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1 Why Switch to Linux

Chapter 1, Why Switch to Linux, includes the following four sections:

1.1 Top Ten Reasons to use Linux instead of Windows
1.2 The Fatal Flaw of the Microsoft Windows Monopoly
1.3 UEFI and the Microsoft Kill Switch
1.4 The Real Cost of the Microsoft Monopoly
We call Windows 8 ‘Windows Prison Edition’ because it’s designed to require people to send data to Microsoft servers, and of course, Microsoft will hand over any of that data to the US government on request. It puts the users in prison.”
Richard Stallman July 2013

In this section we will cover what is perhaps the most frightening part of the Microsoft program to take control over our computers. It is a new program called UEFI. It can be more accurately thought of as the Microsoft Kill Switch. Microsoft has required that this sinister “feature” be added to all Windows 8 and 10 computers.

Microsoft has created many obstacles to prevent you from adding to Linux
As I continued my research, a much bigger problem emerged. Sadly, Microsoft does not want people to use Linux. Microsoft seems to be doing everything they can to keep their corporate monopoly. They want the money that will come from forcing XP users to pay $500 each to change to Windows 10. There are 600 million Windows XP users in the world today and Microsoft wants all 600 million to spend $500 each to “upgrade” to Windows 10 and Office 365. That is $600 billion dollars that Microsoft stands to lose if folks ever learn that they can get a much more stable and reliable word processing system for free.


The Windows operating system is the key to maintaining the Microsoft computer monopoly. So Microsoft has placed all kinds of malicious roadblocks, obstacles and traps to prevent people from using Linux.

What is a Start Up Program?
To understand what the problem with UEFI and Secure Boot is, it is helpful to know a little bit about how computers start up. When you push the POWER ON button on your computer, this initiates a Start Up program. Historically, the universal startup program was called BIOS which stands for Basic Input Output System. This Start Up program is installed by the computer manufacturer. BIOS determines what program boots next and in what order. Typically, the next program to boot is the Windows Boot Manager. This starts Windows which then can be used to start Windows based programs such as MS Office. There are free open source versions of all of these things as shown below:

BIOS versus Core Boot
BIOS is a very old and stable system that allows you to have four or more operating systems installed into four or more “partitions” on your computer. Because BIOS is not a free open source program, and because it slowed down the performance of Linux, a group of Linux programmers spent several years developing an extremely fast, safe and free Startup program called Core Boot. While Core Boot is free and could easily be installed on all computers, manufacturers have continued to use BIOS until Windows 8 came out in 2012.

I just got a new computer which came with Windows 8 pre-installed on it. I have one question... How can I get rid of Windows 8?” A user question posted on one of many blogs dealing with Windows 8 problems.

Questions about Windows worth thinking about
Have you ever wondered why the Microsoft Windows operating system is so much larger (and slower) than the Linux or Apple operating systems? Why is it that Windows is so much more susceptible to viruses and hacker attacks? Why does the Windows operating system need hundreds of “updates” every month? Why is it that Microsoft makes such a lousy operating system even though it has tens of thousands of programmers? Why it is that Windows has such an insane structure? Why do we even need a deeply flaws Secure Boot when we already have a free open source Core Boot? Why am I so confident that Windows 10 will not be able to address the most important flaws of Windows 8?

The fatal flaw is the Microsoft Monopoly Business Model
To answer these questions, we need to understand that the structure of the Microsoft way of doing things is totally different from the Linux way. I understand the Microsoft way because, from 1985 to 2004, I had hundreds of Microsoft students attend my courses at Bellevue College. I spent thousands of hours talking with Microsoft employees. I knew more about what went on at Microsoft than most of their employees. Some of my students were responsible for coming up with creative ways to stop pirates from making bootleg copies of Windows. Imagine that was your job. What would you do? How would you stop the pirates?

The answer is that it is impossible to stop pirates from copying Windows because it is a digital program which is easily copied. All you can do is add complex keys and other gimmicks which prevent pirated versions of Windows from working. But for every gimmick you come up with, the pirates can come up with a counter gimmick. So all the gimmicks really do is add more bloated code to the already bloated code of Windows. This is a huge reason why Windows is so much more bloated than Linux. Linux does not care if you copy their operating system – in fact they encourage it. But Microsoft does care about copies. So Microsoft uses a series of gimmicks to throw monkey wrenches in the path of the pirates.

