Linux vs Windows 7

Linux

It's something of a tradition that we pit the latest version of Windows against our trusty old operating system. This isn't because we want to raise the profile of Windows, or ignite further flamewars on which is better or worse. It's about understanding the market and understanding the competition. Microsoft Windows is by far the most dominant operating system on the planet, and as Linux users, we need to keep on top of new developments, new technologies and new ideas. This gives Linux the best possible chance to grow and remain relevant.

So, if you read our benchmarks comparing Windows 7, Vista and Ubuntu and are looking to find out more on what separates Windows 7 and Linux on the features front, read on...

Linux vs Windows 7

Both operating systems now occupy a distinctly different part of the market. Microsoft has taken Windows down a purely proprietary route, forging relationships with content providers and hardware vendors that keep full control from the user. Linux is completely open. Out of the box, Linux even boasts better media format support than Windows, and it can be the only way to run older hardware at its fullest potential, especially if there isn't a new driver for Windows 7.

Forewarned is forarmed

Over the life span of Windows 7, public concern for privacy, digital rights management and locked-in upgrades should help Linux to grow as an alternative when users want to keep complete control over their own hardware and software. Microsoft is now operating in a considerably different, and more technologically aware, environment than nine years ago when Windows XP was released.

The European Commission has spent a lot of time, effort and money hounding Microsoft for its alleged anti-competitive behaviour and this is going to have an impact on Windows 7 in Europe, as well as the user's awareness of the issues surrounding choice and bundling. Many average Windows users, for instance, were unaware that Internet Explorer was only one option for browsing the world wide web. Thanks to the European Commission, When Windows 7 is released in Europe it won't feature any browser at all, and for the first time, Windows users will have to make a choice about what they want to install. And making choices can get addictive.

Round 1: Performance

Much has been said about the various performance improvements in Microsoft's next operating system. After the apparent gluttony of Vista hardware requirements, Microsoft has tried to make sure that as many people as possible could attend the upgrade party. Many benchmarks have put Windows 7 performance ahead of both XP and Vista, and we saw some improvements over Vista when we initially benchmarked the open beta earlier in the year.

But when we compared the 64-bit version of Windows 7 against its equivalent Ubuntu release, Linux was faster on most of the tests we ran, including boot time, shutdown time and most of the filesystem tests. The only test where Windows 7 was significantly faster than everything else was the Richards benchmark of overall system performance.

Amount of time taken to execute the Python Richards benchmark. Measured in milliseconds; less is better.

Four months later we performed some of the same tests again, this time pitting the most recent 64-bit Linux distribution (Fedora 11) against the Windows 7 release candidate (build 7100). The most dramatic results for Linux were seen on boot speed, which for the final release of Ubuntu Jaunty measured around 35 seconds, with Fedora 11 close on its heels taking 39 seconds from power-on to desktop. Windows 7, by comparison, took almost twice as long, leaving us waiting 69 seconds from power to desktop.

We also found that a default installation of Fedora 11 running the Gnome desktop uses significantly less memory than Windows 7, at only 233MB. Windows uses 458MB, which is nearly twice as much memory.

Compatibility

But benchmarks and system monitoring is only a small part of the story. Every fresh Windows install feels fast and responsive, and it's only after several months' constant use that any weaknesses will begin to show. In the several weeks we've been using Windows 7 alongside our Linux boxes, we found it to be much more stable than XP, and snappier than Vista. We did have one problem with a corrupted filesystem while crash testing the machine with a reset, but as this is pre-release software it wouldn't be fair to criticise Windows 7 until the final version is available.

There's little doubt that Windows 7 is a solid improvement over its predecessor, and we would guess that most Windows users who were previously reluctant to upgrade XP will be happy with Windows 7 running on a new machine. Windows' greatest asset is the variety of software available, and Microsoft is going to offer an XP compatibility mode as an add-on to Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate.

This solution bundles Microsoft's Virtual PC virtualisation software along with a copy and a licence to run XP. It's not native, so it's unlikely to run your favourite games, but it will enable you to run essential XP-only software in a window on your desktop. This stands in stark contrast to the cavalier attitude to backward compatibility that Microsoft took with Vista, and it's a step that's likely to make Windows 7 an essential upgrade for many XP users.

The same isn't quite so true of hardware, which still suffers from Vista's over-zealous attitude towards hardware signing and backwards compatibility. Even if your hardware is capable of running Windows 7 it's unlikely you'll be able to exploit its capabilities unless the officially signed drivers are available for your device. With no DirectX 10 drivers for your graphics card, for example, you won't be able to enable the Aero Glass effects on the desktop, which is one of Windows 7's best features.

Worst of all, you're locked into the resolution data provided by your screen. Our test system uses two 191D cheap screens from Hanns-G. They're perfectly capable devices that work well with Linux, but we wasted days trying every trick we could think of to get them working with Windows 7, and in the end we gave up. If you found Vista's hardware installation frustrating, you're likely to have the same problems with Windows 7.

Performance

Windows 7

  • Better at synthetic benchmarks.
  • Faster transfer of large files.
  • Final version likely to improve.
  • Suspend/resume works!

Linux

  • Faster booting.
  • Less memory usage.
  • Smaller install size.
  • Broader hardware compatibility.

Round 2: Desktop warfare

Despite the hyperbole surrounding performance tuning and increased efficiency, the battleground for success is going to be the desktop. This is where we spend the most time, and it's where small changes can make a massive difference in productivity.

Windows 7 promises big improvements, but at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that very little has changed since the release of Windows XP, which never seems too far beneath the surface. The old device manager, for instance, is identical to the now discontinued version and there are many aspects of the desktop that feel the same. But to give the new desktop a fair crack of the whip, we'll take Microsoft's own list of what's good, and compare that with what Linux has to offer.

New features, according to Microsoft

Top of the list of usability improvements is the new task bar and full-screen previews. It's now easier to add your own applications to the task bar, using a process called 'pinning', and while this has always been possible through the use of the Quick Launch tool, Microsoft is making a big deal out its new easiness, as well as another major addition - larger icons. No, really. Another much-touted usability improvement is the window thumbnail that appears when you hover your mouse cursor over a minimised application.

Each one of these features has been part of the modern Linux desktop for some time. And while features such as the thumbnail preview of an application were initially a cutting-edge part of Compiz, we now take their inclusion on a modern desktop for granted. In KDE 4.2, for example, you get exactly the same task bar functionality, and if you use a cutting-edge distribution such as Fedora 11, you'll get all the latest enhancements.

With the panel in edit mode, right-click on any menu option and you can choose to either add an icon to the desktop or to the desktop panel, and once there you can drag it into a location that most suits you. Adding full-screen preview to your Linux box is also is easy. Either use Compiz on Gnome or enable the desktop effects in KDE to get exactly the same feature, and either panel is far more configurable than the Windows equivalent. The KDE one in particular can be resized, repositioned, re-aligned, set vertical or horizontal and augmented with any number of plasmoid additions.

Both KDE and Gnome users have been able to 'pin' applications and media to the task bar for years.

Both KDE and Gnome users have been able to 'pin' applications and media to the task bar for years.

Jump Lists

Let's see if Windows 7 can catch up in its next new feature - Jump Lists. These are a way to expose certain parts of an application to a menu revealed when you right-click on its launch icon. The most common example is right-clicking on an application to bring up a list of recent files, any of which can be loaded by simply selecting them. There's even an extension for Firefox.

This trick requires some communication between the applications themselves and the window manager, and the non-standard nature of the Linux desktop makes it a difficult feature to emulate. We can't honestly say Jump Lists are a paradigm shift in desktop use, but they're a nice addition, and it can't be long until either the Gnome or KDE developers come up with something similar.

Sticking with desktop usability, Microsoft is keen to show off the new window comparison feature, something it calls 'Snaps'. This is a semi-intelligent window snapping routine that can divide the screen into two and maximises two application windows into each half. Drag a window into one of these snap points, either the top border to maximise the window, or the left and right borders for a 50% view, and the window resizes.

While the average Linux desktop doesn't have this exact feature, both Gnome and KDE offer more comprehensive snapping options. From KDE's Window Behaviour panel, for instance, you can set separate snap borders for the edge of the screen, the edge of a window or even the centre of the display. And there are many more options for fine-tuning your window management and geometry, even down to selecting the types of window the options apply to.

Window snapping? We think KDE got there first.

