I recently bought a Hama multi-slot card reader, primarily for reading the Smart Media cards used in our camera. It came with software for Windows. I installed it on our Windows 98 machine, and plugged in the device, following the instructions to the letter. Ka-boom! Blue screen. After about an hour of trying and retrying to make it work (even installing upgraded drivers for the VIA chipset as recommended in the troubleshooting section), I was still no further on. Plugging in the device crashed Windows. Period.
About to package the thing up to take it back, I passed the house server running Linux. What the heck, I thought, and plugged it in the back. “Ooh, hello”, said the kernel. I mounted the emulated SCSI device, and grabbed the pictures of the Smart Media card. Easy as that.
The tables have turned. In times past, it used to be that peripherals Just Worked with Windows (mostly because the vendors targeted the drivers to that platform). Not any more.
I’m a happy Linux user.