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I feel that I may get severely flamed for posting this, but here goes:
How many of you (LinuxQuestions posters) are actually anti-Microsoft?
The reason I ask is that I have recently come to know another Linux user who is not anti Microsoft, just anti-Windows. I was curious if this is an unusual phenomenon (anti-Windows only) or if many of you are in the same situation?
I have worked with Microsoft products since the first PC hit the market. Before I retired, I was a Microsoft Xcel programmer. I was high on Microsoft. Their support was excellent and it was free.
Today, Microsoft has a reputation for beating up its competitors and stifling innovation. Plus, the next Windows package that MS is coming out with is going to require me, if I buy in, to register my computer(s). So, as I see it, Microsoft has managed to stifle the competition and is now trying to stifle me.
So, for the last year, I have been trying to get familiar enough with linux to make a switch.
I find linux to be irritating and full of minefields. It is really easy to mess up my configuration if I am logged on as root. But, if I log on as a user, I am faced with having to log in as root superuser within user many, many times.
I have, so far, been unable to find a checkbook package in linux that can do the job as well as Quicken does in Windows. The wordprocessing package (Kword) is buggy and unreliable. And the printing package lacks rubustness and just plain sucks. The spreadsheet package lacks the robustness of MS Xcel. I tried to copy a music CD, but had to go through an excruciating learning experience only to be stumped and frustrated. I cannot, as yet find a way to use my USB Smart Media Reader so I can bring my digital pictures into my computer. And, I fear that, in order to learn how to do this, I will have to spend countless hours looking for current, dependable information on the subject. Even then, I probably will not have anything that works as well as what I have in Windows.
No matter what subject I am working on to get something up and running in linux, I find documentation that is old, confusing and laced with mind boggling technobabble.
My wife will not use linux because every time she clicks on something, she is faced with some kind of technobabble that she can't understand. She cannot run a linux program without my constant assistance.
Linux is not ready for the casual user. If linux is ever going to challange Windows, it is going to have to find a way to become more seamless and user friendly.
I worked in the computing industry for years. I have built programs from scratch. I have been steeped in the technicalities of running programs large and small. I don't mind technical details, but am often overwhelmed by the tecnobabble I find in the howtos and other linux documentation. Whenever I want to learn how to use a new command, I find the manual pages full of technical kha-kha that can barely be understood and the man pages have absolutely no examples of the use of the syntax.
I am just getting worn out by being forced to be a system administrator when all I want to do is keep track of my checkbook, calendar, run an occasional spreadsheet and write letters.
I started learning linux because I was curious, retired and had a lot of time. I shall continue on with learning about linux for a while, but I fear that the only show in town for the casual user right now is MS Windows, bugs stifles and all.
Thanks for your reply. Just a quick not to any other potential posters: I would really appreciate it if this did not turn out to be a flaming match. I understand that I may well get flamed myself throught this, but as I am the thread-starter, I cannot see that it would be at all helpful to flame anyone else but me.
I am anti Microsoft because of the monopoly factors behind the company. I really don't use windozes cuz u don't know what is happening behind close doors; but I have it loaded on one of my computers for my wife to use since she can't use linux. I like the fact that linux forces u to find and gain the knowledge to be more of a better linux and computer user in which Microsoft will let ur brain cells go to waste hence the quote below. I just recently aquired Mandrake 8.1 yesterday. The skills and know-how that was gained from all those many many long troublesome hours with Mandrake 8.0....putting 8.1 on a laptop was problem free. I don't know about the rest of the folks on Linuxquestions.org; but I love the challenge that any Linux distro brings.
guess I'm not moral enough to care about the monopoly factors behind Microsoft. I started using Comps when dos was still about. Dos was a little bit more complicated than windows is these days, and I learned a great deal from DOS, a lot more than these youg uns who start with Windows > 3.1.
I guess I am impartial to when it comes to the Microsoft V Linux thing, I probably tend to lean more towards Linux in that I want to be able to use it confidently, but that's a challenge and a half. It seems that every day I hear about a few new commands that solve certain things, or I learn something new in general about Linux. A lot of the people who post here are very very good with Linux (Raz comes to mind when anyone needs a ipchains question).
