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ubuntu reviewSince I decided to dual-boot my main laptop with Ubuntu Ubuntu 10.04 - An Extremely Simple Operating System [Linux] Ubuntu 10.04 - An Extremely Simple Operating System [Linux] Read More , I’ve found myself spending considerably longer in a Linux environment than a Microsoft one. The extra speed I’ve reclaimed from my ageing Asus has made it feel like a brand new machine again, and it didn’t cost me a thing.

Linux has a reputation for being somewhat difficult, and casting my mind back to the days when I first tried it I’d have been the first one to admit it. In case you hadn’t heard, Ubuntu (and it’s associated derivatives Why Are There So Many Versions of Ubuntu? [Technology Explained] Why Are There So Many Versions of Ubuntu? [Technology Explained] Read More ) has earned notoriety 7 Things That Are Easier To Do In Ubuntu Than In Windows 7 Things That Are Easier To Do In Ubuntu Than In Windows Read More for being as easy-as-pie to install, maintain and work with.


There are inevitably going to be a lot of concerns if you’re thinking of making the jump. I’m going to try and put some of those to bed and demonstrate some of my favourite things about the operating system.

Install Ubuntu Within Windows

It’s even easier to install Linux 5 Alternative Ways To Install Ubuntu [Linux] 5 Alternative Ways To Install Ubuntu [Linux] Read More than it has ever been. Not only have you got the choice of using excellent tools such as UNetbootin How To Install Linux With Ease Using UNetbootin How To Install Linux With Ease Using UNetbootin We've already talked about Linux and why you should try it, but probably the hardest part of getting used to Linux is getting it in the first place. For Windows users, the simplest way is... Read More to create bootable Live USB sticks, but also the option of installing Ubuntu from within Windows.

ubuntu review

By far the easiest and most-straightforward option available to you if you’re already a Windows user, simply head over to Ubuntu’s home page and download the Windows installer. Run it, choose your particular flavour, nominate a spare partition GParted - The Ultimate In Partitioning Software GParted - The Ultimate In Partitioning Software Read More and you’re done. Then all you have to do is reboot into your shiny new OS. Simple.

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Re-Install Your Favourite Software

Those of you who use primarily free software on Windows will be pleased to see most of your favourites are still available, but in Linux flavour. A prime example is Google’s Chrome web browser (which trades under the open-source name “Chromium” on Ubuntu) which runs noticeably faster on my Linux install than it does on Windows 7.

ubuntu software

Vital bits and bobs like VLC, 7Zip 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats Read More and Skype all have compatible Ubuntu variants. Granted, you’re not going to find Linux versions of all your favourites, but that brings us nicely onto….

Wine

Derived from the acronym “Wine Is Not an Emulator” the popular Microsoft Windows compatibility layer Run Windows Applications on Linux (or Mac) with WINE Run Windows Applications on Linux (or Mac) with WINE Read More means you don’t have to leave all of your Windows-specific programs behind. Popular Windows applications that work well in Ubuntu include Adobe Photoshop An Idiot's Guide to Installing Photoshop CS5 on Ubuntu 10.04 An Idiot's Guide to Installing Photoshop CS5 on Ubuntu 10.04 Read More , Spotify Stream Music For Free With Spotify (+ Invites) Stream Music For Free With Spotify (+ Invites) Read More (standard Windows version, not the subscriber-only experimental Linux version) and even games like World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike: Source.

ubuntu software

My main issue as a wannabe Ubuntu user was the lack of Photoshop. Now I’ve solved that, and I’ve got my beloved Spotify playlists back too! Of course not everything will work, but then you’ll also be able to….

Ditch Your Least-Favourite Software

As grateful as I am to have an antivirus program The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs Read More for Windows, I secretly despise it. For years I didn’t even use one, favouring the common sense approach of not clicking dodgy executables. We all know this isn’t enough though, and if you truly want to secure your Microsoft box then it’s a necessity.

Not with Linux. Permissions play a huge part of any UNIX operating system, meaning it’s nearly impossible for something to execute on your PC unless you explicitly tell it to. Even then you’re going to need administrator access and a password.

I’m not saying Ubuntu is impervious to attacks, and there are a number of antivirus programs aimed at Linux. Many users simply install protection to prevent spreading viruses to users running Windows.

If you’re concerned check out Wikipedia’s known list of Linux infections. I don’t run an antivirus with Ubuntu and for me this is one of the most liberating aspects of the OS. I’ve got some precious RAM back, my CPU usage doesn’t spike when my antivirus deems it necessary to and my machine boots faster than ever.

Customization

Many Mac users harp on about how pretty their OS is, and a lot of Windows users can’t really argue with that. The default GNOME skin isn’t exactly beautiful, but you can quite easily change that (and everything else to boot).

ubuntu review

From your taskbars and window interfaces, to adding fancy effects and OS X-style docks that actually work – you have an immense amount of options available to you. Ubuntu users who want the most eye candy Linux Eye-Candy Linux Eye-Candy Read More possible should check out the Emerald window decorator which makes your title bars look sexier than ever and Avant Window Manager, a dock that’s functional and beautiful.

Conclusion

I’m not trying to convince you to ditch Windows. I don’t plan on getting rid of my Windows partition completely either, but variety is the spice of life. Ubuntu won’t cost you a penny and it comes with everything you need to get going straight away. We also have published a cool Ubuntu guide to help you started.

With a bit of time, extra reading and effort on your part you can create a beautiful OS that is as smooth as it is beautiful. Did I mention everything was free?

  1. Charge_errorfm
    November 10, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Ricky your right on, and I agree with a couple of exceptions. Being an IT consultant with over 20 years experience, I service over 40 businesses and see / meet new people just about every day and flat out your points are huge and reality. However.. there ARE clean UI distro's, and if people were introduced to mature, clean distro's with common UI's and themes this would all change quick. I believe nearly everything you can do CAN be done on most distros.. and Mint, Ubuntu and a few others are *very* close to being able to be introduced and used wide scale. There still are things that are UI dissimilar and flat out clunky.. but there are in all os's IMO.

    In my experiments with linux I have introduced quite a few people to it, and MANY refuse it because of "no MS Office", "cant run my apps I like"..etc.. But few cant deal with it because of butt ugly UI.

    But sadly, I agree with you that the downfall of linux is its lack of common UI, some bad decisions on how things work, and *requirement* in many cases of "DL and Install" to "get it sexy".

  2. Tim Brookes
    October 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    According to WineHQ's AppDB it might run but probably won't be entirely functional.

    http://appdb.winehq.org/object...

    I'd try it out for yourself, you never know. Perhaps let WineHQ know your results!

  3. Liam Howlett
    October 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Will Ubuntu or failing that xandros install propellor heads reason?

  4. Ricky Mills
    October 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    did u n0 u s0und leik a twat wenz u type lyke datz? Grow up kid.

