Why Linux Will Replace Microsoft Windows And Apple OSX

Some people’s experience of technology is “FaceTube”, that is Facebook and YouTube. Linux, Shmninux, what the hell do I need Linux for ?

Pretty much where I’ve been with Linux since it all started a couple of decades ago – give me a pretty screen and no arcane command line coding any day of the week 😀

Plus if I’m honest, I thought Microsoft Windows and perhaps Apple OSX were better than Linux because of their commercial support.


Humble Pie

Life has a way of making us eat humble pie, and that’s exactly what I’m eating right now. Linux I feel has come of age, and now is SUPERIOR to what Microsoft or Apple can/do/will offer.

What “got me started” with Linux recently was my desire to convert my virtually useless Seagate GoFlex Net into something useful, essentially a NAS (Network Attached Storage). I blogged about it – “Build your own Pro NAS – Seagate Goflex Net with Debian Linux, RAID1 and OpenMediaVault”. The main thing that came out of getting hardcore into it was a new found proficiency with Linux and embedded computer hardware.

Linux is/was based on Unix, the operating system of choice for people who want to do more than FaceTube with their equipment – ie geeks, professionals, commerce/enterprise and people with a little more ambition than reading or generating intelligent spam. Apple OSX from what I understand is based on BSD (Berkley Standard Distribution) which is also a variant of Unix.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft’s offering of Windows 8 was an utter farce. It seems they’d like to force us into using touch-screens or that they want to penetrate that market. All at the expense of removing my start button, and replacing it with a bunch of flat-design icons which I can’t stand, YUK. Personally I don’t want to use a touch screen for my writing or my work, it’s OK for my iPad and iPhone, but nothing really exists as yet that replaces the good old fashioned keyboard. I blogged humorously about it – “Windows 8 is … Crap, Rubbish, Awful, Terrible, Horrible, Slow, A Disaster, A Flop?” last year.

I also understand that most enterprise (big/huge business) has held off on “upgrading” to Windows 8, in favour of keeping Windows 7. Windows 7 I have to admit is good and I still use it, but Microsoft can’t continue to rest on their laurels forever, they need a real ace in “Windows 10” or they’ll go the same way as IBM a few decades ago, that is bankrupt. It’s really sad that Microsoft has become a wannbe-Apple or wannbe-Samsung … still that’s life, change happens …

Apple OSX

Those who’re more FaceTube inclined and have the money and like the “nannyfied” experience will probably stick with Apple OSX. Some people (like me in days passed) don’t want to be knee-deep in command line stuff in order to do simple things. I used to go for the nannyfied too, but less and less these days.

Linux isn’t far behind on nannyfied user experiences – Ubuntu has commercial backing, and their offerings probably a bit too nannyfied for my tastes, so I prefer what Ubuntu is based on, Debian linux.

Charisma-Geek-DonCharisma.org-660xSide Note – My “Charisma Geek” graphic has on it kernel code from the current Debian 3.16 kernel layered onto the sky, to produce the effect of the geek-beach-dude imagining his next project whilst chilling on the beach. Also the spiral tattoo is the Debian logo.

WHY Linux ?

Linux is FREE in most cases for most ordinary human beings like you and I. It’s long been argued whether operating systems should cost money, and I think the free operating system has probably come of age right now.

Linux is OPEN SOURCE. This means anyone can customise their computer and it’s experience EXACTLY how they want it. Computing YOUR WAY, not Apple’s or Microsoft’s.

Linux has COMMERCIAL BACKING now and is a used by individuals and businesses for SERIOUS endeavours in real PRODUCTION environments. In layman’s terms what I mean is banks, commerce, insurance, internet you name it, they’re ALL using it day-in day-out. You may even own devices that run on Linux, unaware that it’s there. For instance my Seagate Satellite wifi hard drive runs embedded Linux, which I wouldn’t have know if I hadn’t have researched.

