Some previous Windows users claim to have tried Linux and found it to be not suitable them. Even some long time Linux users tell that it's not good. However, some others are fanatic about Linux - they would go out of their way to help new linux users and love to create a propaganda for their pet OS.
So, what's the real thing, which OS is better, more advanced and powerful? Is linux preferrable to windows, or vice versa, or is Mac OS the best of all?
5 years back it was really tough for me to work on Linux, Red Hat 9. It was difficult for me to solve Linux annoyances by searching Google. I could not find something that directly applied to my problems. However, the past 5 year taught me enough, and during this period Linux has also advanced leaps and bounds in terms of usability, technology and performance.
In my initial years I had to work on Linux due to compulsion though and I could not find it to be prepackaged like Windows. Linux did not seem that straight forward thing. Terms like mount, fstab, su, chown and init seemed alien. Over the time I developed that "dig in and fix it" mentality and now that I got PCLinuxOS at home I have nothing to complain about Linux. Many of friends and almost 98% of PC users are working on Windows for long, they don't have that "dig in and fix it" mentality and they are happy with what they do.
These days using windows is not bad either, it is protective, it mostly works and does not crash that frequently it used to during those win98 days. As for protecting Windows from virus and spyware, there are lot of things one can do. So, that's not a problem. At home my wife loves working on XP, that's good for her.
In Windows, it's pretty easy to do simple things, but almost impossible to do complex things. Running Windows is like travelling in a public transport system such as bus. You don't have to worry about where to turn, how fast to go, what a particular traffic signal means and is there enough fuel in the bus. All you have to do is purchase a ticket and board in. A public transport is good if goes by everywhere you go. What's more, it's cheaper, safe and easier. Windows is like that.
Whereas working on Linux is driving a David Harley. You can control your speed, take turn wherever you like, make a shortcut to your destination, schedule your journey and even remodel it the way you like. But all the above things needs your care and labour. David Harley is thrilling and ecstatic, but there are chances of break down, traffic ticketing and costly repairs. Linux is that. (The cost factor in case of Linux is not money but time and research)
Winows is best for my wife, may be you will also find Windows really good if your computing is limited to web browsing, word processing and watching movies, but beyond that you should look for an alternative, most probably a UNIX variant, PC-BSD, Mac OS or Linux. In this case everybody will suggest you linux as it is freely available and the user group is comparatively larger than Mac OS or BSD.
I don't use Windows because it seems less powerful. I can't do unusual things in Windows such as I can't find all the files that end with ".htm" or ".php" and contain "src=object" somewhere in the fourth line, and then bunzip them all. For my wife Windows is like a Pet, she can browse the web, email, chat or churn a few documents with very less or no computing knowledge.
I was using Total DVD ripper and Virtualdub on Windows XP of my dual-booted notebook till I came to know the power of mencoder and ffmpeg. Though Total DVD ripper is damn easy it gives the preset results whereas I can twist and turn the mencoder or ffmpeg to the details and get the encoding done my way. I am sure some people will frown upon these CLI apps, but I love them anyways.
Some people complain about the thousands of Linux commands and millions of switches for Linux commands. But they do not know realize the power behind those commands and switches. The good thing is that Linux has been focussing a lot on the GUI counterparts of those commands. If you have checked any Linux way back in 1998 and dissatisfied, you should better check the latest desktop distros such as PCLinuxOS, Mepis or Mint. Any of them will provide you easiness comparable to Windows.
Mac OSX provides you a stable base (BSD) and a great desktop environment (Aqua). In Mac World you can get some really mature and productive applications (though the number will never exceed the number of linux packages available). Today, working on Mac OSX is like driving a Mercedes. You have a very comfortable and safe drive, but you still can't penetrate the regions, make shortcuts and park whenever you like. You can do all these with your Harley.
The bottomline is:
- Linux is good for power-hungry people who would like to realize full power of their desktops/notebooks.
- Windows is good for straight-forward easy computing though not as powerful as Mac OS or Linux.
- Mac OS is good for really elite computing that combines the easiness of Windows and Power of Linux (UNIX).