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What Vista Gets Right

It took five years, 10,000 employees, and (allegedly) billions of dollars. It contains some 50 million lines of code. Yes, it's Windows Vista, and it's finally here. And guess what? In some ways, Vista has Linux beat.

Originally published in the April 2007 print edition of Linux Magazine.

It contains some 50 million lines of code, and took five years, 10,000 employees, and (allegedly) billions of dollars to develop. Yes, it’s Windows Vista, and it’s finally here. And guess what? In some ways, Vista has Linux beat.

No, I’ve not been drugged, bought, or blackmailed by BillG. It’s just true. That doesn’t mean that Linux is bad, or that I’m going to stop using the Penguin. It does mean, however, that Linux users should work to understand how Vista is superior, so we can talk reasonably to Windows users about all of their options. More important, we can implement the good stuff that Vista has, while shunning the stupid, consumer-unfriendly, so-called “features” that Microsoft has also introduced with Vista.

In any battle, it’s a good idea to understand your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. Read on to learn everything about Vista.

User Interface

If there was a truth-in-advertising law, you’d see this in all Vista ads: “Try new Microsoft Vista! Now more Mac-like than ever! “

The much-vaunted, new Aero provides a fancy, new user interface for Windows, with transparency, animations, and live previews. For instance, Alt-Tab doesn’t just switch between open applications anymore; Alt-Tab, now called Windows Flip, now shows you little up-to-date pictures of open windows instead of simple application icons. Or, if you press Windows-Tab, live pictures of windows appear in a 3D stack. It’s a pretty cool effect, guaranteed to impress the techno-illiterate.

Vista also introduces Live Thumbnails: as you mouse over items in the Taskbar, a live thumbnail of the window pops up. For instance, if a video is playing in the main application window, the video shows up in real time in the thumbnail as well. Shiny!

Still, Microsoft has made some lapses. If you try to add a font (go to C:\Windows\Fonts and choose Install New Fonts from the File menu, the same old dialog — the same one from Windows 3.x — appears. It’s unbelievable that such a hideous and unusable element is still present, over 15 years after it was introduced.

Instead of Aero, Linux users have the very cool Compiz and Beryl. Kind of. Very few distros include them out of the box, and for those that don’t, users have to go through an arduous process to get them installed, configured, and working.[ This month's "On the Desktop" column explains how to get Beryl up and running.] Until users can count on an easier implementation process, it won’t matter how much Linux partisans point to cool desktop effects. Aero is available now, it works, and it’s consistent.

Fonts

Segoe UI is the new system font in Vista, and it’s another nice font from Microsoft. Since Windows 2000, Windows has exceeded Linux and introduced fonts that are clear, readable, and attractive.

Sure, Linux had Bitstream Vera, which has morphed into the much better DejaVu family, but what other, original fonts have been introduced from the Linux world? Linux users typically end up installing the core fonts (Verdana, Arial, Georgia, and Times New Roman, for instance) that Microsoft made available years ago. Heck, even the new fonts introduced with Office 2007 (which I know isn’t part of Vista, but the two go together like Tweedledee and Tweedledum) are really nice.

Will someone at Novell, Red Hat, or Canonical please pay a typographer to create some new, cool, readable fonts that the Linux community can use and propagate?

Further, Microsoft’s ClearType technology makes fonts look sharp on LCD monitors. Granted, it’s possible to tweak font settings on Linux to improve appearances, but it’s more work than it should be; Linux font rendering should adapt automatically to LCD monitors. The days of chewed up, crappy-looking fonts on Linux are so 1999. Linux looks amateurish.

Games

This is a painful truth that most Linux (and Mac) users already know: When it comes to games, Windows is the place to play. The vast majority of games are written for Windows alone, with a few that also work on Mac OS X, and an even smaller number that run natively on Linux boxes.

Yes, this is largely due to the stranglehold Microsoft has on game development through promulgation of its DirectX technology. Yes, Linux (and Mac) users on Intel boxes can always dual-boot, but that still scares the willies out of the vast majority of the public, no matter how simple it may be in practice. And yes, Linux users can try virtualization as one way to run Windows games, but that’s a solution to settle for, not strive for. The fact remains that if you’re a gamer, you have to run Windows.

Microsoft knows this, so Vista has new graphics technologies in place — like the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) and Windows Graphics Foundation (WGF) — that promise to make games look even more realistic and perform even better, while further tying game developers to Windows.

Like it or not, Microsoft’s Vista is going to be the number one gaming platform sooner rather than later, and there’s not much Linux users can do about it.

Media Center

For several years, Microsoft has offered a special version of Windows known as XP Media Center Edition. In Vista, all of the Media Center technology is built-in, at least if you buy the Home Premium or Ultimate editions of the operating system.

So what does Media Center get you? Plug your PC into a TV and you can use a specially included remote control to view or play pictures, videos, DVDs, music, and even TV shows. Multimedia can come from the computer’s hard drive or optical drive, and even from another computer on the network. Everything is sortable and categorized, making it relatively easy to find your stuff. If you have an Xbox 360, you can instead use Media Center on your computer to stream the music you want to hear and the movies you want to watch to the game console for ultimate delivery on your TV. Media Center isn’t as easy to use as Apple ‘s Front Row, but at least it’s there.

What do Linux distros have to offer that’s similar? Nada. The lack of such features is a major problem, and one that must be fixed soon, and in a coordinated manner. And here’s a suggestion for the hardware manufacturers who have to be part of the equation (remote controls, remember?): Apple’s remote is super simple, and that’s a good thing. In this area, less is most definitely more.

Support for Tablets

Tablets aren’t that interesting to me, but I’m not the target audience for this kind of computer. Still, there’s a market for those things, and Vista has Linux completely whipped.

Beyond the fact that it’s hard to find tablets running Linux in the first place, Vista adds a ton of new features for tablets. Vista has improved handwriting recognition that learns from your particular lines, dots, and curls; the new user interface provides visual feedback that makes it clear if you tapped, double-tapped, or right-clicked on your screen; and something called “pen flicks,” (which Firefox and Opera users call “gestures”), translates small movements into a specific task.

Exciting? No. But if you ran a warehouse and wanted your employees to carry around tablets, Vista looks really good, while Linux isn’t even in the running. The game’s over before it starts.

ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost is a cool feature for which Microsoft deserves some credit. Essentially, ReadyBoost enables Vista users to speed up their systems by plugging a flash drive up to 4 GB in size into a USB 2.0 port. Vista then intelligently pre-loads programs and files onto the USB drive, so that the flash memory acts as a mid-point between a computer’s super-fast RAM and its slower mechanical hard drive.

In fact, Microsoft estimates that a flash drive used in this manner is up to 100 times faster than a hard drive, which can spell significant improvements, especially since 4 GB flash drives can be purchased for around $60, while the same amount of RAM costs considerably more.

ReadyBoost is a great idea that makes a lot of sense, and, contrary to what some Linux aficionados have asserted on Internet forums, is not simply the equivalent to moving your Linux swap file to a USB key. Vista is a lot smarter about what gets placed onto the drive, with safeguards in place so that a carelessly-removed USB key doesn’t destroy data, and with encryption so a stolen USB key can’t be scanned for precious info.

I can’t wait for the Linux kernel to add a ReadyBoost-like feature so that Penguin lovers can start to enjoy it as well.

iLife-style Apps

People who buy Macs know that a new computer ships with some of the most elegant consumer applications available today. Collectively known as iLife, the built-in Apple applications include iMovie for creating and editing movies, iDVD for creating and burning DVDs, and iPhoto for managing and editing pictures.

The consistent excellence of iLife drives Microsoft absolutely batty. It’s no surprise that Vista includes Microsoft knock-offs of some of the coolest programs in iLife. Yet it’s still pretty embarrassing that Linux users can’t expect anything even close to the cheap copies that Microsoft includes in Vista.

Windows Photo Gallery lets you view your pictures individually or in slide shows, and allows you to edit them with some simple tools like red-eye removal and cropping. To print your photos, use one of the ubiquitous wizards.

Linux users have various options available, such as Digicam for KDE and gThumb for GNOME, but those, to be charitable, need lots of work. It says something when the best photo management tool for Linux is easily Picasa, a Windows-based program that runs using WINE. Under those conditions, Windows Photo Gallery comes across like a triumph.

Windows Movie Maker is better than it used to be, but it’s still pretty weak, especially when compared to Apple’s iMovie. You can import video and audio, re-order scenes, insert some amateurish transitions, and then save the resulting masterpiece as a Windows-centric WMV or AVI file.

But at least the program works, anemic though it may be. What do Linux users have? Nothing that’s particularly easy to use, or consistently installed across most common Linux distros. Yes, there are some strong contenders, but nothing stands out at this time.

Windows DVD Maker takes the creations turned out by Windows Movie Maker and transfers them to DVD. Here Linux has a better program (K3b, of course!), but since there isn’t a great movie editor that could be used to first prepare the movies that would be burned with K3b, it doesn’t quite matter. Vista provides tools that enable the amateur sitting at home to create a movie and then burn the results on a disc that can be played on the family’s DVD player, and Linux doesn’t have anything that works together that well. Like it or not, Vista has the edge here (although Mac OS X has ‘em both beat).

Networking

When it comes to the stability of networking, I’m not going to go nuts and claim that Windows is better. No way. And I’m not going to claim that Vista is leading the way when it comes to protocols. For example, SSH still isn’t built into the Windows operating system (ridiculous in an operating system that’s touted for its commitment to security). And this has nothing to do with the better driver support for wireless cards that Windows enjoys, since that’s due to the shortsightedness of wireless hardware makers who won’t make it easy for open source developers to write drivers for their cards. No, where Vista beats Linux on networking is in making it easy for normal folks to work with their networks.

