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Old 07-11-2005, 10:26 PM   #1
simeandrews
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Windows vs. Linux NOT A COMPLAINT just an article


Hey everyone! I was bored yesterday, so I wrote a 4 page article on Windows vs. Linux. I just want to share it with the Linux (and soon the Windows) community before I publish it on my website. I want to note that this is very rough, and written in 2 days. Anything can be added, taken out, or changed, so all replies are welcome.

Also, I am not a journalist, I am in grade 8, its summer, and I was bored. This is my first ever article.

Windows vs. Linux: My Opinion
VERY ROUGH COPY!!!

I have been a Windows user y whole life, and I really enjoyed it until last year, when a friend showed me Linux. Since then, I have constantly switched between the two. I thought they were both equal, so I made a list of pros and cons, and decided I would write an article comparing them. Note that I am not a journalist, and this is my first ever article written. If it goes well, Iíll make a section for articles on my website.
But enough of that, you want to hear what I have, donít you? Ok, here it is.
Style and Comfort
Linux doesnít come with great styles standard. When you look at Linux in screenshots, you donít see anything amazing, you see command line and crappy window borders. Usually. But you can download different themes. Meanwhile, on the flipside of the hard drive, Windows comes with some great styles standard. In XP, it contains the classic windows style, basic, but quite comfortable, really, and the new Luna style, which has 3 different colors. You can also download the new Royale (Media Center) style off of Microsoft.com. And to take Linuxís point away, a hack on Windows XPís uxtheme.dll can let you have any theme you want, and if it doesnít, you can download Window Blinds, which has every other one.
Completeness
No installation is more complete than a Linux installation. Many, if not most, Linux ďdistrosĒ come with office software, 2 different ďWindow ManagersĒ, games, and some distro specific things. Windows comes with a small collection of games dating back to Windows 3.1, and a lot of Windows specific things. Windows also begs you to buy its office software, and numerous other Microsoft products.
However, Windows has some proper things individual to the operating system. It has the legendary start menu, a perfect control panel, and the compatibility to install almost anything else, because Windows is the most sued os.
Ease of use
This one would have gone straight to Windows about 5 years ago. But since then, Linux has grown into an easy-to-use os as well. We have Linspire, formerly Lindows, which is a very good operating system for switching from Linux to Windows. It contains features individual to the operating system, like LPhoto, LSongs, and Linspire Instant Messenger (based on gaim), plus an office suite based on Mozilla. These make it very easy to use. And the layout of the desktop makes it very obvious where to go. Honestly, I donít think it feels like Linux. You can take that however you want.
But Windows is easier. It invented MSN Messenger, Internet Explorer (although I hate it), Windows Media Player, the Start Menu, which is laid out in a genius way, a great control panel, and the list only gets bigger from there. I could get deep into all the features of these programs, but put very simply, they are friendly and easy to use, even if they arenít always the best and the safest.
The Power of Open Source
This one is obvious to hard-core computer users, but many people have no idea what open source is. I didnít hear about it until I started using Linux. But open source means anyone can change the way a program works. The source of the program is not only allowed to be edited, but it is encouraged. With open source, volunteers can make the program much better, and give their ideas out to anyone else so that the program continues to improve.
What is my point? Linux is open source, a giant program that gets constantly contributed to. Everyone has ideas, and many people put them forth. Programs like ndiswrapper, madwifi, and Linux-NTFS, all add to the Linux kernel. Even better, you yourself can easily open up the kernel source and change anything you like, but you should know what youíre doing. Someone will ALWAYS be able to help you change something on linuxquestions.org and other support forums. So, open source is the way of the future, the free way. Not always as in ďfree beerĒ, but more as ďfree speechĒ, with a few beers to start you off much of the time.
What about Windows? Sure, you can patch a few DLLís, but chances are youíll screw your computer up in the process. Microsoft doesnít want its source out. Its top secret, like the familys secret recipe for spaghetti sauce, but guests donít get to even touch it. Windows source is hidden behind locked doors. And a lot of them, as it turns out.. As a result, Windows is slow on development because volunteers canít improve it. There is still open source software for windows, but no system changes can easily be made.
The penguin doesnít need a pharmacist!
Linux is based on Unix. Unix is secure. Linux is secure. You get the picture?
Almost no viruses can get through Linux. Sure, there are a few security threats here and there, but so few, youíll feel like youíre in the highest security prison in the world, but not one of the prisoners, of course.
But on Windows, youíre a prisoner in a prison made of dirt walls. Norton AntiVirus provides good security, but have you ever run LiveUpdate a bunch of times in a row? You get virus definition updates every time. So, what if you canít afford Norton? You put your Windows desktop at huge risk, and others at huge risk, too! I know someone who got a virus that sent itself to everyone on their MSN Messenger list. Then, it started eating their computer. And Norton doesnít always do the job.
Order some power, if you want
This is a tough topic. Linux users boast about the power they get from the command line. Windows users boast that they have never touched a command line because everything can be done in a graphical way.
Linux has hundreds, maybe thousands, possibly even millions of commands from the command line. You can install programs from the command line, you can open programs from the command line, and many programs are command-line only, which greatly increases speed. And the Linux command line is very comfortable and customizable (transparent background, different colors, etc.) if you use it in X, but you can also go back to the early days to the big black screen with white text on it, which greatly improves speed again because X isnít necessarily running.
On Windows, you donít need the command line, usually. Most things can be done from the control panel, without the command window, without a big black screen. Windows also doesnít offer you many things to destroy your computer. Itís all graphical and comfortable.
Price vs. free
Has anyone noticed the major price tags on Windows? Has anyone seen a lot of price tags on Linux? Iíll answer that. Windows is very expensive, in the $100-$500 range. Linux is often free, with a few exceptions. The big Linux distros are expensive, like Linspire, Red Hat, and Mandriva, but Linspire has a free live-CD, Red Hat sponsors Fedora, which is free, and Mandriva only puts prices on their special products.
Conclusion
If I had kept score on this article, Linux would have won, 5-3. But if I were a judge, not keeping score, but giving a mark, than I would have given both of these operating systems an 8 out of 10. They arenít both perfect, and thatís where they lose those 2 points, but they are both equal, in my opinion. They are both great.
Simon ???
July 12, 2005

