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Switching to Windows, Not as Easy as You Think 803

rchapman writes "Mad Penguin writer Simon Gerber has published an amusing review of Windows XP as seen from a Linux users point of view. He really makes you feel like you are trying to use Windows for the first time after exclusively using Linux. The article covers everything from the hideous installer and its lack of partitioning/formatting capabilities to the utter wasteland that is the Windows desktop, devoid of useful applications and everything in between. A fun read."
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Switching to Windows, Not as Easy as You Think

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  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:45AM (#14426421)
    Windows, properly set up and configured, is NOT the BSOD nightmare it used to be. It's entrenched and will be a very hard slog to fight against. For those wanting to change, there's a super-polished, UNIX user friendly, open-source running contender in Apple's OS X.

    How many of you own Apple notebooks? How many have blown away OS X to put a PPC linux distro on there?

    The fact is that Windows isn't that bad, and Linux is going to do a whole lot better on the desktop if we want to make inroads there. Linux is already taking over places where the user experience is negligible or tightly controlled, for example, in the embedded, RTOS, and industrial worlds.

    Fun article, but Microsoft moves forward, too. If Vista is a marketing success, then MS will dominate for a long time on the x86 desktop.

  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack ( 534373 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:46AM (#14426431)
    I must say, I am not particularly impressed by Windows XP. To be fair, it has made great strides forward in both stability and usability. Security is improving, but still has a long way to go

    How would a newbie to Windows realize great strides in both these areas? Answer me that Jack!
  • Audience? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilitirit ( 873234 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:48AM (#14426439)
    Who is the intended audience? Casual or Power-users? I doubt my Gran would be particularly interested in MBR's and partitions and what not...
  • by norfolkboy ( 235999 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:50AM (#14426445)
    "devoid of useful applications"

    You are moaning that Windows is by default "devoid of useful applications ".

    Of course it is! Remember the fiasco any time Microsoft try bundling anything useful with Windows? It ends up in an anti-trust trial! Of COURSE Microsoft aren't going to bundle anything useful with Windows any more.

    I thoguht that was what a Linux user would want? Choice of their own applications, not MS's choice.
  • by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:58AM (#14426487)
    To start with, you've to install tons of apps that the operative systems don't includes itself. And due to that stupid microsoft rule that existed for years ("installer must be executables delivered by 3rd party apps") I've no way to automate the download and installation of those (yes, I know about msi, I also know MSIs can be slipped in the installation CD. I still find no way of installing AND automatic its update like apt-get update & upgrade does. And LOTS of installers are not using MSI still. Shame on you microsoft, for forcing people to create docens of different, incompatible, buggy, installers)

  • article moderation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by naddington ( 852722 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:58AM (#14426489)
    I mod this article -1 Troll.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:58AM (#14426493)
    Before it goes to far out of hand, where the slashdot hidden windows expert points out workarounds for his problems. This is how people write about Linux in Windows Rags. They go by their first impression and give there ratings from a 1 Day Point of View. When you move to a dramatically different system Windows, Mac, Linux/Unix, VMS... You find that things are not easy anymore. You they are no longer logically laid out Nothing works anymore and all your comfort apps are no longer there. You need time to think like the designers of the os, knowing the ls is short for list, or Dir sands for directory, or My Computer allows you view your mounted network drives. If you know only windows Other OS's feel weird and wrong the same if you know only an other OS. I say we should stop with these rags from peoples first impression and go with a better one showing the differences and explaining their strong and week points and not give judgement of what is better.
  • by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:03AM (#14426522)
    And what is Microsoft supposed to do about applications? If it bundled Microsoft Office in with Windows, the anti-competition people would be on their backs the day it hit the shelves. They have no choice but keep the OS relatively free of apps - too many partners they don't want to piss off and the anti-competition people just waiting with multi-million dollar fines! Look at the shit they are having to go through here in Europe with Windows Media Player for example!

    They could do what they used to do years ago - allow the bundling of MS applications and alternatives on the same PC - perhaps as CDs. They you could chose MS Works or Corel Office or Open Office...

