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Microsoft Ubuntu Windows Linux

Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 702

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the race-is-on dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has performed a comprehensive test of Windows 7 vs Ubuntu 10.04. They've tested and scored the two operating systems on a number of criteria, including usability, bundled apps, performance, compatibility and business. The final result is much closer than you might expect. 'Ubuntu is clearly an operating system on the rise,' PC Pro concludes. 'If we repeat this feature in a year's time, will it have closed the gap? We wouldn't bet against it.'"
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Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because when it comes to software for most home users, well, the games won't work on Unbuntu without trying to use Wine, etc, etc.

    And your typical home user won't want it.

    Nothing to see here.

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:26AM (#33586700) Homepage Journal

      the games won't work on Unbuntu without trying to use Wine

      Since when do SWF games such as FarmVille and Tetris Friends not work on Ubuntu?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Haedrian (1676506)

        I have to say that Adobe Flash is horrible on Linux, it uses far more CPU time and its not as smooth either.

        That said, there are plans (according to another /. article) for Steam to move into Linux too. And not even home user is there to play games.

        • by click2005 (921437) * on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:38AM (#33586910)

          Unfortunately Valve say there are no plans for a Linux version of Steam.

          http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/23/valve-denies-having-a-linux-version-of-steam-in-the-works/ [engadget.com]

          • by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:52AM (#33587114)

            Unfortunately Valve say there are no plans for a Linux version of Steam.

            But Steam runs in Wine and so do a surprising number of Steam games; I was playing Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3 at the weekend in Ubuntu, for example.

            And given the vast variation in Linux distros, you're probably better off releasing Windows games that are Wine-compatible than a Linux binary that won't run on Ubuntu 12.04 or Redhat 6.3.

            • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:59AM (#33587208)

              Unfortunately Valve say there are no plans for a Linux version of Steam.

              But Steam runs in Wine and so do a surprising number of Steam games; I was playing Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3 at the weekend in Ubuntu, for example.

              And given the vast variation in Linux distros, you're probably better off releasing Windows games that are Wine-compatible than a Linux binary that won't run on Ubuntu 12.04 or Redhat 6.3.

              Cyclic Logic. Move up 3 parents [slashdot.org].

            • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:07AM (#33587334)
              I've tried Left4Dead 2, and Team Fortress 2 in Wine, and both of them run about 25-35 fps slower than the native Windows client. That simply doesn't cut it. It's putting good hardware to waste.

              What you propose there is ludicrus. Native clients will always run faster than Wine. Not to mention that if a game is properly ported you don't have to worry about what distro you run. Go get a copy of Unreal Tournament, and install it on Ubuntuu 10.04. It installs just fine, and is 11 years old.

              There is no need to make a "wine-compatible client" when OpenGL is just fine, will run better, and will be supported longer. Wine has gone through more fundamental changes than the basic structure of Linux. So while it might seem like a good short term idea to just make "wine compatible" games, what happens when the next wine version hits, and things aren't working properly anymore. Anyone who has used Wine enough will tell you that some older versions work better for certain games, etc.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                Native clients will always run faster than Wine.

                Why?

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Beelzebud (1361137)
                  Well for one, if a game is made with Direct X, it's going to run faster with Direct X, than something that translates it to OpenGL on the fly, which in the case of Left 4 Dead or TF2 is exactly what is going on. The Windows version of those games uses Direct X, not OpenGL.

                  Second, even if a game has an OpenGL renderer (Like World of Warcraft), you still have issues like the hardware cursor to deal with.
              • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:23PM (#33588724) Homepage

                I've tried Left4Dead 2, and Team Fortress 2 in Wine, and both of them run about 25-35 fps slower than the native Windows client. That simply doesn't cut it. It's putting good hardware to waste. What you propose there is ludicrus. Native clients will always run faster than Wine.

                The difference is not because you're running a non-native game, it's because Microsoft has put a lot more resources into DirectX than the open source community has been able to put into reimplementing D3D and 3D game optimizations in OpenGL. WINE is not an emulator, code runs at native speed so if you optimized the native performance to be on par with DirectX so would WINE. No, don't hold your breath for that though.

