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Thread: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

  1. #31
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tadaen_Sylvermane View Post
    I've recently become a fan of XFCE. It is clean and easy to use. Very reliable lately as well. That being said, even though I find it to be the best DE I've personally used, it still feels like an afterthought. That is one problem that Linux has that Windows doesn't. They have a vision for their environment, we don't. We have a truckload of competing visions, none of which are even close to the refined user experience on a Windows machine. About the only thing that Linux has in the DE department that others don't, or didn't until recently is the virtual desktops.

    One major problem is the GTK vs QT argument. Yes we have both. Yay choice. Unfortunately the downside is apps never quite look right in the opposing environment. They look totally out of place. Ruins the immersion and coherence.

    Another major problem that I personally see. To much choice. I know people don't agree with me but we just have to much going on. The effort of the entire community is diluted horribly. How many total DE's / WM's are there? I can guess and say 30-40? On Windows everyone is focused on making a single DE perfect. On linux we are focused on 30-40 different ones at the same time. End result? None are very polished. Most leave a lot to be desired in my experience (I've distro and DE hopped repeatedly for the last couple years).
    The thing that Windows has that is lacking in Linux is direction. They have a single authoritative entity which decides exactly how things will be, and you can like it or leave. People who do not share that vision of one-size-fits-all are out of luck.

    XFCE is fine as it is. The teams who make window managers have or had a vision. They came up with a set of requirements and made something that satisfied those requirements. Like with Windows, most who use any given window manager use the default setup. Unlike with Windows, if you don't like it you don't have to sit there and suffer, and you don't have to leave. You can tweak. Most window managers on Linux are tweakable. For some of them, like fvwm, tweakability is the primary feature.

    One more problem, again no one will agree with. To many distros. Yes we all love choice. But it is flat out overwhelming for anyone. Personally I stick to the big ones because I know from experience they will give me the least trouble. However for a newcomer who does have the thought to question what runs on their computer they get told to go to distrowatch. How many current distros are there? It's out of control and ridiculous. I was told that and almost walked away when I first started. It was just to much. Most people aren't as curious as I am though. They see a list like that and say screw it.
    Distrowatch is a bit of a lie. It's useful in its own way, but it doesn't take down distros which are no longer viable for years. It doesn't filter out special-purpose distros unless you specify it, and some of those special-purpose distros are in with the 'general' category because they don't fit into one of the few special-purpose categories. They also don't seem to care how viable the distro is. Some of them probably have one guy who has his own distro and his own website for it. I haven't browsed their site for years, but have done so both for the entertainment and to find something new to try.

    Linux distros start with a philosophy. It's usually something simple. That's the real difference between Linux and Windows. Windows is something a company tries to sell to everybody, in order to make money. Linux is a collection of groups of people who share a philosophy and work toward bringing it to fruition, so that they have something they like to use.

    The way to find a Linux distro is to look at the priorities of the distro. If you find one that you like, try browsing their forum to see how the community interacts. If that's good, then try out the distro to see what's up. Ubuntu has a really nice forum, and does a lot of testing. They have a minimal server build with no GUI, so that's special too. And they don't interfere with people trying to install commercial software. That's a requirement for me.

    That said, I use several distros, and every so often I'll fire up a VM with something new to try, or even something old that I want to check out again. There's no requirement to have just one distro, and there's no prize for sticking with the same one. Nobody gets more money because you stick with Ubuntu or not. Staying with the same distro is like eating at the same restaurant every time you eat out. And ordering the same exact plate. It was probably great the first few times, but after awhile you could maybe enjoy something else.

    Last problem I can think of is themes. I love themes on my desktop. I change practically everything. But in nearly every DE I've tried regardless of theme choice, they are never perfect. Always something missing. It breaks the whole theme imo when this happens. Prime example for me was the app selector close button on the top left of unity. No matter what theme you picked, that never changed. It was always that horrible orange brown color. KDE also suffers from this as well to a great extent, presumably because of the GTK / QT issue.

