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OS Combat - Ubuntu Linux Versus Vista

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the cue-the-music dept.

Microsoft 559

An anonymous reader writes "InformationWeek pits Ubuntu Linux versus Windows Vista in a detailed comparison. They run down a number of points for this comparison, including installation, hardware support, software, and backup. For IW, backup was a crucial feature. As a result, the conclusion are unusual for this type of review because it straddles the fence. The verdict is: 'a tie, but only because both platforms fall short in some ways. Vista's roster of backup features aren't available in every SKU of the product; Ubuntu doesn't have anything like Vista's shadow copy system and its user-friendly backup tools are pretty rudimentary.'"

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Printable version (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18900815)

Here [informationweek.com] is the printable version. Posted as anonymous to avoid karma whoring.

Re:Printable version (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18901007)

Looks like my non-attempt at karma whoring was just a little faster than your non-attempt. That's a lot of non-whoring going on...where's daveschroeder when you need him?

There's nothing to compare (0, Troll)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900849)

As long as Microsoft operating systems got nothing compared to BASH, Linux > Windows.

and no, you can't work with cmd like you work with Bash, and I'm an advanced batch scripter, Bash is just much better and much user friendlier.
There are many other things that makes Linux better then windows (any version), but I will let Microsoft answer the Bash thingy and then I will write some new problems to them why Linux is much much better :)

Re:There's nothing to compare (2, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900963)

What about Monad Shell [wikipedia.org]?

Not Bash, but definitely a good shell. Besides, you can always install Cygwin on Windows.

Re:There's nothing to compare (1)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901043)

All the so-called solutions aren't good since it's not OS-Based solutions!.
Simple things like inserting a buffer in a vanilla cyg-win to firefox will not do it : firefow www.slashdot.org & will not be opened, cause cyg-win doesn't even recognized where firefox is (/bin/.. isn't available on windows.. so where will it take it from?), it's the little things that makes solution trashi.

Re:There's nothing to compare (3, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901225)

All the so-called solutions aren't good since it's not OS-Based solutions!.
Excuse me? Cygwin may not be, but Monad is an OS shell. In fact, if you are admin, you can pretty much do anything on Monad. Hell, it even has pipes like on *nix. Perhaps you should try it first, before passing judgement.

Re:There's nothing to compare (1, Offtopic)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900985)

Cygwin, though not perfect, is the first thing I install when setting up Windows. (It's actually quite good for scripting non-cygwin stuff, if you do it carefully, using lots of "cygpath")
The second thing I install is the uxtheme hack so I can install the Clearlooks theme. (What kind of company releases an operating system with a complete skinning system, but then restricts it to just two themes???)
Then comes programs, Firefox, Inkscape, Gimp, which I use all the time.
I use Windows almost the same way I use Linux. It's just a bit more annoying.

Re:There's nothing to compare (3, Insightful)

arun_s (877518) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900993)

FTA:
Add/Remove Applications lets you search the entire directory of applications recommended for Ubuntu -- dozens of programs in 11 categories -- and install them with little effort. I added applications like Adobe Reader and the Thunderbird mail client without too much difficulty. It all compares pretty favorably to Windows's Add/Remove Programs system, which should be familiar to everyone reading this.

I stopped reading after this. Anyone who thinks Ubuntu's package management 'compares favourably' to add/remove programs is not in his senses.

Re:There's nothing to compare (4, Funny)

fineghal (989689) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901289)

Has anyone ever actually used Add/Remove programs to, you know, ADD a program?

Re:There's nothing to compare (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901431)

Third-party Programs? No. Windows programs not installed by default? Yes. (Ok, technically they're 'components' but whatever...)

Anyway, Microsoft got some sense and renamed this in Vista to "Programs and Features." Makes a smidge more sense if only in the respect it no longer has "Add" in the name.

Less is more (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901005)

Your right. it's not the feature count that matters. It's little things like does it have Bash (or for me Perl) that are disprortionately large factors. On the other hand, I'd be kidding my self if I thought there were a lot of perl and bash users out there. it's spit in the ocean of devil spawned end users.

Linux shoul dnot try to play microsoft's game of putting up feature charts and trying to claim them all. What matters to the user is how good a tool it ends up being and that things like consistency of use, intuitiveness and in fact hiding stuff from the user that they don't need to know about.

Windows does a better job than Linux at seemlessness. That is you can configure a lot more things in the gui, and expect them to actually work, before you have to open the hood an dive into the scarey bits. On the other hand things like KDE and GNome, do expose a lot more raw power in a very accessible gui way than windows. For a certain class of user, windows just dumbs things down too much.

For me the sweet spot between power and seemlessness and data hiding is Mac OSX. My mom, who really can't operate a 3 button mouse, is able to use it. Yet Me a power user loves it too. I have hundreds of linux machines yet my desktop machine is nearly always mac osx.