Window snapping? We think KDE got there first.

Search tools

Another feature that Linux desktops have been threatening for a couple of years, but have as-yet failed to deliver, is pervasive searching. Despite being a killer feature on the OS X desktop and the iPhone, and despite several highly efficient implementations, a simple search that can read documents, your email, and online communication with a degree of intelligence is still some way off.

Windows embeds its search icon search in the bottom-left corner, just above the launch menu icon. It feels very similar to KDE's launch menu, and will quickly find the content you're interested in. Microsoft's version expects the user to define libraries of content, and these are locations on your computer where you're happy to have the search engine provide pervasive results, or not.

Windows 7 also promises to move file search away from local storage and on to the internet. Searching for a photo, for instance, might take you from your local photo collection and on to those you're interested in online, such as an associated Flickr account or Picasa. The capabilities of this online search are dependent on an appropriate extension for the media and the online resource that you're interested in, but it clearly has a lot of potential.

The average Linux desktop needs to get its act together if it's going to to compete with Windows 7 for search functionality. And whether you use it or not, it's a great feature for newcomers. New releases of distributions like Fedora still package search tools like Beagle, but that's a long way from being a single solution for the Linux desktop, and this is what we're going to need. Developers are aware of these problems, but the KDE 4 team, for example, have put off discussions on integrating search until the 4.4 release, which is likely to come long after Windows 7.

How Linux will look when Windows 7 is released

At the time of writing, we've still got a short while to go until Windows 7 is released. This means there are several major Linux releases between now and then that could add some significant updates to the Linux desktop. Most recently released is KDE 4.3, and it seems the KDE team are finally getting on top of things. Rather than being a release purely full of bug- and usability fixes, 4.3 added some cool new features and some nice eye candy.

The whole KDE desktop and associated applications will now have general access to geolocation data, which could be useful for laptop users. The task bar panel should be able to distance itself even further from Windows 7 with the addition of spacers. These will let you group a collection of icons together, rather than as a single glut, and the system tray should also get better management functions. There are plenty more Plasmoid desktop widgets too.

More Plasmoids are being added to KDE with every release, bringing fast feature turnaround for all.

More Plasmoids are being added to KDE with every release, bringing fast feature turnaround for all.

Most importantly, considering the emphasis in Windows 7 on merging local and remote data, the new KDE release resurrects the Nepomuk desktop idea - the so-called 'social desktop'. This means creating a connection between local and remote data, and making the desktop a seamless integration of the two. A lot of work has been done on the Akonadi PIM framework, for example - Nepomuk can analyse and annotate the body of an email automatically.

This means adding information like your location, people you're with and maybe events you're attending - the kind of information currently found on sites like Facebook and Twitter. There's also a new menu system, called Raptor, that attempts to guess what options you're most likely to want based on what you're currently doing. It's a cross between KLauncher and Gnome Do, and is a massive improvement on the current 'Lancelot' system.

Desktop innovation

Windows 7

  • Desktop search is well implemented and can go online.
  • Media libraries can be pinned to the start menu and task bar.
  • Jump lists can genuinely help improve efficiency.

Linux

  • Nepomuk blurs the border between local and online.
  • Gnome Do replaces the task bar entirely.
  • Google's Desktop widgets now on Gnome and KDE.

Round 3: Essential apps

The best example of a core application associated with an operating system is the web browser. But thanks to the legal wrangling that has surrounded Microsoft's browser bundling, Internet Explorer 8 isn't going to be as fatally intertwined in the operating system as its forebears were. The European release isn't even going to include a browser by default, which leaves users with the bizarre difficulty of not having a browser available to download an alternative.

This may also be why Microsoft chooses not to create more powerful applications for these core tasks, perhaps not wanting to risk the wrath of competing vendors or the European Monopolies Commission. And while these restrictions may seem harsh in today's online environment, it's a great opportunity for Linux to push integrated desktop applications as a serious bonus.

In Windows 7, these essential tools need to be downloaded separately under the Windows Live branding. Eight applications are selectable, and these include the latest generation of Microsoft's Messenger, Outlook Express, Word Pad, a content filter and Silverlight - Microsoft's competitor to Adobe's Flash. In Linux terms you might liken them to Pidgin or Kopete, Evolution, Kate and Gedit, DansGuardian and Moonlight. But the difference with the Microsoft offerings is that they feel very much cut-down, as the company would rather have you pay more for the fully functional versions.

Instant messaging

Despite Windows ports of Pidgin, Windows Messenger is still the instant messaging client of choice for most people on the Windows desktop. This is probably because it offers Windows users a seamless way of communicating with other Windows users, and as long as your contacts are using the same client, video and voice chat is usually just a click or two away.

Over the years, there has been steady progress, but nothing revolutionary, and the same is true of the version currently shipping with the Windows 7 release candidate. It's the same version that was shipped as Windows Live Messenger 2009 at the beginning of the year, and the first thing the average Linux user will notice is the embedded advertising. You can't open the main window or a chat window without a small banner or text fighting for your attention.

If you're chatting to other Windows Live users you do get the advantage of seamless voice and video chat, but that's the only advantage that Microsoft's Messenger has over multi-protocol clients like Pidgin and Kopete. Kopete in particular is a brilliant application that can send messages to almost anyone and anything willing to accept them. AIM, Jabber, Google Talk, Windows Live and even Facebook are all catered for through a series of plugins.

The best thing about instant messaging with Kopete is that (unlike with Windows) there's no advertising.

The best thing about instant messaging with Kopete is that (unlike with Windows) there's no advertising.

Photo management

Whether you choose Digikam or F-Spot, there's no doubt that Linux desktop users are well catered for when it comes to photo management. Both apps can both talk to the vast majority of digital cameras, enable you to organise your collection using tags, comments and geographical data, and then upload sections of your library to a variety of online photo repositories.

Microsoft's offering, by comparison, is far more modest, and a little creepy, as you have to sign into your Windows Live account when you first launch the application. This is because your library is closely tied to your online presence. They can be published on to Windows Live with a single click, and Flickr, Facebook and SmugMug are supported through third-party plugins. Google's Picasa photo hosting is a conspicuous absentee, but that's perhaps because it's associated photo management tool is a better application.

But Windows Live Photo Gallery is very fast, and it's an efficient way of getting photos from your camera on to an online repository with the least number of mouse clicks and CPU cycles. Like iPhoto, Digikam and F-Spot, it offers only bread and butter editing tools such as colour, contrast, crop and redeye reduction, but there are some weird usability errors. You can't drag tags on to photos, for instance, and photos that are part of your Pictures library aren't imported into the application unless they happen to be located under the My Pictures directory, which is confusing.

Online

Another aspect of Microsoft's new operating system that isn't quite so obvious is the default installation of Silverlight. Silverlight is web browser plugin, and it's Microsoft's attempt to unseat the dominance of Adobe's Flash, and it performs much the same function. It helps web developers create accelerated and interactive online applications for their users that plain old HTML just isn't capable of, such as YouTube or BBC iPlayer, and represents the pinnacle of Microsoft's .NET framework, using it to both develop Silverlight and as a method for creators to add program logic within its online applications. Windows 7 is going to be the first Windows operating system to install it by default, with version 3 currently going through a period of beta testing before its planned release in July.

The interesting thing about Silverlight is that there's a Linux version being developed by the same team porting .NET to Linux, and it's called Moonlight. Moonlight offers only a subset of the functionality currently in Silverlight, but it represents an incredible effort by the programmers. Since January 2009, it's been fully compatible with Silverlight version 1.0, and a beta version released at the beginning of May implements some features from 2.0, as well as a few from the planned 3.0 release.

There's no doubt that Moonlight is a considerable way behind the Microsoft implementation, but there's a bigger problem. For some users, Moonlight represents a big chunk of Microsoft's intellectual property sitting at the heart of the Linux desktop. This is why the inclusion of Mono on distributions like Fedora and now Debian has proved such a contentious issue, and if Silverlight becomes as dominant on the Windows platform as Microsoft hopes, it's going to become increasingly difficult to ignore either its potential on the internet, or its potential as a patent time-bomb.

Touch me

One of the most touted features in Microsoft's new operating system is its new-found ability to be controlled using a touchscreen interface. Microsoft has been experimenting with touch technology for years and its implementation has been overhauled for Windows 7, adding better hardware support and the ability to detect more than one finger press. Touch also seems to be the primary motivation behind the overhaul of the toolbar.

