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It's funny.  Laugh. Operating Systems Ubuntu Windows Linux

Windows vs. Ubuntu — Dell's Verdict 718

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-never-knew-it-was-so-simple dept.
Barence writes "Remember how Dell put up a website declaring Ubuntu was safer than Windows, only to later change its mind? Well, the company has gotten right back into the Windows vs. Ubuntu debate with a highly sophisticated website arguing the pros and cons of each OS. People should choose Windows, argues Dell, if: they are already using Windows, are familiar with Windows, or are new to computers. People should choose Ubuntu if they're interested in open-source programming. Brilliant."
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Windows vs. Ubuntu — Dell's Verdict

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  • by SquarePixel (1851068) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:37PM (#32953944)

    It quite much comes down to that. It would be stupid and bad service not to tell that to users, especially those who like things just to work and want to play games too. Imagine if someone sold you a product that you don't know much about but only how you want it to work, and it wouldn't. Most users would feel the same way when they thought that all their programs and games would work.

  • by Third Position (1725934) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:41PM (#32953996)

    Irons with labels that tell you to remove your clothes before attempting to iron them are being truthful, too - but anyone who need a label to tell them that is probably too stupid to be allowed to get near an iron.

  • by guruevi (827432) <eviNO@SPAMsmokingcube.be> on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:41PM (#32954004) Homepage

    If you don't change your mind we'll stop providing you with cheap licenses and Gold Partner status and cut off your MSDN subscription. I worked for a couple of Gold Partners and it's the same everywhere, Microsoft uses it's monopoly status and high prices to force people into compliance.

    Ubuntu is good enough for most people especially when pre-installed on a computer. Unless you're just plain stupid you will be able to work with it and do whatever you need to do. Sadly Windows is so ingrained in users that are resistant to change that it's hard to change platforms for a lot of people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:44PM (#32954046)

    I am a linux geek. I run linux because it suits my needs and is dependable.

    I would love for everyone to run linux, but the reality is that it is not for everyone. I have tried to convert others, but ultimately they end up back in Windows/OSX. There is nothing wrong with that.

    For many computers just need to get "Task X" done. If Windows is the easiest way to get that done, then so be it...

  • by danieltdp (1287734) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:45PM (#32954054)

    Really. It hurts Linux when people log in and ask for MS Word. It is important to be sure your customer is getting what he wants.

    The only part that is gonna get flamed is the last bit on Windows Section: "use windows if you are new to using computers". They should have left this bit out of both sides, IMO. Windows is good to newbies because they can get help more easily from friends, but it is not easier to use than Ubuntu. Just the idea of the software center like ubuntu's goes miles ahead for those who are new to computers

  • New to computers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzekNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:45PM (#32954058) Homepage Journal

    I would argue with the "new to using computers" bullet. If you're new to computing, exactly why would it be easier to learn Windows than Ubuntu? Both have their arcane peculiarities and unique paradigms you'd have to get accustomed to.

    Hell, if you are totally new to computers and have no interest in learning much of anything about how they work, I'd suggest getting a Mac. Then you need never worry yourself about the internals, it "just works," as they say.

    I say this as someone who doesn't use a Mac. Apple built their reputation on being idiot-proof, and as far as I can tell, they live up.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:50PM (#32954132) Journal

    I'm a Mac user, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ubuntu to someone new to using computers. It really is as simple to use as Windows, and repositories are huge win for usability and security.

    I'm an advanced user and I don't every want to know what a repository is. My mom definitely doesn't give a shit.

    You don't have to know what a repo is. The default works just fine for 99.999% of users. However, if you are curious and want something the repo doesn't offer, you are free to add whatever repos you like.

    Then again, an "advanced" user would know this.

  • by McDutchie (151611) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:50PM (#32954146) Homepage

    I'm an advanced user and I don't every want to know what a repository is. My mom definitely doesn't give a shit.

    So call it an "app store", except all the apps are free. Your mom will eat it up.

  • Re:I disagree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kamukwam (652361) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:52PM (#32954176) Journal

    I set my parents up with an Ubuntu machine. On the desktop are icons for: Solitaire, Google, and Yahoo! Mail. They have not had a problem since I moved them to this setup.