Re:There's nothing to compare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18901053)

So Linux is better - for people that do a lot of command line work.
You could do a lot of comparisions with qualifiers then, like Windows is better than Linux for people who do a lot of gaming.

and no, you can't play games on Linux like you play games with Windows, and I'm an avid gamer.
There are many other things that makes Windows better then Linux (Vista & XP anywyas), but I will let Linux zealots answer the Game thingy and then I will write some new problems to them why Windows is so much better :)

Re:There's nothing to compare (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901079)

"There's nothing to compare as long as Linux operating systems got nothing compared to the Windows Device Manager. Windows > Linux."

Perhaps you could try having a balanced viewpoint? Believe it or not, little things like the lack of centralized device management DO bug the living starch out of your average user. They can barely get around a Windows machine and you want them to hunt all over creation for their device options? Even Macs have a centralized control panel!

Ubuntu has been helping Linux make great strides in user friendliness. But some of the core usability issues have gone all of 15 years without being repaired. Instead we concern ourselves over Beryl vs. Aero. Who frickn' cares? Neither one is going to make my computer do what I want it to do any better.

P.S. Cygwin [cygwin.com] - For those times when you can't use a real operating system.

How can you defeat the dreaded BSOD? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18900881)

If this really is combat, how can the Blue Screen of Death be defeated?

What has Linux got that's anywhere near as dangerous? :-)

Re:How can you defeat the dreaded BSOD? (1)

quiahuitl (1092197) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901001)

Unfortunately nothing will change the world soon. At my work there are only windows at all desktops computers. Linux or *BSD are found only at servers. I enjoy using Ubuntu and NetBSD at home. But it doesn't change anything. You made me sad ;p

Re:How can you defeat the dreaded BSOD? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901035)

If this really is combat, how can the Blue Screen of Death be defeated?
You flip its power switch for massive damage!

What has Linux got that's anywhere near as dangerous? :-)
Uhm, Richard Stallman singing? [hermann-uwe.de]

Re:How can you defeat the dreaded BSOD? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901311)

What has Linux got that's anywhere near as dangerous? :-)

Uhm, Richard Stallman singing?

Umm, no. Stallman has nothing on Monkey Boy. Nothing at all. Score 1 for Microsoft.

Re:How can you defeat the dreaded BSOD? (2, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901085)

What has Linux got that's anywhere near as dangerous? :-)
Perl.... it will jump on you neck and bite through your spike you if you show even the slightest hint of fear.

Re:How can you defeat the dreaded BSOD? (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901291)

Well.. rather than having a driver that occasionally causes a blue screen in Windows until you disable it.. you could just NOT have a driver at all in linux or compile your own code for it... at least until Bob in SoCal creates one for himself and sends it to everyone.

I would have given Ubuntu the edge (3, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900905)

Reading through the article Ubuntu really should have had the edge over windows in the end, e.g. Add remove programs in Vista and the package manager Ubuntu work in simila ways but you get a hell of a lot more packages with Ubuntu than you do with Windows. but his summary puts them on equal par.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (2, Insightful)

Shadowfoxmi (989969) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901103)

In Vista, the package manager is mainly for removing programs unless you are talking about adding a windows component. Ubuntu's package is far superior in this case. It displays available programs in categories and you can also filter for support level such as "Open source applications", "Ubuntu supported", "Any {damn} application", etc..

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (4, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901105)

Add remove programs in Vista and the package manager Ubuntu work in simila ways

Not even that. I mean, in Ubuntu I can install applications with it, in Windows I just can uninstall them. I think I find Ubuntu's solution much more useful then :)

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (0)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901111)

I've never understood this need for backup software. I call it "a partition separate from the install partition". That way I can reinstall/reformat the install and keep all my files intact. Just keep a copy of all the *.exe's you install in a folder named "Software Installs" and drag/drop any save games or something over to your "Saves" folder.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (4, Insightful)

jonesy16 (595988) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901275)

Except that this does nothing to protect you from drive failure.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901457)

Then repeat the above procedure for any distinct disk.

This includes but is not limited to: another internal disk, an external disk, a DVD-R or a flashdrive.

Once a particular file or set of files isn't dependent on a particular workstation, "backup and recovery" is easy. My /home and /usr/local are like beduins, always folding up their tends and schlepping over to the next dune (er, distribution) with little attachment to the dune they just left behind.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18901471)

Change "separate partition" to "separate hard drive". You can make the change in Linux without the need to update your backup scripts -- just mount the separate hard drive under the existing backup path, and you're good to go. You don't even have to worry about keeping the same filesystem, etc. You may or may not need to update your Windows backup job when doing the same thing under Windows (and there's only one filesystem type to choose, so nothing to "worry about" there either). They're both about equal here.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901377)

Personally, I prefer to have automated, incremental backups of all my documents: I use Deja Vu on my Mac to inrementally backup all of Documents, Photos, Music to an external hard drive at 18:30 every day. You could use cron to do that, but it would require more knowledge than your average user has.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (1)

h2g2bob (948006) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901251)

This guy is a Windows fanboy - grudging respect is as good as we can hope for.

Re:I would have given Ubuntu the edge (4, Insightful)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901409)

I agree, the article seems to be covered in the stink of FUD. I don't like throwing that word at just anything (given my bias towards choice) but this statement from the image gallery pushed me to it:

Vista's Add/Remove Programs panel probably served as the inspiration for Ubuntu's software management console.

