Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Windows vs. Linux

Well I just had to, how could I be a nerd without mentioning this topic. Now you will get people camped out on both sides saying theirs is better, but have they ever just stepped back and looked at what’s good and bad about their operating system. So to start off with here are a few of the Pro's and Con's of each operating system. Now for the Linux side of things I am basing my answers around Ubuntu as that’s the one I use and have more experience in, also it seems the most common amongst the people I chat to.

Windows (Vista Ultimate)

Lots of games
Most applications are designed for it
Easy to use
Not many driver issues
Can play most video formats

Viruses & Spyware

Now the turn for Linux:

Linux (Ubuntu 6.10)

Applications easy to download and manage
Virtually No Viruses or Spyware
More and more common programs are now available

Very few new games are available
Drivers not available for all hardware
Less user friendly

Now really, even with whatever people say with the pros and cons of Windows the 3 Con's for Linux is basically what kills it for an everyday person. An average person, not nerd or computer scientist, an AVERAGE person wants above all else user friendliness. Now for an average person I am using my parents for an example.

For example if a driver isn't available for Linux by default, most people say search the internet, chat on forums and get advice. Now for example my parents have no idea what a forum is and so if it doesn't work, it’s useless. They would give up and go back to Windows.

Although most parents don't want to say it but computers are usually for their children to play games on, I doubt I know of anyone that doesn't use their home computers for gaming. So if you can't play for example the copy of Supreme Commander that you just went to PC World for, you will be pretty annoyed and probably go back to Windows where it will work.

Now of course the greatest Pro for Linux, its FREE. The operating system is free and most of the major software for it is free eg. Firefox, OpenOffice etc. Which I think was why when talking about it with my parents they got interested. £350 for Vista Ultimate and another £350 for Office or £0 for Ubuntu and OpenOffice. Hmm, which is cheaper for an average family? Of course not all the software is as good as the Windows counterpart, but it’s free. What do people expect?

Ok Windows, it’s easy to use. It’s shiny and I can play games on it. But once you installed it you have to go and buy everything else, or after buying a PC with it preinstalled it’s got loads of software from companies that isn't needed. It would be better if they just came with Vista and Office preinstalled, once again ease of use!

It does of course depend on which version of Linux you go for, there are lots to choose from, and I currently suggest Ubuntu. Now most of the problems about Linux are slowly disappearing, the new version of Ubuntu will be out soon and has greatly improved its usability which is awesome. So regrettably in the long run I would have to say that for an average family Linux is slowly becoming ever more a real life consideration.

Don't worry Microsoft, I love you really.

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