    Those are off the top of my head.
    You're looking at this as a consumer. Tweak something.

    Linux was never meant to be a single solution for everyone. Trying to make it be that single solution is ridiculous. Figure out what package has that button and find out if you can change it in configuration or by altering code. If not, file a feature request or bug report at the appropriate upstream site. Or find out if you can pay somebody who has access to fix it for you, so everyone else can enjoy your fix.

    With Linux you're not stuck with what they give you out of the box.

    Edit: The entire point of Linux was that for some people, Windows was not an acceptable operating system. If you try it and like Windows better, it doesn't mean you're a bad person or a failed Linux user. It just means you like Windows better. You are under no pressure to stay with Ubuntu, or XFCE, or Linux in general. If you find a distro that gets you most of the way toward what you want, then use it. Tweak it to take it closer to what you want. When you get tired of tweaking, stop and use it for awhile. Maybe you'll want to tweak later. Or maybe you want a Mac or a Windows box again. Maybe you can have more than one distro, and maybe a box with Windows on it, or in a VM?

    Do what you want. Use what you need.

    Above all, stop worrying about what somebody else wants on their computer. Enjoy what's on yours instead. Maybe they'll see you having fun and want to try it out too.
    Last edited by 1clue; April 2nd, 2019 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #32
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    You're looking at this as a consumer. Tweak something.


    I am actually. I'm looking at it like most people do. Linux users are a different breed to put it mildly. We are not "most people". What I wrote is the stuff I first thought before I became a regular user of it after very little playing about with it. Most people don't look for the tweak part, they just want it perfect from the start. The more work they have to put in, the less they want it.

  3. #33
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Because it comes pre-installed. That's the bottom line. Regular users can't be bothered to install a different operating system. Which is fair. And if they had to install an operating system, Linux is just way easier to install, yes the GUI for windows installation looks pretty but my god, I had to diskpart my drives to get them into the right filesystem to install the OS.. Linux GUI installers have three next buttons to press and you are good to go.

    If Ubuntu came pre-installed people would use it. No questions asked. It's easier to find solutions and alternatives after you are already in the OS, few people would go bother with downloading, pirating, buying Windows, downloading a ISO USB writer, it's a hassle.
    Last edited by lisati; April 3rd, 2019 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Language

  4. #34
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    I guess one solid reason is that Windows 10 is really good. But not only that, Windows is cool. They added dark themes to make it look more modern and even hinting at updated the look of file explorer this year. Microsoft gets it and their hardware isn't bad too.
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  5. #35
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjeremiah View Post
    I guess one solid reason is that Windows 10 is really good. But not only that, Windows is cool. They added dark themes to make it look more modern and even hinting at updated the look of file explorer this year. Microsoft gets it and their hardware isn't bad too.
    we are talking about desktop here (because in server Linux is more popular i believe).

    and when you install the software it works. you usually don't get strange issues to resolve. like for example when i tell Battle for Wesnoth to go full screen, it turns on (!) the second monitor (TV) and places itself there in full screen. with all the permission restricions in linux you would expect that a game would't be able to activate the deactivated screen.

    or when i exit the OpenMW game i get flickering when two windows are displayed.

    when i exit dosbox instead of getting previous resolution i get 640x480 with huge fonts and everything is in corner. it used to work nicely before and got proper desktop resolution and all on exit, but does no longer work. i had occasionally experience that on windows 98, but on windows XP this would happen only (occasionally) when full screen game crashed.

    or "usually" (on stable version such as enterprise or pro) the software (from their repositories) that works, doesn't just stop working after you did a software update.

    these are just a couple of small annoyances that i found so far. i didn't really have time to deal with the system that much and i've mostly been using only browser. but kids had some complaints since they do games a bit more. anyway to me they are minor annoying things. but i know this kind of thing happens with some other software and plenty of it is down to system and how they maintain their repositories.