This disturbs me as the person who has written the article had not previously used Ubuntu until he/she decided to write this article. Ubuntu, I can firmly say, has been around significantly longer than Vista. Granted he/she could have said the "Windows" Add/Remove.

The section concerning Image-Editing/Picture management being a tie also seems to give more credit to Vista. The fact of having GIMP alone blows vista out of the water let alone the several picture managers available on Ubuntu.

Feisty is neat. (3, Informative)

dc29A (636871) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900923)

I installed Feisty this week and it's the first time I install a Linux distro and everything works. Wireless, Video, everything. Finally restricted codecs, drivers and other restricted software is 2 clicks away. Ubuntu is definitely shaping up to something much more user friendly than other/previous. I didn't had to hack any text files nor recompile anything, VMWare Player installed and 3d driver too with a few clicks.

Re:Feisty is neat. (1)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901263)

On the other hand, I installed Feisty this week on my laptop and had to do some text file hacking to get my built in wireless card working. Specifically I had to blacklist a couple of modules. I only knew how to do this as the problem originally rose with one of the Edgy kernel updates and I'd done a bit of googling to solve it back then. Also susend to RAM fails (the machine doesn't come back from its slumber), but hibernate does work.

All that aside however, I've still spent a lot less time getting everything to my liking than I used to when doing a fresh install of XP. And I'm constantly learning something new...

Not sure how its a tie (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900947)

but the fact that the author complains that their printer requires a special driver lets you know what irks them. I know its a bit fanboi-ish to say that if people think they are equal, then Linux (Ubuntu) wins. The general populace has forced many to believe that Windows *IS* the standard to judge Linux against, and now 'it's a tie' is the verdict. That is clearly a win if you look at it as how the competition shapes up against the Windows flagship.

Personally, I installed Ubuntu 6.x to see how it feels, and I'm pleasantly impressed. A couple of hours and everything I need is working fine (YMMV). I know that most of the users that I help would be good to go with Ubuntu. A great many people don't want or need all that an OS can provide. Hell, some of them probably don't need anything more than email and a browser, but that's another story. I think that Redmond needs to be getting worried soon.

Yeah, here's a bad 50/50 (2, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901131)

On photo editing

"50-50 -- Vista for its Picture Gallery [> F-spot]; Ubuntu for having a better native image editor than Paint."

Now, maybe the Picture Gallery does edge out Fspot (I've never used it, but author says for example bulk import is backgrounded, and tagging scores of pics at once is easier) but is this comparable to how far Paint falls behind the gimp?

Re:Yeah, here's a bad 50/50 (2, Insightful)

jonesy16 (595988) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901345)

It is when you consider how complicated GIMP is to use for someone who has never been exposed to it. Just about anyone can open Paint and figure out how to do basic operations. GIMP, on the other hand, has a very unintuitive interface where almost everything is accomplished through right mouse clicks and floating toolbars. It feels out of place on every desktop, though it might be more intuitive to Photoshop users.

This just in... (2)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900961)

There are pluses and minuses to every OS.

Each user has to decide what is right for his or herself.

Uh-Duuuuuuuuhhh! [digitalpimponline.com]

Re:This just in... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901113)

Agreed. As I've said many times, until Linux reaches the point where you pop in the CD, answer a few questions, and *poof*, most people will continue to use Windows because it happens to be the OS that's on their box currently. Ubuntu is clearly reaching that point and if the comparison is accurate (and we all know that everyone will claim it's not for various reasons), then Vista may have a serious challenger. Mind you, it isn't suddenly going to explode overnight and claim many a Windows box, but it certainly would give users frustrated with Windows an option they didn't have previously. Personally, if I'm the Ubuntu group, I think being tied with Windows is a good thing.

Re:This just in... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901129)

this also just in, microsoft enforces monopoly and prevents users from having a choice by its dealings with the leading perosnal computer manufacturers.

Same old trap (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18900965)

The reviewer constantly falls into the same old trap of basing their comments of Ubuntu on how "Windows like" the particular feature is. At that point it's pretty obvious that Windows itself will always win if you're going to use it as the yard stick to measure all others. This isn't a review of both OSes, it's a comparison of Ubuntu to Vista. Take the conclusion for "Software Installation" as an example:

It's a tie. Both operating systems show much the same centralization and efficiency in dealing with applications, protocols, and programs.

Come again? Vista has nothing like the Ubuntu software repository. Just because the two look a little similar in the screen shots doesn't make them the same.

Ho hum. It tries to be balanced, bless it, but its clear the reviewer is just going to go back to using Windows once it's all done. It fails it.

Re:Same old trap (1)

fanpoe (598824) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901219)

Along with comments, in a review about Ubuntu 7.04, along the lines of "some people had problems with this in version 6.10"!

Where are the comments saying well I managed this in Vista but some people couldn't in XP?"

Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900967)

Before we get a bunch of people chiming in to say "but XXXXX is easy in ubuntu, you just open a terminal and type..."

