Since I’ve recently switched to using a Mac Mini and a widescreen LCD as my main work setup, I’m considering switching from Xandros (advanced mode, with tweaks) to Windows XP on my Eee. I know it’s going to be a big move, and I know there would be both advantages and disadvantages.
I’m aware that the main reason people switch to Windows is because they need to run Windows-only apps. However, for most folks who are used to Windows rather than Linux, it’s probably the interface and the OS itself, and not the apps. But I’m mostly used to using various OSes for work and recreation, like OS X, Linux (Ubuntu and now Xandros). And I have done a handful of tweaks on my Xandros install, that I’m pretty much comfortable about it.
And do note that most of my work involves the Web. I communicate with colleagues via Gmail and IM (Yahoo, Google Talk via Pidgin). I manage sites via FTP (gFTP) and the browser. And I edit text files using any available text editor, be it Notepad on Windows, Text editor on the Mac, Gedit on GNOME or Kwrite on KDE. My task manager is on TaDa list and my schedules are on Google calendar. I use GIMP for simple image manipulation like cropping, resizing and text overlay. Simple enough, really. I don’t really use my Eee for multimedia, since I do have my other machines for that.
What I need is a stable work environment in which I can do things quickly, efficiently and effectively.
So here’s what I think the pros and cons of installing Windows would entail.
- More (commercial, mainstream) software
- Drivers for those devices where I would have to hack Linux to make work
- Would take less space on the SSD, assuming I use an install shrunk via nLite
- Xandros is pretty slow in detecting WiFi networks, especially in reconnecting after waking up from sleep. Windows should be faster in this regard.
- Malware. I would have to install and regularly update an AntiVirus software (AVG is my choice for my Windows machines)
- I’d have to tweak and tweak again.
- Bloatware? Well, I’m not sure how bloated XP is compared to the default Xandros installation (which takes up 3GB), but Windows apps generally consume more memory
- I’ll miss the ability to do stuff via command-line. Sure there’s the Windows command prompt, but in my opinion it’s not as elegant as doing things on Linux
Or maybe I can opt for an alternative Linux distro like eeeXubuntu.
I’m pretty sure there are dozens of reasons why I should or why I shouldn’t switch to Windows. Any opinions?