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Thoughts about Microsoft Window and GNU/Linux

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 

After using these two popular operating systems for years, here is a summary of my journey thus far:

 

1. Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 32 bit and Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

 

2. latest releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint.

 

I can say without a doubt that Microsoft Windows is a much better operating system than the major GNU/Linux distributions. It is easier to install, setup, and configure and it performs better especially on newer PC hardware. Linux is better for flexibility, customization, stability, and security especially if you embrace the Free Libre Open Source Software philosophy. It is also less compatible with the newest PC hardware that is designed for Microsoft Windows. Running VMWare Workstation 7.1 and Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 64 bit alongside Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit shows me that Ubuntu still has a ways to go toward greater adoption among PC users worldwide because there still are a good number of software software applications that have no equivalent to their commercial Windows counterparts. I have to give up a lot of power and familiarity when running GNU/Linux; that is almost impossible given the fact that I am a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in IT Administration and Security degree program at New Jersey Institute of Technology and I work there as a Help Desk and Support Technician. NJIT is a Dell, Intel, and Microsoft institute and they expect their faculty, staff, and students to purchase and use compatible hardware and software applications both on and off campus. As my studies progress and my knowledge increases a little bit every day, I realize that GNU/Linux is designed more so for a minority number of faculty and students that are considered to be hobbyists. They like to tinker with operating systems design, theory, and architecture along with applications on their own time. I have seen the aforementioned major GNU/Linux distributions deployed on an enterprise level for daily production usage, but the scale is relatively small and it is still rare. Most often, I see a few desktops and more workstations or servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a part of a back end function for specific roles or functions and that is about it.

 

This is not to say that I will stop using the major GNU/Linux distributions. I may elect to take courses on the subject matter to exceed the requirements of my degree program while I continue to attend NJIT. However, my experience in lending help and support to two professors that use Scientific Linux Release 5 and Fedora 13 is fraught with stories about solving incompatibility problems when they try to integrate their Dell Optiplex or Precision computers with the rest of the NJIT community that runs Microsoft Windows and other Windows software applications exclusively. Headaches do not even begin to describe the myriad of problems that I am responsible for solving to provide a more contiguous and seamless computing experience for these two professors over the past several months as a requirement of my job on campus.

 

Most of us are familiar with the inherent problems associated with Microsoft products including Windows and Office. Security flaws, instability, expense, etc. are just some of the major problems associated. Yet, my opinion is such that Microsoft is a better software vendor than the major commercial GNU/Linux vendors combined despite these ongoing issues. Microsoft is churning out higher quality software that is more reliable and useful to meet the challenging computing needs of a vast majority of people worldwide.

 

I am curious as to what others think about this topic at hand. The purpose of my discussion is not to engender vitriolic replies and I am not here to rekindle war either.

 

Please do share your thoughts if you have the time and inclination. Thank you.

post #2 of 71
Thread Starter 

PC Pro magazine did an extensive review comparing Microsoft Windows 7 to Ubuntu GNU/Linux 10.04 Lucid Lynx Long Term Support:

 

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/361135/windows-7-vs-ubuntu-10-04 .

post #3 of 71

i will have to go for microsoft windows. i am loving my windows 7

post #4 of 71
Thread Starter 

I agree. I love my Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. It is the very best iteration of Windows yet produced.

 

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 64 bit is a very good alternative operating system and it is considered to be a leader in the GNU/Linux list of popular distributions. Though it has a list of packages exceeding 30,000 software applications and growing, there are just too many Windows software applications that I consider to be stalwarts that have no open source or free equivalents. Ubuntu Netbook Edition featuring Unity is still in development phase and it is rife with bugs which are being patched and features which are under development. This is the other major bane about GNU/Linux: software applications and hardware compatibility are always under development and improvements are incremental. GNU/Linux users have to agree to become unwitting accomplices in the testing and development phase of new software applications especially if they are designed for a new class of computers or it requires a significant markup in the existing code base to incorporate new features into the primary operating system.

 

To me, GNU/Linux is not a polished product ready for mass adoption and usage. It is close and the gap between Windows and GNU/Linux is closing, but there are not enough compelling reasons for Windows users to make the switch.

post #5 of 71

After a few years of using Ubuntu (and trying some other distros too) I switched back to Windows XP a few weeks ago. Most of my Linux experience has been with Gnome.

 

 

Here's why: for audio-related things, Windows is better, simply because there's better playback and ripping software. So many media players for Linux are out there, yet none of them come close to the power of Winamp and/or foobar2000.

Then, there is stability. I have no idea why people say Linux is the more stable operating system. Windows XP NEVER crashes, locks up or misbehaves otherwise, while I often have problems with Ubuntu, from misbehaving apps to bad hardware support to total system lock-ups that require cutting the power... I am not sure what is to blame: the kernel, X, Gnome, or the apps, but I don't really care either. The result is still problems. Using the stable version of Debian didn't improve things either. I guess there are stable distros for servers out there, but for home use it's worse than Windows.