I KNOW.

But the audience this is intended for has no intention of using a terminal. Broadly speaking, they are of the opinion that desktop computing should be easy enough that any idiot can do it without having to spend ages learning the nuances of some command you type in.

They are of this opinion thanks to 20 years of GUI R&D in home computing, from the earliest Apple ][ right the way up to Vista today. That's the whole point of the GUI. You don't have to like it, but at least accept that a lot of people do.

As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (1, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901107)

Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

I think that an OS should be intuitive, and require as little expertise as possible to use.

The problem with Linux is that it is impossible to get it to do what you want without some serious tweaking, and that usually requires you to either type something in a terminal or edit a file. As long as that is the case, Windows will always be considered superior just because of the ease of use.

It's not the fact that my grandma can use it, it's the fact that my grandma can *install* and use it that's important to me (or at least that I can guide her through the phone). Linux cannot yet do that effectively.

I do not use desktops and own only notebooks - it's hell getting things to work in Linux. Want the widescreen resolution? Wireless? Sound? Video card? USB? Firewire? That printer? At least a few of those would require me to tweak the system to make things work, if at all. At that point, I give up. It's not because I cannot but because I do not want to.

The system should never mess up to the point that I will have to open terminal and do something. Or require that I know even a single shell command to make things work. The moment that happens, it just isn't really user-friendly. It's geek-friendly, but not friendly enough for the common person to use it.

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901267)

Have you even used Ubuntu? You keep saying Linux can't do this.. and it can't do that.. Sure Linux doesn't do these things by default, because Linux is just a kernel.

Simply put, virtually everything you can do in Windows without special programs or special programming experience you can do in Ubuntu from the GUI. The only thing I can think of that this is not true of is the shadow backup in Vista that is mentioned. It would defiantly be a nice feature, and it can be added. And the idea that Ubuntu or other distros won't eventually is short sighted.

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (3, Insightful)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901337)

it is impossible to get it to do what you want without some serious tweaking, and that usually requires you to either type something in a terminal or edit a file.

I humbly disagree.

You can edit files if you want, but you dont' usually have to. The Windows equivalent is editing the registry. What, you've never had to tweak some obscure registry setting to make things work 100%?!

It's not the fact that my grandma can use it, it's the fact that my grandma can *install* and use it that's important to me (or at least that I can guide her through the phone). Linux cannot yet do that effectively.

So, your grandmother cannot install Linux. Not news. But she can install Windows?! Or does she just use what she gets with her PC and what is provided her by her techie granddaughter? I would suspect the latter rather than the former.

it's hell getting things to work in Linux.

How many notebooks have you installed retail Windows on? It's not a valid to compare OEM-customized Windows to vanilla Linux.

Want the widescreen resolution? Wireless? Sound? Video card? USB? Firewire? That printer? At least a few of those would require me to tweak the system to make things work, if at all.

Funny that, it works 100% with me out of the box for the last three releases of Ubuntu (well, I had to use the GUI printer manager to make the printer work, because it's a networked printer and so ubuntu can't just detect it as it would the dwl-g650 or other attached device). Maybe you're still stuck in 1993?

The system should never mess up to the point that I will have to open terminal and do something.

I totally agree with this statement and would add that no system should ever mess up to the point where you have to boot into safe mode or tweak registry keys. Unfortunately, stuff does screw up and you do have to fix it, be it commandline or obscure registry keys.

The moment that happens, it just isn't really user-friendly.

Indeed, Windows is not ready for the desktop!

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (1)

certain death (947081) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901365)

Geez! You are right...why should ANYONE have to know what the fuck they are doing in order to use a computer!!! Fucking n00b!!!

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (2, Insightful)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901163)

As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.
And that's why Ubuntu doesn't require that!

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (2, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901169)

As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.

Have you even used Ubuntu, or any Linux distro from the last few years? In Ubuntu I open the Applications menu and find a GUI tool to install and remove software that actually can install software as advertised (contrary to the Windows version which in fact can only reinstall or remove)

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901389)

You're right, but you're not addressing the point.

The point isn't that Ubuntu doesn't allow people to do those tasks without a terminal window; the point is what whenever somebody brings up a shortcoming in Linux (regardless of what it is!) the stock answer from the Slashdot crowd is: "oh, you're an idiot, that's easy, you just type cat sudo touch yada."

What he's saying is that if there is no solution that doesn't involved a terminal session (which occurs frequently in Ubuntu from my experience-- try getting a Hauppauge PVR-250 card, or a AirPort Express card working without one!), then the response should be more along the lines of: "you're right, there's room for improvement there."

The people saying it can be done miss the point; if a user can't figure out how to do something that "something", for all practical purposes, does not exist. Having a feature is no good if nobody can use it, which is why usability is of prime importance when designing any system you expect to be used interactively.

Microsoft redesigned the Office interface because most of their feature requests were for features Office already had... but people couldn't find those features, and so they thought they did not exist. The open source world should be following that example. Anytime you say "it's easy, you just have to type..." you should instead say, "hey, let's write that into the control panel interface so people don't have to type it." Isn't that what the spirit of open source is all about?

