The Great Debate: Windows vs. Linux

Round 1

Everybody seems to be going nuts over the 'Open Source Movement' at the moment; it's become very hip to cheat programmers out of a living. Linux is maturing nicely and with it comes a wave of wannabe revolutionaries. Yet for all Linux and the open source movement's glory, I'm still primarily using a Windows PC. Sure I'll be the first to admit that I chuck in a Linux HD every so often and tinker around, but for the most part at the end of the day I find myself using Microsoft Windows XP.

Where Linux doesn't measure up

Serious tools, for serious users. The open source movement has scored a couple of really useful and widespread tools, Apache being a perfect example, it has some excellent documentation, but on loading it up on my laptop I still have to deal with a number of issues that I wouldn't have to deal with under Windows. Lets see,

To get a decent video resolution I have to install the NVIDIA driver, which I also have to do under windows, but under linux it doesn't just compile, no I have to download the kernel source for the kernel that I'm currently running. Eventually the driver will compile, once done I go looking for the config file, so that I can change 'nv' to 'nvidia' why it can't do it itself is anyone's guess, my windows driver installs with a minimum of fuss why can't my Linux one do likewise.

Enter my wireless adaptor. Linux does support it, and I did eventually get it to work, but only after I recompiled my kernel a couple of times, doing the Chumpeka mating dance, and praying for divine help; although not necessarily in that order. Functionally this is unacceptable, I'm an advanced user (if I do say so myself), while they have certainly made compiling kernels easier in recent times, there is no way a beginner is going to be technically adept enough to configure the (Intel 2915ABG) wireless card under linux.

Enough with the hardware

The level of configuration tools varies widely between the different distros, regardless of which one you use, the end-user tools you are provided with come nowhere near measuring up to the control panel and administrative tools that are provided (and for the most part taken for granted) by Windows Users. All the important configuration options can be found in one place, and while not perfect they are a damn sight better than the level of configuration that is provided by any of the various Linux desktop environments.

I'm not talking command line tools, nobody but nobody is going to argue which operating system has a superior command line, but the majority of plebs out there run into trouble remembering passwords, let alone a myriad of arcane commands and arguments.

Slack Programmers

There is a fundamental problem with developing end-user applications & tools on your own time, and for little or no money. Where a traditional company has to maintain a level of professionalism, and develop programs that are well rounded, and well supported. The open source community has no such responsibility. While some of the bigger projects DO offer a level of professionalism, time and a again I find tools that are not quite polished enough to be considered 'good', the author has lost interest, and because of the fact that they didn't write the program well enough in the first place no one, will (or is stupid enough too) step into the breach.