I'm currently living in a house with 8 other people, me being a comp sci student and them wanting a house network. I'd love to be able to tell them "Sure, I'll rig up a linux box so that we can all be connected" blah blah, but right at the mo, even though I have been using Linux for a few months, I can still only tell them that maybe I could do it with a linux box. That being said, a few months is not a long time, I couldn't have done that after a few months with windows anyway...
Probably gone off-topic here, but I'm probably not being fair on Linux about the user-friendliness of it. A pencil is probably user-friendly (in that it's simple in design) but it takes years for us to use a pencil to it's full potential. Guess I'll stick at it and hopefully become competent!
Sorry for rabitting on! If it was a simple Windows or Linux question, right now I'd say Microsoft (but that may be because I could get a copy of XP without activation or any phone-homes with it). I would never again buy an MS OS, because of things like activation and HailStorm - they were really off-putting to even someone like me who's used pretty much every version of windows (except Me)
i wouldn't say i am total anti-microsoft but i don't agree with their business practices means. i don't agree with their prices or don't use most of their software, (personally) only with work, cause they usually pay me to know it and use it.
they could be an awesome company... i just think they need to change their ways of conducting themselves and their business.
For me, Linux represents freedom of choice. With each iteration of Windows, Microsoft's software becomes more propriatary and the licensing becomes more stringent. I dislike feeling that I'm being painted into a corner with fewer options available, and Microsoft's dominance allows them to dictate what software I will be able to use (and how well their competitors software can work on their OS).
I have watched documentaries on PBS about developers having their life's work stolen from them by deal-breaking Microsoft functionaries.
There seems to be no end of reports of how Microsoft is spending money to influence our representatives in government to make laws that restrict our freedoms and to destroy competitors that might provide us with alternate choices.
Software is software but I am unwilling to give up my freedoms of choice so one company can acquire more money. I have been learning the PC for less than two years so I don't have the discomfort of giving up all the things I learned about Windows: I suck at both! However, I have been learning about life for almost 50 years and I don't like what Microsoft is trying to do to my life. I can do what I need to do with Mandrake, Star Office, Mozilla, efax, the Gimp, and a dual-boot with Windows98 to use my cheesy scanner. Usability is getting better at the same time as I am getting better at using. And I can have a front-row seat to all the development. Go Penguin
wow... lotta replies in a short time on this thread...
for me, being anti-microsoft is more of a hobby and an inside joke than anything i take truly seriously. ms has it's strong points. for the vast majority of people who either don't know or don't care how to work a computer, ms is a god-send. i personally don't like not having control over my software, and i happen to be a programmer, so i love open-source software. if anything's broken, i fix it. it's rare that i need to go into the code to change anything, but i've done it several times. i haven't used ms-windows in months, but i still have it on a dual-boot on my box. it's not that i hate microsoft, i just love linux.
Since my original reply to your post, I have given the subject much thought.
I told my wife that I was going to shut down my linux quest and just use windows. Then, we went into town (17 mile drive to Temecula, CA), where I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the latest issue of linux magazine...go figure.
So, bottom line is this: I am not anti Microsoft, but certainly am disappointed in their business practices, continuing attempts at limiting my options and litigation trickery.
And, I am not pro-linux, because it is just too difficult to use.
So I am stuck with my dual boot box until something better comes along.
I am new to this forum but would like to add my 2 cents. I started using linux about a year ago. I think it is a great OS. Yet I have worked in the IT field for 7 years and like alot of you most of my salary has come from supporting MS products. I am not a huge fan of the way they do business or a good portion of the products they put out, but I do think people have to realize what they have done for computers in general. I hope this isn't taken the wrong way I still tell everyone I know to use Linux but I won't forgot how I earned the money to buy my new car I drive to work everyday
I don't hate M$, I just don't like their software so I don't use it anymore. I still trouble shoot windows boxes and install it for people though. A couple of my friends now have dual boot systems to play around with and they are impressed with what linux can do. One of them was over here today and when I showed him that I could join 27 mpeg files together just by typing "cat filename*.mpg > filename.mpg" he was impressed.
I've used Microsoft stuff for a long time (sense DOS 3.x) and I really liked their products. Up until XP. That's when I decided that I don't like the direction Microsoft is going and more importantly, where they are trying to take me, the user.
In June of this year I made the decision to change my business and home lan to all Linux/Unix. This process will take around 2 years to change all servers and workstations.