    most importantly these noticeable annoyances never happened on any windows OS i used so far.
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  6. #36
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tadaen_Sylvermane View Post
    I am actually. I'm looking at it like most people do. Linux users are a different breed to put it mildly. We are not "most people". What I wrote is the stuff I first thought before I became a regular user of it after very little playing about with it. Most people don't look for the tweak part, they just want it perfect from the start. The more work they have to put in, the less they want it.[/COLOR]
    Which brings us back to the fact that Linux wasn't intended for "most people." It was made BY people who were dissatisfied with Windows and Mac OS, who wanted something different, and went about building it. It was made FOR people with the same viewpoint, who all worked on some project they felt was poorly represented in the commercial world, and who were working on something which did what they wanted to do better than the commercial sector did. You can use my code, please share yours with me.

    Originally it mostly happened in an academic or scientific community, and sharing was just how you did things. Later that got formalized into what we now call FOSS, (FOSS started before Linux. I'm talking about more than just Linux here) and people accepted that you might not share anything right away, or even ever. But the premise was that people who used FOSS software eventually did something for the FOSS community in return. Documentation, paid enhancements, even hiring a developer from the project you were interested in to have them install the software on your commercial server.

    On Windows you are a customer because you buy a license to use Windows. Most people buy it with the computer they bought, it's built in. Others buy a box with a license in it, or these days you buy the license from a website and download the software.

    On Linux you are NOT a customer. You are a member of the community. While these days many community members are not contributing back, the premise is the same. Somehow, the community should be in a better position because of your presence. Now or in the future does not matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaka4 View Post
    Because it comes pre-installed....
    This is a remarkably good point. One of the original arguments for Ubuntu was that it was easier to install than Windows. When I first saw it, I was already a dyed-in-the-wool Linux user. I don't even remember what distros I was using at the time. A coworker called me over to his desk, stuck a hand-burned CD into an old laptop, booted it and started a timer. From power on to rebooting into the native desktop was 5 minutes, this was installing it onto the hard drive. It's more complicated than that now, or at least last time I installed a desktop version it was.

    At that time installing Windows onto a system took a good hour or more for a basic install. We were IT people in a company with hundreds of employees, so we actually had to install Windows fairly often. So the argument that Ubuntu was easier to install than Windows seemed valid.

    But that's not how it works. People don't install Windows. They don't install Mac OS. Or Android, or iOS. They buy a gadget that has everything already installed. It's a tough sell to go from that to even a 5-minute install process.

    Quote Originally Posted by tjeremiah View Post
    I guess one solid reason is that Windows 10 is really good. But not only that, Windows is cool. They added dark themes to make it look more modern and even hinting at updated the look of file explorer this year. Microsoft gets it and their hardware isn't bad too.
    That's true too. Microsoft has spent billions of dollars and decades of time to make a product that is useful to mainstream users. It's shiny. It's cohesive. It works. It has the world's largest collection of software built for it. It's socially acceptable. It has a really really big advertising budget and a lot of experts in every city who will talk it up.

    It's what everyone wants, except for the people who don't want it.

    In my opinion, we should be happy that Microsoft makes Windows, and that Apple makes Mac OS X. The people who are attracted to those will go buy whatever systems they want, with whatever OS they like and whatever software they like.

    That means that the Linux community has neither obligation nor incentive to build something for those guys. Microsoft and Apple can have those consumers. Some of us maybe ARE those consumers. There's a Mac sitting on my desk, sometimes I use it to connect to a VPN for my work. My wife uses a Windows 10 laptop. They're fine for what we use them for. My main desktop is Ubuntu. I have a half dozen systems in my house, and the rest of them are Linux of various distributions. There is no shame in mixing commercial operating systems and free ones. There's no shame in having multiple systems of various Linux distributions. I can't even imagine a reason why it wouldn't be that way.

    If you want something like Windows, then get Windows. If you want something like a Mac, then get a Mac. If you like Linux, then get Linux. Get all three if that's what you like.

  7. #37
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1clue View Post
    FOSS started before Linux. I'm talking about more than just Linux here
    Indeed, it was just "FS" then.