    Ever since I started reading slashdot parents have been used to portray the computer user with no knowledge of computers at all. I wonder for how long this will stay like that. I mean, at some point even slashdot-readers will get children.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:53PM (#32954186)

    Choose UBUNTU if:

    • You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS

    That's not 'truthful', that's paid options that are actually marketing.

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:53PM (#32954190) Journal

    That's a terrible parallel to Ubuntu vs. Windows. For what it's worth, I'm a long time user of Linux - started off with an early SuSE then moved to Slackware. These days, I use either Gentoo (preferred) or Ubuntu (anything other than my main dev box I can't be bothered setting up Gentoo on). And you know what? I'd recommend Windows 7 to most people. I have it on my laptop and though I personally sometimes run into limitations on it, they're not limitations most people will encounter. I can't see my mother complaining that she can't open a bash shell for example.

    Ubuntu is probably the easiest Linux out there, but it's not as easy as Windows 7. Some of that results from the world in general being set up for Windows, rather than for Linux, and some of it is due to Ubuntu not being as slick or hassle-free as Windows 7. If you want security, then people are less likely to hack your Linux box than they are a Windows one, that's for sure, and you're not very likely to pick up a virus or be tricked into running some trojan. So as the summary states, there are arguments for and against. But it's pretty far from the truth to start talking about people who don't know enough to remove their clothes before ironing. I need a lot from my OS so I use Linux. But if I just wanted to surf, write emails and do some light word-processing, I have to say Windows 7 would be fine for me. My laptop which is primarily used for those things, has Windows 7 on it for this reason. If I need to do anything more on it, I just open a remote shell to my main system and use Screens and that's good enough for me.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:54PM (#32954210) Homepage
    The question is, if you have no idea what Ubuntu is, then why did you choose it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:57PM (#32954258)

    You don't need to know what a repository is, you just go to Ubuntu Software Centre and double click to install apps

  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:57PM (#32954268)

    If you're new to using computers, chances are you don't have a lot of highly technical friends -- but they'll probably have some familiarity with Windows, so you can ask them for help. The new user is more likely to go to the store and buy Encarta on CD, and when they take it home and it doesn't work in Linux, then they're going to be confused and/or pissed off. There is more to "using a computer" than hitting keys and clicking mice, and that's something that often gets lost in these discussions. When your issue is wifi compatability, how are you going to debug your issue without familiarity with A) web search, and B) at least some idea of what question you need to be searching for to get relevant information. The barrier to entry is a lot lower for J Random User who just uses Windows like "everyone else" than the guy who wants to be different for some, probably misguided, reason.

  • by papasui (567265) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:00PM (#32954308) Homepage
    Point #1 The thing about using linux (even kidified linux), is that it's going to be harder to find the answer to how you do something that's not obvious to a novice user. It's pretty easy to find someone that can walk you through a couple basic things on Windows because they poses the lion's share of the market. You might get lucky and find someone familiar with linux but there's a lot fewer of them out there. Point #2 With a Windows system you can go to Wal-mart and buy a copy of most current software titles. Linux not so much, sure there's resipositories which applications that do about the same thing as some Windows counter-part but when someone says you need 'Microsoft Word' to a new person they may not associate 'Open Office' as being the same sort of program. I'm not saying a new user couldn't be sucessful with Linux but they certainly would have some challenges ahead of them.
  • by Kepesk (1093871) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:01PM (#32954324) Homepage
    Agreed. And I'm amused by the fact that Dell's #1 reason people would want to use Ubuntu is that they do not plan to use Windows. Really informative guys. Great job. If they were really interested in marketing Ubuntu, they might have displayed at least one actual reason they might want to get it that didn't involve terms like 'open-source programming' which most people don't understand.
  • by Zironic (1112127) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:02PM (#32954338)

    Why the heck would they have Macintosh there? They don't sell Macintosh. They do sell computers that run Windows and Ubuntu though.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:02PM (#32954354) Homepage

    Hell, if you are totally new to computers and have no interest in learning much of anything about how they work, I'd suggest getting a Mac. Then you need never worry yourself about the internals, it "just works," as they say.

    Somehow I'm not surprised that Dell doesn't offer that advice.

