My personal preferences
After reading so many articles, (mostly false) statistics, user comments on the issue, before going more into an issue, I feel obliged to say what I have used over time, what my philosophical view on the matter is, and I will try to remain realistic and cold-blooded, in contrast to all the authors of the mentioned articles. I have started with legendary C64, used 286, 386, and 486, P1, P2, P3, and P4 all on MS products, starting from MSDOS, Win 3.11 and through all versions, even Millennium and Vista. Then I discovered Linux, starting with OpenSuse, and later I discovered something that was eye opening experience, Ubuntu. I slowly started to embrace the Richard Stallman’s, Eric Reynolds’s etc. views, and I become one of the users they called “Ubuntu fanboy”. I worked for MS for some time, working on powerful TabletPC’s (now almost forgotten, replaced with toys called simple “Tablets”). TabletPC in combination with Windows 7 was a true winner, who has not tried all it can do on TabletPC, cannot say on its quality. Math Input Panel, Ink recognizer, OneNote, Office 2007 & 2010, and many more were state of the art. TabletPC was getting things done like never before, it was the future of computing as Bill Gates had predicted and it looked like it at one time. On my laptop I had Ubuntu that worked flawlessly. Ubuntu hype lasted until 11.04, with Unity (that I personally like) came all the features but bugs as well, and Ubuntu did not look like Desktop distribution, but rather more fitted for smaller screens or touch screens, something that Mint had exploited perfectly to become the number one in the free world. At this point I must say that I use several Linux distributions at the same time, as well as my own distribution on my eee 701, and on my laptop I have dual boot with Windows 7. I have followed MAC’s development, but I have only tried some MAC OS a long time ago. I just installed it in my VMware and I am testing it to see its good and bad sides. So far, I both love it and hate it, indifference is not an answer.
Market share for MAC’s is 6% worldwide, 14% in USA, which leads us to the conclusion that number of MAC users elsewhere are negligible. The percentile is higher if we would count all the devices that Apple offers, but we are here discussing only something that could fit into “personal computers” category. Linux (I will refer to Linux users all those who use GNU\Linux and BSD) users are 1% – 2% estimated, but one must have in mind that that data is probably not accurate and that number is much higher. The reasons for the assumption are:
- most Linux users have dual boot with Windows XP or Windows 7,
- many business computers use Linux for safety and economic reasons,
- all the offline PC’s,
- Netbooks and servers.
Because of the way market share is being counted, Linux seems to have low market share. Still, in the discussion “MAC vs. PC”, somehow Linux is not counted at all, which is due to Apple’s wish to only attack Microsoft and retake some piece of its cake. From that we got the equating of PC with MS Windows, which is far from truth. Other confusion is hardware part, because since a couple of years ago, what is underneath the hood of all MAC’s is almost identical to what we can find in PC’s.
Times have changed indeed. Back from the PowerPC era, MAC’s were mostly used by IT professionals (Lightscape, pro 3D modeling and animation software, had no true competitor for years, for example), and now the impression of average MAC user is quite different. Windows users seem to come in all flavors, and this is where the fight kicks in. Apple has started this debate, similar to Intel vs. AMD, nVidia vs. ATI, but with much higher magnitude, and large number of people got too emotional over who is right, forgetting that every coin has two sides, and “which is better” cannot be determined by the personal preference or habits.
Various journalists and bloggers have exploited this to the maximum, not to mention psychologists who love to make money of the pointless researches with non-scientific approach, maybe even funded by one of the sides, have non-representative statistical groups, etc. According to those writings, and the comments that follow, it looks like it is not an issue of hardware, OS, UI, or anything similar, but the hatred of one group towards another, in retrospective of philosophical views and life style. In attacking “PC” in the “Get a MAC” campaign, Apple has started something quite opposite, an attack on their users who are characterized as hipsters, snobs, “sheep” that would buy anything their “God” tells them to. We will discuss if that is really the case.
Terminology and History
The problem is of course, as mentioned above, equating term PC with MS Windows. PC is meaning “Personal Computer”, and one might point that MAC’s could fit the term. Earlier this difference could have at least be due to difference in Motorola and PowerPC (and RISC) and x386 (CISC) CPUs, as there is a clear difference with ARM CPUs and x86 and amd64 based CPUs. Since hardware is almost the same, I must say that both MAC and PC are “PC”.