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901243)

I suppose so, but it's not really that the command line is insurmountably difficult, it's just ominous as all fuck. Monotype, blinking cursor, commands that are total gibberish at first, etc. For those who want to learn, it becomes very easy to use very quickly, and those who don't want to learn will most likely have a guide who feeds them instructions while giving the occasional "I know it looks scary but it's not going to break anything." The latter solution ain't perfect, but it's being worked on. Ubuntu has sure as hell made great strides in that department, and the Migration Assistant just blew me away. To be fair, as a fairly advanced user, I haven't had to touch the command line for anything basic since Edgy's release. Anything advanced is in the terminal simply out of convenience, but I'm sure there's some GUI element out there for whatever I want to do. Don't mistake that for a badly-designed UI, though, whenever I know exactly what I want it's always going to be easier in a terminal.

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (5, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901307)

As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.
People usually suggests apt-get because it is faster to describe, but there is nothing you can do with apt-get that you cannot do with Synaptics using only GUI and point and click. Only that its description would be "Click on System->Administration->Synaptics Package Manager. Type your password. Click OK. Click on search and type <name of package>. Press OK. Click on the little square next to <name of package> and mark it. Click Apply. Click OK." That's way harder than "click on Applications->Accessories->Terminal. type 'sudo apt-get install <name of package>' without the quotes. Press Enter. type your password. press Y. Press Enter"

Anyway, the kind of people that would need this amount of details is the same people (and I telling that by personal experience, I performed help desk duties on my former programming job) that would need instructions like this, to install a typical setup.exe: "Open the Windows Explorer. No, not the Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer. Click on Start, Programs, Windows Explorer. Can't find it? Press the key with Windows Logo and "E" simulaneously. GO to C:\Program Files\<My Company Name>. How? Click on the little cross next to the folder called C:. Then click Program Files. Tell it to show the content of this folder anyway. Click on <My Company Name>. Double click setup.exe. Click on Next, select I Agree and click Next, Next, Next, Finish"

It took quite a time for the average people to get used to the Next->I Agree->Next->Next->Next->Finish kind of installation, and now it is muscular memory, a simply reflex on most Windows users memory. They don't even read the fine print anymore, and that explains how a lot of people got/get spyware installed along with Kazaa and alike (die Bonzy Buddy, die!). Given enough time, new migrated ubuntu users will get used to synaptics, and "Add and Remove Programs" (that is even easier than Synaptics) and, if the right wind blows, even eventually opening the terminal and making things much easier for them (and for us poor technical people too).

As soon as you say "Open regedit", you've lost. (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901333)

Windows beats Linux for usability for your grandma and your 14 year old niece.
Linux beats Windows for power users.

Can we move on?

Re:As soon as you say "Open regedit", you've lost. (2, Insightful)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901449)

Actually, I would wager that it's very much the other way 'round: Windows is best for the power user (who is generally used to Windows and knows all of its little quirks and tricks and would have to relearn these on another OS). Linux is best for the highly advanced user (who can tweak it as much as they want) or for the beginner user (who just clicks and takes what they're given, because they don't have much to relearn). The main problem is 1) software support and 2) hardware support (especially vendor-customized installations which can work around the quirks and breakage of each individual piece), which is due to market inertia (i.e. Windows is 95% of the desktop market), not innate superiority or inferiority of the platform. Of course, if Windows were not a monopoly, then even the power users would like linux, since they'd already be familiar with it, not Windows.

Re:Can we just deal with the obvious trolls now? (1)

Stamen (745223) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901353)

>>"As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost."

Um no, go the "start menu" like thingy in the upper right called "Applications", select "Add/Remove...", select the software you want to install (with categories, ratings, and description), then click ok.

So I like Tetris, so I go up into Applications, look in Games, and I don't see it there (Mahjong and Sudoku are there, however, which is cool). So I look around and I see Add/Remove, I click on that, a list comes up with a Games category. I look in there and find a few Tetrises. I find one that is highly rated, click ok, then apply. It asks me for my password, for security reasons, then installs. Then I go up into Applications, look in Games, and it is there.

So what exactly is the process for my grandmother to install her favorite game on Vista?

Apple II had a GUI, really?

HP are blameless (1)

glas_gow (961896) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900973)

I was using the HP LaserJet 1000, which uses a non-standard protocol that had to be reverse-engineered by Linux users to make it useable in that OS. [ . . . ] I had to dig around in the Ubuntu wiki for information, then download and compile a properly-updated set of drivers before I could print. Vista, by contrast, simply used the existing XP drivers provided by Hewlett-Packard (since no Vista drivers are available). [ . . . ] I give the Ubuntu (and Linux) people points for completeness, but I have to retract them for the sheer aggravation required to get it working.

Damn those linux people for not reverse engineering HP drivers into a more user-friendly package.

