The OS debate rages as some take sides with nearly militant fanaticism. Here I present the sides from my perspective: a more-than-casual user who relies on computers as professional tools. As always, ``your mileage may vary;'' however, I have tried to present this list as issues one might wish to consider when choosing an OS for their computer.
The bottom line is, of course, choice. There is no product or tool that is all things for all people; for some uses, a ball peen hammer is better whereas other tasks are better suited to a claw hammer. It is therefore intriguing to me that so many IT types envision conversion or market dominance as the goal. With certain qualifications, I really don't care if another user or business owner prefers Windows; I just know that for me, Linux is a far superior product.
Before presenting my little list, I'd like to address one other point. Newcomers to the 'debate' will often see geek-speak phrases like ``Linux is not ready for prime time, yet,'' or ``it's just not ready for the desktop,'' etc. As evidence for these types of comments, specific anecdotes are offered as to why Linux has flaws that render it unusable for a particular case; the problem is that these anecdotes (often not technically understood by the speaker) are extrapolated to all cases. This is pure rubbish. In this article, I present my own anecdotes that contradict this 'conventional wisdom;' I do not ask that my experiences be extrapolated to all cases. Take these comments as you wish.
There are many millions of users worldwide using Linux. These users range from small children to technology professionals; use environments range from home Internet surfers to very complex wide area corporate networks. Most modern hardware is supported, and a lot that is not is cheap junk anyway. So, if we are going to debate the merits of operating systems, let us at least be intellectually honest. Both Windows and Linux are capable of running modern computers in a variety of settings for a variety of users, and the debate should begin with both on equal footing.