When you connect to a network for the first time, Vista opens the Set Network Location dialog, which prompts you to select the kind of network you wish to join: Home (you can see other machines and they can see you), Work (similar to Home), and Public (you can use the Net, but other machines can’t see you). When Bob connects to the local coffee shop’s open wireless network, he simply chooses Public, and Vista automatically turns off file sharing, among other things. Quick, easy, and automatic. That’s a good thing.

Even better, a new control panel has been introduced in Vista: Network and Sharing Center. Visit it to take care of almost anything you’d want to do with your networks: check the status of your connectivity and troubleshoot problems, access pre-configured networks, toggle and configure file and printer sharing, or go into more advanced settings. This is helpful to just about everyone, at all skill levels.

One of the coolest built-ins is the new Network Map, which displays a graphic view of every computer and device on your network. Using the Network Map, you can view info about a device, such as its IP address, or connect to a PC’s shared resources by simply double-clicking on it. This takes working with the resources on a LAN to a whole new level, and I want it in my Linux distro now.

Finally, there’s the Sync Center. You probably have more than one computer, which means you probably have data on more than one machine. The Sync Center in Vista makes it simple for you to create and schedule automatic synchronizations between devices, initiate manual syncs, abort syncs in progress, or view the current status of a sync. If there’s a conflict between devices, the Sync Center alerts you so you can resolve it.

Define which folders will be synced, and the Sync Center takes care of the rest, behind the scenes. Yes, Linux users have things like iFolder, but such solutions are complicated to set up and are missing from standard distro installs.

And yes, rsync rules, and I use it every day, but the Sync Center goes one step beyond rsync in terms of ease of use. Linux needs something like the Sync Center and its underlying autosync capabilities, stat.

IT Management

Windows can be a bear to manage. Imagine, then the pains of a network administrator who must oversee a sleuth of those bears (yes, a group of bears is a sleuth). Microsoft empathizes with Windows owners and provides software tools that IT can use to manage all the Windows boxes on a corporate network.

For starters, there are tools that inventory the hardware and software on existing boxes and then test for program compatibility with Vista. Further, Microsoft’s BDD 2007 (Business Desktop Deployment) 2007 includes WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) and SIM (System Image Manager). This stuff can help Windows admininstrators create Vista image files, wich can then be rolled out to the various machines on the network. (For a walk-through of the process, see “Microsoft Eases Vista Deployment” in eWeek, at http://www.eweek.com/article2/0, 1759,2068701,00.asp).

The process isn’t perfect, and it isn’t super-easy, but it does work, and IT folks inside medium- and large-sized organizations count on it to vastly simplify their lives. Linux has some automated tools, but the more tools the big distros can provide to harried sysadmins, the more comfortable those people will be with adding Linux machines to their networks.

Marketing

Let’s face it: when it comes to clever ads that get people talking about an operating system, Apple is king. The latest series of ads in the “Get a Mac” campaign are brilliant: funny, memorable, and effective in communicating to people the benefits of Macs and the problems with PCs.

Microsoft’s commercials aren’t nearly as good: when’s the last time you saw dozens of parodies of a Microsoft commercial on YouTube? But at least the company is busy spending money hand over fist ($500 million) to build public awareness about its new release.

So where are all the Linux ads? Yeah, yeah, yeah… IBM has had a few ads for Linux on TV, but those tend to be pretty weird and very much aimed at the technical crowd. If your Mom or Dad see an Apple ad, they’ll still “get” it; if they see an IBM ad for Linux, they’ll probably have no idea what the hell is going on. As for ads in magazines, most of those are in technical publications that only nerds like us read, so they don’t help.

Even now, over a decade and a half after the birth of Linux, most people still don’t know that it exists. IBM, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, and any other companies that support Linux and open source need to pay for ads that are as easy to understand and entertaining as those that Apple seems to effortlessly turn out on a yearly basis. Grass roots marketing is important, and Linux wouldn’t be where it is now without it, but it’s time for Linux to grow beyond a simple reliance on the grass roots and aim at the masses.

We can’t spend $500 million, but we can strive to get the word out more effectively and educate those who haven’t the foggiest idea that an awesome operating system named “Linux” even exists.

Conclusion

We’re at the end of our tour of the good, interesting, or notable features in Vista, and I hope you’ve learned something new about the operating system that, ironically, many of us plan never to run on a regular basis.

Remember, though, that just because the readers of Linux Magazine don’t intend to run Vista, that doesn’t mean that hundreds of millions of people around the world won’t be running it in a few years time. If we want even a fraction of those folks to switch to Linux, we’d better set aside our prejudices and learn about Vista. The more we know, the more we can counter the latest iteration of Microsoft’s operating system.

Comments on "What Vista Gets Right"

matador

No GNU/Linux Media Center alternative? How about MythTV?

http://www.mythtv.org

Reply
linville79

User Interface:

Beryl is very easy to install from the available software repos using yum or apt-get (Fedora or Ubuntu) and will run quite nicely with default settings, but has far more options for eye-candy than Vista offers.

Fonts:
I agree with you fully about the fonts, but the default set in Gnome on Fedora 7 is more than adequate for most “normal” users.

Games:
I agree that it would be great to have more modern games be natively available, but as you sort of pointed out, that’s the game developers’ fault, not Linux’s fault. We dont’ have DirectX, but OpenGL works just fine on what are considered to be “gaming” video cards(a point proven by using Wine for gaming).

Media Center:
Ever heard of MythTV? You can build a pretty impressive media server with it as the base. Yes, you might need to get a little geeky to do it, but once it’s done, it can far surpass Media Center.

Support for Tablets:
I also don’t have much desire to own or use a tablet, but you can buy them with Linux pre-installed and configured for hardware functionality on Lenovo/IBM hardware from http://www.EmperorLinux.com (starting at just $2200). Just check out the Raven X61 Tablet.

ReadyBoost:
Windows needs REadyBoost, because they don’t give you the ability to run the entire OS from DVD, CD, USB, Floppy. Try grabbing one of those 4GB flash drives and installing the “Live” version of your favorite Linux distro on it. It’s leaps and bounds faster than the little extra “RAM” that ReadyBoost will get you. And that’s not nearly as geeky as MythTV. In fact, it’s quite easy to find a site that will hold your hand step by step through the entire 10min(not counting the ISO download) process.

iLife:
It’s a widely-known and accepted fact that if you want top-of-the-line multimedia, you choose Mac. I do agree though, that Linux needs more help here than Windows, although, I’d still recommend a Mac to anyone that wants a really top quality experience in this field.

Networking:
NetworkManager is coming along nicely, however, you have a very good point here about the need for more “Network” friendly tools that are readily available.

IT Management:
As a Systems Administrator at a medium-sized company, I actually much prefer third-party tools for managing hardware and software inventories and the like. Even if more tools were available in this area, I wouldn’t use them. Because most networks are vastly different from one-another, I much prefer using simple shell scripts that pull data to a single management/syslog server that essentially operates outside of the normal realm of daily activity.

Marketing:
Microsoft wins, hands down. It always will, because of it’s deep pockets and OEM integration. That’s just a sad fact that others have to work around. Hence the funny, Mac television spots.

Over all, I think this is a decent listing of things that could stand to see some more improvement. However, there is one very primary issue that your article seems to dismiss. Widows is designed, developed, maintained, and marketed by Microsoft. Macintosh is designed, developed, maintained, and marketed by Apple. That is what gives those operating systems the ability to stay focused and cohesive in rolling out applications that can stand out above all other that are available for that OS. Your article assumes that “Linux” is has that same luxury. I’m sure that you realize that, but your article fails to make that obvious. It’s because of that fact, that in a lot of categories, there is no stand-out package. Because of the strong development community for “Linux”, developers work on a large array of projects instead of a singular primary one. Should we want for that to be different? How would a more focused community of developers change the “Linux” culture?

Note: I put “Linux” in quotes because of it’s intended implication as a singular entity rather than typing out various GNU/Linux based distro names. “Linux” is a kernel, not an OS, I just didn’t want to seem fanatical.

Reply
hhemken

“Will someone at Novell, Red Hat, or Canonical please pay a typographer to create some new, cool, readable fonts that the Linux community can use and propagate?”

No, better to support an OpenSource font design and editing app so that the starving hordes can flood the world with new fonts.

Your points on the cosmetic differences are not that important. I don’t think most users really care about them beyond a brief fascination with the novelty and show-off value. Once they realize they are a drag on the system, the honeymoon is over.

Regarding the useful tools available on Macs and the fact that Windows will likely remain the king of games, those are certainly issues that should be dealt with by any significant money being invested in Linux. Indeed, both Intel and AMD are making moves in the graphics hardware realm that push in this direction, so kudos to them. If Valve and a few others were to make cross-platform engines, that would also be a huge step.

Marketing Linux with paid advertising sounds premature at best, and frankly dubious. Precious funds that could be spent on improving Linux tools and components should not be wasted on advertising. Linux use is growing at its own pace. More slowly than a commercial product to be sure, but GNU/Linux is not a commercial product. It is an accumulation of empowering software technologies available to all who wish to acquire the competence to use them. Gradually, as they become more usable by the general public, their use will increase, as will their “market penetration.”

There is no hurry. It is happening at a reasonable pace now, and is quite possibly unstoppable. Let’s not play a game based on someone else’s idiotic rules that are unfavorable to us. Let’s be patient and allow our rules to slowly, insidiously drown theirs out.