On top of that I have a bunch of old games that I like to play now and then on Windows XP for fun. Using Wine is almost never a succes and support for my Ati video card on Linux is mediocre too. I have really common hardware BTW.

 

 

There are of course also many positive things for me about Linux. The main reason why I have used Linux for so long is Gnome and all the good FREE (mainly as in 'costing nothing' ;) programs. I also like the command line interface a lot, the ext filesystem, the geek factor, and the secure feeling of being pretty safe from malware and such.

 

After all, it was a good and educating experience, but I find Windows XP a bit better. I have respect for multiple operating systems. The world has come a long way since the earlier versions of Windows that sucked. Windows 7 is pretty neat too. I do not have much experience with Mac OS X.

post #6 of 71

i use my computer for mostly listening to music and web surfing. i find i like how wondows has all the options for media players(loving winamp and zune software). i also enjoy a game from now and then. so my windows 7 laptop is good for all that. i would like to try mac though but i am mostly put off by itunes which i find to be the least stable and most ugly looking media player i have ever used. i am not a fan boy of windows but i do prefer it. i grew up with it and know how to use it quite well. and i like having all those programs available for windows. if i am a fanboy of any company though i tend to like asus and toshiba. anyways i hope you enjoyed reading my opinion. i havnt tried a linux distro yet. but i want to try ubuntu. but i have read linux is very complex and requires sophisticated knowledge with computers. i know lots but i am no expert. so for the time being i am sticking with windows 7.cool.gifP9050060.JPG

my computer i use it mostly for music and internet surfing.

post #7 of 71

I use Ubuntu 10.10, along with 2 other high school friends.

 

Some things I have noticed:

 

-Wireless printing is set up on all of our machines, a few clicks was all it took. No other faculty, staff, or students have this capability.

-Macbooks can transmit their wired connection to Wi-Fi... I asked a teacher to do this, and they searched for the setting for a few minutes and gave up. I had it set up before he was done, and I've never done it before.

-Macbooks have gestures to control the window panes... Also set up after only a few minutes.

-My laptop interface (thanks to compiz) has been more visually impressive to everyone I have shown it to than Windows 7 or OSX machines.

 

-The citation and bibliography features of Openoffice are difficult to use... MS Office makes this much easier.

-No native speech-to-text as far as I know for Ubuntu.

-.pub files are unopenable

-The general consensus of those I mention it to is not that it is better or worse, just that "Everyone Uses Windows"

 

I admire that Google has taken Unix and run with it (Andriod), and wish that someone would do the same with Ubuntu. I am still waiting for Windows to, out of the box, at least be as secure as Ubuntu, and not to use anti-virus applications. When I get my new HDD, I plan on triple booting W7 64 bit (because 32 bit windows ignores 4GB RAM for some reason) Ubuntu 32 bit (because it actually uses as much RAM as the user has on the system) and Splashtop for its speed, on my ASUS UL80AG.

post #8 of 71

I really liked Ubuntu on my netbook.  I wanted to love it, but I would go two three months with it and find myself in a situation where it was just a frustration for some of what you mentioned:  Mostly, it had to do with my being a student at the time.  

 

Open office is a pain in the ass.  I don't mind it 90% of the time, but when I had to do works cited for long papers, it was just so much a hassle, I wouldn't touch it.

 

Wireless printing: I could not get wireless printing via my campus' network working for the life of me.  My roommate who inspired my dabbling with ubuntu and was also a computer science major (ie: does this stuff for a living now) could not get it to work either.

 

Everyone uses windows: Tech support while studying abroad with ubuntu was a nightmare.  I could not figure out how to get the wireless working because it required settings to be changed that were not apparent in the ubuntu client and neither I nor the techs could figure it out for a while.  Neither of us were familiar with the OS.  I eventually got it after working after tinkering a while, but still...

 

Even when i put it on my full sized laptop, some things just bothered me.  Little quirks that I didn't know how to fix for lack of familiarity with the OS..

 

That being said, now that I RARELY need my netbook on the go (no longer a student) and I have gotten more familiar with the OS, it is back on my netbook and I am enjoying it very much.  I would not be using it if the netbook was my sole and primary machine...

 

And hell, I can't find a decent media software with a smooth UI and cue sheet support!!!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

I use Ubuntu 10.10, along with 2 other high school friends.

 

Some things I have noticed:

 

-Wireless printing is set up on all of our machines, a few clicks was all it took. No other faculty, staff, or students have this capability.

 

 

-The citation and bibliography features of Openoffice are difficult to use... MS Office makes this much easier.

 

-The general consensus of those I mention it to is not that it is better or worse, just that "Everyone Uses Windows"

 

post #9 of 71

 

 

Quote:

I am curious as to what others think about this topic at hand. The purpose of my discussion is not to engender vitriolic replies and I am not here to rekindle war either.

 

Please do share your thoughts if you have the time and inclination. Thank you.