    My point is simple: I can use Linux (I own a hosting company and manage over 50 CentOS and RHEL based servers). However as a desktop operating system for the AVERAGE user, its crap for the following, valid reasons:

    - Butt ugly, not a nice 'simple' or 'sleek' user interface, but a slapped together mess of different styles and standards by different people. There are no design practices for *Nix, which unfortunately means apps look hideous and are not user friendly. They fail majorly at usability.

    - Too many options: Its great that you can customise everything. But your average joe doesn't want to do that, so why (as standard) provide options to do stuff like install server packages, or upgrade a kernel. More pointless UI stuff.

    You can whine and moan all you like, but the downfall of Linux is its lack of the most basic usable standards.

  5. MicroBuntu
    October 9, 2010 at 6:10 am

    I did get it online at one put through the ethernet and enabled the gfx card throught the hardware manager but it didnt seem to work for some reason. I previously had Karmic Koala running on a HP laptop with Intel gfx, never got the dialup modem to work, driver installed (i believe) but just couldn't connect.

    Before the MBP's got i7 processors, I had purchased a Toshiba laptop running i7 and nVidia gfx for $1899, a friend of mine had purchased a MBP with a core 2 dual core running 2.5Ghz I believe for around $1600 around the same time. The performance for the dollar value was exponential, a extra $200 got me a 8core monster on par or better then desktop systems at the time. Then with the advent of the i5 and i7 chips MBP's got a boost but the price for performance is still heavily in PC systems favour. The 2.66ghz i7 dual core dual threaded cpu coupled with a nVidia GT330 gpu is priced at $2199. I've ran this system and it still couldn't really compete with the the 1.6ghz quad core dual threaded in the Toshiba, the gpu is also lacking with 512mb of ram vs 1gb and system memory of 4gb vs 6gb.

    Qosmio x505
    http://browse.geekbench.ca/gee...

    Mid 2010 MBP
    http://browse.geekbench.ca/gee...

  6. Josh Fox
    October 9, 2010 at 5:46 am

    That's odd, my old Toshiba laptop has the same RealTek wireless chipset and it's worked from a fresh install of Ubuntu since 8.04. Also, once you get online with it, most nVidia and ATI drivers can be installed through the Hardware Manager (I think that's what it's called, I uninstalled it on mine) in Ubuntu. I think it will work with more than just video cards, so if you get it wired, it might fix your wireless problem as well. I haven't had to do that because I tend to stick with Intel chipsets whenever possible. Might not have the performance of nVidia or ATI, but I trust them for reliability.

    On the note of Apple being overpriced, I completely agree, that's the biggest thing preventing me from getting a Mac. You can get a PC with comparable specs for about half the price or sometimes less, especially if you build the system yourself. The only upside I've seen to spending so much for Apple's hardware is that they do offer a rather good warranty. I still don't feel that justifies their price though. I can't say much about the OS though because I haven't really used it for more than half an hour.

  7. MicroBuntu
    October 9, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I agree, but as I said, I was referring to the performance/value of the platform (OS as well as hardware). In my experience Windows has served me better than OSx. My only issue with Apple is expensive hardware and OSx just lacks features I've become accustomed to. Issue with Linux hardware support and usefulness of Linux software.

    On my main system a Toshiba Qosmio, the issues are with RealTek RTL8191SE Wifi and nVidia GTS250M gfx card. I have found the means of getting them up and running but not being able to connect to the internet directly I haven't gotten around to installing those. Thats one of the features that aid in the usefulness of Windows and OSx over Linux systems, I can install Windows 7 and windows update would automatically find and install drivers for my devices, OSx generally has all the drivers it needs as Apple makes both the hardware and the OS. With Linux its takes some digging around to get drivers installed.

    (P.S. My main rig is dual booting Win7 and Lucid Lynx.)

  8. Josh Fox
    October 9, 2010 at 4:47 am

    In my experience, no OS is "better" than another, they all have their own issues. After that, it's just a matter of which issues a person wants to deal with (or what type of people they want helping them).

    Speaking of issues, what drivers do you have problems with? The only drivers I've ever had to install myself were for a dial-up modem and one of my ATI video cards, which neither posed more problem than they did in Windows.

  9. MicroBuntu
    October 9, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Which just says if windows really was all that bad it wouldn't still be leading OS sells.
    Personally I prefer Windows over Linux because it just works, it's what I know, it does all I need it to do. My biggest issue with Linux systems is driver support, and programs that do what I need it to do.
    And being that Apple only sells their OS on their hardware, Gates shutting Steve out today is invalid. Macs are expensive, fairly reliable, but performance/value per dollar, Windows (or any non-Mac hardware offering as Macs are perfectly capable of running Windows OSes) is better.

  10. Josh Fox
    October 9, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Actually, Microsoft has 80+% of the market share because they've had a contract with all of the major vendors that their OS is the only one allowed from the factory and that's where Windows' initial popularity came from, so now that's just what people expect. This was done when Steve Jobs was looking for hardware to go with his shiny new Mac OS and Gates was doing what he could to block him.

    At this point, it's all a matter of marketing and popularity.

  11. Tim Brookes
    October 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I still have yet to sort out SMB shares between Ubuntu and Windows 7 (using Samba). As this is something I use daily I still have to reboot into Windows in order to make use of it.

    I know there's a way to do it, I've just not sat down and worked it out yet!

    That's probably the main reason I still boot into Windows.

  12. SmartAssProducts
    October 6, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Keep plugging away at it. Show people what they're missing--let them see what your environment looks like. Point them to threads like mine, http://smartassproducts.blogsp... and ask them, can windoze do this? Let them see how we get to choose between one desktop--which is what they're stuck with--and many more; show them my screenshots and let them see a desktop cube with nine different desktops, each with a different configuration. Keep reminding them that there are excellent counterparts--for FREE--for just about anything they're used to in the 'doze world. So when they ask "will it run my windoze programs?" tell them there's no need for it to do that. It has its own programs.

    If they have the unfounded fear that support will not be readily available if they switch to Linux, reassure them! That should not be an issue at this point.

  13. MicroBuntu
    October 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    My piece: If you can't master Windows, you'll never get Ubuntu.
    Granted Ubuntu is one of the most advanced and easiest Linux based Oses out there, but you still need a decent amount of skill and knowledge to get everything up and working. Drivers being the biggest issue.

    (Dual booting Win 7 Ult x64 and Lucid Lynx x64)

  14. MicroBuntu
    October 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    My piece: If you can't master Windows, you'll never get Ubuntu.
    Granted Ubuntu is one of the most advanced and easiest Linux based Oses out there, but you still need a decent amount of skill and knowledge to get everything up and working. Drivers being the biggest issue.

    (Dual booting Win 7 Ult x64 and Lucid Lynx x64)

  15. Dan Stephenson
    October 4, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I've recently installed Ubuntu via WUBI and I love it. It's a great and quick OS.