He is not assigning blame (1)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901299)

When he says he is retracting the points, he is not blaming Ubuntu, He is just saying the distro loses points because getting the printer working was a complete bitch. Getting my Laptops wireless card working in Ubuntu was a PITA too. I know who's fault it is, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier, because I don't care whos fault it is, I just want it to work.

Every time someone says "X hardware doesn't work under Linux" we get a dozen comments explaining how that's not Linux's fault, which completely misses the point. No one outside of Slashdot cares in the slightest why it's broken. If X works in windows but not in Linux, then for people who require X Windows is better than Linux. That's why I'm so happy Dell are going to start shipping Linux PC's. Dell do like to sell you a lot of extras when you buy a PC (TV card, printer, digital camera), and Dell has the muscle to pressure the manufactures of those devices to create linux drivers and software that "just works", and they'll do it because Dell is a big enough customer that it's worth their while.

Re:HP are blameless (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901413)

Dear Diary,

Some days I really wish I had mod points. Even if I did have them today I would be torn. "Insightful" for the Karma? "Funny" because, well damn, it made me laugh?


You have a big win from me today. There's some great info on the Ubuntu forums about which hardware manufacturers have the best Linux support. http://www.ubuntuforums.org/ [ubuntuforums.org]

(While Ubuntu++ Vista) (3, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 6 years ago | (#18900981)

Frankly, I don't understand what the problem here is: I pop in an Ubuntu CD, hit yes, yes, yeah, sure, why not, and bam! A Working desktop. Not only that, but I can use the LiveCD for web browsing or what have you while the install is going. No dice for Vista (AFAIK).

Ubuntu recognizes all of my hardware at boot (and I have some rather odd hardware on top of it). No hunting down drivers from a now defunct company, or having to sell my sou^H^H^H^H^H^H^H register to a website that says they have the driver, only to find out they were lying.

Linux has all the security of Vista, minus the UAC.

Ubuntu may not have user-friendly backup out of the box (I wouldn't know, I use ssh+rsync), but the repositories for it have a plethora of options that are free.

And if you are in it for teh shiney!!1!!!!111oneoneone, then Ubuntu can cater (at least on a basic level) with its desktop effects. On top of that, you get immediate (or as near as can be) security updates, and even better a method to upgrade (quite flawlessly, from my experience) to the next version.

Oh yeah, ummm, Ubuntu = free (as in beer, choice, and ideology), Windows = $$$+DRM.

So, why the fence sitting?

Re:(While Ubuntu++ Vista) (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901143)

I wanna change, but I probably spend more time playing games (on XP, not going for Vista, until Direct x10 is near standard) than anything else. This article is obviously geared towards different priorities, but there are reasons (if very few for a certain one) for each OS.

I would be interested in switching to some form of Linux on my work-priority Tablet PC. Are there any flavors that support tablet-laptop hybrids atleast as well as XP tablet edition?

Re:(While Ubuntu++ Vista) (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901265)

Linux has all the security of Vista, minus the UAC.

If you want a secure Linux, you do need the equivalent of UAC - sudo.

Re:(While Ubuntu++ Vista) (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901415)

So, why the fence sitting?

I think it was reviewing both purely on a practical basis (i.e., "can both OSes do this? Which one does it better?") without any philosophy or question of cost getting in the way. Doing so puts them on equal footing and no "well, it doesn't do this as well, but hey, it's free" rationalizing occurs. If anything, this review just strengthens the point that Ubuntu is just a hair away from a free total replacement for non-gamers (or not-too-selective gamers).

Re:(While Ubuntu++ Vista) (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901435)

you want the ooo shiney!! setup Beryl (http://www.beryl-project.org/)
Then you can have the shiney, wigglely, bendy, fill in word ending in 'e' here)

It take a little bit of editing your xorg.conf file but I got it running on ubuntu fiesty with an ati card to boot. And I am a linux noob. There are a few walk through on the beryl site for those interested.

Bias (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901009)

Ubuntu wins in the Office category because it comes with OO.org, but you'd have to add it to Vista after install.
It's a tie in the multimedia category despite the Ubuntu codecs having to be added after install.

And there are more instances of such inconsistencies.

Do I detect the hint of bias?

[Of course this has to be modded down on Slashdot......]

Re:Bias (2, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901235)

It's a tie in the multimedia category despite the Ubuntu codecs having to be added after install.

Last time I checked, XP could not even play avi files using the DivX codecs (i.e., 90% of P2P) without hunting down a codec package. Media Player just said "can't find codec". Has this changed in Vista? Because In Ubuntu 7.04 it certainly is automatic.

Re:Bias (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901481)

Ubuntu wins in the Office category because it comes with OO.org, but you'd have to add it to Vista after install.

I vote Windows wins because you CAN install MS Office very easily without trying to figure out how the heck to get Wine working.

OO still falls behind MS Office in a few important respects IMO, though it is catching up fast. (Though I haven't tried MS Office 2007 either, so I can't comment on the merits/dismerits of its new UI.)

Shadow copy vs. LVM snapshot (1)

undertow3886 (605537) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901011)

Ubuntu may not have something called "shadow copy", but if you use LVM, you can create snapshots to get the same effect. I don't know if the Ubuntu installer lets you install to LVM partitions, but it's definitely possible with Linux. It's how I do my backups.

