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windows 8.1 system restore positively sucks....beware!
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@Biancoblu - I had a client come to me with a Win 8 startup issue. His Asus laptop didn't have a recovery partition and he didn't have any back-up disks. A local computer shop wanted to charge him $240 bucks to reinstall a copy of Win 8. I installed Linux Mint 17 for $35 and he started doing the happy dance.
@MrPhil - Roger that on Debian. I switched to Linux a couple of years ago and never looked back.
If a binary (compiled-linked) program is made for Windows, it won't work on Linux or Mac, period. And vice-versa. An "emulator" (WINE, Cygnus, etc. may work for you here). Even interpreted scripts (Perl, Python, Java, etc.) may be written with dependencies on one OS or even a given window manager within an OS. There's always some flavor of Virtual Machine to switch among programs on the fly, or multiboot to run one OS at a time.