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stability, like to tweat stuff, less viruses probs, free thats a few reasons if your looking for a good beginners i would suggest ubuntu because its fairly easy to use and run. I would also suggest setting up a dual boot where you can test linux and play with it because linux isnt for everyone but you will still be able to run windows also.
 

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Cost....Free

Stability....WAY more stable

Functionality....There are applications, mostly free, that can do the things that 90% of computer users at zero or minimal cost.

Security....MORE secure than a typical Windows platform

Lower Hardware Requirements....A typical linux distribution will start much faster than windows and will perform better on a given platform. For example my old Acer 1.6Ghz Mobile Celeron laptop will boot Vista Business in about 7 minutes all ready for me to start using it, whereas Ubuntu 10.4 will start and be ready for use in about 1 minute and will perform MUCH better.

It's my feeling that most people don't care to learn a new OS and likely will never use anything other than MS or MAC powered computers. It's a shame because there are so many others out there that will do everything the average user will do.

On the plus side for MS, it's the defacto standard in business and likely will remain that way for the foreseeable future. There are a large variety of applications available for most things people want to do.
 

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Alternative Computing, Moderator
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Well Linux looks better, boots faster, immune from viruses, spyware, trojans, its free and has support groups in every language.
Theres around 25,000 applications available, all free and open source with
new apps being wrote all the time.
 

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what they said + if all you are going is surfing the web and email you don't need windows at all, if you play PC games then get Windows (you can play Windows games on Linux but its hard (to most Linux users its not hard)) if you do photoshop/CAD then MAC is your Best bet, thats what I say/do.
my laptop: only used to surf the web (has Ubuntu)
My Desktop: PC games (has Windows XP)
Mac book pro: CAD/PhotoShop (has Mac OS)
 

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the only reason why I am still with windows is itunes and netflix. What I like about linux is when you install it for general usage, you get everything you need in about an hour.

So to specifically answer your question - I choose linux because of convenience and ease of use.
 

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It is easier to code things with and for linux being it is extremely stable and many versions have an excellent GUI (Ubuntu user here). Although I only use it in for software development I had at one point overwritten the vista install on my laptop with ubuntu but was forced back to 7 when my desktop was down for three weeks.
 

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First of all, it is something available free for those who cannot afford to buy a costly OS. It also makes available updates. So why worry. I'd recommend to all those who need an OS that is dependable.
 

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I don't like being told how I will use my computer. That is one of the reasons I use linux. Customization in unlimited.

I made a kiosk computer for my kids. No way to erase move add anything. No access to any system commands/apps. Don't have to worry about them right clicking on flash apps. Internet access is limited to sites i consider safe (No toolbars, navbars etc) Full screen for all apps. (No minimize icon close or resize) Custom size screens for certain flash sites. My kids love it works easily. I love it because it requires no maintenance from me.

Blue Screen of Death? Whats that?

Cheers,
 

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I do a lot of repairing of old photos, pre 1900, here in Mexico. I use GIMP, the free editor. It apparently does things differently than Photoshop, but it does all I want to do, which is a lot. All free. No $700 to buy. Experienced Photoshop users have problems, because they have developed ways to do things, and it will be different in GIMP. No need to buy a Mac.
 

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Linux Distros provide something that Windows will never be able to offer... customization. Bill Gates said that open source means "...that nobody can ever improve the software." Linux Kernel is released freely with the only rule... open source. Best of all, you do not need to be a complete programming guru to make a customized experience created just for you by you.

Free, it does not always mean bad software. Look at Ubuntu, or Fedora, or Debian! They are all great, free, and open-sourced products. Windows, controlling a good portion of the computers out in the world, is more prone to viruses. This is because they are automatically set as Admin. With most Linux, you have to enter your password or the Root password every time you make a change to the system in anyway.

Hope this cleared things up for you. :)
 

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Alternative Computing, Moderator
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Another advantage to using Linux we've all forgotten is journalled filesystems. You never have to defrag your hard drive and your system will never slow down.

In fact you may it gets faster with kernel 2.6.38 (which will be installed automatically if your system has a rolling release). And once you get accustomed to linux you can
customize and fine tune your system.

Its a little bit like Linux poker and every hand is a winning hand except Steve Ballmer and Microsoft.
 

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It can be fun, too. One of my current projects is installing Scientific Linux 6 on an HP mini netbook.Seems to work great but having problems getting the wireless driver to compile. Still, it has been fun. I may try to compile it on another machine and see if it's possible to move it. And, I dual boot, so wireless in XP is there.

SL is a clone of RHEL, which right now is not that out of date.
 

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Also, it is very rare to encounter a problem which no one knows a solution to. I cannot give the details here, to avoid a moderator penalty for cross posting, but I have worked three days on an XP machine, which someone locked down. Even though I have admin access, the Registry is complex that it is almost impossible to sort out. I have never seen anything like this on Linux.
 

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Alternative Computing, Moderator
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There is a registry editor in linux, but it is command based and not user freindly.
If you dont know which of the four main hives and cant find correct keys in windows registry editor, you will not be able to use the linux registry editor.
The place to ask for help is the windows forum.

There is no registry in linux, not really a comparison but nearest thing are the dotfiles in linux and much easier to correct as well.
 

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I use linux because I like spending hours setting up a system detailed to exactly what I want, up to the file system it uses, and the kernel functionality I want, even to the level of what aspects of a program it will compile. I enjoy having a machine that does exactly what I want, nothing more, nothing less. I want it to use the resources it has maximally, and not waste them on bloat unless it's bloat that I want.

The thing about linux that's nice is that almost any distribution has a 'package manager', which has all the apps you could ever want all in one place. Instead of opening up a browser and typing "firefox.com" and going through a lengthy download / install process where the "advanced" options are where you want to install the program, you could just "emerge firefox -av" or "pacman firefox".

Like others have said, it's also more secure. It isn't 'virus free', but when you get all of your data from distro repositories, it's less likely to be filled with malicious code.

Hope this helps. I still use windows on my laptop because unfortunately linux has issues with supporting my wireless card, broadcom won't release the source for it, nor a linux port. I also need some windows-only programs like skype or adobe.

As far as Macs go, many people like the look and feel of a mac. For *BSD machines, it's just a matter of preference. I really have never used them so I don't fully know what they're good for.
 

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There is a registry editor in linux, but it is command based and not user freindly.
If you dont know which of the four main hives and cant find correct keys in windows registry editor, you will not be able to use the linux registry editor.
The place to ask for help is the windows forum.

There is no registry in linux, not really a comparison but nearest thing are the dotfiles in linux and much easier to correct as well.
Hal, I was answering a question why I liked Linux. I gave an example of nonsense in XP which does not happen, at least in the 11 years I have been using Linux. And, I plainly said I was not posting on this topic, I knew to do so was wrong on several counts, only giving an example. In fact, I had posted on a Windows forum and solved the problem. Sorry, I do not know how to make it any plainer I was not posting a problem here. But, that sort of problem IS one reason I like Linux.
 

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Alternative Computing, Moderator
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Hal, I was answering a question why I liked Linux. I gave an example of nonsense in XP which does not happen, at least in the 11 years I have been using Linux. And, I plainly said I was not posting on this topic, I knew to do so was wrong on several counts, only giving an example. In fact, I had posted on a Windows forum and solved the problem. Sorry, I do not know how to make it any plainer I was not posting a problem here. But, that sort of problem IS one reason I like Linux.
That's ok, no problem. You may like to add your your distribution of choice against your signiture, at the moment it just shows windows xp.
 
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