Wow, this is fun. But here is the verdict. Windows wins.
Windows wins because: 1) It is easier to use
: If you disagree, then you are doing nothing but "simply" disagreeing. You are in denial, and you will continue to hate Windows and god save you. I don't have the time to convince you.
For those you are ready to listen, I have a story.
I know a very small company who use Windows and I had this question for the founder: Why don't you use Linux and save money? He said, he would rather spend $150 than wasting the developers' time in figuring out some stupid thing (like trying to install a software).
And Windows definitely has a better way of installing software. Yes, I know that registry thing is a big crap but do you really think my grand mom has anything to do with regedt32.exe? (She doesn't even know that it exists. That's the problem for developers.)
In Windows, the installation is almost always Installer.exe -> Next -> Next -> Next -> Finish. NullSoft Installer System is a beauty.
I have seen developers struggling with Linux to find out where the apache installation has gone. There is this /usr/lib, there is /etc/, there is /var/log/, and there is this /usr/bin. And apache files are all over the place. In Windows you have "/Program Files/Your Software" and you find almost everything related to it there inside.
And there is only one Desktop Manager in Windows: the explorer. It has "Start -> Programs", a Desktop, and a Quick Launch. The idea is not very simple but consistent. Now think about the same for Linux. You have Gnome, KDE, XFCE. Every distribution does in its own way. And now, you have stuff like Beryl, Compiz Fusion, blah blah. I have lost track of it. I don't care, just give me a consistent UI damnit.
You know the problem? Choice. Simply too many. You can say the same for Windows but how many users do you think install a separate browser? For them, Internet ExploDer is the Internet.
Huh, Jamie Zawinski has problems with Linux: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001089.html 2) Cheaper than Mac
: OK, Mac users claim that Mac has a better usability but come on guys, many people can't afford a Mac. I have never used or could afford a Mac. Windows' price strikes a right balance for people to buy. 3) It serves the majority
: The majority here is client operating systems or desktop or whatever you call them. It is the OS used by the ordinary mortals. Sure, *nix wins in server market that's because the server market is targetted towards programmers and sys-admins. But even for application programmers, I guess Visual Studio is good and C# implemented many features before Java did. (When are we going to have partial classes?)
Linux can win:
- If they can offer a consistent UI
- If there is one distribution for desktops
- If it looks slighly better and renders the fonts well
That's all they need. Users don't understand security and they give a damn. They just want to write their document, play songs and watch movies. And one more question: why do you think Dell ships Windows (despite the extra cost) with their computers? Because they don't want to get stupid customer calls asking "How do I configure to connect to the Internet?". Because that's really not Dell's problem. They can at least say here: Contact Microsoft for Operating System related issues. But for Linux, what are they going to say? Contact Linus Torvalds? He will probably answer them: Go away *luser*.
I like Linux because I am a programmer. I have to automate many stuff, I need grep, I need pipes. But for a user, these are not the important things.
[ June 07, 2008: Message edited by: Srikanth Raghavan ]