                So while it might seem like a good short term idea to just make "wine compatible" games, what happens when the next wine version hits, and things aren't working properly anymore. Anyone who has used Wine enough will tell you that some older versions work better for certain games, etc.

                WINE has to support many binary applications that depend on all sorts of quirky behavior in Windows, and that is hard. Also they're often doing black box debugging trying to figure out what went wrong. If someone takes a little effort with the source code, making it do things the "right" way and being able to trace what happens in the application too they can achieve much with little effort.

                Don't get me wrong, I don't suggest WINE is a good place to start. But very often you have an existing Windows code base, or cross platform support has been scrapped in the initial release. I can kinda see they want to know if it's a hit or flop first in order to commit as little as possible, rather than having spent money on a flop and ports of it.

                At least if you're talking about somewhat older games it's possible you have a newer graphics card where it doesn't matter that Linux is 30 fps slower because it's 30 fps slower than 200 fps. Not so great if you want the latest FPS to run at max speed, but many RTS/TBS/adventure/sim other games do fine with reduced performance.

                Don't get me wrong, I want native games. But having some semi-official or official WINE support is a huge step up from not recognizing other OSes at all. Don't chew out the people that are at least trying to make a little effort for not doing enough.

            • by supersloshy (1273442) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:15PM (#33588590)

              And given the vast variation in Linux distros, you're probably better off releasing Windows games that are Wine-compatible than a Linux binary that won't run on Ubuntu 12.04 or Redhat 6.3.

              I currently use Arch Linux, and I've previously used Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Every single Linux game I've tried, even the Humble Indie Bundle as well as windows games using Wine, they all work exactly the same on each platform. Linux distributions aren't all that different as you'd think; they all have the same basic things like ALSA, X, some desktop environment like GNOME or KDE or XFCE, usually OpenGL/SDL support, and Python. Have all of that, and virtually every game for Linux will run on any type of setup you have so long as you have these basic things.

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:37AM (#33587926) Homepage

          > I have to say that Adobe Flash is horrible on Linux, it uses far more CPU time and its not as smooth either.

          Flash is no worse on Linux than any other platform. This includes Windows despite all of the nonsense about how
          the new versions of Flash allegedly are better at supporting things like PureVideo. I was trying this out for
          myself just last night and was sorely disappointed by all of the hype that led me to believe that Windows would
          do better in this regard.

          It does not use far more CPU and it is not any less smooth.

          Linux is also far less likely to completely freeze as Flash is having it's usual problems.

          Yes, I decided to go back to playing Hulu in Linux because doing so in Windows 7 was becoming painful and annoying.

    • by Peeteriz (821290) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:29AM (#33586752)

      It would be interesting to see some proper statistics on how many home users actually buy/run games on windows.

      From my gut feeling it might fall both ways - it may be that a lot of people need the home computer to support DirectX games, as it is a must-have feature for myself.

      Or it may be just as likely that most typical home-users actually just use the computers for Web+Word, and quite likely get their gaming done on sites like facebook (which has more daily-active players than the entire PC FPS+RTS+MMORPG sales combined) or on consoles - in which case they don't really care about the PC games and Wine.

    • by syousef (465911)

      Because when it comes to software for most home users, well, the games won't work on Unbuntu without trying to use Wine, etc, etc.

      And your typical home user won't want it.

      Nothing to see here.

      I'ts not just the games, though they are important (certainly to me! I live on Chessmaster, Realflight and MS Flightsim). It's the entire myriad of software. That's what's got the PC such incredible sustained market share. You can do a busload of things with it and there are less things you can run with Linux but not WIndows than vice versa. ...and as a geek I HATE Ubuntu. I like to be able to build kernels etc. I want the best of both worlds - a system that you can tweak, but that works right out of the bo

    • by kalpol (714519) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:38AM (#33586914) Homepage
      > And your typical home user won't want it. Wrong. I have a very large family, most of whom are very typical home users, mostly computer illiterate - web, email, videos, and the occasional spreadsheet. My mother wants to surf the net, check her email, watch news video and view whatever pictures and video kids send her. She was always getting viruses on her Windows XP box, and after years of trying to keep her up and running I finally installed Firefox to get her used to the browser, and then a while later installed Ubuntu. I used a theme similar to XP, she loved it, and my workload dropped about 90%. She doesn't know Linux from Windows from a bag of frogs, and doesn't care as long as it works.
      • by pspahn (1175617) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:03AM (#33587288)

        I have a very large family

        I suppose this is typical.

