Re: Why to pick linux over windows
Sorry if my reply is going to offend some ... but basically .. the decision is almost entirely PERSONAL.
I've been using both Windows and Linux for nearly 10 years, and can state from experience, with the exception of the COST of acquiring Windows apps (very few are free -- but some are), and Windows being closed-source (which is a mute point since, I would venture to guess that less than 1% of Linux users ever really look at the SOURCE of any app they're using), the pros and cons of both OSs are pretty much the same.
I regularly run a host of Window boxes, ranging from an old XP box, through Vista, Win7, and Win8.1 -- and can't remember the last time I got a real infection on any of the boxes. And, the only one I run commercial AV products on are the ones that touch the Internet on a daily basis. On the others, I regularly boot from a variety of AV disks and run routine checks -- and they always come back negative.
Regarding auto-updates, all of the apps I use daily do their own auto-updates -- I don't have to go out and find updates for them. And, just so you know, the Linux apps largely do NOT do their own updates. You get a new app version (usually) when you upgrade to a new Linux distro release; at other times, you get bug fixes. In Windows, you get a new app version when they come out, not necessarily with upgrading the OS version -- and then, you usually have to pay the upgrade price -- but as I already said, cost of apps is a major difference between Windows and Linux.
As to the Windows GUI, I'm one of those hard-liners that does NOT use the Tiled-based interface in Win8x. For a desktop without touch capabilities, I find it just plain STUPID! I continue to use the "old" desktop interface, and have lots of different "skins" in place for changing the GUI. Stardock provides a host of Windows products for changing the default GUI. In all honesty, I would have to say this is a "draw" between Windows and Linux.
As to performance, this is REALLY where "your mileage will vary". I run several OSs multi-boot on the SAME PC, so I can readily compare the real-time performance of different OSs and apps, and from my experience, the Linux distros are no "faster" that are the Windows OSs. And, unlike in Linux where new hardware nearly always does not work until someone finally make a driver for it, in Windows, hardware comes with drivers. If you think Linux handles hardware as well as Windows, then you have not had to deal with "hybrid graphics".
So, as I started out saying, the main reason to pick AN OS over another is how well it suits your needs -- because, in the end, any modern OS is going to provide pretty much the same capabilities and features.
Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.