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Linux has been with us for a quarter of a century, and the fact it’s still going strong is testament to its lasting appeal. However, the open-source operating system has never quite broken out into the mainstream on desktops, with a market share sticking at around 2 percent.

That small minority of users are passionate about Linux, as evidenced by the number of readers who regularly visit our Linux section. But it’s still a minority, no matter how the figures are presented. Which led us to wonder whether Linux is doomed to remain a niche operating system.

Peak Apple

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from two weeks ago, when we asked, “Do You Think Apple Has Peaked?

Out of a total of 367 votes, 39.5% chose “Yes, but their downfall will take a long time,16.9% chose “No, but they will peak eventually,12% chose “Yes, and they’ll slump fast,11.7% chose “Who cares?!,10.9% chose “Apple’s future is unpredictable,” and 9% chose “No, they’ll keep on growing forever.

The votes are so spread out it’s difficult to draw many conclusions from these results. A slight majority believe Apple has indeed peaked, although the rate of the company’s downfall is still up for debate. It could take years, or it could take decades, but surely nothing lives forever The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Apple: A Brief History The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Apple: A Brief History The success of Apple indeed lies with their attitude of "Thinking Differently". While the company may not have always been heralded as a success, their strength over the years has come from great vision and... Read More .

More interesting is the astonishing nine percent of people who believe Apple is invincible, which suggests that fanboys are alive and well Goodbye, Apple Fanboys: Is The Internet Falling Out Of Love With Cupertino? Goodbye, Apple Fanboys: Is The Internet Falling Out Of Love With Cupertino? Recent headlines make us wonder: is Apple finally losing its sheen? Are the fanboys disappearing? Read More , even here on MakeUseOf. And then there are the 11.7 percent who don’t care but chose to vote regardless. Bless ’em.

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Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from withheld, macoszero, and Hildegerd. Comment Of The Week goes to Dave (no relation), who earns our admiration and affection for this comment Do You Think Apple Has Peaked? [MakeUseOf Poll] Do You Think Apple Has Peaked? [MakeUseOf Poll] People have been predicting the downfall of Apple for as long as there has been an outlet for such thoughts. And yet the Apple wagon keeps on rolling on. Read More :

I believe that Apple has stopped being innovative and is now just tinkering, doing the small stuff, marking time. I stopped buying Apple hardware as a conscious choice based on cost and benefit, and have not regretted that decision, though I continue to use OSX as a hackintosh until what I assume will be an eventual return to Windows when MS gets their act together again. Windows is not as pretty but it’s a better OS IMHO.

I think history will show that Apple was the greatest bubble of all time and after Jobs, their success was based on nothing much more than an ability to dumb-down the technology to attract fashionistas by the million. Case in point: The iPad. Comes in with hype. No keyboard required. next thing, 3rd-party keyboards come into existence to fill the obvious gap: 80% gadgetry and fashion hype, 20% usefulness. Bubble’s already bursting. The Apple watch? Puhlease, it’s just ugly and needs an iPhone to be useful. It’ll appeal to joggers I expect..

We chose this comment because the idea that Apple is in itself a technology bubble is a rather original and intriguing one worth exploring in greater detail. This also comes from someone who formerly bought Apple hardware but has now stopped doing so. Which could be the shape of things to come.

Long Live Linux

Those people who use Linux tend to love Linux 5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell 5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell Linux may have been a scary operating system before, but all of that has changed in recent years. These myths, which are more accurately called lies, are now dead. Read More , and won’t have anything negative said about their operating system of choice. They have formed a cohesive community that is passionate about the product it has chosen to support. If only that community was larger thanks to more people using Linux.

We want to know whether you personally have either switched to Linux 7 Warning Signs That You're Meant to Switch to Linux 7 Warning Signs That You're Meant to Switch to Linux I was a Windows user for years, but was doing things that have taught me I'm a Linux user at heart. Wondering if you're a secret Linux user? Here are the warning signs. Read More or ever considered doing so. If Yes, what operating system did you abandon in favor of Linux? If No, why has Linux never been on your radar? Please answer the question honestly to help us compile usable results.

Please vote in the Poll above, and then explain in the comments section below why you voted that way. If you have switched to Linux then let us know why you did so, and which distro you chose The Best Linux Distros for First Time Switchers from Windows and Mac The Best Linux Distros for First Time Switchers from Windows and Mac Linux has an intimidating image, making it seem like it would be difficult to start using it. But the switch from Windows and Mac is actually pretty easy, if you can ease yourself into it. Read More ? If you have never even contemplated switching to Linux, then what prompted that decision?

The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. In other words, voting in the Poll tells us something, but adding detail in the comments section below tells us a whole lot more.

The best Comment Of The Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we all meet back here again this time next week when we’ll have a new question awaiting your input.

Image Credit: Adam Harvey via Flickr

  1. Erwin
    April 28, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I consider Linux a good choice for a secondary computer, or a computer for children you want to monitor. But not for the main computer of the average user. I will describe below my adventure of installing Linux on an older PC and why I think there are a few put-offs or hurdles that can scare away the general public.

    I myself am an electronics engineer with a software background, so usually pretty capable of solving technical issues and configuration problems and to get things working (in fact, the Linux system works and is still in active use). However I have reached a mindset where I don't want to spend hours getting something to work. I want it to work out of the box. In that respect I am a good representative of "the general public".

    So, here we go.

    A few years ago I got a cheap wiped computer from my work so I had to get an OS for it. And given the price, Linux was an obvious choice for a computer which remaining life time was a question mark.

    As it was a relatively old PC I wanted to use a lean version of Linux, so I started the search for the best distribution in this regard.

    Hurdle #1: The number of distributions.

    The number of distributions is just staggering. For the love of God, why does everyone who is mildly dissatisfied with a specific option of an otherwise perfectly acceptable distribution leave the group and spawn a new branch with another distro?

    Just going through a table with the list of distros is annoyingly tiring, let alone finding out what all these listed distros actually are and why I should choose for them.

    The disadvantage of Windows is that you have to accept what MS shoves down your throat, but at least everyone has to accept it and there is just one company to blame for the frustrations. With Linux, who can I blame? The community? Far too complex :-)

    Anyway, in the end I decided to leave the customized distros alone (who guarantees they will not be abandoned in the near future?) and go for debian. I read this was a distro that you can set up very minimalistically and install packages as you need them. You can't get more lean than that.

    After some research I found that LXDE is a lean desktop manager that can be made to look like Windows, so I went for that one.

    Installation was fairly straightforward, if you don't mind partitioning hard disks, assigning swap partitions and the like. I was pleasantly surprised that ALL hardware was recognized out of the box during installation. I had an external USB wifi adapter, and even that one was recognized. Kudos.

    Hurdle #2: Making changes to the "start menu" in LXDE is a major PITA

    After installation, I installed extra packages, and not always did they end up in the start menu where I'd liked them to be. So I tried to change it.

    In Windows, you open the start menu folder and drag stuff around until it suits you. Here, I had to find a configuration file, copy it to my home folder in the correct location and edit it. There is a GUI tool for this, but it didn't work, also not when run with sudo. So I had to resort to editing the text file. But, didn't work for some reason either. I don't remember what exactly the problem was, but do remember that it took me about 2 evenings reading web pages, man files etc to get it to work. For new applications I just accept the place where they are put at install time, not worth the effort to find out again what to do. Note

    However, the "general public" will probably not use LXDE but whatever their distro thows at them by default, which will probably be KDE or Gnome or Unity. So this hurdle might not apply there.

    Hurdle #3: I want firefox, not iceweasel.

    My preference for Firefox over Iceweasel (I don't like packages that have a delay before getting updated) made me download it from the Mozilla web site directly and install it using dpkg. Didn't work out of the box, took me another evening to get that running.

    Also, I would have thought automatic FF updates would work, but they don't. I'm still on the FF version I freshly installed about 2 years ago. FF complains about it each time I start but I don't want to spend another evening updating the thing. Maybe I'll switch over to iceweasel anyway (grumble grumble).

