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Comparing Windows and Ubuntu On Netbooks

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the little-bit-of-this-and-that dept.

Operating Systems 317

Barence writes "With the arrival last month of Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition, PC Pro has revisited a familiar question: which operating system is best for a netbook?. The magazine has run a series of benchmarks on a Asus Eee PC 1008HA running Windows XP Home, two versions of Windows 7 (with and without Aero switched on) and Ubuntu Netbook Edition. The operating systems are tested for start-up performance, Flash handling and video, among other tests. The results are closer than you might think."

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Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (2, Interesting)

elwinc (663074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253920)

Can you even buy a netbook without windows?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34253948)

At least here in Asia they're widely available, and if you don't buy some known brand you can get them really cheap too.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34253964)

Newegg use to have Asus Eee netbooks preloaded with Linux but those are long since deactivated.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (3, Funny)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253966)

Could be any more like Chandler from friends?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254152)

No, Bing.com already has that title.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254410)

Could what be any more... etc?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254500)

Could be any more like Chandler from friends?

Take your irrelevant mindless pop-culture reference and shove it up your ass. Really a nigger joke would be more refreshing and enlightening than a fucking sitcom known for capturing the imagination of teenyboppers everywhere. Friends, the choice of fat and stupid Americans who need to have a little giggle when some blonde airhead has a personal crisis over a bad hair day.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (2, Insightful)

whargoul (932206) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254668)

Could you be any more of a dick?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (2, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254020)

Dell used to offer them, but they stopped.

I saw some for sale in Europe, but its usually a brand-made operating system based on Linux .

You could always install your own if you really want it.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254384)

>>>You could always install your own if you really want it.

Which can cause it's own annoying problems. Anybody know how I can re-install WinXP on my Ubuntu laptop? It appears all the NTFS partitions were erased when I installed linux, so every time I try to run the Compaq XP Recover CD, it gives me an error: "Not enough free space."

A bit annoying because I'd like to restore windows prior to selling the laptop on ebay (it will get higher bids). I guess I could advertise the laptop as "comes with Windows!" and just throw the CDs in the box to leave the Buyer to figure it out, but I'd rather restore it myself prior to sale.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

puto (533470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254428)

Partition Logic, Partition Magic, and the other tons of free are paid for partitioning tools. Not to mention the one built into the os. Logic would dicate the install is looking for a partition for the OS.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254486)

You'll need to re-partition the drive. I believe there is a small vendor partition needed, in addition to the others.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

jijacob (943393) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254506)

If you were smart enough to know what Ubuntu was, I'm surprised you aren't smart enough to boot the LiveCD again and format the partition as NTFS.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254492)

I live in Europe (Serbia), and I have recently bought a Dell Inspiron Mini with Ubuntu Netbook Edition (extremely satisfied with it BTW :) ). Ubuntu netbooks are maybe 50% of all the netbooks I see.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254022)

Yes. Next question?

I recognize the mathematician's answer (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254442)

Can you even buy a netbook without windows?

Yes. Next question?

Ahh, the mathematician's answer [tvtropes.org] . The next question is as follows: Which make and model and which seller do you recommend?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254156)

Not anymore. Oh, you can buy them over the web, but I would never do that. A few years ago, netbooks with Linux were for sale in the shops. That was when I bought an Acer Aspire One (with the worst possible Linux distribution, but that was easily fixed). Alas, no Linux-based computers are sold anymore in regular shops.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (2, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254176)

Not so much any more. When netbooks were new, they all had linux - largely because they were low-spec enough that even XP wouldn't run, back in the pre-atom days. Once the hardware improved, manufacturers switched mostly to windows. Many (including me) suspect that Microsoft is making OEM licences for netbooks available at a next-to-free discount in order to prevent linux becoming established in the sector and possibly spreading from there into low-budget desktops.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254502)

When netbooks were new, they all had linux - largely because they were low-spec enough that even XP wouldn't run, back in the pre-atom days.

Windows XP runs fine on a PII 866 with 384 MB of RAM, made in 2000. My Eee PC 900 (on which I ran Ubuntu) had a Celeron 900 with 512 MB of RAM. Add a competent SSD to that, and in my experience, it isn't too much slower than the early Atom CPUs.

