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Old 05-23-2009, 05:01 AM   #1
linuxchallenger
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Why Linux over Windows 7?


I am posting this in order to get an answer to whether Linux will be superior to Windows if it were no longer free.

Here is my scenario:
Dell has decided to pre-install Linux Ubuntu on its desktops, laptops and netbooks. They however now decide to charge monthly or yearly fees for user support. In return, they help you install your printers and other peripherals. Let's also say that it is 5 years from now, and that game vendors are now actively releasing games for Linux and that codec programmers allow you to obtain codecs legally to allow you to have commercial quality music and video on Linux, as in Windows.

Dell however has also of course released computers with Windows 7 at that time.

My question is: given this scenario, what is the advantages of buying the Dell with Linux pre-installed.

Please forgive me if my scenario shows ignorance about Linux and its capabilities. I have not been exposed to Linux before.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 05:16 AM   #2
cadj
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Linux is more secure, Less prone to virus's and is better to use. Linux mint for example supports all my drivers. Webcam, sound, Display, Touchpad, wireless all works instantly with zero configuration. I bet windows 7 can't do that.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 05:19 AM   #3
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Why dont you just install and use it to answer this question yourself? That would actually prove to you what linux can do instead of people shouting at you what linux is capable of.
I would still say Ubuntu will surely be better than most of the windows versions for stability, hardware support out of the box and security.
Though it would not be a good idea to pay for Dell support for Ubuntu with so many forums out there like LQ and others, it could help others who do not want to put time learning to use linux. They could just give dell support a call, and solve the issues.
Windows might cost you $$$, but using and learning Linux is PRICELESS.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 05:53 AM   #4
H_TeXMeX_H
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Why don't you try it and find out. It's one thing to try to explain it, and another to experience it. Even with all the explanations you may end up not liking any distro, but do try as many distros as possible before giving up.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 06:29 AM   #5
greengrocer
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I find myself using Ubuntu Linux as much as possible and use Windows XP, Vista and 7 only when I have to do something that really requires me to use Windows in order to achieve whatever I need to do.

I find myself using Linux for about 80% of the time. There are some things I have to use Windows for, these being:

* Some audio editing (because the software I use does not have a Linux equivalent)
* Testing web pages in IE6 and higher

I have resigned to the fact that it is the way of the world that you really need both Operating Systems to co-exist. So all of my four computers is a dual boot system.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 06:36 AM   #6
cadj
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I Run a virtual box for any photoshop work i need to do, plus test web pages in IE. Windows is almost completely in the past for me now.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 06:59 AM   #7
sycamorex
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I boot into windows for one reason and one reason only: to remind myself how good my linux distros are. Sometimes I catch myself taking linux for granted and not appreciating it fully. Then I boot into windows to get a little reminder that things haven't been always so good
 
Old 05-23-2009, 08:22 AM   #8
NeddySeagoon
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linuxchallenger,

You should not use "commercial quality" like that. Because you pay for something does not assure you of its quality in any way. Take Windows and its programs today (any versions), they are by definition "commercial quality".
To get back to your codecs, codecs either work or they do not. The quality of lossy compression is determined by the design of the algorythm, not its implementation in code.

You do not need to buy Dells support for Linux - there are plenty of free alternatives.

Lastly, read this 10 year old comparison of Windows and Linux. The prediction it makes has not yet come true but pay attention to the resources working on both systems - that is true.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 02:53 PM   #9
r3sistance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadj View Post
Linux is more secure, Less prone to virus's and is better to use. Linux mint for example supports all my drivers. Webcam, sound, Display, Touchpad, wireless all works instantly with zero configuration. I bet windows 7 can't do that.
While Linux is alot less prone to virus's and exploits as a whole (not to mean it's totally immune tho, it isn't). I find that Windows nowadays still handles alot of hardware devices in much easier fashions. Also Windows nowaday's almost works out of the box with most hardware unless your talking about hardware what was released after the date of the OS release, and even so windows upate these days seems to have drivers hosted it on it for those bits of hardware that are released post-windows release.

