Home > Humor > Is MS Windows Ready for the Desktop? Is MS Windows Ready for the Desktop? Submitted by LinuxFanBoy 2005-11-09 Humor 48 Comments LinuxFanBoy writes: “A very funny article by a European Linux guy who approaches the subject with humor. He’s someone who has never used Windows and has only Gentoo Linux.” About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 48 Comments 2005-11-09 5:12 pm I didn’t really find this all that funny. Honestly, someone could write a better article which has less bashing and more honest critizisms. Still, a nice attempt, maybe someone will replicate it soon. 2005-11-09 5:13 pm Same sort of thing was posted a while a go, and it wasn’t funny then either. 2005-11-09 5:20 pm Devilotx seemed more like a flame starter then an “amusing” look at windows as a distro Edited 2005-11-09 17:20 2005-11-09 5:23 pm AdamW “He’s someone who has never used Windows and has only Gentoo Linux.” No he isn’t. The introduction says “Let’s imagine” such a person. That’s not the same thing as saying “I am” such a person. In fact, it’s rather the opposite. Anyway, I agree with the above posters…I didn’t find the article very funny at all, and it’s not even particularly accurate. 2005-11-09 5:23 pm windows is insecure by design – as insited up on by the usa authorities. 2005-11-09 5:28 pm jbauer Come on, you all wouldn’t expect some sort of very thougtful or profound article, would you? I guess we all knew what the thing was about. Neverthless, it hides some truths inside. It’s always funny how newbies find package management so difficult but they go through all kind of burdens to setup P2P programas, find cracks, key generators and the like and they seem to find it natural and efortless 2005-11-09 5:30 pm ibantxuyn Hahahahha, nice article from common UNIX/Linux zealot, I really believe in this. MS Windows NEVER be secure and robust than Linux and other UNIX flavours. Linux and UNIX have more lot features than Windows out of the box, no $$ cost, and always be free (opensource or not). Cheers from Bilbao! 2005-11-09 5:30 pm The article is amusing as a parody of the “Linux not ready for desktop” articles. While many will complain that the details in the article are inaccurate, however there is no detail as inaccurate as the statement seen many times in “Linux not ready” articles that one must compile software to install it on linux. To me the article shows quite lucidly through its absurdness how all the “not ready for desktop” articles are nonsensical, illustrating absurdity with absurdity. 2005-11-09 5:45 pm DittoBox I remember a ways back that an article with the same title was posted. I can’t find it but it basically the same points. 2005-11-09 5:54 pm All of the different os zealots hate these types of articles. They like to believe that their platform of choice magically has no usability issues. The sad state of affairs is that none of the operating systems are ready for the desktop, people put up with them because they have to. The same way people used dos years before. And the same way people deal with the maintenance nightmare that is the automobile. To me this is the main reason people are so hesitant to try different things. After investing all kinds of time and frustration learning how to coerce windows into doing what they are too tired to try anything else. So what if osx is easier, it still has its own quirks and usability problems. Because of the horrid usability of modern operating systems the average person has adopted an “I finally got it working, I do not want to touch or change anything” mentality when it comes to computers. Just look at an average user’s work. So much of it is kludged together using the wrong tool because the pain of using a computer has scared them away from using a tool they do not know. 2005-11-09 6:00 pm You just don’t get it, and neither the autor of the article does. Don’t feel bad, many people don’t understand the problem. GUI, fetaures, ease of installation, etc, etc, it all don’t mean much, but here’s what does: Linux is not ready for the desktop because it is not Windows compatible. If Windows Vista wasn’t compatible with Windows NT/2000/XP, it wouldn’t be “desktop ready.” Desktop ready = Windows compatible, as long as Windows is on ~95% of the PCs. End of story. 2005-11-09 7:06 pm zombie process No. 2005-11-09 6:10 pm Just to add.. to my previous post. If Windows 9x wasn’t MS-DOS compatible, it wouldn’t have been desktop ready. That is exactly why Microsoft had Win 9x branch. Almost nobody would have used NT back then. Compatibility was, and still is, #1 issue. 