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Ubuntu 8.10 Outperforms Windows Vista 689

Posted by timothy
from the windows-probably-runs-more-windows-apps dept.
Anonymous writes "By now a lot has been reported on the new features and improvements in Ubuntu 8.10; it also looks like the OS is outperforming Vista in early benchmarking (Geekbench, boot times, etc.) At what point does this start to make a difference in the market place?" (And though there are lot of ways to benchmark computers, Ubuntu 8.10 with Compiz Fusion is certainly prettier on my Eee than the Windows XP that it came with.)
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Ubuntu 8.10 Outperforms Windows Vista

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  • by baffled (1034554) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:24PM (#25584945)
    What an accomplishment!
    • by dintech (998802) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:31PM (#25585095)
      In other news, bi-pedal world championship winning Thai kick-boxer out-performs one legged man in ass-kicking benchmarks.
      • by electrictroy (912290) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:37PM (#25585211)

        HAHAHAHAHAHA! Well, I would be far more-impressed if I saw the headline "Ubuntu outperforms XP". Now that would be truly something.

        • by clang_jangle (975789) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:44PM (#25585365) Journal
          People who use actually have used Ubuntu have long been aware that it outperforms XP. Not sure why we have the non-story about it outperforming Vista though...
          • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:03PM (#25585693)
            Not sure why we have the non-story about it outperforming Vista though...

            My thought exactly. Well, almost. My first thought was that a snail towing a 65-ton truck might outperform Vista, but I'm very polite. ;-)
          • by thepotoo (829391) <[thepotoospam] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:28PM (#25587139)
            OK, it really depends on what you're doing. Also, a lot of the stuff I do (games) is not dependent on OS at all, but on the drivers.

            Vista is so slow as to be utterly useless - it came with my laptop, and after waiting 10 minutes for it to boot up, I reformatted and put Ubuntu on it.

            If you're doing processor-heavy work (for example, recoding a DVD), I've yet to find anything faster than an N-lited copy of XP. You can slim down Ubuntu, but I'm not Linux savvy enough to do this yet.

            And if you're playing games, the drivers in Ubuntu are so piss-poor that you'll see a 10-20% drop in framerates (this is an Nvidia 7900 GS, benchmarked in Unreal 2004 max settings, same hardware). ATI drivers don't even fucking work, so I can't even compare them to the XP ones on my laptop (if anyone knows how to get an X1250 working in Kubuntu with ATI's proprietary drivers, respond. Machine crashes on resume, games crash on screen resolution change or exit).

            So it breaks down like this, in my experience:

            Out of the box XP gets it ass handed to it by Ubuntu.

            Ubuntu gets beat (slightly) by an N-Lited XP.

            Everything beats Vista.

            Startup times vary based largely on RAID array type (hard drive speed if you're in a laptop) and processor speed, but always go (slowest to fastest): Vista, Ubuntu, XP, 2000, N-Lited XP. Installing more programs slows this down in XP, but not enough for Ubuntu to beat it.

            Also, (this is settings related) torrents seem to run about 25-50 kb/s faster on Ubuntu than they do on Windows. I suspect this is related to half-open TCP/IP connections, but I don't know.

            Feel free to correct me if your mileage varies.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by hey! (33014)

              "It depends" is a good answer for this kind of situation.

              What operating systems do, primarily, is manage hardware resources. So things don't get interesting until you don't have enough resources. In most situations, there should be no perceptible difference between operating systems, it's when you begin to push your luck that you start to see differences. And then it depends on exactly how you are pushing your luck: too big a working set, allocating huge chunks of virtual memory, intensive disk I/O,

            • by Mozk (844858) on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:09PM (#25590383)

              +1 Informative for nLite mention. You can slim vanilla Windows XP down to around 200 MB or so with it by removing unused and non-essential services, features, and bloat. Even 150 MB or so if you want to be truly compact with it. It's maybe 50 to 100 MB more if you include service packs and .NET versions. This equates to faster boot times, better responsiveness, and less memory usage.

