Windows

Will the real "new" features in Windows 7 please stand up

Did Microsoft really create all those nifty new features in Windows 7? Jack Wallen doesn't think so. Read his abbreviated list of features found in Linux for some time now.

Windows 7 is out. The release parties are over, the Windows 7 Whopper is hopefully digested (and not taken anyone down with severely clogged arteries), and the operating system is installed. So most likely you've had plenty of time to make a judgment call on whether or not 7 is a winner for you. I will confess that I personally think Windows 7 is one of the best offerings that Microsoft has put out. And even though I was nearly stoned to death for my article, "10 Reasons why Windows 7 could fail," I do not dislike Windows 7. I like it. What I do dislike is the marketing coming out of Redmond. Why?

Once again Microsoft is claiming creation of features that have been in other operating systems for a while now. This happens nearly every time Microsoft releases a new operating system. And in this week's open source blog, I thought I would illustrate that point with regards to Windows 7. It is not my intention to do a feature-for-feature comparison, but point out the features Microsoft are claiming to be "new" that have actually been in Linux for a while.

I want to make a point, though, of saying this is not an article cutting down one operating system while supporting another. I am just pointing out the errors of the PR machine at Microsoft. With that said, here we go.

Aero: We all know this isn't new. And we all know that Linux has had every feature displayed in Aero for some time now. This is one area that really burns my cheeks. Microsoft claims to have redesigned the desktop experience, when in fact they just took ideas from Compiz and OS X and claimed it as theirs. BitLocker: This is a big one. BitLocker (only available in the Ultimate edition) basically allows you to encrypt your entire drive for added security. Umm...Ubuntu Linux has had this starting with 9.04. You can encrypt your home directory during installation. And if you forget that (or decide you want some encryption later on) there are plenty of tools available to encrypt entire directories. Shake, Peek, and Snap: The sad thing is that Microsoft PR makes these features out to be big. They're not, at least when you've used KDE and/or Compiz for any length of time. Shake is basically mouse gestures (which you can configure in nearly any Linux desktop), Peek is translucency (again any Compiz install has this), and Snap is effectively edge-snapping hot spots. Gadgets: Gadgets, Widgets, Screenlets, whatever you want to call them, they are not new in any way, shape, or form. These desktop "toys" have been around since the days of Karamba on the Linux desktop (remember, that was the tool Apple "purchased" and turned into Dashboard). 64-bit support: Do I really need to go there? I've been happily using 64-bit Linux for so long I can't remember which release I started with. Jump Lists: This is a re-invention of GNOME Do, or any number of other Linux tools that have offered such a feature. A Jump List is basically a more powerful "Favorites" menu (or box). The biggest difference between Jump List and GNOME Do is that GNOME Do "jumps" better than Jump "does." What I am trying to say is that "Do" is much more powerful than Jump Lists. But at least Microsoft is starting to learn that making things actually easier for users is a good thing. Libraries: This feature, which allows you to associate folders with other folders, is essentially the Tagging feature available in Beagle and Tracker. Even Thunar has media tagging by way of a simple plugin. This is nothing new, Microsoft. Play To: Isn't this basically a DAAP server built in? Linux and OS X has had this for quite some time now. Startup Repair: The Elive distribution recently (prior to the Windows 7 RC release) introduced the Nurse Mode which is a special, graphical boot mode intended to help repair a system. Nurse Mode is not just a start up repair, but a full system repair tool. Windows XP Mode: With Linux you can still get your full XP on using VirtualBox or, Wine for that matter. And you won't need a special CPU capable of hardware-assisted virtualization.

The above is not a complete feature-for-feature list, but you get the idea. What I find interesting is that Microsoft, Apple, and even the open source community steal from one another. It's a predatory world out there and only the strong will survive. The biggest difference is that the open source community doesn't steal from either Windows or OS X and claim that the theft is their creation.

Windows 7 is a good OS. It's nowhere as powerful or flexible as Ubuntu 9.10 will be (when it is released in less than a week), but it certainly  has its place (like all OSs do). But Microsoft needs to be careful what it claims it created. Maybe some day the Redmond giant will embrace truth and give credit where credit is due.

Now, if you will pardon me, I have to finish my Ubuntu 9.10 Waffle Stack. Yummy goodness.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

174 comments
KaryDavis
KaryDavis

Linux is King and MS is the pretender... Who cares who had it first or second, or third etc? When Chevy put wheels on their cars, Ford didn't start pointing out that THEY had wheels first... Personally, I've not seen any media hype from MS claiming they invented these features and are the only OS to have them. All I've heard is that these features are new to Windows...not new to the world.

julioa.morales
julioa.morales

At least give the credit to W7 that those features comes out of the box and don't have to install them one by one.

QA_In_Vegas
QA_In_Vegas

Geez, if Linux is so great, keep it and stop with the comparisons. Next up, Mac vs PC, Picard vs Kirk...what year is this and what grade are we in??? Geez!

edh1215
edh1215

MS says "new to Windows"

blarman
blarman

Have you watched any of the latest round of Windows 7 commercials? They claim some great feature, then say I'm Windows 7, and _I_ created this feature. I've seen at least two - one for wireless streaming media, one for window docking - that are structured this way and the last line is "I'm Windows 7, and I created this..."

tech10171968
tech10171968

The reason you sometimes see articles like this ("Linux had this first, this DE did that before anyone") is this: F/OSS, in general (and Linux in particular) still suffers from a lot of derision and FUD from certain quarters. But no one seems to talk about the gigantic elephant in the middle of the room: if Linux is so subpar, why does someone like Microsoft keep "borrowing" ideas and innovations from it? Would it actually hurt to give Linux any credit at all? Apparently, the acolytes from Redmond act as if it would.