2005-11-09 6:34 pm Compatibility was, and still is, #1 issue. I disagree. If it was so, then we would all (or mostly) be using Wordstar, VisiCalc, Mosaic and Pine. 2005-11-09 6:12 pm People talk about Linux being hard to use but the artical highlights things that a Linux user wouldn’t know. Just like in Linux which people have been saying for years, is not ready for the desktop. A Linux users would be used to features of KDE/Gnome which have much more fuctionallity, why do people think it’s any different? Windows is a arse, My pictures inside My documents, C: drive, no one place to put your files like /home/user, fuctionallity only from a specified location(My pictures has thumbnails enabled and the only place you can set a desktop picture from. These points alone would confuse a Linux user and really poor usability. 2005-11-09 6:32 pm Guys, don’t get to up tight about this article. The author is just another troll. Don’t feed him. 2005-11-10 6:24 am Get a grip, you Microshaft schills. 2005-11-09 6:35 pm Any OS is ready if it serves your purposes.Communicating (euphenism) with a windows server is more appropiate with a other windows box. 2005-11-09 6:35 pm Windows isn’t perfect but neither is Linux. Linux suffers from a lack of direction, complicated/unconventional application installation, and most of all, the worst case of “Windows-wanna-be” ever. I think Linux would be a whole lot better if Linux devs would concentrate on two things: 1. Making things so user friendly there’s no need to frequent the command line. 2. Give up trying to copy Windows at every turn and just work hard at being a great OS. Overall the article was moderately humorous but lacked any real substance. Most of his apparent problems with Windows stem from ignorance. This difference between Windows and Linux is, and continues to be that of stupid-friendly vs. savvy-friendly. 2005-11-09 7:04 pm zombie process And I think that would make linux a total pile of shit. 2005-11-09 7:23 pm rajj just work hard at being a great OS This means exactly what? unconventional application installation Who’s convention is accepted as correct? The author was attempting to show how people are locked into their own limited cognitive schema which is typically limited by experience. A good example is where he refers to the graphics system as X and cmd.exe as the XTerm. The “Linux aren’t ready for the desktop” articles do this all the time. These kind of half true comparisons crop everwhere. People always try to find simularities between something they already “understand” when trying to understand something new. Unsurprisingly, people also become fustrated and irritated when the new thing isn’t exactly like the old thing and blame the new thing as being defective. This isn’t limited to Windows or Linux. It applies to other operating systems, user interfaces and applications. Hell, it applies to everything. You should now understand why there is so much effort to make other systems look and behave like Windows. You should also realize that the article isn’t to be taken seriously. It’s also not supposed to be laughing out loud hilarious either. Get a sense of humor. 2005-11-09 7:24 pm I think Linux would be a whole lot better if Linux devs would concentrate on two things: 1. Making things so user friendly there’s no need to frequent the command line. 2. Give up trying to copy Windows at every turn and just work hard at being a great OS. Have a think about things before you type. Recall what Linus’s original intentions for Linux was. To be an affordable Unix clone for his home PC. No where did he mention that “user friendly” was in the cards. He is not a business, he is an enthusiast with some programming skills. He does not answer to narrow minded individuals like yourself, demanding things that you couldn’t code yourself. If you want such things, talk to Microsoft. *Points to Hell* Command line is important. If something goes wrong in the “point and click” world, where do you go? The desktop market is a new area for Linux. Its traditions have always been for those who seek knowledge for themselves, who enjoy solving problems. Not for some no-clue person who couldn’t tell the difference between RAM and hard disk space. I am somewhat curious as to why people continually criticise Linux not being ready for the desktop as its a new area for them. How can you compare that with what MS has with Windows? Its like saying a teenager is better than a toddler in high-school calculus. The reason why things are being copied from Windows is because the “savvy folks” want more Windows users to move over. This lowers time to re-train, etc. (Assuming that alternative solutions meet the user’s requirements, a move isn’t much of a problem). As for the article, I couldn’t be f**ked wasting time on things like that. Better to code, read technical articles and such…Instead of wasting time on blogs and opinions. (Which like arseholes, everyone has one). 2005-11-09 6:37 pm I’m fing its funny because I’m using Linux and I agre with author. 