    Hurdle #4: No Silverlight, and only an old version of Flash

    Silverlight is not on Linux by default. It is possible to install an archaic "moonlight" package but it is not maintained anymore and is not compatible with the latest Silverlight security measures. Every pro-Linux web site tells me that Silverlight will die soon anyway and that it is not worth investing time into getting things working anymore. I should not be using Silverlight anyway, as it is evil.

    Well, it so happens that needing Silverlight is not my own choice. The streaming web sites I use make use of only silverlight, and as such I cannot use these sites with Linux. Period. I don't care if these web sites should offer alternatives. They don't. And for this reason alone I would always need a Windows computer next to my Linux box until they do.

    Hurdle #5: I wanted to use my TV as second screen, the display adapter supports multiple displays. The TV has a VGA input. The resolution that the TV supports wasn't listed by the driver.

    This had me reading several web sites that described hsync and vsync and a whole lot of other parameters that should be put in a line in a file. These lines are different for each TV so you have to find a table that lists your TV and copy the line for your TV into that file. My TV wasn't listed, but a model that looked close enough so copied it and hoped for the best. And it worked. But man... Windows just has a "list all modes" option and lets you try other settings if the PnP doesn't recognize the proper settings.

    Hurdle #6: Upgrading killed my GUI, my USB wifi and left me with a command prompt login.

    When I upgraded from the previous stable version to wheezy I was left with a command prompt login. Eh???

    Yes I know I should have made a backup yadda yadda yadda but come on. Took me another evening or 2 to fix. I had it set up such that I did not need to enter a password, it would immediately go to the desktop. Now I get a login screen each time. Didn't bother to find out if it can be disabled but I did get the feeling of getting security shoved down my throat Microsoft style.

    Then, my USB wifi adapter didn't work anymore. Never got it to work anymore either. So now I have a UTP cable running to the PC.

    Conclusion

    All in all, I found it fun to get the system running. I would use it as my secondary system. I would also install it for any computer illiterate person who manages to trash their Windows installation within weeks with viruses and the like, if I were the sysadmin. There is just no way a simple user can trash a Linux system the same way as a Windows system, because .exe files don't work by default.

    However, for the general public my installation had way too many problems and limitations. It might be that using Ubuntu is more straightforward, however its reputation is that it needs recent hardware and can be slow. And many Linux distributions may find their way to older computers, where Ubuntu is not the obvious choice.

    Just my $0.02, YMMV etc...

    • Gregory Coe
      May 29, 2015 at 1:46 am

      If you ever decide to try again, please try Zorin, it is built to look and work just like Windows 7 so every aspect is easy and familiar. I have been using Zorin OS for over five years and would never go back to Windows, everything just works and with the newest LTS Zorin 9 its is supported until the end of 2019. Go to zorin.com and look it over and give it a try, you won't be sorry.

    • Erwin Timmerman
      May 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I actually tried that a few weeks ago on another cheap old computer, I used Zorin 9 Lite. And I must say, I was impressed. Installation went flawless, it recognized all hardware and was up and running in about half an hour. It had Firefox installed (yay!) and looks indeed very much like Windows. Even the windows-key+arrow-keys work the same as W7, very convenient. However, some of the hurdles still stand: #1 To use this distro, you first need to find it. The number of distros is way too high. While good for choice, it also decreases the user base (and inherent forum support) per distro significantly, and simply is confusing for an average user looking for a free Windows replacement. #2 I installed some extra software and wanted to add it to the quick launch bar by dragging their icons, didn't work. Zorin Lite uses LXDE and I'm not touching it to change anything, last time I did that on my other system the complete bar disappeared and I had to go through all kinds of system menus to get it back. #4 Haven't tried silverlight yet, but I did read somewhere that Zorin has limited support for Silverlight. We'll see. #5 Tried to connect my TV, and ran into the same problems, the GUI tool for xrandr only shows the modes it recognizes from the TV, which are not all modes that the TV can support. With sudo I tried a commandline command (I think it was xrandr with arguments) to change the display refresh rate but it didn't do anything. Command prompt came back without error (which usually means the command completed successfully) but the refresh rate didn't change. #6 the DVD drive is not recognised as such by Wine programs, even when the wine settings seem to be correct. But, for a standard Internet box this distro works fine. I could recommend this as an alternative for, for example, a chromebook.

  2. aaaa
    April 26, 2015 at 4:14 am

    I am considering dumping all software associated with microsoft. Large corporations hand in hand with the government are always a bad idea to the people

  3. Giacomo Birindeli
    April 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I had a Windows server for a long time. It scared me to think that i will have to type commands in order to manage my server. So i delayed my changing of operating systems.

    It took a complete hacking of my server to finally accept my friends advice of switching to Linux.
    I even changed my web hosting company. The previous one had a bad support. So, I went to https://rosehosting.com ordered a server with Centos 6 OS.
    At first, i was a beginner just learning his trade.
    It took months of typing, failing configurations etc... to start understanding the Linux system.
    What i love the most is organisational structure of Linux and that cannot be easily penetrated as Windows can.

    I wish i started with Linux way earlier.

  4. daniel
    April 20, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I switched to linux due windows license problem. I bought windows with my PC. god damn it! I tried to issue microsoft, but my country is a total crap (-_-)
    they refused to give me a new key or even tell me the old one

    since it, I only use linux. I 'll hate micro$oft forever and I'll never ever buy something from them
    . But I must admit, linux is not a perfect system and the main problem is that there are some professional programs in which I work that simply does not run on linux.

    For this reason I'll have to pay for a macbook, sooner or later.

  5. Eddy
    April 19, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I switched to Linux about a decade ago and I must say, I don't feel I am missing out on anything I would search for in an OS.

    The lack of $$-comercial games comes from the lack of interest in porting them to linux in my opinion, but there are really amazing games for Linux as well...

    I don't give much about games, anyways. I think it's mostly a waste of time.

    Linux is supporting almost all hardware available. I don't have any compability issues since years.

    In the beginning, like a decade ago one had to look around in the internet for some hardware specific issues, thats true, but I must admit I would never had learned as much about computers and internals of an OS if I didnt dedicate in solving those problems on my own.

    That time it was challenging, but haveing full control over your OS and learning how stuff works was more valuable than wasting time on playing games...

  6. trip
    April 16, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    long time mac user, bought a netbook years ago because i thought they're neat, they still are.

    it was a dell mini 10v, the ultimate hackintosh netbook, i triple booted it following the instructions on a lifehacker article i believe, and allocated a measly 2gb to check out Linux, it was Ubuntu netbook remix 9.10.

    i was at first frustrated that the wifi didn't immediately work, but it was a simple matter of connecting via ethernet and installing the proprietary drivers that cannot be included legally in Ubuntu. after that i was so impressed at the speed and rock solidness of it and all the included software out of the box, and it somehow installed in only 2gb of space!!

    over the next weeks i tinkered with it more and more, and loved the system, but also started learning about the philosophy behind free software and the many communities and amazing projects creating awesome stuff (GIMP, Blender, Darktable, Krita, Shotwell,etc.).

    the other 2 systems on the netbook, the main one being OSX because i wanted a mac netbook, and windows 7 ultimate, got less and less use and i kept shrinking and eventually deleting partitions(no windows at all). today i still have that netbook and i still use it on occasion, although never for the mac partition which i still maintain on there, but to play around and test lightweight distros, currently running manjaro e17 blazingly fast, and on only a 1gb ram 1.6ghz atom 32bit netbook. it's faster now than it was the day i received it.

    Linux has been mostly very good to me, and my main distro, Ubuntu(Unity) is very polished, although not yet at feature parity with the big commercial OS's.

    i've actually had less headaches and frustration with Linux based OS's than any proprietary OS i've ever used. updating and installing software is a breeze, and i've got everything i need even if i miss a few handy/better apps from OSX and i must run some windows software with Play on Linux(WINE).

    it works, and it's totally a viable alternative for many computer users out there. my mom and dad in their 70's use Ubuntu without any problems whatsoever.

  7. Mikael
    April 14, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I am running OS X and Windows 7, both at work and at home.
    And Linux on my Pi of course..

