Why I am still using Windows

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On the OpenSuse factory list the question has been asked: Why do you still use Windows?

This generated a very long thread with the usual back-n-forth, but I figured I'd blog about why I'm still using Windows privately; work is another matter. In broad strokes there are three reasons:

  1. There are some applications I want to use that don't exist on Linux, and also don't like to work in Wine.
  2. There are still some devices that only work right with Windows software to unlock their features.
  3. Gaming on Windows looks and works much better.
Neither of these are things the FOSS community can do much about. #2 can be helped by reverse-engineering the software on a per-device basis to make them work right, and there is quite a bit of guerrilla work on that right now. #1 has been a problem since version 0.01 and will be with us for quite some time, though there are some commercial options available that help fix it. #3 is a subset of #1, but is probably the most visible deficit to a pure-Linux environment.

Right now I'm solving the first two through virtualization, and the third by having a dedicated gaming machine. Like a console, but Windows, and a lot more expensive. My at-home Windows use is pretty small these days, an exception.

Work, as I said, is another story. While I was at WWU, I was a Domain Administrator with all the duties that entails, and that job is much easier if you're running native. My next job is more unknown, but I do know they have a Windows environment for one task, but I won't know the full extent of it until I get there (possibly late next week).

1 Comment

This is a funny notion to me. I'm an avid Linux user, but let me put it to you in a different context...

Why do you still use flathead screwdrivers? With all the phillips screw driver choices?

Or maybe you prefer a screwdriver/wrench metaphor. Whatever. You get my point.

Maybe I'm different in that I'm a consultant (a digital mechanic, if you will), and I see them as "tools" to work on the greater "engine" that is the infrastructure. You just can't work on an engine with only one tool.

I ran Opensuse with KVM with various Linux and Windows guests until I couldn't be bothered to keep them running version to version. I ran XP with VMWare Server with various Linux and Windows guests until I got sick of chasing VMWare Server off the cliff. I ran Windows 7 (for a client) with VMWare Workstation with various Linux and Windows guests until... well, that's actually where I am now...

Heck, I'm actually typing this from an XP vm running on a Linux host...

I just use the tool that best fits the situation. And whenever I come across a "universal"-headed screw... I opt for Linux...