In its old incarnation, icons could be too small and their placement too unpredictable for fingers. In Windows 7, buttons have been resized, and custom spacing options should make it easier to hit the right target. This is also the first time multi-touch has been included, which must have been quite a task for an operating system than usually has difficulty if you connect more than one mouse, let alone 10 fingers. But Microsoft has also put hardware behind the rhetoric, demoing a hefty piece of multi-touch hardware called 'Surface'.

Until recently, multi-touch ability hasn't been a priority on the Linux desktop, despite various announcements on the subject in 2007. The ability to keep track of more than one controller on a standard desktop has been implemented by a project called Multi-Pointer X (MPX), and this is due to be rolled into the main X.org server code for the 7.5 release, due in August 2009.

But there is one important difference between MPX and Microsoft's Surface, and that's that multi-touch provides only a co-ordinate reference for each point. It can't interpret the shape and the size of the touch, which could be a problem if Microsoft pushes its advantage in this area. The most promising signs of progress comes from the netbook sector, where touch capabilities look like becoming the next big thing.

Windows 7 makes it easy to resize all the GUI elements to accomodate touch devices.

Windows 7 makes it easy to resize all the GUI elements to accomodate touch devices.

Version comparison

Windows 7

  • Starter: No Aero and no 64-bit.
  • Home Basic: Developed for emerging markets.
  • Home Premium: Standard edition including Aero and touch.
  • Professional: Adds remote desktop and encrypted filesystem.
  • Enterprise: Unix application support and volume licensing.
  • Ultimate: As with enterprise, but for individual users.

Linux

  • Starter: No Linux is this restrictive.
  • Home Basic: Crunchbang or Ubuntu.
  • Home Premium: For eye candy, try Mint or Kubuntu.
  • Professional: Fedora offers encryption as an installation option.
  • Enterprise: OpenSUSE should work well with Windows.
  • Ultimate: No matter which Linux you choose, there's no restrictions.

Round 4: Power users

One of the biggest criticisms levelled at Windows over the years has been its lack of proper user access control. Despite the last few versions featuring user accounts with different levels of authority and control, nearly everyone simply created an administrator's account and neatly side-stepped any attempt to rein in what the average user could and couldn't do. Windows 7 attempts to do things differently, upgrading Vista's User Access Control to finally achieve what Microsoft must hope is a major feature in an age where thousands of Windows machines run as zombies on the internet.

The idea behind UAC will be familiar to users of Ubuntu and OS X. When a user's application requires a higher set of privileges, a password requester asks for authentication. In Windows Vista, this password requester could be a little overzealous, appearing every other minute if you weren't careful, especially if you were configuring hardware. This annoyance was even seen as an advantage by some, as it forced software developers to avoid asking the user to elevate their privileges though UAC if they wanted to remain usable.

By default, a standard user will have no administrative control over their system, and neither will any viruses or trojans may have been inadvertently run by that user. Of course, this is nothing new for Linux users, as this feature is embedded within Linux thanks to its use of groups and permissions to restrict users and processes. It's our main defence against wayward applications wreaking havoc on our systems.

Even if a user's account is compromised and a virus is able to run on that user's desktop, a utility with limited privileges can do very little system-wide and network facing damage, although your personal data isn't likely to be so safe. This is part of the reason why there are so few Linux viruses, and why so few of us consider it any kind of threat.

User Access Control can limit what a user sees on the internet as well as the configuration options they have access to.

User Access Control can limit what a user sees on the internet as well as the configuration options they have access to.

PolicyKit

But the truth is that there's plenty of potential on the average desktop for any malevolent coder with enough motivation. How many of us install third-party binary packages on our desktops? And how many of us could check the source code if we had to? Even riskier is the number of times we resort to typing sudo or launching a shell with administrator privileges, effectively bypassing the security inherent in the normal/root user system.

Many distributions and developers think there needs to be an extra level of security, and the closest we can get to the technology behind Microsoft's UAC is PolicyKit, originally developed by Red Hat but now shipped as standard in Fedora, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. PolicyKit gives application developers (and distribution builders) a finer degree of control over what an application can and can't do while it's running. It could enable a user to mount portable storage, for instance, but not allow the same user to mount a local filesystem, avoiding the potential hazard of sudo completely.

The impending KDE 4.3 includes PolicyKit integration, which means that many system administration applications for the KDE desktop will be able to take advantage of PolicyKit's finer-grained privilege control in much the same way that certain applications request authentication on the OS X desktop. Gnome has had this functionality since the beginning of last year, and its inclusion in KDE brings us a step closer to a unified desktop on the Linux platform and a unified system for accessing administrative tasks.

Online security

Despite all these improvements to User Access Control, Windows is still going to be the main target for hackers, and as such, a virus checker is always going to be necessary. For the first time, Microsoft is going to bundle a virus checker and spyware detector with the operating system. This is likely to raise considerable protest from manufacturers who sell competing products, such as Symantec and McAfee, as they're making a tidy living from plugging this lucrative hole in current Windows security.

But bundling a free virus checker with the operating system is a great step forward for the rest of us who have to endure a constant stream of attacks from compromised Windows systems. Microsoft's checker is going to be part of the 'Security Essentials' download package, and it replaces Windows Live OneCare, a similar package that Microsoft previously charged for on XP and Vista.

Microsoft's Security Essentials covers only the basics of online security: real-time virus checking, system monitoring and download scanning. This should leave plenty of room for the commercial solutions to fight over more advanced features and neurotic Windows users. As Linux users, we don't need to run a virus-checker unless you're receiving files from, and sending them to, Windows users. It avoids the extra CPU and memory load of constantly running a checker and keeping it up to date. But there are several checkers that are up to the task if you need them, including tools from BitDefender and AVG, as well as the excellent ClamAV.

The Windows System Monitor app has been redesigned to show more information and show it more clearly - it's actually very nice to use.

The Windows System Monitor app has been redesigned to show more information and show it more clearly - it's actually very nice to use.

PowerShell vs Bash

Windows 7

  • Integrated scripting.
  • You can type ls to get a directory listing!
  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Remote execution.

Linux

  • 30 years of refinement.
  • Used by almost every Linux distribution ever.
  • Plenty of online help and documentation.
  • Can be used to administer the entire system.

Who wins?

As you should be able to tell from the scope of the features we've discussed, Windows 7 marks a significant point of maturity in the development of Windows, and is what the much-maligned Vista should have been three years ago. There's still a distinct lack of innovation, but the improvements to system stability and performance are what's going to matter to most users. And most users of Windows are businesses. They're not interested in eye candy, Twitter integration and hardware acceleration. They just need Windows to be a sober working environment that doesn't get in the way of helping people work.

And this is where Linux can make a big difference. There's nothing in Windows 7 that Linux can't do, and in most cases, do it better. Our machines are quicker and more efficient. Our desktops are more innovative and less static. Our apps are more powerful, cheaper and less partisan, and Linux security has never been better. But best of all, we have complete control over the future of Linux, and it's success or failure at the hands of Windows 7 is in our hands.

First published in Linux Format

First published in Linux Format magazine

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Your comments

Dead Penguin

Linux is a dead OS.

Dead Penguin

Windows 7 is light years ahead of linux on the desktop.

And Server 2008 blows Linux away from the get go.

Money be damned Linux is very very poor choice for anyone that is a real life Sysadmin.

Strange

What gets me is that most people who defend Windows are the people who don't have a legal copy of Windows. They stick up for it but they wouldn't pay for it in a million years.

Windows is a good OS it does what its supposed too, makes things simple for people. I like it but I don't use it. Its your choice, if you don't want to use Linux then don't and if you don't want to use Windows then don't.

Linux, the ultimate Windows virus...infecting the users :-)

Linux belongs in the server room

Forewarned is forarmed
Windows 7 DRM? You are a liar DRM is a dead tech.

Round 1: Performance
Windows 7 wins.......

Compatibility
Humm, don't go here ask anyone who had to spend a few days getting a sound card to work in Linux. Windows has far more support in the hardware driver area.
Stop missleading people.
Driver support in Linux sucks.
(Cannot install Suse or Fedora 11 to a WD Raptor drive in native SATA mode)

Round 2: Desktop warfare
Not a lot of real information here. Blah Blah.