LittleWashu
LittleWashu

And I've heard the same.... This blog seems to be just like any other anti-windows blog... A bitter compilation of, albeit, facts about the computer world and how MS is just now adding them because MS is now adding them and catching up in the game with its underdog competitors. Okay, so the software implemented here is not new, but it is new to windows and to the typical computer user, it is a new feature to their overall computing experience. And to be honest, not many people have the skills or patience to learn how to run a Linux OS.

ezechiel7
ezechiel7

Can you give me some examples that are out of the box in W7 and not out of the box in OS X?? MS has no credit, it is just an amazing marketing machine.

nqasimi
nqasimi

Is the day people will abandon Microsoft Windows for Linux. Linux with all its bells & whistles is still only in "techies" radars. If you ask a regular user what Ubuntu is, he/she will not know. Consequently, when installing and using, if you are not a "techie" installing even Ubuntu could be cumbersome. As far as OS X go, a normal user does not have the kind of money to pay that premium Apple charges for their products. A $300.00 can get you a plethora of options when purchasing windows-based, but in Apple world $300.00 will buy nothing more than and iphone or and ipod.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"out of the box" is not remotely unique to Windows and those features. It is good that Windows users have them available now too though.

edh1215
edh1215

The commercials say "I'm a PC and Windows 7 was my idea."

owner
owner

It's because even products that are subpar, as you put it, come up with good ideas too. What this does show is that MS listens to it's customers.

jwesleycooper
jwesleycooper

And, of course, the only way to determine whether MS components are originals or merely knockoffs would be to compare source codes or disassemblies to see if the actual algorithms used are similar... which is (very conveniently) illegal in the case of MS-Ware. I think the original Open Source developers ought to at least request access to this information; after all, with a non-disclosure agreement in place, what does MS have to loose if they truly invented their own algorithms for these solutions (unless they actually didn't)?

blarman
blarman

Ummm, and when was the last time you had to re-learn how to use Windows? Let's see. That would be EVERY FREAKING OS! MS is constantly changing the admin consoles, playing with the menus and desktop appearance, etc. Good grief, apply your standard to both sides! PS - my wife and kids didn't have any problems using Ubuntu - it's just that some of their favorite games are Windows-based (and WINE won't work because the games are subscription-based and require the presence of a Windows Service to run).

seanferd
seanferd

Not many people have the skills or patience to run Windows, either. It isn't about being anti-MS, it's about calling BS on the "we just invented this" claims. To use the prior Chevy-Ford comparison, Chevy did not claim to have invented wheels or tires, which Ford did not invent either. And neither can claim to have invented the automobile. MS, however, makes such claims regularly, even about code they bought (a majority of their code base) or used without proper licensing (like IE).

emyr
emyr

Is that correct. My 73 year old father took to Linux like duck to water and he's never used a computer in his life. My father-in-law also uses Linux and he even convinced a few of his IT classmates to take Linux for a spin also. Please, before you comment on how hard it is to run Linux, make sure you take a modern Linux system for a spin, oh and before the blog fills up with app x or app y isn't on Linux so I can't use Linux there are usually equivalents.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I am guessing you have never tried it yet . . It was so easy to install made Windows look hard lets see ask where I was, USER Name an password to use time zone ( Arizona ) and it ask me if I wanted to use the entire drive and that was it . . I Have had to install Windows several times and it is more of a pain to install it ( its why I have it under Virtual Box so it can't crash any more ) Oh yeah can you do a try it before you use it with windblows ? Ubuntu has LIVE CD can use it and never install it runs from the CD-Rom !

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

to get Linux and install it, while most people get Windows pre-installed on a system. In the past, I've had several people ask me to install Kubuntu 8.04 on boxes for them with Open Office and the other apps they need for basic office work, but the splash screen says nothing about Kubuntu, just the guy's company logo. He handed the completed box out to staff to use, one out of six realised it was Linux as they used Kubuntu 8.04 at home, the rest just started in and did their work. That's how an OS should be. The techie installs it and the user just uses it. Sadly, because it's near impossible to buy pre-installed Kubuntu, or any other Linux, in most places, the general public have little knowledge of it. Even when Dell make Ubuntu versions of their boxes available, finding them in the stores is hard as few stores want to carry them as there staff don't know anything about it.

mroseberry
mroseberry

I think of myself as a Linux noob and in my experience Ubuntu is very easy to install (Ubuntu can install on a single partition just like Windows, so you just need a swap partition along with the root) especially if you are installing in Windows. The reason why a regular user doesn't know about Ubuntu or Linux is that Linux distros don't advertise and aren't preinstalled on almost all computers, but when I talk about Linux and Ubuntu to the regular users you mention they far more often than not are very interested if not flat out excited at the idea. If you were saying the Mac OS is more expensive than Windows then why do I recall the last time I checked, the Mac OS was about half as expensive (or less depending on the version of Windows) as a full retail copy of Windows? I do agree that PC are notably less expensive than Macs though. If I'm way off on everything I'd like to be corrected and shown why I'm wrong.

gettinoriginal2
gettinoriginal2

I am 62 years old, and am by no means a techie. I run Ubuntu 9.10, and do a fresh install each 6 months with their new OS. My friend has Windows Vista which takes much more time and effort to keep it virus and adware free. Twice now she has had to "repair" her system which of course cost her much time and lost files, and none of us can figure out Aero and it's brain busting settings. Thanks, but no thanks to proprietary systems, linux is not only easier to install, but easier to configure to individual likes.

hakkacracker
hakkacracker

Your knowledge about Ubuntu needs to be updated. I started to use Ubuntu last year. As a 15 years Windows user, I would say Ubuntu is much easier to install than Windows. It took only a few clicks and not even one driver is needed. I am not a techie, just a user.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I've seen is customers complaining about them, yet MS say 'stiff, they're here to stay.' Yeah, they listen to customers - NOT.

