It's official: we love Windows 7

Microsoft

This might be a strange thing to hear on a Linux website, but it's true: we're big fans of Windows 7. Is it because of the new features? Is it because of the new user interface? Is it because of the blazing speed vs Vista? Is it because it's anything but Vista? The answer is "no" to all those.

Instead, we love Windows 7 because it seems to be providing Linux with a massive PR boost and indeed may well backfire on Microsoft - people are more curious than ever about how Linux stacks up against Windows 7. Read on for more information...

Fact: in the last 48 hours since Windows 7 launched, traffic to some of our articles has gone up 400%. No, many more people aren't suddenly looking to learn PHP programming and, no matter how cool our free Linux wallpapers are they aren't suddenly the big draw.

Instead, Google is suddenly driving vast amounts of traffic to two particular pages of ours: Linux vs Windows 7 and Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7. You see, it seems that people who see the big marketing push for Windows 7 aren't all immediately going out and parting with their hard-earned cash.

Instead - perhaps because they like to be informed before making system upgrades, or perhaps just because they were bitten in the past when switching to Vista - they want to see exactly how Windows 7 stacks up against the competition.

So, what it seems people are doing is using Google to do a versus search: Google's Analytics suite tells us that "Ubuntu vs Windows 7" is now one of the top searches for our site, alongside "Windows 7 vs Ubuntu" (they count as different searches), "Vista vs Windows 7", and "Linux vs Windows 7". Yes, "Vista vs Windows 7" really is pulling in huge numbers of visitors to our site, which is incredible - people who had never even considered Linux before are landing here and, all being well, being enlightened that there is an alternative choice out there. TuxRadar is, in fact, the top Google hit for a variety of Linux vs Windows searches.

Perhaps most exciting of all is that our two articles tackle the comparison from two quite different angles. Linux vs Windows 7 goes through the competition blow-by-blow, breaking things down into categories and showing how the two operating systems match up feature by feature.

On the other hand, Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7 is all about numbers, showing in easy-to-read graph form just how efficient Linux is compared to Microsoft's latest efforts.

One of the key reasons why our pages are appearing so high on these search terms is because you folks, our readers, very kindly linked to our articles in your blogs, your Twitter feeds, your IRC chats and more, and Google picks up on all those links and ranks our pages higher.

As a result, all that linkage has turned into an incredible opportunity for Linux evangelism: people who hadn't even considered Linux before are reading about some of the cool things it can do for their computer. And you can bet that if Windows 7 doesn't turn out to be the perfect OS that Microsoft is promising, those same users will at least consider giving Linux a try. Thanks for the links - every one counts.

So, thanks to everyone for linking to our two articles, and please pass on the word: Microsoft's Windows 7 campaign is helping drive Linux evangelism. Thanks, Microsoft!

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Your comments

Cool

Great news, hopefully people will check out a few distros. May be a good time for people to start torrenting the isos for the distros so that the download speeds will be quicker, as I'm sure some people will download linux just to check it out.

It seems vista's had wider ranging consequences than i (at least) thought :-)

Sell

Ultimately, software is about trust.............. Vista damaged that. Official MS spyware added to the damage. Recently, in a thinly veiled but ill advised PR exercise, MS legitimized Linux by contributing to it. All we need is for folks to start asking questions. We have the answers.

Heathen?

Looking at my RSS, I thought you were going to be heathen traitors, as I know you are. But it turns out you're showing us how they've helped us, and by showing us, you're helping them help us more! So let's help them help us help them help us!

Keywords: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, GOOGLE THIS ARTICLE!

I'm installing Windows 7 right now

and on the other PC I've got Karmic downloading. Another exciting Saturday night.

Oh the irony!

I can't find much more delicious irony than this - Windows 7 inadvertently promoting Microsoft's new arch-enemy, Linux.

Great news

At least there is something positive about all this annoying hype. I don't follow the British media well enough, but all the major German papers (and I would say that Linux has a much higher acceptance in Germany than it does in the UK) are writing how fantastic Windows 7 is and how terrible Vista was (I am sure this whole "yes, Vista was bad, mea culpa" thing from MS is another marketing trick to convince Vista users to spend more money).

