We've started the debate. We've discussed 5 Reasons you should switch to Linux right now, and 5 Good reasons to switch to Linux. Now it's time to up the ante and discuss some of the things Linux does better than Windows.
Some of you may scoff and say "There is nothing Linux does better than Windows." To that I would say you might want to reconsider that opinion. We all know (or at least I hope we know) that every operating system has its strengths and weaknesses. Many of you may have never really considered the strengths of Linux. Well, it's time you did, and I am going to help you with that process.
The list below is in no particular order.
1. Evolve. After ten plus years of working with Linux I have seen few set backs. Each release of the various distributions has, nearly without fail, been a step forward. Trying to recall when a release has been a bump in the road akin to Vista or Windows ME has me drawing a blank. Yes Ubuntu had some performance issues with 7 and 8 but those issues didn't cause either of the releases to suffer.
The Linux kernel itself has been nothing less than a grand climb uphill that gets easier and easier. What was once a large hurdle to most users, the Linux kernel has become almost an afterthought. And if you take a look at the evolution of the Linux desktop you can see a perfect example of how a PC interface should evolve. Although KDE took a minor step back with the initial release of 4, it quickly recovered with grace and aplomb.
The evolution of Windows hasn't be nearly as smooth. With service packs causing major issues left and right, and...well...Vista.
2. Interoperability. Let's face it, Windows plays well with Windows. That's it. If you attempt to introduce a foreign object into your Windows-only network you're in for a long day. Linux, however, plays well with just about every operating system out there. Just try to find an operating system Linux can't communicate with and I will gladly say "I was wrong." I have yet to find an operating system that can not communicate, in one way or another, with Linux. I have found plenty, however, that can not communicate with Windows without having to add either third party software or a bridging piece of hardware.
3. Package management. To say that Windows actually manages packages is a joke. You know that portion of the Control Panel in Windows that says Add/Remove Software? How exactly do you do the Add part? Do you click on that and then check the repository of some 23,000 different applications to purchase? Oh no, you actually purchase your software and that software uses one of the different installation systems to install the package. There is no centralized repository. There is no package "management". Linux, however, has true package management. Synaptic, apt, yum, Yumex, rpm...Linux has package management that makes the installation and removal of applications a snap.
4. Flexibility. One of the greatest things about Linux is that if it doesn't work the way you want it to...change it, or find a different way of doing things. I have tackled the same task in Linux many different ways, each way had it's pros and cons. But the best thing about it was I could do it differently. I could find an application to handle a task, I could write a script to handle a task, I could piece together various applications to handle a task...you name it, the field is wide open. Even the kernel itself. If I don't want the kernel to load a module I can recompile the kernel myself. I can fine-tune a kernel to meet very specific needs. With Linux there are no limitations.
5. Desktop. Many users just use their PC and don't care much about their desktops. There are many others that do care. But it goes well beyond that of aesthetics. The Linux desktop can really serve your needs very specifically. I have deployed Fluxbox desktops on kiosk systems because I can create a very basic menu system that will allow users to do only what I want to allow them to do. And it doesn't take much effor to do so. Or I can deploy a virtuoso-like desktop that will do anything and everything the user wants. And that's the key - the Linux desktop CAN do what you want. The Linux desktop can look and feel EXACTLY how you want it to look and feel. You like certain aspects of OS X and certain aspects of XP or Vista? Linux has a desktop just for you. With Windows, if you want to really tweak the desktop, you better be ready to search for a third party application and hope it doesn't eat up more ram than, say, Vista already eats up. Oh and all that eye candy on Vista? Linux has had that for years - and does it better.
And there you go. You can argue each point if you want. But the truth of the matter is, there are certain aspecs of the Linux operating system that are just plain better than Windows. And, of course, there are certain aspects of the Windows operating system that are better than Linux. And...of course...there are certain aspects of OS X that are better than either Windows or Linux. It's a three way street here.