Linux has APPLICATIONS/APPS for most purposes. These apps are already out there and virtually are free. For instance Photoshop in the Linux world is called “GIMP”. GIMP has a community and does most things that you’d want to do with Photoshop. There’s also Open Office and Libre Office as replacements for Microsoft Office. And of course EVERY major internet browser runs on Linux, so FaceTube away to your heart’s content 😀


Linux runs on a bewildering array of HARDWARE platforms. It’s one of the things that impressed me the most – I can run the same Debian Linux on my desktop, my laptop, my raspberry PI (if I had one), my router (well OpenWRT is probably better for that, and that’s, erm, based on Linux). It just utterly mind-blowing how adaptable !

Linux is more RELIABLE right now than I’ve ever seen it in the past. These days I’m finding after installing it, the bugs of yore just aren’t there anymore. And I’m seeing MANY more peripheral devices like USB wifi dongles supported, and working straight off the bat.

Linux is ADAPTABLE. I can run Linux on a pocket size device which has a very small CPU, disk and memory – OpenWRT is great for this virtually runs on fresh air. I can also run Linux as a server on a powerful machine with resources dedicated to processing, mass-storage etc. And then I can also run Linux on my desktop and laptop, with a user experience OF MY CHOICE – Debian has at least 4 that I’m aware of. There’s also something called XBMC which is essentially a media player, of a very high quality, based again on Linux.

So overall I’m pretty damn impressed with Linux at the moment, and still discovering more things I like about it daily.


Final Notes

SO, BOTTOM LINE, with all these advantages, how can I continue to justify forking out chunks of money to Apple and Microsoft for something that’s probably not better than Linux ?

Well, I can’t. Microsoft will need to pull an ace out of the hat with Windows 10. Apple, well, I love my iPhone and iPad, but never been all that impressed with OSX, their laptop and desktop operating system – yes it’s OK, but nothing I particularly like, and with the price tag, well, it’s a no from me. Plus I HATE the hardware restriction to Apple only hardware. Yes it’s possible to Hackintosh it, but why bother when Linux is better anyway ?

The curved ball in all of this is the cutting edge that’s happening right now with the touch screen/handheld devices. Things like the Andriod operating system ARE huge for non-Apple people. I think it’ll depend on where the Chinese push this technology, as let’s face it they lead these days. HOWEVER, I can’t see Linux disappearing as a consequence, more likely I feel is that Linux will be part of it. Possibly the NEXT handheld/touch-screen operating system could be Linux based …

For beginners I’d recommend Ubuntu Linux, that’s where I started. Because of my love for customising things, and generally doing things how I want, I’ve progressed to Debian, which is better in my opinion. I also highly recommend having a look at OpenWRT if you want to do pretty much anything with routers and networking.


So … a break from the norm of lightly buttered intelligent-spam … *grins, tongue firmly in cheek* … seriously though, Linux I’ve been super impressed with all my recent experiences. And I’d highly recommend looking into it if you’re NOT SATISFIED with the rubbish Apple and Microsoft seem to think it’s possible to still charge money for. Although, I will definitely miss Windows 7, she’s been a solid ship to sail the technology seas in for quite some time, but every great lady has her day … change happens …

My only regret is, I wish I’d taken Linux more seriously earlier – my learning curve would have been perhaps gentler, and I’d be further ahead now …

Still, “anything IS possible with Charisma” …


Don Charisma

Resources And Sources

Ubuntu and Canonical are registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd. The Debian trademarks are registered to Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

DonCharisma.org and DonCharisma.com are not in any way affiliated with Canonical Ltd OR Software in the Public Interest, Inc. We do not endorse Ubuntu, Debian, or their respective communities, Canonical Ltd or Software in the Public Interest, Inc., nor do they endorse us. We are not part of the Debian or Ubuntu projects.

The Debian wallpaper is from Debian “Jessie”, the next release of Debian – Debian 8. The Ubuntu wallpaper is from 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”, their current release.