That is not the correct conclusion (5, Informative)

schabot (941087) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901017)

The verdict is: 'a tie, but only because both platforms fall short in some ways. Vista's roster of backup features aren't available in every SKU of the product; Ubuntu doesn't have anything like Vista's shadow copy system and its user-friendly backup tools are pretty rudimentary.'"

This is only the conclusion for the backup portion of the review. I looks like the submitter didn't make it to the last page. The actual conclusion?:

Ubuntu's best strength is handling the ordinary task-based day-to-day stuff. Vista has a level of completeness and polish that some people find it hard to do without.

Headline sounded more interesting than article (4, Funny)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901023)

I half expected to see the Ubuntu and Vista development teams engaged in some sort of firefight -- blood, gore, explosions, and the like. Imagine my disappointment.

It all depends really (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901057)

Right now it really depends on the expertise of the users. The Granny test as it were, is vital to the expansion of Linux from the hobbyist/geek ranks. More and more, computers are sold as appliances to people with little understanding other than the net is cool. To these people, a command line is an anathema. Compiling source code, hell.

Those people are where the expansion of Linux will ultimately come. While that may make us geeks gnash ("lazy stupid people hate command lines!"), the Granny principle is what has allowed the Wii to outsell everything else of the new generation consoles. Yes, the price of the Wii is cheaper, but Linux is free.

The article is also right about compiling source code to install a program. That has to go if you want mass penetration. If mass penetration is not wanted, then it is time to stop talking Linux on the desktop. Ubuntu is a step in the right direction, but it is only a step.

Re:It all depends really (1)

fanpoe (598824) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901303)

What does the average user need that requires configuration file editing or source code compilation in Ubuntu?

I installed Kubuntu 7.04 on my machine this week and the only thing for which I had to edit configuration files was Apache. Your average user doesn't need Apache.

When I do my wife's machine tomorrow I fully expect it to be 100% point and click

Commenters so far are missing the point (5, Insightful)

Jim Morash (20750) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901073)

A tie! This is a big frickin' deal, people! Remember "Linux will never work on the desktop"? And now quasi-mainstream press says it's just as good as Windows Vista?

The Ubuntu team should be very proud.

Aero vs. Beryl, Similar? (4, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901097)

I was tempted to compare Vista's Aero interface to the Beryl window manager (which has a similar palette of visual effects)

If the author means that Beryl has all the same effects that Aero does, then I'd agree. But if he's implying that Aero has all the visual effects that Beryl has, he's lost his f-ing mind.

Re:Aero vs. Beryl, Similar? (2, Insightful)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901347)

Can Linux nerds everywhere stop overselling Beryl? Please? Because let's face it--it's a work in progress, and up until this moment it seems to have been more about useless desktop chrome--ooh, look BURNING WINDOWS, BITCHES!--than about a stable, usable working environment.

I'm a Linux user and I resent all the Beryl desktop ricers out there. New users who have no clue about how their system works should not be converted to a new OS because of a admittedly Beta-class desktop bling.

Beryl and its kind aren't bad per se. They just aren't ready for prime-time. I'd still direct new users to GNOME/Metacity or KDE/kwin.

Games - Its a tie (1)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901119)

Its a tie, given the fact that Vista doesn't run as many games and legacy apps/software as XP does. That could quickly change though, when SP1 for Vista is rolled out and/or once the next few updates of Wine come out.

Re:Games - Its a tie (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901379)

Vista has been chugging out the compatibility updates for lots of very popular applications.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932246 [microsoft.com]
This is onlyt the March update and many more to come; now compare that list to Ubuntu and how many it can run of all those.

A tie = a win for Ubuntu at the corporate level. (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901123)

Seriously. Because Vista is a horrible upgrade if you can do it at all, a memory hog, more open to virus attacks, etc., and expensive to boot. Contrast with the Linux memory model which is much cleaner, less open to attacks, and hello -- you can install it on multiple machines with one CD. Vs. the per seat model favored by M$. Consider that just our medium size IT department would have to spend $20K+ to upgrade to Vista, not counting any new machines where older machines can't support it -- vs. the cost of one Ubuntu install per workstation type, burn the correct images, and begin the migration process. Of course it is not so easy given all the documents extant in the company, but $20K can buy a lot of migration scripts.

Maybe the Ubuntu folks will finally end up (with Apple) being the David that finally bring downs Goliath for good.

This crap from Newsweek? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901149)

This is supposed to be a news source, or a blog? The author says right up front that he is "a big fan of Vista," and I don't recall a journalist ever saying outright thathe has a preference for one side of a story. Also, note the Ubuntu and Vista logos. The Ubuntu logo looks like he scanned it with a sheet of toilet paper between the scanner and the page. The Vista logo, however, looks perfect. I also find it funny how half of the author's tests end up in a tie, including the Last Word. If the author is so indecisive, then maybe doing product comparisons should not be his field.

