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I'm running Windows 7 (on my Acer Extensa 7630EZ) at the moment but I realized that I'm using mostly Linux programs (including the Linux shell through Cygwin) so I'm considering migrating to Linux (probably OpenSuse?). While this would certainly make my life easier, I'm also used to a few things on Windows I don't want to give up:
Drivers. I have a Canon PIXMA MP970 network printer and scanner the driver whereof has a GUI on Windows. I bet that even if I ever manage to get the printer to work on Linux, the GUI will be missing, so I will not have access to any of the options. (For me, this is a real reason for sticking to Windows, unfortunately.)
Windows Media Player. Although it's not as universal as other media players (VLC), I got used to it because of its well-organized media library and the ability to include a SMB server in it or use a network media library.
Adobe CS5. I don't know if it works with WINE, but I hope so.
What's your opinion on these? Will I be able to survive on Linux?
Well I did not check the HCL but your scanner should work just fine. I would suggest using Ubuntu though! Opensuse is a Great OS but Yast can be a pain in the @ss! Ubuntu is pretty good with driver support not to mention APT is so much easier then dealing with RPM's.
Windows media player has not worked in linux since the early days of XP. So you will have to transition Media player, Xine and VLC are all better than Media Player however Linux does not support DRM. For Example I had used a service Amazon had to purchase movies and since I did not run windows I could not back those movies up on my hard drive, I could however watch them in my browser. Netflix and Comcast will not allow you to watch video unless you have window/mac? This is not a fault of Linux my view is you purchase something you should be able to watch it wherever? But those that support DRM screw the rest of us. Maybe if more people switch to Linux this will change but until then you just have to work around it.
Adobe CS5 will not work with wine as far as I know. Even when programs work in wine they are buggy as hell! I would suggest installing a VM such as Virtualbox and running CS5 in that.
Switching to Linux in my opinion is smarter once you see how much faster and secure your machine becomes you will never look back!
I hope my Canon scanner hasn't read this: it doesn't know
Unlike Windows, where you use software supplied with the device, Linux has its own standard software, like CUPS for printing and Xsane for scanning, which uses plug-in modules for the specific device you have.
When I first started out using Linux I had alot of the same problems. ATI use to have poor support for Linux so I always bought Nvidia. ATI now offers better support for Linux. When I purchased my printer I shopped around making sure I found one compatible with all OS's before purchasing.
So switching from Windows to Linux will not be hassle free, from looking at the Canon site they will accommodate requests for most Linux drivers upon enough consumer request/s. So these companies do not want to lose your business over a driver. You may be able to request a Linux driver from Canon for the Pixma MP970!
Supporting companies who flat out refuse to support Linux is just plain stupid. You are the customer if they do not want to accommodate the customer then your money obviously is not important enough. Always do your research! I do not just by a product based on price alone support for that device is also important.Along with universal OS support since my household does not run just one OS anymore!
I tried to get a Canon MP9xx (forget exactly which, probably similar, maybe the same) working with Linux. I concluded that there was just no way. Even sharing it through a Windows host with Samba didn't work for me. Really, it seems more garden-variety printers these day are the same.
The only rational reason I have for being a Linux advocate/cheerleader/salesman/advertiser is to gain enough critical mass that hardware vendors can hear us. The problem is not getting better. MS heard us early on, and contrived the methods to keep drivers as a closed book.