Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What would convince me to switch to Ubuntu 10.04 from Win 7


Short answer, nothing. At the moment Windows 7 is so perfect that right now I cannot say that anything will make me switch to Ubuntu 10.4. But in the interest of being non myopic let’s answer the question the long way. In fact… What did provoke this question? Well I read an article over at techrepublic which asks the question, what would persuade you to ditch Windows for Ubuntu 10.04?.

In his article Zack cites several options that he believes empowers Ubuntu reasons to ditch Windows 7.

  1. In built application market place
  2. Greater user interface and graphics efficiency
  3. Everything is in the browser anyway
  4. Windows applications run on WINE
  5. Customizability beyond a windows users dream
  6. Multi touch is on the way
  7. Ubuntu One: In built cloud synchronization
  8. It’s free. ‘Nuff said

Hmmm. For starters let’s establish my position of knowledge of Ubuntu 10.04. I haven’t used it at all. Not even off a CD boot. And that is exactly what I believe leaves me in a position to say what it will take to make me ditch Windows. I’m no scientist or anything like that but I do happen to have a built in sense of knowing what makes people tick and knowing what makes the layman happy. Typing in a command like –sud0 –get etc etc does not make the layman happy. Well what about the rest of his points. Let’s take them one by one.

  • In built application market place
    Agreed wholeheartedly with this one. To have applications stored in a central repository which would leave the installation and everything else to the OS with the user clicking next is great. Thumbs up. This has always been a point for me to look to coming back to Ubuntu.
  • Greater user interface and graphics efficiency
    Ok this one feels like he pulled it out of a magic hat. Where are the benchmarks and how did he come to this conclusion? No I have not felt this and in the videos of Ubuntu I have not seen this either. To be fair on Ubuntu I’ll give it this. It’s graphics requirements from the OS are a bit lighted that Windows 7 but not by much. Windows 7 isn’t Vista and now even an onboard graphics card of an Intel d945gcnl will run the aero peek snap and everything else with NO response issues. So I’m debunking this one and leaving them as equals.
  • Everything is in the browser anyways
    False. Again. Where did this come from? For him yes. He’s a techie. I’m a techie. ZDnet is a techie place generally. We use things like google docs. We use things like office apps online. Our sky drives are our standard backup areas. We have drop box, we have that box and hallelujah the world is a happy place. Layman will continue to look on. There are two things that will challenge the everything is in the browser. First, the world is still mostly in the developing stage. People’s internet access resides within internet cafes or at homes which are connections that are pretty slow. Here in Sri Lanka, if you have a net connection it will almost always be an ADSL 512kbps line which downloads at a max of 57 kbps. Average download speeds on an accelerator is 53kbps. I don’t need to tell you where this is going. Everything is NOT in the browser. Not yet. Everything I do to relax might be there. But definitely not everything.
    Second point. Come over here and say Google docs or Office live apps online and blank stares will be the norm. Even if it isn’t blank looks the number of people actually using it. Minimal. Where am I getting these facts from. I’ll admit it. General observations.
  • Windows applications run on WINE
    Are you kidding me? You tout an advantage of Ubuntu being the app store and then say WINE remains an advantage? Windows users when installing applications also want to press next->next->next->finish. The advantage the author adds in is that there is a great troubleshooting guide and what nots. No way. This does not work. I’ve used Windows apps through WINE and yes it’s great but there’s still room for things to go wrong. Thing is I’m a programmer. Not to mention I’m a heavy .Net user. Expression studio, Visual studio. Then I’m also a Java developer and a dabbler in C and C++. Yes I know there are dev tools in Ubuntu for it. But I have what I want in Windows. Everything I want. And I don’t need WINE like software for it. Even if my preferred dev tool for C is something outdated like Turbo C++ (Borland) I can still use it without worrying that it isn’t supported. So this one gets thumbs down from me. Thumbs slanted downwards for the layman. BUT! I’m not going to say this is a never go option. It is definitely on the rise and with support from companies like Google towards making Adobe products available it looks very promising but I still see this taking time. Make me ditch Win 7? Not just yet.
  • Customizability. Beyond a Windows users dream.
    Um… Maybe, Maybe not. I haven’t used 10.04 so this is really one I can’t comment on. But from what I’ve seen people do to their desktops. I wouldn’t say this is beyond a dream. It didn’t take it to a whole new level. I liked it. Again. Ditch? No. This is the video I watched. Didn’t seem all that super awesome to me. I know there’s other pieces of software that create snazzy effects and but same goes for Win 7.
  • Multi touch is on the way.
    Good for you. Win 7 has it already. Since the article does talk about features that are coming to Win 8 and says its not there so it can’t be considered I shall do the same in this. In fact its not a selling point for me so I’m just going to leave it out for the time being.
  • Cloud sync.
    Interesting. Very interesting. Does this beat Windows 7? Not exactly. Is it an improvement I’d like to see in Win 7. Definitely. But there have been issues with Microsoft installing software that comes with the OS. I remember reading it somewhere that after their anti trust issues that is the reason they don’t even bundle their Windows live sync, which is just awesome (the software, not the fact that they don’t bundle it), with Windows. That has pretty good integration with sky drive. Make me ditch 7? No. Furthermore the pricing is ridiculous. 10 USD per month for 50gb?  Still, this sort of thing is definitely a consideration.
  • It’s Free
    Granted. Only thing I can say is that I have access to msdn academic alliance but then that’s just me. So fine.

Now having looked at all of this and keeping in mind the difficulties I have had in the past with what was supposed to be THE stable version of Ubuntu at the time.. 8.4? Can’t even remember. I prefer to forget some things. Now I know things have changed a lot and yes I am going to try it out but at the end of the year after I finish my degree and I can play around with my laptop. Going to upgrade storage and then have two OSes running. One for whichever Windows version comes out and another for Ubuntu versions.

So there you have it. Would I Ditch Windows 7 or for that matter would I recommend this course of action? No.

I do have something on the other side of the scale though. A new comer to computers. Would I tell them to use Ubuntu instead of Windows 7? You know what? I probably would.


1 comment:

  1. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/were-you-in-line-to-buy-windows-95-fifteen-years-ago/7194

    not a directly related article. But it states there,

    "The Windows Live team is continuing to update the betas of the fourth release of Windows Live services — a collection of software/services that might have actually ended up bundled into Windows had not a number of antitrust watchdogs intervened".

    Always irks me. Apple and Linux can bundle their own stuff (iLife and whatever it is linux would want to bundle)but MS can't. :(