Reply
akiladila

This was a great Article! I hope that more Linux users read it. I guess my question is how do we tackle the problem of proprietary drivers and the “culture of the hacker”, which is prevalent throughout the Linux community? I don’t mind spending hours re-compiling my kernel or building the drivers that will make hardware X wok with my Linux distro, but I am not the Average users. And man would it be nice to sit down in front of my Linux box and Watch Monty Python on a DVD with an environment as nice as the Windows Vista Media Center!

well, I guess if I want it I have to built, but then that’s just the type of attitude that gets us in trouble :)

Reply
maxwaldo

I agree with everything said in the article. I’m a committed Linux user and I’m willing to make compromises. But try to install a Linux distro on an off the shelf Lpatop (say HP) and you going to spend days searching for tips and tricks to get your wireless or your audio to work. The issues with wireless is admittedly a manufacturers fault. But audio is a bleeding nightmare. Multiple approaches to solve this issue, none however succeded. Sound is so standard on todays computers it has to work right out of the box!
here’s another point: I make my living with sound and video post production for which no serious, reliable, industry accepted alternative in Linux exists (Wavelab, Nuendo, Vegas). I hate to switch to Vista because it’s faschistic in it’s nature and it sucks us all deeper into a MS monopoly. But unless I can convince Steinberg or Sony to release a Linux product (the chances are minimal) I have no choice.
We all know Linux is the better technology. All the effort needs to go into a direction where a “normal” meaning fairly PC savvy user can install and use Linux and have a better experience with it.

Reply
olwe

To most users a computer is a “thingamabob” i.e,. they don’t care about open or closed software paradigms, thus Linux has no traction with the average grunts.

Way back before there was SCO Unix. They were in Santa Cruz where they did Unix-Zen. They had no real interest in grunt users; instead, they concentrated on the most satori-like Unix platform they could. The result was Microsoft blew them away, and Linux had to finally come to life to overcome the elitist, monastery-like attitude SCO and the other Unixae suffered from.

Unfortunately, much of that snob-monk attitude still prevails in Linux-land. Nearly all of the features you mention are of little or no interest to the Unix snob-monk. For another California analogy, consider the BMW fans: In Calif there is still a big population of BMW2002′s out there. Techincally they’re still “superior” to the modern “beamers”…so say some of the purists. The 2002 purist says his car is a “real” BMW. Sound familiar?

I know this sounds familiar because I’m an Emacs-for-everything/command-liner Unix purist. I’m also a huge 2002 fan. I would take a brand new BMW given to me and trade it in for a 2002! Every time I’m in a new BMW I feel like I’m being pandered to. Every time I use Windows I feel the same. The barebones Linux experience is an adult computer experience–same as driving a 2002.

Still your arguments are right-on for Linux as a desktop machine. I’d say, either get it in gear, Linux-land, or just give up on the desktop. I’m a very rare breed who doesn’t need the Mac/Win fluff, but again, I’m very rare….

Reply
readiness

hhemken said:

“Your points on the cosmetic differences are not that important. I don’t think most users really care about them beyond a brief fascination with the novelty and show-off value. Once they realize they are a drag on the system, the honeymoon is over.”

I completely agree. The problem, though, is that by the time Joe Consumer realizes what a drag those features are, he’s already bought the computer, hooked up the wires, and thrown away the box. Now he’s stuck with the hardware AND the OS. And he’ll complain and whine about how bad Windows is or how expensive Macs are. But the deed is done!

Olwe Melwasul says he feels pandered to in a new BMW or using a Windows machine. True enough, but realize that Joe Consumer LIKES to be pandered to. Hence, all the new BMWs on the road.

Personally, I don’t like being pandered to, and I LOVE the power, flexibility, and downright fun that Linux gives me. But like Olwe Melwasul said, I’m very rare.

The important thing is that Linux gives us choice. Ubuntu is trying to make itself easy to use, add better support for (just about everything), and in effect pander to Joe Consumer. They’re trying to fix Bug Number 1.

Good for them. At the same time there’s Frugalware, KnoppMyth, PHLAK, and dozens of other distros I’ve never heard of. Good for them, too. They’re providing the choice, the vibrance, and the evolution which Raymond called “the bazaar.”

Even Vista fits into the bazaar. As much as I hate to admit it, Microsoft does some things right. (After all, 1,000 monkeys banging on 1,000 typewriters will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare.) Yes, Linux should examine and improve upon a number of innovations from the monkeys in Redmond.

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twaks99

This is a great article, and I do agree with all aspects except for the part about games. I actually enjoy the games that are available on my Linux machine much better than the ones on my Windows PC. Of course, I am not referring to the high-definition action games, but the card games, puzzles, and simple action games. There are many games I enjoy on my Linux box for which I cannot even find a Windows equivalent.

Nowadays, most of the people I know who enjoy the high-definition action games prefer the gaming consoles like the X-Box, PlayStation or Wi. These consoles are considerably cheaper and easier to use than high-end gaming PCs, so I think that the lack of action games for other operation systems is no longer an issue.

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ajaypal

Regarding fonts didnt Redhat recently released some good fonts under the name of liberation Fonts
http://www.press.redhat.com/2007/05/09/liberation-fonts/

And gaming and 3D front should improve with
http://enterpriselinuxlog.blogs.techtarget.com/2007/05/09/amd-will-deliver-open-graphics-drivers/

And one major front where Windows really-really lack is my faith in it as a reliable version of DOS.

Reply
gerhardk

Just a comment on digiKam (not Digicam) and Picasa: digiKam has been selected as the better image management tool throughout the Linux mags. I think it’s up to date as much as Amarok and easily outperforms/shines any other tool available on Linux. In Autumn it will be available on Windows and compete with Digital Darkroom and Aperture.

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caderik

I have been saying about the fonts for a long time!!! Linux default fonts really suck. I would call them at best “adequate”. There is no comparison today between nice vista fonts + cleartype (which unfortunately has patents that might prevent to implement anything similar) and what linux offers by default. If you spend enough time tweaking you can have something decent.
I even wrote on the opensuse ui lists about the ugly default fonts and no comments.

“No, better to support an OpenSource font design and editing app so that the starving hordes can flood the world with new fonts.”

The application is not the point. You can support as many apps you want but if no typographers are spending effort and time doing something nice, this won’t do anything. And all the nice fonts that are currently on the distribution are often donations from companies. Not art by “starving hordes”.

Concerning the desktop, I think this will change soon. Compiz is rather well supported (= one click on Opensuse no complex install) and its new version “compiz-fusion” is truely nice. It just needs a little more stability and integration with gnome and kde.

And Linux folks have to admit that Readyboost is a nice innovation. No matter how much you think the OS drags (I think a full gnome install can drag too) – using a usb key for caching is smart.
I bet that even on server apps this could help (like mysql/apache caching).

To finish, concerning MediaCenter, there are commercial linux alternatives. SageTV which has better capabilities than MediaCenter on many levels, is available on Linux.

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a7bo

Hey, tablets aren’t just used in Warehouses. More and more HMO’s, hospitals, and Doctors’ Offices are using tablets. Linux, and Open Source based solutions for Tablet PC’s could save REAL money in health care.

Many Universities are buying Tablet PC’s for faculty to use in teaching. Linux, and Open Source, which are already BIG players in the Academic market could help stem that rising Tuition costs.

As Tablet PC’s get smaller, and smaller they will eventually reach the “small screen” market. There are already several hand held small screen tablets out there (Toshiba has one). Concede the market to Microsoft and Linux might well be “left in the dust”.

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aherzallah

Reality is, Yes; Microsoft have an edge on marketing and it will always be …[holding you on the cheek] (it’s business Tony!). the one who wins is the one that can stand the competition.

Vista have introduced new features and raised the bar. can that be achieved? .. I bet it can. Microsoft did it!. others can too, Apple did that even before.
regarding the UI candy you mentioned in the artical you should have done your home work Kido! Gnome have most of these sugger candy for you.

I agree 100% Linux need awarness and some bags of money to be thrown on marketing to some “Paid”or believer Journalists.
Will someone from Novell, Red Hat, or Canonical please pay this guy something?! I guarantee you he will write something better.

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rgb@phy.duke.edu

The article isn’t bad, but it misses some of the most critical flaws in Vista of Evil. Such as its speed. I had the misfortune to recently buy two new systems for cheap, and of course one can now ONLY buy systems with Vista in them over the counter from places like Office Depot, Best Buy and so on. I’d heard bad things about Vista — from professional remote sysadmin groups, people who do nothing all day but manage large collectives of PCs, servers, in any possible mix of mac, win and lin. And I planned to primarily run linux on them anyway, but I hoped that the windows side would at least be useable.

To be frank, they weren’t. Both of these systems were way over the top as far as requirements are concerned. A 2 GB dual core laptop — enough cycles to dispose of that it could have served my entire University a decade or so ago WHILE I was working under Gnome on GUI apps and reading my mail. Enough disk that yes, that would have probably fit too. Gigabit networking and (on the laptop) wireless as well. Both systems would have been considered munitions once upon a time and selling one without an weapons export license would have gotten you twenty-to-life.

Vista Home Premium, on both of them, managed to run. Like a pig. I haven’t experienced a UI that slow since I was working on a Sun 386i back in the late 80′s. I should say that NOT EVEN a Sun 386i (at 3 MHz CPU clock) was that slow. All of those nifty features like “transparency” just suck down CPU, and from what I’ve been told all that DRM crap that is built into Vista sucks down cycles in perpetuity as it constantly monitors hardware devices for possible DRM violations. Or maybe it is something else — I don’t know, nor do I much care.

The bottom line is that the systems were pretty much unusable. Software that worked under e.g Win9X or WinXP wouldn’t load correctly, or wouldn’t work correctly when loaded. Game software (touted as an advantage in the article above) ran so slowly that any number of games my kids tried to load on something that should have been the rippingest gaming system in the house (and we have some pretty nice systems in my house as I’m a beowulf guy and like/need fast computers:-) just were unplayable. Move the mouse. Wait. Oh wait! The pointer is finally moving! Type in some text. Wait. There it is appearing in the entry box!

