After my quest for 13 years trying to find the ultimate Linux desktop, I have given up. There’s no Linux desktop environment for Patrick. So I reinstalled my notebook with Windows Vista, 3 months ago, and upgraded to Windows 7, 2 weeks ago. Huh? What? Your kidding? No I’m not. Ooooh. Why?
Just because Windows works best in this field of application.
- Performance: Can’t realy feel the differnce between the two. Ofcourse Windows is sluggish against plain Linux. But what about the eyecandy of KDE, or GNOME. Ofcourse you can choose the run the lightning fast XFCE or WMaker, but than we can have a little talk about functionality.
- Stability: There’s no doubt that a plain Linux is more stable than a plain Windows installation. But….What about that nice new bleeding edge app that you want to run. Your Linux distribution doesn’t support it yet. You might try to ignore the dependency on that new version of GTK and cross your fingers. Or just upgrade your GTK engine and twist your fingers. No matter what option you choose, your stability is at risk. Windows applications just run on Windows. No 100 parallel universes. In case of library conflicts Windows SxS performs better than the rather limited symlink tricks.
- Usability: I had a Nokia E50 and later a E51 for a long time. No descent Linux application that managed to sync my contacts with my computer. I have a Garmin GPS60CSX. Managed to get Garmin MapSource running under Wine. Too bad the baudrate was limited to 9600 baud. I can tell you it takes a while transfering 4 GB of maps to my GPS. Just a few of the many examples.
- Free software: I’m a big free software enthousiast. But I think functionality and usability needs to have the highest priority. Good working free software has the preference. Good working non free software is second. In practice this means I have to buy some pieces of closed source software now and then. Illegal software is a no go. Most useful Linux apps have been ported to Windows.
- Security: A weak point on the Windows side. Years and years people were dependant on crappy virusscanners like Symantec/Norton and McAfee. Microsoft recently released MS Security Essentials. I have to say I’m very positive on that one. But using Windows you still have to look over your shoulders now and then. Keep your system patched, don’t do crazy stuff with Internet Explorer (or better don’t do anything with it).
- Hardware damage: A few months ago, my notebook got a fryed GPU, after doing a kernel upgrade on Ubuntu 9.04. First thought it was just a hardware failure. After getting a replacement GPU, the new GPU started to overheat again. Going away from that specific kernel, fixed the overheating. The problem might reside in the kernel or the Nvidia kernelmodules. I just don’t care. Fact is that it happens on Linux and not in Windows. Bug reports were not picked up. More people frying their notebooks, no reaction from the kernel developers.
Still running Linux on my homeserver. No problems with that. Bought an Android Phone a few weeks ago. No problems with that either. Just not on the desktop.