  • by spazdor (902907) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:04PM (#32954382)

    The question is, if you have no idea what Windows is, then why did you choose it?

    See how everything's different when you switch the question around?

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:11PM (#32954466)

    From my perspective, if all you need to do is surf, write emails and do some light word processing, then Ubuntu is far and away a better choice than windows 7.

    I chose to dual boot ubuntu and windows 7 for the following reasons:

    It cost me nothing because I had 10 win7 licenses from an MSDN subscription paid for by my previous employer.

    I like to play video games, windows has more of them, and wine is generally a painful experience when it does work.

    I need to keep my Visual Studio/C#/ASP.net skills fresh in case I need to find a new job and can't find a local java position quickly enough.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:23PM (#32954664) Journal

    That is the exact point here. Dell is telling customers which OS they should choose so they are capable to make the choice. Personally I'm a little bit surprised they didn't note the games, but casual people buying a computer don't necessarily know that they need Windows for their apps to work. Dell is just helping these casual users.

    The only problem I have with Dell's EU page is that it's been so oversimplified it loses any meaning.

    I find it curious that Ubuntu has two bullet points and yet from Dell's page on Ubuntu [dell.com] they have several positive caveats about Ubuntu that don't even get mentioned here. For example:

    6) Ubuntu is secure

    According to industry reports, Ubuntu is unaffected by the vast majority of viruses and spyware.

    Why isn't there a bullet point for using Ubuntu if you just want a machine to browse the internet? Could Dell at least toss Ubuntu a bone and say "Linux currently suffers from less viruses than Windows"?

    On top of that, why can I only pick two laptops with Ubuntu on them [dell.com]?

    Why do you even have a page for Windows 7 vs Ubuntu when I have to buying one of these two machines in the first place?

    Dell is telling customers which OS they should choose so they are capable to make the choice.

    Wrong. Dell is telling people not to use Ubuntu. Walk down the street and pick out a hundred random people and ask them if they are interested in programming open source. They don't even say "if you are interested in free open source software" they say "open source programming." Do you think you'd even find one person interested in actually programming open source? That's basically what Dell's "comprehensive" Ubuntu list amounted to.

  • by nyctopterus (717502) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:27PM (#32954728) Homepage

    I think you make a a valid point, in a way, but there are a couple of things to consider. I'm guessing (perhaps wrongly) that you were already pretty familiar with Windows when you started using W7. That makes it seem easier to use than it is. If you are used to something else entirely (Mac OS in my case), or nothing at all, Ubuntu is just as simple. In fact, I find Ubuntu slightly more straightforward than Windows 7, and I dabble in both very casually.

    The application management in Ubuntu is superb, providing what I think is exactly the right balance of safety and discoverability for novice and casual users. A huge problem on Windows is people installing malware. How do you provide people with a rule sheet on what is okay to install? I've never been able to boil it down to rules, I just figure it out on a case-by-case basis. With Ubuntu you can just tell people to use the applications in the app menu, of which there are plenty. It's simple, safe, and allows the novice user to have computing independence, because there's no need to consult with anyone before installing an application.

  • by IICV (652597) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:27PM (#32954736)

    Eh? What exactly is harder in Ubuntu than it is on Windows?

    I mean, just consider this problem I had: I was trying to run STALKER: Shadow of Cernobyl on my Windows desktop. It refused to work; my monitor would just pop up an error message saying that the refresh rate was higher than it could display when I tried to run the game. How could I fix that? There were no Windows monitor "drivers" for the monitor (it's old and shitty), so there didn't seem to be any way to force Windows to use a lower maximum refresh rate. I couldn't find an option that would force STALKER to use a lower refresh rate, either.

    Eventually I had to download a sketchy third-party program named Reforce that, despite being written for Windows 2000/XP, managed to do its job in Windows 7; I used it to manually set the highest refresh rate to something my monitor could handle, and STALKER finally respected that.

    That's not "just works"; other people completely gave up on the problem (STALKER had just been on sale on Steam, so there was a thread about this in the forums). Sure, it was due to a combination of old hardware and missing drivers, but it still stumped quite a few people who otherwise use Windows.