To me this was a great mystery. Somewhere between 3 and 5 GHz of cycles on multiple cores, mountains of memory, running a game that ran fine on Windows 98 for gosh sake, and it couldn’t handle the real-time movement of a mouse? What was it doing in there, I wondered…

So I tuned, I turned off transparency, I optimized for performance, I shut down a lot of Vista’s nifty “features” (most of which I could care less about anyway) and — it still ran pig-dog slow, too slow for games, annoying just running the UI. And the “security” features include the world’s most annoying tell-me-twice. EVERY TIME you try to do something that could be “dangerous” to your system or “risky” on the network, you have to tell it twice. Sometimes every STEP of a SINGLE PROCESS you have to constantly reaffirm that yes, installing this software could cause your system to explode or grow a fungus, but amazingly enough you want to do it anyway.

So here I sat, owning two superfast computers that were by far the slowest in the house, unusably slow in the “gaming” system, too slow and buggy to be of use in the laptop I got for professional reasons. As I installed yet a third system (this one Vista home) and talked to still more sysadmins (including ones trying to e.g. get VPN software to work) I heard horror story after horror story. My kids, inveterate gamers and Windows lovers because of it, won’t touch a Vista box.

Finally, now that we’ve entered the New Age of Computing for real, and it is the Virtual Machine Age — all readers of this article should be aware that no version of Vista short of the business class is licensed to be run as a VM! That’s right folks. If you own a linux box, or for that matter want to run it as a VM in a business context but don’t feel like paying for a business class license because all your planned usage is well within its admittedly braindead and pig-slow capabilities, well, you’re SOL.

Our solution? To back install Windows XP. My son still had an XP home box set from his previous system that crashed. I discovered that I still had an unopened box set of XP Pro sitting in my office from three or four years ago when I bought it for a project that never came to pass, and since I basically “never” use Windows anyway unless I absolutely must I’d forgotten that it was even there. Both the systems in question were Lenovos, so an XP (Pro) “upgrade” from Vista, a few hours of mandatory updating (yes, I truly do hate the Windows updater and have interesting stories of Evil concerning it as well) and I had shiny new usable systems again.

XP, in my opinion, is still by far the best version of Windows ever produced — it is really pretty usable. Equip it with putty and/or cygwin (to get some sort of ssh client) and it can access linux systems adequately well to use as a management console in a linux-server environment. Run under e.g. vmware as a subtask under linux (my own favorite way to go) and it is even really nice. XP makes a simply lovely linux application on a server as a VM or on a desktop or laptop as a VM, and of course with 2 GB on this laptop and a dual core processor it is like having as many as 3 or 4 VM environments in one machine, all running simultaneously and none of them particularly starved for resources. Try that with Vista.

So Vista of Evil does not impress me — quite the opposite. The longest suicide note in history indeed, and not just for its DRM. As one person knowledgeable about its design pointed out, it makes a PC into a multimedia system that can also run Office, not a workstation that can also do multimedia. Microsoft has more or less blown off the workstation market (a fact that is also evident from the multiple price and capability levels of Vista) and has turned turned out a more or less crippled version of its OS for home use (where XP was actually damn near just as good as XP Pro — not differentiated enough to make it really worth getting for any reason except remote desktop access).

Regarding the rest of the “gingerbread” features that are touted as “advantages” of Vista — compared to Linux, some of them are definitely nice. Compared to XP’s similar functionality — I don’t see them as being big improvements. The BIGGEST obstacle to the linux desktop is not gingerbread, it is meat. Specifically two or three pieces of meat. Devices, devices, devices — on Windows they work, for WHATEVER reason, where on Linux they still just plain don’t. He says bemoaning the Broadcom wireless interface in the Lenovo laptop, which requires special scissors and firmware surgery from XP drivers to even THINK of running under linux…

Printer management is a second big one. It has gradually improved under linux, and in a linux-only environment run by sysadmins it works beautifully. At home or in mixed environments it still just sucks. And printers aren’t a minor issue — they are a CRITICAL issue for most computer users. They are a pain, to be frank, under Windows as well but the pain ultimately WORKS and produces a useable printer, often even if the installer is a near-luddite.

Finally, I totally agree with the article about the importance of advertising. Want to get broadcom to take linux seriously? Create a useable linux desktop, and sell it on TV. Sell, sell, sell. Demonstrate that Broadcom is losing customers to e.g. Intel because Intel’s wireless chipset works and theirs doesn’t. This has to be done as part of a bootstrap process, though, because frankly until you have the driver issue resolved, the only people that CAN sell linux desktops are companies that are willing to effectively pick the right hardware, e.g. Dell, IBM, HP, and turn it into an affordable package.

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pezza123

Hasn’t anyone tried Ubuntu? How much easier can it get? Having read the review, I’m not sure what Vista has that Linux doesn’t, but I’m certain I don’t need it. :)

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wpkzz666

I must say, as many before me, that I enjoyed the article a lot. I also enjoyed the commentaries and the critics, especially the ones by linville79 and hhekman. It must be said, as readiness points out, that the general public likes to be pandered, and, specially in North America (geographically speaking: USA, Canada and Mexico), likes to be pandered really hard.

Gnu/Linux is perfect for working. Simply stated, the stability of the system plus the very light demmand that it puts on the hardware, make it the ideal working OS. Saddly, of course, there are many areas of the uman activity that haven’t realized that, and the lack of applications is because “corporea corporat sulvuntur”, the big Co support each other, and you should not expect Adobe or Macromedia spending efforts on making their software avaible to us.

Yes, Linux somethimes gives us more work than necessary (I have a Flash memory that doesn’t want to mount), but I run simulations writen in FORTRAN, browse the internet, listen to my rather big collection of mp3 in XMMS (again, I don’t need a program to organize it, I can do it myself) and watch DVD in Totem or mplayer. All of them simmultaneosly on a 32bit machine with 1GB of RAM.
And here, at the UNAM, the national university of Mexico, Linux will whipe the floor with Vista, because it is more than enough to work, and even to loose the time in a confortable manner.

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heksys

Where the hell has this guy been in the past year and a half. And he calls him self a penguin user?

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muman

Ubuntu beats MS Vista hands down! I recommend anyone reading this tripe to download a copy from http://www.ubuntu.com and try it out. The Fonts are spectacular and actually look better than the Vista fonts on my new laptop. All media works as well or better than under MS Windoze. I dont know who wrote this, but it seems he/she hasnt used a modern copy of Linux for a year. Ubuntu is a WINNER right out of the box. It has great Fonts, great Games, great media support, all the apps you’ll ever need, and it has eye candy up the ying-yang {for you raging Windoze maniacs}. TRY IT! YOU’LL LIKE IT BETTER THAN WINDOZE!

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bcalder01

How about comparing 64 bit support? From what I understand Linux’ x86 & AMD 64 bit implementations are working very well, while Vista 64 bit is a total noshow, in terms of performance, driver availability & application support.

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adsus

I had my first look at Vista the other day. A friend had been given a new laptop from his wife as a present and asked my to install a couple of software packages for him. There is only one word to describe it – “pathetic”. This was a brand new machine ‘straight out of the box’. First, it took at least 10 minutes to boot up. Next, applications would only run once (such as Internet Explorer) then then only way to get them to run again was to reboot the machine and start again. I couldn’t get it to connect to a Windows XP computer. I had to use a USB pen drive to transfer files and even then it was patchy at best. The only thing I liked about was that the icons looked quite classy – almost like the ones on my Linux box….

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stirfrey

Not sure why you included SSH in the networking section. For one theres no need for it in windows. It’s command line a pretty useless except for basic ping and tracert commands. Your not going to do any major config changes or save a system because you have SSH on a windows box. Plus SSH isn’t part of the network stack. Not even on a linux box, so it really has nothing to do with the networking of a system.

Ready-Boost is a neat little, “Look what we can do” feature that I don’t see ever getting used. I’m sure there are some niches that will use it and love it. But I don’t ever see Dell selling thumb drives to speed up your pc. For the most part its a solution in search of a problem.

Articles like this frustrate me because I don’t want my linux system to be like windows. I use linux because it presents me with the freedom and options to do what I want. Even if I do have to spend some time getting them going. I have a better understanding of my system for everything that isn’t done for me.

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paviles

I got to think about your article a bit. As a user, Vista does not offer me any more appealing than Windows 95. Actually, most regular tasks can be performed faster and probably better in Windows 95 than in Vista. Windows is just a bloated Menu System to launch an application so what is the big deal about it?

Think about it, for the regular user (that is probably about 90% of the users in the world) it is used to launch a program. The same was done with Saber Menus (for those that remember that application back in the Win 3.1 days) still; we have all paid for Win95, Win 92 Second Edition, Win ME, XP and now Vista.

We have deployed several installations of Vista and maybe about 2% praises the “new” look. Most people ask to us to disable all the annoying so called security measurements and to install several other hacks to make IE7 a usable application instead of a geeky renegade interface. I do wonder how blind people will use the new banner graphic look with screen readers.

As for the rest of the software vendors, they will probably not follow in the same steps. Heck, talk about a rip off, install Office 2007 and try Publisher, what happened there? Same old interface as before. Someone did not finish transferring the code, but apparently that does not stop Microsoft from stealing people’s money charging for it.

If Vista and Office 2007 are the new GUI’s for the world, then Apple has for sure nothing to worry about it. I do wonder who the hell Microsoft is asking for feedback for their new GUI’s as for sure is not its customer’s and anyone that is not hype about irrelevant features will also agree….

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floridasage1

Arduous Compriz&Beryl? Yeah, right. Click the ‘k’ or syn-aptic button, scroll down. or search, the terms, instant install. re-start the Session to load it.

The larger point we are hammering home, in lieu of doing the OEM market blitz of monolithic corporations, which, BTW is dinosaur fodder, is that the Internet users have power, and word of mouth.

