Some opinions wanted (at a crossroads between Windows and Linux)
First of all, a note: this is started with the intention that it be a sensible discussion, so flames and baits will be reported immediately.
Also, warning: This IS A LONG POST.
And now, to the meat of the issue:
As some of you have known, recently because of internship commitments I have dropped Linux completely from my notebook and desktops in favor of Windows to devote time to accquainting myself with Microsoft technologies. And generally I am a fan of Microsoft software (as in I genuinely enjoy using MS software (yes, even Windows 8!) for getting work done to the point that I have invested in a Microsoft TechNet account to get complimentary access to all of Microsoft's non-developer software in return for a yearly subscription fee). To satisfy my 'build the source code yourself' cravings Visual Studio Express generally does an a-ok job for Windows applications that are open-sourced unless it makes use of GTK or Qt libraries (in which the compilation process becomes a real pain in the nuts, but I digress).
However every so often some doubts enter my mind about the future of Microsoft in the desktop and enterprise space so I would really, really appreciate some feedback on whether I am doing the 'right thing', so to speak. For one, it is no secret that Microsoft's dominance is limited only to the desktop and notebook space; Windows Phone, as much as I enjoy using it, is never going to break past its distant third position in the smartphone space, and Windows RT is not going to improve Redmond's tablet ambitions, at least for the forseeable future. And even now there is talk that Microsoft may very well lose its desktop / notebook pie as well...
By casting my lot with Microsoft, am I risking what would be why potential future career if I limit of learning of Linux only to the server and administration space and focusing on learning as much as I can in Microsoft land such as ASP, .NET, C#, SQL Server and Windows Server administration? Which do you think is more important: to use the tools one is comfortable with to produce the end result desired by the other party, regardless of operating system, or to spread myself out and learn both Windows and Linux tools? Is the desktop really, really dead as a work tool? I really refuse to believe in that, considering how desktops with that kind of processing power are needed to do lots grunt work that the standard consumer is not likely to ever come across in his/her life.
Last but not least, i just have to ask; it is wrong to like Windows and Microsoft's software? As said earlier, I genuinely enjoy using Microsoft software and as such am fully willing to shell out the money for my TechNet subscription to get complimentary access to a wide range of Microsoft software products. But the vibes I'm getting from many Linux-centric forums are that it's:
a) impossible for anybody to even like using Microsoft's software products because they are inferior to open-source ones (which I wholeheartedly disagree), and
b) anybody who so much as says that he/she likes MS software is immediately deemed some kind of shill or mole out to discredit Linux.
Is it really that wrong to enjoy using a system that one personally likes, and is well-supported by hardware vendors who will always be able to supply launch-day drivers for new hardware, even if those drivers are tightly locked down? What happened to the 'if you like it and are productive with it, use it' approach to computing?
Thanks for listening.
** I know Im very well asking for trouble for even daring to talk about my liking of MS software in a Linux forum. But I really want the feedback and opinions.