Round 3: Essential apps
The one thing Linux has that Windows does not have, a lot of canned apps preinstalled. Some of these differ from distro to distro.
Some of these apps are pretty usefull. Evolution is one.

Instant messaging
There are so many free IM clients this is a meaningless point.

Photo management
Windows live account is "creepy" you have got to be kidding me. That is a really stupid thing to say that.

Versions of Windows?
This is a marketing tactic on MS part and I agree it is pretty lame thing to do.

Round 4: Power users
A real power user wants Windows not a chopped together OS like Linux.

PowerShell vs Bash
You do not know what you are talking about. You have never used Powershell.
It make bash look like an old tired dog.
Yes, I know bash, awk and sed.
Powershell is far more powerfull.

Who wins
WINDOWS 7 WINS.

I am cannot believe after all theses years you guys are still attempting to push an OS like Linux onto the desktop.

LINUX IS NOT A DESKTOP OS AND NEVER WILL BE.

Copies of features are good.

I like how Microsoft implements some of the best things from Linux (as mentioned in the article) - it shows that they at least value good ideas and good design, no matter where it comes from.

Of course, since a lot of Windows users don't know Linux can do all that, it'll be "new" to them and the fanboys could have more unfounded reason to bash Linux. But it's nice for all those other people who just want an easy/useful system to work with.

Um.

"No sound, no support for video capture or web cams, slow as molasses, no applications, no games, no nothing. Why does anyone bother?"

Because it's none of these. What are you even doing here, Mr Troll?

Hoshit 3 comments in a

Hoshit 3 comments in a row... And it could have been even more with all the crap flying around in the comments.

Why are people arguing about how "Linux" sucks when this comparison between the OSes doesn't really hurt anyone? Plus, if Linux were that bad I wouldn't have expected to be able to use it perfectly well now. And I'm a bit closer to the "regular user" than a lot of the techies here.

@bjm1904

"Linux you have some chance if it is worthy of technical merit."

Sounds pretty much the same as your Windows and Apple you have zero chance. Again, it really just comes down to whether the devs/people behind the distro think it's worth putting their time and effort into. YOU may think it's an idea "worthy of technical merit," but that doesn't mean they do.

"2) Perhaps I should have phrased my sentence with the word 'legally'."

Perhaps, but I knew what you were getting at, and guess what just because Linux is freely distributable doesn't necessarily make it a deal breaker. There do exist people that are okay with throwing money at something if they believed in it's effectiveness. i.e. the people buying Apple products. It's a selling point I'll give you that, but I don't think it carries as much weight as you think it does in nearly all situations.

"- It is not faux morality. I was explaining why people choose Linux over Windows in the first place - but ultimately if Windows suits your needs better then feel free to stick with it. You have the freedom of choice of non-pirated software that you can install on your PC, and that is the reason why Linux users feel a moral high ground (as we offer you that choice)."

Uh it seems you misunderstand. I wasn't trying to say that your sense of morality is fake in that you're not really feeling it. I meant it's faux as in some in the Linux community try to equate it as a "universal" morality; as if it's the position that EVERYONE should take because it's somehow the most righteous. Though this assumes there even is some kind of morality at all when choosing something as mundane as a fucking operating system.

"- Your 'stick-it-to-the-man' comment reminds of me of the days when free software users were called communists. We aren't here to 'stick-it-to-the-man', you'll find that Linux runs most enterprise servers and is supported/used by Dell, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Motorola, HP, Google and countless other corporate giants."

Oh, like hell some of you aren't. The fact that some even still use "M$" or shit, just the fact that this fucking article in an effort to start out as a feature by feature comparison, in what I thought was an effort to figure out more innovations for Linux (which is fairly admirable yet laughable b/c you guys are just so ultimately worried about what everyone else is doing) ended instead ultimately concluding with essentially "in the end Linux still wins" goes to show that yeah some people in the Linux community have some kind of axe to grind with Microsoft or hell maybe even Apple--like it fucking matters to everyone else in the world.

I mean seriously, was it necessary to say, "yeah Linux wins in the end because we can still do better" That's fucking ridiculous. Who fucking rights that except for people that have some kind of bias against Microsoft. Granted maybe the article was meant to be just a circle jerk for the Linux people reading it but seriously take a step back and look at the context of all this.

Like I said, these are just fucking operating systems, and yet shit you have even this article ending with such a bias. Fucking christ, and you're trying to tell me some in the Linux community aren't acting like they want to stick it to Microsoft?

"Remember before you choose to go on into another mad rant you are on TUX RADAR. The clue is in the name. ;)"

Yeah, well SUCK IT.

@Anonymous Penguin

"YOU may think it's an idea "worthy of technical merit," but that doesn't mean they do."

If that is the case you are free to implement it yourself and distribute copies containing your changes. If other users think it's of technical merit they'll download it, but you lose nothing if they don't as your changes may have made you more productive.

"...some in the Linux community try to equate it as a "universal" morality; as if it's the position that EVERYONE should take because it's somehow the most righteous"

That's advocacy for you - we want people to either contribute to the Linux kernel and free software or benefit from the excellent work the community does. Linux users are proud of the desktop they use and want to share it with others - some more vigorously than others! This is not uncommon in a user community though- just ask an OS X user why their favourite OS is better than Windows and you'll get a much more colourful response!

"just the fact that this fucking article in an effort to start out as a feature by feature comparison"

It IS a feature comparison - the other comments have already stated that the final conclusion contains a little bias, but this is a Linux user website so that is to be expected to some extent. What it boils down to is not 'Which OS is better' but 'Which OS will do what you want it to". Windows 7 may suit your needs while Linux suits mine. Though I'd love for you to also be using Linux too you are free to use Windows if that is what you prefer to use.

"Fucking christ, and you're trying to tell me some in the Linux community aren't acting like they want to stick it to Microsoft?"

I never said anything of the kind. You just need to check the FSF website to see they have a habit of doing partisan-style stuff such as sending letters to Fortune 500 companies and building a anti-windows websites. I personally prefer the OSI as it focuses more on sharing software than chasing headlines. The majority of Linux users won't attack you for using Windows but will still defend their decision to use Linux. It's a shame the more partisan users are allowed more time than they deserve.

"Yeah, well SUCK IT."

I have taken the time to answer your comments as they contain some vestige of intelligence. Don't turn them into FUD.

@bjm1904

"If that is the case you are free to implement it yourself and distribute copies containing your changes. If other users think it's of technical merit they'll download it, but you lose nothing if they don't as your changes may have made you more productive."

Okay, I'll give you that. But hey that solution is for high level people/developers. I thought we were referencing general users. In which case, aren't the people in all three camps equally at the same "disadvantage"?

"That's advocacy for you - we want people to either contribute to the Linux kernel and free software or benefit from the excellent work the community does. Linux users are proud of the desktop they use and want to share it with others - some more vigorously than others! This is not uncommon in a user community though- just ask an OS X user why their favourite OS is better than Windows and you'll get a much more colourful response!"

Oh hey no I get it. I get it when you want your family members or your friends to use something you think is better for them. At the same time though, while there are some people who may be appreciative, the people that are trying to convince more vigorously as you put it in my mind are just wasting their time. I mean this isn't some issue where we're talking about how to treat people as people (something in my mind that has greater weight unless you have no compassion). All we're talking about is essentially a tool.

"It IS a feature comparison - the other comments have already stated that the final conclusion contains a little bias, but this is a Linux user website so that is to be expected to some extent. What it boils down to is not 'Which OS is better' but 'Which OS will do what you want it to". Windows 7 may suit your needs while Linux suits mine. Though I'd love for you to also be using Linux too you are free to use Windows if that is what you prefer to use."

I get there would be a little bias, but come on. Like I said I thought this article initially was to point out Linux's short comings in a effort to make it better. But when it ends with "Windows lacks distinct innovation." "Users don't want eye candy they want performance." Come on, how is it not a 'which OS is better' ? The freaking writer pretty much is implying that in his conclusion.

Also, if you would've read my previous comments you would've realized I use all 3 OSes (Windows, OS X, Ubuntu) throughout the day. And I'm not attacking you're right to use Linux, I'm attacking what I think seems wholly stupid in the continual circle jerking of "M$ sucks b/c x,y,z" "Linux is awesome b/c of x,y,z" Trust me I'd be calling this shit out on an Apple forum or Windows forum.