  16. madjr
    October 3, 2010 at 8:03 am

    depends on the computer

    i've had 3 different laptops and they have all worked very well with the wifi

    i've heard a good amount of wifi drivers are becoming open source, so maybe there's more luck for you sooner than later

  17. Turk
    September 30, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I dont understand how Ubuntu could get anymore easier. Hell, if it had an "Easy" button it would be nulified...

  18. Turk
    September 30, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I dont understand how Ubuntu could get anymore easier. Hell, if it had an "Easy" button it would be nulified...

  19. Alan
    September 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

    IMHO one big issue of Ubuntu is still WiFi support. I have installed Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx on two desktop systems, and WiFi support didn't work out of the box on both. On one PC I had to blacklist wrong drivers and install new ones, and on the other I had to downgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 to make WiFi connection work.
    Once you've succeeded to make internet connection work, Ubuntu is great, quit customizable and very stable, but failing WiFi drivers are a showstopper.
    (I use Ubuntu since version 6.10 Dapper Drake)

  20. Alan
    September 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

    IMHO one big issue of Ubuntu is still WiFi support. I have installed Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx on two desktop systems, and WiFi support didn't work out of the box on both. On one PC I had to blacklist wrong drivers and install new ones, and on the other I had to downgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 to make WiFi connection work.
    Once you've succeeded to make internet connection work, Ubuntu is great, quit customizable and very stable, but failing WiFi drivers are a showstopper.
    (I use Ubuntu since version 6.10 Dapper Drake)

    • Anonymous
      October 3, 2010 at 6:03 am

      depends on the computer

      i've had 3 different laptops and they have all worked very well with the wifi

      i've heard a good amount of wifi drivers are becoming open source, so maybe there's more luck for you sooner than later

  21. Jacklimbu
    September 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Linux Rocks forever. Its green OS developed without spending and expending Green Color money ($$$) ! and developed by people who think human intelligence is not weighed in money. Linux is just beyond money.

  22. Stephen Hart
    September 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Id live to run this on my older a22p ibm think pad but each time I load it the graphic GUI is reall screwed up. It would be great if smehow Linux could take advantage of the frivers that work and incorperate them in the load.

    • Tim Brookes
      September 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      Have you thought about using Xubuntu? Instead of using the GNOME desktop environment it uses XFCE which is optimized for older machines.

  23. SmartAssProducts
    September 23, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Once windows users see what they're missing by not using Linux, they tend to drop Micro$oft and run to the freedom, versatility, and stability of Linux. My blog post, "A Linux user wonders, can Windows do this?" -- http://smartassproducts.blogsp... -- is illustrated with screenshots of amazing desktop effects, such as desktop cube, that windoze users can only dream about!

  24. SmartAssProducts
    September 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Once windows users see what they're missing by not using Linux, they tend to drop Micro$oft and run to the freedom, versatility, and stability of Linux. My blog post, "A Linux user wonders, can Windows do this?" -- http://smartassproducts.blogspot.com/2010/09/linux-user-wonders-can-windows-do-this.html -- is illustrated with screenshots of amazing desktop effects, such as desktop cube, that windoze users can only dream about!

    • Lisa
      September 25, 2010 at 12:16 am

      Cool blog post and great photos of your critters! :)

    • SmartAssProducts
      October 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks! :)

  25. Suryamp
    September 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    You can try to use autohotkey to try to make that possible in windows. Its a great program which has numerous uses just waiting to be discovered. It solved a LOT of problems for me. Try it yourself. Its free, and has good support from volunteers.
    the site: autohotkey.com

  26. Flezzey
    September 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Ditto rmwebs,
    Ubuntu only user-friendly if you use it just as it comes. Once you try to install additional programs, then your troubles really start, trying to find Linux drivers for them. Even a very common Huawei E160 USB 3G Modem =- impossible !!!

  27. Flezzey
    September 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Hmmm! As a "Senior" with over 20 years experience in DOS and Windows, I have desperately craved Linux for ALL the reasosn stated. Two yrs back I installed Ubuntu 8.4 on a 9yo Compaq Notebook with just 375 Mb RAM and a 766 Mhx Intel chip. Ubuntu worked as fast as my AMD X2 5000 desktop, with 4 Gb RAM and Dual Core 2.6 Ghz processor!
    That said, the Ubuntu was running just the bog standard desktop, which does most things for the average user, with open Office (superior to MS Office), Firefox, thunderbird and so on.
    Just last month I installed Ubuntu 10.4 and got badly burned. It is even better than 8.4 and installed all my system drivers, sound card (ATI RAdeon HD4770). I was stoked. the cam a simple issue like a Huawei E160 USB Wireless 3G Modem. Like hitting a Brick Wall, except the pain lasted almost a month!
    No one could help me; ISP, Huawei, Linux & Ubuntu Forums, incl Launchpad. Somone suggested I try downloading NDISwrapper and instal to "wrap " my Huwaei Win Driver in a Liinux kernel, or something like that. I spent hours cross-referencing various sources and when confident, armed with a set of written instructions, I went for it. Followed the instructions word for word, double-checking EACH step. End result, it crashed my whole system, even lost my Master Boot Record for Windows XP Pro.
    Took days to get out of that mess, and back to good old reliable XP.
    Not one Liinux or Ubuntu Forum mentioned anything about Wine, which soounds as if I should have used. in fact so posts on these Forums openly stated long-term Win users were a mindless bunch who "just don't get it." I received more criticisms tha helpful replies. Even the "helpful" replies were one or two lines - "try this, do that." No meaningful or practical information. unlike Win Forums such as tech republic and others.
    It seems to me many Liinux afficionados are better at one liners and insults, than teaching or instructing people who are new to Linux. New users finds themselves floundering in a sea of Liinux jargon, and even then having to read between so many lines within the scanty instructions given. I am still reeliing from the experience.
    AND, I hadn't even got to the issue of drivers for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Audition, Camedia Image Studio, 3d, Animation and Graphics software !!!
    it will be a while before I get the courage to try Ubuntu again. Sorry !

  28. Tim Brookes
    September 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Hopefully not. Before doing anything major always remember to backup (even if you just use Dropbox for your main documents).

    The best way to install would be through your existing Windows OS. Check out our article about doing this with Wubi here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/h...

    That guide should give you a good idea what dual-booting the two operating systems entail.

    I use Linux a lot these days, but I'll never get rid of Windows. Despite all its problems it's still bloody useful.

  29. Black Friday Deals
    September 21, 2010 at 11:52 am

    after reading this one... i might me switching to linux then.. will i be losing all my files?

    • Tim Brookes
      September 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

      Hopefully not. Before doing anything major always remember to backup (even if you just use Dropbox for your main documents).

      The best way to install would be through your existing Windows OS. Check out our article about doing this with Wubi here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-safely-dual-boot-windows-and-linux-with-wubi-installer/

      That guide should give you a good idea what dual-booting the two operating systems entail.

      I use Linux a lot these days, but I'll never get rid of Windows. Despite all its problems it's still bloody useful.