Many (including me) suspect that Microsoft is making OEM licences for netbooks available at a next-to-free discount in order to prevent linux becoming established

This is in fact the explicit purpose of Windows XP for ULCPCs and Windows 7 Starter.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254682)

Do any of these modern laptops come with modems for those of us stuck on dialup (mainly in hotels)?

yes (1)

tizan (925212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254190)

zaReason for example.

11.6" isn't really a netbook IMHO (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254520)

The smallest netbook on zareason.com is an 11.6", which starts to edge into "orthodox laptop" territory. The biggest one that will fit in my bag is the Dell Mini 10 that I currently use.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (4, Funny)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254244)

try macbook ?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254288)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220698 [newegg.com] Possibly Newegg will restock this item?

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254420)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220698 [newegg.com] Possibly Newegg will restock this item?

At 12.1", that's not really a netbook.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254378)

Two years ago I bought a HP 2133 cheaply that came with Linux pre-installed.

It runs pretty nicely with Ubuntu 10.10. Note that because the netbook is VIA based (and therefore representative of the worst performance possible in a netbook) the netbook interface doesn't work (because it requires hardware graphics acceleration, and getting the VIA drivers working again is something I'd rather avoid again).

The Ubuntu font is very nice though. Therefore I'd say it's a nice OS to use on a netbook.

Anyone here thinking of getting a netbook this season would do well to wait for AMD Ontario/Zacate based netbooks for a significant boost over Atom.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

Desi-nerd (1468341) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254436)

Sure you can! Here is one model http://www.samsung.com/in/consumer/pc-peripherals-printer/notebook/n-series/NP-N148-DP05IN/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&tab=specification [samsung.com] In Delhi, the Samsung N148 is selling like hot cakes. It comes with DOS, hence lowest priced. People buy it and put Ubuntu or pirated Windows XP on it :-) I personally know 6 people who use it with Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

Hero Zzyzzx (525153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254478)

One data point: The asus 1215T can be bought without an OS (through newegg.com) - but it's ATI graphics. Yuck.

I just purchased the 1215N even though I don't want windows. . . the nvidia ION chipset + dual core atom has seduced me. I plan to get debian sid running on it. I have been happy - nay, ECSTATIC - with my eeepc 1000, so a larger screen and dual cores should be pretty sweet.

Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254544)

http://www.genesi-usa.com/products/smartbook [genesi-usa.com]

In fact, unless there is some kind of ARM port of Windows, I doubt that you could get that model with Windows installed.

why would one use a netbook? (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253942)

really...

Re:why would one use a netbook? (2, Funny)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253960)

Maybe if you were the crackhead that broke into a truck and decided to keep the laptop and take the route to Enlightenment rather than pawning it off?

Just a thought...

Mod parent INFORMATIVE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254270)

This is lol.

Re:why would one use a netbook? (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254132)

Well, I can only answer this for myself. I have a desktop at home, which for all sorts of reasons (CPU, GPU, memory, dual monitors, full size keyboard+++) is where I like to do anything serious. When I want to go mobile, I want something small, light and cheap I can bring almost everywhere. I'm not a road warrior, so I don't need a powerful laptop. I'm not hauling it from site to site so I don't need a desktop replacement - I did have one of those as a consultant though. I just need a real computer to go and the 10" screen, cramped keyboard and anemic performance are acceptable tradeoffs.

Re:why would one use a netbook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254248)

> I just need a real computer to go and the 10" screen, cramped keyboard and anemic performance are acceptable tradeoffs.

I thought that too until I actually tried an eeePC. I could forgive the performance issues, but the keyboard was so small as to be completely unusable. If I get a wild hair and decide to try the netbook form factor again I may get stuck buying a Macbook Air unless somebody else has built in a full-sized keyboard to their netbooks.

Re:why would one use a netbook? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254606)

If I get a wild hair and decide to try the netbook form factor again I may get stuck buying a Macbook Air unless somebody else has built in a full-sized keyboard to their netbooks.

Haven't looked at the Mac Air but my netbook is 26 cm wide. Just from left Ctrl to right Ctrl I measure around 29 cm on a full size keyboard, and that is if you don't want arrow keys or insert / delete / home / end / page up / page down. So unless you have a fold-out keyboard it's just not possible to do a full size keyboard in that form factor.