  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:04AM (#14426528) Homepage Journal
    No, every time MS tries to bundle something of their own, and not include competitors, then we have an anti-trust trial. If MS bundled IE, Netscape and Opera with their OS, equivalent to what most linux distros do, there would be no problems. If they bundled WMP, realplayer and winamp - again equivalent to your typical linux distro - there would be no problems. It's when they try and give you just their product that the problems arise.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:07AM (#14426555) Homepage Journal

    Remember the fiasco any time Microsoft try bundling anything useful with Windows? It ends up in an anti-trust trial!

    That's because MS doesn't just bundle. They bundle, then weld it to the OS, encase it in lucite so you can't get at it, and surround it with landmines to keep all but the most determined de-installer away.

    I like having more apps than I could ever need included in a Linux distro. However, I would object strenuously Xorg and a window manager was fused into the kernel and made intrinsically dependant on firefox. That's the key difference. Any componant of any Linux distro can be replaced at will. When available, the distro will include several alternatives for the same basic functionality.

  • by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:10AM (#14426578)

    The section about it being devoid of useful applications makes my blood boil. Windows is an operating system which allows you to run applications. It is not necessarly something that has to come shipped with a million and one applications. Perhaps we have become complacent because every Linux distro comes shipped with a ton of applications. It would be simple enough to make a Linux distribution that has a similar number of default installed applications as Windows.

    The other problem with this statement is the way everyone cries foul when Microsoft default installs an app with Windows and then complains that a Windows default install doesn't have any applications. Make up your mind! You can't have it both ways.

  • by dollargonzo ( 519030 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:11AM (#14426581) Homepage
    I think you're completely right, but I also think that the whole point of an article like this is to point out how silly articles that rag on Linux after only having used it for a short period of time are. Irony is your friend.
  • by KwKSilver ( 857599 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:15AM (#14426601)
    You guys seem to be devoid of a sense of humor. You like to dish it out, but you can't take it. Are you so bitter because you are slaves? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • Re:Flawed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:15AM (#14426606)
    Key statement: I set up Linux workstations
      Let your novice users try to set up and use both and see which is more successful.

    Answer: Linux. The Ubuntu install is far simpler than Windows, and was the first install of any OS on PC hardware I have ever seen that needed no prompting or additional drivers to deal with hardware.

    Give a beginner a Windows XP CD and an Ubuntu CD and I have no doubts they would find Ubuntu easier to install in most cases.
  • by debest ( 471937 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:18AM (#14426612)
    The article was a send-up of all the "trying out Linux" articles that Windows power users have been writing for the past several years. You get to hear what difficulty they have getting used to a different way of doing things, but of course they call if a "problem" instead.

    Same here, except in reverse, and with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The article is showing how asinine it is to flame an OS when you don't know what the hell you are doing, and have no experience with it.

    You DID notice the "It's funny, laugh!" icon at the top of the /. post?
  • Re:Flawed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhiteWolf666 ( 145211 ) <sherwin@amir[ ]us ['an.' in gap]> on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:19AM (#14426617) Homepage Journal
    How about doing a review from the perspective of someone who has never used a computer before - then lets see which one is easier to use (hint: the answer will be Windows XP by a massive margin).

    Does this include the install process, or are you comparing pre-installed XP versus DIY Linux?

    If a novice was forced to install both, I'd bet $100 that they'd get Linux installed properly first. A Linux install comes with most necessary drivers/software that you'll need. A novice Windows user would _never_ find the drivers needed for even an OEM system, like a Sony or HP, where all the drivers are centralized on one site, let alone searching out the drivers from each manufacturer. Linux installs are much easier than XP installs.

    Usage? Are you talking about Gentoo versus XP? I'd suggest pre-installed SuSE versus pre-installed XP.

    SuSE? Comes with manuals, both electronic and dead tree.
    SuSE? Comes with all productivie software, documented in the manuals! Need to write a text document? Look up "word processing" in the SuSE manual. It'll tell you what app to use, show screenshots of the app, and give you a basic rundown of its usage, with pointers to a section in the electronic help system that will give you indepth support and tutorials, as well as e-mail/phone support.

    What will XP do if you look up "Word Processing" in that 15 page piece of shit 'starter guide' it comes with?

