I use Linux for my primary home OS, and have done for 9 years. In that time I have found that Linux will do 90%+ of the things I can do in Windows. Likewise I have been in situatons where I am forced to use Windows, again 90%+ of the things I do in Linux I can do in windows. So which OS I use forms very little diffrence to what I'm trying to achieve. In the last year I have finally bitten the bullet and returned to having a Windows machine (Windows 7 dual booting with openSuSE 12.3, on my laptop). My desktop still runs Linux exclusively.
Reasons for needing/liking Windows
>My university has free student liscences for software that are windows only (the software is availible for Linux but would cost me €100s if not €1000s to aquire legally on linux, some libaries are held under NDA and I have to have a the university build (windows) and VPN to the university to use them.
>Some software is tied to the OS and is of benefit - Actually there is only one peice of software that I use frequantly that I cannot use in linux, this is a .NET script which ties into LTspice. LTspice itself works great in wine but I could not get the script to work in Wine/Linux.
>University support is better for windows - (e.g. connecting to University WiFi took 2 mins with a guide, same task took 30 mins on Linux - included reading man page to connect to a network type/authourization I had never used before, and reading the windows guide to extract the infomation needed).
>Most genral use PCs are windows, not just at university but in companies and the public libaries, knowing how to use windows becomes essentially.
>MS office is better than any alternative I have used (LO/OO/Abiword/Gnumeric), but I so rarely use office applications this makes little diffrence to me.
>Better hardware support - You don't have to reaserch if drivers are available you buy the hardware and install provided drivers if needed.
Reasons for needing/liking Linux
>Better command line, for me this is the biggest advantage. Quick bash scripts save me loads of time, being able to manipulate text streams is invaluble. When I am using windows I feel clipped WRT these features, I know they are acheivble in windows, but I am yet to come across a Linux install that does not have these tools where these features on Windows are rare.
>Large trustworthy source of free(gratis) software. I know there are plenty of of free/low cost software for Windows (I don't mind paying a small amount but I can't afford €50+ for an applications all the time). I feel I can trust the large collection of software availible in my repos, I have less trust of windows installers.
>Better documentation - In my experiance at least the documentation for Linux software seems better, alot of people seem to find the opposite.
>Software works as expected - I think this is just what I am used to, I often spend time working out what I am meant to be doing in windows or what a button actually does (actually this is more a GUI thing - I have the same problem with Gnome and KDE apps), where as on Linux/Bash I know what to do and what it is actually doing.
>Choice of desktop, I like tiling WMs I use xmonnard on my desktop, there is no simple way to do this.
>Lower overhead - my experiance is that Linux runs perceptivley faster on the same hardware (depending on DE)