"I have taken the time to answer your comments as they contain some vestige of intelligence. Don't turn them into FUD."

Blah blah cliche response.

Windows 7 is getting close to release

so the marketing department is making a huge push of astroturfing.

One is left to wonder why astroturf in a Linux-centric forum, as if such mindless and obviously false FUD is going to convert anyone.

Microsoft lost the day that the LiveCD was created. Linux can be "try before you buy", Microsoft products cannot be so tested.

it's that simple. Better technology.

Anonymous Penguin

"I thought we were referencing general users. In which case, aren't the people in all three camps equally at the same "disadvantage"?"

As you say, it depends on the technical knowledge of the user. I'm just saying that those who are experienced users (and aren't necessarily employed by a technology company) can improve the Linux base and pass those on to general users (who won't be making those changes). I accept your point though that this doesn't make any difference to an everyday user whose computer experience consists of editing documents and surfing the web.

"All we're talking about is essentially a tool."

I couldn't agree more. Naturally user groups tend to feel a certain loyalty towards a product they enjoy using, which is probably why we have so many 'passionate' responses in this thread!

"Come on, how is it not a 'which OS is better' ?"

I still maintain it's a comparison of features, but ultimately the end result is a little skewed. The writer uses two different Linux desktops and multiple Linux distributions to compare Linux as a whole to Windows 7. Perhaps if it was one major distro v Windows 7 we may have seen a more objective article.

"Also, if you would've read my previous comments you would've realized I use all 3 OSes (Windows, OS X, Ubuntu) throughout the day. And I'm not attacking you're right to use Linux, I'm attacking what I think seems wholly stupid in the continual circle jerking of "M$ sucks b/c x,y,z" "Linux is awesome b/c of x,y,z" Trust me I'd be calling this shit out on an Apple forum or Windows forum."

I did read your previous comments, and I agree with your sentiment the Linux community generally spends more time M$ bashing than objectively stating what the pros and cons of each product is (the FSF has only exacerbated the situation). Though I consider myself a FOSS advocate I try to be honest with my friends and family when they ask whether they would be better off running Windows or Linux for their day-to-day activities.

Windows and Linux are simply different tools that accomplish many of the same tasks, and objectively it's a matter of personal preference (and the tasks you need to complete) that dictate which you should use. I simply advocate Linux as a viable and free alternative that's at least worth some consideration. :-)

A few points...

A computer is a tool, just like a pencil and paper. If it does the job, everyone's happy.

I use Linux (Ubuntu), OSX and Windows 7 all equally - none are perfect. But just to clarify a couple of points in your article:

Windows 7 big selling point is its useability on old hardware. I'm running it on a 6 year old laptop with all it's features enabled - it's snappy, responsive and boots in under 60 secs. Also the fancy Aero effects are all available with DX9 cards - DX10 not needed.

Lastly, you don't have to sign into Windows Live to use the Windows Live applications you install. You can - but you don't have to.

Nothing wrong with being a fan of something, but when you start to pick holes in the opposition, you need to pay attention to detail.

what are you windows users on?

Bear with me, I've done this time and again; get a late linux livecd distro. boot up the machine. connect wirelessly and surf the web. Honestly, within ~6 minutes I'm in business. And if cloud computing really takes off, who needs local apps. The ~6 minute bootup solution is rock solid.

Before you ask, I also use windows [xp and vista variants] to boot up from cd [as a bartpe or other preboot homebrew ms OS usually for rescue&recovery] and it just never comes close to ~6 minutes connected to the 'net.

Work for me means using and supporting MS OS's and some linux boxes for crucial security roles. I've used a variety of Knoppix, Mint, Ubuntu, OpenBSD and [a lot of] PCLinuxOS derivates; they just work.

For me, games aren't an issue. I don't care about them. But I do understand there's a multitude who expect their windows games to work [somehow].

Anyhoo, that's my experience.

re: Games, Get a console

Xbox, PS3 etc. Just a way for the "man to dumb -down the computer users! Knowledge rules!! we must all learn to run from the cmd line or be able to mentally figure out our own systems after all you bought it or built it didnt you?!

my two cents

I work day in and day out managing a retail and computer service store. I've read in these posts that people think Linux takes up more of your time....blah blah blah. We do virus removal and reformatting/fresh installs (when needed) on computers running Windows every day. It is my businesses lively hood. If not for Windows, I would only have hardware repairs. People shell out $159 a machine to have our techs go through and remove infections or to backup their data and do fresh installs. They pay it every day. The vast majority of people using Windows are not tech savvy enough to do this themselves.

Fortunately, these people have never heard of Linux and thus do not realize how much safer it is for surfing the internet. That is good for the store's business. On occassion, I have converted people's desktops and laptops to Ubuntu and provided minimal training for using Synaptic to install new programs. As it was for them in the early years in switching from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, there was a bit of learning. But they have since enjoyed not having repair bills for removing viruses and paying for annual anti-virus renewals.

Vista has been extremely good for business. Especially on laptops. Thanks to many of the installs having the red shutdown button configured to actually put the machine into sleep mode. The amount of file corruption I have recorded caused by this has really been good for business.

Is Linux perfect? Nope, not even close. But at the end of the day when I go home and am exhausted from fixing Windows problems, it is Linux that I use to surf the net and to check my fantasy sports.

Reasons for going back to winows

People keep mentioning how they had to go back to windows after trying linux. One thing they overlook is that the games and all the hardware is mainly created for windows and on top of that it still needs to come with driver disks from manufacturers for it to work with windows. MS has ensured this happens. Someone compared the office apps to MS Office and say they are just not up to its level, and this user does not think of the factr that he wants these other office applications to work like MS office not the work like themselves.

This is shame as each system should be used as stand alone and not compared to others. MS Windows does not come with freedoms as is OS X. OS X might have roots in BSD but it runs on hardware made specifically for it just like or even more so than windows.

Judging by all capabilities Linux has at this stage I would say that it is quite amazing what these guys are doing.

If we can try to consider the fact that windows cannot even recognize other systems already installed for multibooting. In fact XP will overwrite later windows when you install it after they've been installed. To me this is plain silly.

The other strange thing is this big ho ha about the XP mode in Win7, if the XP is not native I do not see this mode as anything greater than just multibooting or running any other VM even in Vista you would get the same capability.

So the reason why people go back to MS Windows is because the system which the OS operates within is corrupt.

Just lol

Linux rocks than m$, that's all !

Windows survives because Microsoft cheats.

Windows is only dominant right now because Microsoft is so wealthy that they are allowed to ignore and make a mockery of decency and the law. While it may be "business as usual" and we may have gotten used to it, Microsoft's position was gained, and is and always has been maintained by, deception, trickery, breaking the rules (and frequently the law), and in general doing whatever it takes to rig the "game" in their own favor.

This is why the majority of games are Windows only. This is why the majority of programs that professionals need do not run natively on Linux. And those two things are why Windows remains a dominant force.

However, that is changing, slowly but surely, and eventually there will come a day when Microsoft gets what is coming to them. I expect that we are still 5 to 10 years away from that day, but it's coming - as is the day when Linux has all the software that professionals need and enough mainstream games that people can decide which operating system they want to use based on what works best for them, not some back room deal between Microsoft and the PC OEMs or some store like Best Buy.

If things were played on a level playing field, the competition would be between Linux and Mac, and Windows would be in the dust.

Oh, and for those of you who are Windows apologists, talking about how Windows 7 is going to kill Linux... How about considering that were it not for Linux, Microsoft would still be trying to tell you that Windows 95 was new technology.

Nobody who knows anything about computers uses Windows because they like it. Windows is in use because it's the only option for what it's being used for - or, that's what the user believes.

