Inquiring minds really want know

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by aztony, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. aztony

    aztony Registered Member

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    No doubt this question has been asked before. Perhaps it has been the subject of serious discussion. Why is Windows loved by many, and reviled by others for being a security disaster going back decades remain the dominant OS?

    Current iteration of Windows watches and reports what its user(s) do. Linux, on the other hand, has been long hailed as measurably more secure than Windows. Newer offerings of Linux distros are easier to use too. And best of all Linux is free.

    So then why aren't Windows users fleeing in droves to embrace a seemingly better alternative with Linux? I ask you...
     
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    1st in. 100 page thread!
     
  3. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    This issue is bound to open the proverbial can of worms. the short answer IMO is that most third party programs are designed/coded with Windows in mind, which means using a Linux distro might be problematic finding the right driver, also requiring a certain degree of computer savviness. Most games are coded for Windows, and therefore don't work with Linux. I'm also inclined to think that there is a cultural element, a lot of people associate computers with Windows, as it has always been the most dominant operating system.
    As far as security is concerned, numbers of OS worldwide is of great importance, Linux has a market share of less than 1%, Windows is over 35%, most malware is coded for Windows:
    https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share all platforms
    Desktops Windows 77% Linux less than 2%
    https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/worldwide
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  4. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    I am not "droves", but I'm gradually leaning more that way.
     
  5. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

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    IMHO, because the chicken-egg problem and the PR image problem.

    The chicken-egg problem of Linux is that you have to have a critical mass (or marketshare, if you will) of users before :

    1) device makers pay attention and start making devices and actual ready made, Linux specific,
    vendor supported device drivers.
    And not like the situation is now: Windows first, and Linux folks can try to reverse engineer and cook their own drivers if they can...

    2) game makers pay attention (at least there is Steam support now, so maybe gaming in Linux will be in better shape in future..)

    3) Any other commercial software developer that want to take the major pain route of developing independent software for Linux, that is not packaged and delivered already by the said distro package manager (and it even can't be if the software
    in question is commercial one...)

    From developer point of view, it *is* pain having to try fit and deploy your software for several different distros...
    LSB (Linux Standard Base) helps a little bit (*if* the distro(s) support it).
    Static linking of your software also helps (but then you have other "nice" little problems like glibc version compatiblity, license things etc...unless you use some sane libc implementation, like musl...)

    Mostly people just cross their fingers and target their software for 2 or 3 major distros (Fedora, Ubuntu and maybe Mint)...
    Windows simple exe/dll system is blessing compared to that ...

    So Linux needs more users to make it more attractive for hardware & software developers but to get more users you need flawlessly working (read: good device drivers) hardware and good software (read: popular and/or needed at work)

    Classic catch-22 situation

    As for PR image ....

    Most people still think command-line when they heard word "Linux".
    In 1998 there was much more command-line kung-fu than now.

    Now things mostly just "work" with GUI sugarcoating. And if not work then you need to open shell and start typing...maybe...
    Which is not really that different from Windows...you still have to sometimes open it's shell too because the GUI tools are limited there also.

    EDIT:
    One more thing about the PR problem....
    Linux community is still very ner....I mean engineer driven.
    Even thought there are big commercial big players like IBM and Red Hat behind it.
    Nothing can change that and I am not sure it even need changing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    While Windows does use telemetry, it is questionable as whether Microsoft is actually watching what you do. I've certainly never seen any actual proof of this.
    That is true. However, with just some basic steps, like keeping Windows and vulnerable software updated, and being careful about what files I open, I never get infected.

    So at least in my case, the fact that Windows is less secure is not a big deal.
    I guess that's just a personal opinion. Based on my fairly limited usage of Linux, I don't really see that much difference in terms of ease of use.

    While Linux is free, most people buy computers with Windows pre-installed. It's often hard to buy a computer which doesn't come with Windows, unless you build your own desktop. While the original price of my computers included Windows, I have upgraded all of them to Windows 10 for free. So while Linux is free, most PC users have already paid for Windows.
    Because computers come with Windows already installed and for most users it works well enough not to consider an alternative. As well as that, there is the somewhat limited software support for Linux, which means it is not a viable option for some people.
     
  7. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Nothing new here. Windows wins popularity in personal pc's. And Linux CRUSHES Windows in world-wide server usage.
     
  8. The Seeker

    The Seeker Registered Member

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    A more accurate description would be that Microsoft collects information about the machine the user has. The way you've worded it is downright Orwellian.
     
  9. aztony

    aztony Registered Member

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    Thanks for your feedback. So Windows is in essence a victim of its own success.
     
  10. aztony

    aztony Registered Member

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    Thank you for a very thoughtful and detailed reply.
     
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