I have been trying Linux for a few weeks on my laptop and the results have been surprising.
I found a new world when it comes to operating systems with lot's of wonderful things and some bitter one's.
The initial impressions were good but after some time my experience got worse.
Starting with the user interface, although Unity has a nice look and feel I just couldn't use because I wasn't feeling productive.
There's nothing particularly wrong with it, i just don't like the default workflow that comes with it.
So I looked for alternatives and installed XFCE. Not only it was faster but it was also more familiar for me as a Windows user.
Although things were starting to go well, i started having random panel crashes. Since i couldn't figure why these problems were happening and i hadn't changed much on the system , i decided to create a usb installation drive with Xubuntu do a clean install.
Then i started noticing some new problems:
For some weird reason my wired network speeds were very poor.
They were basically at wireless speed levels!
I even disabled my wireless network card just to make sure but now dice.
Probably using an old or wrong driver ?
I tried with nouveau, i tried using nvidia drivers from Additional Drivers functionality, i even installed the drivers manually using nvidia official website.
Nothing. HDMI audio just didn't work!
Looked everywhere for solutions but no one had a solution for the problem.
The HDMI sound doesn't even show on the list of devices.
Even posted a question on askubuntu, but i was down voted.
Nvidia Optimus is just killing Linux.
I had some random freezes without any apparent reason.
The only time that it made some sense was when i tried to create a vm in VirtualBox and the system just crawled when the virtual hard disk was being stored on the drive.
I have an ssd so i didn't expect this kind of behavior. Even without an SSD the operating system performance shouldn't drop so bad.
It was a cool experiment and i learned a lot about linux by forcing myself to use it as my main OS.
If i dual booted i'm sure i wouldn't learn so much.
Still it's not a viable alternative for me, and i actually feel a little sorry because i think linux has a ton of potential. Although we don't see a massive publicity or mentioning to Linux it's everywhere and it's a very important operating system.
The speed specially during boot, smoothness, easy install (loved apt-get) and freedom of choice was something i really liked about it.
But i was displeased by bad battery life, hardware that didn't work well and lack of solutions for my particular case.
Sure linux has come a long way since i last tried, at the time Fedora didn't exist, only Red Hat and we were living the RPM hell. Things are a lot better now but it's still not enough for mass market PC consumers.
For instance, Nvidia Optimus is still an issue on linux, and most laptops nowadays have hybrid graphics.
It's a massive downside for any potential linux user.
I really hope that in the future linux can be used in a more consumer like way than just for the geeks and critical mission cases.