    Of course, in Ubuntu this just isn't a problem because there's no games at all, but that's another issue entirely.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:30PM (#32954782) Homepage Journal

    It would be stupid and bad service not to tell that to users, especially those who like things just to work and want to play games too.

    You seem to agree with Dell. From TFS: People should choose Windows, argues Dell, if: they are already using Windows, are familiar with Windows, or are new to computers

    Which would be everybody not using a Mac, and I say poppycock. KDE is very similar to Windows and has a tiny learning curve; it's trivial to switch. As to new users, I've had friends who never had computers before, and wound up infecting them over and over (despite Norton). After getting tired of reinstalling Windows for them I'd install Linux dual-boot and disable networking in Windows and not install Norton. Every single one liked Mandriva better, and they never got another virus.

    As to games, there have been games on Linux for a long, long time. Most people don't play anything much more demanding than Solitaire. And guess what? The Megatouch game machines [meritgames.com] you see in bars use Linux for an OS, and you can buy those games, but they're Apple and Linux only, as they've been written for *nix. They'll run on your iPhone [megatouch.com] but not your Windows PC.

    Most users would feel the same way when they thought that all their programs and games would work.

    There are free alternatives to almost all Windows programs. Plus, you can run most Windows programs in Linux through Wine or similar emulators, but you can't run Linux programs in Windows at all, unless you have a Windows compiler to compile the (open) source files with.

    I can't think of a single thing that would make Windows superior to Linux. Yes, it would be dishonest to make people think you can run WoW or IE in Linux, but why would anybody tell them that unless they just wanted them to hate Linux?

  • by nyctopterus (717502) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:36PM (#32954892) Homepage

    Like Windows!=newbie-friendly. The windows taskbar lacks discoverabilty, because practically everything is jammed into one menu (the start menu), or indecipherable little icons (system tray). Ubuntu's menus say what they are, by giving textual clues. For a newbie, it's actually better to have more on the screen with actual writing than a lot of icons.

    Many aspects of the Windows interface are a kludge to differentiate it from the classic Mac OS, with many inconsistencies and non-intuitive behaviours. Linux distros should not copy it for the sake of usability.

  • Re:PIA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:38PM (#32954938)

    ... the GUI is just awful because it doesn't allow for easy 'run as root'. Want to edit smb.conf, you are SOL unless you go through CLI or create a custom link to your favorite editor....>

    Well, I learned that you can use the CLI and type 'sudo nautilus' to browse directories as root, and then you can still click on things to edit them.

    That said, it was a PITA to learn that, and it would be *way* easier if the editor either had a "save as root" option, or the user-level file browser had a right click "open as root" option.

    If that were the case, the file browser should tell you about that when you try to save a read only copy of a file.

    Honestly though, they should just do it like windows. Let the user do what they want, but if they don't have the privileges, get permission on the fly.

    If I try to do something in windows 7, UAC comes up and says "Hey, are you sure you want to do this?".

    As much as people give UAC shit, its a lot better than simply *not being able to* do what you want.

    I encountered this yesterday - has to edit some .conf file, so I navigated to it, opened it, changed it, and then found out I couldn't save. Clearly I want to save, just ask me for the root password and I'll do it!

    But no, I have to open the CLI, type sudo nautilus, and re-navigate to and re-edit the file.

    That is sure to frustrate users like me, who aren't total noobs but haven't gotten fully used to it all. I've been dabbling for years, but every time I dabble i find a show-stopping problem and go back to windows.

    Honestly, if you can't edit a goddamn text file without opening a CLI, you're doing it wrong. Period. And if there is a way and its not *very* obvious, you're still doing it wrong.

    Anyone else agree?
    -Taylor

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:40PM (#32954970) Journal

    If you look at it functionally, the iTunes app store is little more than a repo, and Linux has repos to beat all. I'm so horribly spoiled by tools like yum that I'm personally very remiss to EVER leave what's available at a click...

    Most of good salesmanship in business is in positioning - how you compare your products to others out there can leave a very strong impression as it lets potential users immediately grasp many of the capabilities (and limitations) of your product immediately without them actually having to learn what those capabilities are.