MANY THANKS to Pixabay for the photo we used in the “Charisma Geek” graphic.


61 thoughts on “Why Linux Will Replace Microsoft Windows And Apple OSX

  1. Nice little read here, and I agree that if Microsoft doesn’t make some key changes then their reign will come to an end. Still, I’ve been running on Linux since 2010. I started out with Ubuntu 10.04 and stuck with it for a while, but I think my favorite distro is the Debian derivitive Crunchbang Linux though it’s not for beginners. I like Ubuntu’s ease of use and massive community for support and most commercial software that has been developed for Linux is designed with Ubuntu in mind, but it is still frustrating that I can’t sync my iPod on my Linux machine.

    1. I’m quite similar, although only toyed in years gone by … someone recommended Zorin, which is a ubuntu distro for windows users … and in answer to the sync thing – virtualbox should run Mac OSX or Windows 7 … there’s a guy that does customised VMs of OSX out there that will run in VM, I used one of his on one project I got stuck on … forget the website name, but sure googling you’ll find it 😀

      1. Awesome Don, thanks for the idea. I’ve had the same 2GB of music on that thing since 2012… it’s time for change!

      2. I had trouble with iTunes match, and as I recall the OSX in a virtual machine resolved some of the issues with songs that just wouldn’t upload … virtualbox has pretty good support and actively developed … plenty of threads on the net to search for finding out how to do it …

  2. I have made the switch. And can honestly say that my pc experience has grown exponentially. I’ve always been a Microsoft user until now (about a year now) and it just makes me wish I had made the switch sooner. I’m using the Zorin distribution and just love it.
    I started out using Ubuntu in Virtual Box on my Windows machine because my curiosity finally got the better of me. I still can’t believe how much smoother and faster the entire operating system is especially your internet browser. Internet Explorer moves in slow motion (bloatware?) compared to Firefox in Zorin.
    Also Zorin is jam packed with features to tweak the look and feel of the desktop experience. And it’s easy on the eyes, the 3D cube for changing work spaces is a nice feature too. Even if you have programs that only run with Windows it’s like you said, you can always use Wine or install Windows on a Virtual Machine, it’s easy to do and you’ll have Windows only when you need it, and not when you don’t.

      1. Sure. The reason I went with Zorin (http://zorin-os.com/) is becasuse it’s actually similar to Windows. It’s Linux’s gateway distribution for Windows Users. I’ve already had some die hard Linux users in the forums take a few shots at me for using Zorin because they say why not just stick with Windows. But they quickly appolgized, saw the error in their ways, and continued helping me with any problems I had.
        There is a bit of a learning curve with Linux, no matter which distro you choose, but that’s true with any new OS. The cool thing about Zorin is that it’s based off of Ubuntu. So anything that works with Ubuntu will work in Zorin. Zorin uses the Windows based filing system/manager. That means you will find your folders and files in the same place where they are stored in your Windows machine (yay, noobies dont have to spend hours searching for their files and downloads!)
        I put the url for the official Zorin website above. I would tell everybody, anyone who is even half way interested in Linux or Ubuntu but has been too nervous to try it should take a look at Zorin. 🙂

      2. Thanks for cluing me in, I’ll check it out in more details … sounds like a very soft landing for Windows users, and as there’s more disgruntled ones of late, I reckon Zorin will be becoming more popular 😀

  3. I’ve been a Linux Fan for some years already. I personally find it quite user friendly although I heard others complaining (I think it’s just a matter of habit). I personally think it’s even more user friendly than Windows. The only think that I’m not a big fan of is the office suite. I must say I prefer Windows office suite. Hopefully, with the increasing interest in Linux we’ll see some progress in this area also.

    1. Agreed on the Office suite, it’s not got the polish of MS office … but it does do pretty much everything I think MS Office does, or at least 99% of the basics we tend to use day-to-day …

      And agreed Linux is in some ways more user friendly than Windows … certainly the command line is much richer than DOS, and I still prefer it to powershell … The windows environments gnome etc improve each time I see them … personally I still prefer a window-ui that has menus and a start button of one kind or another, I really do detest having to search for everything !