              It's great to run off USB flash drives also.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by wall0159 (881759)

            yeah. I remember running Return to Castle Wolfenstein on my P3 667, 384MB RAM. The windows version was faster running under Wine than in windows! :)

        • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:55PM (#25585557) Homepage

          Ubuntu after 6 months of use beats XP used for 6 months.

          That's easy. Windows get's clogged up with so much crap that in 6 months it's dead in the water. Hell simply installing webroot or another low grade Virus/spy service on XP and it's dog slow city. Most users also install every single crapware they can get their hands on, weatherbug, etc....

          Thankfully there is none of that crap for Ubuntu/Linux..... yet.

          • by liquidpele (663430) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:04PM (#25585715) Journal
            "Click here to install /bin checker to make your system faster! (you may need to enter your password)"
            ..........
            "You have viruses on your system! We've installed and will remind you of this every 5 minutes until you buy the full version of our product"
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Risen888 (306092)

            Ubuntu after a year and a half of use beats an OEM version of XP out-of-the-box. This is based on personal experience with my Pentium D machine (yeah, hard-de-har-har) which has been dist-upgraded since Kubuntu 7.04 and is now running KDE4 (which is slower than the stock Ubuntu Gnome install).

        • Not performance,

          As in Windows 7 will suck less than Vista...
        • by _xeno_ (155264) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:14PM (#25585899) Homepage Journal

          Just to chime in with the other people here, I have two systems on my desk at work. One is a two year old Dell laptop with an Intel Core Due processor with 2GB of RAM. It runs XP. The other is a four year old Dell desktop with a Pentium 4 and 1GB of RAM. It runs Ubuntu 8.10.

          Guess which one is much, much faster?

          The Ubuntu 8.10 desktop, of course.

          Part of it is due to all the corporate crap-ware that gets installed on the machine. There's the virus scanner, the software firewall, and the automatic patch system. (And Adobe's automatic patch system, and Apple's automatic patch system, and Google's automatic patch system, and Sun's automatic patch system...)

          But a greater part is that Ubuntu is just plain faster. It uses less RAM, it hits the disk less, and it just runs faster.

          My general routine at the start of a day is to start the XP laptop booting, boot up the Ubuntu desktop, and then play around with the Ubuntu desktop while I wait for Windows to finally get to the point where it can slowly get Outlook up and going.

          Out of curiosity, I ran the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark [webkit.org] under Firefox 3.0.3 on both systems. The Ubuntu system finished with a total of 4.4 seconds to run all tests. The XP machine finished in 11.4 seconds. The 95% confidence intervals for the XP machine seem to suggest that performance changed wildly on some test runs - presumably caused by random background activity.

          • by skywiseguy (1347553) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:39PM (#25586379)
            of course almost any linux distro is going to boot faster than XP. but if you're running XP from a clean install and you have all that bloatware after 6 months of use, then maybe you should try using the custom options when you install the software you're using.

            i'm running XP pro on a P4 2.0ghz with 2gb of ram and it takes my system on average less than one minute from completely off to comlpetely loaded desktop. but i pay attention to the software that runs on my system, and i use msconfig to make sure that nothing is loading that i don't want to load.
          • by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:40PM (#25586401) Homepage

            People often compare a clean windows install to a clean linux install, forgetting that a clean linux install is a fully usable system that's ready to go, while a clean windows install is largely useless until you install a significant number of third party apps.

            The hidden costs of windows...

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Clockwinder (1256918)
              I have never had a fully usable Ubuntu install yet. Something is always broken. The standard problem is the wireless utilities suck. Even after messing around with custom drivers like Madwifi etc Ubuntu still wont connect to WPA2. Vista seems to work for me just fine.
              • by Shotgun (30919) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:23PM (#25587069)

                My experience is the exactly the opposite. Never had a windows box to join my wireless network without significant fiddling. Of course, I'm careful to make sure any wireless card I get with Linus comes with an Atheros chip.

                • by Kjella (173770) on Friday October 31, 2008 @05:31PM (#25589431) Homepage

                  Of course, I'm careful to make sure any wireless card I get with Linus comes with an Atheros chip.