2005-11-09 7:02 pm I disagree. If it was so, then we would all (or mostly) be using Wordstar, VisiCalc, Mosaic and Pine. Migration path was provided. Same with DOS -> Windows 9x -> Windows NT. Ask any IT manager in any company if they will switch to Vista if it is not compatible with Windows XP/2000/NT. Linux on desktop? It’s not ready because there’s no good migration path, not because it lacks features, etc. OK, maybe it lacks some commonly used software that is a MUST HAVE in certain environments (AutoCAD, MasterCAM, etc..). If CrossOver Office was free and on every Linux CD, then Linux would be in a much better situation to take desktop market share from Windows. 2005-11-09 9:13 pm Linux on desktop? It’s not ready because there’s no good migration path, not because it lacks features, etc. OK, maybe it lacks some commonly used software that is a MUST HAVE in certain environments (AutoCAD, MasterCAM, etc..). If this is truw then there would be no offices switching to Linux. As in not one. There it can be seen that this is yet again another claim of “not ready” that is easy to prove to be false. Just like the article shows the absurdity of the “not ready” claim in its parody. 2005-11-09 10:57 pm Dark Leth I disagree. Although many offices are adventurous, a large amount, in part due to the amount of money involved in training, are not willing to make large shifts. As a side-note, similar situations arose in the education market when Apple was the predominant force there. In a sick twist of irony, one of the chief complaints I here when convincing someone to try a mac is the lack of windows software compatibility. 2005-11-09 11:37 pm Just because someone is not willing to implement something does not mean that the something in question is not ready. If it was, then all operating systems are not ready becuase there are some somewhere that are not willing to change to it. This includes Windows as there are some offices that do not use it. Which highlights once again the absurd nature of the “not ready” claim. 2005-11-09 7:21 pm ITPro I don’t find the article successful as a funny story, but it still works as satire. There’s no rule requiring satire to be funny. E.g. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, well-known as the author of another satirical work, Gulliver’s Travels. The latter is usually regarded as funny, though humor depends on one’s point of view and other factors, but the former, usually not. I don’t intend to lecture further on the subject of satire, but I think that the author succeeds in demonstrating that articles of the “Why Linux is not ready for the desktop” genre are largely founded on how they say it.. or in the modern terminology, how they spin it. By simply suggesting that something is either good or bad, you can affect the reader’s perception of the information presented. The simple facts are that the various Linux/Unix “desktops” are not really much better than Windows, but the Windows “desktop” is, itself, not all that good to begin with. It makes a poor standard of comparison. Since I have denigrated the sacrosanct Windows desktop, you may expect me now to sing the praises of OS X, but I won’t. I’m not sure it’s better, either, but I do know that it’s different from what I’m used to and what I’m not used to I find difficult to use because it often reacts against my ingrained expectations. Still, I could learn it. Over the years and also due to the nature of my employment, I have so overlearned the Windows desktop that I use it without difficulty just as, many years before, I had so overlearned the Wordstar 3.3 keystrokes that I used it, too, without difficulty. We’re usually assured that computer desktops are somehow intuitive. Put a non-computer user in front of Windows and see how “intuitive” they find it. Usually, I predict, they won’t. Practically everybody needs at least some instruction. The same is likely true for all other desktops. One of Windows’ advantages is that it is now so ubiquitous that you can easily find someone to help you. This gives Windows momentum in the marketplace. Frequently, people will buy what their friends use or what they have to use at work, like it or not, and very frquently that is Wintel. Anyone who thinks that the Windows’ market position is the result of its superiority is hearby assigned to find a technical explanation for the VHS vs. Beta conumdrum. Seemingly having attacked most of the major desktop variations, I may have turned everyone against me, but let me just say that I currently use KDE which I’m running both on SUSE 9.3 and openSUSE 10.0. On the other hand, I’m also an experienced GNU Emacs user, so maybe I’m just too twisted to be trusted :-). Heaven forbid that I should mention the shell command line. 2005-11-09 7:23 pm Pelly I found the article quite humorous, especially the way the author wrote it. Security holes and code flaws are in ANY operating system whether it’s Windows, Linux or Mac. Nothing is ever perfect. These flaws are what many malicious code developers exploit. We hear more about Windows flaws & security issues because Microsoft is THE dominant name in desktop computing. Why would a malicious code writer design something that would only affect a small percent of desktop computers when they can devote their (wasted) talents to design malicious code that could potentially harm/cripple up to 90% of Windows systems..?? The people that do this sort of thing want the biggest audience which happens to be Microsoft Windows users, not Linux users. However, if and when Linux starts taking larger volumes of users away from Microsoft, the tables may turn and more malicious code may be targeted at Linux. I’m a Linux user, by preference. While I’m in a position where I have to use Windows at work, at home, I have more choices. Linux is one of them. Edited 2005-11-09 19:26 2005-11-09 7:35 pm Can never except that Windows has problems too and was done half ass in some areas despite having a 10,000 man Windows division. Pull your heads out of your asses for a change. 