Dell might be a ‘success’ in the USA, but, Lenovo ships thousands of GNU/Linux systems to Asia and the Pacific, and the East, daily, out of their many factories.

Your viewpoint is too restricted to the distorted rosy vision touted by M$ in all the legacy dead tree media.

One point missed by lock-in vendors of hardware, and by the software companies targeting OEMs, is the market they are losing!

Each GNU/Linux user who is pleased with hardware that complies to ISO and has released Open Source drivers, will push that hardware at least ten fold to business, government, and friends, most of whom pay RETAIL!

If the PC market has been so flatlined since 1999, why are the monolithic corporations ignoring the one shot in the arm that will revive their lagging industry?

True that start up of a high tech business is really tough financially, so any hope will lay in a resurgence of the markets through GNU/Linux in 165 nations who have so far adopted laws and rules
requiring Free Open Source Software.

Noticed that Microsoft is pushing the word “Open” in their closed source products? Yuck!

Notice how many so called ‘journalists’ have jumped onto the bandwagon of praise for Linux?

Hey, their jobs are in jeopardy, and they must follow the rules of the Advertising Department.

Journalists as a whole have really trashed their credibility. NYT now refuses articles from Microsoft shills! Too late, we have all gone to live RSS feeds of bloggers months, nay, years ago!

You just keep spouting those words, because most of what you state is not describing the real GNU/Linux that I am seeing, and running on 120 systems!

Have two Microsoft systems left here, for government work, on old contracts. Both run XP Pro. Whenever either one has an issue we spend more time tending it, than we spend on the rest of the entire network in a year!

Installed 48 systems, plus a Quad server, all donated to a Private School, by DisneyWorld, who even trucked it out here, and delivered it all.

Installed Fedora Core 6, plus took some older systems and made them into IPCOP boxes, networked them all, and walked away.

I live one mile away, and am on call. Went in a year later, updated to Fedora Core 7, and have had one unit that had hardware issues, in all that time.

GNU/Linux is as maintenance free as anything could possibly be! Typical install is 9 to 20 minutes.
I can administer the entire system, and server, remotely, from anywhere on this planet or in Earth Orbit.

Per Seat Cost for licensing, install, updates, maintenance, is $0.00. Try to match that with Microsoft.

CIPA compliance alone will bankrupt most private schools. Typical per seat costs for school computers is $2,000 per. A bit more than half is for licenses, and the rest is for the maintenace overhead.

No wonder 41 state School Boards have mandated the switch in schools to GNU/Linux! And, it works on the same old hardware, whether workstations, or servers!

Tons of native games, XMAME, plus ALL WIN32 API games, play on GNU/Linux.

But, having the dedicated gaming consoles, why waste computer resources on games that play best on those consoles?

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ntrcessor

It’s true that Vista has Linux beat in Eye Candy, but the Eye Candy is such a drag on performance, that ALL of the Vista Installs I’ve worked on have had comments like “Can’t you make it run any faster? My spyware laden, virus ridden XP ran faster…”

Yes…it’s true…i have seen an XP box that was admittedly very slow, beat the pants off a fresh install of Vista, not only in boot times, but in other daily tasks, such as writing a document in notepad, doing a virus scan of things in active memory, oh…and playing a game of solitaire (any flavor).

And then I comapre it to my Mepis, or Ubuntu installs…and think..I’m glad I don’t have the eye candy..it isn’t worth the pain and suffering.

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snork

I think the author had a noble idea when sitting down to write this article. I think the focus and data to back up the statements weren’t well researched or documented. I also think that any article written about Linux has to be preempted with what the point of view should be.

I always tell people that windows is for beginners and for doing basic stuff. Beyond that, Windows, ANY version of windows falls apart. I can back this up simply by telling someone to check out the forums. I could fill many book with my failures in trying to get windows to do things that it couldn’t and never will be able to accomplish, that Linux can accomplish quickly and easily.

I’ve had to use windows for over 25 years in the corporate world and was constantly frustrated by it’s lack of power, flexibility, speed, security, etc.

Linux is not made for beginners or people that simply want to read email, surf the net, write a letter, or play games. It was based on an operating system that was meant to do work.

I agree with what most of the respondents have said so far, especially linville79.

I’ve been using UNIX for a long time before Linux and have been many times more productive using Linux than I EVER was using windows.

Yes, over the years, I’ve often wished for simple things to be better in Linux such as fonts, but I’ve never had a complaint about Linux. It works and that’s more important than all the eye candy that MS can turn out, in my book.

People (hackers, programmers, etc.) grew up with windows (and dos) on micro computers. They’ve had lots of tools that helped them develop better ‘stuff’ for those operating systems. That is missing in the Linux world.

For instance, when GUIs came out, there were lots of ‘font maker’ programs so that anyone can make fonts for them. Any, a lot of people did. Where are the ‘font makers’ for Linux?

Were are the simple basic development tools for the Linux world that we grew up with in the windows world?

Beyond that, when I could use Linux 24/7/365, and didn’t have to content with MS or Windows, it was like a breath of fresh air. Like a big load was taken off my shoulders. I felt free and could concentrate on really being productive rather than having to constantly fight with windows.

Windows is like a Ford Focus. Simple and basic. You get in, start the car and drive. If you want to do more than that, forget it.

However, if you now want to race formula one cars, you must learn about how to use (drive) one. You need to learn about many things that well beyond the means of the average Focus driver. That is the power of Linux. That’s what is was designed to do. Not play games.

So, in conclusion, Linux will never, NEVER be a replacement for windows for the average user. It shouldn’t try to be. Can a person do everything in Linux that they could do using windows? Almost. Can the windows user do everything in windows that they could do if using Linux? Ha Ha Ha. Dream on.

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elptuxman

Good article and insightful comments! Has anybody tried installing Open Source Software on Vista? For XP, most of the apps mentioned at http://tinyurl.com/3e4sh8 work without a glitch. I am willing to bet not!

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ttfnjohn

You are correct that Vista does many things right. Indeed Windows does many things right and has since the NT/2000/XP series began.

Vista, while it’s largely just an upgrade to XP in many ways continues with that, as you point out.

Many things you say that Linux is behind on is distro dependant. As some have mentioned Ubuntu and it’s cousins already does most of these things. So does Mandriva. I can’t speak for SuSE though I will admit that I tried it and gave up in frustration. More with Yast than anything else.

Fedora is a pain to configure in true Red Hat tradition and that, among other reasons is why it won’t be taking up precious hard disk space any time soon.

Games? You’re right though I’m not a gamer so I can’t say personally that I care.

Tablets under Vista may be able to sing, dance and wear blue jeans but your idea that they could be of use in an industrial setting strikes me as simple ignorance about those settings including most warehousing I know of. For sales work and that kind of thing they may be fine but for battle hardened industrial settings they’re not up to it.

The UI is slow to the point of being painful even with huge disks and bags and bags of RAM. Also, Microsoft, in it’s wisdom has removed HAL layers for a number of things that games and gamers use which necessitates downloading an unofficial patch. Also, high end video processing software uses the same HAL layer so you’re putting that patch on to use that.

Boot times range from dead slow to go bbq a hog and maybe by the time you’re ready to eat it’ll have a desktop showing. Just don’t count on it being usable.

I agree that networking looks good and seems to do many things though it’s hopeless in an enviornment that you add a Mac or a Linux box to. Underneath all the eye candy, though, is the same broken IP stack that has been the bane of those of us trying to get it to work and stay working that’s existed since Win 98.

Not to mention that everything you’re saying is there is also there in Linux the trick being that the person installing the system needs to know which apps do it and install them before imaging the distro to install elsewhere or rolling their own version of their favourite distro.

A lot of the things you write about are good ideas. They don’t all work or they work very poorly or are kludges like ReadyBoost which a reasonably mature and well designed OS/Desktop doesn’t need.

And therein lays the problem. There’s a lot of good ideas there, none complete or fully baked with the result that if they work at all they work slowly.

Sure, live previews are cool as are squint till you’re blind representations of running video but you should see the clock cycles being hogged by such things!

Aero is eye candy and that’s it. At the moment it contributes nothing to the experience unless frustration counts as the desktop locks up completely as you try to start up notepad while running Photoshop.

Linux isn’t that far off any of this.

GNOME, though it’s a desktop I love to hate already does lots of the eye candy tricks and many more that you comment on.

Should KDE 4 live up to it’s promise it will do more than fill in the blanks in GNOME while letting me compute my way.

Easier networking is a great target. Reliable networking is a better one.

Will Microsoft eventually overcome the shortcomings of this prebeta OS it’s foisted on the world? Of course they will. Though it’s looking more and more like Vista is a stop gap until Windows 7 (or is it 8????) that’s already been announced.

Linux desktops and systems have time to catch up on the critical things you mention or make what’s already there more accessible.

The idea that Linux is behind on any of this isn’t entirely true and it’s actually further ahead than you give it credit for in many ways.

Taken with the drawbacks of Vista like simple usablilty I’d say there’s a window of opportunity here the side of the Pacific Ocean.

Where you are definitely right is that Linux needs advertising and distros need to understand that they can’t do it alone so they have to do it together.

ttfn

John

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kevinwestrom

There is a Linux MCE now, and it does alot more than just play media, it also works as a home security system. http://linuxmce.com/ There’s a very good and comprehensive wikipedia article about it. Its very impressive in all of its capabilities.

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sardaukar

Who IS this guy? “Hey, big corporations, pay for this”? Vista is flawed because of lack of SSH? ReadyBoost, when most benchmarks shows it doesn’t work as advertised?? The network stack, re-implemented and full of bugs already fixed in XP?!? Dude, do some research before touting something. Geez…

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dichtbijzee

“Price. Linux is free, or really cheap. Windows is ridiculously overpriced.”

You seem to forget that about 90% of vista machine are shipped as oems. And if the prices of those machines are compared with windows-less machines the cost is usually only $50, or even less.