        What I'm inferring here is that you believe users simply don't care what OS they run. I agree, to a point. They care as much as it will be able to run things properly and without issue. The malware, well that's surely a point in Ubuntu's favor, for now. But what about the users that want to run some kind of specific app? Sure, there are often Linux replacements for things, but not everything is accessible from Ubuntu's repository. This leads to downloading arcane file types that need to be installed by typing a cryptic command into a terminal. Your typical home user is simply not going to do this, period. It's like a jump back to... heck, I dunno, it's more arcane than installing DOS programs (minus the TSR memory management thing).

        Don't get me wrong, I run 10.04 netbook edition on my Eee, and I like it for the most part, but even as a savvy user, I have many more issues with it than I do with Windows. Flash pages crash more than occasionally, WiFi is still kind of weird, Most of the games won't even fit on the screen (seriously, why bother releasing a netbook edition with games if they aren't able to fit on a netbook screen?). Ubuntu has a very apparent lack of polish, and this is what will turn most users off.

        • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:46AM (#33588080)
          The malware, well that's surely a point in Ubuntu's favor, for now.

          Well, unfortunately the writers of most malware won't give us the source, so we can't just do a recompile, but you could try running it under Wine if you really need it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by the_womble (580291)

          There is very little that is not in the Ubuntu repos.

          This leads to downloading arcane file types that need to be installed by typing a cryptic command into a terminal.

          Download a debian package or a binary installer and double click on it in the file manager.

          If that fails download the binary and click on it and it runs (Skype for those versions of Linux for which a package is not provided, for example)

          The remaining stuff that needs to be compiled is usually aimed at geeks anyway.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:42AM (#33588008) Homepage

        The only real barrier at this point to having your average n00b run Linux is probably lack of support from Apple.

        The fact that Apple is actively hostile to accessing their devices outside of iTunes means more people are driven to keep WINDOWS around.

        Not being able to deal with their iPod or iPhone is more likely a show stopper than games at this point.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838)

      Yes they do.

      A huge percentage of PCs aren't sold to homes, but to businesses. While Ubuntu may not be attractive to businesses tied to Windows-specific software, it could be extremely attractive to businesses mostly run off of web applications. Corporate IT departments who are considering making the switch for some of their users would be able to make use of studies like this to help convince upper management that there's little downside and a significant cost savings.

    • by elashish14 (1302231) <profcalc4@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:31AM (#33587802)

      I don't understand how this comment is in the least bit Insightful. It's incredibly poor and short-sighted.

      Sometimes it's useful to know what it's like understanding the Linux experience in fresh eyes. There are things that pop out that you wouldn't really consider if you're too used to Linux or too unfamiliar with Windows. Say, for example, what popped out at me was when they mentioned that they had a hard time because they couldn't maximize windows by dragging them to the top of the screen (which must be some new-fangled Win7 functionality and is completely foreign to me as I haven't touched Windows since XP SP2). They went so far as to take off major points for this at the end when they would easily have adapted away if they bothered using it for more than a month but is still important in the first impressions of a complete newbie. Or how they actually were impressed with Rhythmbox and the fuctionality which surprised me. Or how they said it was impressive how easy it was to install, which is definitely worth a few bonus points for Ubuntu. Or how Ubuntu provides some nice features (Ubuntu One, Software Center) which new users seem to like and don't have alternatives for on Windows. Or how they easily adapted to new software alternatives (like Evolution vs. Outlook or Rhythmbox vs. WMP).

      There's actually a ton of useful information for understanding what it's like for new users. In fact, they never even once lamented that they couldn't run games on it, which just goes to show that it's not the end-all-be-all for every user as you suggest. Try opening your mind a little.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Locutus (9039)
      that is why the iPhone never took off, it didn't run Microsoft software. Oh, and it has no software of its own and no games either.