    • SmartAssProducts
      October 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      Just curious as to what, specifically, keeps you using windoze.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      Simply put; Linux isn't ready yet.

    • Tim Brookes
      October 7, 2010 at 10:00 am

      I still have yet to sort out SMB shares between Ubuntu and Windows 7 (using Samba). As this is something I use daily I still have to reboot into Windows in order to make use of it.

      I know there's a way to do it, I've just not sat down and worked it out yet!

      That's probably the main reason I still boot into Windows.

  30. Carl
    September 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Having supported Windows from Windows 386 to the present I became completely fed up with the Microsoft OS cycle of hype-disappointment-hype-disappointment with the release of Vista, it wasn't as bad as Windows Bob (remember that) but give me a break. You expect us to pay for this *&#%$. Dont't get me started on the server side. Decided to load Ubuntu, and what a wonderful change. I would love to move my clients to it but there is a big fear of a OS move for many. Sad, why live in the OS slums with someone trying to take your money at every turn when some open source relief is just around the corner? I could write a small book on this subject, but for now I'll just support from a VBox XP Pro remote desktop session in a corner of a desktop in my Compiz Fusion Cube, which seems to run better than XP running directly, and it's so easy to switch back to all the stuff I've got going on the other 3 Ubuntu desktops.

  31. Carl
    September 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Having supported Windows from Windows 386 to the present I became completely fed up with the Microsoft OS cycle of hype-disappointment-hype-disappointment with the release of Vista, it wasn't as bad as Windows Bob (remember that) but give me a break. You expect us to pay for this *&#%$. Dont't get me started on the server side. Decided to load Ubuntu, and what a wonderful change. I would love to move my clients to it but there is a big fear of a OS move for many. Sad, why live in the OS slums with someone trying to take your money at every turn when some open source relief is just around the corner? I could write a small book on this subject, but for now I'll just support from a VBox XP Pro remote desktop session in a corner of a desktop in my Compiz Fusion Cube, which seems to run better than XP running directly, and it's so easy to switch back to all the stuff I've got going on the other 3 Ubuntu desktops.

    • SmartAssProducts
      October 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm

      Keep plugging away at it. Show people what they're missing--let them see what your environment looks like. Point them to threads like mine, http://smartassproducts.blogspot.com/2010/09/linux-user-wonders-can-windows-do-this.html and ask them, can windoze do this? Let them see how we get to choose between one desktop--which is what they're stuck with--and many more; show them my screenshots and let them see a desktop cube with nine different desktops, each with a different configuration. Keep reminding them that there are excellent counterparts--for FREE--for just about anything they're used to in the 'doze world. So when they ask "will it run my windoze programs?" tell them there's no need for it to do that. It has its own programs.

      If they have the unfounded fear that support will not be readily available if they switch to Linux, reassure them! That should not be an issue at this point.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 9, 2010 at 1:11 am

      I hate when people bash Windows like its actually bad. If it wasn't so great it wouldnt hold 80+% of the market share.

    • Josh Fox
      October 9, 2010 at 1:46 am

      Actually, Microsoft has 80+% of the market share because they've had a contract with all of the major vendors that their OS is the only one allowed from the factory and that's where Windows' initial popularity came from, so now that's just what people expect. This was done when Steve Jobs was looking for hardware to go with his shiny new Mac OS and Gates was doing what he could to block him.

      At this point, it's all a matter of marketing and popularity.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 9, 2010 at 2:33 am

      Which just says if windows really was all that bad it wouldn't still be leading OS sells.
      Personally I prefer Windows over Linux because it just works, it's what I know, it does all I need it to do. My biggest issue with Linux systems is driver support, and programs that do what I need it to do.
      And being that Apple only sells their OS on their hardware, Gates shutting Steve out today is invalid. Macs are expensive, fairly reliable, but performance/value per dollar, Windows (or any non-Mac hardware offering as Macs are perfectly capable of running Windows OSes) is better.

    • Josh Fox
      October 9, 2010 at 2:47 am

      In my experience, no OS is "better" than another, they all have their own issues. After that, it's just a matter of which issues a person wants to deal with (or what type of people they want helping them).

      Speaking of issues, what drivers do you have problems with? The only drivers I've ever had to install myself were for a dial-up modem and one of my ATI video cards, which neither posed more problem than they did in Windows.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 9, 2010 at 3:22 am

      I agree, but as I said, I was referring to the performance/value of the platform (OS as well as hardware). In my experience Windows has served me better than OSx. My only issue with Apple is expensive hardware and OSx just lacks features I've become accustomed to. Issue with Linux hardware support and usefulness of Linux software.

      On my main system a Toshiba Qosmio, the issues are with RealTek RTL8191SE Wifi and nVidia GTS250M gfx card. I have found the means of getting them up and running but not being able to connect to the internet directly I haven't gotten around to installing those. Thats one of the features that aid in the usefulness of Windows and OSx over Linux systems, I can install Windows 7 and windows update would automatically find and install drivers for my devices, OSx generally has all the drivers it needs as Apple makes both the hardware and the OS. With Linux its takes some digging around to get drivers installed.

      (P.S. My main rig is dual booting Win7 and Lucid Lynx.)

    • Josh Fox
      October 9, 2010 at 3:46 am

      That's odd, my old Toshiba laptop has the same RealTek wireless chipset and it's worked from a fresh install of Ubuntu since 8.04. Also, once you get online with it, most nVidia and ATI drivers can be installed through the Hardware Manager (I think that's what it's called, I uninstalled it on mine) in Ubuntu. I think it will work with more than just video cards, so if you get it wired, it might fix your wireless problem as well. I haven't had to do that because I tend to stick with Intel chipsets whenever possible. Might not have the performance of nVidia or ATI, but I trust them for reliability.

      On the note of Apple being overpriced, I completely agree, that's the biggest thing preventing me from getting a Mac. You can get a PC with comparable specs for about half the price or sometimes less, especially if you build the system yourself. The only upside I've seen to spending so much for Apple's hardware is that they do offer a rather good warranty. I still don't feel that justifies their price though. I can't say much about the OS though because I haven't really used it for more than half an hour.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 9, 2010 at 4:10 am

      I did get it online at one put through the ethernet and enabled the gfx card throught the hardware manager but it didnt seem to work for some reason. I previously had Karmic Koala running on a HP laptop with Intel gfx, never got the dialup modem to work, driver installed (i believe) but just couldn't connect.Before the MBP's got i7 processors, I had purchased a Toshiba laptop running i7 and nVidia gfx for $1899, a friend of mine had purchased a MBP with a core 2 dual core running 2.5Ghz I believe for around $1600 around the same time. The performance for the dollar value was exponential, a extra $200 got me a 8core monster on par or better then desktop systems at the time. Then with the advent of the i5 and i7 chips MBP's got a boost but the price for performance is still heavily in PC systems favour. The 2.66ghz i7 dual core dual threaded cpu coupled with a nVidia GT330 gpu is priced at $2199. I've ran this system and it still couldn't really compete with the the 1.6ghz quad core dual threaded in the Toshiba, the gpu is also lacking with 512mb of ram vs 1gb and system memory of 4gb vs 6gb.

