Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
It's funny.  Laugh. Operating Systems Ubuntu Windows Linux

Windows vs. Ubuntu — Dell's Verdict 718

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Windows vs. Ubuntu — Dell's Verdict

Comments Filter:
  • On the positive side (Score:4, Informative)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:54PM (#32954202)
    At least Ubuntu gets mentioned and it's not only the classic "Dell recommends Microsoft Windows operating system".
  • by Dorkmaster Flek ( 1013045 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:59PM (#32954306)
    That's exactly what Ubuntu is moving towards. They're integrating the entire Synaptic Package Manager and Update Manager GUIs into the "Ubuntu Software Center", where you can search for, install and upgrade apps in one place. It's actually not a bad idea, though I still prefer the extra information that Synaptic provides on progress.
  • by alexhs ( 877055 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:22PM (#32954630) Homepage Journal

    Also note how it's Windows XP they're displaying.

    You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc

    Does that mean that Dell is willing to sell them Windows XP so they don't have to learn Windows 7 ?

    BTW, people using OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird etc don't have to learn new programs.

  • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:23PM (#32954646) Homepage

    A vast majority of the software programs you pick up in Staples, Best Buy, etc are going to be made for Windows. Once hardware gets a bit faster and makes virtualization relatively transparent, this will cease to matter. You'll just optionally buy Windows software support for another $150.

    I'm hoping for some badass sandboxing. Imagine automatically launching an entire OS for untrusted operations, like web browsing, or having a few virtual machines running concurrently to provide different levels of access to certain data or hardware. I know some of the features of modern OSs make that a bit redundant, but it's a cool idea nonetheless.

  • Re:New to computers (Score:3, Informative)

    by besalope ( 1186101 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:28PM (#32954748)
    Not the Mac user's I've had to do remote support with through GoToAssist.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:40PM (#32954968) Homepage

    but it's not truthful... A new pc user should use ubuntu as it's EASIER than all version of windows.

    Install software is as easy as a single click. A proper Laptop or PC requires Zero configuration. Windows pc's come all pre-configured, so to be fair the ubuntu pc should be 100% configured as well.

      They can't get infected with 99.97% of all viruses and trojans out there which affect even seasoned professional PC users with multiple PHD's in PC use. Newbie Pc users click on everything and many trojans are designed to fool them. Those trojans are completely neutered under ubuntu.

    Plus there is a ton of free software that is a single click away in the application store. Something that Windows lacks. They can find almost everything they need there.

    BUT, it all lies on the back of having the ubuntu pc preconfigured like all windows boxes get.

    Doing a half assed default ubuntu install is only designed to screw the newbie. Unfortunately dell will give them a half assed install.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:40PM (#32954982) Homepage

    > especially those who like things just to work

    This pretty much rules out Windows completely.

    Once you get beyond the myth of Windows "just working", it's time to consider Linux or Macintosh.

    Windows is good for supporting something that is Windows only. This includes a lot of software and a small bit of hardware.

    If you are a new user with no legacy expectations, Windows is the worst possible option.

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:50PM (#32955140) Homepage Journal

    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.

    That is because you are a geek. For the average users it precisely the other way round.

    Linux gives them something that just works as much as any OS, is secure (and therefore easy because they do not have to think about things like anti-virus), is easier to install software on, and it is safer (you can research whether a download is safe, they cannot)

    On the other hand they should use Windows if they need specialist software that is not available for Linux: this could be anything from a Reuters terminal (they do install it on your own PC these days) to an app for running a clinic.

    That is why my father and my wife and my daughter use Linux.

    The underlying problem is that you are looking at Linux as a Gentoo user: the experience of using Ubuntu or Mandriva is very different.

  • by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @04:09PM (#32955462)

    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 [] )

    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 [] )

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

  • by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @04:31PM (#32955810)
    Agreed. I have a license for MS Office XP and there are only a few things I use it for:
    • Some of the meeting requests from newer versions of Exchange don't send an ICS file (so they can't be accepted in Thunderbird / Lightning). I use Exchange webmail for these.
    • Sometimes I need to open a file which uses macros / crosstabs and links.
    • Calc has poor trendline capabilities for charting.

    That's about it. OO Write has been far superior to Word on long technical documentation (doesn't crash, isn't slow, TOC entries are simple, styles are sane). OO Calc is quicker and easier at inserting large amounts of data from text / delimited files. OO Calc and Write can open MS Office 2007 files but MS Office XP and 2003 can't. We have the MS Office "converter" installed on everyone's machine for those 2007 / 2010 documents, and it gives poor results and is the source of a lot of headaches for my department to support.