If other OSs are mentioned, it's usually Mac OS X, and if Linux is mentioned, it is usually to note that Windows 7 is so good on Netbooks that it will kick Linux out of that market (which seems to be the only market where mainstream media takes us seriously).

But if it gets us some attention at least, than thanks to Steve Ballmer!

I've just seen Windows 7 My

I've just seen Windows 7

My wife, who is an absolute computer newbie says it all when we see it :

Windows 7 comes with KDE ?

LOL!!

Now we just need someone with a blog to point this out.

But...

I googled and get an interesting numbers:

windows7 vs mac result: 266,000,000
windows7 vs linux result: 179,000,000
linux vs mac result: 65,000,000

and to knows there has another heavily swallower.

This stupid thing froze on

This stupid thing froze on me when i try to install Marvell Yukon net driver so i just wasted my time didn't i.

Great news, but nothing new.

I'm glad Google's pointing people to Tuxradar, both those articles contained actual information and were about as unbiased as a pro-(one side) site could be, just what people need these days.

Of course, Microsoft-related advertising pushing people to Linux is nothing new: it was Microsoft's software, heavily promoted by an ISP, that originally persuaded me to try Linux in 2001.

Mixed Bag

I've been using linux for a few years now and have always wondered.... Is it really beneficial for more people to switch to linux??? Really? If linux somehow takes the lead and starts dominating the computer world, wouldn't that suddenly put a big crosshair on linux?? Hackers would have a new target.

Someone please fill me in..
Whats the real benefit to get everyone to switch?

To the poster above

I understand what your saying, but there's something your missing. Linux has been in the hackers cross-hairs for a long time. People forget that the desktop market isn't the only one out there. In server markets, Linux does extremely well, and protects an overwhelming amount of sensitive information and power. Its easy to see why when you poke around a Linux system. Mobile devices also do very well with Linux for many reasons. Linux is all around us, even if people don't know. It already has a big cross-hair on it, but the difference is, it has been built from the ground up with security, not as an afterthought. Linux isn't unhackable, but it is exceedingly more difficult to get through a Linux desktop than a Windows desktop.
I know that the user is the weakest link to any desktop, but Linux provides you with more hurdles to jump through to get something nasty into your computer. You have to really be trying to put something into your computer for it to get in, unlike with Windows where you have to always be alert and protective of your computer. I know there's lots of people that have gone Virus free on Windows for a long time, but please don't kid yourself on how easy it is to be infected. With Linux comes security and peace of mind, not fear and uncertainty.

-Jessica-

Sad state of affairs...

... when you have to play off google searches for Windows to boost Linux. Instead of berating Windows or Microsoft, I think it would be better to actually start listening to people who do or wish to use Linux and NOT the developers.

Sadly, the developers of Linux think themselves to better than everyone else and do not wish to listen to problems that are faced in real-world implementations. And this is why Windows actually keeps growing. They do listen, dammit! Even Vista got its act together with SP1 'cos they listened. I really wish the OSS world would look at what people want (not every1 is a wizard at the command line, compiling RPMs/DEBs) and provide easy to understand and actually working operating system for the user. On the server OSS is good, but desktop, it;s pathetic.

@Jessica

OK...Thanks...

Re: Mixed Bag

"If linux somehow takes the lead and starts dominating the computer world, wouldn't that suddenly put a big crosshair on linux?? Hackers would have a new target."

To answer your question: yes, indeed, Linux would certainly be a target. But guess what? It already has been a target all along. You see, somewhere around 60% of the websites you visit on the internet are served to you by Linux-based servers. Script kiddies and other assorted ne'er-do-wells would LOVE to be able to brag about pwning an enterprise-level machine even more than your desktop. So now you have to ask yourself: why hasn't this happened more often, since these machines are so high-profile?

I'm not going to get into too much detail (way beyond the scope of this post), but let's just say that Linux (as well as *BSD) computers tend to be very, very harsh environments for malware in the first place. Most flavors of Windows, until very recently) were never designed out-of-the-box to be multi-user systems; security was pretty much an afterthought, and it showed.