                  Yeah sure, but what about the rest of us that can't afford to hire a personal kernel hacker with every wireless card?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by norminator (784674)

            But a greater part is that Ubuntu is just plain faster. It uses less RAM, it hits the disk less, and it just runs faster.

            I'm not sure about that claim of hitting the disk less. At home I dual boot my P4 3.4 GHz (with HT) machine between XP/Ubuntu 8.04 (actually 8.10 as of this morning, but I haven't really used 8.10 yet on it). Granted, I only have 512 MB of RAM, but the old 20 GB IDE hard drive in there is always clicking and grinding away whenever I do anything. XP on that system is using a newer, larger SATA drive, so I can't really compare that directly, but previously I used the same 20GB hdd in a P3/600MHz machine ru

    • by dsginter (104154) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:49PM (#25585455)

      This is just more sensationalism.

      I run Ubuntu 8.10 and yet I am somehow able to assess the situation pragmatically. As it sits, if I were to install Windows on my Ubuntu box, then I would probably make up the cost (aka "Micro$oft tax) with the annual power savings - Ubuntu *still* doesn't suspend-to-ram on my system (Biostar nforce 6150 motherboard with an Athlon X2 processor).

      And while I try to shut the system down, when possible, I always find myself walking away for "just a moment" only to find myself not returning until the next day (or more). When Ubuntu can put up the functionality of Windows (including power management), then it becomes a proper comparison. Until then, it pains me to defend Microsoft...

      • by msuarezalvarez (667058) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:03PM (#25585697)
        When you shopped for the computer did you take as a parameter the fact that the manufactured was openenough to provide details on how to do suspend to ram to anyone apart from MS?
        • The manufacturer makes sure their mainboard works with Windows and does not give details to anyone. If OTOH Mircosoft would want data from the manufacturer they would be happy to supply it. But Microsoft doesn't give a rat's behind. Because customers will not complain to Microsoft if it doesn't work. They will just buy another mainboard. Monopoly is sweet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by maeka (518272)

        FWIW, my Core 2 Duo system, according to my UPS, idles @ 80W.
        80W * 16 hours a day when I could suspend to RAM * 365.25 days / 1000 * .10 dollars a KW/h = $46.75
        If you have you system powered off ten hours a day on average you'd cut that number in half.

        I have no idea what the MS tax costs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smilindog2000 (907665)

        Suspend to RAM works out-of-the-box on my Dell Inspiron 9400, in Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04). I've found that the long-term-support releases are far more likely to support suspend and other commonly difficult features to get working.

        For the first time ever, I'm strongly considering sticking with my old version of Ubuntu (8.04) until the next long-term support version. Are there any great features in 8.10 that would cause you to recommending the upgrade? Thanks.

    • by Crazy Taco (1083423) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:08PM (#25585801)

      So what? Windows XP also outperforms Windows Vista. Windows 7 will ALSO likely outperform Windows Vista. Just about EVERYTHING outperforms Windows Vista.

      What really would have made this news is if Ubuntu had performed worse than Windows Vista.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Would you care to make a bet on that Windows 7? Microsoft remains driven by feature addition, not speed. We can expect their integration of .NET, Palladium's DRM features (mislabeled Trusted Computing), and new gaming features (to finally prevent the use of new games or software on XP).

        Windows 7 will be bent on killing off XP. That may force it to avoid the 'features' that have made Vista a dog, but there's no chance of going to the simpler tools and final integration fo the NT kernel to a consumer OS that

  • YES! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gerafix (1028986) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:24PM (#25584965)
    2009 is the Year of Linux on the Desktop!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      2009 is the Year of Linux on the Desktop!

      The Year of Linux on the Desktop is always 2 years away.

    • Re:YES! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:35PM (#25585179) Homepage Journal

      Wasn't that last year? Let's just say instead it's the decade of Linux on The Desktop.

    • Re:YES! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:06PM (#25585757) Homepage Journal

      2003 was the year of Linux on the desktop. For me, that's when I put Mandriva on it.