      Qosmio x505
      http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/260014

      Mid 2010 MBP
      http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/271051

  32. Miggs
    September 20, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Windows OS seems easier to use only for those accustomed with it. I bet every computer beginner would think the oposite. In Ubuntu you won't have to install / look for drivers, don't have to look for apps (as they're in Software Centre), you won't have to deal with viruses & co. The apps coming with it 'just work': a few games, utilities (bluetooth manager, screenshot grabber to name a few) office suite, messenger, browser, video/audio players, cd/dvd burner, photo manager and so on... Everything an ordinary user would ever need. That's why, I always said, when it comes to medium users Ubuntu OS is easier than Windows.

  33. Moss Bliss
    September 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    You will find that if you completely ditch Windoze on your old machine, your Ubuntu will run even faster -- the WUbI layer does take a bit of memory and services to run properly.

    A recent online article rated Ubuntu vs. Windoze 7, and Ubuntu came a whopping 3 points behind (out of some large number of points) -- now try comparing it to VistaSux or XP.

    You will find that Wine will not run M$ Office, but there is a program which is based on Wine, called Crossover, which does. While nearly all Linux software is free, Crossover costs $39.95. Most users can do just fine with OpenOffice.org, KOffice, or GNOME Office... but more professional editor types (like me) have to have M$Office.

    I currently own two desktops and a laptop, and only one desktop is running non-Ubuntu OS. That will change as soon as I allocate funds for Crossover, and I'm selling my older desktop to a friend.

  34. Moss Bliss
    September 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    You will find that if you completely ditch Windoze on your old machine, your Ubuntu will run even faster -- the WUbI layer does take a bit of memory and services to run properly.

    A recent online article rated Ubuntu vs. Windoze 7, and Ubuntu came a whopping 3 points behind (out of some large number of points) -- now try comparing it to VistaSux or XP.

    You will find that Wine will not run M$ Office, but there is a program which is based on Wine, called Crossover, which does. While nearly all Linux software is free, Crossover costs $39.95. Most users can do just fine with OpenOffice.org, KOffice, or GNOME Office... but more professional editor types (like me) have to have M$Office.

    I currently own two desktops and a laptop, and only one desktop is running non-Ubuntu OS. That will change as soon as I allocate funds for Crossover, and I'm selling my older desktop to a friend.

  35. Andreas Beer
    September 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    being forced to use ubuntu at work, i know why i'll never use it at home. Probably many issues are due to not being root, but I can't even switch interface language to english, as the company decided to only use german ubuntu. would be ok for me, if i could at least switch my browser to an english interface. no can do.

    ubuntu needs some serious UI-designers who actually help the users to achieve what they want to do, and stop thinking to technical and form follows function design.

  36. Andreas Beer
    September 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    being forced to use ubuntu at work, i know why i'll never use it at home. Probably many issues are due to not being root, but I can't even switch interface language to english, as the company decided to only use german ubuntu. would be ok for me, if i could at least switch my browser to an english interface. no can do.

    ubuntu needs some serious UI-designers who actually help the users to achieve what they want to do, and stop thinking to technical and form follows function design.

    • Anonymous
      September 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm

      That is very strange, did you investigate on the forums on how to do it? Did you try to post your issue in some forum? Since it is only firefox, you should even be able to install a 2nd copy in your home directory and customize it to your heart's desire. If the problem is that your system lacks English language resources that any program would need, then that might have a workaround too.

  37. jasray
    September 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Interesting that so many comments attend the posting on Linux. People must be taking sides attempting to claim one OS is better than another, that one OS will take away the suffering caused by another OS, that one OS provides all that the other OS doesn't. In reality, it doesn't really matter which OS one uses. If a person learns the OS in use--inside and out--all will be well. It's when a person loads an OS and thinks it's the end of updates or tweaking or proactive defense, that all becomes horrifically awful--a nightmare. I guess it's like religions--they all lead to the same Goal--just different Paths.

  38. Riyi3i3
    September 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Ubuntu is a great OS . The software are amazing but the newbie users or those who working on windows won't love it fast especially if they have a specific software they using every day like me , I couldn't work on ubuntu for a long time because i have work to do on windows , But it's very useful when you got a problem with windows you gust use the live CD. And fix your computer or looking for a solutions on the internet , I always recommend to have a copy from ubuntu in case you have any problems with your pc
    :)

  39. Riyi3i3
    September 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Ubuntu is a great OS . The software are amazing but the newbie users or those who working on windows won't love it fast especially if they have a specific software they using every day like me , I couldn't work on ubuntu for a long time because i have work to do on windows , But it's very useful when you got a problem with windows you gust use the live CD. And fix your computer or looking for a solutions on the internet , I always recommend to have a copy from ubuntu in case you have any problems with your pc
    :)

  40. Ch1X0r
    September 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Ubuntu is incredibly difficult to "harden" or "lock down" or whatever term you want to use to describe increasing a workstation's security profile. I wouldn't recommend it for a high-security environment. I watched a guy spend several weeks on trying to make a Ubuntu workstation compliant with the DISA STIG for Linux. He was not successful.

  41. Ga6939russell
    September 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Some have mentioned that UBUNTU only comes with GNOME desktop. Actually, one can install KDE (KUBUNTU) or XCFE (XUBUNTU) also.

  42. irha
    September 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Just to clarify, one big reason I still have to use windows at home is because of the various audio/video chat options available. Previously, only skype would work out of the box, but now google added support for google talk, so it is good. There are a few solutions with multi-protocol chat clients using a concoction of libraries and programs, but it was very hard to get them to work, and even when worked, it was not reliable.

    On the other hand, Ubuntu would have been great on my second PC with is a HTPC, but I still had to use windows because XBMC failed to work in fullscreen under Ubuntu, while VLC worked fine. Another major issue is that Netflix is not supported in Ubuntu. I don't have BD-ROM drive yet, but that would be anther problem in the future. I should have probably bought a different chipset motherboard (I have 780g) but I had no idea before I built it.

  43. Oron Joffe
    September 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Chrome and Chromium are not quite the same thing (Chromium is an open source development version). Both are available on Linux.

  44. albert
    September 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I dual booted for years with Windows and Linux. During that phase, I tried several different Linux distros. Now, however, I am in a new phase; I use only Ubuntu on my computer for over 2 years now. I did have XP running in virtualbox but I gave that up after 2 months. I did it because I could.

    there are no answers when asking questions of personal preferences.

    Linux people will continue to get lots of stuff done, Apple people will continue to enjoy syncing their ipods, and windows people will continue waiting for the miracle that is suppose to be the next big OS upgrade.

    Pity we don't have Bill to kick around any more.