    I've tried out 30+ different Linux distro's during the last 15 years and there's always something, that does annoy me, or doesn't work as it should. Mostly drivers, and wifi, have problems. Cable network works fine.

    Currently I feel that Zorin is the best for Desktop use.
    And Ubuntu Server, and Debian, is the best for Server use.

  8. Anon
    April 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I started with Ubuntu 8.04, I moved to ArchLinux in 2010 and I'm still with it. Amazing distribution for an amazing OS. I'm looking veeery forward for GNU Hurd...

  9. Mario
    April 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    My first experiences with Linux have not been the best. I had installed Ubuntu 12.04 on an older Dell laptop and I ran into driver issues after a month of use. But after that first negative experience, I started doing more research and watched several videos on YouTube and found it really interesting. Other distros such as Linux Mint and Manjaro have worked great on that older machine, which could not handle Windows 7 very well. I plan to install Linux Mint 17.2 alongside Windows 10 (which I will upgrade to from Windows 7) in the summer.

  10. gene
    April 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Tried several times, still to hard, if possible at all to install printers or any hardware.

  11. Coldfire001
    April 1, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    So to explain my "Other" comment from the voting. I have tried multiple times to install linux but constantly get a "kernal panic". In endeavoring to fix it a lot of people know a lot of stuff but nothing definitive and as of so far I have been able to fix my problem.

  12. Rick
    April 1, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Almost every time I use Windows I get frustrated. I started messing around with Linux on a limited basis a few years ago, running puppy linux from a thumb drive. Yes, there was a learning curve, and it took time for me to become proficient and learn how to use Linux. And I'm still learning. But I almost never use Windows for anything at all now - only a couple of Windows-only Garmin applications that work with my gps really. When I use Linux, I am almost never disappointed by its speed, performance, and it doing exactly what I tell it to do. Now I use Peppermint Linux on a regular basis, though mostly for fun and what few things I can't do on Android and Chrome OS - as most might know are also Linux based. Once you learn the basics of Linux, it becomes a joy to use, but I do think you have to have a bit of a geeky side to get there. If that's not your cup of tea, the Windows may still be a better platform, but it's no longer for me.

  13. Jim Schofer
    April 1, 2015 at 1:28 am

    I have considered using linux as my main OS very strongly, but in the end I find it extremely difficult to fully switch.

    While I love some of the features that linux as a whole presents to me There are some things that still hold me back from joining the platform. Those things boil down to

    1)Hard to install many pieces of 3rd party software(even when they are supported)

    Tar files are terrible offenders when it comes to trying to get it to install properly(not all, but most that I have seen)

    .deb files are pretty acceptable - the file extension puts me off though, as there should be an extension that doesn't point towards a single distro in my opinion.

    .rpm files I assume are fairly easy to work with but since the distros I checked out (ubuntu/mint) don't support them it meant opening up the dreaded command line again.(as a user:terrible)

    2)Lack of "emergency" control features.

    In windows -> control, alt, delete.

    In linux -> ?

    first off, this is important to me as user. It should be easier to figure out this magic combination or couple of magic combinations.

    The closest I found was a couple of commands : xkill to kill apps., control alt backspace to restart display.

    Xkill is ok I guess, but opening up the command line sucks, there are some GUI solutions to this but a good one should be bundled with the OS.

    Now, in windows there is this great emergency screen that can help you solve problems that may come up and bog up your system : this occasionally happens even in linux (at least in my experience it did)

    There should be some equivalent menu that helps you stop problematic apps/features if there is ever a need : putting the system monitor,command line and other emergency things in an emergency menus would make things alot better (in my opinion).

    3)Lack of software and documentation of API's

    As a developer, I find it frustrating that there is a lack of software, but it's my job to create this type of stuff..no worries I can just write solutions to those problems..But there is a lack of documentation when it comes to trying to write software for the OS - I had no idea where to start. I eventually discovered the main ways GUI applications are wrote for the system but still - a lack of tutorials and documentation for the systems I am supposed to be interacting with distract me from doing what I want with the OS.

    4)X11 display server.
    I don't know a whole lot about this problem : but this thing is old..like really old..It's still what powers the screen? I hope wayland or mir fixes this complaint of mine soon..

    5)Lower that learning curve!

    First off, I will start by saying that linux is far more equipped to be my main OS than I had ever initially thought - the main complaints and rumors do this OS no justice in my opinion - I had very little problems with getting the display or drivers to work and it's nothing like DOS - despite the general mutterings of people who have never even laid eyes on the system, this is a very modern OS capable of doing what many people would want from it - video/video editing, audio/audio editing, recording, images/image editing putting/sharing photos on the system, browsing the net with modern tech like HTML5, flash, Steam service ect. is all there and I think more people should give this OS a shot at the very least.

    now, if you really want the mainstream audience to ever adopt linux. The developers working with linux need to make that command line disappear FOREVER with the regular user. I know for a fact there are some command line situations that already have solutions - they just aren't included in the OS or available in a bundle, which completely boggles my mind. If there is something the regular user wants to do - it should be able to be done with the GUI and the first/easiest way to do it should be with the GUI.

    After the command line is gone forever : add more help features and make existing features more accessible.

    some of the programs installed need better/more keywords added to them because its sometimes hard to get them to show up. Most users go crying to the start menu for help whenever there is a problem and in windows - the problem is almost always fixable.

    In linux - sometimes the problem the user faces is fixable. Google helps but when it comes to using the system it should be as easy as windows..or very close.

    Overall I hold linux in a positive light, its a superior OS to windows in my opinion - which pisses me off/makes me sad because if more people used/supported linux we could have everyone on the OS by now because the biggest problems can be fixed by popularity and funding that comes from popularity. The would be so many benefits to gain if we had more people on the system : better security, better versatility, better appearance(and you choose the appearance..not the colors), better privacy, non-annoying updates(in one location!), less resource usage(at least in my case, when compared to windows)

    Well that it for my rant, these are the biggest problems that hold me back from using linux on my desktop.

  14. Msg
    March 31, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I love Linux Mint 17.1 to bits, but it does come with a couple of irritating niggles (for me personally) that make me wonder whether I can reinstall Windows 7 as a partition with my Linux OS . I'd never give up Linux for Windows, though - not now that I've used something far superior to Windows (in my opinion).

    You always see blogs talking about how to partition Linux with Windows (which I didn't do because I couldn't understand the instructions and because I wanted to be shot of everything Microsoft anyway), but not the other way around.

    So I'd flushed Windows completely from my pc and replaced it with Linux Mint 17 last year, never thinking I'd ever need to reinstall Windows again (by now you can surely tell that I'm no tech expert, can't you?!).

    For instance - gMTP doesn't work with a windows 8 phone (which is what I unfortunately have), so if you were hoping to be able to transfer files smoothly and simply between your smart phone and Linux Mint desktop, you're kind of out of luck - as far as software goes, anyway.

    My workaround for that annoyance is to 'email' things to myself in order to transfer music, documents and photos from desktop to mobile, and vice versa (because I'm old fashioned like that and will never trust 'cloud' services - not even if the gods themselves created them).

    PlayOnLinux is fiddly, fussy, confusing, doesn't always work as intended, and downright atrocious when trying to play games like World of Warcraft - which is something that goes on a lot in our household on weekends.

    Linux Mint was incredibly easy to install (much easier than Windows, imo), especially for a technical dunce like me. Getting acquainted with it and customizing it as soon as it was installed, was a lot of fun and no drama whatsoever.

    It's private, customizable, comes with an enormous library of free software to choose from via the Software Manager - and is just generally a delight to use.

    There's a plethora of desktop images you can download for free from sites like Desktop Nexus for desktop themes - although Linux Mint does come with a few of its own.

    All in all, if you have an android phone and aren't a serious gamer, then I really think you'll be more delighted with Linux Mint than you could have imagined and will probably wonder why it took you so long to switch (or at least include it alongside Windows).

    I fell in love with it from day one (aside from the two small niggles mentioned) and can't imagine living without it.

  15. Home PC Help
    March 31, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I have been using Ubuntu since 12.04. Learned everything I could using Crouton on a Samsung Chromebook. Installed many, many distros on an old Toshiba, but it had too many strikes against it: ATI graphics card, Atheros (I think) wifi card, 1.5 GB RAM, Celeron. No matter what I threw at it, it didn't have the hardware to run a modern browser. It worked a little better with a usb wifi dongle.

    Then I purchased a cheap Toshiba C55-A5300 for $250 that took 16GB RAM, Celeron, etc., put Ubuntu 14.04 on it, and made a bunch of videos showing other noobs like me what they may want to do when setting up a new Linux distro: https://www.youtube.com/user/Usernameza09/videos.

    I use a Lenovo IdeaPad for work, running Win 8.1, w/ a touchscreen. At one point I was remoting to my work laptop from a new Acer Chromebook, also running Ubuntu 14.04, as it sat right next to my work laptop, just to avoid having to work on my Lenovo, lol.

    Now, for the bad/sad news! A couple of weeks ago BestBuy had a sale on Macbook Airs, so I picked up a 13" Early 2014 model with an 1.4 GHz Core I5 with 4GB Ram & 128GB SSD for $800.

    Being used to Ubuntu/Unity I find myself very comfortable in the Mac OS X Yosemite world, with the ability to add desktops, gestures to get around the desktops and open programs, etc. Now I do most of my work on it, unless it requires a local file download, then I will go back to the Lenovo for a bit to complete that task.

    I am also running Win 10 in a VM on my Toshiba, and I am just as enthused about it as I was 8.1. I am not going to use it.

    I will use any OS you put in front of me. Learn how to secure it, update it, and find the most efficient workflow I can to make it work for me.

    After using Windows for an overwhelming period of my life, from IBM clones, until now. I can say I much prefer the Linux/Unix way.

    Voted: Other

  16. Home PC Help
    March 31, 2015 at 3:52 am

    I have been using Ubuntu since 12.04. Learned everything I could using Crouton on a Samsung Chromebook. Installed many, many distros on an old Toshiba, but it had too many strikes against it: ATI graphics card, Atheros (I think) wifi card, 1.5 GB RAM, Celeron. No matter what I threw at it, it didn't have the hardware to run a modern browser. It worked a little better with a usb wifi dongle.

    Then I purchased a cheap Toshiba C55-A5300 for $250 that took 16GB RAM, Celeron, etc., put Ubuntu 14.04 on it, and made a bunch of videos showing other noobs like me what they may want to do when setting up a new Linux distro: https://www.youtube.com/user/Usernameza09/videos.

    I use a Lenovo IdeaPad for work, running Win 8.1, w/ a touchscreen. At one point I was remoting to my work laptop from a new Acer Chromebook, also running Ubuntu 14.04, as it sat right next to my work laptop, just to avoid having to work on my Lenovo, lol.

    Now, for the bad/sad news! A couple of weeks ago BestBuy had a sale on Macbook Airs, so I picked up a 13" Early 2014 model with an 1.4 GHz Core I5 with 4GB Ram & 128GB SSD for $800.

    Being used to Ubuntu/Unity I find myself very comfortable in the Mac OS X Yosemite world, with the ability to add desktops, gestures to get around the desktops and open programs, etc. Now I do most of my work on it, unless it requires a local file download, then I will go back to the Lenovo for a bit to complete that task.

    I am also running Win 10 in a VM on my Toshiba, and I am just as enthused about it as I was 8.1. I am not going to use it, unless work dictates it.

    I will use any OS you put in front of me. Learn how to secure it, update it, and find the most efficient workflow I can to make it work for me.

    After using Windows for an overwhelming period of my life, from IBM clones, until now. I can say I much prefer the Linux/Unix way.

  17. Cenneth
    March 31, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Switching 'completely' isn't quite an option for me (unlike it seems, many of the people in this poll) because I actually like Windows as well. Instead, I dual boot, resulting in my vote for 'Other'. While I enjoy perfecting my Linux OS (Arch Linux! :D), I also appreciate the ease at which Windows allows me to boot into a usable environment and lets me get stuff done (plus use my favourite applications - heard of Daum Potplayer anyone?) even if that environment may not be perfect for me. As you can see, I'm not quite a fan of easy use Linux distribution (e.g. Mint, Ubuntu) - I have Windows for that kind of thing (which in my opinion, does 'ease of use' better).

  18. Xoandre
    March 31, 2015 at 1:43 am

    When Windows 7 Preview was released, I took the chance and tried out Linux, hoping that it would be an interesting and useful OS for a life-long Windows user.

    Nope.

    I gave it a good 2 weeks effort. I tried to get my files and programs to work, tried to find programs that were compatible with Linux to work with my files, but just could not get used to the bland, empty, hollow shell of a wanna-be Operating System that had little going for it.

    Harsh? yeah.

    I know it has uses to some people. But leaving Windows XP for Ubuntu Linux was like a fish climbing Mount Everest and hoping its gills would be able to survive the cold.

    There are certain things you get used to, expectations, needs, and essential aspects that make an Operating System usable. Linux is missing a heart and some "swag" if you will.

    Linux is not as compatible as it needs to be with Windows-based users to justify such a drastic alteration to their environment.

    Sure, I am certain that there are DISTROs better than Ubuntu by now, and some may be as "bloated" and have all the "swag" that we Windows users are accustomed to.

    But I still want the convenience of installing an OS that will IMMEDIATELY recognize my files, programs, and data without having to muck about online trying to find a conversion tool for my life.

    Windows 8 was a disaster, true. But it appears that Windows 10 may be a great alternative - especially now that it is allegedly free to all Win7,8,8.1 users.

    I'm willing to wait the few months remaining for Windows 10 to become a reality.

    • dragonmouth
      March 31, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      "Linux is not as compatible as it needs to be with Windows-based users to justify such a drastic alteration to their environment."
      If Linux was compatible with Windows, there would be no need to switch.
      BTW - it is Windows that is not compatible with Linux. Linux can read/write many Windows file formats while Windows will not read any of Linux's.

      " have all the “swag” that we Windows users are accustomed to. "
      By "swag" do you mean all that crapware that Microsoft's partners install on every Windows computer?

      "But I still want the convenience of installing an OS that will IMMEDIATELY recognize my files, programs, and data without having to muck about online trying to find a conversion tool for my life."
      That is why I stick with Linux. Windows will not recognize my files, programs and data without some serious conversion effort. But Linux will recognize Windows formats. :-)

  19. averyvh
    March 31, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Holy crap! 50% have switched to Linux? Those are way higher numbers than I would have expected. Though I suspect that the only people clicking on this article are people with strong opinions about Linux....

    Anyway I use Linux because it easily does what I need it to, cost less, much better UI, is much more customizable, more secure, and has better privacy.
    Downside is lack of support for many great things, but I have plenty of great Linux compatible games on steam, and libreoffice is good enough for school work. I only really switched over a few months ago, but now I cringe every time I boot Windows, which is only for playing Total War games with friends. I hope the Rome 2 port comes soon and actually has MP support, then I can ditch my small Windows partition for good!

    I honestly don't feel like I am missing out on much by not using Windows. Steam has tons of great indies, and there is starting to be a nice trickle of AAA's; civ5, ETW, and Paradox games are more than enough for a strategy fan!

  20. Dave
    March 31, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I would love to run it more BUT I want to run it from a thumb drive to see how I like it. I have tried several times to make a bootable thumbdrive but the instructions are not clear enough to follow.

    • trip
      April 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      you need unetbootin, it's a small and simple free program to create a bootable usb drive, with a customizable persistence mode even (remembers wifi passwords and u can save docs, etc.)

  21. Robert O
    March 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    I switched to Ubuntu for two years, then switched back to Windows 8.1 recently, but I am in no way declaring my eternal loyalty to Microsoft. My reasons for the switch are somewhat complicated, but for now, I am enjoying the wealth of software Windows offers, but I harbor the uneasy feeling that I my machine is much more susceptible to hacks, and that every move I make online is being catalogued.

    I ran Windows XP for much longer than recommended (Well into the Windows 7 era), but my machine died, and WinXP ties the license to the hardware signature, so I kit-bashed a new machine from spare parts and decided to give Ubuntu a spin. My primary use of my computing was Web browsing, and I discovered that Linux had me pretty well covered, with Firefox and Chrome both being available.

    Soon after I switched, Valve's "Steam" client was released, and much of my gaming cravings were satisfied, although primarily through "indie" games. I confess, though, that I really wanted to play many AAA games available to Windows gamers. "Wine," and especially "PlayonLinux" were essential tools for me to play some of my GoG-purchased games. With Linux, you're really missing out on a lot of games.

    As for productivity and creativity, I feel I was pretty well covered with Linux offerings, including LibreOffice, Softmaker FreeOffice, Blender 3D, MuseScore, LMMS, Gimp, FocusWriter, Inkscape, Netflix-desktop, and so forth. It would have been nice to have greater support in the commercial productivity software category, but for the most part, I was satisfied.

    Linux seemed to cover most of my bases, and it ran on limited hardware. So why did I switch back? It turns out that, even on Linux, a 64-bit processor is advantageous (I was still 32-bit), and I just had to face the fact that I needed a more modern machine to do the things I like to do. I couldn't hold back any longer.

    My new machine has Windows 8.1 installed, and now I can run all the software I ever dreamed of, including all the "free" software I was accustomed to (listed above). I installed "Classic Shell" to bypass the insipid "Metro" interface, and now I'm home.

    In my opinion, the only reason NOT to abandon Windows is the fact that it is so well-supported by software, commercial or otherwise. If I could run all the programs on Linux that I can on Windows, there would be no incentive at all to run Windows. Even at its current iteration, I don't feel Windows is particularly more functional or comfortable than Ubuntu/Mint. It just has better support from commercial vendors.

    I'm enjoying the freedom of being on a mainstream platform once again. But at the same time, I feel like Microsoft is watching my every move, and I wonder who else has hacked my machine. It's a very strange feeling, wondering if I'm being simultaneosly hooked into "Big Brother" and some criminal hacker group, just so I can play "Skyrim." Not that I'm doing anything wrong, but... why do I have to have a "Microsoft Account" to access my machine?

  22. Too paranoid to write my name
    March 30, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I dual boot Windows 10 TP (9926) and openSUSE 13.2 KDE. Tried many distros, all Ubuntu-based, and I think this is the distro for me. IMHO there aren't too many apps that run on Ubuntu that don't on openSUSE.

    Unfortunately I still have Windows hogging 343 GB of space on my 500 GB hard drive, need an excuse to get rid of it so I can actually multi-boot different distros...not a PC gamer, I use my Xbox One for that.

  23. Danie van der Merwe
    March 30, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I bought MS Vista and it was a mess. It made me try out Linux Mint in dual boot mode for a few months until I spent more and more time in Linux. Then I switched one day when the Vista partition picked up an error. It's been a good 5 years now or so and I've not looked back. I'm now on Kubuntu long term release as I've stopped going for the 6 month releases. I donate regularly to the Linux Mint as well as Ubuntu projects (it's my choice as I'm not forced to).

  24. Rafael A
    March 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Switched to Linux to mostly get rid of all the bloat that if running on my machine. I run Fedora (simillar to redhat which is what i use at work) and Arch linux. Also now i work full time on linux servers and being a linux admin I know how to get things done on linux. The power to do anything imaginable from command line and mostly with just a few commands is awesome. Not to mention my computer now is faster then before linux is incredibility light although some of the UIs can get big. To be fair though even working professionally with linux I had a difficult time getting nvidia drivers to work for the 970 .

  25. Fred Biles
    March 30, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I've tried different Linux distros a couple of different times on my home PC (most recently last year) but I always find myself going back to Windows. There were just too many games not available on Linux and too many apps that I didn't like the Linux versions as well. The deal breaker was when I couldn't get my stereo card to play in 5.1 surround sound on Linux when it does in Windows. I spent days looking for fixes but nothing worked.

  26. Alan S
    March 30, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I use Linux on my netbook but Windows on my desktop.

  27. John
    March 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I dropped Windows 8.1. Wiped it right off my hard drive. Sorry no going back now. Then I did a Rebecca installation because I got tired of bluetooth never connecting on bootup, the malware and the constant updates. Realistically, you only have to know a small subset in the Command line.

  28. Edgardo Gonzalez
    March 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I've switch to ubuntu in my laptop and not sure if give a try to WIndows 10 or fully switch to linux, the reason is still the software like adobe Ill try it this week and decide...
    Other barrier are the games... Lets see..
    If I'm able to install adobe with wine, I'll switch!

  29. BGPhilbin
    March 30, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I'm primarily using Windows, but I have installed Linux Mint in my old PC and it runs like a champ! I'm still new to the interface, so I haven't decided to make the leap on my other, newer PCs to Linux, but it will now be a viable option. Particularly once I've had the opportunity to get more experience under my belt.

  30. R A Myers
    March 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I'm sill primarily Windows. I have stock Ubuntu as my second boot system. I'm adding one program at a time. I wait until I get familiar with it before adding another program.

  31. apt insttall lunux
    March 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Linux is good for everyone, not everyone knows you need aggressive marketing such as Samsung are champions in marketing

  32. apt insttall lunux
    March 30, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Linux is good for everyone, not everyone knows you need aggressive marketing such as Samsung are champions in marketing

  33. Funky_Spingers
    March 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Long may Linux live as it is a great operating system but for one fatal flaw for me, gaming. I did consider switching but this one simple fact stops me every time. Windows still has the strangle hold on this one, although Linux is massively improving.

    I do have a Linux machine at home to keep up with this , but until it can catch up I'll be a windows man.

  34. James Howde
    March 30, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I'm in the thought about it not switched camp; for a couple of minor reasons.

    Mostly it's I know Windows, so switching would meaning a dip while I went back to being a total newebie. I don't see a huge advantage on the other side of that dip.

    Also, I don't know that I've got the right mentality to be a Linux user. You know like that Micro$oft make WinDoze for sheeple. I couldn't come up with that kind of witty sneering brilliance - I just couldn't.

  35. Kate
    March 30, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    A few years ago, I found Jolicloud when I had a Win 7 netbook. I was impressed with the speed of page-loading and the aesthetics. Jolicloud no longer runs an OS desktop, but I got interested enough to go to the local Linux Users group and learn more. Last summer, my newer PC, on which I'd been trying dual-boot, got totally screwed up by the Windows Security Update that, instead of fixing security, borked the OS so I could not use Win. I got so fed up I wiped it but still have not succeeded putting Linux on, either. I've now got my second Chromebook, this time with an Intel processor, 32G/4G RAM so I can use Ubuntu Unity. I pretty much stay on the Linux part, only going back to Chrome to update it and Crouton. I thought I would suffer either anxiety or regret at leaving Windows, but I like the greater customization options of Linux and have enjoyed getting geekier--ie. learning terminal commands, downloading via ppa's, using G Debi, and removing stuff via Synaptic. I feel more connected to the OS, less a passive "consumer." It's a bit challenging, therefore more fun. Also, don't miss the security paranoia I had with Windows.

    • Ed
      March 30, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Linux works great on Chromebooks through crouton. I use Ubuntu with Unity (have also used Gnome) on an Asus C200 with only 16GB SSD and 2GB RAM and it works great and responds smoothly. Chromebooks have been the only computers that Linux has been a painless install. Love chrome books.

  36. RM
    March 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I've tried Linux several times, either dual booted or VM and could never get the hang of it. Next, I'll give it another shot with XBMC on a Raspberry Pi2 as an HTPC. Hate WIn 8.1 so I would love to switch. Have some hope for Win 10.

  37. Marvin Goldstein
    March 30, 2015 at 11:29 am

    If Adobe products were compatible with Linux I'd switch faster than a heart-beat to eliminate Microsoft and Bill Gates !!!

  38. David Zalkin
    March 30, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I use Ubuntu - I was getting fed up with Windows' slowness and bugginess. I am happy with it; my wife, who is a computer newbie, also uses it.

  39. Saul
    March 30, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I would easily use Linux and did so. However, I got an iPhone and it is practicaly impossible to sync music or update via usb phone's software. Despite these points - I do agree that Linux is easy to use, fast and simple OS for everyday use. If You need Photoshop or other software - You have to look for other options.

  40. Stevie J Wright
    March 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I've been tinkering with Linux since about Ubuntu 8* I think, and have been seriously dual booting with whatever version of Windows I had since Ubuntu 10.10. Switched to Mint when Ubuntu went all daft with Unity. I've always used HP printers which have always worked 'out of the box' for me so no problems in that area. I used to use Dreamweaver to design and update the small website my wife has for her freelance business so that was the only thing that really tied me to keeping MS as I didn't like the way Dreamweaver ran in Wine. A few months back I switched the website to one of the 'design online' variety, Strikingly to be precise. I noticed after doing so that I very rarely used the MS system so a couple of weeks ago I took the plunge and installed Mint 17.1 on the entire drive. I really don't have much need for anything that Windows can offer. Mint suits my purposes to a tee. Having said that, I still have all the installation media needed to re-install either Windows 7 or 8/8.1 so I may give MS another go if the reviews for Win 10 are favourable, who knows? Either way I doubt if I'll ever go without Linux.

  41. Oneeyed
    March 30, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Interesting poll but I doubt it'll be very representative . Linux adopters are still, even now, mostly what some might call power users. At least, they are people who aren't afraid to deal with computers. So a poll on Makeuseof will probably be skewed in favor of Linux...

    I myself grew up on the various Microsoft OSes. My first OS was MS DOS 3 on a cheap PC 8086 (not even a 286 which was too expensive for me at the time), I followed the various iterations of DOS then Windows. My first attempt at trying Linux was many years ago with Red Hat which I didn't like much and uninstalled. Then again with Debian which I kept in dual boot with Windows XP for a time. My PC at the time broke and I bought a new one with Windows 8 pre-installed.

    Here is the thing though, unlike many people I didn't dislike Windows 8. With some tinkering to get rid of the Metro UI I thought it was a pretty good OS and I liked many of its features. But I was getting tired of not being able to have as much control on the OS as I wanted... Windows being pre-installed, if I wanted a clean reinstall, I would have to either contact the PC manufacturer for installation CDs with OEM software I definitely didn't want included or I'd have to buy new OS media at a prohibitive cost. So I formatted the whole thing and installed Linux instead, Xubuntu to be specific, and I'm planning on installing a minimal Debian when Jessie goes stable.

    I'm satisfied with my decision but I understand why someone would want to stay on Windows. Mainly I guess for proprietary software which don't have alternatives of good enough quality on Linux. On my home PC, it's not a problem though. Internet browser, media players, a basic text editor, some photo manipulation software and development tools (Python and FreePascal mostly) are really all I need and they are good enough on Linux. I still have a lot of old Windows games although I rarely play them anymore but from what I tested they are all playable without much difficulty via Wine.

  42. Von Adam Martinez
    March 30, 2015 at 4:41 am

    As a student whose school has windows PC's for its students, It is somehow hard to switch especially if the tool(C#) is specially made for windows only. I did a dual boot on my PC, one is windows 8 and the other one is CentOS. I find myself more productive on a linux environment because the games installed on my windows always catch my attention. I feel that there is more interaction between me and my PC when I use linux, I think the terminal makes me more attentive to what I'm doing in linux than on Windows since you just click on the buttons and the like. Hail Open Source!

  43. Ed
    March 30, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I use Linux on secondary systems. My HTPC is Linux with Kodi/XBMC. My phone is Android, my wife's phone is Android, her tablet is Android and my chrome book has Linux through crouton.

    My main laptop and my wife's main laptop run Windows. Why? Because I can be assured that Windows will run the software we need and work with any printer in the consumer market. I know the hardware in my laptops work with Windows because it is preinstalled and current drivers are just a download away and a simple setup.exe from an install.

    After building hundreds of PCs without a single worry that Windows and drivers will install painlessly, it just makes sense to stick with Windows for me. The same can't reliably be said for Linux with the near 100% success rate of Windows installs and associated drivers. There always seems to be some major pain when installing Linux on hardware. Either with graphics drivers or printer drivers or scanners or Wi-Fi. You just never know depending on the hardware.

    I don't mind stressing to get Linux to play nice on secondary devices, but I need my main devices to "just work". For me Windows is the common sense choice for this.

    Ideologically drawn to Linux, but realistically stick to Windows on main devices.

  44. Jake
    March 30, 2015 at 2:55 am

    My weekend started with me getting tired of VM performance of linux and I thought I'd resize my windows partition a bit just to add a little xubuntu install. WELL, after a failed attempt resizing with builtin Windows 8 tooling, I went to gparted and resized my drive....Then on restart I found that I totally botched my drive (turns out Windows 8 stores some mighty important stuff right at the end of the drive...nice move Windows team).

    After a few days of attempting to fix it with various methods, some inside windows recovery consoles some through gparted, I arrived at a totally broken ntfs partition and am now in the process of going full linux! I don't really mind, I know linux pretty well. I was just enjoying playing lots of windows games on a free Windows 8 install I got through my school. Hopefully I put all my important docs on my external like a good nerd...hopefully...Now it's back to full linux for me! I want to use Gnome 3.16 but no good distro support yet and XFCE's new update is really nice and xfdashboard is actually really cool too! It shouldn't be too hard to get Gnome 3 installed later once they release something stable for Ubuntu 14.10.

  45. Greg W.
    March 30, 2015 at 1:09 am

    I picked other. My desktop is Windows, since I like to be able to play games on it, and most games aren't supported by linux. As for my laptop, it's completely linux, right now it's mint, after getting sick of ubuntu. For what I do on my laptop, it works fine, and the better thing about it, is that people are "afraid" of linux, so they are less likely to try and play around on it, if I leave it running at work (fyi, I work as a chef in a restaurant, so most times, it's just doing simple paperwork and using spreadsheets). LibreOffice is a program that, for the most part, most people can use in replace of Microsoft Office, and it's free. Why pay $70 for office 365 or $200 for a full version.

  46. MorgantownProsthetist
    March 30, 2015 at 12:08 am

    dual boot but use ubuntu and lxle. they seem to work faster than windows and.... I am concerned about cost. even in windows I look alot to open source. linux is kinda the ultimate open source.

  47. Ahmed
    March 29, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I have been using Linux since 2006, and have tried Ubuntu as well as other distributions like OpenSuse, Mandriva and Mint.

    My desktop computer has Ubuntu installed in a dual-boot setup with Windows 7.

    My laptop is a MacBook Pro and I prefer OS X Yosemite to Ubuntu.

  48. David k
    March 29, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Switched to Linux, installed WINE, couldn't get any of my games working, ran back to Windows, it'll do.

    • trip
      April 16, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      try 'play on linux', it's pre-configured for lots of games, works great, then there's crossover which does an even better job. just sayin, if u wanna give it another shot, games support is getting better.

  49. Barry T
    March 29, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I switched to Ubuntu Linux in 2009 after getting fed up with how unreliable Windows had become, and have been pleasantly surprised at how fast, reliable and efficient Linux has been. I have occasionally tried Windows in the last few years to see if has improved, and have no regrets moving away from the slow, buggy and clumsy OS.

  50. gerry roush
    March 29, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    I switched to linux after nothing but constant problems with Microsloth Windoze , like the windows mwdia player still crashing with the same problems fore at least 5 years that I know of. and the constant trojans and viruses,even from playing Farmville !

  51. Pierre
    March 29, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I use and love Linux. Android is linux too!

  52. Dmitry
    March 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I'm basically ready to switch to Linux as more and more of software i thought essential turns to PoS with new versions so i replace 'em with OSS stuff. Major factor still keeping me on Windows is 20+ years of user experience and need to replace now-obsolete but well-working hardware some of which was(still is?) incompatible with major distros. And lazyness.
    I do not had as much free time anymore (so last time i really used Linux on one of my PCs was when Mandrake was THE THING, last PC HW upgrade was year Win8 arrived) so - while it (hardware with Win7/8.1) works - why i must bother?
    Of course if i invest in RPi2 or similar secondary non-PC device then Linux WILL be sure winner, but RL gets in the way of teaching old dog new tricks (and there's still too many non-computer tricks to learn).

  53. Karl
    March 29, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Left Windows 7 and the Windows latency for Linux Mint. Never looked back and couldn't be happier!

  54. likefunbuntot
    March 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I'm an "other."

    I manage *nix-based servers. I mostly use Windows for client systems, but I spend most of my actual computing time in remote sessions on whatever I'm working on, which is a mix of Fedora and Windows Server machines. I don't really care what I'm sitting in front of from moment to moment. A client machine is just a terminal for whatever system I'm really dealing with anyway; Windows is usually the path of least resistance, especially for laptops and mobile devices, or on computers that might have some kind of entertainment purpose. I'm familiar enough with all of the above that I just don't care.

  55. Cool Penguin
    March 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    10 years ago I was first introduced to linux, but the amount of time and effort required get over the learning curve was just more than I wanted to deal with.

    Fast forward 5 years, at the time I was unemployed and pretty much broke. I started playing around on areas of the web I wasn't quite security conscious enough to be playing around on, and picked up abunch of malware and a rootkit. As the copy of windoze I had slowly died, I had no other options but to pick up Linux. I started off with Ubuntu, and the command line stuff I had to learn and use to set it up the way I needed it took a couple days, but it all worked out easily thanks to the super-helpful community on the forums. A couple months later (and now gainfully employed,) my iguana decided to use the keyboard of my laptop as a toilet.

    I went out and bought a new computer with windows and immediately set up a dual boot system with Mint, which even back then was incredibly easy. Since it was the first time, I set up equal sized partitions. Over the next few months, I realized I was rarely ever booting into windows, so I resized to 80/20 Linux/ Windoze. At this point I set the windoze partition as small as possible and only end up booting into it when I need to help someone who has problems with windoze. The malware that sent me down this path? Nearly forgotten, except when I'm helping people with windoze fix their system. Software related expenses? Completely forgotten. The only thing I spend money on is hardware now. If I want to do something new with my system, I can always find and applicable program in the repositories. I run Mint Debian edition on my desktop and Mint 17 64 bit on my laptop.

  56. Deason
    March 29, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I have Mint on one older computer. When I have time, I use it to try to see if I would like to switch. Verdict so far is probably not, but I keep going back, and I am trying to keep an open mind.

  57. Paul Benjamin
    March 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I used Linux fill time from about 2002 to 2006. I gave it up because Windows could do everything that Linux could and play games. I never do anything serious or creative with my PC so the OS isn't that important. Windows 10 is giving up the delusions of running a tablet interface on a PC. If only Unbuntu would come to it senses and give up Unity for a real desktop.

    • dragonmouth
      March 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      " If only Unbuntu would come to it senses and give up Unity for a real desktop."
      Ubuntu is Windows trying very hard to masquerade as Linux. There are hundreds of other Linux distributions that are in no way related to Ubuntu and use "real desktop" environments.

  58. Sashi
    March 29, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I picked other for this one. The thing is I switched to Linux for the first time way back in 2008 when I was using an underpowered laptop and Vista was just too slow and unusable on it. I mostly ran Ubuntu, although I dabbled a bit in other distros like OpenSUSE for a while.

    Once I built a gaming PC for the first time in 2010, I started to predominantly use Windows again (Windows 7) since my main reason for ever using Linux in the first place was because Windows was too slow for my existing hardware. Now that my hardware was powerful enough, I had little need to keep running Linux. My switch back to Windows coincided with when Ubuntu started to make their distro a bit ugly by making everything purple and orange instead of just orange (why fix what isn't broken?), and then a few months after I abandoned it they implemented the infamous Unity desktop.

  59. Andrew Kelley
    March 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    My deliberation as to whether or not to make the switch only took a few months or so. Once I figured out what printers and scanners were supported in Linux the best, the switch was a no-brainer. Brother is one of the ones I choose as the ink is cheaper for them as well although you do have to manually add the drivers, the support site for Brother walks you through the process quite well. Out of 7 computers currently in use in my household 6 of them run solely on Linux in one flavor or another, with only one small nettop pc that runs Windows 7 for the purpose of controlling my telephone system by runing PhonTrayPro, unfortunately that is the only software that I run that I have not been able to find a suitable Linux alternative for, but even this box is accessed by my Linux boxes via SSH/VPN for maintenance reasons as I run it headless. My server has been running 24-7 for nearly 8 years now with Ubuntu Server and has only seen downtime for reboots after updates as needed, very few (if any) Windows based servers can boast that kind of up-time. I will be the first one to admit that not everyone will like or want to make the effort to switch to Linux, but for me it just works, and works well. My 8 year old Daughter has grown up on Ubuntu and finds Windows most distaseful, and as more children grow up with Linux as an option it may aid in the slow gradual shift away from the proprietary giants.

  60. JaCK
    March 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    No, Linux is overrated garbage. I tried it a few times and it always feel dated compared to Windows.

    • n
      March 29, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Tell that to the millions of companies and governments that rely on it for their computers and servers etc

    • trip
      April 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      yea, tell that to facebook and google and twitter and wikipedia, etc.

    • jimvandamme
      May 11, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      I haven't tried all 200 (or so) distros either, but I found some of them difficult and dated or I just didn't like so much. But I've been running Mint Cinnamon for a few years now and it just gets better. For other folks, something else would be better maybe. I edited documents and presentations in a otherwise Windows office, and edit PDF files in LibreOffice. I use old scanners and printers that won't work in Windows. So I have no desire to go back to Windows.

  61. bben
    March 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I have used several variants of Linux, and have installed it on several relatives computers. It depends on what they do with the computer whether I would consider it or not. If all they do is Facebook, email, web browsing and occasional word processing - Yes. I recommend Linux. If they are using it for some business use, or heavy duty gaming - Then No. Stick with Windows for now. Even if the Windows based business program can run on Linux, it is very possible that a patch or upgrade to either the program or the Linux distribution will make it useless.

  62. RWD
    March 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I have tried numerous Linux distros. Currently have Zorin installed on my secondary PC. Still use Win 7, and Win 10 Tech Preview, on my daily driver.

  63. Doc
    March 29, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I once tried dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows XP (Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft). I couldn't get RAID 0 to work (dmraid wasn't out of alpha yet), so I wound up booting one OS from each drive. Getting nVidia drivers set up and stable was a nightmare, so I wound up running XP on one drive and reformatting the other.

    Unity is a cluster**** of a desktop, so if I try it again it'll be Mint with MATE or Cinnamon.

  64. b
    March 29, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I'm a poweruser and I switched to Linux about three years ago. I've never had a single issue that couldn't be solved with five minutes of googling. I write reports for class, make 3D models, graphic design, edit movies, play steam games, program, run servers and skype with friends. As an experiment I gave my parrents and brother older Linux laptops. All of them laypeople, but they didn't have a single issue during a year of regular use.

  65. Hildy J
    March 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I've used Windows for over a decade. For most of that time, I've been using a Windows tablet as my primary PC (since XP Tablet Edition). I love me my stylus based digital ink and handwriting recognition plus screen based multi-touch - things only a few Linux distros are just begun to try to support.

    Plus, I don't feel a need. Stuff runs fast enough for me (and I don't know that Linux would improve that much). If I were to switch for something, it would be for security and I'd be looking at OpenBSD.

  66. Chipolte Peppre
    March 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    After being hit with virus/Trojan in the Mellisa period, and having all software/malware/anti-virus/firewall up-to-date and in place, I decided MS is house of cards and they hold them all. I made an Internet search for "alternate OS" and found Mandrake (now Mandriva) Linux 7.1; I use Debian now and haven't turned back these 14 years.

  67. Ben
    March 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I've got Ubuntu 14.10, set up as a dual boot partition, and another installation seperately, as a VM on my Windows side, and I use it from time to time, but mostly, I'm still adherent to Windows.