      Now if you're talking about Linux on the average person's desktop, I fear we may never have it. [slashdot.org]

      "Like I told Leila, just download Open Office. It's free and will read and write MS Office files."

      "Well," she said, "I did..." I doubted this but whatever "...and it was a ninety day trial version!"

      "I don't know what you downloaded," I said, "but Open Office is free. Just go to..." I fired up a browser and googled. "Openoffice.org and click the tab that says 'download'. It's a full version and it's free."

      "But... isn't downloading illegal?"

      This, my friends, is why Linux and Open Office haven't taken over the desktop. The non-nerd media (and I daresay, quite a bit of the nerd media) have non-geeks thinking that "downloading is illegal".

      Yes, I'm quoting myself.

  • Anything can outperform Vista.

    When Ubuntu outperforms XP, then I'll complete my transition to an all-Linux house.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jaguth (1067484)
      I request to have the tag "duh" added to this thread.
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by night_flyer (453866) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:24PM (#25584971) Homepage

    because Vista is a bloated mess, but Windows is still the predominant OS, and it will remain that way until the popular games & applications that real people/businesses use are available for Ubuntu.

    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Informative)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:17PM (#25585953) Homepage Journal

      Windows is still the predominant OS, and it will remain that way until the popular games...

      have you been inside a bar in the last ten years? Those MegaTouch game machines you put the dollar in that sit on the bar itself use Linux as their OS. I don't know of a single bar that doesn't have one, they're incredibly popular. People shove dollars in them right and left.

      & applications that real people/businesses use are available for Ubuntu.

      Open Office reads and writes Microsoft Office files. The real reason Open Source hasn't taken off is corporate FUD. The corporate media pound into everyone's heads that "free == worthless", which is utter nonsense (how much did you pay for the air you're breathing? yesterday's sunset? A walk through the woods? A smile?)

      People think anything free must be crap, and the media (owned by money-worshipers) propagate this ignorant paradigm.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by VGPowerlord (621254)

        Windows is still the predominant OS, and it will remain that way until the popular games...

        have you been inside a bar in the last ten years? Those MegaTouch game machines you put the dollar in that sit on the bar itself use Linux as their OS. I don't know of a single bar that doesn't have one, they're incredibly popular. People shove dollars in them right and left.

        Really? Will those games run on my personal computer, because last I checked we weren't discussing embedded devices.

  • Is this news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Old97 (1341297) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:27PM (#25585033)
    I've always assumed that Linux outperformed contemporary Windows equivalents on the desktop which is why I run Linux on old machines that are too slow for Windows but plenty fast enough for Linux. Linux speed and faster boots have never been enough to win the desktop. For that you need to be adequate in the categories users directly experience and you need mindshare which requires good marketing and distribution. Mac has great marketing and Microsoft has great distribution.
    • Re:Is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by D Ninja (825055) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:14PM (#25585909)

      Linux speed and faster boots have never been enough to win the desktop.

      Exactly. This isn't what users care about.

      A common myth among website developers is that, if your page takes longer than ~8-10 seconds to load, users are going to move elsewhere. However, repeated studies have shown that this is not the case. Extrapolating a bit, users don't really care *that* much about speed. I mean, obvious problems are...well...problems. But, the fact that Vista copies files more slowly than XP, or the fact that Ubuntu boots 10 seconds more quickly is not going to convince anybody.

      There's inherent costs with switching to a new operating system. Retraining, porting apps (or learning completely new apps), unfamiliarity and change. And, that last one is huge. People dislike change. They will typically go out of their way to avoid change. So, despite Apple's marketing, despite the excellent improvements in OSS, people will stick with Vista. Why? Because it's easy and most people don't care otherwise.

      What do users want? Well, I'm only guessing a bit here, but based on my usability work, they want: familiarity, ease-of-use, "prettiness" (yes...people are shallow...big surprise) and various other things that have nothing to do with a truly good app. Perceived "goodness" is far better than actual goodness. This is why, even though Linux applications tend to run faster, when they hold up the windowing system to do so (due to running in user space, from what I understand), users feel it is not as good as Windows which typically attempts to go out of its way to return control to its users.