  45. albert
    September 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I dual booted for years with Windows and Linux. During that phase, I tried several different Linux distros. Now, however, I am in a new phase; I use only Ubuntu on my computer for over 2 years now. I did have XP running in virtualbox but I gave that up after 2 months. I did it because I could.

    there are no answers when asking questions of personal preferences.

    Linux people will continue to get lots of stuff done, Apple people will continue to enjoy syncing their ipods, and windows people will continue waiting for the miracle that is suppose to be the next big OS upgrade.

    Pity we don't have Bill to kick around any more.

  46. rolandoislas
    September 17, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    If you decide to try ubuntu (http://ubuntu.com), then you can customize it to look like Windows or OSX. For example:

    Windows7: http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg4...

    OSX: http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg1...

  47. Anonymous
    September 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm
  48. Searle47
    September 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Another good reason to create a live Ubuntu thumb drive or CD, even if you're not going to install it, is it's a great diagnostic - and sometimes repair - tool. I have a fairly new Toshiba notebook running Windows 7, which is pretty good for Windows. But one day it coughed up an error message exclaiming there was a problem with the fan, and I must shut down the computer and send it in for service immediately. I could tell the fan was not running, and the box was hot. Every reboot got the same result. So just for S&G, I booted Ubuntu from my thumb drive, and bang! the fan kicked on. When I restarted in Windows, the fan was running and hasn't failed yet.

    A co-worker had the identical machine, acquired a couple of months after mine, and sure enough, a couple of months later his machine threw the same error. I booted his PC in Ubuntu, then rebooted in Windows, and problem solved.

    Don't really know or care much what caused the problem. Just pleased to have the fix.

    Also have an older Toshiba laptop that fried its drive, so I sent it back for repair. It returned with a dead WiFi adapter, so back it went. This time it returned with Windows willing to run for about 5 minutes and then freeze. This machine now runs Ubuntu full time, and it's very happy, lots faster.

    Ubuntu also comes with Open Office, which mimics Microsoft Office, so I can do pretty much anything I need to on this box.

  49. Searle47
    September 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Another good reason to create a live Ubuntu thumb drive or CD, even if you're not going to install it, is it's a great diagnostic - and sometimes repair - tool. I have a fairly new Toshiba notebook running Windows 7, which is pretty good for Windows. But one day it coughed up an error message exclaiming there was a problem with the fan, and I must shut down the computer and send it in for service immediately. I could tell the fan was not running, and the box was hot. Every reboot got the same result. So just for S&G, I booted Ubuntu from my thumb drive, and bang! the fan kicked on. When I restarted in Windows, the fan was running and hasn't failed yet.

    A co-worker had the identical machine, acquired a couple of months after mine, and sure enough, a couple of months later his machine threw the same error. I booted his PC in Ubuntu, then rebooted in Windows, and problem solved.

    Don't really know or care much what caused the problem. Just pleased to have the fix.

    Also have an older Toshiba laptop that fried its drive, so I sent it back for repair. It returned with a dead WiFi adapter, so back it went. This time it returned with Windows willing to run for about 5 minutes and then freeze. This machine now runs Ubuntu full time, and it's very happy, lots faster.

    Ubuntu also comes with Open Office, which mimics Microsoft Office, so I can do pretty much anything I need to on this box.

  50. sstudley
    September 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Too bad the most of the mal-people seem to be doing phishing trips. Seems that no matter the OS, the user still has to keep his paranoia level up when doing email and browsing.

    Good for all of us that most of the new browsers are doing a lot to fight phishing and malware sites, next upgrade is the user...

  51. Tim Brookes
    September 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    You're right, I did only mention GNOME in my post. The reason for this is because I was focusing just on Ubuntu, which comes with only GNOME as its desktop environment. I did mention other linux distros, and linked to Justin's excellent article about the many different variations on Ubuntu (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/v...

    You're right again, it is possible to install multiple desktops but as the article was aimed at the casual Linux newbie, I kept it simple and in-keeping with Ubuntu's default loadout.

    The KDE vs GNOME argument is an interesting one. Despite KDE looking a lot more like Windows, GNOME is considerably simpler to use. There's undoubtedly less knobs and buttons to press within GNOME, which makes it better for newer users. The other point is if someone's already a bit fed-up of what they're using, maybe something considerably different would help them get over their boredom?

    I recently also tried to install KDE as well as GNOME by downloading the Kubuntu desktop package and let's just say it took me a good few hours in recovery mode just to even get my laptop to boot into something other than the Terminal. Not quite sure what I did, but I certainly wouldn't want to pass on dodgy advice.

  52. Rajeeva
    September 17, 2010 at 5:54 am

    windows is the past, the future belongs to ubuntu. people feel awkward with ubuntu because their habits have been adulterated with prolonged windows use. not only for disgruntled windows users - even if you are unbiased - ubuntu is far better than windows

  53. rMatey180
    September 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I don't know about the comment referring to having to use the terminal so much. Sure I use it to do those special installations of out of the ordinary or beta installations (chrome, FF betas, etc) But you don't have to even do that if you have the Software Center, or have Ubuntu Tweak installed.

  54. rMatey180
    September 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I don't know about the comment referring to having to use the terminal so much. Sure I use it to do those special installations of out of the ordinary or beta installations (chrome, FF betas, etc) But you don't have to even do that if you have the Software Center, or have Ubuntu Tweak installed.

  55. DeadlyDad
    September 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I have switched dozens of people over to Linux through the years, and, for those who need the comfort of things not changing too much, I use the XPGnome script and/or walk them through changing Firefox to look and act more like IE. I've found that most users love the whole idea of being able to install all the software they could want, right from the package manager, as well as losing the headaches of having to update each program separately under Windows. In fact, I've had more than one person figure out on their own that typing 'sudo apt-get install {guess-at-program-name}' was often the fastest way to install new software. (Heck, the ability to simply copy-and-paste complex things into a terminal window, instead of slowly making your way through a long, GUI-based list of instructions, literally had one old fellow in tears.)

    Two other packages I've always installed are hacktolive.org's Ubuntu restricted extras offline installer, and Ubuntu Tweak.

    Funnily enough, the biggest complaints I get from them are actually from their kids/grandkids/etc., who don't like that they can't easily run the newest Windows games.

  56. Josh Fox
    September 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I like the Wikipedia page listing the virus threats on Linux. 30 Virus and 11 Worms... probably all of which have been fixed on the OS level of Linux by now.

    • sstudley
      September 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

      Too bad the most of the mal-people seem to be doing phishing trips. Seems that no matter the OS, the user still has to keep his paranoia level up when doing email and browsing.

      Good for all of us that most of the new browsers are doing a lot to fight phishing and malware sites, next upgrade is the user...

  57. guest room gus
    September 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    You talk about disgruntled WIndows user but in your customization talk only about GNOME and its clone OS10.
    Having converted to Linux 4 years ago and having helped over 20 people (friends and family I do free support for) switch since, I think I have a good grasp how to do this.
    My first tip was having all these people use free software on Windows, so when they switch the recognize FF3, Thunderbird, OO and VLC (Skype isnt free software but a very important apps for many).