    Now that Apple has everybody understanding what a repo is, we should just rename repos to "App Stores" (or whatever Apple hasn't trademarked) so that people immediately get just how easy and capable it is to use. More so, because Linux' "app stores" are open-ended - anybody can add whatever App Repos they want!

    The only thing I'd (STRONGLY!) suggest is some way to filter out all the libraries and stuff that only developers care about so that end users can avoid getting confused by 7,000 libraries that they wouldn't understand anyway. My thoughts are that packages need to describe themselves as two-stage categories: EG: Libraries, ProgrammingTools, Applications and divide each of these categories further, EG: Libraries/Graphics, Applications/Office, Applications/Games, etc. with a default of "Applications" showing.

    Lastly, building in a SIMPLE payment tool so that applications can be purchased (and licenses tracked) with yum/apt...

    Put all this together, and suddenly Linux has an EXCELLENT commercial alternative to the Apple "App Store".

  • by Kijori (897770) <ward.jakeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:44PM (#32955046)

    I would argue with the "new to using computers" bullet. If you're new to computing, exactly why would it be easier to learn Windows than Ubuntu? Both have their arcane peculiarities and unique paradigms you'd have to get accustomed to.

    There are three reasons that jump out at me as an Ubuntu user since 2006.

    Firstly, Ubuntu users are generally assumed to be computer-literate and to have deliberately chosen Ubuntu, which implies that they know the ins and outs of Linux distributions and technologies. This leads to help files that are unintelligible to anyone who doesn't know a thing about Linux - amarok is "a qt media player for KDE", for example, and if you want to install a new chess program you can choose between "X11" and "Gnome" versions. (what?) Similarly, help files and forums have people running shell commands and editing configuration files - that's just voodoo to a totally new computer user, and if nothing else ingraining a "just run whatever the forum tells you as administrator" mindset is not good. All of this is ok if the users are knowledgeable - but these ones aren't.

    Secondly, people who don't know a lot about computers are the ones that really need shrinkwrap software to work for them. They're the ones who, not realising that there's a significant difference (a computer's a computer, right?) will be disappointed when nothing happens when they put the disc in.

    Thirdly, if you've never used a computer before then you're going to have some problems. When you ring up tech support for the program you bought, or ask your friend or colleague for help, you don't want the answer to be "what's Ubuntu?". Everyone knows someone who is familiar with Windows, and most towns have an evening class to teach totally new users. Not many people who've never used a computer before know any Linux geeks.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:50PM (#32955132) Homepage Journal

    I don't get it.

    If you want security, then people are less likely to hack your Linux box than they are a Windows one, that's for sure, and you're not very likely to pick up a virus or be tricked into running some trojan... if I just wanted to surf, write emails and do some light word-processing, I have to say Windows 7 would be fine for me.

    If that's all you wanted to do, any flavor of Linux/KDE would be fine for anybody, without having to worry about your machine being infected like you would with Windows.

  • by janwedekind (778872) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:50PM (#32955134) Homepage

    A simple link to whylinuxisbetter.net [whylinuxisbetter.net] would have done the job (truth and all).

  • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_womble (580291) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:59PM (#32955328) Homepage Journal

    At which point we become too busy to post much.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:01PM (#32955356) Journal

    You typically don't really "choose" Windows when you buy a PC. It's just there unless you ask otherwise (and even know that you can so ask).

  • by INT_QRK (1043164) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:01PM (#32955360)
    I disagree too with the assertion that one should use windows if "You are new to using computers." Gnome on Linux as applied by the Ubuntu distribution is so user-friendly and functional that my very computer-challenged wife picked it up with no problem. If you're new starting out, Ubuntu may in fact be the easiest to learn and effectively employ, since it comes with such a rich application environment. Also, I put 3 daughters through the college with new PC's, and after the 3rd or 4th time I had to reload Windows in their Freshman year, because their machines got corrupted/owned/trashed from the college network environment, Windows would give me crap trying to reload from the OEM disk (probably a run-counter to thwart piracy, but not applicable in my case). So rather than repurchase Windows, I just loaded Ubuntu. All finished college just fine on Ubuntu with no further crashes. The interesting side-effect is that when they graduated, none of my daughters bought a Windows PC, instead going for Macs, the slicker *nix option, but *nix nonetheless. Also, "You are interested in open source programming" should be modified to say "You are interested in open source applications or programming."
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:27PM (#32955740) Homepage Journal

    Point #1 The thing about using linux (even kidified linux), is that it's going to be harder to find the answer to how you do something that's not obvious to a novice user.

