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Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison
ZDNet ^ | 7 May 2012 | Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Posted on 05/08/2012 8:54:21 AM PDT by ShadowAce

Summary: The leading Linux desktop and the number one desktop of all, Windows, are both undergoing radical transformations, but which will be the better for it?

Windows 8 Metro vs. Ubuntu 12.04 Unity

Windows 8 Metro vs. Ubuntu 12.04 Unity

2012 has already seen a major update of what’s arguably the most important Linux desktop: Ubuntu 12.04 and we’re also seeing the most radical update of Windows with Windows 8 Metro coming since Windows 95 replaced Windows 3.1. So, which will end up the better for its change?

1. Desktop interface

Ubuntu replaced the popular GNOME 2.x interface with Unity when their developers decided the GNOME 3.x shell wasn’t for them. Some people, like the developers behind Linux Mint, decided to recreate the GNOME 2.x desktop with Cinnamon, but Ubuntu took its own path with Unity.

In Unity’s desktop geography, your most used applications are kept in the left Unity Launcher bar on the left. If you need a particular application or file, you use Unity’s built-in Dash application. Dash is a dual purpose desktop search engine and file and program manager that lives on the top of the Unity menu Launcher.

Its drawback, for Ubuntu power-users, is that it makes it harder to adjust Ubuntu’s settings manually. On the other hand, most users, especially ones who are new to Ubuntu, find it very easy to use. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has made it clear that regardless of whether you use Ubuntu on a desktop, tablet or smartphone the Unity interface is going to be there and it’s going to look the same.

A first look at Ubuntu 12.04 (Gallery)

Windows 8 Metro is, if anything, even more of a departure from its predecessor than Unity. At least with Unity, you’re still working with a windows, icons, menus, and pointers (WIMP). Metro has replaced icons with tiles. In addition, by default, you can only work with applications in tiles or in full-screen format. Even such familiar friends as the Start button are missing.

I’ve been working with Metro for months now. After all that time, I still think Windows 8 with Metro will be dead on arrival. Even people who really like Metro say things like “the default presentation is ugly and impersonal.” You can make Metro a lot more usable, but that’s a lot of work to make an interface that’s already ugly prettier and, when you’re done, you’re still left with an interface that doesn’t look or work the way you’ve been using Windows for years.

True, there’s also the Windows 8 Desktop, which still doesn’t have a Start button, but otherwise looks and works like the Windows 7 Aero interface, but it’s a sop to users who don’t want Metro. Sooner rather than later, Microsoft wants everyone on Metro. Of course on some platforms, such as Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 for ARM tablets, Metro is the only choice.

2. Applications

For ages one of the bogus raps against desktop Linux has been that there hasn’t been enough applications for it. That was never true. What Linux didn’t have was the same applications as Windows. To an extent, that’s still true. You can’t still get say Quicken, Outlook, or Photoshop natively on Linux. Of course, with the use of WINE and its commercial big brother Codeweaver’s Crossover, you can run these, and other Windows programs, on top of Linux.

On the other hand, I find some Linux programs, such as Evolution for e-mail, an optional program in Ubuntu, to be far better than their Windows equivalents. In addition, if like more and more people these days the program you really use all the time is a Web browser for everything then Windows has no advantage what-so-ever. Chrome, as my testing has shown time and again, is the best Web browser around runs equally well on Ubuntu and Windows. On both, however, you’ll need to download it. Ubuntu defaults to using Firefox and Windows 8, of course, uses Internet Explorer.

What I find really interesting though is that Microsoft is actually removing functionality from Windows 8. If you want to play DVDs on Windows 8 or use it as a media center, you’ll need to play extra. DVD-players and the power to stream media remain free options in Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions.

3. Security

There has been a lot of talk lately about malware on Macs and it’s true. Macs are vulnerable to security breeches. So, for that matter, are Linux systems. But never, ever forget that for every single Mac virus or worm, there have been thousands of Windows attackers. And, that while Linux can be attacked as well, in practice, it’ more secure than either Mac OS X or Windows and there has never been a significant Linux desktop security worm.

Could it happen? Sure. But, get real, I do run Linux with virus protection, ClamAV, but I’m paranoid, and even so I’ve never seen a single attacker, much less suffered a successful attack, in almost twenty years of using Linux desktops. I wish I could say the same of my Windows systems.

4. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Thanks for Active Directory (AD), it’s long been easy to manage Windows desktops, but then thanks to Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and tools like Landscape, it’s no problem in Ubuntu Linux either. Indeed, since you won’t be able to use AD to manage Windows RT systems, Ubuntu Linux actually provides a more unified management system.

Also, remember what I said about security? You can’t forget anti-virus software or patching Windows for a minute. Linux? Yes, you should use anti-virus programs and patch regularly, but relax, you’re not asking for zero-day doom all the time the way you are with Windows.
Besides, the upfront cost of Linux? Zero. Windows 8? We don’t know yet, but we do know that Windows 8 PCs will be more expensive than their Windows 7 brothers.

If you’re really serious about cutting your desktop costs, Linux is the way to go.

5. Ease of use

One of the perpetual myths about Linux is how hard it is to use. Oh really? Don’t tell my 80-year old Ubuntu-using mother-in-law or Jason Perlow’s Linux user mom-in-law. They’re both using Ubuntu 12.04 and loving it. Why? Because it’s so easy to use.

Metro, on the other hand… well you know I don’t like it, but I think it’s telling that a Bing search-not Google, Bing-showed 3.32-million results for “Windows 8 Metro sucks.” Many users, including our own Scott Raymond, would like it if Microsoft gave users the option to turn Metro off. That’s not going to happen.

Another plus for Ubuntu is, say you really can’t stand Unity. No problem, you can switch to GNOME 3.x, Cinnamon, KDE, whatever. With Ubuntu while they want you to use Unity, you can choose to use another Linux desktop interface. With Windows 8, you’re stuck with half-Metro and half-desktop.

Put it all together and what do you get? Well, I don’t see Ubuntu overcoming Windows on the desktop. There are just too many Windows users out there. The Linux desktop will never catch up with it.

My question though wasn’t who was going to end up the most popular desktop. It was “which will end up the better for its change?” To that question, there’s only one answer: Ubuntu is the winner. I foresee Windows XP and 7 using sticking to their operating systems and giving Windows 8 the same cold shoulder they gave Vista and Millennium Edition.

That will end up being a real problem for Windows. Back in the day, their iron-grip on the desktop meant they could have flops and still not lose much. Today, though, we’re moving away from the desktop to a world where we do much of our work on the cloud and for that we can use tablets and smartphones as well. And, on tablets and smartphones, Microsoft has yet to show that Windows can play a role. Thanks to Android, we already know Linux is a major player on those, and Ubuntu is already making a desktop/Android smartphone partnership play.

All-in-all, Ubuntu is going to be far more successful for its changes than Microsoft will be with its operating system transformations.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: linux; microshaft; windows

1 posted on 05/08/2012 8:54:27 AM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

2 posted on 05/08/2012 8:55:53 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
For the record--I despise Ubuntu.

I use Fedora on my personal machine, and I admin RH boxes.

3 posted on 05/08/2012 8:58:09 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

I Loathe the Windows 8 excuse for a desktop interface and the first thing I did witht he beta was to hack it to look like windows 7.

I use Ubuntu in a VM and it is okay, but yeah RedHat is a lot better for doing a lot of certain tasks.


4 posted on 05/08/2012 9:01:00 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: ShadowAce

Count me as one of those that hates Unity. I’m becoming a fan of Linux Mint. However, I have to run as a VMware guest OS on a Windows 7 platform for now.

sigh

Maybe one day my company will allow a Linux desktop.


5 posted on 05/08/2012 9:01:41 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: ShadowAce

Excellent points.

Microsoft has a history of forcing unwanted changes and “feature” on the users.Most users would be quite happy if they could just continue to use their XP systems,I know I would.Windows 7 isn’t bad.But I don’t want to have to relearn again for Windows 8.

I wouldn’t be surprised if consumer and corporate resistance plays as big a factor in this rollout as for Windows ME -and WinME actually didn’t cause me any difficulty.


6 posted on 05/08/2012 9:04:33 AM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
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To: ShadowAce

You've GOT to be kidding me. They have run out of actual IDEAS in Redmond, but they have to change SOMETHING or how do they sell the new OS, right? Guess everything old is new again -- looks like those old menuing programs we used to buy as a front end for our DOS machines.

7 posted on 05/08/2012 9:06:42 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: hoosierham

I wonder how the kinect and touch screen interfaces are going to integrate into everyday life on Windows 8.

Linux boxes are non-starters for the front office non-it departments.

When hiring a secretary we don’t say “do you know linux” unless it is an it department MAYBE.


8 posted on 05/08/2012 9:08:03 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: taxcontrol
Maybe one day my company will allow a Linux desktop.