      LoB
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HermMunster (972336)

      I'm late to the party here. But as far as the usability issues, at least the first part, he was wrong on all counts. When I try to run adobe AIR on any computer I have to first install it after downloading. If Adobe can't get their system set up properly and provide a proper .deb file that's not Ubuntu's fault. That is after all a 3rd party proprietary product. When it comes to workspaces that is pure preference. He tries to make it out as if that's a usability feature but in reality you can just shut

  • 2099 year of linux on the desktop? ;)

    one day...

  • This (Score:4, Funny)

    by Xiph (723935) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:20AM (#33586636)

    is clearly the year of the linux desktop commercial success

    and this post was brought for you to test your sarcasm-meter!

  • by thomasdz (178114) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:23AM (#33586664)

    I remember hearing about this "Windows" thing back in the early part of this century and that it and another OS called "OS/2" were once competitors. I like antique software. It shows our humble beginnings.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:23AM (#33586670) Homepage

    I have Windows 7 on our gaming boxes just to keep things simple...but I run Ubuntu on our laptops, for size and speed considerations. We also run Ubuntu on our HTPC.

    They have their purposes...I couldn't imagine exclusively using only one or the other.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nerdfest (867930)
      I run Ubuntu on my day-to-day home laptop. It does everything I need, but I generally don't play games on it. I do have Windows 7 installed in a VM, just in case, but I find the only time I use it is every 2 or 3 months to update security patches. (I'm always astounded at how long those things take to run). Perhaps it's just that I'm used to Ubuntu now, but I find almost *everything* easier to do in Linux. The application repositories and software centre are probably what people should show off when introdu
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:25AM (#33586678)

    My wife got a Win7 x64 laptop and none of the older Canon hardware (printers and scanners) supported this OS. After 2 hours of trying to make it work with all sorts of hacks posted in the bowels of the internet support forums, I tested the devices on my Ubuntu desktop. They worked fine.

    The only app that she uses is Picasa and that works on Ubuntu. So I installed Ubuntu on her laptop and it works great. In the last 10 years, we've come full circle. If you want hardware support, you need Linux.

    I just wish that I could have paid less for the laptop without the Windows tax.

    • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:29AM (#33586744) Homepage

      At this point, most devices have been updated to at least officially support Vista (and, by proxy, 7)...how old is your Cannon stuff?

      I wouldn't use your experience as a condemnation of Windows 7 so much as a reason why, in your case, ubuntu is a better choice. Still, how old is your Cannon hardware?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:48AM (#33587040)

        how old is your Cannon hardware?

        About 700 years. [wikipedia.org]

      • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:49AM (#33587048)

        At this point, most devices have been updated to at least officially support Vista (and, by proxy, 7)

        In general, yes that is true. However, printer and scanner manufacturers have been notorious with their lack of legacy support for Windows 7/Vista, let alone 64 bit versions. Sure, their new scanners and printers have full support and work fine, but if your printer is more than a few years old (released before Vista) you're very lucky if you 32 bit drivers which enable even half the functionality.

        I wonder if this is a conscious decision by the manufacturers, who think you'll blame the OS for your problems, and that you're more likely to buy a new printer than convert to an entirely new OS. After all, the printer worked fine until you got a new computer! Honestly, that doesn't seem so far fetched to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mathimus1863 (1120437)
        I had a similar experience. My girlfriend got a free HP or Canon printer (I don't remember which) with her laptop. Amusingly, her laptop came with Windows 7 and couldn't actually use the printer that came with it. We installed drivers from CD, downloaded drivers, tried troubleshooting... we couldn't get it to work. As a test, I booted an Ubuntu live CD, and it worked within 10s of boot.

        Hardware support has definitely become a positive aspect of Ubuntu, no longer the pain in the ass that it used to b
    • by adonoman (624929)
      If there's a need to go back to Windows, you can set up Windows XP mode, and older printer drivers should work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by alen (225700)

      yet my WIndows 7 desktop and laptop seems to work with the 10 year old laserjet 4 printers on our network using ancient drivers

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That's because the HP LaserJet 4 was built during a time when the art of using standards such as PostScript and PCL had still not been forgotten. Anything from the past 20 years will work with that printer...

  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:26AM (#33586692) Journal

    We wouldn't bet against it.

