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Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the race-is-on dept.

Microsoft 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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Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586618)

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.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586700)

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:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (4, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#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]

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586912)

But I was under the impression that they do not want to release a linux version!(they recently said so or something. I could be wrong, but that's what I remember)

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586920)

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.

The article title is Steam Not Coming To Linux [slashdot.org] . I think it's quite clear that currently there are, in fact, no plans of Steam coming to Linux.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587096)

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.

Flash uses 100% CPU time of one core under windows. Does that mean it's multi-core aware in Linux?

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1, Insightful)

dskzero (960168) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586862)

Exactly. Ubuntu carries all the things that could make a typical home user make the switch, but the compatibilty and accesability is still an issue. I thought it was a very good article.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586898)

Because it lags too much?

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586724)

Sad, but true.... I am not regular home user, i am actually a developer, but nevertheless, i also play a lot of games, and thus i am forced to have both OS........ In fact, i solved my problems by having a lots of VM's. Windows, Linux, you named it, i have it.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586768)

Sad, but true.... I am not regular home user, i am actually a developer, but nevertheless, i also play a lot of games, and thus i am forced to have both OS........ In fact, i solved my problems by having a lots of VM's. Windows, Linux, you named it, i have it.

I'm a developer too, but I just have either another computer, or a removable drive with Windows on it that I can pop in when I need to use Microsoft's stuff.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (2)

gparent (1242548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587184)

There's a lot less holding me back from Linux than before (I'm pretty much down to SC2 and VS 2010 for the major apps), so I'll probably switch within next year. But what I _don't_ want to do is to dual-boot. I switch tasks frequently, and rebooting frequently is a pain.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (4, Interesting)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586756)

... Actually, my anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise:

- A typical home user is not a gamer
- People use: word processing, web browsing, chat, email, and movies
- These work out of the box on Ubuntu
- My dad, mother and sister (typical users) have switched to Ubuntu, with no support issues to date

Not-typical but probably expected use cases:

- I am playing a number of (older) games just fine, and it meets my needs (Civ IV)
- I do software development, and graphics design
- I tinker with making music
- I do embedded systems and FPGA development

Works for me.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586764)

You could not be more wrong.

Typical users browse the web, read e-mail, IM/chat, and play Flash games. That's it. Typical users have consoles for games.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586812)

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 box. I'd rather use Debian or Centos (or Scientific Linux)...and I've installed and run a number of distros through the years. These days my home network is run on Windows and I use Virtualbox for Linux.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (5, Interesting)

kalpol (714519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586914)

> 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.

And if you want a business comparison (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586938)

Then you have to start doing things like enterprise management and integration. Many Linux types like to hate on Active Directory but it turns out when you've actually worked with it in a big enterprise setup, and all MS's other enterprise tools, you see that it is really well done, in particular compared to many alternatives. We had a hell of a time designing a cross platform authentication system where I work because the senior UNIX guy would not accept any system that used Windows as the back end. He fought with Open LDAP for a long time before admitting defeat on that front. Sun's Directory Services and ID sync proved to work in the end, after many months of testing, customization, and fighting.

I think Linux is pretty well on par when it comes to a basic, net terminal kind of system. If you have a stand along computer and just need e-mail, web, that kind of thing Linux is pretty easy to get installed and running in most cases, so long as you aren't talking brand new hardware. However when you start looking at larger markets problems quickly develop. True, not all of them are Linux's fault, things like lacking app compatibility isn't Linux's fault, but it doesn't matter because it is a very real issue. You can't just gloss over it.

Even in that regard, there are some things that ARE the fault of Linux designs. One thing that is needed for better app support is a good installer and install system. On Windows you can download or buy an app and have a very high degree of confidence that all you need to do to install it is run setup. An installer, generally using Windows' own internal install service, then guides you through the rest handling everything such as installing libraries needed, adding the program to things like the start menu and so on. On Linux, that only happens if you use the distro's package system. Great if the software you want is free and happens to be in there, but not useful otherwise. For commercial software, it is a non-starter.

So something like that really needs to be developed and standardized to help with apps on the platform. Telling someone "Oh just compile from source," and "When there's s dependency issue just apt-get what you need," and "Modify this configuration to add it to your programs list," is not legit for normal users. The answer needs to be "Click this program, it'll take care of the rest."

