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Foreword, this is a mouthful of observations across this post 🤐
Edit: apparently there is at least one person that interpreted this as a Windows flame post, it's not. Just as a sysadmin starting from Red Hat Linux, Solaris, and Windows Server 2003, and a now a developer who has worked across Windows 7 and 10 as well as had the opportunity to flash my own device with Linux, I wanted to bring attention to some points I didn't find necessarily correct. This is not a Linux > Windows response, I don't think Linux is the Messiah of computing, and Windows beats Linux in a number of ways as well. Please be nice here, and again kudos to the author for writing up what makes their experience on Windows great 👏
Windows 7 was supported for so long because Microsoft did such a poor job of iterating upon it. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 were so poorly accepted by consumers that they were killed around the same time as Windows 7, and really they just wanted to move on to 10 (where did 9 go?). It also took a very short time for 10 to overtake 8/8.1 in this regard because they finally did a better job. 10 is just way better in most regards, save for some of forced updates and consumer editions having privacy issues out of the box.
On another point, support of a single OS for a long time doesn't indicate backwards compatibility. I have friends who still use Windows 7 because they actually broke their compilation process on newer versions.
Statically linked executables universally have no issue running on Windows, macOS X, or Linux, given the same CPU architecture. Linux still supports 32-bit as well. If you do an apples-to-apples comparison, dynamically linked Windows executables wouldn't fair well today either. Though, I will say the pattern around dynamically linking to system libraries for compiled applications is more common in the *nix space.
Hilariously enough, software designed to make Linux support legacy Windows applications like dosbox actually provide better backwards compatibility than Windows does.
There are a number of subjective opinions in your list too, such an "intuitive settings panel", which I would argue throw me for a spin every time I try to do something that used to be available and obvious in previous versions of Windows like managing audio or displays.
Saying Windows has a package manager but Linux doesn't is an ironic point at best. Linux was the origin of the package manager.
There are a number of those that are good points, but mostly towards the fact that the majority of popular consumer Linux distributions won't include software that readily available for free in their "app store". Particularly the 3D renderer, voice-to-text, and game engines (of the examples you mentioned are also supported on Linux).
Unified touch UI and gestures I happen to use every day on an old Surface Pro 2 running Ubuntu 20.04, which was also bricked running a Windows 10 update. Keyboard shortcuts you mentioned also all exist, even the ones mapped specifically to the keyboard attachment for the SP2.
Another thing that you list that originated in Linux was virtual desktops, but we called them workspaces. Windows 10 finally got on board with that idea.
Most Linux distributions include tools around most of your points, like screenshots, photo editing, even phone integration on KDE Plasma with KDE Connect (also available for Windows 😉).
I'm gonna stop there because that's already a mouthful to type on a phone. I respect that Windows is a comfortable environment for you and that it works well for you, and I'm not even trying to convince you over one way here. I'm just pointing out areas that seem to be either unfair comparisons or false observations, which I assume you may not have known about Linux distributions today or historically speaking. WSL is also a really interesting piece of technology, and I'm glad you can get more of Linux's awesome tech running in the Windows world 😁
100% agree with you on the part of Windows 8/8.1. They sucked ass.
On the point of comparisons, I said almost 'almost all of these', which meant one or two were obviously not something new that Windows offers. Package management is still in very early stages, and compares absolutely nothing with the great AUR and APT repositories. Virtual desktops is also one that's better implemented on Linux.
However, what you might have missed was the fact that I was talking about functionality that's available 'out of the box'. Some distros offer some features by default, other distros offer some other features by default. Of course everything possible can be done on all distros, but they usually require an installation either from the App stores or the commandline. Of course, not being available upfront isn't a deal breaker at all, because you can always install/use anything you want.
Thanks for your feedback, this was my first post in this forum. I appreciate your effort to take the time to read through all of it (I honestly thought it'd become boring at one point.)
For plenty of people the defaults of Windows is great, and there is certainly a number of suites that offer support that some people would rather work with than try to find some alternative as well. Linux can be a pain for people who enjoy the simplicity of a GUI as well, it's not something that is offered for just about everything like it is with Windows.
Also congratulations on your first post and welcome to the community 😁
There's far more in an out of the box Linux installation than there is in plain Windows. Windows is missing loads of stuff out the box!
Can you list some? There might be use cases I'm not aware of. If you're talking about languages such as python or cpp, I agree with you full on. There's a reason for this though. Linux is written in C, so including a compiler for it by default makes complete sense. The Windows equivalent for this is the .NET framework (it is pre-installed) which includes compilers for C# and some other languages.
MS Office is not included and costs extra.