    Keep marketing linux as a "replacement" for windows and you guarantee to always fail. Market it for what it is - better for many types of situations, but definitely not a rsimple eplacement for windows any more than osx is.

    Otherwise you're fighting the battle on the other side's home turf - and they're bigger and more entrenched.

    And when people try ubuntu and realize that it is not necessarily a matter of it being a replacement os, they tar all linux distros with the same fail.

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      I know, we should go back to marketing Linux as a replacement for Solaris instead. Isn't that what Sun ended up doing, anyway? And why they're irrelevant and dead now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tomhudson (43916)
        Sun is dead because Sparc couldn't compete, and they wasted too much time on a side project to make an operating system for set-top boxes (Oak), then tried to extend it to be a web application environment, or a thin client environment, or whatever other idea came down the pike.

        It probably did more to kill Sun than anything else, because the revenue streams it brought in weren't big enough in relation to dev costs. It also diverted attention from the core business, and let other people make more money off

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mandelbr0t (1015855)
        They are irrelevant and dead probably more because of Java than Solaris. And Linux isn't a replacement for Solaris, anyway. Linux has its best potential in the small business market, where paying the Windows tax is not really an option. However, there's just too much Windows market share for Linux to realistically compete for the home desktop. Add that to the annoyances with WINE, and I don't see a lot of movement in that direction any time soon. Linux is not a replacement for Windows. It's not useless, eit
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by abigor (540274)

          Why is Sun dead because they invented a wildly successful programming language and virtual machine? I don't get your logic here.

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:44AM (#33586976)

      We wouldn't bet against it.

      Keep marketing linux as a "replacement" for windows and you guarantee to always fail. Market it for what it is - better for many types of situations, but definitely not a rsimple eplacement for windows any more than osx is.

      Otherwise you're fighting the battle on the other side's home turf - and they're bigger and more entrenched.

      And when people try ubuntu and realize that it is not necessarily a matter of it being a replacement os, they tar all linux distros with the same fail.

      Well, as more and more applications that people typically use start moving off the computer and into the "cloud" (whatever the hell that means at any given time) the superiority of one desktop OS over another will be less of an issue. Take my girlfriend for instance: she basically uses a lot of online services of one kind or another, although she prefers Thunderbird for her email, doesn't really care for Chrome so I leave her on Firefox. So far she's been through Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Mepis, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu ... and barely even noticed it. "Dear, did you upgrade my computer again? It looks a little different." Granted, I made the effort to port all her bookmarks over and make her desktops look similar, but the point is that for a lot of people the operating system is starting to become transparent, or nearly so. If she can get to her browser and her email, she's a happy person. God help me if she can't.

      That is what has always terrified Microsoft: the true commoditization of the desktop operating system.

      • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:55AM (#33587144) Journal
        And yet, there's always the "there's one application" crowd who you simply cannot convince - they're not the market right now, and we shouldn't apologize for it, but rather embrace that as a fact.

        It's like for me - I can't see myself switching to Windows because I have a lot of those "one applications" that work far better under a *nix environment. And even if Windows were to eventually offer "equal functionality", why should I change. If someone says you should switch restaurants because some other one is "just as good", that's not a reason, and you'd tell them as much - and it cuts both ways.

        Slowly, the areas where Windows is better are being whittled away, and the superiority of linux in other areas will make a difference, but for many people it has to be a significant advantage, or they won't do it because (1) they have better things to do with their time, and (2) the perceived benefits are less than the perceived risks. Inertia is more than a law of physics.

        Your gf wouldn't have switched on her own - you had to do it. That sort of proves my point, no?

      • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:29AM (#33587782) Journal

        Take my girlfriend for instance: she basically uses a lot of online services of one kind or another, although she prefers Thunderbird for her email, doesn't really care for Chrome so I leave her on Firefox. So far she's been through Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Mepis, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu ... and barely even noticed it. "Dear, did you upgrade my computer again?

        Good god, man! You've had a girlfriend through Windows 98, 2000, XP, etc. to present? And she's still your girlfriend?!?1!?

        I think you need to pull the trigger: Marry that poor girl!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FinchWorld (845331)
      Keep marketing linux as a "replacement" for windows and you guarantee to always fail.