  4. Interesting, I was only just recently thinking about delving into Unix, with ‘The Unix Programming Environment’ since I am rather new to programming. I have heard, like this blog here, that Linux is the more realistic OS…All my engineering and science prof.’s use it for their serious business. It seems like if you want to get something done, or have the freedom to do that, Linux (Unix) us the way to go.


    1. I was delving around in the operating system code for Debian Linux couple of days ago … it’s written in C … and Debian is open source, so possible to see what’s actually going on in the code …

      Programming can be done on Windows or OSX, but plenty love the flexibility that Linux offers and how well supported programming languages are straight out of the box … so I’d say it’s at least worth an experminent on your part …

      I couldn’t tell you exactly, but installing a C++ compiler on Debian, is as simple as something like “apt-get install c++”, the rest is done for you … you’ll need to lookup the exact command as I don’t remember off the top of my head !

  5. Here here!!!! A more tech savvy housemate has recently gotten both me & my husband tricked out with Linux and so far I love it. Free of Apple & Windows business practices and tons of creative programs to choose from I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface of everything I can use it for yet, also have encountered others in the experimental music scene using Ardour to some good effect.

    1. Awesome Jenny … I too put it off for far too long … your comment reminds me of enthusiasm of yore with MS Windows and all the free stuff that was being made … so reassured I’m on the right track … So perhaps that’s why I’m seeing little growth in Windows software, everyone’s switched to Linux already … don’t leave me behind 😀

      Did a little experimenting myself with creating music with trackers and computerised Roland TB303’s in the past … however went the same way as playing computer games, just not have the time !

  6. Very interesting. This has me intrigued. I’ve always stayed away from Linux computers because I thought they were cheap, second rate computers. I don’t know what to think now?

    1. I think in days of yore I’d have agreed with you, times do seem to be changing … certainly Linux is well respected in serious computing and there are paid for commercial versions that banks etc use … as for desktops/laptops/handhelds that the masses use, I think Linux may be on the cusp of something bigger … Best way to know what to think is research and experiment, and decide from your own experience 😀

  7. Interesting … I had an instructor who was singing the praises of Linux a little over 10 years ago, as if it were light years ahead of everything. I didn’t know what he was talking about then, but I knew that he knew what he was talking about. Me? The only thing I remember about computer programming is cut and paste … lol. 😀

  8. Windows has been the biggest lie every sold worldwide. It is touted as an “operating system. The bottom line for Windows is the same old DOS that bill Gates started out with in the 1980. If you don’t believe it, look closely at your screen when your computer boots, or at the screen when you don’t shutdown properly – its’ DOS. I wrote DOS based software in the 80s and 90s. When youi nstalled windows, any software that could detect the operating system wouldre turn “DOS” and the version number. that is still true today. Gates never gave us a stable piece of software, but he was a great salesman/con man.

    1. Much of that I agree with, and Microsoft has trumped over superior OSes much like VHS/Betamax … My understanding is that Windows NT branched from DOS based Windows, and this is the today’s current branch. The exact ins and outs I don’t know, so you could be right. Certainly many of the old DOS commands are still present in Windows 7, and they added something called “powershell” to make up for the fact DOS is shit, basically !

      Within that Windows was freely available and supported by a trillion apps, so was a good choice in days of yore … but my whole point is that I think we’ve now reached a changing point, where if Microsoft aren’t careful they could cease to exist as “THE” OS supplier …

  9. While I agree with the sentiment, most casual users don’t want an OS so customizable. They want it to work and fast, without fiddling, and unless more vendors start selling devices with a Linux variant already installed I don’t see those users using it any time soon.