2005-11-09 7:43 pm despite having a 10,000 man Windows division This must be the stupides comment so far. 10,000 man Win division? Including: marketing, HR, security and all the animals in the local ZOO, too? Anyways, what’s 10,000 man Win division compared to millions of oss programmers around the globe that develop and contribute to Linux… 2005-11-09 8:25 pm tonym I have only one thing to say, LOL. Funniest quote: “Go to Astalavista. Type ‘key’ and then your program and start the search. Search an hour through these results, until you find a key, and remember it! Whenever a box pops up, click Yes.“ 2005-11-09 8:56 pm TaterSalad Lame. There was another article like this about 2 or 3 months ago. And before that Rob Limo did an article like this on Newsforge. It wasn’t funny then, its not funny now. 2005-11-09 9:29 pm silly, silly, silly 2005-11-09 10:00 pm I can bet with anyone here that i can teach a non computer user how to work with Linux/Unix environment fast and easy ( the user must not be used to any OS env ). If you came from windows you will look for something you know same as if you come from unix environment type. So please don;t tell me taht it is hard and very very dificult !!!! 2005-11-09 10:06 pm I thought being funny meant a sense of intelligence behind it. Ohhh you meant mindless childish humour. I see. Why is this news? Why is some trolls idea of humour an article at OSNews? I think I’m going to blog about OSX usability issues; perhaps it’ll make tomorrows headlines. 2005-11-09 10:14 pm If this is truw then there would be no offices switching to Linux. As in not one. There it can be seen that this is yet again another claim of “not ready” that is easy to prove to be false. Just like the article shows the absurdity of the “not ready” claim in its parody. How many offices, that have switched to Linux, you know of? Please, don’t give me Munich example (and we all know how well things work with Linux there in Munich), but try and find offices where you work/live. I’d use Linux today if it offered everything Windows does. Alas, it does not. At work, nobody’s even thinking of Linux on desktop. 2005-11-10 1:00 pm Please, don’t give me Munich example (and we all know how well things work with Linux there in Munich), but try and find offices where you work/live. There are two that I know of locally, but as they are local companies, you likely would not recognize them. Besides your objections, Munich and Vienna are still good examples. I’d use Linux today if it offered everything Windows does. Alas, it does not. At work, nobody’s even thinking of Linux on desktop. And to some, Windows does not offer everything that Linux or MacOS does. And I know companies that are not even thinking of switching to Windows. Just because Linux is not your choice does not mean that you can speak for everyone and claim that it is nobodys choice. This is the fatal conceit of the “not ready for the desktop” claiming people. 2005-11-09 10:40 pm Since I know from Linux that NTFS is a buggy file system (never got it to work smooth under Linux), Correction: “since he knows from Linux that Linux has buggy support for NTFS system…” Windows also doesn’t have a central software repository, like al decent distros. Instead, Windows relies on decentralized software. Correction: Windows does not play Big Brother with you: you are free to install software not from Central Repository. It is called giving users freedom and inviting them to use it. Let’s say, you’re going to install a program, like, say Microsoft Office, but don’t know where it is. Since there isn’t a central repository or package manager, you have to do this all manually. Let’s say (and it is a real life example) that your friend comes to you and tells that he wants software for his small home office that “can help him prepare business plan.” Now, Mr. Package Manager, what are you going to do? This is what Windows user did: he went to local software-seller, told them exactly the same phrase, got software written by some company in California (no affiliation with Microsoft), paid for it so that this company can pay its developers, and went home happy. Tell me, Ms. Central Repository, can you make that guy happy if all he knows he needs is software that “can help him prepare business plan?” The unsafe applets provide an unequalled experience, especially two days after you used them, some of them show up again. My Web banking page and CNN.com and USAToday.com don’t have those. Where did you get these, at “FreePr0n.com.org.net?” So, after coming this far, I noticed Windows’ standard windowmanager, applicably called Windows Desktop, feels slow and seems like ‘hanging’ Try Windows on dual-CPU Pentium 3GHz you get used to run Linux on, and you’ll forget about ‘sluggish.’ Try Windows on P-III 700MHz and compare it to Linux with GNOME running on the same box. Who is sluggish now? He says: “Shell scripting is for kids. That I particularly love. Morons who don’t know about WSH trying to tell how limited Windows scripting is. Here is real life task: for all Windows computers in the company office find out what processes on each computer use more than 1GB of RAM, list all of them. If computer is down skip it but report that it is down. No, you don’t know how many computers are in the office, you do not know their names, IP addresses, root password. You only know that they are members of domain and you can run your script under admin account. In Windows: one database-like query from VBScript or JScript. 15-20 lines of code at most. In Linux- well? Next time some self proclaimed Linux guru claims there is no good scripting in Windows, tell him to shut up. Linux is far, far behind in scripting, as soon as you need something more that sort text file and cut 5 columns out of 10 from it. There’s another disadvantage: Windows XP requires a full reinstall after half a year That is plain lie. Can’t use Windows? Go Linux yourself. I could talk about more things in Windows XP Just shut up. Yuo’ve proven your stupidity already. You are not funny, you are just uneducated n00b trying to be funny. 2005-11-10 3:06 am wakeupneo Bill? Is that you? 2005-11-10 12:26 am Just because someone is not willing to implement something does not mean that the something in question is not ready. Yes, it does. Ever heard of: “DOS ain’t ready till Lotus runs on it” ?? 2005-11-10 1:25 am if ever there was an article that so clearly displayed that some of us REALLY need to get a life, it’s this one. Tripe like this demonstrates the true danger of the web: creating an environment where mediocrity is not the norm but, rather, the ideal, the pinnacle, the zenith of human endeavor. When you can post any sort of sophomoric bs like this on a webpage, and then get a quality site like OSNews to link to it, well, that’s a sure sign that all is going to hell. And, yeah, I don’t have to read it, nyaah, nyaah, blahblah–but OSNews really doesn’t need to be linking it, either. How this article qualifies as news should be beyond anyone, but I admit, I did expect the otherwise-classy Eugenia Loli-Queru to be a little more discriminating with regard to her posts. As has been said, many times, many ways, in many different places: it’s just an operating system, dude! 2005-11-10 1:39 am I used to read OSNews because it was a handy central location for news. Now it just seems to link to whatever article bashes Windows. Fair enough. But at least link to sensible intelligent articles. Not just any old rubbish. 2005-11-10 4:33 am nii_ I had to used Windows XP one time about 3 weeks ago. My friend has a Win XP machine, and also a Win 2000 machine which she locked herself out of. So, having read that the password can be reset with a special Linux boot disc, I downloaded the CD ISO, – easy enough, – then tried to figure out how to burn it. One hour later… Finally! Darn, this is the second time I’ve used Windows OS in a year (maybe third) and it isn’t intuitive, nor is it user friendly at all. The OS isn’t really capable of doing much and relies on a load of third party closed binaries to save the day and make it just useable. 2005-11-10 6:47 am It is a very good parody of the “is linux ready for the desktop” articles. Also it just shows us how someone with little computer skills actually manages to work with MS windows. Also he highlights the different worlds between MS and Linux, which most people don’t even know about. Richard 2005-11-10 10:47 am So many points in the article are simply not true. Trully absurd. It’s ridiculous. 2005-11-10 2:46 pm Was Gay…the author is a fag… 2005-11-10 11:27 pm gonzo Just because Linux is not your choice does not mean that you can speak for everyone and claim that it is nobodys choice. Linux is choice of 2-3% PC users. You can deny it all day long. I don’t think it’s because Linux itself is that poor choice, but because there’s no good migration path from Windows. Munich migration? Yeah, after how many years they practically haven’t moved a single PC to Linux. Plus, they are spending taxpayers’ money. No company has that kind of luxury available. If that is a good example, then, what is a bad one? Well, I’ll finish this with observation that we live on different planets, obviously.