“Hardware Support. Microsoft states that Vista requires an 800 MHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM, a graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution, a 20 GB hard drive with at last 15 GB free, and a CD-ROM drive. The real specs for Vista? If a computer manufacturer wants to label a machine as a ” Vista Premium PC, ” it must include at least a 1 GHz 32- or 64-bit CPU, 1 GB of RAM (better if it’s two), a video card with 128 MB of memory and support for DirectX 9, and a 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free. Meanwhile, you could use such a computer to run Linux as a GUI-less server, or with a slim window manager like XFCE.”

I would like to point out that i used to run full blown ubuntu 6.10 + gnome on a P3 500mhz with 256mb. Up until half a year ago. it wasn’t the fastest machine ever, but everything worked, even basic compositing.

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nbarnes

I’m a sysadmin/manager. Been around a bit. Use Linux where windows won’t cut it and use xp for my day-to-day stuff. Recently bought a brand-new HP “Slimline pc”, 1gb mem, 2ghz dual-core…vista home premium…my first exposure to it and….it really, really sucks. It’s pretty, but that’s where it ends. The biggest shock was that even Solitaire ran slow! Yes, that’s right…Solitaire runs like a dog on a brand new pc with twice the spec of my kids previous pc…IE? What a laugh! really slow. Slow at bootup (10 mins). For a while I couldn’t work out how to shut it down! There’s a “power” icon that looks like a prime candidate (it’s the universal symbol for a power on/off button), but that only puts it into “standby”. You have to move a long a bit on the menus to find “shutdown”. Why? WHY? WHHHYYYYY? In the end they’ll be millions of PC’s in standby mode cos people will just hit the “power” icon. Eco friendly? Had the PC a week and am already considering a 1gb memory upgrade (TO 2GB) (although will have to throw away existing mem). For Christs sake! I’d install XP but you know, in the end, we’ll all end up with vista. 5 versions? Why? WHY? WHHHHYYYYY???

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wrigsster

I personally run both Linux and XP and have for the past year been using Linux as my primary Operating System. My current distro of choice is PCLinuxOS as it is similar to use as XP but without the inherent problems. It also generally just works straight out of the box.

Rather than simply knock statements made in your article I would like readers to be aware of some alternatives that were not raised but they may find of use.

MEDIA CENTRE
With respect to Media Centre you state, “What do Linux distros have to offer that’s similar?”. Have you taken a look at Linux MCE (Beta 2) http://linuxmce.com/news.php?id=7
I realise that it too like many items in the article, is not yet included in everyday distros but it is a very promising option. It is to be hoped that more people will become aware of Linux MCE and begin using it which in turn will hasten its development as bugs are ironed out. It is a very interesting project and I believe a serious contender to challenge Windows MCE.

READYBOOST
The article states, “I can’t wait for the Linux kernel to add a ReadyBoost-like feature so that Penguin lovers can start to enjoy it as well.”
Have your really tried ReadyBoost? I have and in so doing have found it to be almost inperceptible and I notice that many magazine editors/contributors tend to have found likewise. There is a slight performance boost but in some cases there is in fact the reverse.

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athloi

What a wonderful dose of reality in an over-hyped age.

Personally, I can’t get too mad at Microsoft, because they got PCs standardized and brought us to the current point where I can install Linux, BSD, Windows or even Mac OS (if I was feeling like an iChump) on the same machine.

I have no plans to run Vista, but I like how Microsoft has raised the bar with some of its internals. More information blogged here:

http://www.chrisblanc.com/blog/web/2007/09/04/windows-vista/

Obviously, we’re going to add this excellent article to the list of resources!

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bryanjrichard

Tons of great comments, everyone.

Quite a few folks are dismissing the eye candy as, well, eye candy. I’m not sure you can really do that in this day and age. Eye candy is an integral part of today’s computing expectations, for both the user and the vendor. Just as you wouldn’t buy a modern game console with the expectation of 64-bit graphics, part of the selling point of any operating system is that it doesn’t look like Windows 3.1.

I say this from the expectations of a typical end-user. I don’t play computer games and my requirements for desktop computing have been boiled down to:

* Run a web browser
* Run Textmate (Cue the hate mail!)
* Run a decent shell
* If I stick a DVD in the tray, play the dang thing.

That said, people like shiny things. Novell recognizes this and they’re doing stuff with video hardware acceleration that’s pretty impressive.

elptuxman, thanks for using tinyurl, we need to bake that into the comments by default using their API.

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calculemus

Nice article, was a good read indeed!

We should admit that in some aspects Vista is nice. As the article says, we should take it as a challenge and make the distros even more intuitive and enhance the user-experience. Still for so many people (even at universities) computer means their web-browser and email-client and Microsoft reaches to these people providing out-of-box solutions. Still Linux users have to do some hacking and a lot of ‘googling’. ;)

Linux community has done a great job past few years, but more is needed.

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nimityssj

Nice article, especially your mentioning something many techies just dont understand: you have to know an OS’s features before you claim it’s inferior. While i agree with many Linux superiorities you mentioned, you may be providing a false comparison on drive encryption.

While i haven’t used linux in a few years, from what i remember, TrueCrypt isn’t part of the OS itself: just a thirdparty product to add on. So, you are saying Linux is superior to Vista, when Vista has built-in encryption and Linux has none, without the addon. One little detail you seem to be forgetting: if we can use packages in the comparison, why don’t we mention that TrueCrypt runs on windows, too, and i am using it right now on Vista. If the same rules apply to both OS’s, then Linux looses big in that one, as Vista always has one more option available. Linux looses, there.

Overall, though, for security, flexibility, and reliability, i would go with Linux. Although, Solaris 10 has some seriously awesome features (many B1-level security options; DTRACE; support for most popular Linux apps; and the new Containers; also free commercially, with cheap support)

Finally, any comparison should mention compatibility. One would think that with the Linux world so fragmented, Microsoft would excel at compatibility. Not so: my Vista system, running on my HP Notebook, has at least one crash a day, and i am running the same apps i ran on XP without a hiccup. My XP system, contrary to many Linux users claims, was very reliable. My Vista system reminds me of the Windows 3.1 multitasking days, and that’s not a good thing. Wish I knew my laptop was specifically designed for Vista: might’ve not bought it.

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belltoller

I’ve been checking out LinuxMCE, which seems to work well. I don’t really agree that the Vista products are better in that regard.

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gilabama

I believe that “linville79” did a great job of addressing this in a broad-scope way. However, there is more to note. Understand that I am NOT a Linux guru, not am I anti-Windows; I very much want desperately to like Vista. I am however quite a critic of Microsoft due to my experience with them, and my observations regarding their various practices.
User Interface:
I had no problems at all getting the cool, 3D-Desktops working in both Kubuntu (I prefer the KDE interface) and Mandriva, though I found it much easier in the latter which is my main Linux distro. It does indeed blow away Vista’s Aero interface, and not only in visuals. Its cool features are also more genuinely usable. However, a rather serious downside to this interface is that if it is enabled, it seriously interferes with games running natively in Linux (using OpenGL of course). This is something that needs to be addressed.
Fonts:
Since I dual-boot with Windows XP Pro, I used the font import functionality in my Linux installation so I have no problems regarding font selection. In addition, while the fonts do look better in Windows, they hardly look ‘bad’ in Linux.
Games:
I’m not sure that this is much of a problem for me. In Linux, running natively and not using any middle-man software (Wine, Cedega, etc), I currently play BZ Flag, Tremulous, UT, UT2004, Quake 4, Doom 3, Nexuiz, Wolfenstein E.T, as well as Serious Sam 2 and SS-The Second Encounter. If “Id” holds true to its word, we should see more great new games in the future that will also run natively in Linux.
I can only speak for an NVidia-based viewpoint, but thanks to the efforts of the hard working folks at NVidia, I have full SLI support, great looking graphics and no FPS issues whatsoever.
Microsoft’s DirectX10 is a much, much better thing than most folks understand as they are not aware that previous to this, Windows did not take full advantage of the capabilities of the graphics hardware, and the CPU was doing work that it should not have been burdened with. DirectX10 should more fully utilize the hardware on our graphics cards removing that load from the CPU…you know, the way OpenGL always has. DirectX10 offers more than just that, and will certainly out feature the current OpenGL 2.x, however with OpenGL 3.x just around the corner, this comparison is going to get very interesting.
The issue of limited numbers of cool, modern games for Linux is exactly as previously stated; it is the developers that decide whether to us DX or OpenGL. On their behalf, it is important to note that MS offers considerable enticements for developers to use DX and their other game development resources, one of their many practices that I despise. Yes, MS buys support that hurts everyone else. But no one has ever claimed that MS has any sort of ethics.
Media Center:
I have seen a Linux box set up with MythTV and it was most impressive. However, I know dozens of folks, many very advanced PC users, with Windows Media Center equipped PCs at home, and not a single one of them begins to exploit more than the most basic functionality of the Media Center platform. Just because its there and advertisements tell us how cool it is does not mean that everyone or anyone is using it. I believe that it is safe to say that these things are just not a high-priority to the masses.
Support for Tablets:
I couldn’t care less about the whole tablet PC thing, but I do know that in my Linux installation I have the options to install a great number of features for tablet PCs. Beyond that I don’t know enough about this to have an opinion of any worth.
ReadyBoost:
Not only will I agree with what’s already been said, but I’d also like to know if anyone, besides MS that is, can provide us with any conclusive evidence proving that the adding of a 4GB USB2 drive to one of the USB2 ports actually provides any increase in performance? Last I heard the fastest throughput capability of USB2 pales in comparison to common hard disk speeds, so please enlighten me as to what I’m missing. I’m not at all afraid to be proven wrong, and look forward to the educational opportunity.
My experience using the exact same hardware in the exact same PC is that Mandriva 2007 pretty matches and often smokes Windows XP for performance depending on what one is doing. It is also important to note that both of the above mentioned Operating Systems absolutely kick Vista’s butt badly in moment by moment, normal operation. Gaming performance seems to be roughly the same right now but as drivers, DX10, etc, develop, this may change in favor of Vista. But, anything that one might commonly do in Vista takes place much faster in either of the other two. Reactions are much quicker; programs open faster, and let’s not even talk about copying a huge file from drive to drive. How is possible that Vista is almost 9-months old and this still takes many times longer than it did in XP?
iLife:
Again, I have no idea and really don’t care.
Networking:
I completely agree here. This is one of the many, many places in Linux where the power & performance are outstanding, but the current configuration tools are much too complicated to be considered anything resembling ‘user friendly’. I find that this is the case with configuration tools throughout every Linux installation I’ve had.

