Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: Some opinions wanted (at a crossroads between Windows and Linux)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    519

    Default 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.
    Last edited by Sonadow; 04-24-2013 at 09:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    449

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    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...
    I would take with a large pile of salt the idea that Microsoft will lose the desktop/notebook pie. Consider how huge it is, and how many business-critical applications run on it. It'll be going for a long time. As good as Linux and MacOS may be, they aren't going to be taking the majority spot for desktops/notebooks anytime soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    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?
    If I were in your position I would take a look at Qt: the IDE (QtCreator) works on Windows, MacOS and Linux, and can produce code for those three, plus Android, iOS and Blackberry, so there should be no worries about tying yourself to an individual platform. Having said that, it won't play with the Microsoft languages. I wouldn't feel comfortable having my career rely on one company (hence I've just moved our company's development to QtCreator from Visual Studio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    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.
    It's not dead in the slightest. Look around your place of work: it's unlikely that anybody will give up their desktop/laptop for a tablet/other device. Typing isn't fun on a tablet. It can be done but it's a very different experience with no tactile feedback. Moving files from one place to another is intuitive with a keyboard/mouse (cut & paste or drag & drop), not so much on a non-desktop system.

    My cynical side thinks that the people suggesting that it is are the ones writing apps for tablets etc. Similar to how CryTek (the company that makes Crysis and other brilliant-looking games) say that graphics are the most important part of a modern game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    Last but not least, i just have to ask; it is wrong to like Windows and Microsoft's software?
    No. Not at all. Not even slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    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.
    People that say that are morons and zealots. If you like a system and it works for you then go for it. If somebody is so wrapped up in open source ideology that they can't see that their preferred system(s) aren't perfect then they are a zealot, too blinded by their ideals to see reason, so probably not the type of person from whom you should take advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    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?
    Short answer: nope.

    I'm going to let you in on a 'secret': I actually quite like Windows 8. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have the old start menu back, but other than that it has worked flawlessly for me. The "if you like it..." approach is still there, but there are now more people with larger mouths.

    I hope this helps. I'd be happy to clarify anything if I've been unclear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by archibald View Post
    I hope this helps. I'd be happy to clarify anything if I've been unclear.
    You have been a huge help. Thank you very much for helping me to sort out my thoughts, I'm really grateful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    963

    Default

    Microsoft from its appearance up to recent events has done a lot of damage to IT ecosystems to say the least. It took a lot of free will effort to fix that and their behavioural policy it did not change even to slightest degree.

    Someone who associates himself with or even likes microsoft, is someone who is greedy or ignorant, but all way egoistic.

    Microsoft is an antonym to openness, choice, fairness and honor. These polices affect the core nature of ecosystem, with money only following those who are considered to be the authority.

    The quality of tools is bound only to money amount, and microsoft has made a lot of damage and collected enough money on ignorants to secure its technical side.

    But these tools are not adantage, they stink from source.

    I stand behind my values and I will never ever tolerate anything so slimy and intolerant as microsoft. Their pointless destiny does not interest me, its their choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    You have been a huge help. Thank you very much for helping me to sort out my thoughts, I'm really grateful.
    A little bird was flying south for the winter.

    It got so cold it froze up and fell to the ground in a large field.

    While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it.

    As it lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was.

    The dung was actually thawing him out!

    He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

    A passing cat heard the little bird singing, and came to investigate.

    Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out-and then ate him.


    The morals of the story are:

    1. Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy.
    2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
    3.When you're in deep shit, keep your mouth shut!

    [source]
    Last edited by brosis; 04-24-2013 at 11:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Linuxland
    Posts
    4,987

    Default

    It's not wrong to like Microsoft software, but you have to understand why people have a hard time believing it. Several decades of evil business practises and lock-in are just the start of it.

    As for the risk, keeping your eggs in one basket is never good, no matter what the basket is. If I were you, I would also learn alternatives to not completely keep myself in the Microsoft universe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    It's not wrong to like Microsoft software, but you have to understand why people have a hard time believing it. Several decades of evil business practises and lock-in are just the start of it.
    I must admit that I come from a place where the culture is that if a product delivers the goods and promotes standardization by ensuring that everybody uses it, lock-in is something that should not be seen in a negative light. And generally Microsoft software does deliver the goods where it's needed for the most part. But this is just my take on it, feel free to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    As for the risk, keeping your eggs in one basket is never good, no matter what the basket is. If I were you, I would also learn alternatives to not completely keep myself in the Microsoft universe.
    Very true, and Archibald has also pointed this out. I should, and will put some attention into looking out for suitable alternatives to complement what I'm learning in the Microsoft universe. QtCreator and learning the basics of Linux administration seems like as good a place to start as any.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Linuxland
    Posts
    4,987

    Default

    Have you been using Microsoft software for long, if their practices have never bitten you?


    Just for one example, documents you created in your perfectly working and paid-for Office 95 won't show up properly with other people's Office 97. This is essentially forcing you to upgrade.

    Due to their lock-in, you can't even switch to a competitor, since WordPerfect won't open your existing documents perfectly either. The formats are secret and nobody has completely reverse-engineered them.