Re:And if you want a business comparison (5, Insightful)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587194)

Every commercial Linux app I've seen has a deb available for Ubuntu/debian these days or at the very least a loki-type installer. Installing is as simple as double clicking on the file and typing in your password. Less of a hassle than Windows IMHO.

It's also nice that the package manager in Linux keeps everything up to date. Having 5 or 6 updaters always running in the background is a waste of resources and a massive security hole. That's a non-starter.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586988)

How many computers does a home user will buy 1, 2, or maybe even 6 computers. A business user will buy 10 to 1000 times that many computers. This is not a competition for the home desktop, but for the office desktop.

I think it would make an interesting test to see how many times, and how long each time it took for the client can do a clean install?

Another test I'd like to see is how many keystrokes it takes to remove unwanted software both singly, and jointly.

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587024)

"Well golly, I like apples for the stability and that fact that 99% of malware doesn't work on it, but I need oranges because it's what runs all my expensive corporate business tools, and the vendor really won't and can't rewrite them for apples. That, and oranges are just more compatible with any game or app I want to use on it.

Gee whiz, it really is hard to compare apples and oranges."

Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587060)

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.

Most home users don't play many PC games. They play Flash games or console games . What is true however is that they are not interested because they tend to order whatever everyone else is having. And that turns out to be Windows.

2011 the year of linux on the desktop? (2, Funny)

youn (1516637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586622)

2099 year of linux on the desktop? ;)

one day...

This (3, Funny)

Xiph (723935) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586636)

is clearly the year of the linux desktop commercial success

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

Re:This (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586840)

Desktops? Do people still use those?

Re:This (0, Offtopic)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586922)

love your sig!

(just got an android phone a few months back, and even if this is a $100 prepaid chinese hackjob, i prefer it over an iphone)

Re:This (1)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587102)

Desktops? Do people still use those?

Oh yes, we need a desktop as somewhere to keep our scanner

along side the fax machine, filofax, 8 track, Brylcream, wireless set, Radium salts, coal scuttle, sundial, abacus, bronze axe and hammer stone.

Re:This (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586906)

That's just stupid.

The article clearly indicates that it will be next year for the year of the Linux desktop!

Re:This (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586968)

is clearly the year of the linux desktop commercial success

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

My sarcasm detector is still smoking...

I've heard of this "Windows" before (5, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

gooed vs. evile, take your pick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586668)

or, just wait until we have no choices. ah yes, that feels better already. your eyelids are getting heavier. the ?$'most popular'$? must be the best. freedumb is but one click away. ah ha ha.

They have their uses (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586670)

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:They have their uses (2, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

No Drivers for Windows (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:No Drivers for Windows (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586744)

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?

Re:No Drivers for Windows (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586834)

My HP 3180 printer is not working too under Win7.....you know what? I am using virtual machine with Windows XP, in order to use the scanner, lol.

Re:No Drivers for Windows (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587026)

If you go to the HP site, Windows 7 drivers are available [hp.com] , both for 32 and 64 bit...that link I put up is to the 32-bit version.

Re:No Drivers for Windows (1)

InsaneMosquito (1067380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586870)

I have a 4 year old HP All in One Printer. Windows 7 will not install drivers for the scanner or fax portion of the printer. Since printing is by far the least used portion of the 'All In One' part of this printer I have an almost useless machine sitting on my desk. Pretty disappointing, because it scans very well.

Re:No Drivers for Windows (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587040)

how old is your Cannon hardware?

About 700 years. [wikipedia.org]

Re:No Drivers for Windows (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:No Drivers for Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587154)

Canon Hardware. The least you could do is spell it right =/. He's not hooking up a Cannon to his computer (As amusing as that may be)

Re:No Drivers for Windows (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586820)

If there's a need to go back to Windows, you can set up Windows XP mode, and older printer drivers should work.

Re:No Drivers for Windows (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586900)

If you pay more for a non-crippleware version of Windows 7, yeah.