MS Office is available with most laptops and PC's and is usually bought along with Windows as an add-on. You always have the option to use others such as GCloud or LibreOffice though.
On the other hand, LibreOffice is only installed by default on some distros (Ubuntu, Mint, etc). In my experience, on Kali and on Arch, it had to be manually installed.
I'm sorry, but that's a poor choice of distros to use for comparison.
Arch is a literal build-your-Linux distro, you have to install everything by default.
Kali Linux is not meant for consumer user, it includes a suite of security tooling.
Sure, I'll agree with that. Although the issue isn't distro specific, it is DE specific, to be precise. I was keeping myself from calling out specific distros.
Is an Office suite the only thing supposedly missing among the 'loads of stuff'?
Well if you bought a laptop with Linux preinstalled it too would likely have extra apps preinstalled. You need to compare like for like. MS Office trials annoy me, they often catch newbies out. On Windows I also have to scour the web for extra software for things like burning DVDs. On Linux K3B is either preinstalled or a couple of clicks away, and free.
There is a difference between a DE and a distro. Some distros do stay to the vanilla DE, but many provide extra software out of the box. Fedora for example stays very vanilla, Ubuntu does not.
I'm sorry but Windows includes burning tools by default in the Explorer itself. Windows Media Player also has the option to burn DVD's. If you don't like these tools, thousands of other tools are also a couple of clicks away, and free.
Yes, I'm aware of the difference, that's why I just wanted to point it out.
I did not intend to do a Linux vs Windows comparison myself, I just wanted this post to reflect on what Windows has historically been doing wrong/incorrect/annoying, and include my personal experience as well. I do not intend to convert people out there, that would be stupid. I've edited my post to include this message.
GNOME includes a disk mount and burn utility, and there's Brasero for burning media DVDs as well. It's not particularly difficult to add an app from the software center, and saying that Windows or Linux includes one thing out of box that the other doesn't when they're both pretty readily available is a waste of time.
This thread is sort of devolving really 😩
People uses linux for various reasons: Sense of control, to use some unfinished open source software, cheap servers OS option or free ones, "privacy" between commas because it doesn't exists except you disconnect the internet cable (in part), to use the "whole resources of the computer", people that squeeze the computer resources almost down to the break point, the ones that think they're hackers because they use Linux, or for a specific niche usage (scientific maybe), specific machines control, but people that actually work day by day in "common jobs" like Graphic Design, Programming, Education, they don't complain or complicate theyselves about things like this, they just use the tools they have in hand, people just choose the most used OS in the world, statistics don't lie (netmarketshare.com/operating-syste...) it has to be good to be used so widely.
Yes, even the Stack Overflow Developer Survey peggs its usage at around 46%.
Stackoverflow itself uses Windows Server for their servers because of reliability and performance.
Please. There is nothing stack overflow does with Windows servers that isn't achieved by Linux servers on a daily basis.
I did not say something similar
Uh, I could agree about Graphic designers (although most of them are on Mac) but programmers!? Maybe .NET programmers :). Linux is a programmers heaven. I've been programming (and doing management work) on Windows since 3.1 till 8, and Linux after that. I feel liberated. My laptops feel much faster, I never got a desire to break the screen :)
I think StackOverflow stats above show it all. Windows developers are below 50%. Sounds a lot, still, but when you take your stats about global OS usage where Windows is 88% (also realistic) you ask yourself: how come that only 48% programmers program in (or for?) 88% market share OS? I think the answer is in structure of Win users. It's governments, unfortunately a lot of education where MS buys early adopters with benefits and free licences (only to hit them hard later), offices in non-tech industry with old habits and software, gamers and that's the majority of users of computers in general. But if you don't have developers on your platform, you'll never make it. The war between platforms (not just OSs) is the war to get developers onboard. Others will join later. And Linux is growing there constantly, for years. Mac too, but that's another story.
I have some classic office non-tech users onboard too. When I switched I installed Linux Mint to all their PCs too. About 5 PCs, to people never even heard about Linux. "Training" was a 15 minute one. They work happily for years now. No issues whatsoever. When you remove MS Office from your workflow, nobody complains about non-Windows OSs anymore. I'd say games and MS Office contribute over 50% to Widnows OS market share. I'm pretty sure Vulkan and Steam will change that realtively soon. Office? That will take much much longer. My kid in school still gets MS Word documents to work on, from teachers that never heard even of PDF. My water supply company requires MS Excel formatted report on water consumption, local government often too... OpenOffice, as good as it is, will not convert regular MS Word users easily. I think Google Docs, even MS Office online does much better job and will continue to do so.
FYI, OpenOffice has evolved into LibreOffice.
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.