And, if that doesn't convince you, then take a look at the EULA (End User License Agreement) which comes as part of every piece of proprietary software you've ever purchased. It's a long, boring slog to read, but the software manufacturers are counting on that. You would be (not pleasantly) surprised to discover just how many restrictions and conditions are placed on your use of the software you *thought* you bought. According to most of these companies, you didn't actually buy the software; instead, you simply purchased the right to use it. The manufacturers often reserve the right to do some (IMHO) sneaky stuff and, by installing and using said software, YOU AGREED TO IT. That's right: you basically agreed to be told how, when, where and why you can use that software that you *think* you own.

In the Linux world OTOH it doesn't work like that. The belief there is that YOU own your computer, and YOU own the software in it. YOU determine how that software is used - not some 3rd-party conglomerate trying to use some backdoor loophole void your rights as a computer user and owner (BTW, this is what "Free" really means when we talk about "Free Software".

And *that* is the real benefit to switching.

My 7 was Vista

When Vista came out, I wasnt going to upgrade my desktop or the kids old one or our two laptops so I gave Linux another shot.
I had tried Red Hat 6.1 because I was impressed that my buddy could burn a cd and do something else on his computer but it wasnt ready.

I tried it again about 4-5 yrs ago and while better, it wasnt ready.

Vista gave me another reason to give Linux another go.

So I tried Linux again then and ..... hated it with a passion. Linux was ugly with weird fonts and a Mac fetish, it looked like an uglier Win95.
Then I discovered that there was more than one desktops option and fell in love with PCLinuxOS2007 and KDE3.
It just worked, the wifi and all.

Havent looked back since and now am rocking Mandriva w/KDE4.3 a few other XCFE distros for our older computer.

We bought since then a Linux netbook (switchign the DellBuntu for Kubuntu 9.04) and another Linux laptop.

XP is virtualized for 2 PC games the kids like and we havent turned back.
Microsoft is but a distant memory and now I know enough thanks to the great Mandriva community that Ive installed not only our computers but those of both sets of grandparents and 3 aunts/uncles with Linux.

Vista was the best thing that ever happened to Linux and I have no doubt that Vista 7 will be the same (Ive run the v7.RC and use Vista at work so Im not clueless) now.

Many people have asked me the past few weeks about whether they should buy Vista 7 and all have received a free Live CD. Half of those people have agreed to let me install Mandriva/Kubuntu as a dual boot (alhtough Kubuntu should be embarassed at still using the ugly DOS option box which can be scary for newbies when other distros have done nicer things with it the past 2 years. User friendly? Not.) on their computer because, you know.... Im a Linux expert ;-)

Its nice to see the same old paranoia from Windows users who feel the need to talk about Linux needing command line and have to compile. Total rubbish.
My folks are in their 70s and use it with no problem. My father is pissed that we didnt do this earlier (but I explained him the quality of the desktop has grown amazingly these past 4-5 yrs.).
So the 'hard to use' is garbage and if the author needs I have a 7 yr old and a 77yr old who can teach them computer basics.

So thanks Vista for setting me free (and my wallet) and helping me be green and bring life to old hardware. Thanks for giving me my free time back when it was mostly used to fix relatives computers which was usually virus/malware related. Thanks for getting me out of taht whole anti-virus game.

And let's hope your gussied up SP2 version called 7 does the same for others.

In the words of the great Ray Charles: "Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more"

No one will beat Microsoft

No one will beat Microsoft starting from the desktop. Windows is for running and connecting to other MS products.

When the Linux community foolishly went Ubuntu crazy and stopped promoting the platform as a Server product,it was over.Down came the FUD "Get the facts" site. The purchasing of interest in Linux based companies, the threats of suing businesses using it for IP infringement stopped.

Microsoft quietly filled in the holes in their server product with SharePoint and unifying accounting software under Dynamics etc...

Sorry. Missing out on the opportunity the Vista fiasco gave us, followed up with missing the advantage the economic meltdown handed us to show significant savings on seat and server licenses has pretty much made it game over.

