Why Linux Still Sucks
By Daniel Taylor on March 6, 2011 23:09
Recently, pirated software as well as the sites that host them have been receiving a lot of criticism for their "lack of morals." The entertainment industry is attempting to stop any and all of the countless torrent sites littering the internet, but to no avail. The most famous (or infamous) and well known website distributing pirated software is The Pirate Bay.
The entertainment industry has been chasing The Pirate Bay for a long time with little to show for their efforts. Although they have won numerous lawsuits opposing what the site is doing, the industry isn't even close to removing the site from existence. The Pirate Bay almost seems impervious to any attempts to get even close.
Over the past few months, there has been a great increase in the amount of interest in open source options and that isn't limited to software. It also applies to operating systems, specifically to Linux. To Linux activists, Linux is a gift from the gods, saving humanity from the evils of Bill Gates and his cursed Windows operating system. But to everyone else, it is just another attempt by less than 1% of the market to dethrone Windows as the most effective end user operating system currently available on the market.
Just to get this straight, I am in no way denying that Linux is an important step in the evolution of operating systems. Compared to Windows, Linux is a very clean operating system, but it comes at a cost of usability. Just like any new product on the market, Linux was brought in to solve the problems brought to the table through Windows, but new problems cascaded down on Linux that have never been a problem in Windows. Windows has its place while Linux has its place. Linux is built in a minimalist interface perfect for computers that need processing speed and can sacrifice a bit of usability. Places like servers are perfect for Linux. And Linux will always have a place in the heart of every uber geek.
The most common complaint submitted by users of Linux is the complete lack of gaming support. There are very few developers thinking about compatibility with Linux due to the tiny percentage of the market using Linux. Spending time developing compatibility for an operating system that takes up less than 1% of the market is not worth the money. And even if they did decide to develop for Linux, which of the dozens of Linux distros should they develop for? The facts are that every new game works on Windows, and one or two work on Linux.
Linux is also scaring people off from even trying Linux out because it lacks a tool to migrate between Windows and Linux. Many people have their entire life on the computer and switching to a new operating system nullifies any backups that have been made. There is currently no application able to duplicate all of the data from a Windows computer to a Linux computer. If users have to start their computer lives over or spend weeks duplicating the data manually just to switch to a computer that could possibly be better is just not worth it.
Most people have seen labels on hardware packages notifying the buyer that the product is compatible with Windows 7, but have you ever seen a Linux compatibility sticker? The answer would be no. And to the average buyer, there is absolutely no way for them to figure out if the printer, router, graphics card, or any other piece of hardware is actually going to work with their new Linux distro. Linux has made a point of working with many different hardware configurations, but not all hardware works with Linux and there is no way of knowing which pieces of hardware will work and which ones don't.
The root of all of the problems with Linux is the high reliance on the use of the terminal and CLI interfaces in general. End users have grown accustomed to the eye candy and visual effects that satisfy our senses. And Linux falls way short of the expectations of any user migrating from Windows or Mac. The simple lack of an advanced GUI interface for Linux drives many users back to the operating system from which they came. Hopefully, the UI of Linux will improve with time.
And that is the story of Linux. Most things may be slightly more flexible and reliable, but at the cost of usability. And that seems to be just a little too much for most end users to take.