I am not anti-Windows, but I am anti-Microsoft. I really do like Windows, I just don't like how the company behind Windows wants to take control of system(s).
I'll be one of the few to come straight out and say yes, I am very much anti-microsoft. Not only "anit-Windows", but as a lot of you have previously said, very much against their business practices and ethics, (or lack thereof), quality, etc.
My main gripe: the quality and power of the typical MS operating system. I come at this from a sysadmin point of view. Rather than producing a new, quality version of the OS every 4 or 5 years, they would prefer to rush out the door every two years with another re-write of the previous OS, few bug fixes included, and several new ones introduced. Yes, there are new features included, but nothing terribly innovative.
The fact is, and I will admit this, Windows is a suitable end-user operating system. Dumb end users find it's "ease-of-use" appealing. They always will. And thus it should be... ppl that lack technical expertise need to have an alternative to what the rest of the world really seeks in an operating system. This principle is apparent everywhere in the world. Take automobiles - the Focus, Pinto, Echo, Neon, what-have-you of crappy cars - are there people who buy them, who drive them, who love them? Yes - regardless the fact that they could be driving a reliable, performance car that introduces a true driving pleasure that they will never know. Thier Neon is cute, and so they like it. It gets them to work and back without knowing all the thrills of having to fine tune and rebore thier engine. One way or another, there is something appealing about thier crappy car and they don't need what the other *nicer* cars have to offer.
Linux vs. Windows is the same thing. It's the user that matters. To the common masses, Windows is the only logical choice becuase of it's "apparent" ease of use, ready capabilities, software support, etc. etc. etc.
Or thus it appears to the infidel. The "common user" doesn't really put an operating system to the true test, or if they think they do, they really don't. They put up with blue screen errors and illegal operations becuase they are used to it. They don't understand that a real operating system should expect to have more than a few days uptime at max. As long as they can have thier email and excel, they are happy.
As an admin who has worked enough with both Win2000 servers (let's not get into NT at all, for sanity's sake) and Linux in the server room, Linux is a no brainer. Is it difficult to use? Not if you put forth a bit of extra effort and understand it. It really does make sense! Is it reliable? Hell yeah. We are doing things on our Linux servers (RedHat, of all things) that the Windows boxes choke at the thought of. When we run 'uptime' on our boxes, we see 3-digit time frames, not 1 or 2 if you're lucky. We have a MS SQL database server that chokes daily, eating up an entire Gig of RAM before it stops processing queries and gives up; constantly having to restart services on a scaled-to-suggestion production box under a fair load is not what an OS is supposed to do. Rebooting the email server monthly because it's fumbling with the logging process, which shouldn't be a critical part of the server in the first place, is a bit ridiculous. We have since moved the Exchange server to a very low-key position and put in a sendmail server that makes us weep with joy, while handling the mail load for two large sites without a hitch.. It's beautiful.
We've had to move our DNS servers over to BIND to get around the fact that the new version of dns.exe included in Windows 2000 cannot truly do round-robin DNS without disabling options in the registry, in some cases. (Check out the MS knowledge base article on that one- its a chuckle.) We even moved from using first MS Proxy 2.0 and then MS ISA Server 2000 to using a Squid solution. With the internet dropping weekly because of whatever the problem was that day, it was neccesary. Throughout the enterprise, we are replacing Windows with Linux, and coming out on top because of it. Our CFO loves it; how could he not, at the price? Our ops manager loves it; high availablity is a word he really likes to hear. There is even talk of moving a portion of the desktops over to Linux in a pilot program. With all of our solutions being web-based, why not? And to save the money in client licenses, i think we'll see smiles all they way around the board room.
The one reason we are hesitating before a complete migration is simple. Once you have moved all of your servers to Linux, all of the desktops to Linux, and educated the users on how to open thier web browser, what is there left to do in the IT department?
I kid you not when I say the only administration we do on them is just adding functionality, tweaking, etc. etc. etc. What I'm getting at is that for us, Microsoft's main advantage is that it provides job security. Between restarting services, rebooting the servers, applying security patches, bug fixes, services packs, feature packs, registry hacks, etc, there is more than enough work to do to keep the neighborhood MCSE busy. As for the Linux admins, well, for us it's more "test the servers, yep they're up, whaddya all say to a LAN game?"