    The only place that XP is at all easier is finding software for it. Linux software is easier to install (RPM are very convienient, klik:// is even easier, and the GUI package managers are drop dead easy, especially Mandriva's URPMI GUI and SuSE's YaST GUI), and easier to remove. Linux systems require no habitual maintenance. You don't have to worry about anti-virus or anti-spyware, and even if you did worry about it, you could simply install the anti-virus software that comes with your distribution, using the distributions own package manager. Don't believe me? SuSE's YaST has "ClamAV", as well as several other anti-virus packages included.

    If you can show me Windows software that installs as easily as this: http://amavis-ng.klik.atekon.de/ [atekon.de] , I'll be mighty impressed. And commercial vendors are picking it up, too. For example, klik://nero will install the latest version of Nero Burning Rom on your Linux system, and run it. From one file. One click install->run. No setting, no fuss, no random files draped all over your system.

    The only place linux still really lags behind is game avaliablility. Between alsa, SDL, and OpenGL, there's a pretty comprehensive gaming environment on linux, but its taking manufacturers some time to get caught up. iD and Epic are doing pretty well, and Transgaming's doing some neat things with DirectX9 Wine, but gaming on Linux just isn't all that there yet, even though I do manage to keep myself enterained.

    It disappoints me that I can't play whatever games I want, but I keep myself busy with Secondlife, EVE Online, World of Warcraft, Doom 3, the Unreal series, Civilization IV, and various other distractions.
  • by nicklott ( 533496 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:21AM (#14426635)
    You must be doing something aggravating to the OS then. I've used XP basically since it came out, and post SP1, the only BSODs I have seen have been due to a) serious hardware failure (on a Dell laptop), b) Spyware and c) me pulling a PCI card out while it was still on.

    I would vote for b) (or possibly a) as it's an HP laptop) given the symptoms you describe.

    I would not be shocked if that happened on a linux system. Well, I would be shocked if the screen went blue, but not if it stopped responding. I've seen centos systems both panic and just freeze due to bad ram and simply an old (non-DMA) HD.

  • by jiushao ( 898575 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:26AM (#14426670)
    And just imagine how user-friendly that would be. The reviewer would be so very pleased.
  • by Politburo ( 640618 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:27AM (#14426681)
    This is really a silly idea. Not just because of the general idea, but because of the practicalities. If you bundle (let's say) Real, QT and Winamp.. Where's the line? Every shmuck who's written a media player is going to want it bundled. So do you have to include JoeMedia also? What about when you have too many apps bundled and want to take a few out? Those vendors are going to howl to no end. What about quality? What if Real delivers a buggy adware piece of shit to be bundled?

    It's never 'equivalent to what Linux does' because there is no Linux corporation that is trying to have everyone use their browser, media player, etc.
  • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Octorian ( 14086 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:34AM (#14426715) Homepage
    Have you ever seen the average "start menu" of an average Windows machine? Once I go to "Programs", I get a list that fills the screen (or scrolls on newer versions) of vendor names! Makes it almost impossible to find ANYTHING unless you already know what piece of software you're looking for! The only way to get a usable programs menu in Windows is to completely reorganize it manually.
  • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by incubusnb ( 621572 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:47AM (#14426778) Homepage Journal
    Just because a summary says something doesn't mean that the article says the same thing. The article acknowledges the presence of a partition tool but bemoans the limited features of the tool.
    A.K.A its not the tool that Linux uses so i don't want to use it *grumblegrumbleimleetcuziuselinuxgrumble*
  • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radarsat1 ( 786772 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:55AM (#14426838) Homepage
    Hmm so, where do I backup my data before formatting when this data is in the same partition as the system and the apps...

    for what it's worth, most computers come with "restore" disks that wipe the whole fucking drive no matter how the partitions are set up. I always thought THAT was idiotic, too.
  • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by laplandsix ( 850999 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:56AM (#14426841) Homepage Journal
    Ability to partition your hard drive is important. I've seen brand new PCs coming out with 120+Gb HDs with a single windows-already-installed partition. This is utterly idiot. All stuff (system, apps, data) packed together in C:\.