Spenda
Spenda

That's ridiculous to say you have to re-train with each change, addition, update in Windows. It is correct to say that Windows keeps itself progressive, by introducing new things, but it is hardly a case of re-training or a learning curve. Merely an adaptation to the minor changes, which is done seamlessly and progressively through updates, downloads, etc. Hardly a task.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

know many people who are on pensions and the like, and are unable to spend $50 on another system, let alone a hundred or two hundred bucks. As long as the equipment does what they want of it, that's all that matters. Hell, I've got an old P 1 - 100 mhz, 64 MB RAM - that I recently rebuilt as a Win 98 gaming box (to play some old games on), it still works perfectly. Just for fun I tested Internet access, using IE 4 from my purchased disc, it works on anything except Flash sites, and loaded and used Word for Windows 2a, then tried Word 6 and Excel 5 - all worked perfectly. For most people, that's all they need, and more than enough.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

There's a huge difference between your P4 2.0 Ghz and a PIII running 750 Mhz. The web is full of P4 systems of 2.0 Ghz or faster for less than $100. I saw one for $94 just this morning running at 3.2 Ghz. I'm not saying older equipment isn't valuable but I do generally draw the line at anything below a P4.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

states, at: http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/source/sys_reqs_30.html quote GNU/Linux ("Linux") * Linux kernel version 2.4 or higher, glibc2 version 2.3.2 or higher * 256 Mbytes RAM (512 MB recommended) * 400 Mbytes available disk space * X-Server with 1024 x 768 or higher resolution with at least 256 colours Microsoft Windows * Windows 2000 (Service Pack 2 or higher), Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista * 256 Mbytes RAM (512 MB RAM recommended) * At least 650 Mbytes available disk space for a default install (including a JRE) via download. After installation and deletion of temporary installation files, OpenOffice.org will use approximately 440 Mbytes disk space. * 1024 x 768 or higher resolution with at least 256 colours end quote Interestingly, you need more space to run on a Windows system than a Linux system. I have a six year old P4 2 Ghz 512 MB laptop for travelling, with both Win XP and SimplyMepis Linux on it, I run Open Office 3.1 on both, it takes OO nearly three times as long to open in Windows as it does in Linux - that has to be OS related as they both use the same hardware. Everyone would like to be on faster systems today, but not everyone can afford to buy the latest systems, and many are using older gear because they have no choice.

LittleWashu
LittleWashu

If all I was doing was light weight usage like email and the news. Why spend the money on an expensive machine to play solitaire when I can go to the store and get a 50c pack of cards?

techrepublic@
techrepublic@

The oldest system I have in use has a Athlon 850 CPU and 512MB RAM. It is a perfectly capable system for e-mail, web browsing, office work and some old games. OpenOffice Calc takes around 16s to start the first time (no quickstart) and a few seconds for the following times. OO taking 21s to start, on that system, is strange. Slow or problematic disk? Scattered OO files requiring lots of disk seeking? A/V crapping it self? "I'm not making comments about Linux vs Microsoft. I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be on a PIII with 512 MB of RAM in today's world." I would not trade the Quad Core 3GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of disk storage in the system in front of me for that system either but, even if outdated, is still perfectly serviceable for most users needs if adequately setup. Most of my system leave my service when they died.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

She barely meets the minimum requirements for OpenOffice and we all know everyone fudges those numbers. I can only imagine how slow OO.org runs on that machine. On my AMD 3400+ with 2 GB of RAM, OO.org Calc just took 21.7 seconds to open for the first time. The second time it took 2.9 seconds. And no, I don't use the QuickStarter. MS Office Excel...opens in 6.5 seconds the first time and .8 seconds the second time. All measurements not scientic...I used a stop watch on my iTouch but nonetheless. I'm not making comments about Linux vs Microsoft. I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be on a PIII with 512 MB of RAM in today's world.

lyle.macbride
lyle.macbride

My 67 year old mother was suffering with a PIII-750 laptop with only 500MB ram using W2k, MS Office, and Firefox. She was having issues with the speed of the machine, and the AV/AS (Norton/SSD)was making things worse. She wanted to go and buy a new cheap laptop, but I convinced her to save up and get a quality one that would last her a while. In the meantime I started up her old ratty laptop with Knoppix 5.3.1 just as a temporary measure. (Mostly so she would stop going on AOL, Yahoo, and Facebook, etc. on my clean "working" home system which was then needing daily scans to remove all of the junk she was picking up on those and other so called "safe" sites...) Since putting her on Knoppix, albeit after a short introduction and a persistent disk image setup, she is no longer in a hurry to buy a new machine as she is satisfied with the old one. FF,[Iceweasel], is setup like she's used to, Open Office just works, and she has discovered GIMP is a lot of fun too. The kicker is that to her the laptop is running "Superfast" and does everything she needs. If she has a problem she just restarts and goes back to square one. I will eventually get her to buy a new more powerful and feature filled laptop, but for now she's happy and my home system is safe from her while she watches my kids...

Red_One
Red_One

Actually if you looked at the "about" in the old IE you would find it used the Spyglass version of Mosaic. Different codebase than Netscape. And wow was it terrible until.... Version 3! How very Microsoft of them.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

versions were sold on disc - floppy and CD at $5.00 per copy - and I bought one back then. Then, with Win 95, they included it in OS and released it as free ware for Win 3.x, Win NT, and Windows for Workgroups to take market share away from Netscape Navigator. IE was mostly stolen code as well, stolen from the same source as Netscape used, Mosaic (I think it was). Since then, they've taken other ideas from people and incorporated them in what IE does - they've yet to make a version of IE that's fully compliant with the industry standards, although I hear IE8 gets damn close.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

just new to MS - much of the 'new' features in Vista and Win 7 have been available as third party applications for use in Windows for some time, all have been available to Linux and Mac for longer. Hell, Windows was stolen from Apple, all those years ago, so anything for a Mac is in a Windows environment anyway.