Re:No Drivers for Windows (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#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

Re:No Drivers for Windows (1)

dhj (110274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587030)

If only that were true. Video: intel i915.modeset=1, ATI nomodeset (until questionable drivers are installed). Downloading and compiling drivers for wifi (the new one I bought cause there was no chance of it working with an old card I dug up). Even after the headache of getting everything up and running X has crashed a few times. With Windows it just works. As much as it pains me to say that, its true. I am thinking I should go back to Fedora (first jump from Fedora to Ubuntu -- was with RedHat since well before Fedora split off and 10.04 has been a nightmare). You guys who say Ubuntu is best for hardware compatibility must be purchasing only hardware pre-screened to work. If you have a legacy system or didn't spec out every purchase for linux compatibility then it's a real pain in the ass. I would rather have out of the box hardware support over look and feel, bundled packages or anything else.

So when I present a single counterpoint (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587188)

Does that mean there's no driers for Linux? Because guess what? I've installed Linux on systems at work and not been able to find drivers for things. With Linux, it is usually the opposite, the system will be newer and Linux will have no driver support for the hardware. Also happens more with specialty hardware, it'll have Windows, and usually Mac drivers, but no Linux drivers since the company didn't write them and nobody else has tried.

So if it is the fault of the companies for not doing support there, then sorry but it is the same situation in Windows. You can't say "It is a Windows flaw that it doesn't support all hardware," but then say "It is not Linux's fault that it doesn't support all hardware."

If it works in your situation, wonderful, use it by all means. Computers are something people should be extremely pragmatic about, they are just tools nothing more. Use the kind of tool that gets the job done the easiest and quickest. However don't go trying to say that because your tool solved a given problem it is right for everything.

"Screwdrivers are such pieces of shit. My friend had this big nail that needed to be driven in to a board and no matter what I tried with the screw driver, it just wouldn't do it. Then I got this hammer and it worked perfectly. If you want to get things done, you need a hammer, screwdrivers don't do anything."

Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586692)

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.

Re:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586758)

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:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586828)

The only thing that has failed was your guarantee stating that you'll fail using Ubuntu as a replacement for Windows. Maybe you'll fail, however it worked just fine as a replacement for me.

Re:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587036)

You'd have to pay me a lot to switch from openSuse to Crapuntu.

Re:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (1)

instagib (879544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586852)

Seconded.
If one needs specialized commercial applications (this includes games), Windows is a must. If generic bundled software (for email, web, photos, etc.) covers one's need, Linux and other OSs are options on an equal level. The decision then can be based on things like security, price, previous user experience, etc.

Re:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587144)

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?

Re:Taking bets? I'll bet against it. (2, Insightful)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587162)

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 refresh rate using the open raedon drivers (9600xt AGP) which is causing a flicker on my monitor, and have found X has changed since 9.04.

Whilst ubuntu would do most my parents needs, email (they use thunderbird on windows), youtube/browsing (Flash seems alot better and they use firefox on windows), word processing (They already use open office, once i made it default to saving to the .doc format etc.) but a flickering monitor? That just wouldn't do.

id dont wanna change OS again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586704)

NO Please!
when the internet was looked upon as "nerdy" by most of the people it was good (my time was about 1998).
no laywers -> no problems. And now..... adds, p2p bans, people not knowing what rtfm means....... iPhones......

Please dont do the same to linux!

BTW: Any suggestions on the next nerd-os?

Summary. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586706)


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

Ubuntu wins by 3.04.

Go back to your Cheetos and WoW.

Missing in the comparison (4, Interesting)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 3 years ago | (#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!

Re:Missing in the comparison (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586794)

*cough Business section cough*

Re:Missing in the comparison (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586822)

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 not being a total "fail whale" on trying to use Linux.

I would say that in at least a plurality of cases, the cost comparison argument isn't really going to carry any water.

Re:Missing in the comparison (2, Informative)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587070)

Another thing that's missing: security.

linux on a desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586726)

I use android/linuz on my droid. Its good 4 the phone, but i don't think it wood b good on my computer. i dont have a touchscreen, i have a mouse lol.

Who's technically literate at PC-Pro? (4, Insightful)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586750)

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...

Re:Who's technically literate at PC-Pro? (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586806)

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

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

Re:Who's technically literate at PC-Pro? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#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."

