Written by Paranoid
Reading a PC magazine lately (you know, the paper ones) I was appalled to see that Linux, the operating system that Microsoft described as '80's technology', is actually gaining support, and not just from people running Internet sites, but from home users too... Some people were raving about setting up hard drive partitions for Linux and how great it is... But it's not, it actually _is_ 80's technology. OK, it's great for networks and Internet sites etc... but the only person who would enjoy Linux is the typical computer nerd. The type of person who loved typing DOS commands, and got erections from command switches. It's strange that an antique OS like Linux would gain massive popularity today, I mean, I always thought we'd come pretty far with the GUI, but no, a million people out there want to use Linux instead! Let's be realistic here, the chances of Linux taking over as the popular OS of the future are ZERO, and Microsoft know that, and that's why they dismiss Linux so easily.
So why do people love Linux? Because either they just hate MS so much or they want something different, a new toy to play with. A change is as good as a rest, and people get bored using the same OS, so they change to a different one - even if it is inadequate.
I admire the people who have made Linux what it is today - thanks to open architecture ordinary programmers can modify the OS and make it better. And they do it for free! In the ideal world this would be great, a completely free OS made by the people for the people, but can you imagine the problems ordinary people would have if their first PC came with a command line OS instead of a more user-friendly GUI? There would be chaos, and the technical support lines for the offending company would be jammed with people who hadn't got a notion what to do. Of course, you could tell them to read a manual the size of the Bible, but that's just not the way computers are today. The old days of the computer being accessible and usable only to guys with computer-science degrees and the anti-social genius have passed - thank God! Only mad people want to go back to those days, perhaps because they felt special because they knew all this crap that nobody else knew (or wanted to know!), such as the complete command switches for the pkunzip command...
And the reason Netscape is supporting Linux is because they hate Microsoft.. Ok, maybe to be fair, they want more diversity, and more options available to people with different OS', I could understand this, a competitive market usually leads to a better deal for the consumer, and advances in the said market. However, the people supporting Linux have the wrong idea, what needs to be developed is an OS that can actually rival Windows, not a 20 year throwback from the late 70's (UNIX). Genuinely new ideas that work well, and that people feel comfortable with - that's what's needed, something different but better than Windows. It IS possible to compete with Microsoft, but you need to offer something new to people, not your own version of Windows (OS2) or even worse, your own version of a completely unfriendly OS (Linux).
So, to conclude, Linux may be useful for certain people (networks/internet sites) but I'm sick of all the hype it's getting from the anti-Microsoft lobby and the nostalgia-geeks. It's __NOT__ the OS of the future, it's an exercise in futility created by a mixture of good intentions and naivety. It's good that we have some options for OS' now, but something that can compete with the standard would be nice. I know that this will royally piss a lot of people off, but you should realise that I'm not Microsoft's biggest fan either, I think they could have done a lot better since Win3.1. But I am a realist for today, and an optimist/idealist for the future - and the basic fact of the matter is that, despite the flaws of the Windows OS, it is still the best OS out there at the moment - like it or not. You should also realise that I am technically minded, I used computers since I was 10 years old, I remember those days, and I never had too much trouble using computers. I have a quaification in computing/software-development and would have no trouble using Linux whatsoever. But it's crap.
Please, don't send me any e-mails about this article, coz there would be nothing as boring to me as debating the finer points of Linux vs Windows with hundreds of you... So if you do, I'll just send you a reply of "LINUX SUX".
(Note: There are GUIs for Linux, too, such as X Window or KDE. - Adok)