It’s been a good 6 months since I triple booted my PC to include Ubuntu. Initially I used Ubuntu all the time, but eventually I slipped back to using XP as my primary boot. In this article I hope to explore briefly the reasons why.

1. Compatibility

As an artist I rely on both Photoshop and my Wacom to aid my creative process. Although there are ways to make both of these products work with Ubuntu, it requires more than just basic knowledge to set up. It is simply easier to boot into Microsoft XP when I want to do artwork.

There is also the issue of game compatibility. Many games will work on Ubuntu using Wine, but again it is just easier to use XP.

Perhaps I’m just lazy on this issue, or perhaps software manufacturers need to push back against Microsoft’s dominance, but compatibility is the top reason I always end up back in the hands of Microsoft.

2. Access to core files

I really like that Ubuntu, as with other linux distributions, protects the core system files. However, I do find that it can make life slow and frustrating if I want to edit any of them. I’m not a particularly experienced Ubuntu user, but from my understanding (and experience of trying it) you can’t access the core files directly, but instead have to access them via the terminal. I’m sure there’s probably a hack for that, but I’d rather not mess about in an OS I’m not familiar with.

Windows on the other hand, as insecure and dangerous as it is, lets you do whatever the heck you like with core or installation files. While this is bad for users who have no idea what they’re doing, it’s great for people like me who want to change various things, or even just look at files out of interest. (Yes, I do that. I once even looked at Civ IV’s uncompiled code folder. Interesting stuff.)

3. Habit

I was first introduced to the Windows OS with Windows 3.11 back when I was 7 (that age being a guess based on my Dad not buying it until 2 years after it was released). As you can see, I have been brainwashed by Microsoft from a very young age. Not only at home, but also at school where they only ever used Windows.

My first look at a non-Windows OS was when I was about 11. One of my close school friend’s household computer was an Apple Mac, which I occasionally got to see. I didn’t like it at all. My friend, on the other hand, was very pro-Mac anti-Windows back then. My attempts to convince her Windows was the better OS failed and, looking back, that makes me glad.

It wasn’t until I went to university that I first saw a Linux based OS, which happened to be Fedora. Having a formal education about it certainly helped ease me into the use of a different OS. I liked it so much I was willing to attempt triple booting my computer with it as the addition.

I never did install Fedora though. A few friends at uni convinced me to use Ubuntu instead. To be honest, I’m ignorant about the differences between Linux distributions, but I much prefer how they name the releases. Yes, funny names are enough to convince me to use a different product.

Final thoughts

I really would like to use Ubuntu as my primary OS, especially when I have already set it up to deal with my daily computer use (Firefox + music). However, I think Microsoft will always have a certain hold over me. It’s hard to break away from a company whose software I have used for the past 14 years.

What about you?

Which operating system do you use most? Did you use Windows but then move to a different OS? If so, why did you decide to change and how did you deal with the transition?

Please leave a comment below with any OS usage stories you have. Thanks 🙂

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