    And then there's the usability issue (at least for me) -- I've been using office apps since GEOS, so Quattro Pro, AmiPro, Lotus 1-2-3, etc menus are familiar to me. I dislike personalized menus and especially dislike the ribbon. I dislike the slow load times of Office in general and the frequent patches / crashes.

  • Re:Thank you (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @04:37PM (#32955908) Journal

    I can't install the language patch (click on it in Opera, garbage on my screen. right click and save as, now I have it saved but how to install it??)

    Um, double-click it? I assume it's a .deb file that you've downloaded, anyway, because if it's something else, then it is not what you need.

    Though why not install it through the package manager in the first place? Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center, then use the built-in search to find what you want.

    Here [] is a more detailed treatment of Ubuntu software installation options, though most likely the Software Center will cover all your practical needs.

    I can't use bittorrent

    If you're using the most recent Ubuntu, you should have a BitTorrent client installed out of the box. It's called "Transmission", look it up in Applications -> Networking.

    an't install wine because I don't know how to install a package handler because of the above problem

    Again, you do it through the package manager.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:00PM (#32956252)

    On the subject of playing STALKER, my experience with wine:

    Install game with Steam. Run winecfg, check window setting "Emulate a virtual desktop" and set "Desktop size" to my monitor's resolution. Close winecfg and restart Steam. Now STALKER runs in a fake fullscreen that doesn't have strange refresh rate problems. I never even knew there were problems, in fact; I always run games in the fake desktop because it avoids resolution swapping and lets me play games windowed even when there's not an option in the game itself.

    While Windows users were fighting with drivers and hardware problems, the game "just worked" for me in Debian. Isn't it supposed to be the opposite?

    Not every game works, but when one does work it usually works very well and tends to work a lot longer than in Windows. If you want t play an old game like Thief or System Shock 2 in Windows, you have problems installing and you have to dig up DLL hacks (google 'Thief DDfix') to make the game not crash when playing. In wine, you set the windows version to Win98 and the installer and game work. If you have multi-core crash problems you can modify the shortcut to run taskset without having to change cpu affinity every time you start the program.

  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:53PM (#32956974) Homepage

    Heh... I question the mods that marked you "insightful"...

    One thing about Linux hasn't changed at all in the 14 years I've been using it: users still need to have in-depth knowledge to do basic stuff, like install new applications.

    I have in hand a .deb or an installer executable file for a given application. How does one install it?

    Open up a file browser (i.e. Explorer window...) and double-click on the package in question. In most instances (including many of the games being ported right now...), at this point the GUI package installer will launch or the installer in the bundle will do the same thing. If it's self-contained (meaning no external dependencies) it'll only need the administrator password to install said app. If it's got dependencies, it'll typically explain those up-front or tell you about what it needs pre-installed, much like the story on MacOS or Windows.

    What "in-depth" knowlege, I ask you?

    Ditto for pretty much all the other "basic" things you do with computers.

    And the same applies for pretty much any mainline and many niche Linux distributions.

    You said you've been using it for 14 years? Funny...I would have thought you'd have known this was the case then.

  • Re:PIA (Score:3, Informative)

    by boxwood ( 1742976 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:23PM (#32957396)

    editing smb.conf yourself is far more technical than opening a terminal and running a single command. If you made editing system files easier you'd make it easier for people to seriously screw up their computer.

    Oh and right click on a file, select "Open with other Application" Click the arrow beside "Use custom command" and type in "gksudo gedit". it will open in gedit as root. And once you've done that once you can just right-click the file and select "open with gksudo" after that to open your "root editor". You can even go to properties and make that the default action so you only need to double click to open with root.

  • by coerciblegerm ( 1829798 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:00PM (#32957844)
    Sorry, for some reason I thought I was replying to the same person I did above. Please disregard any statements with that implication. :-(
  • by Andorin ( 1624303 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @09:03PM (#32959030)

    I am a dual booter between Windows and Linux - and the ONLY feature I really want in Ubuntu is the Window preview from Windows 7. The rest you can keep :)

    If you install Compiz's settings manager from the repositories, you can turn on a plugin that does exactly that. It's aptly named Window Previews under Extras and its settings are configurable.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb