Thursday, September 21, 2006

Then there was a strange “End-User License Agreement”

For people who've always used Windows as their operating system, they really wouldn't understand why Linux users are so critical of the Microsoft product. Matthias Endler tries to help in that regard by telling the story of a life-long Linux user making the switch to that cool operating system called Windows XP.


Jon said...

Aww c'mon. You knew I was gonna post on this.

While I appreciate the humour, there are some glaring errors in the story.

1. Linux does have a EULA which is the GNU GPL. Some distros do make you 'agree' to it before installation will continue, but even for those which don't, the GNU GPL is either referenced or contained on the disk.

2. I have yet to encounter a default Linux distro installation that creates a separate partition for your home directory. That's an advanced mount point option that only an experienced Linux user would know to look for. You can do the same thing in Windows by partitioning your hard drive prior to installation. I will admit that Linux makes this a hell of a lot easier, but the mechanics exist regardless of the OS.

3. You can do a custom install with Windows and therefore "select packages".

4. Windows has the ability to create non-admin users just like Linux. Granted, most default installs in Linux prompt you to create a non-admin user from the get-go, but some don't. The writer's "little sister" would only have admin rights if he created an admin level account for her.

5. There is a procedure on Windows to change file permissions, although I agree that it's not as advanced as Linux.

6. Most Linux distros don't install a firewall or anti-virus by default either.

7. The viagra message is spam and Linux won't help you with that.

8. Linux doesn't have a "pop up filter" either, but some browsers do. Firefox is a good example, but it's available for Windows as well.

9. The region code on DVDs has nothing to do with "checking with Microsoft". It's built into the DVD and players for each region.

10. The "Genuine Check" is a Microsoft mechanism to check whether your version of Windows is legit and has nothing to do with DVDs.

11. Not sure why "command" is "lousy". It functions pretty much the same as a terminal window on Linux.

12. Windows XP is not a "single user system".

As you know, but many of your readers may not, I am an exclusive Linux user and have been for almost two years. I choose Linux over Windows because it is more secure; is almost impervious to spyware, malware, and viruses; and is just downright geeky.

While I applaud this article's intentions, it has very little truth in it. I'm the first one to go after MS for spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about Linux but I must also play fair. This article is almost 100% FUD in favour of Linux.

It's important to choose Linux for the right reasons and this article does nothing to promote the true strengths of Linux.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Karl Plesz said...