Re:Who's technically literate at PC-Pro? (3, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Quality of Comparison (2, Interesting)

elewton (1743958) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586786)

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:Quality of Comparison (1)

instagib (879544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587118)

This is an essential observation, an yet it is ignored almost always. The people complaining about Linux as not usable are ALWAYS people who have used Windows for years before.

Year of the Linux desktop? For me it's since 1999. For my parents (total computer illiterates) it's since 2002. For the general Windows user it most probably will be never, and who cares?

Re:Quality of Comparison (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587146)

For my parents (total computer illiterates) it's since 2002.

My question would be, to what degree would that have been possible without your help?

Derp derp (2, Interesting)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Derp derp (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586864)

You're blaming the Operating System for the lack of people developing for it? That's not a very fair comparison - since its only because of the fact that its not the most popular thing to develop for.

If there was a minefield to get a linux game, or the design made it exceptionally difficult to develop for it - then it'd be fair.

Re:Derp derp (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587014)

Not blaming the OS at all. However, it is a reality and a fact. It is should that should be considered when choosing an OS. How often do we hear here on Slashdot "Well, I'd use Linux, but I play games and don't want to dual boot"

Re:Derp derp (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587186)

That's entirely and totally true. However that causes a self-perpetuating situation.

"I'd use linux but I play games"

"I don't play games that much, let me try Linux"
--> Studies have shown that Linux users don't play any games - so why bother developing for them?

et cetera.

That said, there are games which work on Linux - including some awesome open source ones. Also thanks to java, pretty much anything written in that will work on Linux - including games.

Re:Derp derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587004)

They rated Ubuntu higher in the entertainment category than Windows (Ubuntu: 8 points ot of 10, Windows: 6). Even after thinking of the video DVD troubles. If that doesn't say everything you need to know about the quality of this comparison...

apple and google seem to get it (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586838)

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 desktop market. or things will just calm down and MS will continue to rule desktops with apple and google ruling the mobile space

but linux will not have any market share worth mentioning unless it's a form of Android

Sorry, still not the year of Linux (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sorry, still not the year of Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586896)

You are not a good geek, you are just an ignorant lazy ass arts major, based on this post of yours.

Re:Sorry, still not the year of Linux (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586992)

Thank you for providing the perfect retort to anyone who challenges my assertion that Linux has an arrogant, snobbish support base.

Re:Sorry, still not the year of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586994)

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

With linux, you type the name of the software into apt-get, and you're done. With windows, it's often a mess of exe/msi files, "Is this compatible with my architecture?" And I *still* don't know the fucking difference between winXP and win7, or why that should even be an issue.

Re:Sorry, still not the year of Linux (3, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Sorry, still not the year of Linux (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587196)

Get Mandriva, Ubuntu is a young distro with many glitches...

Window decorations (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586872)

"There are also some bizarre inconsistencies in the design of Ubuntu apps. All the preinstalled apps have the Close, Maximise and Minimise buttons in the top left-hand corner of the window. Yet, others – such as the Linux version of Google Chrome – adopt the Windows convention of placing them in the top right."

Not so on mine, I wonder what they did wrong.

Not that I like the new placement or anything, but i'm getting used to it...

Re:Window decorations (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587170)

For anyone asking the same question like in the article:

Go to options in Chrome, chose the "Personal Stuff" and under "Appearance" select "Use system title bar and borders"

That's all there is to it!

Games (1)

Enokcc (1500439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586890)

Games:
Ubuntu 10.04: 1
Windows 7: 9

Which quite much decides my living room PC OS choice for me.

Consumer bias (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586924)

It doesn't matter how much better than Windows any flavor of Linux gets, the only way to get mainstream consumers to start using it are to shake their beliefs that A)software must be bought and B) that anything "free" is either copied/pirated, or has sub-par quality. I don't see any advertisements for OSes other than Windows and (by extension) Mac ads.

Re:Consumer bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587084)

How about the concept of an OS that runs the software the end user needs to run without endless tweeking and sub-par wannabe substitutes? That's important too. Until the Linux community understands that the end user has no use for a PC with the applications that they want to run they'll continue to miss the target.

But who are we really fooling anyway? Even if Linux picks up major traction in the next decade the desktop will be pretty much dead by the time they match even Apple's marketshare.