Re:why would one use a netbook? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254222)

really...

Because I can throw it in my bag to carry around without really noticing the space or weight it takes up, and if it gets lost or stolen I won't be as upset as I would be if I'd taken my $1200 laptop with me.

Windows, no doubt. (2, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253946)

Some distros may be better than Windows, but not Ubuntu. It's a bloated buggy hog of a thing that is overkill on netbooks, and Windows will beat it everytime.

Bye bye karma.

may fire rain down upon your brow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254418)

I hope you choke and drown in a sea of cocks.

-AC

Closer than you might think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34253962)

The results are closer than you might think."

Are you assuming that I'll think that Windows will perform better or that Ubuntu will?

OS X on MacBook Air (0, Offtopic)

mrnick (108356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253970)

OS X is pretty good on the MacBook Air netbook, but Apple won't admit it's a netbook.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254024)

Thats because a Mac Book Air A) Isn't cheap and B) Has specs that aren't bottom-end. The Air is simply a light laptop, not a cheap laptop.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254194)

The main difference between netbook and laptop is not in processor, or memory, or hard drive, or build quality. It's in size, and size alone. Laptops are small, netbooks are smaller.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254300)

Actually a netbook is broadly understood to be a cheap low-performance computer for a limited set of common computing tasks, inaugurated by the Eee PC which was explicitly a commercialised equivalent of the OLPC's "cheap but useful" approach to hardware design.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254422)

True.

A high performance laptop in the 10"-13.5" range is called an ultraportable by the marketing folks.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254348)

How does "net-anything" relate to size?

Having a slow processor and little RAM, able to only run a web browser, using something look Google Docs (in a web browser) as an office suite, however, relates to "net" very much.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (3, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254396)

Not true. The reason why a netbook is called a NETbook is because it's designed to be a cheap and mobile interface to a network (such as the Internet) similar in concept to a thin-client. Cheap being the key word.

A notebook is a small laptop, a netbook is an inexpensive notebook.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254632)

The main difference between netbook and laptop is not in processor, or memory, or hard drive, or build quality. It's in size, and size alone.

Size is the difference between a "laptop" and a "subnotebook", and a MacBook Air is on the large size of that. For example, the 11" MacBook Air likely wouldn't fit in a bag that holds a 10" Inspiron mini. Apple instead appears to want to sell iPads to people who would otherwise buy a netbook as a second computer.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254150)

Only if you define netbooks to include all 12-inch-and-smaller laptops, a broadness which robs the term of its usefulness. People have been making very small laptops for about a decade. The netbook is a distinct subset.

Re:OS X on MacBook Air (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254182)

That is not the netbook segment. It's the ultraportable segment, which has existed for a long, long time but at prices that made you cringe.

"closer than you might think" (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253976)

Given that they're the same hardware and both operating systems have gone through major performance improvements recently, I imagined it to be very close. How close did anyone else think?

Re:"closer than you might think" (1)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254038)

I was wondering which way the poster meant that we'd think was going to much more behind.

www.techknackblogs.com (1)

techknackblogs (1942142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253984)

Windows 7 is really good compared to other Windows operating system especially Vista. Ubuntu is good but if you think of mass public all will go for Windows than Ubuntu.

Not very fair testing... (4, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34253988)

Testing wasn't done very fairly in my opinion. On my netbook, Ubuntu works faster, probably because Windows is bogged down by a bunch of programs which open at startup.

For a start, its not always the underlying operating system which makes the difference.

They compared -

1. Bootup (which is mostly fair)
2. Opening using OpenOffice. I'm pretty sure that the Windows version of this program is not the exact same one as the Ubuntu version. So you're comparing two different programs on two different operating systems.
3. Web performance - again, he used Google Chrome for one, and Chromium for the other. See above - the windows version is not the exact same one as the linux version.
4. Flash performance - this part was very funny. Anyone who's used flash on linux knows how crap it is. When adobe start supporting it properly...

So the testing wasn't very fair. It does not answer "but the key question is how each one performs on low-powered netbook hardware". If they wanted to answer that, they could have written a pair of programs in C to benchmark it - exact same code, exact same program.

Re:Not very fair testing... (5, Insightful)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254062)

You're right, the testing wasn't fair at all. It was on usability. These things are not equal.