    1. That’s factored in and explained above, Linux is more reliable and getting more Nannyfied out of the box, Ubuntu and others are keen to take up the slack of bored/disgruntled Apple/Microsoft users … Those who don’t care about cost, sure will buy whatever seems to be the best … but I think if there’s a considerable saving then people are able to “put up with” it not being as slick (the best) … Android vs IOS for instance, here in Asia Samsung are much bigger than Apple, Android is therefore much more widely used … In my opinion Android is inferior in a lot of ways, but it’s entirely MORE customizable. Android allows for instance the use of SD cards for expansion rather than having to pay Apple for an expensive memory upgrade at the time of original purchase.

      In fact I’d go as far as to say OSX and Apple’s OSs tend to be the least customizable, so this probably puts you in the Apple camp. Windows has always been extremely customizable, it’s one of the reasons why I always chose it over Apple stuff. Plus of course the price tag, why pay $3000 for an Apple laptop that’s virtually the same for $700 for a PC one, it’s a no-brainer for me. Others would paid the $3000 because of the Apple badge, and “peace of mind” I guess …

      Apple’s OSX is customizable, there’s people made such a thing as a hackintosh, which is OSX running on non-Apple hardware. Although Apple tend to discourage user innovation in favour of a route that suits them financially. I personally have had little involvement with Apple due to the aforementioned cost. If money was no object, then there’s a possibility I might have been more involved with Apple. But then again perhaps I’d have spent my savings more/better PC equipment … iPhone was what introduced me to Apple, which was/is an innovation.

      So if you’re saying most casual users in the USA don’t want their OS so customizable then I’d be inclined to agree. However USA is not “the world”, China and India are rapidly, if not already, becoming the leaders and therefore the ultimate decision makers. And Europe, Russia et al do have a massive say in all of this too.

      My Seagate Satellite contains Linux at it’s core. For the casual user there’s no way of knowing this, it plugs into my PC, it has a web interface and an APP on my iphone/ipad, no mention of Linux anywhere … but it’s CERTAINLY powered by Linux.

      As one of my other commenters pointed out, just because one buys an Apple now, doesn’t mean it won’t be obsolete quite quickly due to their aggressive upgrades policy which suits their agenda of you buying new hardware often. I’d noticed this myself, and don’t do their “upgrades” unless it suits me.

      It’s certainly an interesting time, with a lot of changes happening, and I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing what’s currently going down 😀

  10. In the future I could see this, but not anytime soon. Way to many people who don’t know their way around a computer. Add in people who have no drive to try and learn it, but still get mad because a windows/mac is to much for them. I like the idea though, I suppose its easier when I’ve always been messing with tech.

    1. Agreed, probably should have added an “eventually” in the title for some further plausible deniability, but heck, be bold right ?

      I don’t think this trend will happen overnight either, enterprise relies heavily on Microsoft Windows, and to a lessor extent OSX for “personal computer” OS … However, Linux is seriously starting to come of age, ripe for a takeover … so we’ll have to see what happens …

  11. Don, impressed by this post. I’m soooo far from thinking in these terms (just give me my MacBook and let me push the on button) but, there is this the outside-of-the box part of me that sometimes sighs and feels handcuffed by technology. Who knows, maybe you have planted a seed that will bloom later for me. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Angie, just something that came to mind … I tend to forget my degree in Computer Science and years in the industry, and sometimes I’m very happy for technology I just can switch on … other times like you I feel handcuffed, and possibly extorted by lack of being able to do what I want with my hardware … I paid for it after all ! … So Linux really shines in this department … As it’s becoming MUCH more reliable these days, and they’ve been pushing it into mainstream, I think it’s popularity will spread … seeds are good they can grow into big oak trees … well that’s an acorn, but same difference !

