From behind the bifocals: An alternate view of Linux
Just before Christmas of this past year under the advisement of my son, who is computer literate and earns his living through his knowledge of UNIX, I bought a new computer system and paid the extra for Windows XP Pro. My son was well aware of my growing frustration with getting software to work with Linux and told me he thought I would like XP Pro if I gave it a chance. Well, he was right, and as of the present moment I will tell you that I doubt I will ever run Linux again unless some major changes are made affecting software packaging among the various distributions.
So far, I have had absolutely no trouble with XP Pro. In fact, I like it! Microsoft has definitely come a long, long way since Windows 95. Now if I want a program, I find it, load it and it runs, just that simple. I do miss the luxury of being basically immune to loading a virus, but right now that seems a small price to pay for the convenience and enjoyment of owning a system that runs smoothly and doesn't always seem to be needing something that involves hours of frustration.
It is my opinion that if Linux is ever to be successful as a desktop operating system for the average PC user, the entire Linux community needs to combine their resources and develop one stable packaging system that will be universal among all the distributions. They should exclude all source code for any purposes other than use by developers. The average person doesn't want it, period! If one packaging system was to be shared by all distributions, with all those distributions chipping in to make it flawless, then I firmly believe Microsoft would have something to worry about. Until that day comes Microsoft has Linux beat, hands down.
Again, the only thing I miss about Linux is the fact that I never worried about a virus or worm. I haven't experienced anything like that with XP Pro yet, but I am very well aware that it is a problem and I back my system up more frequently than I did when running Linux. Nothing would make me happier than to see Linux succeed as a Desktop operating system and if the problems I mentioned above are ever properly addressed I will undoubtedly look again. However, until that time I believe Windows XP Pro will serve me very well.
Some of the more experience Linux users may flame me for opinions expressed here. However, I have no doubt that just as many, or more, who have experienced exactly what I described above will shake their heads in agreement with me.