    2nd part is make them feel at home. If you have to skin/theme to look like their old OS, so be it but make it familiar at least.
    And GNOME/MAC is NOT familiar for Windows users.
    From the toolbar with the constant text to the different fonts and feel (GTK), it is quite a shock for newbies to get used to.
    Which is why I think the choice of distro is secondary to the choice of desktops.
    When I offer people both desktops (I use XCFE when its old hardware), Windows users will overwhelmingly choose the KDE4 desktop which has the same paradigm.
    Its similar without being same.
    Give people a choice and you will see.
    I keep mutliple desktops available on my laptop for that very reason.

    But I think we can safely say that the Linux desktops have reached the point where they are as easy or easier than the competition. I have quite a bit of seniors and newbies using Linux nowadays (PCLinuxOS/KDE4.5 is my newbies distro) and Linux is NOT any harder than the competition.

    This article gets a fail not because it wasnt good but you can NO do a paragraph about customization on a article about switching Windows users and NOT talk about desktop choice and KDE. Its the very definition of incompetent.
    Could be just a brain fart but its enough of an ommision in this type of article to get a bad mark.

    Proofread before you press Send.

  58. guest room gus
    September 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    You talk about disgruntled WIndows user but in your customization talk only about GNOME and its clone OS10.
    Having converted to Linux 4 years ago and having helped over 20 people (friends and family I do free support for) switch since, I think I have a good grasp how to do this.
    My first tip was having all these people use free software on Windows, so when they switch the recognize FF3, Thunderbird, OO and VLC (Skype isnt free software but a very important apps for many).

    2nd part is make them feel at home. If you have to skin/theme to look like their old OS, so be it but make it familiar at least.
    And GNOME/MAC is NOT familiar for Windows users.
    From the toolbar with the constant text to the different fonts and feel (GTK), it is quite a shock for newbies to get used to.
    Which is why I think the choice of distro is secondary to the choice of desktops.
    When I offer people both desktops (I use XCFE when its old hardware), Windows users will overwhelmingly choose the KDE4 desktop which has the same paradigm.
    Its similar without being same.
    Give people a choice and you will see.
    I keep mutliple desktops available on my laptop for that very reason.

    But I think we can safely say that the Linux desktops have reached the point where they are as easy or easier than the competition. I have quite a bit of seniors and newbies using Linux nowadays (PCLinuxOS/KDE4.5 is my newbies distro) and Linux is NOT any harder than the competition.

    This article gets a fail not because it wasnt good but you can NO do a paragraph about customization on a article about switching Windows users and NOT talk about desktop choice and KDE. Its the very definition of incompetent.
    Could be just a brain fart but its enough of an ommision in this type of article to get a bad mark.

    Proofread before you press Send.

    • Tim Brookes
      September 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

      You're right, I did only mention GNOME in my post. The reason for this is because I was focusing just on Ubuntu, which comes with only GNOME as its desktop environment. I did mention other linux distros, and linked to Justin's excellent article about the many different variations on Ubuntu (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/versions-ubuntu-technology-explained/).

      You're right again, it is possible to install multiple desktops but as the article was aimed at the casual Linux newbie, I kept it simple and in-keeping with Ubuntu's default loadout.

      The KDE vs GNOME argument is an interesting one. Despite KDE looking a lot more like Windows, GNOME is considerably simpler to use. There's undoubtedly less knobs and buttons to press within GNOME, which makes it better for newer users. The other point is if someone's already a bit fed-up of what they're using, maybe something considerably different would help them get over their boredom?

      I recently also tried to install KDE as well as GNOME by downloading the Kubuntu desktop package and let's just say it took me a good few hours in recovery mode just to even get my laptop to boot into something other than the Terminal. Not quite sure what I did, but I certainly wouldn't want to pass on dodgy advice.

  59. Daniel Fox
    September 16, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Hello,

    I read your Ubuntu piece on makeuseof.com with interest. I too dabble with Ubuntu and prefer to use it on the whole. That said, I always manage to break it when updating to a newer version, eg: Moving from 10.04 to 10.50 beta.

    When doing so, I screw up the grub settings and then can never get Ubuntu to startup again. Do you know about the right way of doing this?

    Thanks in advance.

  60. Daniel Fox
    September 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Hello,

    I read your Ubuntu piece on makeuseof.com with interest. I too dabble with Ubuntu and prefer to use it on the whole. That said, I always manage to break it when updating to a newer version, eg: Moving from 10.04 to 10.50 beta.

    When doing so, I screw up the grub settings and then can never get Ubuntu to startup again. Do you know about the right way of doing this?

    Thanks in advance.

  61. Anand
    September 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    The feature which i like most in ubuntu is middle click paste...why windows din't have this feature

    • Surya Prakash Manchikanti
      September 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      You can try to use autohotkey to try to make that possible in windows. Its a great program which has numerous uses just waiting to be discovered. It solved a LOT of problems for me. Try it yourself. Its free, and has good support from volunteers.
      the site: autohotkey.com

  62. Barista Uno
    September 16, 2010 at 4:50 am

    I am dual-booting with Peppermint OS (a fork of Lubuntu) and Windows XP. I find myself using the former 98% of the time for a variety of reasons, not least the sense of confidence you get from knowing that Linux is safer to use.

  63. Howie
    September 16, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I installed Ubuntu via WUBI, and it cruises so much faster than Windows. By the way, it was a snap to install.

  64. mrq
    September 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Our laptop came with Vista which made it practically unusable. We really use it mostly for web browsing and email, and since we switched to Ubuntu it's a zillion times more stable and much faster, plus it doesn't take forever to boot up!

  65. irha
    September 16, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I use linux for work, but at home I still use windows, and since I switched to windows 7, I am yet to get that frustrated (may be that time will come after a few months of usage).

    In case anyone wants to try ubuntu or other linux flavors more easily, then give coLinux based distros a try. What coLinux does is that it runs linux kernel as a windows service/process (somewhat like a VM) and provides a binary compatibility with linux. This allows you turn linux executables in parallel to windows ones, and this approach also gives the best of both worlds (and gives better performance than running linux in a VM).

    http://www.colinux.org
    http://www.andlinux.org/ (ubuntu distro for colinux)

    NOTE: coLinux is not currently supported on 64-bit windows.

  66. Anonymous
    September 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I use linux for work, but at home I still use windows, and since I switched to windows 7, I am yet to get that frustrated (may be that time will come after a few months of usage).

    In case anyone wants to try ubuntu or other linux flavors more easily, then give coLinux based distros a try. What coLinux does is that it runs linux kernel as a windows service/process (somewhat like a VM) and provides a binary compatibility with linux. This allows you turn linux executables in parallel to windows ones, and this approach also gives the best of both worlds (and gives better performance than running linux in a VM).

    http://www.colinux.org
    http://www.andlinux.org/ (ubuntu distro for colinux)

    NOTE: coLinux is not currently supported on 64-bit windows.