    Heh, HP is REALLY bad about partitioning a drive to not use its full capacity. So let's say you've got a 120GB hard drive, well they'll partition off 80GB of it for a windows drive and the balance of your disk is left unpartitioned. In your case it might be a _good_ thing, since you want another partition. I however can just envision all those home users out there who wonder why their 120 GB hard drive filled up with g0at pr0n so dang fast.
  • Re:Flawed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrismcdirty ( 677039 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:00AM (#14426885) Homepage
    Forgot to include this one:

    The menus are much easier traversed than the god-awful XP menus. At least most Linux distros have some sort of organization, aside from alphabetical. Want to listen to some music? Try the Multimedia or Sound and Video menu. Want to write a document? Office or Editors menu. Then from there, some of the desktop environments set it up so it has the product name, with its function in parentheses, or the other way around. Much easier, in my opinion, than searching by "Software Developer Name">"Product Name", which the user may forget.
  • Re:Flawed. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slashname3 ( 739398 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:10AM (#14426957)
    Actually there are several other application areas that cause adoption of linux to be less than it could besides the lack of games.

    To get wide spread acceptance you must provide solutions for business as well as home users.

    1. Visio replacement (dia can work but is not a complete replacement)
    2. project management software, planner is almost there but not quite yet.
    3. tax software. (a version of turbotax for linux, not the web based thing but something you control on your systems)

    Openoffice or Staroffice can replace Micosoft Office today so the majority of things in the business world are taken care of. Get replacements for a few others and companies will be able to convert large numbers of users. And just like before with Microsoft, once it is used at the office users will take it home and use it there.

    Once it is used by large numbers at home the games will come. But games are not a driving reason.
  • Re:RTFA (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:20AM (#14427024)
    If you're a grandma, you dont care where to put ur files seperately.
    If you are a power user, you RTFM that came with Windows. That simple!
  • Re:RTFA (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:23AM (#14427066)
    I'm sure there is an obscure utility for every possible situation in windows, the point is that in Linux it's right there on the install disk.
  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot.fi ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:32AM (#14427112) Homepage
    That's why the OS should come with _NONE_ of these apps when shipped by microsoft...
    Then OEM's such as Dell or HP can include whatever apps they want to...

    Linus doesn't ship any browser with the kernel, it's the distro that packages everything together.
  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:47AM (#14427207) Homepage Journal
    When it's free clients and you're competing on the servers, yes. It's your obligation as a monopoly to not give yourself an unfair advantage by bunding your client but not other people's.
  • Re:RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mostly a lurker ( 634878 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:50AM (#14427238)
    I have looked carefully in the box, but I fail to see the manual you refer to that explains how to load and run the deployment tool. I cannot find it on the installation disk either. Can you please refer me to the appropriate chapter? Or, are you assuming that anyone installing Windows will also have access to the MSDN (on CDs) and some way of accessing them prior to installation?
  • by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:52AM (#14427245)
    Microsoft don't distribute other people's software with their software, simply because they're a commercial entity and don't want to put themselves out of business. Combined with the competitiveness pressure, meaning they can't distribute much of their software with their OS, you get Windows as more or less a blank slate.

    I think you are missing the point. It is not that Microsoft don't distribute other people's software - it is that they come to arrangements with PC vendors to prevent the vendor distributing other people's software, or even alternative versions of Windows. Here is an example:

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,760198, 00.asp [extremetech.com]

    It is about Microsoft controlling what the PC vendor can do.
  • by dilvish_the_damned ( 167205 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:53AM (#14427252) Journal
    its just that properly set up and configured with regard to Windows is more of an artifact of the OS teaching you how to behave rather than the other way around and setting it up is more of an art form that strives to induce stability.
    The content of the artform is rather subjective at times.
  • Re:RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Spoonman ( 634311 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:02AM (#14427299) Homepage
    This is utterly idiot. All stuff (system, apps, data) packed together in C:\.

    That's the easiest way for the end user. As another posted pointed out, users don't care about/understand/want to deal with separate partitions.

    Should the system go bad (virii, etc), which happens often

    Actually, in the last 20 years, the most likely reason for a machine to "go bad" is a hard drive failure. Separate partitions aren't going to help you much if your head don't move.

    the most used solution is to format.