Apple is often seen as a company which changes the world with its inventions. The truth is that they did not invent so much, but rather better implement what others have invented. The true gift of Steve Jobs was in recognizing the true potentials. Let’s start from the beginning: GUI, which was “borrowed” from Xerox, and, no doubt about it, greatly improved, PC mouse, invented for the army, first manufactured by Telefunken, used as concept product in Xerox, and off course, commercially first successful with Apple. MP3 players existed long before iPods. What every other company was competing in mp3 players at that time, like Rio, was great sound quality and great value. Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple, and he needed a lifesaver. What he saw is that chasing great value can be left to others, while he would create the most expensive product that everyone would want, with emphasis to the rich western world. It had great sound and build quality and a large HDD. Soon as all the rich people got them, everybody wanted them, and in economically strong USA and where popularity contest is more important than anywhere in the world, well, you know what happened. Then iPhone happened, something they call breakthrough invention in the phone market, which could not be further from the truth. Touch phones existed way before iPhone. There were even models that were almost exactly like it, large screen and few buttons, with Windows Mobile OS. Even before, I could say that the true revolutionary product here was only the Palm Pilot, everything else is evolutionary. Here is where the Apple realized something very important – pen is not confortable to use on phones, everything should be adapted for the fingers (not the something I personally like, I like pen and full QWERTY keyboard in combination with touch screen). The story was the same as with iPod. There were tablets before iPad, just that every manufacturer had the bad idea how it should be like (not referring to their predecessor, PDA-s, which were just great in their own time). In Microsoft there was a concept of “Courier”, two screen model which would open like a book. Like flip or slide phones, they could not see that concept is doomed to fail. Steve could see what users want, just a big touch screen and OS easy enough to be used by everyone. Mac Book Air is just a thin pretty laptop. So the things go like this – someone else invents something, Apple takes that idea, implements it in a more user friendly and more appealing way, and then every other company (Samsung is a true champion in this), copies Apple’s products, and Apple gets recognized as “Leading Innovation”. iTunes and Apple Store are the same way. MAC OS X even uses BSD kernel, thanks to their very liberal license. BSD is probably the most perfect kernel nowadays, more stable (although less hardware compatible) than Linux kernel, which they gave free and everyone could use it the way they wanted them to. They can’t use the Linux kernel because of the GPL license. BSD kernel can be found on every Apple product, and without BSD, MAC computers would probably all be dead, like Symbian.
Hardware and Value comparison
There are same graphic cards and CPUs in MACs that PCs have, so the value of what you get for your money is easy to make. I will make comparisons of every Apple device with those using either Android or MS Windows or Linux (Android also has Linux kernel).
I assembled desktop PC with the same or stronger components, and as for the casing, mouse, speakers or keyboard, I looked to put the ones that would be somewhat comparable to the quality of Apple’s.
PC vs. iMac:
|CPU||Intel i5 3.3GHz quad-core||Intel i5 2.5GHz quad-core|
|Monitor||Dell 22” Ultraslim FullHD||21.5” FullHD|
|Case||Cooler Master Mini Tower Elite||iMac|
|GPU||ATI Radeon 6750 1GB GDDR5||ATI Radeon 6750 512MB GDDR5|
|Memory||Kingston 4GB DDR3 HyperX 1600MHz||4GB 1333MHz|
|Optical device||Samsung DVDRW||DVDRW|
|Keyboard||Logitech K270 Wireless||Apple wireless|
|Mouse||Logitech M525 Wireless||Apple Magic Mouse|
|Various parts||Camera, mike, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||Camera, mike, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|Price||Linux: 860 Euros,Win7 Home + 110 Euros||1390 Euros|
Value is in favor of PC, even with Win7, the difference is huge 420 Euros (Euro is 1.2$ at the moment of writing). That is, iMac with lower performance is 160% more expensive than PC with Linux, and 143% more expensive than with Win7.
Now we will see that as with the stronger iMacs, the difference is even higher. The same iMac with just 2.7GHz CPU and 6770 GPU 512MB costs 1750 Euros! ATI 6750 1GB graphics card costs 80 euros, and 6770 1GB is 100euros. That is, for the 200MHz of CPU and GPU upgrade that regularly costs 20 euros, Apple is ripping you off with 390 euros!