It wasn't supposed to be fair. It was supposed to see how close general equivalents perform, in a real world scenario, for the casual user. It's not perfect comparison because, as you indicated, that'd be impossible, and as I'm indicating, that's not the point.

Re:Not very fair testing... (4, Funny)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254092)

I heard that ubuntu lost horribly in the botnet performance test. They couldn't get it to join.... bada bum!!! thank you thank you.. be here all night..

BOINC (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254688)

I heard that ubuntu lost horribly in the botnet performance test. They couldn't get it to join

Since when? In my experience, the Distributed.net client works equally well on Fedora and Windows XP, and the BOINC client works equally well on Ubuntu and Windows XP.

Re:Not very fair testing... (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254296)

Pure C benchmarks are meaningless. If you spend a significant amount of time on browsing, including Flash games, and typical office tasks, these real-world matter a low more than C performance.

Re:Not very fair testing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254524)

4. Flash performance - this part was very funny. Anyone who's used flash on linux knows how crap it is. When adobe start supporting it properly...

That's about as reasonable a claim as saying that a Mac is an excilent gaming platform because it's not apple's fault that no one writes games for Mac.

netbooks are meant to do pretty much three things 1. web-surfing, 2. email, 3.run a word proscesor. If a given operating system is poorly supported in one of those three areas it isn't a viable choice for a netbook.

Unfortunately this means that with poor flash performance Linux isn't a practical choice for netbooks until either the internet moves past flash.

Re:Not very fair testing... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254698)

That's about as reasonable a claim as saying that a Mac is an excilent gaming platform because it's not apple's fault that no one writes games for Mac.

Or, to extend your analogy, that a media center PC is an excellent gaming platform because it's not Microsoft's fault that no one writes games for media center PC.

Last Week (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254016)

Last week I tried installing Netbook Remix 10.10 on my mom's IdeaPad S10. No particular reason, WinXP worked ok on it, but I had previously installed Netbook Remix on a friend's Acer One & she loved it & said it seemed to start up & run much faster than XP used to. Mom isn't particularly attached to her netbook, so she said sure, you can have it for a week to do whatever you need to. So, I put Netbook Remix on a thumbdrive go to town. It installs just fine, all the hardware but the wifi is detected & working great. There is just one problem, no matter what I try updates fail. Ethernet works fine, but all updates fail. I try a manual update, nothing. I try jiggering with the repositories, nothing. I try *several* other distributions, some Debian based, some aren't, no dice. I scour the Internet to see if anyone else is having a similar issue, no dice. In abject defeat, ended up putting XP back on the IdeaPad, having wasted a week of evenings trying to get it to work.

The other Ubuntu PC I have serving music updates just fine.

Total anecdote, hopefully someone can clue me in to what was going on.

Re:Last Week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254128)

Did you try apt-get update in a terminal... I would start looking at things that would prevent the program from reaching the repositories (maybe dns is messed up).

Re:Last Week (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254434)

Poorly configured DHCP server that doesn't relay DNS servers?

Ping is your friend, usually the following three step process will tell you:
1. Can I ping the internal network by IP? If not, there's something wrong with hardware/cable.
2. Can I ping an Internet server by IP? If not, there's something wrong with the router setup.
3. Can I ping an Internet server by name? If not, there is a DNS problem.

Never had a problem with this myself. By the way, regarding wireless you may want to try installing a newer kernel version. I had the same issue with my netbook, it was too new for wireless suppport in my distro.

Re:Last Week (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254680)

The Internet connection seemed to work fine. Ping worked fine. I was able to ping the software repository just fine. I was able to update another Ubuntu PC on the same network. It was something localized to the Netbook that I just couldn't figure out.

There were Broadcom drivers available for the wifi via the Hardware Update applet that were also refusing to update.

Re:Last Week (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254480)

I assume with your comment 'Ethernet works fine' that you can browse the net with no problems. What does it say when you try to update?

As well, have you tried the Ubuntu Forums [ubuntuforums.org] ? They are simply awesome when trouble shooting.

Re:Last Week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254634)

Last week [2010/11/10] I tried installing Netbook Remix 10.10 ... I try a manual update, nothing.