Personally I would go down the line of pointing out that Windows 7 is still Beta so it's very hard to really compare something that isn't fully released to the many different flavours of linux distributions. Windows 7 is suppose to be alot lighter then Vista but other wise I haven't really heard of that many changes between Vista and Windows 7.

The advantage of Linux I would say is the better security, generally lighter operating system (may depend on distribution) and generally higher availability of free software. However windows generally has much more professional releases of software (this doesn't mean better however) by teams who are always properly funded and do not rely on donations, Windows also has native support for most games. Wine can help play games but you can not be certain that games will run via this method...

overall I think Windows still has better usability then Linux but Usability within the past few years has been slipping on windows and improving on linux... so that may change aroung but I am fairly certain that hasn't happened yet and won't happen for atleast another couple of years...

Last edited by r3sistance; 05-23-2009 at 02:54 PM.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 07:20 PM   #10
cadj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r3sistance View Post
While Linux is alot less prone to virus's and exploits as a whole (not to mean it's totally immune tho, it isn't). I find that Windows nowadays still handles alot of hardware devices in much easier fashions. Also Windows nowaday's almost works out of the box with most hardware unless your talking about hardware what was released after the date of the OS release, and even so windows upate these days seems to have drivers hosted it on it for those bits of hardware that are released post-windows release.

Personally I would go down the line of pointing out that Windows 7 is still Beta so it's very hard to really compare something that isn't fully released to the many different flavours of linux distributions. Windows 7 is suppose to be alot lighter then Vista but other wise I haven't really heard of that many changes between Vista and Windows 7.

The advantage of Linux I would say is the better security, generally lighter operating system (may depend on distribution) and generally higher availability of free software. However windows generally has much more professional releases of software (this doesn't mean better however) by teams who are always properly funded and do not rely on donations, Windows also has native support for most games. Wine can help play games but you can not be certain that games will run via this method...

overall I think Windows still has better usability then Linux but Usability within the past few years has been slipping on windows and improving on linux... so that may change aroung but I am fairly certain that hasn't happened yet and won't happen for atleast another couple of years...
Windows may support some hardware out of the box, however if you were to take a win hard drive out and boot it in another pc it would simply fail to boot. Linux in general will work.

I have a custom built pc, with gigabyte, asus and pioneer devices with a 22" screen. ALL of the live CD's i have used (apart from opensuse) have fully supported all this hardware right away. far more impressive than my previous vista install. wireless for example required me to use a friends pc to download drivers.
 
Old 05-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
r3sistance
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Linux is more portable between switch out hardware granted, it can still be a hit or miss thing for both tho. Linux their are just too many distributions meant for to many things tho, it's possible to say "linux" can do one thing when really it is a distribution thing. But as windows 7 is still not fully released and the originator did not specify what kind of distribution it's still hard to give a full answer to this thread.
 
Old 05-24-2009, 09:56 AM   #12
Tom6
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In the scenario you postulate you have unfairly weighted things more in favour of linux than is currently the case and currently there is already plenty of good reason to go linux.

By postulating that all of linux's problems have been fixed but none of the Windows ones have, the question would really be "Does Windows still exist in such a world?"
 
Old 05-24-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
Tom6
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People often say that they prefer Windows because "it works straight out of the box" - however what they really mean is that they have never tried linux and are just spouting out nonsense which is completely the opposite of reality.

Windows is pre-installed on a system by a bunch of experts doing a batch run on the same hardware, and with the full support of hardware manufacturers providing them with bundles of drivers. There are then numerous updates and extra packages installed, utilities to fix hardware issues and other problems unique to the machine, Service Packs, more updates all of which require rebootings before other updates can be applied - and they need to be applied because of "security issues" we are told. The machines then pass through Quality Control before being shipped out. At some point packages like Office, Nero, multimedia apps, NokiaPcSuite and such like need to be bought and installed (and updated). Lets not forget the 'free' ones such as Adobe Reader, Adobe FlashPlayer and so on. Compare this to a Windows fanboy sticking the Ubuntu Cd in and without even installing anything saying "See, it just doesn't work out of the box"
 