    Just because supposed "tech support" people don't know how to actually fix problems is not a limitation of Windows, it's a limitation of the people doing the hiring at support centers. Anyone who uses formatting as a "fix" instead of actually fixing should be fired...out of a cannon. Also, formatting isn't the fix, they tell the end user to use a recovery disk which wipes the whole hard drive instead of doing a repair install, which is easy enough to implement instead.

    Hmm so, where do I backup my data before formatting when this data is in the same partition as the system and the apps... Not that joe-six-packs are organized enough to separate data from apps and system, thou.

    So, you complain that joe user can't backup his data, and then admit that joe user can't figure out how to separate it anyway. As for backing up...mmmmm...pretty much every new PC these days comes with a CD burner. If, instead of complaining, you spent the five minutes teaching your joe user friends how to back up their data with that tool, it wouldn't be a problem, would it?

    And I guess there is some slight performance boost in working with smaller partitions.

    You would be incorrect.

    So, IMHO, windows installer should have a decent partitioner... And brand new PCs should be sold with a reasonable partition scheme. E.g: a 120Gb should have about 20Gb for system and apps and 2x50Gb for data.

    Firstly, your opinion isn't humble. It's chock full of righteous indignation. And it's that special kind of righteous indignation that stems from ignorance. There is only one instance where I separate my data from my apps: my work laptop. I have all of my data stored on an encrypted partition, and the apps/OS on a small non-encrypted partition. If I need to leave my company, I don't want to worry about what's left behind on the hard drive. Aside from that, I NEVER partition drives. Linux, Windows, OSX, doesn't matter. I HATE partitioned drives. There's never enough space on one of them and I end up scrambling to to figure out how to balance it. In the last 20 years, I've never regretted having single-partitioned drives.

    In MY opinion, partitioning is a relic from the ancient times of tiny drives and OSes that couldn't support anything larger than "X megs". The fact that it remains, despite it being completely uneccessary, shows how too many people in IT can't grok and move forward. "That's the way it's always been done" is so scarily true...
  • by phooka.de ( 302970 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:18AM (#14427397)
    You know, sometimes a dump or refusal to work really is the best option.

    MS seems to assume that installing Windows(tm) on a machine that will cause it to hang frequently is a bad idea. Powerusers will bed to differ (as in "as long as it stays up long enough for me to download that driver..."), but IMHO, Windows is *NOT* for powerusers. It's for dummioes who will go out and buy a new drive in your situation.

    Any maybe for them, it's the best thing to do.
  • I remember... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakes268 ( 856460 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:43AM (#14427602)
    A contractor who sat on the otherside of the cubicle wall from me used to be pretty lound and I'd overhear him quite a bit. He hardly used Windows - Linux pretty much exclusively however, the client we were placed was a Windows shop.

    He used to do nothing but bad mouth Windows but when it came time for him to do work it came down to the simple truth of - he didn't know how. He didn't know enough about Windows to even accurately bash based on experience but everything he said was something he would read here on Slashdot.

    If you use Linux alot - Windows seems foreign. If you use Windows a lot, Linux seems foreign. Go work on a Mac for 2 years ONLY without ever touching another computer then try to switch to something else without doing any research first. You'll hate everything! Not because its worse but because it's "different".
  • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:07PM (#14427780) Journal
    The other problem with this statement is the way everyone cries foul when Microsoft default installs an app with Windows

    sigh... As as been said here and many times before; it's not that Windows *ships* with these applications or even that they are *installed*. It's that you can't (easily) *remove* them in favor of something else.

    If I could a) easily install Windows and choose not to install IE, OE and WMP or b) easily remove these from an already installed PC then I would not care a bit about there existence.

    Despite how much I prefer Firefox and WinAmp, IE and WMP are still lurking around on my machine becasue it is a total PITA to remove them.
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:12PM (#14427842) Homepage Journal
    I say we should stop with these rags from peoples first impression and go with a better one showing the differences and explaining their strong and week points and not give judgement of what is better.

    When served a fat turd on bread and a roast beef sandwich, we should show the difference and explain the strong and week points without judging one better than the other.

    Windows XP needs dozens of third party add-ons which cost hundreds of dollars before it's remotely useful. It does not even come with a spell checker, does it? M$ has been riding the heals of other people's work forever. Most of those other people got tired of it and started writing free software, so you that you can have everything you want on a single CD that auto configures itself, preserves your current OS and installs itself in 20 minutes or less.