  • by SpuriousLogic (1183411) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:29PM (#25585053)
    Vista has already lost in the marketplace. More and more companies are skipping Vista to go from XP to Windows 7 because of all the performance and compatability issues with Vista. So comparing Ubuntu (or any OS actually) to Vista is fairly useless. If you want to make a case for business, do it against the OS's that business really uses - in this case Windows XP, or in the future, Windows 7.
    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:43PM (#25585343) Homepage Journal
      But if Vista is such a turd, and Windows 7 [wikipedia.org] is virtually identical to Vista('cept for a new taskbar and other useless fluff), what makes you think that people would switch to it?

      Microsoft had better develop a truly revolutionary OS and/or put more effort into supporting XP as people who are not already tired of Microsoft's crap will quickly become tired. After seeing Win7, I'm really starting to believe that XP will be the last decent OS from Redmond.
    • by not already in use (972294) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:57PM (#25585587)

      Vista has already lost in the marketplace.

      Sure, if your only exposure to Vista is from slashdot. In the real world, most new computers are sold with Vista and people are perfectly happy with it.

      • by Petersko (564140) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:29PM (#25586163)
        "Sure, if your only exposure to Vista is from slashdot. In the real world, most new computers are sold with Vista and people are perfectly happy with it."

        I'm running Vista x64 Ultimate Edition, and I'll speak for myself, thanks

        It works fine. What can I say? I'm stuck with Windows or Mac because I've got a whole lot of pro audio hardware and software, and linux has always blown (and still blows, no matter what the ALSA folks tell you) in that arena. The great tools are just not there.

        It's stable, runs well, and after I tweaked the settings a bit the latency on my Tascam FW-1082 is awesomely, consistently low. Can't remember the last time I had to fiddle with anything. I was dual-booting to XP for audio work until the last Vista x64 drivers for my gear came out, and I'll be removing the XP partition soon.

        Much of the software I have is also available for the Mac. In the end I decided to go with Windows because of the Home Use Program from Microsoft.

        I'll be the first to admit that Vista is an incredibly inefficient resource hog. Thankfully, hardware resources are getting pretty darned cheap. I wouldn't put Vista on older hardware.

        I have exactly one complaint. After many patches the time it takes to shut down and restart the system is absurd.
      • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:33PM (#25587195)

        Sure, if your only exposure to Vista is from slashdot. In the real world, most new computers are sold with Vista and people are perfectly happy with it.

        Yup - that's why they did The Mojave Experiment; to show people that they're happy. Because if you don't tell happy people that they are, in fact, happy they wouldn't know. And that means your happy people are unhappy. You don't want unhappy happy customers.

  • of Ubuntu could outperform Vista in speed?

  • LOL! (Score:2, Funny)

    by MerlTurkin (598333)
    Hell a C128 is better than Vista! "Vista, how hard do YOU want to suck today?"
  • Yeah? (Score:5, Funny)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:30PM (#25585089) Homepage Journal

    My father-in-law with a slide rule, graph paper and a mechanical pencil can outperform vista.

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:32PM (#25585115)

    A dubious distinction, to be sure. Hell, my Heathkit H89 running CP/M outperforms Vista, at least when it comes to boot time. It outperforms Ubuntu in that regard also, come to think of it.

  • Laptops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Scutter (18425) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:37PM (#25585219) Journal

    Wake me when it'll work on my laptop.

    -Sleep/hibernation
    -Wireless
    -Softkeys

  • by mpapet (761907) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:38PM (#25585245) Homepage

    First and most importantly, I genuinely despise "speeds and feeds" metrics. It does nothing but harm the distro world when it's reduced to dumb metrics like this.

    Second, money talks and specs walk. Right now, Microsoft is the failsafe meme for most PHB's. There are a million reasons for this. Over time this will change as Microsoft tightens the noose. Microsoft's customer is not the admin, but the buyer. The buyer is indifferent to almost all specs and usually overrules engineering with their "business case".
     

