I'm pulling the plug on openSUSE 11.1, and in the process, on Linux in general as a home system. I've been a Linux user for 15 years, but the last two (since mid-2007) have been a rapid fall of the cliff with regards to deteriorating quality and usability. What will I use going forward? Windows (XP and 7) and OS X. What finally pushed me over the edge? A one-two punch of KDE 4.2 and a kernel upgrade.
When I first installed openSUSE 11.1 I was reasonably happy, especially with KDE 4.1.3. It was fast and stable, if still a bit incomplete, on europa. I was happy. Then I made, what I see in hindsight, as the fatal mistake of upgrading to KDE 4.2. Desktop performance went from reasonably snappy to slow, and at times, down-right lethargic. The desktop themes I enjoyed and appreciated were replaced or changed. The analog clock went from being simple and attractive in 4.1.3 to gawdy and ugly in 4.2, much like the themes themselves. For example, with regards to the analog clock, I would size it and place it in the upper right corner of the desktop. I'd log out and shut down the machine, then log in at a later time only to find the clock re-sized and sitting on the left edge. The hope I had for KDE 4 growing into the desktop it needed to be was pretty much killed by my experiences with KDE 4.2.
Then there was the kernel upgrade as part of the last group of upgrades. I use the ATI binary driver for my ATI video card. I always have, on every distribution I've installed on this machine. The free versions of the ATI driver are vastly inferior to the ATI release, regardless of the what the fans of those free drivers may say. There was a comment in the kernel upgrade release notes that the ABI had changed and that all drivers needed to be rebuilt. But I accepted the upgrade, hoping that perhaps, this time, openSUSE would automatically upgrade the ATI driver as well. Apparently it didn't happen the way I hoped. Restarting the machine after a shutdown produces a system that comes up with a black screen.
I could go into the forums and find out what happened, but to do so would require me to boot into Windows XP and browse from there. There is a rich irony in using Windows to rescue a Linux installation, but I'm in no mood to appreciate it.
So, like Béranger, I'm defecting from Linux to Windows as a rational act. No more spare cycles and spare patience. No more downloads of oversized ISOs to test yet another distribution. No more purchases of boxed sets, or consumer devices that use it if I can help it. My use of Linux is now limited to where I work, only because it's Redhat (RHEL 4 and 5) and my customer bought into the argument to do so five years ago. They were on Solaris 8 back then, and there's no reason why they might not migrate back to Open Solaris in the future.
But I'm done with Linux.