      But windows does, for the most part, what 90% of the users out there need, even if it doesn't do it so well. If Linux doesn't replace this functionality, they won't want it.

      Graphic cards are a recurring problem, though largely not the fault of linux devs. But heavy reliance on the CLI keeps out most out. Even with ubuntu you'll likely need to do something that requires the CLI, my current ubuntu headache is changing the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        N00b grandparents aren't going to tweak X anymore than they are going to re-install Windows.

        It doesn't matter how easy it is. They won't even be able to find the GUI in Windows.

        99% of Windows users probably never alter their video configuration regardless of how you might sneer at it.

        Whether or not they can safely surf the web is a far more meaningful question.

  • Summary. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:26AM (#33586706) Homepage Journal

    In case of tl&dr, here's the summary:

    Ubuntu wins by 3.04.

    Go back to your Cheetos and WoW.
    • TFA is BS (Score:3, Informative)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      Of course, the default install of Ubuntu may be less useable than Windows 7, but kubuntu has win 7 beat hands down. It took me months to figure out how to disable the Acer's stupid "tap to click" feature in Windows, less than two minutes in kubuntu. TFA laments not being able to pin items to the taskbar, perhaps that's because IIRC the default Ubuntu uses Gnome. I've always preferred KDE. Clicking on the taskbar's pinned wifi icon gives you a lot more control than Windows does, while being easier to use. TF

  • by Beat The Odds (1109173) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:26AM (#33586710)
    It's quite interesting that PRICE is missing from the comparison. I'd say that based on their own scoring system, that would make it dead even!
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      *cough Business section cough*

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      Most people end up with Windows by virtue of buying a computer. Unless they don't want "home premium" or whatever, it gets marked as "included in the price." Since most people don't know what the OEM actually paid for that license (I know I sure as hell don't, and don't particularly care), it doesn't matter to them. It's as good as free. The price difference only becomes an issue if you're building your own system, and if you're able to do that successfully, chances are you have a reasonable chance of n

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by M. Baranczak (726671)

      Another thing that's missing: security.

  • by Zapotek (1032314) <tasos.laskos@gmSTRAWail.com minus berry> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:29AM (#33586750) Homepage

    Even among PC Pro’s technically literate readership, only 4% are running a Linux OS[...]

    [...]then venture into Ubuntu’s equivalent of the command line – dubbed Terminal – and enter a couple of lines of code to start the installation. Hardly a user-friendly experience, and an unwanted throwback to the days of Windows 3.1.

    Yeah...technical literacy at its finest...

    • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:31AM (#33586806)

      Eh, more technically literate than the general population for sure.

      Maybe that puts into perspective what you're up against.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:52AM (#33587100)

      Oh sorry, does the population not meet up to your exacting standards of technical literacy? Do you think everyone should be able to build a computer form components, write a simple program, debug a make files and so on? If so, then you are dreaming.

      It wouldn't take me long in looking at your life to find something you are not literate at. Being a Linux geek type, I'd look at cooking first, my guess would be you can't even put together a simple meal, much less bake yourself a loaf of bread, something that would be required to be considered "literate" at food preparation. Now you shouldn't have to, unless you are a chef, however it is just to demonstrate that we aren't all good at everything. Even that would just be the basics, you are up to the "Run a make based installer," there. Far more knowledge and skill is required to truly be a culinary expert.

      Most people are good at the areas they need to be, and the areas that interest them. The rest, they leave up to someone else.

      Same shit with computers. Most people are not at all literate. They have never seen a command line and shouldn't have to. If you can use a command line to do installs, well guess what? You have a good deal more literacy than most of the population. You are no computer grand master but then that wasn't what was being talked about.

      The reason computers have grown in use is not just because they are useful, but because they are getting easier. The more someone has to know to operate them, the less people that can do so. Yes, using a commandline requires more knowledge, especially since things there aren't guided. In the GUI you can have plenty of hints and directions in a commandline you need to know what to do already. Is it hard? Well not sometimes (other times it is) but even then, it is still memorizing the commands that must be executed.

      You just have to accept that being technically literate means understanding the basics of something and being able to trouble shoot a bit on your own. It does not mean being able to do everything, it does not mean being an expert at things. Technically literate doesn't mean "Competent programmer," or "Expert technical support."

