Last Saturday I got myself an Acer Aspire One netbook (bought it on impulse, really) from a friend who had it gifted to him but said he had no use for it. It came preloaded as usual with Windows 7 and as a nay sayer to that OS, I opted to install the beta release of Ubuntu 11.10 on it.
Along the way, I made the following observations that I strongly believe, should help inform current Windows users, prospective Linux users and anybody else out there about why they should seriously not consider switching to Linux and Open Source software in general.
1. Linux turns you into a gadget control freak
No really, this is serious. After using Linux for sometime, it turns you into a sort of gadget megalomaniac. You want to have absolute control over every part of your computer. I came to this realization when the Windows install that came with the machine, in its infinite wisdom, decided I did not need access to the BIOS and thus simply denied me access. Imagine a gadget megalomaniac being denied access to a part of his box. It was not a great feeling I’d like to recount. So yes, stay away from Linux since it will simply ingrain in your mind the need to have total control over gadgets you buy with your hard earned cash. Come on now, why would you want to exercise such control over just a gadget?
2. Linux does not encourage thinking and experimenting
Yes you read right. When you choose to use Linux, you just will end up being lazy and not so much as experimental as you’d be with Windows. Heck, you don’t learn so many lessons using Linux. Example? OK. So I downloaded the ISO image of Ubuntu 11.10, created a USB startup disk, booted it up, installed…done. Wireless, webcam, everything- check. Useful apps? Check. What? Yup. Done. Where’s the learning and experimenting when I have over 20000 programs just a few clicks away?
With Windows, after a fresh install, you’d now need to start thinking how to replace those apps. If you have the CDs available, bless you. Else, you’d have to think of how to fork up some $$$. If you have no means of paying for items online like me, you’d have to start thinking of how to get replacements, or make do with pirated ones (illegality!) and make sure it does not contain any malicious stuff. It’s really tough after every Windows install and this seriously encourages thinking and experimenting. Not so Linux!
3. Linux turns you into a spoiled, pampered child
Bear with me, I know you’re not a child, but when you choose to use Linux, be prepared to become a spoiled child. Huh? Yea you read every word right. There’s just way too many choices to make when it comes to Linux and Open Source software. Want to try out Linux? Yes? OK so you’ve probably heard of Distrowatch, you head there and suddenly feel intimidated by the sheer number of Linux distributions listed and only a download away. How the heck do you navigate such a world of plenty without feeling spoiled and pampered when each distro is a full fledged OS?
Windows simply has just- guess, guess, guess- Windows. Only one Windows. No fuss. Of course there’s the starter, home, business and those other “grades” but hey, they’re all one Windows right? The netbook came with the barebones starter edition, but it was still Windows. As we say in my part of the world, having less makes you appreciate even more the very little you have. Well Linux and Open Source do not encourage that thinking!
4. Windows knows better what’s good for you
No seriously, Windows simply has you at heart and makes decisions that are in your ultimate interest. Not by your machine downloading updates that may require a restart? Don’t worry, Windows will simply do that for you as it did a colleague this afternoon at the office. Bought a license for the starter edition? Windows knows you probably don’t have much of anything since you chose to buy that license so it denies you the luxury of changing the wallpaper and other tiny bits. Come on, what more can you ask from an OS? What of Linux? Forget it. You’d have to do virtually everything above manually.
5. You don’t contribute to any cause when you use Linux and Open Source software
Seriously, when you use Windows, you contribute to a lot of worthy and commendable causes like Microsoft aiding the Tunisian government spy on its people, helping Gates back agri giants like Monsanto to supply wholesome and healthy food to a starving Africa among a host of others. So yes, your license fee is being put to good use right? Now show me what cause you support when you use the freely available Linux and Open Source software? I can’t think of any right now…
There you have them! These observations, I believe, should help inform anybody who out there who is thinking of using Linux and other Free and Open Source software. Carefully peruse the list and be sure you really want to live with all the downsides of Linux and FOSS before jumping aboard for there’s no turning back once you do!