It’s Time to Make the Switch

I have been using Linux primarily since 2000 and exclusively since 2003.  In that time, I have found Linux to be a robust and well-supported OS, as long as you stick to compatible hardware.  Windows, on the other hand, was always suffering from self-inflicted wounds or fundamental vulnerabilities.  I was so much more productive in Linux than I was in Windows that it was really a no-brainer.  However, I came to a realization recently: Windows’ many flaws drive the economy.

If it weren’t for Windows, we wouldn’t have so many anti-malware companies vying for your purchase, we wouldn’t have Geek Squad, and large companies wouldn’t have entire divisions dedicated to just keeping Windows from falling apart.  In short, Windows is where the money is, because Windows always needs TLC.  The same thing is reflected in technology shows and podcasts – the vast majority of questions are about Windows, because Linux users mostly don’t have problems, and the ones they have can be self-diagnosed and fixed.  If I were to continue on my path of using Linux and converting others to Linux, I would be chipping away at the enormous Windows service aftermarket, and people would lose their jobs.  I don’t want to be a part of that.

So, as of today, I am switching to Windows so that I can learn how to fix its inherent flaws and get a slice of that Windows support pie.  I’ll be careful to fix them temporarily, since the real money is in not addressing the underlying problems.  After all, if fixing the cause were the goal, people would just have switched to better OSes long ago.

12 thoughts on “It’s Time to Make the Switch”

  1. That may be the most logical argument I’ve heard yet for sticking with/switching to Windows. I’m going to have to give it some serious consideration, even though I’m really loving Ubuntu on my laptop. Curse you!


  2. katydidknits, that’s awesome that you’re using Ubuntu. I’m going to jump to kubuntu when 9.04 is out, since I want to see what’s new in the KDE4 world.

    Doug, I suppose it’s a bit of both 🙂

  3. Too bad Visual Studio is a decade ahead of anything else. If I didn’t run a Windows software company, I would be tempted to get a Mac, but programming on it would be really painful, and I’m not sure I could deal.

  4. Pebler, this is why I use cross-platform IDEs like Netbeans and Eclipse. That way, even if a remote collaborator wants to risk using Windows, we can use the same IDE for consistency.

    Strangely, no version of Visual Studio appears to run in Wine. I’m sure Microsoft has nothing to do with that. It’s not like they’d use unpublished Windows APIs to ensure Wine won’t run it, right?

    If you’re interested in migrating a project to Eclipse:

  5. I’m sure they don’t do that on purpose, but I’m also sure they don’t care at all if it turns out that way.

    I don’t dispute your point about collaboration; a lot of things would be dictated by the project. If I wanted to make an iPhone app, I’d have to use the Apple IDE. For Android, probably Eclipse. I was just thinking about my own projects.

    I’ve used Eclipse. If I had never used anything else before, I’m sure I’d think it was fine. But it’s like my keyboard whose ‘k’ key stopped working yesterday. (I’m cut-pasting all these k’s.) If I had never had any way to enter text directly before, I’d probably think this was great; who needs k anyway? But since I’ve been using a keyboard with k all these years, I find it really fucking annoying.

    Personally, I think that over its history Microsoft has done more to set back computing than anything else, with Bill Gates primarily responsible for establishing the culture of crap they have there. However, one can’t deny that they have great compiler technology, one of the unavoidable consequences of dumping billions of free cash into their R&D program, and in that division they have really come out of the woods (unlike the rest of the company.) They have a superior IDE, fast compilers, great C++ standards compliance, and Herb Sutter and Anders Hejlsberg are now there running the language stuff. It’s really a shame that Bush won in 2000 and the Microsoft breakup never happened. I’d love to see the compiler group split off into its own company.

  6. Actually, Eclipse can be used for both iPhone and Android development. Since it’s an Open Source project, people can extend and enhance it to do more than its creators had in mind.

    I’ve heard good things about the usability of Visual Studio, but I suspect it only exists to encourage Windows-specific development and to discourage gaining platform-independent development skills. It’s good that they have fast, standards-compliant compilers, but gcc/g++ has been around for much longer and has always been standards-compliant. It says a lot about Microsoft history that you needed to mention that they had such a basic feature as standards compliance in one of their products 🙂 Reminds me of the days leading up to Sun’s Java lawsuit due to MS’s “enhancements.”

    Sorry to hear about your ‘k’ 🙂

  7. C++ standard compliance isn’t trivial. Probably no compiler has 100% compliance. MS compliance right now is better than gcc. C++ version 2 is coming soon, so I guess we’ll see who can cover the majority of that sooner.

  8. I agree that it’s not trivial; I said it was a basic feature for a compiler. I haven’t developed in C++ for a while, so this doesn’t really affect me anyway 🙂

  9. Yeah, I needed to upgrade the hard drive on my laptop, as it was just a bit too crowded in there. So I ordered a new one, and followed all the instructions on how to back up, install it, and migrate my old data. Since I didn’t have an actual Vista disk (because no one actually GIVES you that with a new computer – you might pirate it or something!), it wouldn’t let me reinstall it on the new hd. So, after fighting with it for three days, I said fuck it and installed Ubuntu. It’s been almost three months, and I haven’t looked back once. It’s awesome.

  10. Yup. I believe my GoogleChat status for that few days was something like “Fuck you Windows. I’m moving to Ubuntu!” It was made a little easier by the fact that I’ve been using Firefox and Thunderbird for a while now, but considering that I’m a pretty average user (and while hubby is a computer guy, this isn’t his specific area), it was REALLY easy to make the switch. I think I’ve got a couple of other people thinking about it, too. 😀

    And I agree – the people who want to break the rules on copyright will find a way. DRM just screws with those of us who were trying to do things the right way.

Leave a Reply to katydidknits Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.