Just to be sure; you know there are updates to download already? 10.10 just came out, and netbook remix is probably delayed compared to stock ubuntu.

not that surprising (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254034)

I have not messed with the netbook remix much, but in this day and age even the lightweight systems are still pretty heavy, and in my case ...

both my desktops actually take longer to boot ubuntu than windows 7, though its barley noticeable
I still have some little issues with flash video in linux, even with the latest n greatest nvidia drivers

but these are little things that unless you really want to be anal about it you would not notice but on occasion

Still not the year (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254036)

Wow, still not the year of Linux on the Netbook. Maybe next year.

Eh? (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254048)

The way I read the graphs is: XP and Ubuntu win on almost everything (Ubuntu loses once on Flash on iPlayer but that's hardly surprising), maybe only by a small margin by they do, and Windows 7 takes twice as long to boot as they do. The article doesn't recommend bothering to upgrade to Windows 7 if you already have XP on it, and suggests that Ubuntu would be just as good.

Now, let's look at *value*: Assuming you can get them all for the same price, they all provide roughly equal value (it could be argued that 7 is worse value but only by a small way). However, if you have to pay *any* extra for XP or 7, then you're just as well off with Ubuntu. So, it's all back to the old question: who wants to sell me a netbook with an operating system that's just as good as the others but which is FREE for life? In the early days, that's how netbooks became so cheap and so popular - I know, I worked with the original EEEPC's because a school could afford them but MS wanted about £50 a license to "upgrade" them to XP. Now it seems either Microsoft are giving people Windows for free, or Microsoft are stopping manufacturers from supplying netbooks with only Linux on them. I vote for the latter given previous history.

All this article confirms is that, basically, all the OS's are roughly the same now. A bar chart here or there but on average there is no winner. Thus, the free ones should represent infinitely better value. Strange how the manufacturers don't reflect that in their pricing / OS availability any more.

Re:Eh? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254232)

Ubuntu just loses on flash anything. It's not a linux problem - it's an Adobe problem. Because only a comparatively small portion of PCs run linux (It's behind OSX!), they just see no reason to invest the programmer-hours on properly updating and maintaining flash for linux.

Re:Eh? Gnash? (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254392)

The Gnash free replacment for Flash will hopefully catch up and be useful, which will solve this problem. Open source codecs or implementations of codecs can be just as good as the closed source ones, as Flac and Ogg have proved.

Battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254052)

And one of the most important specifications of a netbook was ignored: battery life.

Re:Battery life (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254252)

And one of the most important specifications of a netbook was ignored: battery life.

Which, sadly, is where XP wins over Ubuntu; mostly because of the custom software that the manufacturer shipped with my netbook to give best possible life in Windows... that seems to eek out another hour or two over Ubuntu before the battery dies.

However, it still lasts long enough that I had no problem removing XP from the machine recently when I replaced the HD with an SSD.

Re:Battery life (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254256)

I've seen comparisons of that elsewhere. Ubuntu, XP and Vista without aero came out around the same (This was pre-7) IIRC. Vista leading but only by the slimmest margin. Turn Aero on, however, and Vista becomes a battery-sucker. I imagine 7 is the same in that regard.

Windows (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254060)

Look, if I want a fucked-up filesystem, binary registry, EULAs and proprietary code then I'll choose Windows, even if it is slower than Ubuntu on the same hardware.

Re:Windows (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254276)

In my list of 'stupid microsoft ideas' I still put the registry at the closely contested #3 spot.

#1 is icons-in-executables combined with hideing extensions by default. #2 is HTML email, which they didn't actually invent but did make popular.

Re:Windows (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254430)

HTML email isn't as bad as all that, just how Microsoft did it and how some people abuse it.

And then how Microsoft use the Word renderer in Outlook to view HTML emails after all that...

Personally I would have gone with structured emails, with quoted areas explicitly tagged, etc. But that would have inevitably used XML...

Ubuntu runs Great! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254086)

I recently "fixed" a friends netbook. He compressed his windows file directory when he ran out of space...because he didn't know any better. (Yeah, I know...)

All he cares about is the internet (namely facebook) and his too Ipods. I didn't have to show him a thing. The netbook version of Ubuntu runs faster and is fairly intuitive to his needs. While he isn't your grandma when it comes to computers, he's not exactly the "usual" linux user.