  • Re:Flawed. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aztracker1 ( 702135 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:25PM (#14427976) Homepage
    I installed Ubuntu, my wireless card doesn't connect me to the internet... now what do I do?

    I had windows working on the machine in question, I was trying ubuntu to see if I could recover anything from the HD.. wireless didn't work, and I had to do other things, but saying that the installer does it all simply isn't true. And doing a post-install of drivers in *nix isn't as easy as download, click->next->next->reboot->done. Don't get me wrong, I like linux, love PC-BSD, and really like my Mac... but to say that linux is easier for general use than windows isn't so...

    Is there a single disk installer for a program that will work on more than half the linux distros, without some sort of inline compile out of the box? (answer: no); Are there disks out there that will install on 99.999% of windows boxes (various versions, 9x or nt based) without issue? (answer: yes)... This is what's holding back linux, there's no installer that will work on at *least* half the desktop installs out of the box... with windows you get > 90% out of the box.
  • Why C:\Program Files, dammit? Why can't I choose it to be D:\Program files, or maybe just D:\PROGRAMS ? It requires a registry search and replace to move my program files to the partition of my choice.

    Again, this is a problem not of simplicity, but of Microsoft taking the decisions for you.
  • by amigabill ( 146897 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:46PM (#14428185)
    I upgraded my sister's desktop for Christmas with a new motherboard and CPU, keeping as much as I could from the old K63-450 like the graphics, network and sound cards. It had 98SE on it, which was discovered to not be capable of doing iTunes or her new Shuffle, or MS Office 2003 she needs for grad school. (Compatibility with the 2003 in the labs and professor's machines and all that...) So we picked up an XP Home upgrade as well.

    Most everything went well. Except for the SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 card. XP doesn't seem to want to recognize it's there. It worked in 98SE fine. But I can't get it to want to install drivers from CD, it keeps saying there's no harware isntalled for the driver to work with and the installer exits out.


    I have to download a driver update to try and mail her a CD because the thing was too huge for her dialup to get. It made it to 89% of 40some megs and died. What the heck makes a driver download for a sound card that big?
  • Re:Flawed. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trelane ( 16124 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @01:30PM (#14428635) Journal
    Okay, my definition is "available" means you can walk into a Comp USA and find it.

    Again, what is the point of such a test/study? We already know that Windows totally dominates pre-installs!

  • Simple Enough (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wetfeetl33t ( 935949 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @01:53PM (#14428856)
    This should make it pretty obvious that switching operating systems, whether it be from microsoft, linux, apple etc isn't going to be easy.
    Its the same idea as learning a foreign language. Did anyone find learning a new language easy? It takes time and experience to be comfortable with.
  • by voxel ( 70407 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @01:57PM (#14428904)
    This guy is full of it.

    I can do the EXACT same thing with LINUX. I can install it on some system and have all kinds of problems, simply because I don't know what I am doing.

    The fact of the matter is, BOTH operating systems are way to technically difficult to install. You have to "know" your environment the second even ONE little thing goes wrong, or else all hell breaks loose. You know how long it took me to find the damn "lspci" command? Sheesh, I was looking for an hour. I didn't even KNOW if Linux had this ability, after I realized it MIGHT, then I had to find the thing. At least with windows you can graphically navigate to the most obvious place.. "Control Panel"... makes sense.. "System", yeah!, "hardware" Oh yeah!!, "Devices" RIGHT ON!. Linux = ... Uhhh ... pci[enter] no... fuck it. Google where are you.

    I've installed Windows on at least two dozen machines, sure sometimes there is a problem, but nothing like this guy is talking about.

    There are some basic ideas and steps you need to know to fix "drivers" and such, once you know them its a snap. The same goes for linux.

    My point is Windows is NOT more difficult or screwed up than linux, and vice versa. They are both pretty horrible, but personally I give WINDOWS the hands down on being slightly less horrible as far as install-experience.

    - Voxel

    P.S. If the guy had been using the latest version of Windows XP (Service Pack 2 Disk), then his 200 gigabyte drive would of detected fine. When you use a linux distro, you do use the latest version don't you?

