Last updated: February 2016
Linux is overrated. Many people say many dodgy or outright false things about it, and it also has many problems that people like to cover up and ignore, but I'm here to expose it. First, we'll have a history lesson.
Time has passed. Lots of it.
Back in 2006, Xandros Desktop 3, a Linux distribution, was installed on an old Compaq PC, because its installation of Windows XP stopped working, for some reason. This was the first time I had ever dabbled with Linux. I didn't know much about it at all. I didn't know much more than the fact that it was not Windows, and, unlike Windows was at the time, it was working.
More time passed. Back in July of 2008, I started getting interested in Ubuntu after hearing about it. That's why some of my earliest-obtained computers in my collection have an Ubuntu sticker on them.
See, I didn't really know much about Linux, back when I had messed around with it two years prior. This time, I was more serious about it. I do not remember what caused me to go the route of trying it out, but I am going to guess that, like many people, it was because I misplaced my blame of computer instability on Windows Vista, like many people do.
If you know how to take care of your computer, then you will seldom, if at all, catch viruses. Let me just iron this point right in and clearly state that Windows is not to blame for virus troubles or instability issues. For the former, the operator is. For the latter, either the operator or the computer hardware is to blame. Furthermore, Linux will not solve hardware problems. This is like saying that painting your car will get rid of that big dent on it. You need to pop the dent, not fill it with paint.
Eventually, it wasn't such a very long time until I started using Linux as my main operating system. By 2009, I was practically using Linux exclusively. I messed around with many distribution versions. Windows was secondary. I was getting better and better at Linux. Things were going fine in that territory, and I was happy.
The thing is, though, I had sacrificed program compatibility to do that. I was okay with that, though; I heavily preferred Linux, and it felt faster to use, and it just felt more natural to me all along.
In March of 2012, however, I took a U-turn. When I purchased a new laptop, which is never a good idea, it came with Windows 7 (naturally), and Ubuntu's live CD wouldn't boot on it. I decided to just give Windows a shot. This begun the next era of my return to Windows as a primary OS after four long years of using Linux.
After a while, I was back on my feet again. Quite a few times, I still had to use Linux. Still. my laptop ran nothing but Windows. It did what I wanted, and I liked it.
Still here? Alright, let's move on to exposing Linux.
Linux is as secure as Windows. The reason why Linux "has no viruses" is because the people who make viruses do not care to make the majority of them for Linux, as Linux is very unpopular in relation to Windows.
For example, look at the smartphone operating system Android. It is based on Linux, but has extra security measures that Linux does not. It also is extremely popular, moreso than Linux. Virus-writers realize this, and do their thing. Sure enough, viruses exist on Android; a more secure operating system than Linux. Imagine what virus-writers could do on Linux!
Haven't you seen peoples' phones, all messed up, filled with stupid software like "memory/cache cleaners" and similar things with moot points? It's a disgrace. If Linux has no viruses, then why does Android, based on Linux, have it? Because it's all about popularity!
This sounds like the "overclocking" argument of AMD fanboys against Intel, as, essentially, the same answer applies; what good is that if it fails so badly in other aspects, in comparison to Windows? In fact, while we're at it, who really cares? I'm not really a programmer. Are you? Don't get me wrong, open-source is nice, but what does it really mean to you? I say that the point is moot if Linux has so many other problems from the get-go.
If you're nervous about Microsoft spying on you, avoid Windows 10 like the plague, and keep close watch of your Windows settings, particularly those about "customer experience improvement program", and, while you're at it, how about you fire up Wireshark, inspect your network traffic, track down strange activity, and block it? Weigh the difference between how worried you are about it, and how difficult this is for you, and see which problem you should tackle.
If you're nervous about viruses, then just remember; if you use your computer intelligently, you don't need to be nervous. The number-one best antivirus for your computer is you, and the second-best antivirus is Unchecky.
This is ludicrous, akin to saying "tanks don't have the same wheels that cars do, thus, they don't need to be on the ground".
First, I'd like to show you the exact definition of a "driver".
"In computing, a device driver (commonly referred to as a driver) is a computer program that operates or controls a particular type of device that is attached to a computer."
So, Linux has no means of controlling hardware?
Gee, that's useless. record scratch
Oh, wait, I know what happened! Linux does have drivers, it's just that Linux fanboys like to call them something else!
What they actually mean, is how you don't always have to install any. Wait...what? Are you telling me that Windows hasn't been doing anything about this? They've been packaging drivers for YEARS.