LittleWashu
LittleWashu

I don't think it is Americans you should really blame for their ignorance, but those that do not properly educated the American public. Commercialism, education and so on are the ones that determine what the American public know. It is not us that needs to get over the mentality, we, as a general whole, need to be taught otherwise.

LittleWashu
LittleWashu

IE was originally intended to be a freeware system designed to combat, at the time, Netscape's dominance of the market. At least this is what I was taught in a technology history class. And yes, IE was originally designed by MS, so how can they use their own design without proper licensing?

steve
steve

In 1979 my sister (who lives in the US) told me that her new GM J Car had front wheel drive which GM had just invented. I loaned her my 10 year old Austin 1800 which was english. Did I mention that it was front wheel drive. Americans need to get over their "if we did not think of it, it doesn't exist" mentality.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

"MS, however, makes such claims regularly" Can you provide evidence of this or should we all just take your word for it? The issue here seems to be people's misunderstanding of inventing something the world has never seen before and inventing something new to the Windows world. If it's new to the Windows world, why can't Microsoft claim it's new and take credit for it?

Spenda
Spenda

You Linux guys just don't get it. I agree with comments that the majority don't care who had what first or which does what better. All that is outside of the point. The point being that an indisputable number of "average" consumers don't want Linux, which MS's market share bears testimony to. Why? Because business consumers started their first pc experience with Windows and know Windows and are not sufficiently interested to go messing about with other systems, either becuase they have no need to, don't want the hassle of changing their business data base, are not compelled to, are not techie heads and don't care, or because Windows is pre-installed and their staff know how to use it, haven't got the time to re-train anyway and Windows fits their needs, or because they know that Windows will plug and play most apps with no fuss, is compatible with a huge range of 3rd party apps which Linux may not be and they don't want to spend time searching for alternatives, nor spend time learning/training up on a new system. Why on earth can't you guys just accept that? The average user is not techie-wise sufficiently enough to even bother considering an OS they have never heard of. It is no issue, no degradation of their intelligence, nor a cardinal sin to not know of names like Linux, Unix, Ubuntu and the rest. So What? They may be ignorant about techgeek stuff, but a whiz at playing the stock market, or running a successful engineering workshop, a real estate business or international entrepreneurial enterprise, with little interest in technology. Who knows and who cares. We all have different levels of interest in different things and the simple plain fact is that Microsoft got in on the ground floor first, promoted itself hard 30 to 40 years ago before these others got off the ground in the single user PC market and so MS has reaped the benefits. It seems to me that you guys just simply can't stomach that, nor MS's incredible success and subsequently have become green with politics of envy. You are doing your industry a great dis-service for it all comes across as very small, bloody-minded, petty and narrow-minded to be unable to simply grasp and accept this, even if Linux is better engineered, which you keep forgetting, is not the point. Besides all that, the problem really is Linux's problem, not Microsoft's or Windows' users' problem at all. Linux doesn't market itself, doesn't provide the incentives which Microsoft did to both business and personal users and it doesn't target or read the market needs like Microsoft has done so very successfully. Go and complain to Linux if you want it to make an indellible mark in the world, but don't ungraciously and needlessly run down its more successful competitor.

Ole Man
Ole Man

Congratulations! You got ONE right..... one out of a hundred..... hmmmm.. can you figure that one out? Who cares who drowned because they didn't learn to swim?

ng128
ng128

Who cares that your 73 year old father learned how to use Linux. I could say that my 73 year old grand father or my 51 year old father can't use Linux. But that doesn't matter at all. In fact he didn't say that Linux was to hard to learn, he just said that many people won't do it. And yes, I do know that installing and using a Linux distro like Ubuntu is really as easy or maybe even easier to then Windows.

Spenda
Spenda

Maybe you haven't downloaded Windows 7? Downloaded it in just under 2 hours onto my new laptop- no hitches, all wizard controlled - a monkey can do it. Downloaded "Noah" email client in a zap, which slickly brought across all of my Outlook Express mail. Not a single problem and running like a dream. I really can't abide novices who "Windows bash" and don't know what they are doing. There is no excuse for a self-proclaimed techie to experience Windows crashes - that only happens to novices. If you use the program as it should be and do your system maintenance it never crashes - maybe your p.c. is underpowered, which is the only technical reason it will crash if system is properly maintained. I read somewhere that you are upgrading to a 100 gig HD, which probably explains it - I didn't think they made HD's that small. Maybe you should get a real one and start at 500 gig or thereabouts if you are a serious web developer.

ezechiel7
ezechiel7

software is cheaper on mac but hardware is more expensive. But on the other side, you get high quality and design. Luckily they lowered their prices the past few years!! The 17" laptop is about 1000? cheaper than before.. Nice price drop IMHO..

mroseberry
mroseberry

I think I said that the Windows OS is more expensive than the Mac OS to purchase separately and that Macs are more expensive than PCs, or something like that. So we agree with each other. I guess I could have been more clear with however I said it.

mroseberry
mroseberry

Thanks to that swap partition among other things, Ubuntu and other Linux distros don't have file fragmentation so I figure the extra less than a minute of setup to do that ridiculously simple little thing is more than compensated for throughout the use of the computer with better speed and stability in the long run.

filker0
filker0

I don't recall specifically for Ubuntu, but I've used file-system resident swap files under Linux for many years. Swapping to the file system is not as fast or efficient, but it can be done. The installer creates the partition without user intervention, and since there is no persistant data there, the novice user need not be concerned with it at all. To tell you the truth, I don't see what this has to do with ease of installation. (Note: I run Win7, Vista (yuck), WinXP, Ubuntu, Solaris, HP-UX, and MacOSX on various hardware (Intel, AMD, SPARC, HP, PowerPC), and have been a Unix user since V7, a Windows user since 3.0, and a Mac user since OSX.)