Linux/Windows

Most of the problems with Linux is not the OS itself but the vendors of peripherals that fail to support the system. This makes Linux even a much better system as it can selfsupport things that vendors themselves did not intended to work in an OS other than Windows. So, it is a great thing that Linux out of the box can run your video card, and most of the things you will use in a day to day basis.
I run 2 windows machines at home and 2 Linux ones. And the truth is that games apart, the linux machines are way above my Windows ones. XP and Vista are not near as functional as my 2 Ubuntu machines.
Internet? no problems
Dual monitors? no problems
USB devices including cameras? no problems. What's more Ubuntu took my 2 canon cameras as if they belonged there. Recognised them and even let me look at my raw pictures without any external software. Just plug the dam thing and away it went. None of this half a dozen pieces of software that I had to install in Windows.
Has all been easy? no. of course not. But I had never had a Windows machine that I did not need to keep looking after and reinstalling now and then. Something I have never done with Linux as it really never fails. The only times I had a problem with Linux that needed a reinstall was the very first time I installed Ubuntu some time long ago. And it was my mistake. Did some changes and did not not now how to go back so I did the easier thing to do. Start from scratch. But since then it has been running like a clock. Can not say the same about my Windows machines thought as I have not only reinstalled them more than once in the same period of time because it keeps corrupting files and letting me with no options but to reinstall but also have to completely change OS due to compatibility problems. And they cost to buy. Bloody hell, right now my Vista machine developed a corruption that according to MS itself is due to me uninstalling a piece of software I no longer needed. It corrupted the system so badly that now not even the restore point works. So ..... MS suggestion? Reinstall.
It is true that Windows is easier to use than Linux. But only at the start. Once you get used to Linux you will not look back.

I've been using Windows 7 64

I've been using Windows 7 64 alongside openSuse 11.1 for a while now and find that Windows 7 runs at least as well as OpenSuse.

Actually, in some ways I find that 7 is better: it boots faster (or rather X takes an age to start in opensuse), the composting runs a little better, I think Windows looks more polished. I don't have to wait for the system to unfreeze if I delete a large file.

I've been using Linux for a few years now but I find myself very impressed with Windows 7.

I'm giving serious thought to making my W7 my main OS.

I never thought I'd say that about Windows.

Neither Youtube nor BBC

Neither Youtube nor BBC iPlayer are made in Silverlight. Both are running on the Adobe Media Framework.

BBC intended to use the Silverlight originally but was criticised as Linux and MAC users were left out. So they switched to Adobe which is better.

ITV in UK was using Silverlight till few weeks ago. Even they have now moved over to Adobe.

Seems like Silverlight is loosing grounds to Adobe.

Hey Linux!

I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you keep trash-talking windows, but Microsoft has the BEST Office Suite!

windows vs. linux thoughts

almost all of the comments above muddle the notion of OS vs. applications. From a system perspective, Linux is less resource intensive, better organized and more extensible. Even Windows7 is a jumbled mess of kludges and hacks. And as the windows platform evolves it exponentially expands it's inefficiencies. The linux kernel (os) however, is practically a model of efficiency, in how it manages resources, functionality and extension.

Which is the better platform for the next 30yrs? LINUX, without a doubt.

Now, let's add on applications and GUI interfaces. The windows UI is more polished and intuitive, and it's applications are more full-featured. The problem for the world is, those polished/full-featured applications are not easily ported to Linux because of the kludge of proprietary methods they use on the windows platform.

However, all is not lost for Linux. Cloud computing, and 4/5th gen languages are platform agnostic and the future of the computing outside of the OS. However, it's no accident that Linux integrates with these technologies more effectively/efficiently... since those outside technologies are standards-based, as is Linux (not to mention the inherent efficiencies of the Linux os by itself).

In short, all of you users who are clinging to windows because of gaming and MSOffice are already deprecated and not at all the target market for either OS in the next decade. As linux owns the embedded, phone, appliance market..it will also own the home OS market of the future.

Windows V/S Linux

Well market share - lets really not talk about it at all.
1% for linux and its frigging making news everywhere in this world and can you believe people are celebrating it as if linux has captured 50% market.

Anyways - GNU/Linux is good there is no doubt it - but people against Microsoft just make it too ugly by saying this sucks that sucks.
As we all know there are issue's with all distributions (linux) and there are issue with MS too.
For some it is easy for some it is not -- but many would agree that MS is easy for all there is no doubt about it.
I am a linux(Ubuntu,Fedora,OpenSuse,Debian) user but i keep telling this - there is point of this bashing and even comparing until Linux reaches minimum 25% share.

So take this advice - use what you like and tell people its good rather than telling people what is wrong with something else.
Linux is all about choice - you use the distribution which suits your need plain and simple.
MS is just about the mass crowd who just wants to use something they are used too (Not everyone wants to switch or learn something new) and seriously there is nothing wrong with that.
Whatever works man.
Guys i really want all linux fans like me to stop cribbing about windows and start telling people whats good about linux - hate for windows (no use)
and like the Great Linux Torvalds said --> "Microsoft hatred is a disease" - atleast friggin listen to that guy

Your Comments are Idiotic

85% of the comments posted on this article are some of the most profoundly idiotic, uneducated and stupid comments I have ever read in my life.

Linux vs Microsoft

Linux Products are about choice while Microsoft and Macintosh try to make the choice for you! Either system can perform the same task in different ways. I would not say that either system is better than the next as the article suggests. Each have their pros and cons. Microsoft Applications have a lead which Linux Applications have to simple catch up upon (That's simple a fact of life at present). Personally I prefer Linux having used OpenSUSE for the last 5 years. At the pace Linux is winning market share in areas where it counts, it is and has always been conceivable that Linux will oneday outdo Microsoft. The question in my mind is not if this will happen but rather when. Being modular in nature, Linux is simple much more flexible in terms of adapting to change. In Linux, if you don't like a part (Like LEGOs), you simple replace it with something that better suites your tastes and needs. Microsoft with all its integration has dug its own grave in terms of what it can do. Over time it will become more difficult to maintain the code. Being closed source in nature means it is will always be vulnerable to virus and other problems because new bugs are constantly being discovered and cannot be patched fast enough. Linux has the edge here as well because virtually any person can find bugs and contribute by either making programmers aware or donating fixes for known and discovered bugs. The only thing that surprises me is why Microsoft has not yet ported Microsoft Office to Linux, but I guess it would mean the end of their Operating Systems as Office productivity is probably the biggest consideration for staying with Microsoft. Fortunately projects like Wine and Sun's Virtualbox are changing the fortunes of Microsoft and Linux being generally the more stable system, it only makes sense to use this as host or basis to launch Windows from/under. As mentioned, as Linux with KDE, Gnome and other desktop managers mature and applications and drivers for hardware become more readily available allowing the average user to carry out their work, Linux (In my Books the Good Guy) will win out over Microsoft/Microso$ft(The Greedy / Bad Guy). As I have seen mentioned in one of the posts, Microsoft is using all kinds of trickery to maintain the edge but as more and more people are awakening to this fact and alternatives are becoming available, the present fortunes of Microsoft will turn. Just as Rome, The Reigh (Nazis) and other great / not so great empires and institutions fell, history will repeat itself. The question is not if Microsoft will fall but when. Personally I would be glad to see the day arrive. I use Linux for 60%-75% of my daily activities and look forward to every new release. I am also not blinded by philosophy and ideology of what OpenSource can offer. Obviously some very good / sometimes outstanding closed source, commercial software does exists. Presently a lot of these applications are Windows based (Use them myself often). I just wish more of these were specifically written or ported to support Linux OS's (The good guys) directly. I don't see any reason why I should not have to pay good money for a good application if the company that produces and sells the software does a good job providing the tools that I need. As I don't like Microsoft's ethics, I much rather see such software being developed for Linux! What p#%^(* me of about Microsoft is the way it tries to monopolies the market by either getting rid of competition, shady deals or by simple putting people the deliver free work down. Personally I therefore support companies such as Nero, Canon and HP for instance which are willing to look into providing software and drivers for Linux. I hope their contribution grows which in turn will aid the growth of Linux and spur new support for my more beloved OS, Linux. People should try and get the bigger picture of what this i really all about (People making a choice and companies, people and institutions such as Microsoft, Redhat, Novell, Linux in general, governments allowing people to make that choice without intervention or trickery). Commercial software plays a vital role but the ethics, morals and attitudes of companies providing such software should be the main determining factor in whether or not support should be shown. People should not buy into a product because of its market share but because it delivers and supports their needs.

That's just my own opinion and what these comments are all about. To make people think and reveal their thoughts! Many thanks for the article! It is much appreciated and basically provided what I came here to do (Further educate myself on what other people think). I hope the author is not put down by any negativity. I sincerely believe the article was not intended to push Windows 7 or Linux to the forefront but rather to emphasize the good each have allowing engineers, technicians and programmers to respond by working on the things that might still need adjustment in either system. Windows 7 is a step forward for Microsoft. The question is if this is enough to keep their market share as I personally believe Linux and the OpenSource community has made bigger leaps in the last 5-10 years. That said, it does not mean OpenSource developers can sit on their backsides as Microsoft still has the biggest piece of the pie!

