I’m endlessly amazed at the number of seemingly intelligent people who persist in using Windows. The numbers of reasons to “Kiss the Blue Screen of Death goodbye” are many and growing daily. From Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) to Digital Rights Management (DRM) to malware. It is incomprehensible to me that more people haven’t switched to a real operating system, one that you control rather than the other way around.

El Reg‘s Dave Jewell sums it up perfectly: “I thought a computer was supposed to be a time-saving, productivity-boosting tool. Somebody please remind Microsoft…”

Speaking for myself, I made the switch more than three years ago because I was sick and tired of losing creative effort because of Windows or Word freezing or rebooting my machine. Not to mention the ever-present threat of losing data or having my PC compromised by malware.

Today you have Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), which, as Jewell puts it rather humorously “confers no benefit whatsoever on the customer; just tons of unnecessary hassle”. See the full story here.

And then, with Vista, you have the built-in Digital Rights Management (DRM), which The Inq‘s Burt Carver called “Microstupid tunnel vision” more than two years ago. More recently, software developer Matt Woodward posted: “…Vista has the most ‘pervasive and invasive’ DRM ever put into an operating system…”

Before anybody jumps down my throat on the malware issue, consider what Douglas Godbey wrote in the Windows newsletter, infopackets: “We all have been fighting the war on Spyware, Adware, and viruses of all sorts. What you may not know, however, is that such things are all but nonexistent in the Linux world.” Read the whole tale of woe here.

For the more ambitious, El Reg has an independent and very detailed assessment by Nicholas Petreley here. For the technically oriented, it includes a brief overview of relevant conceptual differences between Windows and Linux, to offer an insight into why Windows tends to be more vulnerable to attacks at both server and desktop, and why Linux is inherently more secure.

There’s a wonderful South African phrase I use whenever somebody tells me they still use Windows: “Ag shame”.