Let’s now see the best iMac vs. PC. The difference is in 3.1GHz CPU, still i5, still weaker than 3.3GHz we count for PC, 6970 1GB GPU and 27” display with stunning 2560×1440 resolution. 6970 cannot be found in stores anymore, so I had to refer to the benchmark results. It has 3135 G3D Mark, and 7850 with 2GB is slightly better with 3220 score, with the price of 290 euros. To match the quality, I picked Dell 27” Ultrasharp IPS with 2560×1440 for 700euros (22” model we counted above was 170 euros). Adding all upgrades with PC, 210 euros for graphics card and 530 euros for monitor, we come to the price of 1710 euros with Win7. iMac we are comparing this to costs 2300 euros or 135% more.
Price with Brandname PCs is higher, and for All-In-One PC with touch screen, the price is just a bit lower, but hey, you get a touch screen.
PC vs. Mac Pro
|Part||PC (DELL PowerEdge T110)||iMac|
|Motherboard||Dell, Intel C202 chipset||Unknown|
|CPU||Xeon 3.4GHz (TB)||Intel Xeon 2.8GHz|
|Case||Dell Tower||MAC Pro|
|GPU||Matrox G200eW||ATI Radeon 5770 1GB GDDR5|
|Memory||4GB DDR3 1333MHz||3GB 1066MHz|
|Keyboard||Dell Quietkey||Apple wireless|
|Mouse||Dell MS111||Apple Magic Mouse|
|Price||1270 Euros||2690 Euros|
Laptop PC vs. MacBook Pro
I will compare two products with similar price.
|Part||Dell Alienware M18X||iMac|
|Motherboard||Intel HM67 Express Chipset||Intel HM65 Express Chipset|
|CPU||Intel i7 3.3GHz (TB)||Intel i7 3.5GHz (TB)|
|Monitor||Dell 18.4” FullHD||17” FullHD|
|GPU||2x ATI Radeon 6970 2GB CrossFireX||ATI Radeon 6770 1GB|
|Price||With Win7 Home Premium, 2860 euros||3020 euros|
One should be thankful I did not compare here some high end laptop that is not so high end as Alienware, but regular high end series like Lenovo ThinkPad, because the price difference would be even higher. Alienware not only that it beats it with other parts (all but CPU), but it has two GPUs in CrossFire.
There is one huge advantage OS X and iOS have, and that is low spectra of hardware it is made for. On the other hand, Windows and Linux distributions are made to work on almost every single hardware that exists, even more for Linux distributions since they work on literally everything and with everything. And while Apple preselects several different hardware parts, hardware manufacturers in their race for just a buck more, make several variations of the same product and ship them to the PC market. This can be best seen with graphic cards, as they make some powerful model, and then purposely cripple it only to be able to make the price range. Linux supports all the hardware from 386 up to most powerful Xeon processors, from S3 Trident to nVidia Tesla. This comes at a price since it is hard to achieve a stable system with so many variations, not to mention how hard testing is. Microsoft has somewhat easier approach, since if MS does not provide its drivers; you can always find one on the manufacturer’s website. Now let’s see, Apple computers have the choice of only the few of Intel CPUs, few AMD/ATI GPUs (unless it’s Intel integrated in CPU with Sandybridge), and Foxxcon motherboards. If you are making OS just for that hardware, it can also prove to be a bit faster, which is a bit unfair advantage. We see here two philosophies, one that actually gave rise to the PC era is that you can upgrade your computer however you want and at any time (if the compatibility is right), and Apple’s philosophy: “here is what we offer, pick, and in a few years buy a whole new computer from us”. At this time, I would say that Apple has a point. What used to be great in the 1990’s isn’t so great now, since computers are cheap and it pays more to buy whole new computer than to upgrade it. The best thing is in between, off course, just if hardware manufacturers would make fewer variations to their hardware.
Other advantage Apple has is that parts of their kernel are made by others. I will not discuss it further, just look at Mach and BSD kernel for more information.
As the looks are concerned, it is a type of personal preference. I do think that by default MAC OS is the best looking, but both Win7/8 and Linux distributions with KDE, Gnome or Unity, can be made to look with the same appeal.
Linux is out of the question here, since it comes in so many varieties to suit everyone’s need. The ones that could be compared with OS X’s environment are Gnome3, Gnome/Unity, and KDE. I must admit that I was customizing my Ubuntu 10.10 to be exactly like OS X, without even knowing. It is very logical and friendly environment. There are the same app launchers in Linux world as with OS X, Ubuntu has similar “control panel” (called system settings), and even them moved buttons to the left. This is where I will stop comparing, since this really is not so relevant to the discussion. Linux being so customizable can be made into whatever you want it to be, so MAC users cannot say anything about their GUI being better.