  • by deft (253558) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:43PM (#25585353) Homepage

    Outside of techies and geeks, people just want to know if it runs whatever program they are used too. They dont care about #'s really. Maybe the benchmarks for video cards matter to some people for video games that wouldnt typically know what a benchmark is, but most people dont even know what linux is really (less ubuntu).

    Really, this news is that windows scored a 2838, ubuntu a 3367.
    Vista boot time: 56 seconds.
    Ubuntu boot time: 50 seconds.

    While I give a big high five to the developers, I dont think this is a watershed moment.

    it would be valuable to now claim "faster than windows" in marketting along with other features. Just that simple phrase will have more penetration.

  • by jmerelo (216716) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:45PM (#25585399) Homepage Journal

    In what workload would you include boot? Unless you keep booting up and down all day, boot time has nothing to do with performance.

  • Games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:51PM (#25585497)
    I'm a Mac guy but I've got a PC for gaming, running XP. I would _love_ to switch to Ubuntu but, unless I'm mistaken (and please! feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), in order to play my PC games I'd need to run an emulator or boot to XP which would defeat the entire purpose - the machine is used solely for gaming so why use a different system and then boot/emulate back to the system I already have? If Ubuntu ever enabled me to play my PC games natively, I'd ditch XP entirely and become a happy Mac/Ubuntu geek.
  • by Khashishi (775369) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:07PM (#25585791) Journal
    Windows 3.1 boot time blows Ubuntu 8.10 out of the water.
  • Sigh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Troll14 (1395683) <troll_ness@hotmail.com> on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:15PM (#25585935)
    I'm going to get boo'd out of the /. community for this, but here it goes. For people like me, it doesn't matter whether which OS is the fastest (If this was true, Linux would of won the desktop a long time ago). It matters what applications it can run. I mean, I can't really play Crysis or CoD4 with wine...and I need programs like Itunes and winRAR daily that don't work on Linux even with windows program loaders. I'm just giving my insight :) Trolls and Linux fan-boys, you may now post.
  • Vista vs Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sam0737 (648914) <samNO@SPAMchowchi.com> on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:23PM (#25586059)

    I didn't RTFA, are they comparing the desktop rendering performance? Tell me when Linux support DRM...

    No I cheated, I actually read it...

    Ubuntu 8.10 was noticeably faster when opening or switching between applications. Boot time with the PC running Vista was 56 seconds; with Ubuntu 8.10 it took 50 seconds.

    Merely 6 seconds and you declare that win?...The result could have changed if a different driver is involved. If an unpolished disk driver is in use which requires sleep for a few seconds during boot, the result would easily be flipped around.

    Though I thought Vista takes much longer to boot...may be only when I have installed many startup program.

    Noticeably faster when switching application?...how did they test that? On both machine it just takes a snap!

    Hey at least give us more number and statistic. Like try some disk and network transfer, or may be automate the Firefox to do something.

    I generally don't agree Linux is better in the area of hardware configuration. Like Display resolution - last time I tried doing dual screen was running some vendor (ATI) specified configuration tools to modify the xorg.conf, or WiFi WPA2 a year ago is still a very painful process, or Bluetooth Internet Gateway I still need to manually type a few command lines to get the interface and connection setup.

    On the side notes, if the hardware works, it's perfect, no headache driver installation. If it does not work on the first boot, it then usually takes a day on average to make it work. I know that's the vendor to blame...but still the fact that Linux kernel and it's internal driver interface is evolving too fast might also be a problem. If DKMS was mature some more years earlier then I could have countless of hours saved...

    Windows still have a more completed scenario and UX design. For example, say Printer configuration, it took me a few hours to share a USB HP Printers out on Ubuntu Hardy, surfing through the CUPS docs and alike, and if IIRC, the steps are totally different from what I learned in like 2 years ago. On Windows, it used to be the same steps for over 10 years. Right click -> Properties -> Share is all it takes, also making SMB shares just takes similar steps. On Linux? Will take another good hours to work with Samba...