7.04 or 6.10? (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901245)

The reviewer keeps commenting 'but Ubuntu 6.10 doesn't do this'.

I'm getting the impression he cut and pasted his review of U6.10 vs Vista rc 1 from late last year...

Justin.

I am running both of them... (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901257)

I am running both of them, switching for time to time, since I have to build the software. But then just shutdown Parallels and back to work on my iMac... I do prefer Linux/Unix over Windows, though I have to say that still the winner is... OSX due to *how things fits together* in that simple way. Hope that one day Gnome/KDE people will pay attention on that.

My favorite line (2, Interesting)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901269)

"Ubuntu's best strength is handling the ordinary task-based day-to-day stuff. Vista has a level of completeness and polish that some people find it hard to do without."

That is the author's final conclusion. But, but, that says that Linux works better for everyday computer users, and Windows is full of the "polish" that "some people" enjoy. I find it odd that the author, as a self-professed Vista fan, would give these definitions. I thought that the draw of Windows was that it "just worked" and people would make the switch if Linux supported all their "day-to-day stuff". You heard it here folks! Linux's time has arrived!

Feisty looks pretty keen, I'll have to see about upgrading my Edgy box.

ubuntu (1)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901271)

i installed ubuntu last night on my laptop. i'm pretty impressed. tho it was a hassle getting direct rendering going, i can let that go since it's an ATI card, and a laptop. nonetheless, it works. it automatically downloads the divx codec; on windows i had to go out and find the installer and run it. my movies play, no problem. it doesn't look half bad either, tho i think i'd prefrer the xfce desktop to the gnome one.

it also didn't use the pretty graphical installer, once again - probably due to the age of my laptop. the curses based one worked just fine.

Biased (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901273)

The summary states both OSs are a tie but I've totalled up the points and Windows wins. Just another example of the huge Linux bias on Slashdot; while sometimes it's deserved (no, I'm not an MS fanboy) the editors usually try and alter a summary to put Linux in a more favourable light.

Feature Wars (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901297)

Dang -- this is the first big "feature war" review I've seen since MS wiped out the office-suite competition in the early 90s.

Arguably feature wars are bad for the state of the art since they favor disorganized shopping-list programming rather than coherent (**cough** Apple **cough**) design, but at least they beat stagnation.

This could be fun. On the one hand, MS is the past master of adding checklist features to bulk up for these kinds of review. On the other, it's hard to crank features faster than a swarm of geeks.

Apt inspiration (1)

paltemalte (767772) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901331)

From the article: "Vista's Add/Remove Programs panel probably served as the inspiration for Ubuntu's software management console."

So it was Windows Vistas add/remove program panel that inspired the Debian team to develop Apt years ago! I always did wonder where they got the idea for building a package manager.

Ubuntu indeed should have won (1)

reddcell (1044072) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901351)

In my opinion, vista should have been blown out of the water for the simple fact that file management in Vista is bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeding slow. You can judge by my over use of the 'e' that its extreme. : )

no mention of virii or phishing .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901385)

'There are still too many places where you have to drop to a command line'

For the average user there is never a need to invoke the command line. They browse, email and edit documents and view/listen to multimedia.

'Ubuntu's best strength is handling the ordinary task-based day-to-day stuff. Vista has a level of completeness and polish that some people find it hard to do without''

The average user can't tell the difference between the Vindows GUI and a Linux desktop.

'download and compile source code''

Using the default updater and you never get to see source code, unless you are trying to install some obscure application that don't come with the distro.

Ahh... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901407)

So, when Leopard w/TimeMachine hits, this backup heat will be covered and everyone can get on with life...? Finally :)

Package Management (1)

bwbadger (706071) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901425)

Something that Ubuntu (and most other distros) should get a big credit for is package management. It's not just about adding and removing programs, it's about having a coherent universe of packages which are all managed and patched in a consistent way. By missing this the reviewer did Ubuntu a great disservice.

Not to change the parameters of the comparison, (2, Insightful)

ChrTssu (821400) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901443)

but shouldn't Ubuntu win out, all other things being equal, simply because it's free (as in beer)? Come on, last time I checked, not too many people (that I know, anyway) could afford a fully-enabled Vista ($400 retail), but everyone can afford a fully-enabled Ubuntu ($0 via ShipIt).

Summary is wrong, and this magazine sucks. (1)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#18901461)

Backup wasn't weighted any heavier than the other sections in this subjective, unsubstantiated, OSNews-quality "analysis" that IW put out. The article was more of the same "linux gets the job done, but windows is more polished" crap.

Did anyone else get the issue where they trumpet their bold move toward the internet? I'm glad in my heart that they couldn't afford to continue printing their trash mag, but we can all now look forward to more "anonymous readers" spamming slashdot, digg, and other sites with links to Information Week's quasi-journalism. Just FYI.

Also, when did the "SKU" fad start? Seriously. Why was the word "versions" not used there? What about "offerings"? I understand IW writers using it, because of their desperate need to sound enterprisey, but other people have been using it too. On the bright side, they managed to get through a whole article without gibbering about "service-oriented architecture," so maybe they are improving.
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