    You've GOT to be kidding. Where do you get answers to Windows problems?? Every time I go to Windows help I get "help" from the marketing department. If a new user is running Linux, they've got somebody who knows the OS that installed it for them; no novice is going to install any OS.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:29PM (#32955778) Journal

    I'm a Mac user, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ubuntu to someone new to using computers.

    Do you imply the scenario of a newly bought PC with Linux preinstalled? Because aside from that, recommending Linux to someone runs a fairly significant risk of them finding out that some piece of hardware is not supported, or supported poorly (usually it's either WiFi or sound, though more recent kernels have caused some havoc with wired networking).

    This can be accounted for by checking hardware compatibility lists, of course, but then you have to forget about buying Best Buy junk, and willing to spend time checking for compatibility - and we're talking about "someone new to using computers", right?

  • by csrjjsmp (819838) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:30PM (#32955800) Homepage
    It's cheaper to install Linux on a Windows system than to install Windows on a Linux system.
  • Re:PIA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:37PM (#32955904)

    Why not just open another terminal, sudo chmod on the file to allow you to save it and the chmod it back?

    Are you joking? I'm going to rant now because I didn't see an indication of sarcasm, so:

    Because that's a pain in the ass. I'm editing a goddamn text file. I don't want to use the terminal at all - I just said that you shouldn't have to use a terminal just to edit a text file, and I think thats pretty reasonable. I just want to open it, edit it, and save it. If I need elevated permissions, it should tell me and ask for a password.

    And because I haven't learned how to use chmod yet, so I'd have to go look that up. And because its not obvious - how would a new user figure out how to do that? By googling for "how to edit a text file in linux"? Yeah, if they have to google for that, you're doing it wrong. The obvious thing is to find the file, open it, and edit it. And your suggestion sucks because I hate having to find the path of a file and then type/paste it into a terminal - that's why god invented GUI file browsers!

    Honestly I hope you're joking. Its people that think like that who are holding back linux. No one will fix it because they don't see a problem, but you guys *HAVE* to understand - regular people don't want to "just open another terminal, sudo chmod on the file to allow you to save it and the chmod it back", they just want to edit the goddamn file. A little popup asking for permission might be annoying, but its easy to understand.

    As long as linux developers refuse to understand
    regular people, linux will never get anywhere.

    And don't feel bad, I'm just learning this myself. I spent about 5 minutes talking to some lady who asked me why I liked my android phone, and if I recommended it to her over an iPhone. I told her about how its open source, its not as draconian, etc. But it was a waste of time - she'd be happier with an iPhone, and I should have just recommended it to her. I want android to win, but telling old ladies to buy an android phone to forward my cause is selfish, not helpful.
    -Taylor

  • Well, there's a difference between a regular newbie and a complete newbie. Lots of people rote-learn Windows; then, anything different, no matter how well designed, is "too complicated".
  • by acoustix (123925) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:59PM (#32956228) Homepage

    It cost me nothing because I had 10 win7 licenses from an MSDN subscription paid for by my previous employer.

    So these licenses are owned by a previous employer? It is my understanding that if the company owned it, your rights to use it were lost when you left the company. (from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=2b1504e6-0bf1-46da-be0e-85cc792c6b9d#Overview [microsoft.com] )

    And playing games on an MSDN OS is explicitly forbidden in the FAQ.

    Using the software in any other way, such as for doing email, playing games, or editing a document is another use and is not covered by the MSDN Subscription license.

    (from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/cc150618.aspx [microsoft.com] )

    If you're looking for a valid reason to run Windows, "just because you happen to have an (unlicensed) copy" isn't it.

    That makes it pretty difficult to develop software for an OS if you're not allowed to use the OS.

  • by coerciblegerm (1829798) on Monday July 19, 2010 @04:04PM (#32956316)

    ...but even for that relatively simple job there are big problems with Ubuntu.