Last edited by simeandrews; 07-12-2005 at 07:08 AM.
 
Old 07-11-2005, 10:44 PM   #2
aysiu
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Not bad, Simon.
 
Old 07-12-2005, 02:51 AM   #3
oneandoneis2
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Quote:
because Windows is the most sued os.
*rofl*
Ahh, Freudian slips

Quote:
On Windows, you donít need the command line, usually.
In fact, MS are currently putting together a new & improved command line for Windows because they finally admitted that you DO need a command line for some sysadmin tasks. Something to bear in mind.

Other than that, pretty good article. Altho it comes to the wrong conclusion, as it doesn't say "In conclusion, Linux is infinitely superior and will crush Windows like a bug! Ahahahaha!"
 
Old 07-12-2005, 04:00 AM   #4
matthewhardwick
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Linspire is a transition from windows to linux, to vise versa like you stated, and also... is there office suite based on mozilla (which is a browser suite for use on the Internet, not word processing etc. (did u mean open office for example)). Also windows didn't invent the start menu exactly... that kind of WIMP system was around whilst windows was in nappies (or diapers for you Americans).
 
Old 07-12-2005, 05:17 AM   #5
Chromezero
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Not a bad article at all.
 
Old 07-12-2005, 06:47 AM   #6
simeandrews
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Thanks for all the replies! I just woke up. I notice I made a few typos, if anyone notices more, pleasse let me know.



Keep the suggestions coming!

Last edited by simeandrews; 07-12-2005 at 07:12 AM.
 
Old 07-12-2005, 07:10 AM   #7
simeandrews
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I have put the article on Neowin as well now, here's the link

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=343199
 
Old 07-12-2005, 12:39 PM   #8
ctkroeker
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Interesting, although it's a bit squeezed together, needs some "-" or "1)", or maybe have the linux part and M$ part different colors, to make reading it easier of course.
cool .
 
Old 07-13-2005, 12:26 AM   #9
dustin_wielenga
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Nice article, two tips:
-add something about LiveCDs (Knoppix, Slax, etc.)
-most Linux screenshots look better than Windows. It's probably the eyecandy of KDE that converted me (though I think I prefer XFCE now)
 
Old 07-13-2005, 08:52 AM   #10
simeandrews
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About the formatting, sorry, I just copied it from MS Word. I know, MS Word, but I am a Windows user too.

And secondly, I'll add that in next, but for now, this is going to have to do. Its the semi-final copy. I was going to make it the final, but then I added in more sections and noticed they might need editing. I'm probably going to do a semi-final 2 before its published on my website.

Windows vs. Linux: My Opinion
Semi-Final Copy

I have been a Windows user my whole life, and I really enjoyed it until last year, when a friend showed me Linux. Since then, I have constantly switched between the two. I thought they were both equal, so I made a list of pros and cons, and decided I would write an article comparing them.
But enough of that, you want to hear what I have, donít you? Ok, here it is.

Installation

Windows has had an OK, semi-graphical installer dating back to at least Windows 3.1. Its been easy to use, and very descriptive. The installer really evolved with the release of Windows XP, with a light blue background and a glare effect in the top left corner. It also has a style similar to that of Windows XP itself.
Linux, on the other hand, wasnít very good until recently. But now SuSE, Mandriva, Red Hat, Linspire, and so many others have a graphical installation equal or better than the Windows installation, because they release new versions of their software so often, they can change the installer.
But not only do the new Linux installers look great, but they are a lot easier now, too! It is obvious what to do, even on non graphical installers, and because of that, installation can be done faster for newbies, and for advanced users, too!

Installing Programs

Hereís a really tough one. Installing programs is almost always a breeze in Windows, but in Linux you often have easy access to programs through apt-get, yum, urpmi, etc. Then again, if itís not there you have to search online for a dist specific installer, like rpm or deb packages. If you canít find them, you have to install from source. If you install from source, it might have trouble finding the ďlibrariesĒ needed.
For a lot of you that probably made no sense. Allow me to explain.
Windows has a bunch of graphical installers, like Windows installer and Nullsoft Install System. Most people know that.
On Linux, there is no standard graphical installer that developers can customize ie they canít add images and change text unless they write it themselves. There are probably some install systems floating around, but the standard ones are very plain.
For example, RPM is the most common install package for Linux. To install a package, in newer versions, you can double click the file, or, you can go (on a command line):

Rpm ĖI package-name.rpm

Also, you can use urpmi or yum to download and install these packages for you, by doing this on a command line.

Yum ĖI package-to-search-for

Urpmi package-to-search-for

Another one similar to those is a[t-get, but I think thatís designed for Debian and uses the deb extension, and I donít know much about that.
But packages arenít always available for your system in deb or rpm form. In that case, you have to compile them. This can be easy, or it can be hard. Most things can be compiled by typing (using gaim, an instant messaging service, as an example)
Cd gaim
./configure
Make
Su
(enter root password)
Make install

So, most of that seems simple enough. But it isnít always. A lot of errors can occur, sending you searching for more packages to install. This is partially resolved in Mandriva. When you install an rpm package, if it canít install because of missing programs, Mandriva will search for those on URPMI, ask you if you want to install them, and then install everything needed. The only problem is that not all programs in the world are on URPMI.
Still, if everything goes well, then installing on Linux can be easier than installing on Windows. All you have to do is double click an RPM, press next, and start. While in Windows, you have to read a EULA, specify install types, etc.

Style and Comfort

Linux doesnít come with great styles standard. Athough it has some nice ones, they arenít quite up to the level of other OSes. When you look at Linux in screenshots, you donít see anything amazing, you see command line and crappy window borders. Usually. But you can download different themes. Meanwhile, on the flipside of the hard drive, Windows comes with some great styles standard. In XP, it contains the classic windows style, basic, but quite comfortable, really, and the new Luna style, which has 3 different colors. You can also download the new Royale (Media Center) style off of Microsoft.com. Also, you can download some third party software if those donít please you.

Completeness

No installation is more complete than a Linux installation. Many, if not most, Linux ďdistrosĒ come with office software, at least 2 different ďWindow ManagersĒ, mostly up-to-date, but some not so much games, and some distro specific things, like a control panel and some styles created or bought by the company that makes the distribution. Windows comes with a small collection of games dating back to Windows 3.1, and a lot of Windows specific things. Windows also begs you to buy its office software, and numerous other Microsoft products.
However, Windows has some proper things individual to the operating system. It has the well built start menu, a nicely organized control panel, and the compatibility to install almost anything else, because Windows is the most used operating system.


Ease of use

This one would have gone straight to Windows about 5 years ago. But since then, Linux has grown into an easy-to-use os as well. One of the easy-to-use distros is Linspire, formerly Lindows, which is designed for switching from Linux to Windows. It contains features individual to the operating system, like LPhoto, LSongs, and Linspire Instant Messenger (based on gaim, and including PhoneGaim), plus a web browser based on Mozilla. These make it very easy to use. And the layout of the desktop makes it very obvious where to go. The only problem is, it costs money, and it doesnít feel much like Linux. Its Linux when you get down under the hood, but up above, itís hardly a car at all.
But Windows is easier. It owns MSN Messenger, Internet Explorer (although I hate it), Windows Media Player, Windows AntiSpyware, the list goes on. Very simply, those programs are nice and easy to use,. And make the Windows experience easier and more comfortable.

The Power of Open Source

This one is obvious to hard-core computer users, but many people have no idea what open source is. I didnít hear about it until I started using Linux. But open source means anyone can change the way a program works. The source of the program is not only allowed to be edited, but it is encouraged. With open source, volunteers can make the program much better, and give their ideas out to anyone else so that the program continues to improve.
What is my point? Linux is open source, a giant program that gets constantly contributed to. Everyone has ideas, and many people put them forth. Programs like ndiswrapper, madwifi, and Linux-NTFS, all add to the Linux kernel. Even better, you yourself can easily open up the kernel source and change anything you like, but you should know what youíre doing. Someone will ALWAYS be able to help you change something on a Linux support forum. So, open source is the way of the future, the free way. Not always as in ďfree beerĒ, but more as ďfree speechĒ, with a few free beers to start you off much of the time.
What about Windows? Sure, you can patch a few DLLís, but chances are youíll screw your computer up in the process. Microsoft doesnít want its source out. Its top secret, like the familys secret recipe for spaghetti sauce, but guests donít get to even touch it. Windows source is hidden behind locked doors. And a lot of them, as it turns out.. As a result, Windows is slow on development because volunteers canít improve it. There is still open source software for windows, but no system changes can easily be made.

The penguin doesnít need a pharmacist!

Linux is based on unix, and unix has a higher security standard as Windows. So, Linux is a lot more secure than Windows.
There arenít very many viruses for Linux. Sure, there are a few security threats here and there, but so few, youíll feel like youíre in the highest security prison in the world, but not one of the prisoners, of course.
But on Windows, youíre a prisoner in a prison made of dirt walls. Norton AntiVirus provides good security, but have you ever run LiveUpdate a bunch of times in a row? You get virus definition updates every time. So, what if you canít afford Norton? You put your Windows desktop at huge risk, and others at huge risk, too! I know someone who got a virus that sent itself to everyone on their MSN Messenger list. Then, it started eating their computer. And Norton doesnít always do the job.

Order some power, if you want

This is a tough topic. Linux users boast about the power they get from the command line. Windows users boast that they have never touched a command line because most things can be done in a graphical way.
Linux has hundreds, maybe thousands, possibly even millions of commands from the command line. You can install programs from the command line, you can open programs from the command line, and many programs are command-line only, which greatly increases speed. And the Linux command line is very comfortable and customizable (transparent background, different colors, etc.) if you use it in X, (the program that enables graphical Desktop Environments), but you can also go back to the early days to the big black screen with white text on it, which greatly improves speed again because X isnít necessarily running.
On Windows, you donít need the command line, usually. Most things can be done from the control panel, without the command window, without a big black screen. Windows also doesnít offer you many things to destroy your computer. Itís all graphical and comfortable.