    Do you not see this as bad?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    963

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    I must admit that I come from a place where the culture is that if a product delivers the goods and promotes standardization by ensuring that everybody uses it, lock-in is something that should not be seen in a negative light.
    Your logic is extremely flawed. Standartization does NOT mean "everyone uses it".
    "Everyone uses it" means MONOPOLY. Standartization means "commonly shaped medium".
    A standard NEVER SEEKS SINGULARITY.

    Once a lock-in/singularity happens, there is no choice, no movement, no difference and hence no comparison of "better". Singularity means ethernal immobile prison.

    Your "place" is bugged.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Have you been using Microsoft software for long, if their practices have never bitten you?


    Just for one example, documents you created in your perfectly working and paid-for Office 95 won't show up properly with other people's Office 97. This is essentially forcing you to upgrade.

    Due to their lock-in, you can't even switch to a competitor, since WordPerfect won't open your existing documents perfectly either. The formats are secret and nobody has completely reverse-engineered them.

    Do you not see this as bad?
    I have been using Microsoft software since I was old enough to touch a computer. That was during the Windows 3.1 days where Windows was just a GUI layer for DOS.

    Yes, we did have an issue with opening Office 97 docs because garbage started appearing in the files. To those people, we just made a simple phone call and said "Your file contains garbage, are you using Word 97? Please Save As Word 6.0/95 so I can read it, thank you very much."

    They were always happy to oblige, and Word 95 remained on our computers until dad made the major upgrade to Win 98SE sometime in 2000, before the launch of ME, where we eventually moved up to Office 97.

    It was only in 2006-ish that I decided to give Linux a go. That translates to approx. 7 years of Linux to 15 years of Windows. Now I know what some of you might think; 7 : 15 ratio is hardly a fair comparison since 15 years of being used to Windows gives Windows an unfair disadvantage. But you got to also remember that from 1990 to 2005 Microsoft's operating system and software products was almost universally mocked for being extremely unstable and buggy.

    Of course, i was not spared from the instabilities and issues brought up by others during those times, such as frequent freezes, BSoDs and the infamous 'program performed an illegal operation' error that plagued Windows 95 and 98. But none of those were drastically catastrophic; major pain-in-the-neck annoyances yes, bit that's it. That made me leave Windows on a fairly positive note (albeit quite a fair bit poorer too) when I tried out Linux in 2006, save for two major incidents where a broken Win 98 installation had Windows always failing to detect the mouse, and in 2004 where my computer (then upgraded to XP) somehow managed to get itself bugged up with that infamous worm that caused Windows to shutdown after 60 seconds.

    What attracted me to Linux then was the fact that it was something totally different and that people were claiming that it automatically works with their hardware. Unfortunately, that was not the case in my experience; first my WiFi cards weren't supported, and then Xorg was not able to generate a proper list of resolutions for my then CRT monitor. In the end I had to dig out the monitor technical specifications and manually make changes to xorg.conf to get the resolutions I wanted. Not a very good first impression. To top it off, I also ran into ext3 filesystem corruption on a recent distro during normal usage; for all the 15 years of Windows instability a filesystem error was never one of the issues that affected me, but hey, it showed up on Linux.

    To give Linux credit, it has improved vastly over these 7 years and many devices now feature built-in drivers in the kernel to make plug-and-play possible and its stability is now top notch. But even that pales with the third-party vendor support Windows enjoys, and I do play with hardware too. Having launch day drivers is a major priority that Linux is not capable of producing (example: I cannot use any of Linksys's latest WiFi adapters on Linux because one of them employs a 80211ac stack, another one uses a relink chipset that has not been merged into mainline and the third one uses some super weird Broadcom chipset that is not even covered by b43 and Broadcom's own official open drivers, and my Southern Islands card is...well, was really being under utilized until AMD updated Catalyst to work with newer kernel versions). In short, the time, effort and cost incurred in scouting around for Linux-compatible hardware eventually starts to outweigh the upfront cost I pay for Windows (eg: choosing between a $200 HP printer that is guaranteed to work on Linux vs a $100 Panasonic printer that has Windows-only drivers). And now that I can get all manner of software licences at no cost from Microsoft in exchange for an annual $300 subscription to MS TechNet, the cost-savings portion of Linux is not very relevant to me anymore. I have Linux to thank though, for getting me interested in computing as a career move.

    As for the software, let's just say that I love the polish on Microsoft software. What others call bloat, I see as 'features that are there in case they need to be used'.

    I can give more examples, but the gist of it is that of all the issues I experience in both Windows and Linux, the worst of Windows I had to deal with was much better than what I experienced with in Linux.

    Feel free to disagree but keep it civil.
    Last edited by Sonadow; 04-24-2013 at 02:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    519

    Default

    To sum up, I know it's hard to see where I'm coming from (even I have to admit that some of my reasons sound very fan-ish in general) but the truth of the matter is that having used both Windows and Linux for a fair amount of time, the conclusion I've made is that I still very much favour the Microsoft camp. Polished software tools coupled with a decent operating system are a major deciding factor, and I can definitely claim with a clear conscience that I enjoy using Microsoft's software tools and operating systems a lot more than any other FOSS equivalent.

    Hope you guys understand, and much appreciation to those who gave advice on the different non-Microsoft technologies I can learn at the same time to keep myself relevant.
    Last edited by Sonadow; 04-24-2013 at 02:51 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •