Switching Back

A year after migrating to Linux, I wrote:

But what I wanted to say is: would I ever go back to Windows? Never. I’m experienced the power of the Open-Source side, and I have to say I am a convert!

Well, guess what? I’m going back to Windows!

As you will probably know if you read my last post, I’ve just bought a new laptop. It came preloaded with a copy of Windows 7. As you may know, Windows 7 is the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft. But what’s so great about it that would make me desert linux, especially given that I’ve been singing the praises of Linux for the past few years?

Well, there are several reasons – some of which are to do with Linux, some of which are to do with Windows.

  • Ubuntu is great for hardware support and the software repository – but there are still issues. I spent literally hours on Phil’s old laptop trying to get the wireless card to work. In the end I gave up. And although I’m not an ‘advanced’ Linux user, I like to think I know my way around by now (having been using it for four years). I’m not afraid of the command line – it just defeated me.
  • A lot of software is only available for Windows only. Admittedly this isn’t always an issue because there are open-source replacements, but sometimes when you want to e.g. connect to a VPN at work, running Linux can be a pain in the arse. A couple of months ago I installed Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 on Phil’s laptop and had a whale of a time playing through it again. It wasn’t working on wine for some reason.
  • Windows 7 is … actually, pretty damn good. I know a few people who it’s won over, and although I’ve only been using it for a few days I really like it now as well. Microsoft seem to have done a good job on this one.
  • Microsoft seem to have turned a corner in regards to open-source software. They seem to have realised that in the world we live in, if they want to survive they’re going to have to embrace it and ditch the shady practices of the past. So Microsoft aren’t all kittens and rainbows now, but they’ve definitely improved.
  • There’s very little I can do in Linux which I can’t do in Windows. Yes, the Windows command line is pretty woeful. But you can download Python for Windows, you can get Cygwin… there are options. You know the I blogged about the Fordham CD Uploader script I wrote? Well, I’ve written a Java utility (utilising some command-line programs available for Windows) which does exactly the same thing. I could have done the same in Python. Windows is no restriction there.

That’s a summary of what I think at the moment 😉 I will miss Linux at times I am sure, in fact I may well install it on a partition and dual boot, but for now I’m happy being a Windows user again.

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