Price vs. free

Has anyone noticed the major price tags on Windows? Has anyone seen a lot of price tags on Linux? Iíll answer that. Windows is very expensive, in the $100-$500 range. Linux is often free, with a few exceptions. The big Linux distros are expensive, like Linspire, Red Hat, and Mandriva, but Linspire has a free live-CD, Red Hat sponsors Fedora, which is free, and Mandriva only puts prices on their special products.

Staying Up-To-Date

On Windows, Microsoft puts updates out for their products maybe once a month on Windows Update or Microsoft Update. Linux releases updates 28-31 times faster. Yu p, many parts of Linux, like the programs, the kernel, the desktop environments, EVERYTHING involving Linux, are updated every day with security fixes, bug fixes, and sometimes new features. Linux also comes with some features to automatically update the system. Apt-get, urpmi, yum, YaST (I think, someone tell me if thatís right please), and the Red Hat Updater, are included in the distributions, what ones varies by the distro. Sure, Windows does too, but back to the top of this paragraph, only once a month do they put out the updates.

Conclusion

If I had kept score on this article, Linux would have won, 6-5. But if I were a judge, not keeping score, but giving a mark, than I would have given both of these operating systems an 8 out of 10. They arenít both perfect, and thatís where they lose those 2 points, but they are both equal, in my opinion. They are both great. Not finished, but great.
Simon ???
July 14, 2005
 
Old 07-13-2005, 09:07 AM   #11
simeandrews
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Ok, I just wrote this up. It goes in-between Installation and istalling Programs, seemed suitable to me.

Try before you Buy! And donít install anything on your hard drive!

With Windows, if you want to try it, you buy it install it, and if you donít like it, you donít use it. Thatís different on Linux. Linux has the option of using ďLive CDísĒ. They have a Linux system, often fully featured, often not, loaded onto a CD, with no need to install. You put the CD in your CD drive, restart the computer, and voila! It detects some hardware, starts up the kernel, and puts you into KDE or Gnome, the desktop environments. Sometimes they use lighter desktop environments, sometimes called window managers, like Fluxbox and XFCE. Although the CDís arenít nearly as fast as the actual Linux OS, they have everything there to show you the advantages and disadvantages, sadly, about Linux.
 
Old 07-13-2005, 09:11 AM   #12
simeandrews
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Oh, and just remembered,
Quote:
-most Linux screenshots look better than Windows. It's probably the eyecandy of KDE that converted me (though I think I prefer XFCE now)
I didn't think the styles were great, but some other people have said the styles are good. I still don't think they're up to professional level, but I'll change that.
 
Old 07-13-2005, 11:00 AM   #13
alred
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nice article indeed , your article had practically round up almost very experiences people have when comparing linux and windows , it's good for improving what linux are urgenttly lacking of right now ...

but i guess you might have left out one important aspect of why some people choose free softwares and linux ...
i suspect in the early days when people choose free softwares and linux , other than the technical superiority(i'm presumming down here) of linux , they choose them because of morals and ethics , nowadays i donno , maybe it still true to say that ...

what i mean is that people usually don't like being drag and led by those establelished organisations which represent statism and power by the few , on one hand they stated that we are free but on the other hand they are pinching and holding down our nose , it may sound like a silly romantic escapism , but that is the people's general perceptions about their own everyday life ...
yes it's definately true that people can't afford to talk about morals and ethics in their "real" life , too much to lose , but when they are using a home computer when people of all age when they're at home just coming back from work or schools , somehow feel that they need to crack up their very own private rebellion against the state , formal conventionalism , monopolies of cash or whatever the hell they choose to rebell against during that private moment securely and that naturally brings them to free softwares and linux because only free softwares and linux can make them feel free , at least when they are at home with their Desktop PC ...

when viewed in this manner , morals and ethics talks are not romantics escapism but it's a reality for those who choose free softwares and linux ...


just my opinion ...

Last edited by alred; 07-13-2005 at 11:03 AM.
 
  


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