REMINDER when reading comments on Linux and/or Windows

Several years ago Microsoft (the maker of Windows) hired some 10,000 employees.

Before that date of hiring there is virtually NO comments/observations in favor of Windows.
After the date of hiring...you can find numerous comments all over the web besmirching Linux or Open Source and praising Windows.

Linux, as a product of collaboration and cooperation, has no single owner and has almost nil marketing help except for stories told by tech leaders or other users about their experience with Linux.

Microsoft on the other hand is known for its great marketing strategies (in contrast to innovation) and for its bullying tactics. Microsoft has the resources.

When someone says good about Linux and free or open source software in general, it's highly likely that it's genuine and not biased.
When someone says good about Windows, it's highly probably that it's part of marketing schemes.

Is it coincidence? I strongly believe it's not.
Just a thought... Cheers!

To quote Barney Frank

"On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

Is Linux a planet?

"There's nothing in Windows 7 that Linux can't do, and in most cases, do it better."

Saying so doesn't make it so.

This is why Linux will continue to FAIL on the desktop. Smug, arrogant, condescending dip shits that say ignorant shit like this.

The first step in solving a problem is to admit there IS a problem.

Shaking my head.

First the article, I found, was well written and very unbiased. The comments below it have me shaking my head.

Games: My mother once told me, "There are no games on Linux" so I loaded the 200+ rpm packaged games on her computer. Put many of her windows games in via Cedega, Wine and CrossOver. Also resurrected our Commodore 64, Atari 2600 etc and emulated the ROMS on Linux. I think I was about 40-50G of "No Games" by the time I was done.

Bottom line on Games, I spend hours playing these "No Games" so all I can do is shake my head. Any one who says Linux can't do it obviously hasn't given it a serious try.

As for Linux Sucks, has no sound, has no hardware: I have our entire CD catalogue accessible from any computer in the house and can broadcast a CD to every computer using pulse audio. I have lots of sound. I have plenty of hardware too and it all works with Linux.

I find I continually shake my head at these miss-informed windows users. If Linux is such a bad system why can my family and I use it without any real problems?

THE BEST IS...

FUCK ALL OF YALL

Linux is fantastic ...

Linux has a lot of potential. It's just beginning with the 1% and this will increase exponentially over the months and next couple of years.

Because it's free, adaptable and gives control to the developer and user, lots of companies and users have gone down the Linux path - to free themselves and regain the control and power they lost (when they were in the clutches of MS).

In history and any country, dictators had their supporters, but they fell because they refused to provide the one thing that people wanted - freedom.

Well, the next few months and thereafter will tell. Will MS go the way of GM and the Roman Empire? The majority of users never knew and still do not know they have a choice beyond Windows, Office and IE. Businesses and people are finding they do have a choice and that was, and is, what MS does not want and tried to repress.

Win 7 could be MS's desperate "Battle of the Bulge".

Did anyone notice...

That in the picture with Internet Explorer 8, his search showed porn?

Re: Did anyone notice

That was kinda the point: searching for "porn" is what triggered the family safety protection filtering system.

I've switch myself, and several others, to Ubuntu

Right now, I'm sitting using Ubuntu 9.04. Windows XP is still installed on the machine, but I switch to it less and less as I work out how to do some of the more obscure things I've got set up in XP.

However, I would not recommend any non-technical Windows user attempt to make the switch on their own. Find a geek friend who can get it set up for you, show them what you use on Windows, and give them time to get the job done; then pay them with a case of beer or something similar. The gift will be an immense incentive for them to help you out if you do have problems.

For me, there were two showstoppers to getting off Windows. Really, both the same thing in slightly different ways; the Microsoft Office suite, and the proprietary data formats it uses.

OpenOffice does well for the most part - although I have some Word documents with a very long history (my CV for example) which simply do not get properly imported.

I love how in OO I can export these sort of documents to PDF easily, but with the CV example I have been strongly advised not to do so; recruitment agencies want your CV in Word format because that's what they use, and they want to be able to cut out the contact details before they send it on to their clients.

I don't have the latest and (allegedly) greatest version of Word to see if OpenOffice's export to .doc is safe enough to deal with this issue in that way.

The issue here is that Microsoft owns the ".doc" standard, and has in a variety of ways patented it and locked it up. Yet, it is ubiquitous in business without companies realising how much of a bad thing this is. The perception is they must continue to use Word. Try to pitch a change to OO, you'll be shouted down on the potential need to tweak some documents after the change. Guess what? When you pay for the latest version of Microsoft Office, you have the same problems; there's always something needs tweaked.

The other showstopper for me was email locked up in Outlook, and a number of the other features of Outlook. Again, it's these proprietary formats.

I got out of that in a rather time-consuming way. Thunderbird can import mail from Outlook, but when you're talking about gigabytes collected over 15-20 years, it takes a long time. From there - because the emails are now stored in an open long-established free format - I could drop them into Evolution which, for a free piece of software, is amazing.

I did have to manually set it up for several of the email accounts I have, but the 'wizard' isn't that scary. I also found no way to get the handling rules out of Outlook. I had to manually recreate the rules saying "mail X goes in folder Y". But, doing the same on Outlook was unreliable; some rules there were not consistently applied.

Evolution has integrated calendaring on Ubuntu 9.04, so to some extent I've got all the functionality of hundreds of pounds worth of software free.

As some may know, these issues - format lock-in - have forced France to mandate that all government departments move to free software. Yes, the entire government of France is planning to drop Windows.

It is funny though, Microsoft had bugger-all to do with the PC revolution. They were just in the right place, at the right time, and made a very, very clever deal with IBM. IBM thought, "we do hardware, get some software, any software", DOS was cobbled together and Microsoft BASIC ended up everywhere. IBM's effort to fix their mistake - OS2 - was too late, and there were too many other programs businesses had already started to rely on which only worked with Microsoft operating systems.

Over 20 years ago, I was using SunOS with a GUI, I had access to the real early Macs, and I was on the Internet (yes, GET OFF MY LAWN! I was on teh Internets before there was a World Wide Web). That - to me - is how long it's taken for Microsoft to actually get to the equivalent standard.

If I could pick any of the dozens of operating systems I've used, install it on this machine, and get software to do everything I want to do with a computer it would be OpenVMS.

Before any Linux advocates jump on that, it's a variety of things. First, the security model; Linux is better than Windows, but OpenVMS blows away what both have and did so years and years ago. It may not be Free with a capital F, and the source code isn't readily available, but the knock-you-dead documentation quality sold me. If there isn't a Wikipedia page [[The Great Orange Wall]], then there should be.

How about "Always on top"?

Why MS doesn't include this simple feature.
I know "Power Menu" but it's not MS

Show Desktop button, windows 7

I hate the placement of the show desktop button. My monitor is a large widescreen and I have to move the mouse clear across the desktop to get to the button. There's no way to move it. In linux I can move everything around on the taskbar. Not possible in windows 7.

Winpologists abound

While I have a minor quibble or two about one point or another in the story, I find myself shaking my head at the blatant baloney from some of the Windows zealots that saw fit to pose as Anonymous penguins. 'Experience with Linux over the last decade.' Translation: experience a decade ago, if at all. That's the only way you could be so off.

WOW

Some people really are harsh to Linux. They don't have patients and will not give it a chance. I am running Linux and the performance is much better then windows vista and i had not driver problems at all. I think Linux is doing a great job of keeping up with windows.

I rarely post on a blog, but...

...I just have to.

I'm a IT professional and I've been running linux server in the last 17 years and, this is just a fact, Linux is a better OS. I consider Windows-based-server-guys to be out of their minds.

Nevertheless I use windows on PCs and happy with it.

The whole windows vs linux contest is meaningless.

I have a 72 years old aunt. She uses her PC only to video conference with his beloved son who lives in another country.
Actually she thinks PC is a sort of video-enabled telephone.
If someone was to tell her she could write a letter and print it using a PC, she would be stunned.

Can some of you "I just use linux" guys please tell her about gcc optimization, and file system hierarchies, and CPU cycles ?

Come on, windows is much easier for unexperienced people !

Linux Rules!!!!!..... in

Linux Rules!!!!!..... in some years everybody will use it... the more advance and stable OS for home..and its for Free! 8)

good papper

verry interesting for my papper thanks for the help.