Sorry guys, but the more I see of this kind of talk the more I realize that the Linux camp is a lot like south-eastern Americas who still think the American Civil War is still something that can be won by the south. It's a dead issue and you're beating a dead horse.

Re:Consumer bias (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587126)

that anything "free" ... has sub-par quality

IMHO, for this to happen, there has to first be more of a paradigm shift in the FOSS community to value things like documentation and support as highly as committing code. Yesterday's article about Ubuntu being ripped for not committing more code is a perfect example of this.

To large degree, Linux is still seen (by people who even know what it is) as an OS that you need a "Linux guy" to set up and possibly maintain for you if you're a non-technical user. In some respects that's not as fair a generalization as it would have been ten years ago, but there's still strides to make there.

Close buttons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586930)

Has got the close button of a window on the right side, like any normal user expects

Windows 7 | Ubuntu
---------------------
Yes      |   No

Re:Close buttons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587034)

Normal users? With sane expectations on software? Where do I find them?

The biggest missing feature in linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33586934)

Or rather, window manager, is no search. On windows, if I want to run something I don't have to waste time searching it in start menu, i just type part of the name in search box in start menu, press enter, and it opens. No such thing on linux. The "Find" application in kde takes ages to finish, as there's no indexing.
Tab completion in terminal doesn't cut it, there's no tab-completion for second part of the name (say I want to run "Visual Studio 2008" i just enter "st" and press enter...).
The only replacement for windows search is google desktop, but google desktop is much slower (atleast 2x) and sends everything to google servers, so it's not an option.
And that's the main reason linux is so unusable right now.

(even it it says that it doesn't, I'm not going to trust a marketing company with my data. Microsoft's business is in selling software so they have no incentive in selling my private data to advertisers, while this is the google's main and only business model - they give you free applications, you give them your data, they sell it)

Re:The biggest missing feature in linux (2, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587008)

That's only in recent versions of Windows. More than 50% of Windows users still has Windows XP, which does not have the feature you mentioned. Also, unlike Windows, Linux is much better at the other kind of search: searching for occurances of plain text inside any file, without caring about extension (Windows supports something they claim to be similar to that, but it only works for files which happen to have a certain extension in their filename that is copied somewhere in the registry). And finally, desktops like KDE have had the ability to get a launch application utility that pops up your application while you type part of the name for ages already.

Re:The biggest missing feature in linux (4, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587158)

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.

Windows 7 x64 Is A Great Operating System (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586940)

Windows 7 was basically Vista SP2 with a better GUI. That said, Windows 7 is perhaps the best operating system I have ever used, including OS X. I know that's crazy, but I like to tinker with my systems. OS X is slick but it runs on very expensive hardware, and it's not that customizable. Windows 7 runs on commodity hardware, and I can mess around with it quite a bit. It's fast, snappy, and the GUI really makes life easier for me. It supports multiple monitors and Bluetooth and networking. It is very stable. I haven't crashed Windows 7 yet after over a year of constant use. Although apps crash, the underlying OS is stable. Linux is great for my VPS but Ubuntu simply is not there yet in terms of desktop use.

wubi is great but... (1)

L4z4ru5 (1705054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587002)

.. is it really a fair comparison to compare ubuntu installed through wubi instead of a clean ubuntu install?

Poor usability. (2, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587012)

Ubuntu may be getting better. But it still looks amateurish in comparison to Windows or OSX. It just doesn't feature the polish of those other OSs. Windows has a lot of clutter, but it is still a cohesive and fairly consistent experience. It doesn't seem like they gave enough thought to usability in Ubuntu, they simply copied bits of and pieces of what Microsoft and Apple have already done.

Designing a user interface is actually quite challenging. It's not as simple as designing something pretty. Apple and Microsoft expend a lot of effort in this area. Apple has a fairly consistent vision which is why they generally do a good job, although I think they've blown it with the new version of iTunes. The problem with Microsoft is that they have too many different divisions with different ideas of what should be done and reinterpretations with every release. But even then they're clearly a lot of thought put into things, as much as possible given the complexity of functionality. And a lot of times it's small stuff that most people don't think is important, but taken as a whole becomes very crucial.