    • Anonymous
      September 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      Just to clarify, one big reason I still have to use windows at home is because of the various audio/video chat options available. Previously, only skype would work out of the box, but now google added support for google talk, so it is good. There are a few solutions with multi-protocol chat clients using a concoction of libraries and programs, but it was very hard to get them to work, and even when worked, it was not reliable.

      On the other hand, Ubuntu would have been great on my second PC with is a HTPC, but I still had to use windows because XBMC failed to work in fullscreen under Ubuntu, while VLC worked fine. Another major issue is that Netflix is not supported in Ubuntu. I don't have BD-ROM drive yet, but that would be anther problem in the future. I should have probably bought a different chipset motherboard (I have 780g) but I had no idea before I built it.

  67. Lisa
    September 16, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I'm no Linux expert by any means, but I think that even people who aren't disgruntled with Windows should give Linux a try. If all you need out of your computer is that it gets the job done, Linux probably isn't for you. If you like to tinker with computers and like to know how things work, Linux is well worth trying. Its quite rewarding when you figure out how something works or discover the solution to problems. Plus, the community support is amazing and (in my experience) has been very willing to help new people get started and learn.

    Cheers!

  68. Lisa
    September 15, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I'm no Linux expert by any means, but I think that even people who aren't disgruntled with Windows should give Linux a try. If all you need out of your computer is that it gets the job done, Linux probably isn't for you. If you like to tinker with computers and like to know how things work, Linux is well worth trying. Its quite rewarding when you figure out how something works or discover the solution to problems. Plus, the community support is amazing and (in my experience) has been very willing to help new people get started and learn.

    Cheers!

    • Guest
      September 15, 2010 at 11:41 pm

      I don't know what I'm doing then working for a website, as a journalist, using Linux all day every day as my only OS on my notebook that goes with me everywhere including the office. I don't have time yet to find out how all the things work in Linux, and I may never do that, but I can say that they work, and pretty fast and stable too!

    • Flezzey
      September 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Glad your Linux user forum experiences were markedly better than mine, Lisa. Perhaps your being of the fairer sex was more of an inducement for the Linux Affionados. NO offence toward you intended. than it was for me. For me, the experience was almost a month of Brick Walls, one-line sugestions and, even, insults for being a dumb-ass Windows user. Clearly Linux is too "Elite" a club for me.

    • Lisa
      September 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience with Linux communities. I suppose that I should clarify that I use Linux Mint and I've always seen the people on the Mint forum bend over backwards to help people, especially frustrated new users. I've heard that people on the forums for certain distros can be condescending and unhelpful, but that hasn't been my experience with the Mint folks.

    • Ricky Mills
      October 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Completely agree. I've been part of a good 10-15 Linux forums, and always find that a majority of the members come across as being very arogant and assume anyone asking a question is clearly another 'Windows Noob'. The Linux Community as a whole seems very much to be a 'figure it out yourself' kind of bunch.

  69. Anonymous
    September 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    When someone actually manages to design a half decent UI, I'll switch. Seriously GNOME and KDE are NOT friendly for 'newbie' users. If my grandma cant use it, its not a good UI. Windows & OS X Succeed because they are easy to use. Linux makes things complicated. The average user has no need for a terminal, weird inconsistent icons, and poorly designed window frames.

    • 4n0nym0usb0sch
      September 15, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      I'll agree that OSX has a pretty 'granny-proof' design, but I don't find Windows' interface to be any easier to use than the Gnome or KDE desktops. Sure, they behave according to slightly different paradigms, and some learning is needed with either. I DO think Linux still takes more savvy than Windows or Mac OSX to have a working knowledge of how to keep it running smoothly, but I don't think any of *nix's popular desktops are any more abstract or demanding than Windows'.

    • Bogdan
      September 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      Actually, OSX's interface is not as good as Windows'. It might look awesome at first sight, but when you dig deeper into it, you find out it lacks a lot of things.

    • Ivarin
      September 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      like what, for example?

    • Guest
      September 19, 2010 at 1:22 am

      A decent file manager.

    • Scott
      October 11, 2010 at 4:53 am

      Does XP have one? that will list the contents of a directory & allow me to save or print that list? Does Win7? If so, it's news to me--could you please post the exact name of the program that's part of Windows that does that? Thanks.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 11, 2010 at 5:43 am

      Uh yea its called explorer. Want to print a picture or document, right click, press print.

    • MicroBuntu
      October 5, 2010 at 1:52 am

      colour perhaps

    • Flezzey
      September 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

      Ditto rmwebs,
      Ubuntu only user-friendly if you use it just as it comes. Once you try to install additional programs, then your troubles really start, trying to find Linux drivers for them. Even a very common Huawei E160 USB 3G Modem =- impossible !!!

    • Aimsfree
      September 23, 2010 at 5:48 am

      Haha r u kidding? U just have install Libusb,libusb-dev and usb-modeswitch. And taddaaa now it's detect !!!

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      u were not born learning windows or mac!! it takes u atleast sumtym 2 learn!! y so much a xp user takes sum tm atleast 2figure out how 2 use 7!! ppl are neva fast !! it takes tym !! but linux is easier 2 use for newbie!! coz my cousin who's 6yrs uses linux mint effortlessly !! much beta than xp !! e1 ur grandma would like linux more den xp as d chances of she screwin up xp is really high whereas in linux its almost 0!! e1 den if u screw up linux der's almost a chance of repairin it easily nt ike windows hvin d BSOD!!! no offence but in windows wat i like is ms office 10 n nothin else !! everythin sucks bigtym!!

    • Ricky Mills
      October 16, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      did u n0 u s0und leik a twat wenz u type lyke datz? Grow up kid.

      My point is simple: I can use Linux (I own a hosting company and manage over 50 CentOS and RHEL based servers). However as a desktop operating system for the AVERAGE user, its crap for the following, valid reasons:

      - Butt ugly, not a nice 'simple' or 'sleek' user interface, but a slapped together mess of different styles and standards by different people. There are no design practices for *Nix, which unfortunately means apps look hideous and are not user friendly. They fail majorly at usability.

      - Too many options: Its great that you can customise everything. But your average joe doesn't want to do that, so why (as standard) provide options to do stuff like install server packages, or upgrade a kernel. More pointless UI stuff.

      You can whine and moan all you like, but the downfall of Linux is its lack of the most basic usable standards.

    • English Dictionary
      October 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      Learn to type in English, tosser

    • Kalyansg
      December 6, 2010 at 12:02 am

      OK I accept that UBUNTU may not be the best medicine for my grandmother! But it certainly is worth considering, specially, if one is using Windows XP. Recently, I converted my DELL Dimension 8300 (3/4 year old PC 120GB HD) to UBUNTU with a 1TB HD. It is working really well. The UI in UBUNTU 10.10 is fabulous and if you need a software, you don't shell out a penny! I am now thinking of switching to UBUNTU in my second laptop, which is still running on XP!

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