Lunixer-22235067389466142903652934877848
Lunixer-22235067389466142903652934877848

Apple has a completely different pricing strategy from MS. They have said many times that they are a hardware company *not* a software company. Therefore, they essentially give away their OS, they just way overprice their hardware. And because you can only install their OS on their hardware (legally, at least) it means that no matter the cost of their OS compared to windows, you still pay the apple tax. Therefore, I disagree with you saying that a windows machine is more expensive.

bckerr
bckerr

Read your first line again about the "(Ubuntu can install on a single partition just like Windows, so you just need a swap partition along with the root)" How many partitions is that before you can install?

Spenda
Spenda

Well, Too many Windows users ignore their "housekeeping", which is the primary reason they have problems and not the fault of the OS. It can all be set up so that it is 'set and forget' and takes no time out of PC browsing liesure time once all is running. Updates to all of the software I use for this are automatic. I have an old IBM NetVista form factor installed with an Intel Pentium M with 2.6 GHz clock speed and 3 gig DDR. It is nearly 10 years old and never crashes, never slows down and never has virus/malware issues. I watch videos, download movies, music, run high-end graphics, play games, anything at all, with multiple applications all running at same time. Have a massive graphics and music library. It is not an ultra fast gaming pc, but is not intended to be. I could improve that with a gaming mouse, but haven't bothered as don't really have time to do serious gaming. I have run 3 Windows OS on it all with the same trouble-free experience. Windows 98, Windows XP Prof and now Windows 7. Because Windows provides access to and is compatible with so much 3rd party software, it IS open to more security threats for that reason, but it is the average consumer's choice to have access to these and also to have the Windows user-friendly environment, so there is a small price to pay for this, as outlined below. Windows users MUST do their house-keeping if they want Windows to run at optimum speeds, seamlessly and virus free, without system crashes, hung screens etc. It is so easy to set up and I don't know why techies and Microsoft don't educate users to this. (Maybe the techies don't because they have a mindset against Microsoft). All that is required is a good and reputable registry cleaner - not one that corrupts your registry, which many do, so must choose carefully. One which includes a performance utility, defrag and check disk. As well a technologically advanced anti-virus and anti-spyware suite plus a little program called "AMust-Defender 2", which opens web applications in "User" mode rather than Admin privileges, to protect your PC when browsing - is automatic as soon as you open any application, including IE. If you schedule these to run regularly and/or seamlessly in the background you will have no problems whatsoever and enjoy the user-friendly Windows software with lightening performance, no hanging pages, no system crashes, no virus or malware issues. If you don't, your PC will eventually crash and require repairs or replacement. By not running the above you strain the whole system, particularly the hard drive and a system crash is ultimately inevitable. There is no need to replace your PC every few years, which most people believe there is. It is so simple to upgrade with new technology/hardware inside your box without throwing out the whole PC. Most of the utilities come with the Windows software, but the average user doesn't know where to find them, so it is easier to get these programs which are extremely user friendly. Which maintenance programs do I use? 1. Avira Anti-Virus (rated among top 5 in the world and inexpensive. There is a free version with no expiry date); 2. iOBit utility/maintenance/defragger/disk check/registry cleaner suite and other maintenance tools which come with it. (Inexpensive. There is a free version with no expiry date) 3. iOBit anti-spyware (Inexpensive. There is a free version with no expiry date); 4. AMust-Defender 2 (Gives web and email browsing protection and is free). I also use Win ASO as a supporting PC maintenance tool, because it does pick up some rubbish that iOBit sometimes misses in the cleaning process, but I don't schedule it, just run it manually every few weeks. Whereby iOBit is scheduled to run regularly. With AMust, it will block the installation of certain downloads, because it shows you as a User without Admin privileges. That is easily fixed by simply using the "Save" option rather than the "Run" option when you execute the download. It does mean you have to make a note of where you saved the executable file to go in and execute the install. If you don't understand that, then simply by-pass AMust Defender by opening the browser without it to do the download, but of course then you don't have the AMust protection for that download.

Spenda
Spenda

Microsoft updates regularly by seamless auto update, in the background. You can select to set this for just security updates or for all updates, which include additional features, freebie applications etc. All done without lifting a finger and without interrupting anything. Otherwise, you can elect to go into the Microsoft Download page and select the software you wish to download manually. Much easier than a complete re-install! I think this argument about which is better MS or Linux is painfully petty. The issue is simply what does the average consumer find the most user friendly? In other words what do they want if they are not tech savvy and most are not. By MS market share it is painfully clear that MS is more consumer aware. Sure, Vista and a couple of its predecessors were bad judgements, but on the whole the average joe blogs wants a 'click and go' system, which Windows provides. I mean ... get this ad appearing at the bottom of this forum. It says it all: "Buy Now Quick Reference: Linux Commands Reduce stress and speed up resolutions with the easiest command references right at your fingertips. You'll receive a PDF file covering Linux, packed with the most common commands you'll need and use daily." Hardly 'click and go' for busy executives, busy small business owners and their employees. Great if you want to constantly gratify your techie expertise, but a pain in the butt if you couldn't give a toss about all that.

steve
steve

Windows users just don't get. Ubuntu releases a new improved OS every 6 months. To keep up with advances in features you can upgrade your OS, for no $$$s, in an orderly simple fashion. Contrast this with Windows who take years to get their new versions working well enough to get them out the door, them several Service Packs to get them working well enough to actually use.

charleswdavis6670
charleswdavis6670

Why would that be something to brag about? My Win Vista is now 2-1/2 years old. It is used approximately 5 hours a day. ?Never re-installed.