Also, once a modern, graphical Linux is installed and configured properly it is stable, powerful, and very easy to use. However, getting it there can be more of a challenge than many seasoned Windows administrators can deal with. And if the PC has unusual hardware, or if it’s a notebook, good luck to you on that.
IT Management:
Interestingly enough, several associates that administer to MS Windows-based networks keep Linux-based live CDs and DVDs on hand, loaded with their favorite network testing and monitoring tools. One keeps one Linux PC in the network as his main network monitoring workstation.
Marketing:
I could not say it better than “linville79” did. Advertisements and OEM Integration aren’t the only things that MS has been able to buy their way into…or out of as the case maybe, but that is a different topic.
As for the list of things that Vista missed on, there are some very important, very obvious items missing which I still find most interesting. The Internet is filled with folks screaming about things that just never seem to make it into a decent article. The example of this that I am most familiar with is the move to OpenAL. The sound in my Linux installation runs on ALSA, utilizing what I understand to be the Linux implementation of OpenAL. However, should I want or need to I can also choose to use the older OSS sound system in case I have an older app that would require this.
I support the move from Direct Sound to OpenAL in the Windows OS. But to just drop DirectSound completely, and offer OpenAL as the only sound option in the first OS to begin the move away from DirectSound is stupid, illogical, and just plain mean. It hurt users as things that they’ve been using or playing no longer have sound until the necessary development is completed. Once OpenAL support is added to an app, performance for most users is also hurt as unless the user has an Xfi or newer sound card, they have no hardware OpenAL support.
It hurt developers who had to not only bust their butts moving all of their development from DS to OpenAL, but who also had to struggle to create patches & fixes for current applications as well as still-in-use legacy games/apps.
They should have moved away from DS in steps, with Vista still offering DirectSound support as secondary/alternative sound rendering; problems never existed. This is a big deal. I believe that MS did this very much on purpose, using this to demonstrate their control and dominance by forcing the industry to scramble to meet them. But that’s just my thoughts.
To summarize, I feel that it is obvious that Linux still has a long way to go in many areas to approach the apparent polish of Windows Vista. Still, right now Linux has a temporarily open window of time during which it can make itself known to the masses as a viable alternative, but only if the distribution community steps up to the plate quickly. The giant will close that window ASAP.
I also feel that Vista, in spite of the wonderful things it possesses, misses the mark in a great number of ways. For the most part ‘bling’ is surface deep. Some features appear to give more & better control to Enterprise Administrators, etc, but many of the changes in Vista, along with its move further into the realm of “Trusted Computing” has done nothing but take more and more control away from the average user. If you examine many of the areas of change, I believe that it also reveals how much of the creation of Vista was done solely for the benefit of Microsoft, and how little was done to benefit the user.

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autocrosser

As far as a iPhoto-like app in Linux–have you tried F-Spot? I was a “Olde-Tyme” Mac user (System-6, anyone?) & was involved early with the beta-OSX & I find F-Spot to be almost as usable as iPhoto. I currently beta for Ubuntu & we will be enabling “special-effects” by default with the 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon release (at least with hardware that can support it ;))….I feel that Ubuntu is fast heading towards a standard of usability that will overtake Windoze by the time of our next LTS release (Gutsy +1 or Ubuntu 8.04).

Windoze–watch your back—Ubuntu is right behind you!!

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tlp123

I’m running a bleeding-edge OS [SUSE 10.2] on my archaic IBM 600 Thinkpad (192Mb RAM wo/ no HW Accel) –I can’t do THAT on Vista, infact Vista won’t work on my Laptop, and I don’t want it to. LOL.

VISTA sucks. Yes, I’ve tried it on my PC, and yes, at first I liked the eye-candy, but then that soon wore off, and all of it became really tiresome. It’s still the same idiotic OS it has always been, but now you need a brand new computer (virtually) to run it. It wouldn’t even support most of my hardware, and I couldn’t even play one simple (old now) game, Halo 2. With KIT which SHOULD work with it, but doesn’t.

No-one mentioned the EU ruling regarding Vista’s security –as I heard there was going to be (or has been, [check!] ) a ruling by the member states stating it SHOULDN’T DO ANYTHING to compromise the businesses of the likes of Synmatec, Zone-Alarm etc or any business which earns millions securing the OS, which Microsoft should be doing anyway. That’s why there has not been any improvement, and never will be.

One thing has been said which I agree with, that Vista (or indeed any Microsoft product, xbox etc) is GOOD at gaming. It’s about all it’s good for, and I WOULD NOT ever use it in a production environment or as part of a business; it’s professional suicide. There’s a reason why Linux is ‘running the net’ …

BTW if I were as smart as to be a programmer, and had such strong opinions as the Nutty?? professor (only joking!) –I would code the changes I wanted to see! (Gandi?)

rant over. Half an hour wasted on this post. THANKS MICROSOFT. ADD IT UP. DUMMY. heheh.

–The Laughing Pirate

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mfgsfunchalcm11

I believe that Windows Vista beats Linux in the gamming, tabletpc and on the media center front. Even though you can use MythTV or any commercial Linux-based solution. And use a XBox360 or a PS3 for gaming…

But you can’t realy say that Vista beats Linux on the applications built-in with most distros. Most of them come fully packaged with the software most users will ever need.

However, there are two things Linux can learn from Vista: ReadyBoost and networking. ReadyBoost is a great idea, although not needed for Linux as is for Windows. And networking in Linux could become much better if manufacturers realised there is something other than Windows. But networking on Linux is much better than it was a few years ago…

And AIGLX/GXL is way much better than Vista’s Aero. And most distros are making it easier and easier to install. Not to mention that it doesn’t bring your system to it’s knees…

About the fonts: On May 9, 2007, Red Hat announced the public release of these fonts under the trademark LIBERATION at the Red Hat Summit. There are three sets: Sans (a substitute for Arial, Albany, Helvetica, Nimbus Sans L, and Bitstream Vera Sans), Serif (a substitute for Times New Roman, Thorndale, Nimbus Roman, and Bitstream Vera Serif) and Mono (a substitute for Courier New, Cumberland, Courier, Nimbus Mono L, and Bitstream Vera Sans Mono). The fonts are now available for you to install. Just go to https://www.redhat.com/promo/fonts/ and download them. You are free to use these fonts on any system you would like. Even Windows Vista…

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pblanker

I have a stock standard BENQ notebook, purchased new last year with XP. It’s great, works well, etc. I decided to try Suse Enterprise desktop, Freespire, and one or 2 other distributions…

For starters, not a single one can properly shutdown my notebook! the notebook shuts down, but the lights never go off and the fans are still going. And no, this is not some sophisticated algorithm to ensure the notebook has cooled down properly before the power is cut… it just doesn’t effen work!!!

There is still too much text based garbage coming through – it reminds me of Windows 3.1 etc. that were dos based where, upon booting, you could get messages about drivers loading etc. This is confusing to most users and detracts from the professional gui image a user would expect. I don’t see any of this guff on my mac!

I’ll even ignore the little annoyances like the network connection icon in the dock shows I’m not connected to anything but i’m browsing the Internet already???

One final thing that needs to be resolved; include all the effen drivers a user needs, just present a dialog box to say that these drivers are 3rd party or proprietary blah blah blah. Tell me what computer does not have a video card made by Nvidia or ATI? to not include these drivers cause they have some philosophical objection???

I love Linux and actively promote it but I think it still has some way to go before I could recommend it to the “techno illiterate”, like my mom!

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dow

I scanned this article and couldn’t find anything that Suse 10.2 running with the latest KDE version couldn’t do. I suppose there is more set up time and individual tweaking in Linux and media people are going to develop their software for the big base of idiot users, but I am not a gamer, just a scientist that wants to get my computing done on a desktop quickly and efficiently. Linux is working just fine.

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fabbs

To further elaborate on your comments, Linux simply sucks when it comes to photography. I tried for several months, learned the basics how to install and customise a distro (Suse, the only one that works on my Nvidia raid), installed Beryl and got it to look pretty much like a Mac. I was very happy about all of that and did not miss XP for a single second, way better I cannot even start. And I am an amateur.

However, I had to reinstall XP for my photography, which is 90% of what I do on my machine at home. For office applications, I would give MS software the finger in a second, but for photography Linux is still no man’s land. Sorry.

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rebound11

Picasa doesn’t run under Wine, it runs natively on Linux.

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librano

for a media center try out Elisa Media Center… it comes with some cool OpenGL effects! Dandy!

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librano

photo management… haven’t you heard of F-spot?

