This is Jimmy65′s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
I have been an avid computer user since Windows 98, and in my time I’ve used various Linux distributions, and various Windows versions, so I can tell you from experience that Windows Vista is far better than any other version of Windows or any Linux distro. I have organized 5 of my own key points as to why I think Vista is far superior to any Linux distribution today.
To get the ball rolling, we have one of, if not the, biggest problem with any Linux distro, which is software compatibility. If you’ve ever used Linux, you know what I’m talking about. Before you decided to try Linux, you had your set of tools that you liked to use – be that Microsoft Office, Adobe Premier, Nero Burning ROM, or even simple chat clients like Xfire – but then, once you were submerged into the world of Linux, you needed to find replacements for most, if not all, of those tools, and in some cases there was no replacement. There is simply no Linux alternative for Xfire, and it’s not as if you can get everyone of your friends to switch clients for you. The case with most alternatives are that they’re produced by people who are doing this in their free time, and not paid to work on it, so you will find a lot of bugs, instability, slow or lack of updates, and sometimes just all-round sloppy work – but hey, at least it’s free. There are very few open source programs I would ever find myself willing to pay for.
Then we have Vista. Nearly every piece of software that is being developed currently is being fitted to run on Vista, which will soon enough be the most dominant operating system in the world. Wouldn’t you want to use an OS that has everything catered to you? Most software that is developed for Vista is made by hard working developers that are on a payroll, have a responsibility, and a company that looks after their products and the end-user. It’s not only the wide selection or the high functionality of Windows Vista software, although those are very important, but you also have software that is easy to use; just execute, install and run in most cases.You also have abundant tech support usually, and peace of mind knowing that you have a company that’s working to make sure you enjoy your product as much as possible.
Have you ever plugged a Webcam into a PC running Linux? Did it work off the bat? There will be mixed answers, but the majority of the time it will be no. What about you new 5.1 surround sound speakers, or your gaming keyboard? Probably more of the same. The drivers you’re supplied with don’t tend to include Linux as a supported OS, so you’re left to find drivers yourself – assuming that somebody out there happened to be kind enough to code and post them for free. What a fun way to spend part of your Christmas vacation!
If you have Vista, it’s basically the same with hardware as it is with software – compatible. 98% (guess where I pulled that statistic out of) of hardware that is being produced right now is being made to run exceptionally well on only one operating system. You guessed it – Vista. Now when you get your new hardware goodies on Christmas morning, you can put them to work straight away!
Have you ever had a problem with your Linux distro that you just couldn’t solve yourself? Chances are that this has happened to you more then once, if you’re a inexperienced user. Finding a solution is not always easy, and usually involves you posting a topic on some random forum and waiting / hoping for someone to reply.
The case with Vista is it has built in trouble shooting, and if you can’t find a solution there, you can always do a quick search on Microsoft’s website which will usually lead to a good solution. If you need to though, you can always fall back on your good ol’ over the phone tech support, something that you’re hard pressed to find for Linux. Also, if your computer was purchased with Vista pre-installed, you could check your warranty to see if you qualify for a free tuneup.
Ease of Use
This one point is a real make or break when you’re looking for a operating system. If you’ve been an driving automatic for your whole life, why buy a manual transmission car? Same with your OS, if you’ve been using Microsoft operating systems for your whole life, why would you want to use Linux? Linux is definitely not for the casual user, which the majority of computer users are.
Vista is designed with you in mind – hmmmmm… maybe I should hit up Microsoft, that’s catchy. Anyway, everything is so simple, it’s like point and click. Vista will notify you of any changes that are happening, it will ask you what you want to do, and recommend what should be done. All this giving you the best user experience, for the novice or even the regular user, and best of all, no repositories to hunt through.
Linux users think they have this in the bag, but have you ever heard of “useless eyecandy”? Well, that’s all these desktop effects that they rave about are. Unless you absolutely need to make it snow on your desktop, or flip between work spaces in a virtual cube, then the visual effects offered in Linux’s Compiz fusion, and other like software, is just overkill and pointless. Switching operating systems to use desktop effects doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in itself anyway.
Vista utilizes it’s desktop effects for realistic tasks, like sorting through your open tabs. It’s one to have something that looks good, but to have it also be functional and purposeful is another story, and Windows Vista pulls it off.