Daughain
Daughain

Ok, I'm an auto mechanic. I installed Ubuntu 9.04 on Gateway laptop in less time than an average XP install takes me for my girls computer. This was done because the Vista install crashed and couldn't be recovered 5 hours after I bought the system. Always a good start there, I say. The only driver issues I had were due to the HDMI hardware on this laptop, and that only took me a few hours to track down the right drivers. In the time since I did this install, I have had to clean and recover my girls computer twice (its been 6 months). Also, I have had to install no extra apps, unlike windows, simply to do the tinkering I do online. Ubuntu has been the easiest install and maintenance I have had on a home pc. No thanks, MS, I'll keep my money and my running computer.

madox99c
madox99c

Sorry I mean then not "Them".

madox99c
madox99c

Well just because you have a 92.7% market share does not mean you have a good product. All it means is that you know how to market your product. Remember Ms started out as DOS. Apple had the first true windows. I've been using computers since 1985 (Com 64, 128, apple II, amiga 500 & 1200) and have used all of MS window products. Before you start to bash Linux remember "WHAT IS RUNNING THE INTERNET?" Windows?? Linux is just a spin off of UNIX and has been around longer them windows. So until ms can run the back end of the internet, Market shares mean nothing to me. I don't hate but I can't stand ms stating that they invented the world. All this writing makes my head hurt. Well I'll take a break and start up windows.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I did that with a clint on Vancouver Island, their entire network was switched to 'nix and Novell back end in 2001. Novell was no problem and, for the most part, neither was Suse. BUT...they also hired me on an on-call contract and paid for me to move to the Island just to support their branch users. After 8 months of late night and early morning calls, switched all desktops to Win again, left server on Novell and no more support calls. Most problems were simply user frustrations due to a change in OS when they were all used to and comfortable working with Windows. Unless users are 'nix savvy, they don't like to work with it. Needless to say, no more contract and moved back to the mainland. So, if you experience is a reason to use linux, mine is a reason to use Windows. Not exactly a way to determine the best OS by any means. If I switched end users to 'nix now, I would lose money in a heartbeat and never hear from them again. In short, I think your post is complete BS. Unless you support computer savvy users who like to pretend they are hip and trendy by using Linux. So, what sort of support issues did you have with Win7 that kept you up at night with support calls and how did 'nix resolve that? This should be good for a laugh anyway, and completely unsupportable, I'm sure.

jackie40d
jackie40d

haha I been there did that stuff and know better now and will be running Windblows ONLY inside of Virtual Box on Linux . . Other wise to tends to fall apart and crash at some point . . I have fixed or repaired so many Windows computers and moved them to Linux so as to not have to go back and fix them any more . . hahaha EVEN got Thomas on it now I miss calls at 11:30 PM and saying my computer crashed . . Sure I miss the money but the sleep is much better now . .

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

It was the same with Vista and the whole DRM BS. People whined about this and that but none of the issues were actually applicable, just something they read online that was soon proven false. Most people who complained about Vista never used it, those that did gave it 5 mionutes (not the months of patience and tweaking they gave XP before it was half usable). People just jump on bandwagons, that's why I find it so eay marketing into the US marketplace. Create a market buzz and people blindly pull the plastic out of their wallets. I have a friend who's very un-pc-savvy mom said I wouldn't use Vista, "it's terrrible". I asked her why and got a blank stare, she finally said, "that's what everyone says". When Win7 came out her reply was, "I never try anything when it first comes out" Straight from the mouths of other techs. I then reminded her of the hours of free tech support I had to give her when she pounced on XP when it was still the most unstable and bug ridden OS of all time. She had to have it because she was told how great it would be. I think most people don't even know why they like or dislike something, they just follow the masses so they can APPEAR to know what they are on about.

Spenda
Spenda

Exactly! I had the same experience. Even better - I purchased a new pc with Windows 7 and was able to use the sync feature to WIRELESSLY and REMOTELY transfer any file I wanted from my old pc onto my new one with no fuss at all - detected everything I needed and offered more with great li'l prompts. I run a wireless LAN network and it found all that was needed for that too. Slick, smart, fast and fuss-free was my immdiate reaction - can only be full of admiration for the programmers.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

That makes Windows bad, somehow??

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I put a disk in the drive hit the power button and it did the rest, drivers and all. I plugged in the all-in-one prniter and it installed that too, "look ma, no hands!", I plugged in my smart phone, it then found that, I plugged in my engine diagnostic tool (it found that, it then went online and found the drivers and it installed them in seconds). Yup, Windows7, not exactly user friendly! No clicks, no this, no that, just turn it on or plug it in.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I don't believe you are a techie as you claim ! .. . If you had read the updates you wold have seen the suggested update to run your WiFi it was in my updates just ask me if I wanted to activate it . . DAH guess my answer . .

Spenda
Spenda

I know that most techies consider Windows is poorly programmed because certain versions have been prone to leak, crash and burn like a shot down aircraft. However, from an average user's standpoint, looking for 'click and go' facilitation, Windows beats the alternative OS hands down, together with its compatability with a vast array of third party apps and no issues running them. However it is exactly that, in part, which is responsible for its increased vulnerability to threat risk, as opposed to other systems. However, MS have got their act together on this now, provided users engage the auto update facility. I think its biggest issues now are bloat ware and memory hogging, which can cause problems for users with under-powered PC's. To fully appreciate the great capability of Windows, which is rarely tapped into by "unschooled" users, you need to appreciate a few things first. When running at optimum performance, I consider Windows to be a very "polished" software, even if not from a techie standpoint. It does provide a very user-friendly environment and will run a vast array of third party software, plug and play, etc. - no fuss, just gets on with it. This link gives an insight into why most people have problems with Windows, which are not the fault of the OS. http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=319771&messageID=3213401&tag=content;leftCol

Spenda
Spenda

Yes, that much I agree with - if you use your Windows as a "User", rather than as "Admin", the system is not as vulnerable to hackers while on the web. However, there is a great little program which is free called "AMUST-Defender 2.0 which overcomes that. It works automatically as soon as you open your browser or email application and switches you to "user" status. It does mean that it will block execution of the install process with certain downloads which require Admin rights. This is easily overcome though by saving the file rather than selecting the option "Run". Is just then a matter of going into the file where saved the download and executing the install file. Alternatively, you can by-pass AMUST by opening the web browser without it and then proceeding to download, but of course during that download you won't have the AMUST protection.