    I've never had a problem surfing the web using any Linux distro, much less Ubuntu. This includes my days as a linux n00b when I had no understanding of the structure of the filesystem, didn't realize the advantages of a package manager, and feared the terminal. Browsing the web is NOT an issue for Ubuntu, and when compared to the heightened risk of malware/virus infection on a comparable Windows machine I find this to be an odd statement.

    When I first visited Linux Hater, I thought I was dealing with extreme ignorance.

    My first exposure to Linux Hater was your link, which led to a page where a lunatic is ranting about a font and declaring ogg sucks because it isn't mp3. I think your initial thoughts about that blog were correct.

    users still need to have in-depth knowledge to do basic stuff, like install new applications

    You consider clicking the 'Applications' menu and scrolling to and clicking 'Ubuntu Software Center' in-depth knowledge?

    Dell is right.

    Wrong. You've failed to measurably quantify what makes Ubuntu unsuitable for web browsing other than pointing to a blog with an anti-Linux agenda and making weird assertions about the level of expertise it takes to read and use a menu. Ubuntu is perfectly suitable for a wide variety of tasks, and surfing the web is certainly among them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @04:14PM (#32956480)

    >Also some people don't want to have to "figure it out" they just want to get the job done.

    Couldn't agree with you more. Let's look at an example...
    * I want an interest rate calculator

    Windows
    1. Go to Google ->>> what's google?
    2. Search for "interest rate calculator" ->>>> how do I search? where?
    3. Search through all of the results until you find a free one ->>> what's a free one, how do I search it? If I get so many hits, which one can I trust?
    4. Download the one you found ->>> what's download? where do I download? what's this .rar thing? How do I run it?
    5. Install Winrar ->>> what's winrar? where do I get it? How do I install it? How do I run it?
    6. Extract the download ->>>> what???
    7. Run the installer ->>> what???
    8. Now navigate your windows menus. The program is most probably installed under, um.... Markosoft... yeah, that's it ---> What???
    9. If you want to update the program, go back to step 4

    Ok, let's look at Ubuntu
    1. Go to the Settings menu and select package manager ->>> what the hell is that?
    2. Type calculator into the search box
    3. Select interest rate calculator and install
    4. Look under Applications menu (business), it will be installed, setup and configured ready to go

    I see what you mean about easy to use....
    AC
    PS The above was based on many, many, many real-world examples.

  • Puffing smoke (Score:3, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Monday July 19, 2010 @04:52PM (#32956954)

    If you don't change your mind we'll stop providing you with cheap licenses and Gold Partner status and cut off your MSDN subscription

    Talk like this wastes time.

    Walmart carried the flag for OEM Linux in big box retail for the better part of a decade.

    It could not solve the problem of marketing Linux to the masses. It could not consistently undercut OEM Windows on price - and in the end it could not justify maintaining a dual inventory and support structure for a product line whose sales barely showed a pulse.

  • > AFAIK there should be a training requirement for operating anything other than a kiosk-mode system. _Especially_ basic security.

    Not really, this thinking is a result of internalizing the "Microsoft Lie" that all computers (by definition) must be as unreliable and insecure as Windows. Which is forgivable since they have spend Sagans of dollars in subtle campaigns to make this assumption almost universal. But it is indeed a lie. However it is the single most important key to their success. So long as a critical mass believe it they can thrive but should it ever come to be questioned they will fail faster than Enron or Worldcom, two other corporations which became predicated on a lie.

    I admin for a public library. We have had Linux deployed in our patron labs now for twelve years. Other than basic *NIX permissions and recently SELinux support in our current load we give the general public the full unlocked *NIX experience. Individual accounts with NFS homes, totally unrestricted desktops, etc. GCC is available, not that many (one or two have apparently done it) of our patrons use it, but just as a statement that this is FULL user level access. The only additional lockdown needed was adding a script to nuke processes like eggdrop bots remaining active after a user logs off. Care to guess how many security incidents we have had in a dozen years with thirty desktops that see heavy use, including teens who google up ways to get em to do all sorts of things? One, the aforementioned eggdrop bot.

    Care to bet how long a similarly unlocked Windows (or Mac) workstation would last before needing a wipe and reimage? The only responsible course would be to completely reimage between users to stop keyloggers. And that is the difference.

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