  • Re:Flawed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Nowak ( 872479 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:05PM (#14428974)
    The trouble with wireless cards is that many manufacturers don't release specifications, making it impossible (or at least very, very hard) to write drivers for them. If you want to use wireless with Linux, you may need to replace your card with one made by a manufacturer who will release such data.
  • by sn0wflake ( 592745 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:31PM (#14429229)
    "The first half is text based, consisting of a blue screen with white text. Not exactly pretty, and not particularly functional. It spent a long time 'copying system files' before it asked me any questions. Copying them where, though? I had an unformatted hard-drive in this machine, so I suspect the RAM."

    And just how does this differ from something like Knoppix :)

    "In order to get the hardware working, I had to visit the Intel website and download the required drivers. Finding out what hardware you have is a difficult process under Windows. With most Linux distributions,it is often as simple as typing lspci. Not so under Windows. Instead you have to open up the 'Control Panel', find your way to the 'System' applet, look for the Hardware tab, then launch the 'device manager'. That's a lot of clicking, for such a simple task!"

    "Buhu, I hurt my hand clicking and I prefer to open a console and write commands."

    "I wanted to know what was happening, so out of habit I hit Ctrl+Alt+F1. Of course, this was a no go. It seems that virtual consoles aren't enabled in Windows by default. In fact, subsequent Google searches seemed to suggest that Windows doesn't come with this functionality at all! Your GUI is all you get. Perhaps new and inexperienced users would not need this functionality, or even notice it was missing, but I'm sure Linux 'power users', attempting to switch to Windows, will miss it."

    Well, duuuuh, Windows doesn't have virtual consoles. And I'm pretty sure that new and inexperienced Linux users doesn't need the Ctrl+Alt+F1 functionality, or even notice it's missing.

    "Okay, so I was finally logged in. There were icons all over the desktop. Icons I certainly had never placed there. With a growing sense of trepidation, I opened 'My Documents', a folder which should have been empty. It wasn't. It was full of my boss's stuff. I double-checked the profile information in Active Directory to make sure I hadn't inadvertently typed in the wrong profile path. I hadn't. Windows had simply magnanimously decided to swap my own My Documents folder with that of another user in the system. Now that is a truly disastrous bug."

    No, that's a stupid admin.

    "No matter. Time to see what software we get with a standard Windows install. Not much, as it turns out. I wasn't expecting a lot from a single CD install, but the complete lack of applications was rather scary, considering the normal price tag on a copy of Windows. Microsoft did include a text editor, but I don't know why. It had no options for syntax highlighting or automatic indenting, let alone 'advanced' features such as whether or not to use spaces instead of tabs, and if so, how many. This renders it rather useless for anything beyond basic editing of config files, and given that Windows config files all seem to be in binary formats anyway, it's hard to imagine why they even bothered including it. I'll stick to vim, thank you very much. There are versions compiled for Windows."

    OMFG, that the great thing about Windows. People don't have to mess around with config files!

    "Windows' only drawing program, 'MS Paint', is so basic it would turn even the most accomplished digital artist into little more than a kid with crayons. In a similar fashion, the default e-mail client 'Outlook Express', is barely functional, and the web-browser, 'Internet Explorer' is famed for its ability to destroy your entire computer."

    Yes, you're right. Install GIMP, Firefox, and Thunderbird. Problem solved.

    "The Windows command-prompt is called 'cmd', and it uses old DOS commands you are probably not familiar with. However, this is not likely to be much of a problem, as it is extremely limited, and not particularly worth using. Very few Windows programs are scriptable, anyway. Again, this appears to be an area where Microsoft have made our choices for us, deliberately neglecting an area of functionality they do not expect or want people to use."

    The point of Windows is tha
  • by ShaggyBOFH ( 694048 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:26PM (#14429734)
    All you have to do to switch to Windows is buy a new PC. They all come with it installed out of the box. They also come with all the software most people need either already installed or available to buy at your local Best Buy/Circuit City.

    One month later, it all quits working. This is due to the fact that almost everything pre-installed is 30 trialware.

  • by I'm Don Giovanni ( 598558 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:33PM (#14429790)
    You really are clueless.