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:55AM (#33587156)

      Even among PC Pro’s technically literate readership, only 4% are running a Linux OS[...]

      [...]then venture into Ubuntu’s equivalent of the command line – dubbed Terminal – and enter a couple of lines of code to start the installation. Hardly a user-friendly experience, and an unwanted throwback to the days of Windows 3.1.

      Yeah...technical literacy at its finest...

      Not very accurate either. The last four distros I've installed recently (OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Mepis) didn't require any command line operations at all. I just booted their Live CDs, clicked on the Installer icon and went from there. Not sure where they're getting that from. I find that the typical Linux graphical installer wants a little more information than Windows usually does (partitioning, for example, but they all offered reasonable defaults and didn't require the user to know anything about it) but not by much, and found it generally painless.

      Sounds like they were just making stuff up to make installing Linux sound more difficult than it is. No, I didn't RTFA.

  • by elewton (1743958)
    While I agree that Windows 7 is superior to Ubuntu in many respects, this comparison is weak because it's a Windows 7 user in a relatively foreign land.

    I'm used to various flavours of Linux, and Windows 7 seems impressive in some respects, but strangeness makes it feel awkward sometimes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) *

      While I agree that Windows 7 is superior to Ubuntu in many respects, this comparison is weak because it's a Windows 7 user in a relatively foreign land.

      I'm used to various flavours of Linux, and Windows 7 seems impressive in some respects, but strangeness makes it feel awkward sometimes.

      You need to make the comparison between going from Windows XP (still the dominant Microsoft operating system) to either Windows 7 or a comparable Linux distro. Both Windows 7 and Linux are going to be very different from the perspective of that ex-XP user ... but because Windows 7 is so different, either way he's going to hit a significant learning curve. I felt the same way when I first experienced the "Office Ribbon" when I was upgraded at work. It thoroughly irritated me because it was so different and I

  • Derp derp (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lulfas (1140109) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:30AM (#33586792)
    I love how they have a category for Entertainment and Bundled Apps, refuse to mention actual games and only focus on things that Microsoft would be sued for putting into their OS.
  • you won't beat MS with a direct battle on the desktop. they caught the winds of technological change and are wiping the floor with MS in the mobile space while MS kept on selling the same crappy mobile OS for years while concentrating on desktops, servers and the enterprise space.

    my guess is that in 10 years mobile will continue to grow and apple and google will use this as a way to introduce ARM based ^nix desktops or somehow tie the iphone to Mac's and google will do something similar and clean up the des

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:35AM (#33586850)
    As a good geek, I've tried switching to Linux many times over the years. Every time has ended in frustration. Even putting aside all the games and software compatibility problems (and those are pretty frickin' significant), I also have to deal with a confusing variety of distros, poor documentation, and an arrogant support base (asking how to do something in Linux that you could do in Windows on a Linux support forum will evoke a "Obviously you don't belong here" blast of snobbery that would make the average high school head cheerleader blush). Ubuntu has helped with some of that, but it still suffers from pretty piss-poor documentation. And downloading and installing software, even using the built-in installer, is a confusing nightmare. With Windows, you download the Windows version, double-click it, and you're done. With Linux, it's often a mess of tar files, "Is this compatible with my distro?" And I *still* don't know the fucking difference between gnome and KDE, or why that should even be an issue.
    • by Haedrian (1676506) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:50AM (#33587072)

      Tarballs are confusing, that's true. The build-in installer is child-friendly. You just choose the whatever, press install and BAM. You're done.

      There are also .deb files which are also the equivalent of the windows 'double click to install'. The tarballs are there because those work across all linux destros.

      Then there are also repositories which you can add and which will update themselves using the updater = that doesn't get any simpler.

      Gnome and KDE are the interfaces which you use to view your files, the desktop et cetera.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pjbgravely (751384)
      As a good geek I have tried using Microsoft windows many times. On the desktop I have found the lack of software and an easy way to find and to install it a big deterrent. I find it to easy to find and install apps from a centralized repository. The inability of xp or 7 to run printers without searching for drivers a irritating experience.

