It's a debate that can never end, really. Whether Windows or Linux is better, or faster, or more stable than the other. It seems to be a recurring subject in the few IRC channels I frequent, and the discussion almost always ends in a flamewar or in an operator stepping in and shutting us down because he can't stand the racket.

However, every now and then, the Pro-Windows and the Pro-Linux camp manage to agree on something. This is usually when all the zealots (people who are stuck in their own world where all their opinions are irrefutable facts) are asleep or have been kicked out, and only the people who actually know what they're talking about are left. This is a compilation of the things we've been able to agree on, as a kind of a reference. It's meant to be as objective as possible.

  1. No operating system is generally or universally better or worse than another.
    It all depends on what you're going to be using your computer for.

  2. Whether a piece of software is open-source or closed-source does not affect its quality.
    Not directly, anyway. Though access to the source can help a knowledgeable person determine the quality of the software.

  3. Free (as in beer) software is not necessarily better than non-free software just because it is free.
    The reverse is also true.

  4. Hating Microsoft is not a good reason for using Linux.
    But it is a good reason not to use Windows.

  5. Linux is not as easy to install, configure, or use, as Windows.
    Not yet, anyway. But there's been a lot of progress in this area in recent years.

  6. There are not equally good Linux alternatives to every piece of software out there for which there is no *nix version or port.
    Adobe Photoshop is an excellent example of such software. 3D Studio Max is another.

  7. Whether you use Windows or Linux on your home PC is more a matter of personal preference than anything else.
    See item 1. And don't forget, there is such a thing as dual-booting.

  8. Neither Linux nor Windows has a perfect track record when it comes to security.
    Actually, Linux's record is certainly better than Windows's. Still, given proper configuration, a Windows server can be made just as hard to hack as one running Linux.

  9. There are a lot of exploits that affect Microsoft products, such as Internet Information Server.
    The successes of some of these exploits can be attributed both to SNAFU's on Microsoft's behalf and to lazy administrators who don't bother installing security updates and turning off unneeded IIS features.

  10. Linux is a threat to Microsoft; especially, but not exclusively, on the server market.
    But it's not yet a major threat, especially not on the desktop.

  11. The hardware support in Windows is far better than in Linux.
    This is mainly due to Windows' popularity, and because hardware manufacturers tend to prioritize developing Windows drivers for their products.

  12. Yes, Windows 95, 98 and Me do suck horribly, and are little but unstable GUI's on top of MS-DOS.
    They became popular because there were no viable alternatives, especially for gamers.

  13. Windows requires rebooting more often than Linux, for stuff like installing device drivers.
    Whether this is a problem or not is very subjective.

  14. Windows is more suitable for gaming than Linux is.
    Mainly because pretty much all PC games are made for Windows - Linux users have to use ports or Windows emulators to play them.

  15. Linux requires you tinker with it to get it working sometimes.
    Windows is better at working right out the box, usually without much tinkering, but usually requires quite a bit of patching to be made as secure, compatible and stable as possible.

Please msg me any corrections, additions or other comments relating to this node.

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