I’ve Gone Back To Windows

July 22, 2012

After using Linux as my main desktop operating system for years, I have finally made the move I have been contemplating for some time now. I have returned to Windows on my desktop machines.

It is not that I no longer like Linux. I do, and in fact still run it as my only server operating system. But after using it on my desktop for a long time, I have come to the conclusion that it just does not serve as well on a desktop system as Windows does for my wants and needs. That is not to say that this is true for any other person(s). I speak only for my wants and needs of a desktop machine.

I have off and on again found driver support to be sub-par with driver support on¬†Windows. I do not blame Linux or it’s developers for this. I realize that manufacturers often don’t release driver details to open source developers for a variety of reasons all their own. That forces open source developers to have to reverse engineer or otherwise recreate the code for such drivers, and often many things don’t quite work. Linux coders do a great job given their restraints. But I need drivers that work – that enable all the abilities of my hardware to work right. That’s why I bought this hardware in the first place. Using Windows provides that for me. Linux not always, especially when it comes to newly released hardware.

Then there’s the desktop itself. With Windows, you have a steady, stable, familiar desktop that works. With Linux, you have a multitude of desktop choices, which work to various degrees, but often have instability in part or in whole. And, they work very differently, and in numerous ways and functions, are often incompatible. Now I do¬†understand the whole concept of choice. But Frankly, too much of a blessing can become a curse. And along with all this choice, has come all the infighting over which is best, who shot who, and constant almost religious fanaticism and infighting over them. It has not always shown the Linux community in the best light.

In a similar vein, the almost ridiculous plethora of Linux distributions is once again, in my opinion, become a blessing turned curse. Each has its own configuration of the kernel, its own configuration and init files, its own choice of the version level of drivers and apps, and its own choice of desktop environment or window manager, included apps, even look and feel. So stability varies from distro to distro. You never know when you choose one to install whether it would be stable, or force you to fight with it to get it to work as you need.

And that brings me to the biggest reason of all for my deciding to go back to Windows: stability itself. On a desktop machine, I really value stability. With Windows I have found that stability. With Windows 7 for example, you have a very polished, stable os which overcomes all of my issues mentioned above. But I have noticed stability issues with Linux on the desktop that does lessen the quality of the desktop computing experience for me. Not only does the huge ‘variety’ and mixed quality of distros cause instability on desktops, but also the development process does as well.

I find that developers (kernel and otherwise) are constantly updating their products, changing them, taking out stuff and adding new stuff almost daily. That has meant that every time I update my system, it’s a crap-shoot whether everything will still work afterward as it did before, or whether something will break. And when something does break (which is frequently), it can be a real hassle to find out just what piece broke things, and then either downgrade one or more packages, or do some weird work-around to get it working again. Frankly, I just want to use my computer for things I enjoy. I don’t want to keep on spending my ‘enjoyment’ time fixing the darn thing.

So as a result, after years of using, watching, and hoping that Linux would finally get there for ‘me’ on the desktop, and struggling with the things I mentioned above, I finally decided life is too short. So I have returned to Windows on my desktop machines. Since doing so I have had no problems, my family can play games without problems, all driver features work, nothing keeps breaking, and I am happy. As I said at the beginning of this, I am not saying that anyone one else should see it as I do, or should make the change I have. I am simply explaining why ‘I’ did, because I have taken considerable grief from many Linux users over this decision. An operating system is (or should be), a legitimate individual choice based on individual wants and needs. I have simply made my individual choice. Each person should make there’s.

–Theoden