Why do I dual boot with Windows?

A thorny topic in some quarters of the linux community. Sadly we still see derogatory comments aimed at people who still use Windows in some fashion in their personal lives be it dual booting, a separate drive or a separate machine. Then we have the constant referal to Microsoft as “M$” or Microshaft", or refering to Windows as “Windblows”. We need to stop this, it is a very bad look for the community to people looking in thinking of using a linux based OS.

On to the topic at hand, why do I dual boot Windows on my main system? I used to be one of those “I will never use anything but linux” people but upon actually sitting down to think about it I realised I was limiting myself unnecessarily, technologically speaking. By not remaining familiar with what Windows is doing, how can we possibly talk to potential new users about moving to linux? How can we make recommendations if we are not familiar with what Windows does and how it does it? In addition, Windows is standard in the enterprise environment so it wouldn’t exactly be a good career move to lose familiarity with how to administer it.

Another reason I started dual booting again is gaming. As far as linux gaming has come, it still has a ways to go. Too many games still cannot be played at all and too many games still suffer performance that is below what Windows offers. Most of my gaming is still done on linux but Windows is there for those games that don’t work or don’t work well.

The final reason I dual boot is a mix of multiple things that cropped up in recent times. When Google announced that the Play Music store was being retired I needed to find a new place to buy music downloads. I used 7 Digital for years but I noticed a trend where albums I wanted to buy were just not available, lead singles were but the albums were not. This is why I switched to the Play Store in the first place. Bandcamp is great for independent music and I do buy a lot of music there but sometimes I want to buy something from a bigger artist. The Amazon mp3 store has never impressed me in terms of the quality of the encoding. That leaves itunes with no web store and no linux client, so I keep Windows for that.

Another niggle that recently appeared is that Calibre on linux started refusing to connect my ereader in order to transfer books. It connects to the OS and I can browse it in the file manager but Calibre is a big fat nope. On Windows, Calibre picks it up without issue.

That’s it. That is why I dual boot Windows and linux. It is ok to dual boot so let us stop deriding others for the choices they make and help make the linux community a more friendly place to be.