  12. I just bought a new laptop with OS Windows Professional 7 and this is what I will have at least for the next 5 years. I will not go Mac, due to personal reasons, and I will keep my eye out on Linux when I am ready to go new again. I just read Audrey’s comment and I am laughing for most of what you wrote I didn’t get either. Sorry, Don, but it is the truth. LOL Love, Amy

    1. Probably that’s the lifespan for a laptop if it doesn’t break, and wise choice on the Win 7 … I try to write so that could be understood by differing levels of technical ability, although sometimes it’d just be too long winded to explain everything … so you got the basic idea which is there’s an SERIOUS alternative to Windows and Apple’s OSX … wont pry on the personal reasons, Apple are great in some ways, in others very poor …

      1. Don, you can pry all you want. I am not shy when I speak the Truth. I Love the retina screen (Mac) and I really could get used to the way a Mac runs. But, I have experienced personally how apple runs its business, and it is poor. Their MO is for you to buy every year. They send updates (iPad) knowing, and I mean KNOWING, that an older version of an iPad that update will ruin. Example: I can barely use my iPad present day because I am not able to stay connected to the internet. I get cut off. I don’t even know if I will be able to send this comment for yes, I am writing from my iPad, without me getting cut off. If I do get cut off, I must copy what I wrote here, reboot, then go back to either this comment box and paste, or go directly to your site. Just for this reason alone, I will not buy another apple. I heard there is a lawsuit against apple for poor business tactics … gee …. not surprising. I am working with a dispaly screen on my laptop that doesn’t even come near the retina screen, so in order to get my photographs the way I want them, I compare them when I send them to Petals on my iPad. I also have apps on my iPad that I LOVE that I tweak my photographs once I edit them on my laptop. There you have it. Truth from me according to what I have experienced and observed. Love, Amy PS NOPE Unable to send. I must reboot now, copy this FIRST, and when I am back up and running, very quickly paste and send comment. Hence, I made my point.

  13. So agree. I love all open source software it works so well and no clogging up the computer with updates. And of course Ubuntu was developed in SA where I live so that shows some good stuff comes from Africa hey?

  14. I have been trying to switch over to Linux for a few years now. The only thing stopping me is my bookkeeping program and my University online course’s only work with Microsoft (I am not sure if the University has adapted for Apple OSX).

    If I had the energy to “fight” I would just switch and spend the time getting everything to work. I just keep reminding my self it could be worse and I could be forced to use Apple OSX.

    1. There’s WINE the Linux windows emulator that might solve the issue or there’s Virtualbox which allows Win 7 to run under Linux … possible solutions, but I hear ya on the fight side of things, there’s a bit of learning curve will all this stuff !

      1. I could get my bookkeeping program to work with only a little effort for sure. It really was just my schooling that won the Linux vs Windows battle.

        One day I will have the operating system I want ha-ha

      2. I think stick with what works until it’s time to change, there’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple … my bookkeepinbg done online on a free accounting app, ‘fraid it’s UK based so not sure worth recommending for US paperwork …

      3. I do my personal stuff on basic Excel workbook, I have to use Sage 50 (the Canadian version) for my clients. It smooth’s the process between myself and the accounting firm’s they go to. But I do fully support that if a free or cheap online accounting app works for you, to go for it.

        That takes a way a lot of the stress from not meeting program requirement’s, wanting to upgrade, or not being able to do any work on the go.

      4. I used the DOS version of Sage many moons ago for an accounting course … I think for work/business it’s best to stick with what works, don’t fix it if it’s not broken … For me my Linux journey has been a gradually one experimenting as when time I have a reason, or inclination … happy I did and will continue to 😀

  15. i’m to old to shift. I rest my laurels at W7 and see no soon (10 yrs+) to be convincing reason to switch platforms nor OS version. W10 i ran and just found it the same as 7 but with the nice MS Store cashing machine tied in. No tnx. One thing is for sure, if i would have to switch MS and Apple will be way last on my list. If Linux is by that time still an option i guess that would work for me.

      1. yeah i know. I have a stockpile of 2012 hardware components, all the same type,brand etc. I’ll be needing postits with ‘computer’ ‘keyboard’ on it before before that’s run out. 🙂

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