I can't speak to the other items since I haven't used the OS enough, but I would have graded Ubuntu more harshly in this area.

Re:Poor usability. (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587198)

Agreed. I think where Ubuntu still has a way to go is in the small details. The way text is aligned within windows and title bars. The font-smoothing. The general polish and responsiveness of the interface. These small things make a computer much more usable and are still superior in Windows and OSX compared to an out-of-the-box Ubuntu install.

Also not helped by the fact that on several of my older PCs (all running ATI cards), Ubuntu versions more recent than 9.04 fail to offer me a restricted video driver, which means no desktop effects and incredibly poor performance doing even basic stuff like redrawing windows etc. I'm sure there's probably a reason why this would be the case, but all I know as an end-user is that Ubuntu 8 and 9,04 offered me a restricted driver that worked well, yet 9.10 and 10.04 mysteriously tell me that no driver is available, on the very same PC. Something to do with a kernel version change someone told me. Hmmm... :(

The main problems of this investigation (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587068)

Comparing:
Didn't compare installing Windows (or upgrading Windows) to an Ubuntu install but rather stuck to the "let's try this Ubuntu-install-from-Windows". That won't help if you build your own computer or your computer is not bundled with Windows.
Didn't compare pricing Windows (or upgrading Windows) to an Ubuntu install
Didn't compare installing codecs in Windows to an Ubuntu install. Installing DVD support and other restricted extra's is not that hard and only due to US regulations. You should've stuck to the manual and typed "DVD support Ubuntu" in Google, the first result will have a link that can do it in one click.

Scoring:
Gave less score to Ubuntu for not supporting the investigators "Windows muscle memory". I hate some of the new features in Windows 7 such as stacked windows, it's just a pain in the neck to support any newbie computer user with a question like "we don't know where this document went".
Gave less score to Ubuntu for not supporting their WinModems (there's a reason they're called WinModems). Although with a bit of looking you can get most of your devices to work a lot of vendors simply don't see why they should support a smaller market. iPhone is natively supported in Ubuntu 10.04 so I don't know why it didn't work for them - maybe they just went off their muscle memory.
Gave less score to Ubuntu because Microsoft doesn't even follow their own specs making it very hard to make a compatible office suite offering. Again, this is not a problem with Linux but with the vendors of Windows software and Microsoft. If you use an open spec like some governments have been wanting to do over the last couple of years, you won't have any problems. Sadly, the current market penetration allows Microsoft to keep doing anti-competitive stuff.

All-in-all an honest review would probably put Ubuntu on-par with Windows. It's really easy to pick on Linux for not being Windows but give a newbie a new computer with either OS from their current Windows 2000/XP with Office 2003 and I doubt they would find Linux all that much harder.

PC PRO??? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587112)

From the artical.
"and had to enter a couple of lines of code to start the installation"
1. It isn't the fault of Linux that the Adobe Air Installer is command line.
2. NO YOU DIDN'T ENTER ANY FREAKING CODE YOU MORONS! YOU ENTERED COMMANDS!
PRO?
PRO WHAT!
REALLY!

What I find so funny is that the new search in windows 7 which I love is really... A command line!
Wow so it is faster to type what you want than search through 25 layers of menus... Who knew.

Boot time comparisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33587116)

Why do people insist on measuring boot time as the time it takes to log in? TFA says it's 35s for Windows and 32s for Ubuntu. In Windows, once you log in your wait time has only just begun. It will continue to thrash the hard drive for another few minutes while it loads a bunch of unnecessary crap, during which time you can't really begin to do any actual work. In Ubuntu, it only takes a few seconds. You can make the boot time look like anything you want by delaying everything till after log in.

Drivers and compatibility? (1)

Rainefan (969597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587148)

Come on! Ubuntu has worse drivers and compatibility against Windows?

The fact that iTunes is not compatible with Linux it's clearly not Ubuntu's fault. Apple has no interest in making it compatible with Wine or porting natively to Linux.

I doubt Windows has out-of-the-box drivers for everything like printers, usb, video, audio, chipset, raid, wifi (+broadcom!!), ethernet and even 3G devices without downloading drivers from different sites, installing and rebooting the SO!

Again, this comparison is just flawed or even FUDed...
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