Instead, let’s see what Windows has to offer. Snap to grid, working with multiple monitors, Aero, Aero preview… all those are really great, no question about it. Start menu that indexes everything is also fine. I really can object changing the Windows XP control panel into this Vista/7 control panel that is made for the idiots, designed by the idiots. Why so harsh words? Well, hear this short story. While I was working in MS, one programmer and I had to change something in control panel. Him, being the top IT professional, and myself, could not find something that was obvious in XP. You now have different buttons that lead to the same settings window, and to set your system after installation takes really too long. It would be untrue if I would not praise some of the new features, like managing Bluetooth devices, certain Windows7 components like Math Input Panel, etc. However, I cannot say that I like Windows 8 so far, nor Win7 mobile. It seems that users will stay with Win7 as they stayed with WinXP. In the years to come, and with Ballmer in charge, I doubt that we will see many usable versions of Windows.
OS X on the other hand is very easy to use. I started my VM, and right away I felt like at home. However, it looked like you cannot customize so many things as I would like to. I hated the way mouse scrolled opposite and that window control buttons are on the left. Thankfully, scrolling can easily be changed in System Preferences. A lot of stuff actually looks like in Linux, mainly Ubuntu. It looks like close to ideal where user is all into apps, and OS is just there, easy to use and unchangeable.
Under the hood
Under the hood, Windows is nothing but …. In fact, all OSs are, but Windows is leading in being bad. It has more holes than Swiss cheese, and if something goes wrong, you will not be able to fix it. Repair does not work, updates can cause more problems than they resolve. Here is what happened just today to my girlfriend who works in a Library and has i5 HP configuration with Win7 professional. Suddenly, there was a problem crashing of windows components. I’ve tried every single thing they (MS) recommended to do, without any success. Then I did system restore, and after that, Windows lost every network connection settings, and since in the library she has a network account, she could not log into her account anymore (date to which system was restored was just a few days ago, her account was created way before). We had to call system and network administrator since only he has the local administrator user/pass. Annoying isn’t it?! OS X and Linux distributions are better in this sense; however, I was turned down by Ubuntu’s new strategy of introducing million of new features without resolving constant application crashes and other bugs. There are other distros that work flawlessly, but some with less features. I have not tested OS X long enough to know how it stands on this. Also, viruses, Linux is by far the most virus free (maybe BSD, but their market share is still too low to be considered here). Some say that it is due its low market share not counting mobile devices, servers and supercomputers, but that is not the case. OS X lies in between, but comparing to Windows, everything is negligible.
OS X and Linux share the similar directory structure, but I can say that OS X has a bit more logical one. As for the Windows one, it is quite logical and intuitive, but there is a problem with no separation of User and Admin applications for example, making the system more vulnerable.
One could really hate Windows registry, much better is in POSIX world where textual files are used as configuration files instead of binaries and registry base. First advantage is that it is intuitive to use textual configuration files, other is if something goes wrong, you will not be able to go into and fix anything in Windows, in contrast to *NIX based OS’s.
What does not seem so important at a first glance when comparing these two is software, meaning third party software and its price, and software that comes with the system? I will not analyze some software that you can install on any system like all the most popular browsers, so I would not be able to say: “Windows is bad because it ships Internet Explorer by default”, and IE is the best browser to download some other browser.
Software that is included is not really of importance here. It all depends on what you use, your preferences and if you don’t like it, there is always third party software to replace it. Third party software is what is the most important. There are two topics that arise: what you get for what you pay and what is available. I cannot go into the cracked apps topic, so I will speak in future like you will pay for the software.
Well, you get of everything. The good is the offer, literally millions of applications available, and all the best ones are for this OS. For some I cannot even believe that none has made its nemesis, like Total Commander. TC exists only on Windows and there is not even a close match to it, although it is not so complex application. The bad is tons of shareware and adware. Go to some website, download an app they advertise like freeware, and if you are not careful, you will get with browser tabs, trackers, cookies, spam, and who knows what else, and the app might not even work you need it to. This makes trying different apps even harder. Freeware is not often so good for this OS, apart from the standard type of applications like audio/video players. Good games are made almost exclusively for Windows so every other OS is pretty much in disadvantage. There are few examples that break the rule, of course, like Unreal Tournament, World of Goo…
Almost everything is free of charge; it’s unbelievable, so many programmers working on something for no money at all. I also use donation system for my Leeenux Linux, and I must confess, it is not going well. People are not akin to donate. There is a lot of philosophy and benefit for developers due to Open Source, but that is not what interests us here. There are lots of apps, and most of them are fine, but some of them are not so fine as for the MS Windows. One example would be Adobe Photoshop. There are lots of free games, but I could not find them interesting to play since they all look like they are lagging for half a decade. If you do not play games as much, do not use warez, than it is clear that this is the OS for you. OpenOffice/LibreOffice, for example, might not be as good as MS Office 2010, but I doubt you really need it so badly. If you are running a business, it is also the best choice. If you are a Scientist, well, I do not need to explain any further, just the fact that there is CERN’s own distribution called Scientific says it all. There are some apps to buy; thankfully, Wolfram’s Mathematica is one of them. I still miss Photoshop since GIMP is just not even close (but its free). You can always use Wine, but it’s not like in its native environment.