Why hating?

Why compare between the two operating systems, Windows 7 x86-64 performance is better than linux's performance.
Windows 7 is flexible and well-supported. linux is not for normal users, users is headed for programmers or anyone with programming knowledge, many times you will have to compile applications yourself. Linux is for some stuff. While Windows takes the lead.

^^^^^^^

Please at least try Linux (and read the article) before you post, because you are terribly misimformed.

I've been using Kubuntu for about 2 or 3 years now, and the only time I've had to use the command line AT ALL was to install Google Earth. All the hardware worked from the get-go, which is more than I can say for Windows 7 & Vista. I never had a problem with any of the applications like Openoffice and other alternatives to proprietary software.

Did I mention it's free?

Windows....

I was a M$ administrator and yes windows made many things easier but definitely not tranparent. Whenever you run into a dead end prepare to pay $$$ for support even for simple answers. I switch to linux not because it is free. Definitely Linux is not free, whoever gave you the idea that linux is free is wrong. Linux is free is that you can have the rights to change the base code to whatever your needs are and not be dictated by the original copyright holder but are obliged to give back the codes to the community. You can redistribute your codes and charge for money anytime anywhere. You can charge for your coding to your clients and not give any kind of royalty to the copyright holder.
I cant make money from M$ without first spending load in their SDKs and stuff but with linux I have everything at my fingertips even including paid support which is extremely cheap compared to propriety solutions and also free forums to chat and discover newer ways of doing things. The opensource community are not pirates, they don't keep technologies or techniques to themselves they share and improve and help others.
The desktop scene has now come to a point where we definitely know what an average user needs to do. Word, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Email, Calendering, Contacts, IM which all platforms do it much better now and It doesn't really matter which you use cause in the end its what you feel comfortable with. Of course linux is the only platform that doesn't charge you for license ( but some do). It have now advanced to a stage even the desktop is now thrown on to the servers and we can remotely access it any time , anywhere just as long as you have an internet connection.
Anyway to warp it up is just that I am glad the linux came charging in when it did and pushed the propriety software houses to find better and cheaper solutions and have better technology to the end users. Which in the near future before I die (i hope) will create better life for everyone on earth.

For crying out loud...

Clearly many of the commenters here are still very young and do not know any PC history.

<snip>When the IBM Personal Computer was borne, its operating system was DOS, an extension of the primitive CPM operating system. The first pc's had less than one MegaByte of ram - rather they had something like 64 kiloBytes of ram. The file system was the insecure FAT, and the (floppy) disk size was around 360 (?) kiloBytes pr. floppy. And by the way, DOS was developed for IBM, who outsourced this little project to a company named Micro Soft or something like that. This company was allowed to sell DOS for itself, so for many years you could by both IBM's PC-DOS and the similar MS-DOS.
MS Windows grew out of DOS - for example the file system in Windows95 was the aforementioned FAT and its bigger version VFAT.</snip>

Partially correct but mostly not. CPM was considerablt better than DOS which was stolen by Bill (started early didn't he) from a developer who lived quite close to him. The original OS was called QDOS - Quick and Dirty Operating System - and was a cut down version of UNIX. Bill sold it to his Uncle and the other board members of IBM as they were rushing to get into the rapidly growing PC market. In their haste they allowed Bill to retain rights to the newly renamed DOS. Notice that Bill had already had a hack at the software and slowed it down.

Windows 95 was bought from a Canadian developer and was a clone of the Macintosh concept of drop down menus, mouse operation and a nice GUI. They (Apple) took it from the Xerox Laboratory at PARC and Xerox had copied it from the Commodore 64 GEM set up, which ran CPM.

So, in summary, Microsoft couldn't have become such a monolith if they copied from UNIX, CPM, Commodore and Apple.

Even .NET is a poor clone of Java. Have a look at the Lawsuits taken out against Microsoft and how many they have won (none that I am aware of) and you'll see the real power of Microsoft, they are brilliant marketers.

Oh yeah, in response to the question which will be asked - So why do they have the monopoly in the OS market? They did a deal, which only stopped in the late '80s, where every PC manufacturer could put DOS, then Windows, on their PC's for a very cheap price but the price was conditional on the manufacturer paying that price for every PC made regardless of if they pre-installed DOS/Windows or not.

They effectively locked every other OS maker out of the market. That monopoly was eventually broken but they still have a monopoly with their pre-installed pricing being so low that most PCs still come with their virus on it.

Try this, go to your local PC retailer and ask them how much discount they'll give you for a display PC without the Windows software on it.

I could go on but it is probably pointless, go do some research before you bash your keyboard.

You've Come A Long Way Baby

Reading these posts certainly provided a great laugh and an insight into computer "scientists". I must admit that I use both Windows 7 Ultimate and Mint 8 and like them both. Mint doesn't quite yet have all the hardware support for the latest gadgets, such as fingerprint readers and graphics cards, but I'm sure they will get there soon. The GUI is greatly improved, and it is basically point and click, with command line for the expert. Install is fast, painless, and uses very little HD space. MSAV(After Vista), has tried to make certain that Windows 7 is idiot proof and not idiotic, and they have pretty much done it. Since most computer users fall into that category, Windows will continue to be the OS of choice, but I believe Linux may eventually impact that scenario. Redmond programmers are already cutting code for Windows 8, but face it folks, unless you just talk to the box without touching it, there's not much new to add. Instead of trying to play catch-up with Windows, Linux gurus should zero in on NetBooks and SmartPhones, because mobility is the name of the game for future users. In my opinion, Linux could drive the future by looking forward, but they continue to drive by constantly looking in the rear view mirror, when the road ahead is wide-open with very little traffic on it, and what traffic is there is chaotic at best. There is a reason for the "Simpler Is Better" and "Get Back To Basics" mottos, and Linux should start driving instead of sitting in the back seat waiting to see which way MS is going to turn. Finally, it is time that Windows users, of which I have always been one, realize that Linux is not the "complicated" OS it used to be. It is far more user friendly and just about as idiot proof as Windows, and most computer idiots out there should really appreciate that fact and take the plunge, as I did. Oh, but I forgot, most of those Janes and Joes don't even know how to install an OS, let alone run it. What they need to do is READ and LEARN, but that takes some initiative, and in this current economy, we need all the innovation and initiative we can get, unless of course you are in the banking business.

windows works with voxwire but ubuntu don't

I love ubuntu becasue it's fast and secure and you can do everything windows can plus change the look of the os. Well, except i cant find out a way for ubuntu to work with voxwire. :( I would use other programs but my business requires voxwire so i have my harddrive set up for both os systems. Ubuntu doesn't have a regestry which is needed for voxwire, let me know if there's a way around this and i will be glad to listen. Reguardless, linux is the best os out there and everyone should try it.

"There's nothing in Windows 7 that Linux can't do"...:

Not wanting to bash or anything, but, let's see Linux do:

- Vsync with Compiz enabled for video playback and windows while moving them around (vs. Aero)

- Bluray anyone?

- Legal and free DVD Player out-of-the-box

- Games

- Nativ support for over 90% of all the sweet candy software availible out there or hardware. Go out, see "supported on Windows" on it, buy it, done.

- Quicken

- Reliable .doc support (sometimes things get messed up or get "lost" in OO)

- Farten

Bla... don't get me wrong... I love Linux, but I do like Windows as well. I don't get the: "Antivirus slows my system down too much!" thing. MS Sec. Essentials is out and it's good, free and fast, so, what's up? Even before that, I didn't really notice that much of a slow down using an Antivirus.

Ah, well, just use what you want. It's all good.

Peace

Martin

This is how I See things.

This is how I See things. First off the reason why Linux does not own the markets is because its free.

I personally believe Linux is better than windows because its free of Drms.

Linux its way more secure then windows.

All my computer run faster with Linux then Windows. Linux is not perfect and better in all things then windows ,but when it all comes right down to it I'm sick of windows not letting me back up my software that I bought from them, I should be able to make backups of my software that I bought.

Overall I don't hate Windows because it makes money I Hate it because of how they treat a paying customers.

In the end though if I get an IT degree, I will probably code for windows for the money.

but as a personnel preference with me. Linux wins every time.

p.s
Wine used mainly to play windows games. because their are open source alternatives for a'lot of Buisness programs on windows.

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