      On the server side the seaming inability to run it with a remote terminal makes it a no go from the start. MS-DOS doesn't seem to have the power of Bash or Korn.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:16AM (#33587522) Journal

      I also have to deal with a confusing variety of distros

      You really only have to deal with the distro you choose.

      poor documentation

      There's man pages, info pages, --help, and if you need your hand held just google it.

      asking how to do something in Linux that you could do in Windows

      Try asking on a Windows forum about something you can do trivially in Linux sometime.

      And downloading and installing software, even using the built-in installer, is a confusing nightmare.

      Ok, now you're just trolling. There's a pretty GUI app installer for every distro.

  • by not already in use (972294) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:10AM (#33587400)
    What a freaking fluff Job. Windows 7, the most widely supported desktop operating systems behind Windows XP, "squeeks" in a victory by two points in the "Driver and Compatibility" rating. Yes, this guy is trying to convince himself that desktop linux, the platform with notoriously bad support for desktop drivers and very little support for games, came close!

    Desktop Linux -- The Next Duke Nuke'em Forever.
  • Windows 7 user (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bobb Sledd (307434) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:14AM (#33587478) Homepage

    I have a small recording studio in which I run a 16-channel simultaneous recording firewire mixer. I use Adobe Audition 3 for my sessions. I can't really move to another platform because I already have so many recording sessions in this format (although, I don't really want to move, either -- I'm happy with Audition).

    I recently purchased an i7 with Windows 7 64-bit. I tell you, it does everything I've ever asked it to do, and it handles the incoming 16-channels flawlessly.

    I don't think I would trust this set up on Ubuntu. For one, my firewire mixer simply would not work with Ubuntu (natively). And if it could work in WINE, I don't see how it is better than what I have now. Isn't it just likely to introduce hiccups?

    • Re:Windows 7 user (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shas3n (1121469) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:01PM (#33588354)

      In my previous job I ran a 32 core SGI box to run fluid dynamic simulations. Of course, with Linux. Would not trust Windows for a moment on that setup.

      My point is your case is very specialised and so is mine. We are happy about our respective setups and none is disputing that fact.

      The point of this article is about comparing Windows and Ubuntu for a 'normal' user.

  • by MrTripps (1306469) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:15AM (#33587506)
    I did a write up like this back in 1997 with Win95 and some flavor of Red Hat. It has been thirteen years and the basic arguments still haven't changed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dbIII (701233)
      The basic argument is "Win* user has an application they want to use that won't run anywhere else and they will accept no substitutes. Let's see what happens when we expose them to a similar program for ten seconds on a different platform".

      In my case it's WinXP that wins every time and Win7 that loses, until the software vendor gets off their backside and fixes the problems that prevent this years release from running on Win7.
  • by eepok (545733) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:35AM (#33587892) Homepage

    There's only 2 ways to get people to switch to Ubuntu:

    1) (Not likely) Make Windows games playable on it.
    2) (Possible!) Change the standard directory names to things longer than 3 letters. Even if you're a hyper-involved PC-user (building and fixing your own and others with tons of tweaks), the dive into the various versions of linux is a complete vocabulary shock simply because nothing says what it is. Programs are oddly named and folder titles are super-abbreviated.

    • by int69h (60728) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:15PM (#33590490)

      c:\Windows\bfsvc.exe is clearly more intuitive and well named. OSX has the same cryptic underpinnings as Linux, and it doesn't seem to be hurting its adoption rate by regular Joes. I'm not sure what being a "hyper-involved PC-user (building and fixing your own and others with tons of tweaks)" has to do with it either. Competence in one area does not imply or guarantee competence in another. If you sat me down in front of VMS today, I might still be able to pull up the editor, and I've been using computers daily since 1982. Is that DECs fault or simply my lack of knowledge? Now get off my lawn.

  • No Ubuntu iTunes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:31PM (#33590758) Homepage Journal

    As long as Ubuntu can't use iTunes (and no, not some other content mall that doesn't have all that iTunes has), Ubuntu can't compete with Windows for the home user market, or probably the school market, or even for a lot of the business market.

    Yes, Apple's content monopoly is the key to protecting Windows' OS monopoly. The world is as strange as it is round.

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