 

What else do you wanna hear, you almost said it yourself.

 

JK wink_face.gif but seriously, when it comes to OS I always go with Win 7, its like a walk in the park just installing the OS is a peace of mind, even with the driver you dont have to bother anymore if its not supported a huge of community is one click away, same goes for softwares,hardware etc.  

 

but if I want to get challenge and be busy for quite some time I try to install different kinds of flavors or you might say distros to see and check whether it will support the system, I love to test different kind of distribution of linux and tried most of on my laptop/desktop/server just to play with it, heck even sometimes I try to tinker with hackintosh/opensuse just to test if my body can handle it. like what I'm doing with my my Asus 1201 dual core Nvidia Ion netbook , everything works so far. haven't seen any bug just have to replace the stock wireless card for full support.

 

Its meticulous work, time consuming but rewarding.

 

 

 

post #10 of 71

I have different linux distros on my computer. I can say Windows 7 is really stable and well made compared to previous windows version. However, Ubuntu and Mint Linux has really come a long way. Linux still offers a very viable option for personal use. However, the trend with linux is heavily dependent on internet connection in order for you to survive day to day life.

post #11 of 71

I've been trying many many different Linux distro for years, started with Red Hat 6 more than 10 years ago, and I always come back to Windows. I agree with the above poster, I never found Linux more stable than Windows. I actually found Windows 7 is more stable than some popular distro I've tried lately like Ubuntu 10.04, openSUSE 11.3, Fedora 13 or even Debian 5.

post #12 of 71
Thread Starter 

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit with Service Pack 1 Release Candidate v.721 randomly freezes, fails to log off, restart, or shutdown properly, and it slows down the performance of my ASUS N61JV-X2 notebook PC. All of the major distributions of GNU/Linux that I mentioned earlier have never even had a kernel panic on my laptop and the performance has always stayed at its peak. Microsoft did its homework in redesigning Windows 7 which is why it is such a successful product for them. They also paid attention to the needs of their customers worldwide in designing Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, Project Professional 2010, and Visio Professional 2010 along with Visual Studio Ultimate 2010 with MSDN. These bread and butter products represent the mainstay of their portfolio and it is true that they work better together. This is one of the problems associated with the FLOSS movement: incoherence among the different packages that are compiled in the userland for GNU. The popular packages available on GNU/Linux are pretty polished by now, but the newer packages that contain the cutting edge features for newer PC hardware lack refinement and they are often riddled with bugs. The sheer number of packages available are redundant as well. How many different packages do you need to solve the same computing problems? While it is true that there is a good amount of overlapping features found in the Windows software applications marketplace, it can be said that the majority of these said products are ready to go off the shelf to take on new computing challenges posed by customers worldwide using new PC hardware designed to solve real world problems.

 

I admit that I am becoming a bigger Microsoft fan as each semester passes by. My formers days dillydallying with GNU/Linux are numbered. There just is no longer a compelling reason for me to use it much anymore now that Microsoft has such a strong portfolio.

post #13 of 71

I made the transition to Ubuntu linux about 2 years ago and I agree, it's not nearly as polished as Windows, and miles behind the UI of OSX. This can be a disaster for new users because of the steep learning curve. But I still use it because I like the stability and lack of viruses, and I can find Windows to be a little flaky at times. However, Ubuntu can go really unstable you have hardware compatibility problems. Not that Ubuntu doesn't have its own set of bugs, but for me it works as a daily driver. Windows 7 I would guess is the most stable Microsoft OS thus far, but I'd still find it difficult to make the transition to use it because Windows can be a virus magnet sometimes. How have you guys found Windows 7 for viruses? Just curious, because I haven't have much hands-on time with a recent Windows version in a while.

post #14 of 71
Thread Starter 

I purchased Symantec Norton 360 version 4, Super Anti-Spyware Professional, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for my Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. I have had few instances of spyware or malware and viruses on my PC, but I was able to detect and clean them out after a restart. Windows 7 incorporates some stronger anti-malware protections in ASLR, DEP, and UAC so long as you are careful and you do take the time to think about actions that require granting higher privileges. I would say that the level of security is getting to be on the same playing field with the major distributions of GNU/Linux in my opinion and experience. I too have had some instances of viruses that infected my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating system, but I used Bit Defender to detect and clean out the few viruses.

 

Nowadays, there are more compelling reasons to target GNU/Linux systems especially if they run the Google Android smartphone OS. GNU/Linux is not impervious. There have been instances of viruses, root kits, worms, and malware that have infected Linux machines worldwide and the numbers are growing at a slow rate because Canonical is making inroads in expanding their base number of installations especially in dual-boot configurations for PC users worldwide.

 

You may want to give Microsoft Windows 7 a try. It is really that good and it mostly lives up to the hype.

post #15 of 71

You know, I might just have to give Windows 7 a try. That's encouraging to hear security has increased. I hear it runs well on netbooks, so I may try it. Thanks!

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