    The OS came later, in both relevant uses of the initials. https://lists.debian.org/debian-deve.../msg01641.html

    Quote Originally Posted by 1clue View Post
    the Linux community has neither obligation nor incentive to build something for those guys. Microsoft and Apple can have those consumers.
    For better or worse, Microsoft and Apple are now among the developers. They are part of the "community", technically speaking-- and being monopolistic corporations, they are also not part of it. But they are, in ways that are difficult to deny. You use Webkit? I realise it was KHTML first, it's still something that Apple made. CUPS? Apple. While macOS uses nano and bash. I'm not saying there isn't a distinction, but it's getting trickier. I can still tell the difference-- but what is it, though?
    Last edited by freemedia2018; April 4th, 2019 at 06:24 PM.

  8. #38
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by freemedia2018 View Post
    Indeed, it was just "FS" then.

    The OS came later, in both relevant uses of the initials. https://lists.debian.org/debian-deve.../msg01641.html



    For better or worse, Microsoft and Apple are now among the developers. They are part of the "community", technically speaking-- and being monopolistic corporations, they are also not part of it. But they are, in ways that are difficult to deny. You use Webkit? I realise it was KHTML first, it's still something that Apple made. CUPS? Apple. While macOS uses nano and bash. I'm not saying there isn't a distinction, but it's getting trickier. I can still tell the difference-- but what is it, though?
    FOSS: Yes, but RMS was doing his stuff prior to Linus getting involved.

    Microsoft and Apple, and many others: Yes, I also pointed out the platinum members of the Linux Foundation in this thread.

    Cups, yes it's clearly apple and no big deal. Many corporations have contributed large or small bits of software or money to the cause of FOSS. Uneducated Linux users seem to think that every commercial enterprise is automatically the enemy, but don't realize that a hefty part of what they use right now either started as commercial software or was built by commercial entities as a contribution to FOSS. Many FOSS device drivers are a direct contribution from the manufacturer. Wine is a FOSS subset of a commercial product.

    VirtualBox is GPL but the extension pack with much of the functionality is not. How can that be, you might ask? Because VB is owned by Oracle, and they can release their software under more than one license.
    VMware has some parts under GPL and others under proprietary license.

    The thing we need to be careful about is when a commercial entity either releases or embraces an app or API, and then extends it while only offering the extension as commercial software. The example was when Microsoft bought github. Some (myself included) feel that Microsoft will use their embrace-extend-extinguish philosophy with that and other FOSS projects.

    As for commercial enterprises using FOSS software, that's a no-brainer. It has happened since day 1. There's no law against it. Most of it was designed around the idea of making money with it, and the authors of packages like apache web server and perl and whatever else used their professional experiences as input to the product.

  9. #39
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1clue View Post
    Uneducated Linux users seem to think that every commercial enterprise is automatically the enemy
    No, no no-- not "automatically." By their nature, monopolies are the antithesis of freedom. You cannot have freedom AND a monopoly. You cannot have a monopoly AND freedom. The free software movement knows this. The "open source" movement pretends not to know this.

    It has nothing to do with commercial vs. non-commercial. Commercial is fine. It has everything to do with monopoly vs. non-monopoly. There's the problem, and when open source stands up to it-- great. But usually, open source cozies right up to monopolies. Microsoft always strives to be a monopoly. Linus says it's about hatred of Microsoft. This is a straw man-- the hate is towards abuse from monopolies, of which Microsoft is only one.

    Lots of people realise where their software comes from. The official narrative is that you should just be grateful, no matter the cost-- as long as there's no money charged for it.

    But those people are also aware of the modus operandi of large corporations. A lot of "new shiny" comes with strings attached. You can't have freedom AND strings. Free software (mostly) knows better than that. Everybody else has had close to 3 decades to figure out that the two are mutually exclusive.
    Last edited by freemedia2018; April 5th, 2019 at 02:59 AM.

  10. #40
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    Re: Why is Windows still the dominant operating system?

    Please stay on topic.

    Thanks!

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