
Libre Office which will more then likely serve your needs. But
Microsoft Office is the standard for Office suites. Simply
because Windows is the dominant operating system there has been
more software developed.
- Unsupported OS:
for a business, or person, running mission-critical workloads,
an unsupported operating system is a hard pill to swallow.
- Windows offers familiarity:
Let's face it: Whatever else you might say about Windows, it's
slightly easier to use then Linux. We love our Start menu and
our Task Manager and our system tray. Some of us are even
starting to love our gadgets. Young adults today never had to
use MS-DOS, even if they started using computers at an early
age, so they aren't going to be comfortable at a Linux command
line. Don't get me wrong — Linux has come a long way. But
remember how far back it has had to come from — where just
managing to install the operating system for a non-expert (and
sometimes experts too) was considered a major triumph. There are
still too many things in the Linux world that are expected to be
done manually, like program installation. A majority of users
will say, "I might have to compile something myself? No
- Claims about open source don't stand
up to scrutiny: Much of the
hype about Linux is really more about open source development in
general. The buzzwords all sound good: Open source is about
sharing. Collaboration. Proliferation of knowledge. For certain,
there is nothing wrong with the open source model, and its use
surely helps advance new ideas in software development. As a
business model and a model for end-user products, though, it's
less reasonable. Here, it causes a lack of standardization. Egos
among the different developers collide, and the final product
suffers. Let's not forget the old adage "Too many cooks
spoil the broth."
- The Linux culture isn't always
responsive to the common user:
This brings us to another reason Linux isn't triumphing over
Windows: the Linux community and the users and advocates
themselves. Linux is a geek's OS ( I don't mean geek in a
derogatory way). In an already unfamiliar and more difficult
environment, when people using Linux for the first time
encounter a problem and turn to the community for help, too
often they're met with ridicule. They don't want to hear,
"All you had to do was recompile the kernel." Of
course, this is not the case for all users, and there are plenty
of dedicated individuals providing free support in the forums
around the world. However, not everyone has the "dig in and
fix it" mentality. They just want to use their computer,
not hack with it. And that's perfectly legitimate.
- Maybe you're just fed up with
Microsoft's crap? Might be a
good reason to switch (that's the main reason I did) - but there
is a cost involved in getting away from it, and that cost is the
ins and outs of learning how to control the darn thing (Linux
OS) - at least if you want to use it for anything other then
browsing the iNet or check'n your email.
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