I love Linux. I use it on my servers, I use it on my desktops, and I use it on my entertainment center, where it powers my HDTV TiVo and my D-Link DSM-320 media player, which turns my network into a media library with terabytes of storage. Heck, I even run Linux on my Linksys WRT54G Wi-Fi access points, which hook the whole shebang together.
But, Linux isn’t for everyone. Seriously. Here are my top five reasons why you shouldn’t move to Linux . . .
Reason number one: Linux is too complicated
Even with the KDE and GNOME graphical windowing interfaces, it’s possible — not likely, but possible — that you’ll need to use a command line now and again, or edit a configuration file.
Compare that with Windows where, it’s possible — not likely, but possible — that you’ll need to use a command line now and again, or edit the Windows registry, where, as they like to tell you, one wrong move could destroy your system forever.
Reason number two: Linux is a pain to set up
It’s true. After all, with modern Linuxes like Xandros Desktop or SimplyMEPIS, you need to put in a CD or DVD, press the enter button, give your computer a name, and enter a password for the administrator account.
Gosh, that’s hard.
On the other hand, with Windows, all you have to do is put in a CD or DVD, do all the above, and then immediately download all the available patches. After all, Symantec has found that an unpatched Windows PC connected to the Internet will last only a few hours before being compromised.
Unpatched Linux systems? Oh, they last months, but what’s the fun of that?
Reason number three: Linux doesn’t have enough applications
Really now. I mean, most Linux systems only come with secure Web browsers, like Firefox; e-mail clients, like Evolution; IM clients, like GAIM; office suites, like OpenOffice.org 2.0; Web page editors, like Nvu; and on, and on, and…
Microsoft, on the other hand, gives you Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, the most popular Web browser and e-mail client around — even though they do have a few little, teeny-weeny problems. Of course, Windows also has an IM-client, Windows Messenger, which, come to think of it, has also had some problems.
And, Microsoft also has Microsoft Office, which — oh wait, you don’t get that with the operating system, do you? You also don’t get a Web page editor either, do you?
Well, still, with Windows you get so many more choices of software, don’t you? Like Lotus 1-2… oh really? I didn’t know that. Or, WordPerfect… oh, pretty much dead too.
Still, so long as you want to run Microsoft programs at Microsoft prices, Windows is the operating system for you!
Reason number 4: Linux isn’t secure
If Microsoft says so, it has to be true! So what, if you can scarcely go a week without reading about yet another major Windows security problem in our sister publication, eWEEK.com’s security section! Who would you rather believe — Microsoft, or your own eyes?
Reason number 5: Linux is more expensive
Are you calling Microsoft a liar? Those nasty Linux companies, like Red Hat or Novell/SUSE charge you a fee for support. Others, like Linspire sell you the product. How dare they, when you can download free, fully-functional versions of almost all the Linux distributions.
Your computer, on the other hand, almost certainly came with Windows pre-installed! For free!
Oh wait, it’s not free? Windows’ actually makes up a large percentage of your PC’s price?
Hmmm. Well, still, it’s already on there, and it has everything you need.
Right? Of course, right!
Except, of course, you might still want to buy an anti-viral program (Norton Anti-Virus: $40), anti-spyware software (McAfee Anti-Spyware: $25); and a full-featured firewall (Zone Alarm Pro: $35). But, hey, who needs those when you have a secure operating system like Windows!
When you really think about it, you can see why there are lots of reasons not to use Linux.
There just aren’t any good ones.
A version of this story was first published on Linux-Watch.