I know I'm preaching to the choir but hey man, netbook ubuntu rules!

Re:Ubuntu runs Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254474)

too =/= two

fucking dumbass

In Other News (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254098)

Comparing apples and oranges.

Re:In Other News (2, Informative)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254208)

Which is indeed possible. Not only possible, it turns out they have some similar properties [theamericanview.com] .

Re:In Other News (2, Funny)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254330)

Orange is making computers again!?! I haven't used an Orange in years. Are they POSIX compliant yet?

One thing is clear... (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254106)

...Win7 Aero does not like Slashdot. ;(

Others (1)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254118)

I'd love to see a comparison between some of the other linux based netbook OS's. I run Ubuntu on my netbook and really like it but some of the other offerings lately have intrigued me, like Jolicloud and meego. Also I wonder if google's chrome os will officially be released as a distro that you can install yourself. I tried out Hexxeh's version of it that he called flow and on a netbook where I pretty much only open a browser it really did make sense.

Um not a fair comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254160)

First of all when comparing operating systems, do not use the HP Bloat ware version of Windows 7. A fair comparison is to compare the editions as is, Ubuntu doesn't come with bloat ware and therefore cannot be slowed down by that crap. If people are going to write comparison articles and start the Windows vs Linux battle please compare them on fair grounds. I use both Ubuntu on my desktop.

Re:Um not a fair comparison (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254452)

posting to undo pre-caffeine mod. sry.

Six months down the line... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254170)

I think the real test should be done after six months of regular use and service packs and updates installed. At this point the windows machine will have its registry so bloated that it will take twice the time for most operations. After one year to one year and a half, the best way to go is to reboot the machine.

This doesn't happen to Ubuntu installations.

Also, when your applications are fighting for CPU cycles with virus and malware, your machine feels much slower... and we know a hight percentage of windows installations end up in that situation while exactly 0% of the Ubutu machines do.

Re:Six months down the line... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254514)

Well, not really. I mean, Windows XP and later Windows OS:es do stay nice and quick if you know what you're doing. Don't install crap, always uncheck everything you're not going to use and do regular maintenance.

Which probably about 98% of the users don't. So okay, your point.

Ubuntu typically fails at the next distribution upgrade, though. That's a pretty big problem.

HP Quickweb, Android / ChromeOS/ WebOS (5, Interesting)

Media_Scumbag (217725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254200)

I bought an HP Mini that ships with Quickweb - a highly optimized Linux-based alternative to the Windows Starter also installed. It handles email, Skype, media, Web-surfing (Firefox "lite"), and it boots in about 10 seconds. It has a pretty painless "integration" with Windows too, so even novice users can choose what suits them best for a given task. For many netbook customers, all they really ever need is something like this. Supposedly, a ChromeOS netbook will drop any day, and Android tablets have been popping up on the radar. If HP gets its' act together and drops a netbook/tablet with an SSD and WebOS, it could undercut the iPad and the become the darling of the low-priced, entry-level set. Dual-boot takes care of any enterprise requirements, such as a Citrix client, W32 apps, etc.

Strange... (0)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254228)

Does anyone else find it strange that the article talks about testing on an EeePC and the picture heading up the article is of a Samsung netbook?

Also, I'm not sure this test is very fair, it seems a very non-technical approach to testing how well the different systems actually operate. Granted, it isn't wholly bad to test the actual usability, but this testing isn't very rigorous or controlled in any way, I mean flash performance could change from one ten-minute period to the next just because of differences in internet traffic at the time. I wouldn't put much confidence in this article.

Use Lubuntu (ligthweight ubuntu) instead (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254240)

It is about 1/3rd in size and runs faster overall, since it's optimized for sub-500 MHz processors and 0.2 gig RAM instead of Win7 or OS X's full-gig requirement.

Also comes with Chromium, a nice compact browser that is very responsive to web surfing.

Re:Use Lubuntu (ligthweight ubuntu) instead (2, Interesting)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254546)

I'm with you on checking out LXDE-based Distros, although my previous experience with Lubuntu was not overly pleasent on my old laptop. Long story short it just wasn't polished enough and had stuff that just didn't work - namely wireless. I have found Kubuntu + LXDE pretty much the sweet spot between speed and usability. Although I will say I much prefer Opera to Chromium. Twice the features and just as fast.