When you consider how a corporate desktop would have familiarized consumers with Linux and lessened the issue of not coming preinstalled, it's worse.

Windows 7

Hi All,
Well the kind of article this is - can be found in large quantity on net.
There is something missing the point completely.
We all should understand that windows 7 is a good step it is not revolutionary but evolutionary and whether the MS haters like it or not - its going to be a success - people don't care about benchmarks a lot (except few of us).
I am also a linux user but i am open to all OS's.
There are good and bad points for every OS and so linux and MS both has got its share of good's and bad.
But the point here is -- "benefit to linux" which people are talking is not going to happen as it is just targeting < 5% users - and not point talking about servers since most of don't use one.
We should promote linux but on the other hand learn to appreciate the good things other OS/companies have.
As pointed above its still on between MAC and Windows
check the comment from this discussion :-
I googled and get an interesting numbers:

windows7 vs mac result: 266,000,000
windows7 vs linux result: 179,000,000
linux vs mac result: 65,000,000

Linux users keep cribbing about how bad windows is -- and "free as is free whatever" point is not effective since people don't mind paying if something works for them -- usually termed as "value for money".
Think about it.
Benefit to this site yes -- good since i love this site :)

mmm

@Sad state of affairs...

rubbish I have never repeat never had to compile anything in linux.

@No one will beat Microsoft Aquaadverse

no one is trying to beat Microsoft Linux has momentum and that is all it needs now.

@Windows 7 Rohan Golwalkar
yip mostly agree well said, we should just get on and enjoy what we like be it Linux windows Mac or whatever.

Windows7sp0

Staying with my tweaked XP for practical reasons until ~2015. (a year after Microsoft stops the updates)
XP works good enough and people want things to work like
they are used to.
They dont want to hear the word Vista nor Ubuntu nor
Mac nor Windows7. XP is what they have learned and it was
a hard lesson that alot of time and effort went into it.

My goal however, is to find a Linux that works soo good
that it actually rightfully can replace XP.
Xubuntu perhaps.

Once that switch is made, no one will go back to Windows.
Ever.

(Microsoft knows this, but thier greed for quick money
will bring Windows to it's end)

You need to include Ubuntu 9.10 and Kubuntu

For the improvement in boot time alone, you need to include Ubuntu/Kubuntu 9.10 in your comparisons.

Also, some parity for mentioning Kubuntu wouldn't hurt. For a Windows user, Kubuntu is probably closer to what they are used to, and Kubuntu brings some great applications such as digikam, amarok, k3b, gwenview, krita, dolphin, etc. Also, now that Kubuntu 9.10 now features KDE integration for Firefox and OpenOffice.org as well as theme support for gtk applications in general, it is possibly the better choice for an introduction to Linux for Windows users.

butt .... ....

google this one
mac vs money in my pocket
mac wins by knock out !!!!!

A better theory

Pure speculation.

A better theory? Linux zealots, jealous as a little girl who didn't get the pony she wanted for Christmas, are upset that Microsoft has released a new OS to the world. What to do? Look up some biased articles to help convince themselves that Linux is the superior choice in every way and they are smart for using it.

It's boggles my mind how people will pervert reality to match their own world-view. Humanity is a sad spectacle sometimes. The nature of Linux zealots is the NUMBER ONE reason I want nothing to do with Linux. I live by the old saying, "You are only as good as the company you keep."

@Yonah

So you are upset by linux zealots and then you call them "little girls"? This makes you different how? You really seem to have streamlined your worldview...

I guess it must be the year

I guess it must be the year of the Linux desktop again!

Seriously, give it up already. Windows is now more than good enough (quite good actually), Linux is still for servers and a joke on the desktop. Wake up.

OS and Autos

Look how long it took for Asian Automakers to bettor the American Automakers in the states. Such will be the way of Linux over other OS in time.

If you run into problems on Linux

Yeah... when you get stuck on Linux, I betcha Linux enthusiasts will resort to their holy command line! We're living in the 2010s, the command line was made for 1970s and 80s hippies!

Command line

The command line rules.
GUIs write command lines for the illiterate.

dooshbags

hoo gives a flying #uck

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