Boy o boy, there is a choice (even MS Office), but 90% of the apps must be paid for, even for some quite silly stuff, apps that do almost nothing useful. A ruler application that does nothing but puts a ruler on your desktop is 1.99$. A bit more complex apps cost 10 to 20 times more than that. The choice of apps is also what troubles me. Most of the applications are more for fun for teenagers or bored housewives. Of course that there are serious applications for MAC OS X, but one gets a feeling where the demand and offer lies. This will lead to the discussion on the users as well.
Linux is the Saint, about MS we all know everything and although we hate what MS does, that is nothing compared to what Apple does. First, there is exploitation of workers at Foxxcon, secondly DRM, law suits with other companies such as anti-competitive behavior, overcharging for products, overcharging over iTunes while giving the artists only a small percentage, cooperation with Hollywood and so on. Look at the Wikipedia article “Criticism of Apple Inc.”.
MS Windows use all kind of people. Gamers must use it as well as some professionals who depend upon third party software. Thus “Get a MAC” ads were quite unfair. “PC” or Windows user was put into stereotype of being over concerned with work in uneasy way, dull and unattractive. I doubt that Apple had in mind only business users, since only than they would have some kind of case against MS Windows. Only Windows user would buy Windows 7 smartphone, but even they are rare.
Linux users are either business users forced to work into this free environment, or computer savvy’s, the main reason being that you must know stuff in order to use it well. Minority are the people that are forced to use it by their friends, who, like me, are tired of reinstalling MS Windows every now and then. For such friends, I install Linux Mint and even beginners have no problems with it. Almost every Linux user buys Android devices.
Giving all the above we can conclude:
- MAC users are willing to pay (if they did not, Apple would not be the wealthiest IT company, it would be Google, which gives us most of the stuff for free),
- in order to pay, you must have money and be in the part of the world where you can transfer it,
- care about appearance more than value,
- mostly are not IT savvy because there is not a lot to be savvy about,
- are more likely to buy other Apple products.
- do not care about freedom in the IT world, human rights, i.e. are more self-oriented in general.
#1 and #2 go with the demographics – which the vast majority of the MAC users are in the US, with #3 one might conclude that mostly the rich use it. From #4 they are not used by business users in general nor IT experts, but the ones that would and could use it are teenagers concerned more with Facebook and multimedia content, artists, web designer’s, etc. #5 tells us that they are true to the company, and the stereotype that they would buy whatever Apple tells them to fits (though it is not a proof of the hypothesis). #1, #2 and #5 tell us that they not only have money, but are well trained by the Apple that you must pay for software.
#6 is the one that is bugging me. While one would assume the average MAC user to be younger and thus more liberal (yes, the young ones are always more liberal, history confirms the statement), liberal people in general are more globally aware and concerned about rights of any kind. Since there is quite an opposition in carrying about the world and using anything that Apple makes, one might conclude that in general, MAC users are indeed just self-oriented. Sorry all MAC users, this might not go for you, but hipster stereotype and snob just fits here.
Let us go now through the other stereotypes (as written by Brandon Griggs, CNN) to test whether they could be any truth into them. We will be using here only comparison of percent of MAC users vs. percent of PC users, because of the high market share differences.
- PC users are more rural than MAC users. This goes with the money, so it could be.
- MAC users are more liberal. We discussed this above. It seems that being liberal here is in line with being “cool”, since being conservative in US is not “cool”.
- MAC users are more in general college educated. Probably yes, that is one of the reasons they have more money to buy MACs or could go to a college because of their heritage, but really the percentage difference is not that high.
- MAC people are more likely to say they want to be “perceived as unique”. Yes, that goes with being a snob or an artist.
