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Microsoft Ubuntu Windows Linux

Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 702

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 Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:30AM (#33586784)

    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 Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:35AM (#33586860)
    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 introducing friends to Ubuntu ... those who like the "App Store" concept should love it. In 10.10, there's a few changes coming that should make it a little "prettier" as well.
  • 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 alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:47AM (#33587020)

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

  • by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:50AM (#33587070)

    Another thing that's missing: security.

  • 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.

  • 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 fbjon ( 692006 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:55AM (#33587158) Homepage Journal
    Good lord, you couldn't find a more specialized "main reason"? If you want this functionality, install e.g. Gnome Do. Press Windows+Space and type anything, it finds and searches as you type among software and files, shows what it is/means/does, and the action that'll happen when you press enter. For example, if I type "bea" I get Netbeans IDE 6.8 and pressing enter runs it. Esc or clicking anywhere outside the popup makes it disappear. HTH.
  • by wbo ( 1172247 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:02AM (#33587256)

    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.

    The driver model for printers and scanners did not change from XP to Vista (or from Vista to Windows 7 for that matter.) As a result, if you are running a 32-bit version of Vista or a 32-bit version of Windows 7 you can use 32-bit XP drivers just fine.

    The problems start when you attempt to install 32-bit drivers on a 64-bit operating system and find the drivers won't install because the 64-bit Windows kernel cannot load 32-bit drivers.

  • 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 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:10AM (#33587386)

    Who cares how old it is? I have a 10 year old flatbed scanner that is awesome, but it won't work with anything after XP. Works great in the absolute latest versions of Linux.

  • by WinterSolstice ( 223271 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:12AM (#33587440)

    I support Unix professionally (RHEL), and my work laptop is Ubuntu 10.04.

    My home machine is Win7. Why? Flight Simulator, LOTRO, SimCity, Civilization, and several other games that either don't play at all or are a freaking pain to make work. CS4. A properly working scanner. Portable Apps (ironic, huh? Most are linux apps!). TrueCrypt (which works in Linux but is a PITA to deal with). HDMI support (including sound).

    I like Ubuntu 10.04 a lot, and for me it's ideal for my laptop needs. Just doesn't hack it on my desktop. Funny how times have changed.

  • by zombieChan51 ( 1862028 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:22AM (#33587640) Homepage
    Use a Virtual machine
  • Re:Games (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ash-Fox ( 726320 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:46AM (#33588068) Homepage Journal

    Ubuntu 10.04: 1
    Windows 7: 9

    Weird, most of my games [steamcommunity.com] work perfectly on Kubuntu 10.04 (It's Ubuntu, just uses KDE by default instead).

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <{slashdot} {at} {worf.net}> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:50AM (#33588140)

    Wine is a nightmare to configure. The regular home user isn't going to put up with it. End of discussion.

    So you buy something like CrossOver, which is WINE internally but with nice UI tools and stupidly simple setup.

    There's a reason why CodeWeavers can stay in business selling WINE (and donating some profits to WINE/hiring WINE devs).

    It was pretty trivial to set up last time I tried it - install their package, run it and I had Steam running in no time at all. Ditto getting HL/HL2 running.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:09PM (#33588486)

    Stuck in the past? Like five or more years ago?
    yum install wine -y
    wine war3.exe
    That's how it's been working for the past couple of years or more. Unlike you, I actually tried it, and use it from time to time.

  • by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:12PM (#33588544)

    the number of things in the sys tray that keep asking me if I want to update

    In windows 7 you have fine control over what gets to notify you in the sys tray

    the number of simple apps that it misses that I can't get without having to pay for

    There is plenty of freeware out there for windows as well. I'm not sure what your problem is with screenshots, but that's what snipping tool is for

    bloated anti-virus/spyware you end up installing

    Don't go with Norton/Mcaffe. They are indeed bloated and suck. There are a number of free anti-virus solutions which are relatively slim, including MS Security Essentials, AVG, and Avast

    having to hunt around on sites for drivers that don't get found

    Most drivers are found through windows update these days. If they're not there, Windows Action Center will usually link you right to the MFG download page. If not you can certainly go there yourself and download it. From my experience, I've had more trouble with missing drivers in Linux

    Until Win7 gets the equivalent of apt-get and a similar size software repository, it's not yet there for me in terms of desktop use.

    People who use windows don't want apt-get. Most of us prefer a GUI to a CLI. Also, the lack of software, free or otherwise, is not a problem Windows has. It might be nice to have a centralized location to find it, but that approach has it's own problems, and it's honestly not something Windows users are clamoring for anyway.

  • by sFurbo ( 1361249 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:13PM (#33588558)
    Like the search box in the start menu of my Kubuntu 10.04? Or like the search box I get when I press alt+F2? Bot of which searches all parts of the name and all words in the description.
  • 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 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 the_womble ( 580291 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:25PM (#33588778) Homepage Journal

    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 leromarinvit ( 1462031 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:26PM (#33588794)

    Configure? There is nothing to configure. Yes, I know winecfg, but I've never needed it. Just install it and double-click an EXE like you would on Windows.

    Hell, it even integrates itself as binfmt_misc or whatever it's called: I can call Windows programs from the command line as ./foo.exe.

  • by tenco ( 773732 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:25PM (#33589708)
    Why should anyone do that? Paying extra for better hardware, larger electricity bill and a Windows emulator that actually doesn't(?) suck.
  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:32PM (#33589816) Homepage Journal
    I'm no windows fan, been using Linux almost exclusively never the less, there was nothing in my original statement that isn't true. My wife can handle Windows. Asking her to try using wine would lead to hours of me looking up and trying to solve issues with WINE configuration. Done it before. never again.
  • TFA is BS (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:42PM (#33589970) Homepage Journal

    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. TFA talks about the close buttons being in a non-standard place, they're not in kubuntu, which is simply Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome.

    Clearly, this piece was done by a Windows lover; they give ubuntu a 38 and Windows a 41. I've used Windows since there was such a thing, and it's always been a total PITA. Things that are done in two clicks in kubuntu take ten or fifteen in Windows.

  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:01PM (#33595562)

    I don't always play games, but when I do I always choose PlayOnLinux. [playonlinux.com]

    Stay thirsty my friends!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:17PM (#33596050)

    I clicked on wine in the ubuntu software installer, then I put my Starcraft CD in the drive and played it. Same deal DiabloII and the few other games I play on PC.

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.