Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why I Hate Windows & Why I Still Love It

There will be very few, if at all any, who havent used Windows. Windows has been a pioneering OS for many years now, bridging the geek-noob gap when it comes to personal computing. It has in its own way, rewritten history by making computers something personal, something usable and something pleasant. What it has also done though, is make the personal computing territory their own domain. Fighting tooth and nail to register patents and copyright stuff and making life more and more difficult for people who arent using their OS. Well that has meant that Windows now, in 2010, is an expensive operating system, well beyond the reach of many. Linux on the other hand is staging a comeback. Its free, open source, has no copyright/proprietary issues and is extremely stable. When I speak of Linux, I speak of Ubuntu. Why, you might ask. Arent the other distros worth anything? My answer would be simple. You see, as I have already mentioned, the reason why Windows became popular was because it successfully bridged the geek-noob divide. None of the other distros, apart of Ubuntu is doing that when it comes to open source OSes.

Recently I had given Windows 7 a try. I had been hearing a lot about it and really wanted to use it. So after the fairly simple installation, what greeted me was a sleek looking OS with pretty nifty options which definitely takes Windows to another level. The transparent menus and the themes look really elegant and the effective firewall is definitely a welcome change. Video and audio playback was pretty smooth and hassle free. But frankly as soon as that wow-factor faded, the glaring faults of the OS became clearer and clearer. I will try and summarise them.

Windows 7 has a "veil" of security. Its firewall is definitely effective but irritatingly obtrusive and hampers the user experience. Installing softwares and games greets the user with numerous confusing firewall setting options which can get on one's nerves. Next, there are no multiple workspaces! So basically its clutter and more clutter that you have to deal with when it comes to multitasking. Windows effects are cool but absolutely nothing compared to the animations Compiz has on Linux. (I have to secretly admit here that 'rotating the compiz cube' is one of my favourite hobbies on Ubuntu) I was always a fan of Windows fonts as a kid. After all who has passed an entry level computer exam without knowing about "Times New Roman". But after having used Ubuntu for a while now, all of a sudden, the Windows fonts have started looking wobbly and weak. Its a feeling which is difficult to put down into words but something which I feel strongly about. And finally, one still needs an antivirus and an antispyware on Windows. Now thats completely okay had it not been consuming memory (RAM). But since thats not the case, I would much prefer to use a system which utilises every single byte of my 4GB RAM to the fullest without having to dedicate it for security purposes. Ubuntu offers me security and not at the cost of excessive RAM usage.

So there I was, switching back to Ubuntu after having used Windows 7...for a day.

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