We have read many accounts of how Windows users were disappointed by Linux. The EasyGeek is turning the tables this time. While as a Linux fan it is quite entertaining to read it, the biggest fact to accept is that both of them are different. Whether it is the desktop or the server line, Windows and Linux are terribly different not only in technology but philosophy as well.
However, there is a more basic question to answer. When to make a fair attempt at trying Linux? While I can try to coax you into using it as your new year resolution, I see the following scenarios for it:
- You feel unproductive with your current setup.
- You feel bound by what you have, you want more customisability and control over your setup.
- You are running a pirated copy of a proprietary operating system.
- You are using a computer for the first time.
But whenever you give it a try, do not expect it to be a clone of your existing system. It cannot be better unless it is different.
The catch is that you will have to learn some things. There are some excellent distributions, like Ubuntu, which do their best to hide the complexities, but you will have to know about them at sooner or later. This is true with Windows too. There are numerous suggestions on the Net which involves modifying the registry or going into the systems directory. It will be similar with Linux, but it will be easier to find information and get help, not from companies, but from communities with people like you.
Matt Assay feels that there still are usability problems with Linux. I think desktop Linux has crossed that chasm when distributions like Ubuntu are thinking more about stability than cutting edge technology. I do not think it is any less usable than Windows or OS X. But it is wrong to paint a picture that journey with Linux is smooth as butter.
Linux gives you benefits of open source, more choice and community. And this gives you a chance to customize and build a better solution for your problem. If you do try Linux, do it in context of what you want to do with it, instead of a feature to feature comparison.