  68. Geoff
    March 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I use Mint (Rebecca) on my secondary laptop, and it's good enough for most things. I was hoping to switch over entirely, but the availability of some key applications (Office, Acrobat Reader with edit mode, decent scanner drivers, ...) just means it's impractical. You can get FOSS alternatives for many (but not all) things, but quality is *very* patchy. If I were immersed in a community that used all open-source, it'd be great, but I'm not, and I need to run the same software as them, and that means an OS with a decent market share.

  69. Joshua
    March 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I personally didn't really "switch" to Linux, I use Windows and Linux distributions in parallel since a long long time (at least since Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic" was released). I'm writing this comment on my Chromebook (Gentoo-based, I also have an Ubuntu chroot installed) and have an Android smartphone in my pocket. My main machine mainly runs Windows 8.1, but also has Elementary OS installed. My Thinkpad has Fedora 21 as a main OS, but also a second HDD with Windows 8.1 installed. My university's PC pools run cSwitching completely on Ubuntu and I never heard anyone complained. Switching completely to Linux-based OSs is a thing that is not yet entirely viable for me, one very important reason is the current state of driver support for GPUs in Linux, especially for AMD cards (of which I happen to have one). Another reason is the lack of binaries for certain very important applications, especially in regard to development tools. I really love Linux, but FFIW I don't really hate Windows as many people do.

  70. Dan
    March 29, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I use linux on my laptop but I can't say that I love it. It works ok, and it has a browser, that's all I might need. Once I start surfing, the desktop disappears. I'm basically using my linux laptop as a chromebook. But I do some stuff offline from time to time.

  71. BCross52
    March 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I'm in the process of switching from Windows to Linux, but it's been a long deliberative process. I actually started out by deciding to build a linux fileserver on an old Windows box. Really hadn't done much without a GUI since DOS days so that was a learning process, but an enjoyable one. I then installed VirtualBox on Win7 so I could play with some linux installs. After trying out a few distros and attempting to get some "real" stuff done in Linux I then decided to go dual-boot with Ubuntu. Selected Ubuntu primarily because of the huge amount of online support available. I'm currently spending more and more time booted in Ubuntu and always discovering that there are multiple ways to accomplish new tasks. Today I'm installing Win7 in VirtualBox on Ubuntu to see if I'm comfortable running my few Windows-only applications that way.

    • trip
      April 16, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      BCross, you could try either Play on Linux, or Crossover(commercial) to run windows apps rather than running 2 os's. Play on Linux runs some windows apps very reliably as compared to just using WINE, or WINEtricks, and crossover is even better.

  72. Hannah
    March 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Dual boot.

    WINDOWS 8.1 AND REBECCA

    Rebecca is more safe. No viruses and stuff.
    Never have to worry about safety ever. Do whatever you want to do.

    Win is faster and performs better. But must be used very cautiously and be careful.

    I also have an older laptop which ran XP. Now i use Ubuntu on it. Ubuntu runs quite well.

    Overall, if you have a good anti-virus, Windows 8.1 is better. It can do everything Linux can do and better and faster. Also a wider variety of software.
    Linux is more suited for older machines. Mint is better than Ubuntu now IMO.
    Every latest version of Linux is better compared to Win XP, 7 And win 8. Those 3 OS are outdated now.

    Right now, the two best OS in the world are WIN 8.1 & Rebecca.

    Looking forward to Win 10. Looks quite promising.

    I would rank Win 8.1 as slightly better than Rebecca, but both are quite superior to Ubuntu.
    Other Linux distributions dont come close. Used many of them over time, but all of those are inferior to Mint & Ubuntu.

    Also compulsory to create and store at least two bootable USBs - Knoppix, Hirens BCD & an OS - Linux of your choice. Useful to recover your PC. Just in case.

  73. Mr. Mo
    March 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I tried Linux for about a month and wasn't happy with the functionality for the way I personally work and my needs in an OS. That said, I can see how it would work for other users. Currently using Yosemite at work (I am a teacher) and Win 7 at home. For now, that is the best setup for me.

  74. Slashee the Cow
    March 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I dual boot. I can't use Linux full time until more (*cough* basically all *cough*) games support it.

    Of course because of that most of the time I'm running Windows anyway so I don't have to reboot if I want to play a game or something. And if I do want to do something in Linux, half the time I'll just open a virtual machine, because I don't lose my place in whatever I was doing in Windows and rarely do I need the full performance of actually booting into Linux (as opposed to needing to be actually running Windows to play games, which I can't really do in a virtual machine).

  75. Johnny
    March 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Can't go beyond multi-boot because there isn't a suitable karaoke program available for Linux.

  76. Paul R
    March 29, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    What Lanacan said.

    I have thought about it, and spent countless hours trying to get OpenOffice to work as smoothly as MS Office does, but to no avail. That's not the only software I have that runs on Windows or Mac only (Encyclopedia Britannica also, and I haven't checked the other stuff I've installed).

    I'm ok with the idea of open source software (I love Firefox), but there's no way I'm going to commit to using OpenOffice every day. That alone is worth the price of admission for Windows. That and the fact that I don't have to try to get drivers for the next printer and scanner to work--that was also a major effort back in the day when I was thinking of Linux. Hopefully they have something better than what SANE was offering.

    • trip
      April 16, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      paul, seriously this must have been an old experience you are commenting on, printer and scanner drivers are usually plug and play. Linux uses CUPS for printers and scanners, the same as what OSX uses, and as for open office, the latest LibreOffice is nice, but there is also Office365 now as well as google docs AND WPS Office(MS Office clone) and other office suites you can use natively in Linux, but i've mentioned the big ones. have a look at WPS office, it's proprietary but runs natively in Linux.

  77. Lanacan
    March 29, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Until software vendors create Linux versions of popular applications it will always remain a niche OS. Average People do not want to run a vm to use software they need daily. Why bother when you can run the software in a more user friendly OS natively.

  78. Saifur Rahman Mohsin
    March 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    When OS X does pretty much everything Linux does I don't see why go for it. After all Linux is an unix-based OS so it's pretty much mimicking what unix was already doing. I use my OS X system for open-source development most of the time :)

    • Mohammad Younas
      March 29, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      I have 8.2 MACbook pro and i am desperately looking for good linux distro to switch. Recent OSX releases has really blogged down macbook pro and its getting slower and unresponsive everyday. even 8gig of ram seems not enough when i do wanna run some heave tasks. Linux with 8 gig is amazing combination and can revive my macbook pro for 4-5 more years to say the least. However, lack of support of touch pad with multi-gesture is deal breaker to me at this moment.

    • Saifur Rahman Mohsin
      March 29, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      ^ That's a very rare case. And an even rarer case where a user is "desperately looking" for good linux distros. There's this website called google, you can search and find the newest linux distro and even download it for free. Seriously check it out, it's helped me a lot. And also take a look at http://distrowatch.com they keep posting new linux releases every now and then!

    • Karl
      March 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      I can think of thousands ($) of reasons to stay away from Apple and their "closed garden" OS and stay with the flexibility of Linux.

    • n
      March 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      OS X has been proven to be an insecure OS time after time...

    • Saifur Rahman Mohsin
      March 29, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      ^ Heard this a lot but never seen the proofs. It would be nice if could provide proofs than just stating something completely baseless.

      For example, you could share a link like >> https://www.virustotal.com/en/statistics/ which is live statistics of virus detections!
      And you could say, see the file type Win32 EXE and DLL are highest in malware so Windows is leading in malware, then comes various linux distros (ELF format files) which has much lesser malware compared to WIndows and then Mac OS X (Mach-O type of files) which is even lesser. This sort of information is something I could digest and helps when I'm making a decision to switch my OS rather than just stating your opinion on what you like!

    • Me
      March 31, 2015 at 10:40 am

      I use Windows 8.1 and Elementary OS on a desktop with dualboot, Windows 7 at work, a debian server for the cool stuff and a MacBook.
      I have to say I'm pretty disappointed in OSX:
      - no package manger (brew is nice, but crap compared to apt-get)
      - what about hidden files in finder? (Seriously?!)
      - try to start an app with flags
      - ntfs support
      ...
      If you are a standard user with mail, browser, spotify, etc. no problem. But if you are a power user, then in my opinion there is no OS, which doesn't need to be modified.
      I don't think I will buy a MacBook again.

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