jwesleycooper
jwesleycooper

My indication of regedit was just an example... I can do more than just that, though I must admit that I don't know everything, and I don't believe that's even possible anyway... the last several months of full-time work and 12 credit hours courses must be getting to me, sorry that I flamed you qhcomputingny (but seriously, safe sites aren't always safe)

Bob_or_Fred
Bob_or_Fred

I'm betting that you didn't just drive down to the local big-box retailer and pick up a disc. Thus, no, the entire process of installing Ubuntu is not easier than installing Windows.

bckerr
bckerr

I have quite a few malware for you to try and remove them in the registry, considering a lot do not even have registry entries and use "wraps" for .dll's...I'm miffed :P

bckerr
bckerr

I worked for Agere systems at the Allentown Emerald City Plant and they have roughly several miles of computer systems running "almost" exclusively Windows. Berks County, PA computer system is using Windows where I live, my point being, where are these numbers you have? Make some "factual" basis instead of coming up with numbers man..case in point.Linux/Unix has a 0.95% over all market share; with that we have Windows overall at 92.7%, now let's break it down even further. It doesn't show how much percentage share is business and how much is personal when it comes to these stats, but lets consider this, Windows 2000 accounted for 0.85% and Windows NT 0.10% that comes to 0.95%..so when we consider that the Business/Workstation OS of Windows is on par with "ALL" of Linux/Unix systems, how the hell can you say there are more servers/workstations using Unix then Windows, your made up numbers dont add up. So please stop, because I didn't even have data for Windows Srv 2003 included, you would just look really foolish. For all you die hard OS fanboys out there, please just stop making up these fallacious comments, I like Linux...alot, I like Windows too, so I'm not here defending one or the other, I am jsut tired of people making up numbers "they" think it is, instead of doing some research and fact finding. Make yourself look better in your replys and slow down a bit, take the time to research a bit then execute your rebutal

PKA
PKA

Win 7 ultima is the hardest OS to set up I've ran into in 20 years.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

range of equipment over the last four five years. The only times I've had an issue with drivers for any hardware is when the hardware has been manufactured to work only with a specific version of Microsoft Windows and needs the MS Windows Commands to work. Any hardware designed to work with Industry Standard Command Sets works perfectly straight up. It's because some hardware manufacturers bow to MS and design their gear to work with the MS commands instead of the industry ones, that you have the issues and need to be careful when selecting hardware to work with Linux. Blaming Linux for not working immediately with gear designed for Windows is silly. Every install of Windows I've done, or seen done, has needed much longer to get up to full work situation than any of the Linux installs have. BTW regards your comments re XP mode, any application software designed for Windows should work in all Windows and not require to have a new version bought or have to be run in a special XP mode to work.

hcolvin
hcolvin

Big deal! Windows is pre-installed on 92.7% of the new computers sold in the United States. If this means Windows is so great, why is Unix the OS of choice for main frame systems

m5ernel
m5ernel

but Ubuntu was easy and smooth before.

Cybie257
Cybie257

The UAC for Windows is a Joke. Why in the world would you have to stop, click on some stupid box/button in order to install anything with out the use of a password? That is what sudo is all about. Anyone can click a button, not ANYone can enter your password. It's called security. And for Installs. Hmm, Linux takes about 15-20 mins MAX to install on a typical computer and everything works. Tower, laptop, friends computer. Hmm, aside from some Junk/Crap WinVista WIFI things that came out on laptops, there hasn't been anything get in my way. Oh, it also took only a few months for the Linux guys to get around that VistaWIFI crap. Don't really recall what it was about, don't care, just know that it's been fixed and implemented in the latest versions (since over a year ago) of Linux that were, oh YEAH!, FREE! I'd really like to see what sort of crap MS would put out if it were free. The greatness you get in Linux these days for a free product make it all worth it for anyone in my opinion. let me repeat. "in my opinion". AS FOR STATISCTICS - In which I am just making a general reply to this discussion... see http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp as this isn't all about MS with more realistic numbers. Linux with less than 1% marketshare, come on, even the 4.1% on this link seems low, but at least more realistic. -Cybie

Cybie257
Cybie257

Windows ONLY has that much market share due to strong arming and the lack of education that most users have on computers today. Windows is a "Platform" whereas you get to install all the programs that they sell at the store. Linux is a OS, in which a user has control over. When the day comes when they (computer users) aren't afraid to open up a terminal window and actually get there computer to do what THEY want it to do, then they will migrate to Linux. I started with MS-Dos 3.x (maybe earlier, been a while). Those were the days when a computer user was actually a computer user. These days, a computer user considers themselves a computer operator if they can turn on the computer and click on there favorite little program. I taught my 2 yo nephew how to do that in as little as 10 mins. As for the difficulty in learning Linux, or command line operation... I taught a friend who was tired of Windows and ready for something new to learn. He had all the basics, including terminal (command line) down in about 1 week. I was surprised at what he was able to do in a short time. It just goes to show when someone WANTS to learn something new, they can. Americans are LAZY and can't deal with having to do a little extra. (Yes, I'm American, but not too Lazy to learn something new). Oh, BTW, there's not ONE legitimate way to know the market-share of ANY OS, including Windows. heh, Windows only got so big because they DIDN'T have Activation crap in the beginning and most installs were copies. That, my friend(s), is a fact known by MS themselves and they even credit the piracy to making them as big as they are. I've seen the documents years ago. Don't have to believe me, I don't care if you think they exist or not. And, for my LAST comment on OS's. The last I heard (from a reliable source) is that Microsoft's "HotMail" is actually on a Linux Server. Something along the lines that MS didn't (doesn't??) have a server that could handle the size and scope of such a server. This is something that may NOT be a fact, but haven't had it disproved as of yet. -Cybie