The First Major Gimmick... Internet Explorer 4 and the open back door
The pirating problem got much worse for Microsoft in the 1990’s as the internet itself was used to spread pirated copies of Windows as well as information on how to attack Windows. So Microsoft decided to turn Windows from a stationary target to a moving target. In 1996, Microsoft came out with Internet Explorer – which was their first attempt at a web browser. The first three versions were separate programs which ran on Windows. In fact, the first three versions of Internet Explorer were actually “borrowed” from Netscape. But a strange thing happened with Internet Explorer 4 when it was added to Windows 98. Suddenly, instead of being a separate program, Internet Explorer was now an integral part of Windows – and has been ever since.

Internet Explorer 1, 2 and 3 were separate programs added to the Windows operating system. Internet Explorer 4 was placed inside of the Windows operating system.... WHY?

Think about this. Why would anyone in their right mind tie the web browser code directly to the operating system code? Linux doesn’t do this. There is no doubt that tying these two things together makes the programming for each much more difficult – and slows down both the browser and the operating system.

I hate Windows 8. Hate it with a passion. A passion as hot as a thousand suns. The problem with Windows 8 is that Microsoft decided to shove a highly inefficient touch-based user interface onto millions of PC users using non-touch desktops and notebooks... forcing people sitting behind desktops and notebooks to change their work flow on a whim is simply asking too much. And believe me, after trying for months to like Windows 8, I still hate it.” Adrian Hughes Forbes Magazine

In this section, we will review 10 important reasons to make the switch to Linux rather than shelling out another $500 for Windows 10 and Office 365. Hopefully after reading this article, you will have a better understanding of why we should all make the move to the Linux free open source operating system.

#1: Linux costs less... In fact, it is free!
In our previous article, we pointed out the “impending doom” of the Windows XP operating system and the fact that replacing Windows and Office with the newer versions will cost about $500. Meanwhile Linux Mint with Libre Office is free.  


Let’s say, you buy a new computer every couple of years. By this point, you have been through the ringer of MS DOS, through Windows 95, 98, ME, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and now Windows 10. You have also been through many versions of Office. Each time Windows destroys your computer, you pay several hundred dollars for an upgrade that often worked worse than the version you could no longer use because it was “no longer supported.” Folks are starting to add up the cost of all of these new versions. In most cases, it comes to more than $200 per year just for software! If you have a family and several computers, or a small business with several computers, the cost quickly exceeds $1,000 per year.

Microsoft typically sells $90 billion in software every year – and makes more than $20 billion in profit every year! But instead of passing along some of these savings to their customers, Microsoft is now increasing prices in a very hidden way by moving to a “software as a service” (SAAS) model whereby you only rent their software for a month or a year at a time instead of buying it. Ironically, for all the money we are sinking into these over-priced products, we are getting a product that is worse than an open source option we can get for free. My mom had a saying: “Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me.”

#2: Linux is more dependable than Windows
We have already given many examples showing that Windows is an unstable system with numerous technical problems which cause it to freeze or crash causing the Blue Screen of Death. The reason Windows is so unstable is that Microsoft is trying to combine a “metro” Operating System with a traditional “Windows 7” desktop Operating System. These are fundamentally incompatible objectives and as incompatible as trying to combine water with oil. The Windows operating system ends up not work well for either mobile or desktop usage. The Windows 8 underlying programming is so different from the Windows 7 desktop structure that Windows has been plagued with a series of technical crashes right from the initial public launch. These are in addition to the ongoing technical problems with viruses and crashes that have plagued all past versions of Microsoft Windows.

We have now reviewed more than a dozen benefits of the Linux operating system over Windows. Given the functional benefits of Linux and the fatal flaws of Windows, it is difficult to imagine anyone going with Windows if they really understand all of its flaws. By now, you should understand why Windows 8 and 10 are completely different from Windows XP or Windows 7. Still, it is likely that Microsoft will be able to fool millions of people simply with the huge force of their billion dollar per year advertising campaigns. The only question is how many people they will be able to fool before folks find out what a flawed product they are getting with Windows 10. Now, we will look at Microsoft’s plan to convince us that we should spend $500 on Windows 10 and MS Office 365... and signs that word is already starting to get out that Windows 10 is a disaster. We will also look at some of the more hidden costs of the Microsoft monopoly.