Then again, perhaps the last time these goofballs used Windows might've been in the '90s, when you not only had to install so many drivers, but you might run into instability issues if you use the wrong ones. On top of that, you might've needed to know IRQs and DMA numbers and-- woooooow, my head's spinning!
On recent hardware, Windows 8 will generally have everything you need out-of-the-box, most often more than enough for you to check for whatever else you might need in Windows Update.
On Linux, however, while you might not need to install as many extra drivers, in the event that you do, you may be in for a world o' hurt, installing a C compiler and other program-building utilities, building it, waiting, with the possibility of an eeeevil coding error ambushing you at any given time during the compilation. Gosh, does quality control even exist? Good luck fixing it if you don't know C!
Hearing enough of this probably gets peoples' nerves unstable! The truth is that Windows has received a much worse reputation than it deserves, because of trashy hardware it is often found running on, and owners who neglect their systems. On a correctly-configured system, Windows should never crash.
On top of this, Linux actually has many issues with instability. This is due to the fact that the entire operating system's code is not always the best. The drivers are a possible source of issues, here. In order to upgrade them, however, you often have to upgrade the kernel with them, which either has to be done through your distribution's package manager, or tediously configured and compiled manually. I still remember the legendary moments of my netbook having a kernel panic upon removal of a USB flash drive, and again on an external hard drive...or perhaps those events happened the other way around. I don't know, it's been so long.
Linux is sometimes a disaster when it comes to compatibility, both software-wise, and hardware-wise.
As far as hardware goes, wireless cards, HDMI capture cards, and TV tuners are some notorious types of devices. I can hear the distant screams of people trying to get Broadcom wireless working on Linux, across the flat, low lands of Louisiana. It is probably due the lack of a good driver framework in Linux, that some companies avoid making Linux drivers. The Linux enthusiasts blame the companies for this.
There is a huge gaping hole in Linux concerning program compatibility, and I mean with its own programs. That's right, we're not talking about Windows programs on Linux here.
This is caused by glibc's awful anti-feature: symbol versioning.
If you try to run a program intended for Ubuntu 14.10 on 14.04, which is a mere six months older, it will not work, and yet the current release of Google Chrome works on Windows XP, an OS from 2001. This, most likely, is a reason why some companies don't want to touch Linux with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. Imagine if all computer parts had to be from the same three-month period. Otherwise, they wouldn't work together. Who would think that's a goo-- an apple is thrown at me Ah, right.
To add software in Ubuntu, you need to go to the blasted terminal. Why don't they use the app center? That should have been the place to get apps from! It's called an app center, after all, so it should be one!
It's even more of a pain if it's not even available in the terminal. That means you have to go out and get a "PPA" URL, stick that in the app center that apparently almost noone cares about, and then install it! Even then, it still might have problems, you better hope it doesn't have some sort of dependency problem! Debian-based OSes make those a PPAin-in-the-butt!
A lot of people say you should use a separate /home partition. This is unnecessary and only serves to cause problems. The thing is, you don't need to reformat to reinstall, but, from going against Linux's own non-standard intentions, installer programs can make this a challenge. I know from experience that Ubuntu doesn't clearly tell you whether or not your data will be safe if you install on top of an older installation!
To prepare, you will have to look at each and every blasted directory under the root, and make sure you aren't losing anything by deleting them. Ugh. Once you're finally done that, then you can reinstall, at last.
Oh yes, and then there's the pain of updating, reinstalling and reconfiguring everything! Meanwhile, on Windows 8, you can simply use "Refresh My PC", and it won't wipe any of your data, assuming nothing valuable is in Program Files. When it's done, you've got the \Windows.old directory, and it even gives you a list of the programs it removed on your desktop, complete with several links! The only thing I see that could improve this, would be integration with Ninite. Now that would be the bomb!
This is insane. What decade are we in? Oh, DOS would be fine with this, wouldn't it? Alright, I guess we're before even the '80s then? Well, no matter, but this is one ridiculous restriction here, as well. Is everyone seriously going to be devoid of the desire to put some programs on another drive?
Just think about it. What if you had a separate /home partition, and you want to install something, but you ran out of space? At least if you could put programs in another place than the default, then it you could get around it, but no, they had to implement it like this.
It's for all these reasons that Linux just ain't what it's cracked up to be. Linux has its place, but it doesn't come without a ton of shortcomings. So as long as you don't pretend it's better than it really is, there's no problem.