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Innovation

Operating systems: all about personal preference

The topic of operating systems is a very common one now, with new gadgets coming out all of the time that now run their own operating systems. But, when you still look at the personal computer, the topic of operating systems can quickly become a debate among users.
Written by Chris Clay Clay, Contributor on

The topic of operating systems is a very common one now, with new gadgets coming out all of the time that now run their own operating systems. But, when you still look at the personal computer, the topic of operating systems can quickly become a debate among users. Everybody likes to defend what they use, and usually prefer what they are most used to, which is a natural preference. But I have noticed a couple of patterns of users that use Linux and Windows:

- Linux users: Many have used Windows and Linux at some point. Windows/DOS was around before Linux, so there are even some that used Microsoft's earlier products. But for some reason they have chosen to dump Windows and stick with Linux. I know very few within the past 3-4 years or so, that know Linux in and out, and have chosen to use Windows as their primary operating system. I would be happy to hear from somebody that has done this, to find out why they took the path they did. Personally, I made this move myself in 2002 (about 8 years ago) when I attempted to migrate to Linux from Windows for my personal workstation, and I ended up back on Windows XP. I didn't like Windows, but there were too many things that didn't work in Linux at the time. However, within the past 3-4 years, things have changed significantly; Linux is now capable of handling Windows software with ease, as well as its own catalog of software growing exponentially. In 2008 I finally made my migration from Windows XP to Fedora Linux on my personal PC plus two other PCs in our home used by my family, and I will never use Windows as my primary operating system again.

- Windows users: Most have used Windows since their first computer. They have become accustomed to Windows and feel comfortable with it. They realize that there is a huge amount of software available, some free and some that costs money. Every few years, they are able to buy the newest version of Windows (either a direct purchase or bundled witha new PC) and upgrade/migrate all of their data/settings. They can download from 3rd parties and try out trial versions of software and buy if they want. Very few in this group have ever seen or heard of Linux, let alone used it enough to become basically familiar with it. For those that have, they did not use it for very long before they gave up and went back to Windows.

In conclusion I have noticed that usually users that have used Windows and Linux extensively, have chosen Linux. Those that have hardly used Linux, have chosen Windows. Windows is still the dominating operating system on desktops today, it will be interesting at how many migrations we see in the upcoming years.

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