well, it was interesting to see cuch a long thread here about windows/linux. as it is, there aren't any perfect operating systems, yet, in the world. Windows has undoubtely the better GUI, at the moment anyway ( not talking about MacOSX here, i like that too, but i haven't worked with it, so i can't say anything else than i like how it looks
but there are a few facts here which either aren't exactly correct, or haven't been said ... for one, it is not true that linux is not useable as desktop machine. the last releases of RedHat, SuSe, Mandrake and Xandros prove indeed that it is very useable. among other things, i hold linux courses here at the university, not for students, but for the scientific and normal employees, and especially among the scientific emplyoees, more and more tell me that after they got into contact with linux as desktop OS, they are more and more using it, for many everyday things, OpenOffice can replace MsOffice sucessfully for most users.
but, undoubtely, linux has still some way to go, until it's gui will be as potent and easily useable as Windows. OTOH, it gathers ground very quickly.
however, that is not the real problem. at this moment, M$ is on a course, which is more or less dangerous in many ways, for many of us here, especially if you do NOT live in the US ... but even then, i would say it is bad enough. i do not know how many of you have followed the ideas M$, along with Intel, and many other large companies has, about TCPA ... TCPA Homepage
... of course, on the website, they say how good it will be for every user, the machine will not be able to run any code which hasn't been allowed to run, documents can be encrypted and only read on specific machines, or sound and video files won't be copied from machine to machine, and M$ will be able to tell your machine which programs may be run, or not, it can install automagically updates, and the user won't need to bother, remove what isn't needed ... oops .. i am sure that many of you recognise what this means. DRM will be enforceable, at last, and whomever thinks that your data will be actually safe, i ask you something. do you really think the US governement will give any user such a OS, where noone else than the owner can read a file, because it will be automagically encrypted ? surely not, it means that there will be some Master-Key which law-enforcment agencies can use to decrypt every file you have created. and PGP won't run anymore, since M$ won't simply let you run it. ok, now some of you will say i am paranoid. perhaps i am
OTOH, it gets worse. imagine .. files aren't readeable anymore on other systems, ok, so what happens if you fry some integral part of your hardware ? how can you re-use your DRM encrypted files ? by re-inputting the same key ? oops, but that means it is probably hackeable. and what of non US companies, or even worse Countries ? i tell you, as European citizen, i do not like the idea at all, that my governement should use an OS which has these restrictions, and possible holes. hacking will find a way to get past it, it was proven in Hamburg, at the CCC ( Chaos Computer Club ) meeting, where a new DRM system of M$ was hacked ... and once you've hacked a TCPA system, you can abuse computers much worse than today. you can't boot a virus-program from a CD-ROM anymore, since this CD-ROM would have to be able to unlock the TCPA chip ... etc. etc.
Trusted Computing doesn't mean that you can trust your computer, it means that M$ can. i do use WinXP at work and home, next to my windows machines. as long as TCPA won't be part of the OS ( the palladium module of the new Windows, codename LongHorn ) .
but till then, linux will be as useable as windows, seen from a GUI point of view