If you consider Windows and Mac to be the only two operating systems available for computers, you are completely wrong. However, if you are tech-savvy, you might already know about Linux, which is an open-source platform and you can also install Linux on your existing computer that is capable of running Windows. But unlike Windows and Mac, Linux isn’t that popular among every class of users, for a number of reasons. But, that doesn’t mean Linux or the whole class of Linux operating systems should be taken for granted, as it has a lot of advantages over its Windows and Mac counterparts.
However, Linux might not be popular among normal users, who own a personal computer, but it is a popular choice among developers, and it is extensively used on server computers and a number of other computers that are not used for personal requirements. So there must be reasons why Linux is a better choice for powerful computers and power users out there, however, that doesn’t mean, a regular user, who uses his computer for normal requirements cannot install Linux. But in spite of a number of advantages, most users keep a safe distance from Linux and they don’t mind paying a few pennies to use Microsoft Windows on their computer or use a Mac. Today I will talk about the fears among Windows and general uses which keeps them back from using Linux, and a few reasons, why Linux is not that popular among regular users.
So, without any further delay, let’s get started with why Linux is not used by most regular users and they stick to Windows or Mac.
Considering, both Windows and Mac are commercial operating systems, I will emphasize more on, why Linux is not that popular, and why Windows is used by users on their computers.
Use of Windows from the very childhood
I still remember those good old days, when I used to play games on my school computer. I know I am not the only one who used to do the same. From our childhood, we have learnt Microsoft Word, a few programming languages, and on top of everything, we came to know how to deal with Microsoft Windows and that is the reason why Microsoft Windows is still the comfort zone for us, and the convenience of using Microsoft Windows has been inherited within us and most other users. Nobody wants to leave the comfort zone and that is the reason why they stick to Microsoft Windows.
So, when these people enter the workforce, they practically do not have enough time to get accustomed to a new platform and that is the reason why most organizations are also compelled to provide computers running Microsoft Windows. There is also a common misconception that Linux can only be used by power users however, that is not true. The fact that most users are trapped in the Microsoft ecosystem from the very childhood is one of the biggest reasons why most people do not want to spend time learning how to use and be comfortable on a new island like Linux.
Windows and Mac are apparently more user-friendly
If you know how to use Linux, you might already know how terminal-dependent Linux is and we all have to open the terminal to carry out the simplest of tasks. Even on Windows and Mac, there is a terminal that can be used to accomplish a number of tasks, but there is also a GUI-counterpart where the same task can be carried out with more convenience. When it comes to dealing with the command line or terminal, a user should know the commands, as writing some gibberish is not going to help you get the work done.
With more GUI-friendly options, both Windows and Mac are considered to be more user-friendly and the users will not have to memorize a lot of commands to get their work done on Linux. There is no doubt, Windows has been developed keeping common uses in mind and that is the reason why the apparent complexity of using Windows is much less than that of Linux where most distributions are developed keeping developers and power users in mind.
More tools and programs are available for Windows and Mac
Linux users will not agree with this fact, as there are abundant apps and programs available for the Linux platform but, I am talking about something different. There are a number of great programs and applications, which are cross-platform, and those programs are available for multiple platforms like OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and similar other programs. However, there are a number of other premium programs, which are available for Windows and Mac but are not available for Linux. For example, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc. are only available for Windows and Mac and most users are comfortable using those applications over any other similar programs that are available for several platforms.
There are also a number of other useful programs available only for Linux, which perform better than others, but the lack of popularity is the reason why most users do not know about the same. Additionally, when a user thinks of switching from Windows or Mac to Linux, it is a steep learning curve and as I just said earlier, people do not want to move out of the comfort zone. At this point, searching for new alternative programs for Linux is yet another reason, they drop their idea to switch to Linux.
More commercial support for Windows
Linux is more a community and less a platform. If you suffer from any problems with Linux, you can get the whole community online and seek help from a list of enthusiasts, who are always willing to help. However, depending upon your specific problem, the solution might not be available instantly and even after you get the solution it might not work for you. Among the other possible problems, the solution might break things apart, and it can also be difficult for you to apply the patch on your system. So, if you are a regular user, who is not tech-savvy, and want the quickest solutions to the problems, Linux might be disappointing for them.
On the other hand, talking about Windows, it gets more commercial support from Microsoft and in most cases, they solve most problems that users face. Yes, talking about Windows 10, there are certain updates that come from time to time, which disrupt the functionality of Windows, considering the huge volume of users who use Windows, every small problem becomes the next news headline and Microsoft starts fixing the same. So, it is not that Microsoft Windows does not face any kind of problem and bugs at all. But, most users are not concerned about the minor bugs and the problems also get fixed soon which is not always the case with Linux.
Confusion between several distributions
If you have already made up your mind to switch to Linux from Microsoft Windows on Mac, the next big mountain you will have to climb is to select the most useful Linux distribution as per your requirements. While the availability of multiple distributions gives more choice to the users to choose the most appropriate flavour of Linux, it can be a cause of confusion for regular users, who just want to do simple tasks on their computer and don’t want to get into the exclusive features available in certain distros. Coming to Windows, you have limited choices and at the time of writing this story you just have two Microsoft Windows operating systems that you can use, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, as the support for Windows 7 and other older versions has been ended by Microsoft.
Even though you will have to choose, which edition of Microsoft Windows that you want to use among Home, Pro, and Enterprise, you can find a lot of online resources to find out the most appropriate edition that is going to cater to your needs. In the case of Linux, if you select a particular distribution you might end up not liking that, and you have to choose a completely different distribution that has a different user interface and the default set of applications which was not available in the first distribution of Linux that was chosen by you. Even if you want to switch from one edition of Windows to the other, the steps are pretty simple. So, the increased confusion is yet another reason why most users consider Microsoft Windows to be a better alternative than that of Linux.