    Go browse Dell or HP's site, and note of 3rd party software that they bundle.
    For example, Dell's default "office" suite that they bundle is Corel. Dell bundles MS Office only if you explicitly select it and pay extra.
    HP bundles iTunes as the default music player. For "office" functionality, HP's default bundle is MS Works, but you can alternatively choose Corel or MS Office. Dell and/or HP bundle other 3rd party apps from Sonic and the like.

    Microsoft isn't preventing OEMs from installing any 3rd party apps that they want to.
  • by MamboGod ( 944464 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:00PM (#14430036)
    Well, I must say that I really despise articles like this one. The kind "Im a Linux user, so let's bash on Windows". I am a Windows and Unix user (IRIX) and in my work I also use Linux (Red Hat), so Im quite used to working in different OS environments. Why does every writers of articles bashing Windows says that "I had to reboot because it freeze", "It does not detect my hardware", and so on... I do not know what kind of Windows does this people use, but I work with Maya and other highend 3D software packages and my Windows XP NEVER crashed in two years. All my hardware (including a NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000) works great. When I tried to install Linux on my PC, only Fedora detected my video card (and I tried a lot of them).
    Problems with Firefox? Gimme a break... You're the first one that I know with that kind of problem.
    According the subject of Windows being "devoid of useful applications", that's subjective. For a lot of people that's better than get an OS (read Linux) with 5 text editors (at least), 3 browsers (or more) and so on...
    Windows desktop ugly? Coming from a Linux user this is rather funny...
    I do love Linux and I wish the best of luck for it's future, but this kind of mentality only afects the embrace of Linux in the mainstream.
    All those windows desktop managers with different projects like Oxygen, that will lead to nowhere. Even Linus has already foreseen it.
    And it's better not to talk about driver issues in Linux...
  • Re:RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ePhil_One ( 634771 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:18PM (#14430185) Journal
    Just because supposed "tech support" people don't know how to actually fix problems is not a limitation of Windows, it's a limitation of the people doing the hiring at support centers. Anyone who uses formatting as a "fix" instead of actually fixing should be fired...out of a cannon.

    Other way around, you would be fired. Cleaning a badly infected system, solving all the little nits, that can take hours, and there's always the chance that the problem is being driven by defective hardware that is eluding the scanners. We can reimage a system in 30 minutes, less than 5 of which requires our attention. So it boils down to what the potentially lost data is worth. Many hours of work with potentially no solution (and if something is overlooked, potentially a rapid re-infection). If the data is valuable, We'll allow the drive to be mounted in another system to recover the "critical files", then nuke it.

    Also, formatting isn't the fix, they tell the end user to use a recovery disk which wipes the whole hard drive instead of doing a repair install, which is easy enough to implement instead.

    The repair install doesn't always fix the problem, and talking someone through it over the phone can be nightmarish (I just tried a few weeks ago). The systems support people's job is to get the system running at factory specs, the recovery option does that simply, quickly, and repeatedly. So long as they inform the consumer the impact and suggest they may wish to find a local shop that can recover the data for them (and yes, charge $60 an hour), this is acceptable.

    As for backing up...mmmmm...pretty much every new PC these days comes with a CD burner. If, instead of complaining, you spent the five minutes teaching your joe user friends how to back up their data with that tool, it wouldn't be a problem, would it?

    CD's are not an acceptable backup medium. Neither are DVD-R's. And many low costs systems don't have them anyway, as well as corporate systems from which admins wish to discourage people from taking sensitive corporate data home (not to mention $20 x 1,000 systems is a LOT). I can't get users to save critical data to a network drive that IS backed up. But it makes me feel better as I reformat their hard drives. :)

    In MY opinion, partitioning is a relic from the ancient times of tiny drives and OSes that couldn't support anything larger than "X megs". The fact that it remains, despite it being completely uneccessary, shows how too many people in IT can't grok and move forward.

    Your lack of imagination continues to impress me. I partition all my drives so when users do something stupid and fill my drives up (/home, /tmp, /var, whatever), the system still runs & boots fine. If I suspect a machine may have been comprimised, logs remain, user data remains, etc, but I can completely nuke all the binaries, etc, that may have been comprimised. I've had users fill up a 1 TB system.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.