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slimcowboy19781

WOW, a lot of good posts here, some bad posts, and a whole lot of people who are very opinionated and misinformed on both the Microsoft front as well as on the “Linux” front. I am both a “Linux” user as well as a “Microsoft” user. My desktop runs Windows so I can game, while my laptop runs Linux because i am to cheap to go buy a coppy of windows. Last year my IBM ThinkPad R51 crashed hard and i lost some core Microsoft files…I couldn’t even get the windows loading window to open. IBM is so confident in their technologies that they refuse to send out restore disk with their products. When calling their Tech support they told me to get a restore cd i would have to pay money for it pluss tax and shipping…what do I do??? I do what any sane person would do…I turned to the internet. I had dabbled with linux before this in the past, but only enough to think that Linux was too hard for a windows person to learn. But reluctantly I downloaded SUSE 10.1, burnt the ISO DVD, then isntalled it onto my ThinkPad…the reasults were…ok…I had to do a lod of modding, tweeking, and in the end had a system that worked so, so….And I lived with it not meating my standards because Microsoft taught me that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

But as time went on I read more and trigot tierd of hitting brick walls that i oculdn’t jump over I decided myabee it wasn’t Linux, it might be my distrobution. So i then Downloaded UBUNTU. I ran the live DVD and installed it onto my laptop with no issues, nothing to configure…even had printer and file access to the rest of my home network. But i don’t like gnome…just me. So i deleted Ubuntu and installed Kubuntu…and It is here to stay…for the time being until I decide it is time to try another distobution. But to all of you who are having troubles with your LapTops running Linux i have found that KDE has a vast assortment of tools for most common Laptop Vendors.

I can’t wait to try out KDE4, but then again I am a techno geek and like to try all the new stuff. Some I like, some I don’t….but hey that is life.

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raymondhuang

冬瓜豆腐各有所爱。
本人更喜欢开源的软件。如果vista开源,我也喜欢。可惜不是

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sixkiller

Windows Vista and games, ha. Windows Vista, Microsoft made the radical decision to remove the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for DirectSound and DirectSound3D. The HAL is the layer that on previous Windows Operating Systems enabled an audio accelerator such as the Sound Blaster X-Fi to provide DirectSound3D applications with hardware-accelerated audio.
Meny games crash and stop responding (F.E.A.R, Half-Life2, Doom III) becose Vista eat lot of memory. I use 2GB RAM.

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studentz

I used Win since 3.1 and I moved to Ubuntu this year. The reason was that my PC (Win XP) was locked with the blue screen and after tried several expensive software running in DOS I could not retrieve any bit of information. I installed my 2.5″ HD in a box and I could get all my info in a MAC. Since database and stat are not strong in Mac I gave a chance to GNU/Linux. This has been the best experience in computers. The learning process is challenging for people that make more than the usual population , but it is gratifying. I think that GNU/Linux is superior and far far away than other OS. For people that make simple things (80% of user of PC), Ubuntu is easy for installing and management. (I love the crazy cube and 3D effects of compiz fusion). I’m learning C , R, S , and in the future I would like to contribute with the open source

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cueil

These responses is why you will always fail. Linux, even Umbunta, can’t compair with Vista or Mac when it comes to a user experience. I’ll tell you why it’s very simple why do I have to jump over hoops to install most things on my Linux distro? And I have to worry about what distro I’m using…. people don’t want to worry about this crap. When I download something for my Windows machine it installs… next next next next… I may tweak some stuff, but anyone can install just about anything… the fact that people are still afraid of installations on a Windows PC makes what Linux does a joke. Until you fix that you can hang up everything else right now. And your alternative stuff to Windows is mostly crap Don’t try and tell me it’s easier to burn a DVD or CD on Linux than it is on Vista or even XP… that’s the biggest joke I’ve heard all year… you can right click and send files to your DVD burner and with one more button and a couple nexts your burning files. Also most of the free stuff you guys blow up about in Linux is also free for Windows users and guess what??? It f’n easier to install on Windows and works just as well. And another thing… why is there so many distros for desktops? You need just one and that’s it maybe two if you want to do a maybe Lite and Full versions. Windows has to many version and that just 4 main version how many big distros does Linux have? I love Linux it’s the kind of OS that people like us enjoy, but for those other 100 million plus desktop users it’s just not going to happen. I think Ubunta is on the right track and hopefull it’s popularity kills off the others and people focus on it more. Linux has a ton of potential as a strong compition to Windows, but until it can match Microsoft is user friendliness it’s just a side note… something for us sys admins and enthusiast who enjoy working in this type of environment. This is my rant and I would also like to tell everyone that I’m platform agnostic so these things don’t come out of some sense of loyalty to Microsoft (even though I love my Xbox 360 more)

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lsatenstein

Today is mid May 2008, about 8 months after the initial article was written. My comments are as follows:

Vista will have multiple service packs applied in the years to come, and with each will come some performance optimisation. XP used to crash often in the first year or two of it’s life.

The nice features of Vista are late in arriving. In industry, where many of the computers are destined, SaaS is taking over. SaaS is Software as a service. The need for companies to purchase big servers for their business systems is disappearing. The browser (firefox, Opera, Explorer, etc) will be the interface to the application. Networking allows the application to reside anywhere. Networking allows part of an application to be accessed from your own computer, and another part from another continent, while a third part from your ISP. Powerful desktops are essentially required to run the browsers.

Vista will take a few years to be where XP is today. Hopefully Linux will have made sufficient advances to match what Vista has introduced as ideas for friendly desktop computing.. Even though today the tendency is to have a low low cost laptop with no hard disk and only flash memory. The software in these machines must have low footprints, eliminating the possibility of Vista to be installed thereon.

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ravindukelum

I use ububtu 8.04 in my laptop shipped with pre installed Vista premium,guess what I suck vista ,Have you ever tried compiz then
you will see vista like a shit,times to come Microsoft have to think to get eye candy of compiz not Mac. Major problems we face in third world countries like ours,not having internet connection to enable proprietary drivers and restricted extaras.In case many people tend to use vista pirated versions for 1$ and not use Linux like Ubunt that having great affinity.

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tinstaafl

It’s not just third-world countries in which Microsoft has problems with pirated copies of its software. China and Russia, each of which buys exactly one copy of any proprietary program sold, will eventually force Microsoft et.al. to adopt the OSS distribution model. It’s not too likely that the government of either nation, neither of which has much respect for the property rights of the owners of *real* property (land, buildings, equipment, etc.), will *ever* consider something as ephemeral and intangible as software to be property. I guess MS might get away with charging a dollar per download á lá Apple, but with their rep, it might be tough … :D

Red Hat, Suse, and others have made a name for themselves in the enterprise server space; perhaps somebody like PCLinuxOS might do the same now for the desktop. Once corporate users start using Linux on the desktop, they’ll want it at home. That was Microsoft’s original marketing scheme, and it worked admirably as an underground way into the Enterprise (MS is nothing if not a marketing company; one ad campaign by Apple doesn’t make them a marketing powerhouse!). Linux evangelism works best when spread at the grassroots level, which fits in well with an ‘underground’ approach to getting an Enterprise desktop Linux.

As U mentioned, fonts and rendering play a big part in how a platform is perceived. Like it or not, computers are everywhere, and 95% of the users have little knowledge of what’s under the hood. To make an analogy, a ‘geek’ is like a ‘motorhead’ of the 1950s and 1960s. The motorhead went home after work and tinkered with the engine in his race car every night, taking her to the track on weekends to race other motorheads; the majority of car owners, OTOH, used their cars to get from A to B with little or no knowledge of how it worked. The motorhead cared greatly about the efficiency of his engine, transmission, tires, and other elements of the powertrain, but the majority wanted a ‘living-room-on-wheels,’ and cared very little about the powertrain. In a similar fashion, Linux geeks want a smoothly-operating, secure system that works well, but Microsoft delivers a pretty system that awes the masses, most of whom don’t know or care how their computer works, and most of whom have not even heard of Linux, let alone know anything about it. Apple delivers an even prettier system, and although it works very well (and usually securely, thanks to BSD Unix), it only comes at a price (not just monetary). ‘Pretty’ will win the marketing war almost every time, even in the face of repeated security blunders.

Bottom line: There’s room for somebody to start making money selling a ‘pretty’ version of Linux!

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oznozz

Tablet PCs : I have 2 tablet PCs and they both exclusively run Linux. The basic pen technologies in linux are great. The touch screen accuracy needs work. As for the support programs, they are lacking… Windows handwriting recognition is cool, and useful, but at least in XP, not perfect. There is a nice piece of OS software for Linux and others called jarnal which enables notetaking on PDFs with save features.

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terabyte

I moved from Vista Ultimate (not the el -Cheapo version of Vista to Linux because I believe Linux Ubuntu is better than Vista can ever be. Why? Well Ubuntu Linux is dependable and the backup infrastructure is second to nonne ie: it provides answers where none may be available for Vista. Also, Vista costs bucks (money) where Ubuntu Linux is offered free. Ubuntu Linux does not attract the rogue virus code that Microsoft Vista does. Where there are literally thousands of viruses that hit Vista every day, there are fewer than 50 where Ubuntu is concerned. Where Vista can get bogged down because of Registry problems, Ubuntu, because of the way the code is written for it under Linux does not have this problem nor does it need to be defragged like Vista does. Vista is fast, but Ubuntu 64-bit is faster, because there aren’t as many hanger’s on bleeding the memory dry! Terabyte

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kennethelong

It’s amazing to see some dedicated linux people, being super critical towards linux in a constructive way. This way is the only one if we want to build a better linux in the future.

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lisc

Well, it is very poor review form point of view very gaming person.
What about security, file permission, hardware resources and so on a very basic issue of any OS?
Nothing zero info It isn’t review of OS it is just M$ indoctrination

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Mel Gibson was playing the field. He wasn’t betrothed, engaged, or even cohabitating along with her so that was not a issue. They are aware they are not going to find anything at all. Simply wanting to discover another bottom feeder like Oks. Goal would be to smear his name once again. Forget the Russian mafia, this is a mafia of a different flavor backing Oksana. They’re getting ever more frantic and I don’t think the judge is loving it in any way.

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