kmdennis
kmdennis

WUBI- one click installer. You dont need to know jack, or jill for that matter. just click and install. It will complete a seemless dual boot install for you. http://wubi-installer.org/

jwesleycooper
jwesleycooper

Because I've seen news about all kinds of "safe" websites getting hacked and redirecting users to malware attack portals (usually in some 3rd world country). Just take PlayStation's website for instance! Gee, that's a fairly general, non-porn, non-music-sharing site... isn't it!!! Remote attackers are, in fact, trying to infect mainstream sites; so that they can hit oblivious users just like you. And seriously, how can you call yourself a Tech when you evidently cannot even locate and use your shift key? I'm guessing that you think just because you can play with a few config settings via a GUI that you're really something, huh? Well, I actually know how to dig around in the registry to REMOVE malware, and I'm just a student right now... Next time you try to make a point on something, you should make sure you actually have the knowledge to back it up.

qhcomputingny
qhcomputingny

i have never had a problem with malware on my windows pc. i am a tech, but still, if people would just stay away from porn sites, and stop trying to steal music, none of this software would be installed. if you stick to the general websites (safe websites) you'll never have these issues. like the saying goes, play with fire and you get burned...

qhcomputingny
qhcomputingny

The reason Ubuntu worked and XP didn't was for the fact that XP was released in 2001 and the Ubuntu version you have was released fairly recently. Was your laptop manufactured before the release of Windows XP? I doubt it, therefore how would you expect it to work out of the box with a newer laptop which had newer hardware and drivers??

qhcomputingny
qhcomputingny

Really, have you tried a Windows 7 install? What drivers are you referring to that Windows 7 stops to make you install?? Windows 7 is the easiest OS Microsoft has ever released... (both to install, and to use)

Chi-7
Chi-7

My distro just works, plain and simple I have yet to find a platform or hardware incompatibility issue after many, many installs. As far as GUI objects / functions, seems like once a feature is introduced and adopted into a professional lexicon, can one own it? One can originate it, add it as a feature. GUI's and origins are a slippery topic at best. See: toastytech.com/ A good chronological display of GUI's and their history. These are the cats that started the whole thing.

bckerr
bckerr

They go buy "user" base, meaning what is detected or reported as being "used" not what is downloaded.

bckerr
bckerr

It includes previous versions of Windows and Linux and Mac OS's, please, as I have stated before, stop making up things you have not researched or know about don't be the "made up stats" guy.

hakkacracker
hakkacracker

Market share is based on the new systems sold not the existing systems in the world. If you count the number of old machines getting a new life by replacing Windows with Linux, the picture is very different.

Ole Man
Ole Man

I know, I know! 92.7%, (according to you and your comapadres). Hitslink? A Microsoft-centric web site? You've gotta be kidding! Try spouting the statistics on how many open source downloads and installs have been made this year? Can't do it, cause your registry only reads $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, NOT downloads and installs.

bckerr
bckerr

When you can create a 92.7%, yes that's right a 92.7% Operating System market share(which Windows has) compared to a paltry 0.95% (Linux) market share, then come talk to us IT Professionals about ease of use, funcionality and overall standard user base. Lets face it "boys" Linux is still a "technogeek" OS that hasn't learned how to become mainstream yet. The proof is in the pudding. Want some proof? I back my talk up, unlike others who "randomate" their numbers. (http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8) Stop hating, doesn't do any good.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Rootkits and malware are problems faced by all operating systems, not just Windows.

Ole Man
Ole Man

"Windows is just more polished in general." A polished t*rd is still a tu*d. Can you say activation? Authentification? (WGA)? Malware? Rootkit? Antivirus? DRM? All timeconsuming acute afflictions experienced by ONLY Windows users? THAT's what makes it "easier"?

masonm
masonm

What version of Ubuntu were you loading? I installed 9.04 on a Gateway laptop recently and didn?t have to install any drivers. The wireless network card worked out of the box and all I had to do was enter my WPA key to connect to my router. This same laptop WILL not run XP because some of the hardware doesn?t have drivers for XP. That was the main reason I installed Ubuntu, because I didn?t want to run Vista. (Windows 7 wasn?t out yet) I guess there is quite a difference from one hardware set to another, but I have installed Ubuntu on several computers and haven?t had to install drivers or had issues with wireless networks since Ubuntu 7.

hakkacracker
hakkacracker

What you mean is when you have the installation disks for all the hardware when installing Windows, Windows have better compatibility because the hardware manufactures want to have a bite of Windows market share. If you are given a computer with no hardware driver, which one gives you better chance of getting it work? The answer is Linux. Plus, not to mention downward compatibility issues. I really doubt if you are really a techie or just self-acclaimed one. Even as a non-techie, I know giving full administrator previledge as Windows does makes Windows particularly vulnerable to virus and malware attack. That is NOT "more polished".

owner
owner

That's a load of bull. (I am a techie BTW) Alongside Windows, I normally have Ubuntu installed...which is the best Linux install to date, but it is far from better than the Windows install...not even in the same parking lot. Not all hardware is compatable. Wireless is still a pain in the backside in Ubuntu, still having to mess around with NDIS wrappers that don't always work. With Win 7, there were very few drivers that I had to install to use my hardware...and that was the RTM, not the final release...even the chipset drivers were included for my AUSUS mobo. And to address an earlier comment about XP mode...Wine sucks...period. You still have to have a prettyrobust system for WINE to work with any efficiency. I haven't used the other program mention, so I cannot comment on it. Ubuntu (or any form of linux for that matter) is not even really comparable to Windows from, a user standpoint. Even with KDE (my fav), it still doesn't stand up to the usabily and intutiveness of Windows. I even think that UAC is a lot easier to deal with than having to type in sudo every time I want to access something that has permissions attached to it. Windows is just more polished in general.

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