dstiles - 7:46 pm on Jul 13, 2013 (gmt 0)
That also depends on the flavour of linux. Something like Mint or Ubuntu is more novice-friendly than some of the more tech-orientated machines.
Also depends what they want to do with the machine. My brother and my wife have specific requirements which are difficult or impossible to run under linux. My brother's solution is to use linux Mint for most things but keep his soon-to-be-obsolete XP as his off-line "audio/video" center. My wife is about to be forced down a similar route (different apps but same reason) Her machine is 2000 and has been obsolete for several years!
Yes, we know about wine but not all windows programs run on it and in any case it introduces another infection point.
In my own case I need to run IIS, which is almost (not quite) impossible on linux servers. I need to translate ASP to PHP and have about 2 years to complete it before 2003 becomes completely obsolete. Defintely not looking forward to that.
There are technical reasons for dropping back from linux to windows but I suspect many that abandon linux have no linux-knowledgable frinds to offer advice.
It may well have helped if linux had been offered as an alternative OS for the past 20 years but sadly it wasn't. Now, most people already have windows experience and a) have no incentive to change (another virus? Ok, we'll take the machine to the shop); and b) do not use the computer much anyway.
The really sad thing is that if people used linux for on-line access to social networks and other dubious services there may be a lower incidence of viruses.