20 minutes work is shaping up to be several days work in Linux. Today I burnt up four hours wasted on trying to do something really simple in Linux and the progress is almost zero. I would say the four hours achieved less than ten percent of the work.
The 20 minutes estimate is based on the task stretching out to 20 minutes on Windows XP if you have a slow machine or a slow download connection. On Ubuntu Linux the first 3 minutes of the work required about 15 minutes because I had to read through a bunch of distractions. The next 3 minutes of work blew out to 3 hours yesterday plus 4 hours today. I have already wasted enough time on Linux, just on this one task, to buy Windows 7 Pro 64 bit version several times over.
Considering I am only a small way into the task and it looks like there will be many hours left to fix all the problems caused by Linux, I could have purchased Windows, installed Windows, completed the task, and had dinner at an expensive restaurant for less cost both in money and time.
Does the problem hit everyone? No, the task I tried to complete is required by only about two million people worldwide. Still that is two million people who may try Linux then revert to Windows because very few will want to waste days without the slightest progress on truly trivial tasks.
One tiny step forward would be a small application to make a simple step easier. I am trying to use an open source application. The application has a user interface built into the windows version. The Linux version has no user interface. You have to buy a commercial user interface or try to glue on some open source junk that does not fit.
The user interface on Windows is not supplied by Windows, it is supplied by the open source developers of the open source application. They can do it on Windows but refuse to do it on Linux. Does that mean that development on Linux is so difficult, they cannot finish the application?
There are some good reasons to use Linux but cost is not one when you look at the time you waste on simple tasks. Windows Vista is the main reason people convert to linux. Windows XP was better than Linux when first introduced then fell a little bit behind then came out with a 64 bit version that was faster and easier than Linux for desktop use. Windows 7 is way better than Vista but you really have to fight it in some areas.
For the task I am attempting to finish on Linux, XP requires less than 20 minutes and Windows 7 about 90 minutes the first time you try it. Ubuntu Linux is now up to 420 minutes and looking like requiring 4200 minutes. If Microsoft had maintained XP instead of wasting our time with Vista, buying XP to save time would be the obvious decision.