- MAC people more likely throw parties. Again, the money issue.
- “MAC people are 21% more likely than PC people to say that two random people are more alike than different”. Ok, this one cracks the case if it is true. Above, MAC users perceive themselves as unique, while everybody else, according to this survey, is not unique.
- PC people are better in math, MAC people are more verbal. Could be, business, science and engineering vs. arts and literature and being a manager.
- PC people prefer impressionist art, MAC people prefer modern art. This one is a bit just bad conclusion, since only a small percentage of people truly understand art. If under the “modern” one would presume they like Mondrian and Kandinsky, I would say that it fits with the above. As for the PC users I would say that 95% of them do not know the difference between impressionist and renaissance art.
- MAC people describe their style as designer. Well, this goes with all the above.
- PC people would rather ride a Harley than a Vespa, opposite goes for MAC users. It sounds like there are lots of MAC users in Italy, right? No, I do not know what to make out of this. And there are few more of this kind of statistical conclusions that make no sense. I will not mention the kind of them anymore.
- MAC consider themselves as computer savvy. This in general cannot be true. Most of PC users indeed know only the basics, but the only savvy group is the Linux users.
Final answer would be yes, it is true what they say, MAC users are more snobby, members of the Apple religion (According to neurological research cited by the BBC on their “Secrets of the Superbrands” documentary, the response from the brain of an Apple enthusiast when viewing the brand-related symbols and imagery is similar to the one of a religious devotee when exposed to religious symbols and images), more self-oriented, hipsters… It would be so, if it was not for one thing. While it is probably true for most of the MAC users, what is with the MAC users that do not fit the stereotypes? They seem to be unfairly judged, just as Apple has offended all the PC users in their “Get a MAC” commercials. Apple literally said: “Wannabe better than the rest? Pay us a lot of money and you can be with what you own”. Apple products are thus more than a status symbol than what computers were all about only a decade ago.
So why is this discussion so important? Because Apple has made computer world both better and worse and both ways have gone into an extreme, and one does not know if the company should die or continue its creative existence. We would all like to see them changing their policies but that is just unlikely. Thus, I would say this: do not buy any of their products because you are becoming their accomplice in all the bad stuff they do, and they even overcharge you for that. Do not buy them if you like how they look, but rather go a bit more deeper than that (I would say don’t buy MS products, use Linux, but that is for the most just too extreme for now). Let’s make computing see the bright future it seemed a long time before when UNIX flourished instead of this self-centered chaos of social networks, multimedia and games.
Rolf Weidemann says:
Thank you for this post. It mostly fits well with my own experienxe.
I started with CP / M as operating system on a SIRIUS computer and worked fine with WORDSTAR, SuperCalc and dBaseII; MS-DOS didn’t yet exist. The latter (DOS) then was implemented on the market by IBM, and so Microsoft became what it is now. Technologically the “Compatibles” of IBM and others were a clear step backwards.
With my first Apple II, I controlled multimedia projectors for a slide show in the ’70 th. I programmed it still in Basic. But the first computer with an interesting graphical interface was not the Macintosh, but an Atari. Apple “recreated” the graphical interface later, and until the distribution of Windows 2000 they then had the lead. Quark, Photoshop, Macromedia Director, etc. worked bad or not at all on the “Compatibles”.
In the Linux world, there was no comparable software during the whole time, and Wine was a disaster. But after W2k came to the market, there wasn’t any more a good reason for a company to continue with Apple. Your article shows, why this is true.
During my lifetime Linux never left the level of Office software, except from some special applications in science. Programs to produce with I have never seen there, despite my regular SUSE installations. Even today you get easily lost between package dependencies and problems of compatibility, if you want to add something.
Is’t this the reason for the existence of Leenux?
For any office I cannot see why they would buy software when they have it all for free with Linux. I do agree that there are better 3rd party apps for Windows though, still we can see increase in number of companies that make their software for all platforms. Programming in Java helps. Linux is big in Science world, GIMP is great, but not on Photoshop level. Blender is also great, but I spent two years learning 3D Studio MAX to be willing to start learning something new.
Most compatibility problems are nowdays not an issue. There are some problems sometimes though, but I still prefer Linux way of installing to the Windows’ search online for exe, download than double click on exe, and expect a lot of checkboxes to uncheck because they want to spam you countless times.
Leeenux is made for netbooks. For any other use than between 7″ and 13″ screen, there are better suited distributions out there. I try to make everything easier to those who own such device.