U U U U U U B U U U U U U N T O O O O O !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254292)

Reminds me of the Indian bush and crabs and ooozing jelly smelly hole !1

Windows reminds me of a summer's eve, with that fresh down there feeling !!

Which would YOU rather have, hmmmm ??

OSX (1)

dbet (1607261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254446)

I bought a Dell Mini about a year ago, came with Ubuntu. Haven't tried Windows, but I did try putting OSX on it (10.5.8 to be exact) and it out-performed Ubuntu in every area but start-up time. The especially nice thing was that it ran movies that were H264 720p without stuttering, under both Quicktime and VLC. On Ubuntu I couldn't get them to run that well no matter what video software I used.

Always put time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254458)

on the X axis.

Battery Life? Features? (1)

TurtleBay (1942166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254466)

I didn't think that a list of stopwatch times to open apps could be labeled a comparison. It would be interesting to see which OS lets me stay away from a wall plug the longest, and a general compare/contrast of the features of each OS.

Speed benchmarks are all very well and good... (3, Insightful)

Mouldy (1322581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254530)

...but TFA fails to mention anything to do with user experience. How are well suited is the OS to small screen real estate?

For example, On Ubuntu, ccsm, doesn't fit on the screen (Image [imgbin.org] ). Little like things like that crop up often with Ubuntu and it's really annoying.

I've no idea of Windows has similar issues because I don't have it installed, so perhaps somebody else will comment.

Re:Speed benchmarks are all very well and good... (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254608)

Dunno about 7 but XP is probably worse. An awful lot of Windows apps have a minimum window size and refuse to allow themselves to be shrunk. So you're into third party apps (strangley usually supplied with the touchpad drivers) to zoom apps (and thus have them unreadable), or perform ALT+click on the window makes it moves no matter where you click, which lets you move windows around even if they are mostly off-screen but steals a hotkey.

In my opinion, Ubuntu etc. have always done a better job at this. At least you can use most Linux apps on a netbook - that's not true of XP. As I say, I don't know about 7. It's not really an OS problem as much as it is purely a netbook problem though. I run school networks where we have 50 kids using OpenOffice on netbook-sized screens at times, we don't have a problem on Ubuntu and I don't need to tell them anything special, they just get on with it (and we're talking 7-10 years old).

Odd testing (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254592)

Nowhere in the test could I find an extensive discussion of ubuntu's background colors.

How can this be a fair test, if it doesn' t follow industry standards?

OpenOffice.Org load times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34254658)

"For this test I used the latest version of OpenOffice.Org on all platforms (with the "Quickstarter" disabled)

This isn't a fair test as msOffice loads most of its 'bits' at boot. A better test is to compare file open/save/close times with Quickstarter enabled. All it does is open DLL/library files in the background. Also msOffice displays the first page while the rest is loading, giving the impression it loads faster.

Had to reinstall Ubuntu yesterday... (1)

dr_leviathan (653441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34254716)

This anecdote isn't about netbooks, but rather a triple booted MacBook Pro. Nevertheless it is about the difference between Windows and Ubuntu. Performance is not all that matters.

I managed to kill my laptop's ubuntu operating system yesterday and had to reinstall.

Why it died: I did a "sudo apt-get install nvidia-current-dev" so I could build some 3rd party app, and then my OpenGL apps wouldn't run (some version disagreement on the nvidia driver). So I rebooted, expecting the versions to match upon restart -- instead it would lock up during the ubuntu boot. Rescue mode also failed. I'm sure there were ways to rescue the operating system without reinstalling but I figured it would be easier to just install. I was already out of date (10.04) anyway, so why not upgrade?

I downloaded Kubuntu 10.10 ISO image on another computer, burned a CD, and used that to backup the data off the hard drive to an external one. This took about 1 hour, mostly because of my botched attempts to burn a CD from Windows (fail -- no CD burning software is installed by default!) and then Mac (fail, then success).

The install took 30 minutes and it recovered all the data in my $HOME dir. The software update took another 20 minutes, and didn't require a restart. apt-get install FTW.

A very easy rescue operation. None of my Windows rescues have gone so smoothly.

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