Old 05-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #14
Tom6
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Imagine a meeting of The Bored of Directors where 1 Director has 'lost' his papers (remember there are still many glass ceilings) and upon arrival they claim the can't possibly have the meeting without such-and-such a paper (it's a power trip by Marketing trying to look important). I get back to my machine which is suddenly running slow despite my lunchtime defrag. The extra paper is, of course, a pdf so it's going to take ages to open despite only being half a page long. An adobe pop-up appears asking if i want to update now. Then Windows demands to update itself too. It has to be now it says and keeps popping up everytime i click on "Go Away", it doesn't get the hint. I manage to get some of the other papers open (.docs & my .rtfs) and start printing them but now it's immensely slow and then a pop-up appears (centre of the screen of course) to tell me the automatic updates (which i switched off) have completed and i must reboot NOW.

Compare this to linux where sudden slow-downs don't happen, a discrete notice appears to inform me that updates are available but no pop ups, no demands, no 'going ahead and doing it anyway even when told not to'. Documents (even pdfs) open faster (even in the supposedly 'slow and heavy' OpenOffice) because ram doesn't get so full so fast - in linux opening multiple documents tends to open things in different tabs rather than opening a new instance of the entire program. Any program that needs a library/codec or sub-process can use the one that's already open rather than having to open a new one (and then fail to close it). When Ram gets too full it can shift some of its burden to swap which is kept contiguous rather than the Windows 'pagefile.sys' which suffers from heavy fragmentation which can only be defragged by a non-MicroSquish utility because the Windows one is a bit rubbish.

Don't even get me started on Anti-Virus, lol. There are about 300 known linux virus's apparently. My favourite one is "Bliss" which keeps a log of all the files it has managed to infect and has a command-line command "bliss -uninfect-files-please" i particularly like the "please" at the end. Of course to infect anything you have to run it as Root - and the nature of OpenSource means it's fairly easy to spot but more importantly you are likely to accidentally wipe it out by accidentally overwriting it's corrupted files with clean fresher versions during some update or when you install something new. Linux viruses are more like endangered species and in the unlikely event of finding one people make recordings of it and try to pass the pictures round to show off to their mates. I think the estimated number in Windows is around 300,000? Amazing how often a huge scary one appears just prior to a normal scheduled release of some new anti-virus package, or an upgrade that will require existing customers to purchase the new anti-virus. In my experience i've had much worse behaviour from Windows itself than from any virus, except once and that was my bosses fault.
 
Old 05-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #15
Tom6
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Each new Windows release is premature and it is soo widely known that it's standard policy for many pro-Windows companies to avoid upgrading to the new Windows until after Service Pack 1 is released that Microsoft spend a fortune trying to convince these people to adopt the new version earlier, famously saying at least once that "Service Pack 1 is included in the initial release"! lol.

While one of the huge advantages of linux tends to be access to free 'technical support' from community forums and such like there are already a lot of other places to get support from. Dell already support machines they sell and presumably other vendors do too. Also some distros such as RedHat have "Enterprise" editions or are entirely business focussed with 'professional 24/7 support' although my experience of community support is a huge improvement on alleged 'professional support' which has often seemed completely clueless about their own products and seems more interested in casting aspersions, selling a more expensive product or blaming anyone or anything else rather than trying to help fix the problem they have caused. Notable exception being Dell funnily enough who have always been good to me. I've not tried RedHat or Xandros support as i have stuck to Free linux distro's. Also some distros, such as Ubuntu, already offer commercial support alongside their community support
http://www.ubuntu.com/support
So buying a Dell machine with Ubuntu pre-installed gives 4 main official support routes as it has a second community forum at something like "ubuntu.org" as well as the official Launchpad one.

Many independent specifically technical support type organisations ranging from large companies to tiny 1 person "general fix-it" will happily charge for providing support to linux users/organisations. When you contact these people and are about halfway through negotiating price just mention that it's for linux only systems and watch how dramatically they cave-in to a much lower price. Often they use use linux's to fix the Windows problems and are more comfortable with linux anyway. Less problems & easier to fix. Hardware issues would usually only be well known issues and flagged up soon enough the whole batch of new kit could be returned and stuff with better linux support easily found. The reason they don't put "linux" in their ads is because it might scare customers off.
 
  


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