Easier installation of apps and programs
Your computer is useless unless you can install all the necessary programs and apps that you will use for everyday requirements. When it comes to installing apps on Linux-based systems, you will have to use the command line or the Terminal, for the most part, to download and update apps and packages. This is better for the geeks and developers, who do not want to go through long graphical steps involved in installing programs and apps on Windows, most regular users find it difficult to deal with the command line even for installing the simplest apps.
Even the most popular Linux distributions these days come with a store where you can download all the necessary apps and programs, that are not as optimized as Microsoft Store, Google Play Store, or App Store for Android and iOS respectively. So the most convenient way of installing apps on Linux is to use the command line or to download the packages and then carry out some package specific tasks to install the programs. On Windows, however, you just have to download the app or the program, and you can get an easy wizard that will guide you through the complete installation process. Furthermore, on Windows 10 systems, you can install and uninstall apps with just a single click from the Microsoft Store which adds to the convenience of using Windows compared to that of Linux, not to mention, for general users.
More driver support for Windows
Most might not agree, but when it comes to hardware support, there is no doubt, Windows lies on the frontier. After some hardware is manufactured by some manufacturer, driver support for Windows is the first thing that is offered. That doesn’t mean, Linux users do not get any driver support at all, but it might take several months for the driver to be released by the manufacturer for Linux and thus, if you have built your new computer with bleeding-edge hardware, you might have to wait for months before you can get the appropriate driver for your system and that’s where all the fun is lost.
Sometimes, the hardware manufacturer might forget Linux at all, and thus, hardware from that particular manufacturer will not be compatible with your Linux system at all and that is something really disappointing. As Windows has the maximum market share, the drivers are released prioritizing Windows, and the device manufacturers also spend maximum time developing hardware drivers for Windows computers and the small share of Linux systems in the consumer PC market keeps them back from offering support. Sometimes the initial hardware driver might be available but driver updates and not pushed out regularly that eventually makes the hardware perform poorer over time. So, hardware support is yet another reason why Windows is capable of putting itself ahead, at least for general users.
Better and more optimized for gaming
It is undeniable that when it comes to gaming, Microsoft Windows is a clear winner. The picture of gaming on Linux is the same as the availability of the most popular and premium software on the Linux platform. Due to the wide market share of Windows in the consumer PC market and for the popularity of Windows among gamers, most game developers spend quality time developing and optimizing their games for the Windows platform.
This is the reason why most popular AAA titles never make it’s way to the Linux platform. However, Steam is trying to Port a number of games to Linux and the scenario has been improved from what it was a few years ago, but Linux still has a long way to go before it can be Windows for Gamers. Additionally, lack of hardware support for the latest hardware components, complex setup of peripheral software adds to the problems of Linux, which eventually has made Linux not so popular for gaming for a long time now.
Linux is more complicated
When it comes to the complication of using an operating system there is no doubt, Linux is more complicated compared to that of Windows. Linus is an operating system, which is meant for tech-savvy users and geeks. Changing the smallest things will require you to search for the internet to find out the appropriate commands. Besides that, in case you face some troubles with your hardware or other things in the system, you might have to search hundreds of pages on the internet to find the solution.
When it comes to Windows, the situation is not that bad and being a commercial operating system, Microsoft does its best to make the operating system compatible with most hardware manufacturers and thus, there are fewer problems at the consumer end. Most normal users can find it really frustrating to solve even the smallest of the problems on their system as a majority of the users, who use a computer are not geeks. Linux is optimized for a little more advanced users, and the percentage of advanced users is much less than that of regular users that use a computer, which adds another reason why Linux is less popular compared to that of Windows when it comes to the desktop operating system ecosystem.
More user-centric features
With every new update to Windows 10 or with every new version of Windows, we keep getting new features that add more value to how we use our computers. The Linux distributions also get new features with every update but that is not as fast as how Windows or Mac get new features. The additional new features are designed to keep regular uses in mind. The additional features, which Microsoft Windows and Mac get, help the users boost their productivity and that is not the same with Linux.
You might keep installing new apps and programs to boost your productivity and add new features to Linux, but that requires a lot of hard manual work, and in the case of Windows, most useful features are made available from scratch without the need of installing any specialized applications. So, the easy availability of new features that are necessary by users from time to time is yet another reason why Microsoft is still having around 88% maximum market share, with Mac at 9%, and very small market share, around 2% is there for Linux distributions.
So, there are a number of advantages of sticking to Windows compared to that of Linux. But there are also a number of advantages of using Linux and that is the reason why most users consider Linux to be their ecosystem of choice. Users who stick to Linux are mostly developers and tech-savvy users, who don’t want to abide by the proprietary ecosystem offered by Windows and Mac, and they always look out for open-source solutions and platforms. Linux has its own user base and, as Linux is also improving with time and you can even find a number of popular Linux distributions, which are targeted towards Windows users so that they can make a convenient switch from the proprietary platform to an open-source platform. But, if you are comfortable with Windows, and your organization also use certain programs that are available only for Windows, it is advisable that you stick to Windows and don’t spend extra time learning Linux, as that might not serve you in the long run, if you don’t want to go deep into the world of computing.
So, those are the reasons why Windows is still a better operating system compared to Linux and it is having the maximum market share. Do you know any other great reason why Windows is better than Linux? Feel free to comment on the same below.
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