    Linux is doing great...but is still not a prime time. Lack of standard (like Desktop, Kernel Interface) is a double-edges sword. On one hand it will evolve faster, on the other hand no people can keep up with its speed.

  • by DaveCBio (659840) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:30PM (#25586185)
    The switch is painless and transparent to the end user and they can do everything and run any piece of software they did before the switch. Same goes for large scale business roll-outs as well as the home desktop.
  • by Jerrry (43027) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:36PM (#25586317)

    A nitro-fueled dragster outperforms my Toyota, so perhaps I should trade my Camry in?

    Performance is just one variable in the equation, and probably not the most important in these days of 3GHz quad core boxes. Compatibility is probably more important. Windows runs the applications most people want and need, while Linux falls short in this area. It may be improving, but it's not there yet. Until there are native versions of Office, Photoshop, and other popular Windows applications, Linux is going nowhere on the desktop except in cases with extreme price pressure to keep the overall system cost as low as possible.

  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:06PM (#25586831) Homepage

    > At what point does this start to make a difference in the market place

    Simple. At the point there are apps available for Ubuntu that people want to use.

    As long as it works "well enough" and isn't too obnoxious (hello Vista) then, apart from hackers/researchers/coders, nobody really cares about their operating system. People only care about the apps they use. In fact a large proportion only care that "I click on that little icon and get on with my stuff".

    e.g. Personally I'll make a full time switch to Ubuntu when there is an integrated music program (audio/MIDI sequencer) that either performs as well as, or hopefuly outperforms, my aging copy of Logic Audio (i.e. must have full VST integration or plugins of the quality of NI Massive, NI Battery etc. etc.) Until then I'll be running XP as my main OS.

    For other people it's probably stuff like Photoshop, some CAD program, Outlook etc.

    Ubuntu's great. I run several Ubuntu desktops and an Ubuntu server but to gain market share it needs some "must have" app(s) that people want to use.

    Once that happens then the side bonus is people will start getting used to Linux as they go about their daily comuting.

    After the first 10 minutes of spinning cubes, fading menus, whizzy animations etc. etc. who really cares what their OS is doing ? Get out of the way and let me get on with work/play that's what I say.

    It's all about the apps.

    • Not just apps... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rix (54095)

      File format and other predatory lock in techniques are far more powerful than straight out application competition.

  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:20PM (#25587023)

    At what point does this start to make a difference in the market place?

    It will only make a difference when an option for pre-installed Linux system is provided by most major OEMs along side other non-Linux systems with these benchmarks highlighted.

    In my opinion, 2007-2008 was/is the year(s) of the Linux desktop as far as the technology is concerned. What is lacking now is consumer exposure/education, specifically at the retail level (think Dell, HP, IBM/Lenovo, etc.). In the consumer's mind, the operating system is not separate from the hardware they are purchasing. Thus, unless OEMs and computer makers offer Linux on the same level as Windows or other OSes, all these benchmarks, usability results, user freedom, and other positives will only fall upon the ears of the technically brave or elite.

    Of course there will always be the new user learning curve when switching to Linux. But, in my opinion, this learning curve in 2007-2008 became no worse than a Windows->Mac switch is today. I don't see a major *technical* problem preventing the *AVERAGE* user (read: email, web, word/presentation documents) switching to a modern binary package-based Linux distributions (read: point and click package and application installation). What is lacking is the exposure to the end user at the point of sale.

    Perhaps what will hasten the year of the consumer Linux desktop is when/if cloud-based applications go mainstream and replace their client-side equivalents, in which case the OS running on the PC becomes nearly irrelevant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tknd (979052)
      What you are describing is called "marketing". Why are you afraid to use that term?
  • What does it matter? (Score:4, Informative)

    by RWerp (798951) on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:11PM (#25590397)
    What matters is that I go to Dixons (UK electronics store), approach a shelf with subnotebooks and see a sign "Linux notebooks will not work with mobile Internet".

    Go figure.

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