I count myself lucky to be able to run Linux at work. Of course, it helps to have a rock-solid case for it to take to management--I admin RH boxes, and putty is just too darn clunky to use productively across hundreds of servers.

I’m becoming a fan of Linux Mint.

I've heard good things about it, but have never seen it. The fact that it is based off of Ubuntu tends to scare me off. :)

However, I have to run as a VMware guest OS on a Windows 7 platform for now.

Run it full screen and do everything in your VM. See how long it takes them to complain. If they don't notice, you may be able to take that experience as part of your sales pitch to management. :)

9 posted on 05/08/2012 9:08:08 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
Windows 8 could well be the next Vista.

And whatever comes after that could well be the next XP or Windows 7.

10 posted on 05/08/2012 9:14:57 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: ShadowAce

This is a joke of an article Right? I mean it’s so onesided you can just put a big * by the whole thing and say...all this can be ignored.


11 posted on 05/08/2012 9:17:02 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: longtermmemmory

I wonder how the kinect and touch screen interfaces are going to integrate into everyday life on Windows 8.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That whole kinect type of technology is going to take off like crazy. I expect in 2 years touch screens will be obsolete and our windows interface will be hand/finger motions and eye tracking.


12 posted on 05/08/2012 9:21:16 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: Still Thinking

I don’t know about you, but, when I look at those two screens, I see one that informs me about what’s going on within the computer, and the other one tells me that, the computer is waiting for someone to do stuff, or is not informing the user about what’s going on with the active processes. Ubuntu 12.04 is just the latest version, with newer eye candy, of the same old stuff.

And, what the heck is that about “Ubuntu replaced the popular GNOME 2.x”? How popular can GNOME 2.x have been if the total user base for the whole Linux family is around 1%? So, a fraction of 1% would make it popular? How about providing context/perspective for what is being talked about?

Sorry, Charlie, most people on the planet will be sticking with Windows 7 or Windows 8 when it comes out.

Those people at ZDNet are just like the rest of the subsidiaries of CBS, and that is, they spin and demagogue and confuse the issues, while trying to sell people on the virtues of failed products.

(And, I’m just talking about the desktop/laptop market, in case someone wanted to chime in with how great Linux is for servers. This is about the PC market, where Linux is virtually irrelevant for the regular user out there.).


13 posted on 05/08/2012 9:29:28 AM PDT by adorno
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To: adorno

The real play for windows 8 will be tablets and pads. And we have yet to really have those launched on the public yet. I’ve been using windows 8 everyday. I pretty much use it in desktop mode. But I clearly see where once the apps are there I will be living in the metro interface.

I didn’t think windows phone 7 was going to be any good when I saw the interface, but when I tried it I had to admit I was dead wrong. It’s the best interface to date on a phone.


14 posted on 05/08/2012 9:33:18 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: mamelukesabre

I see it being a fusion of technology. Touch, eye, body, hand tracking all inside the tablet you carry. And it can connect to a larger display. So you carry your gaming, work, and social hub with you everywhere you go.


15 posted on 05/08/2012 9:36:13 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: ShadowAce
They make Linux sound so easy to manage in a network environment...

I have gray hairs to prove otherwise.

16 posted on 05/08/2012 9:38:42 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: ShadowAce

My old company (IBM) had a Linux / RedHat build for the laptop. Upon rare occation, I had to run MS Project and MS Visio which I did so from a guest VM. The rest of my work was done on Linux via Open Office and local Linux clients.

I also was the only laptop that ran solid for 3 years without the need for local support - even though I traveled all over the globe. Other Windows members of my team were constantly having laptop problems.

I even built a bootable USB stick version that I could at least get into a “bad” laptop and recover files that customers needed.


17 posted on 05/08/2012 9:49:00 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: ShadowAce

Windows 8 seems like something designed for a phone or tablet, not a desktop computer. Of course, some desktop computers today do have touch screen capabilities, so there might be some advantages for casual browsing and such.


18 posted on 05/08/2012 9:51:46 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: adorno

Well, I’m not a Windows-hater or a Redmond-hater in general, and almost all of my machines run on some Redmond product, but that Win8 interface looks ludicrous to me. Sort of a “Computing for Dummies” look. It really does remind me of the old batch-file-based and commercial menu programs we used back in the DOS days.


19 posted on 05/08/2012 9:57:37 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: adorno
I don’t know about you, but, when I look at those two screens, I see one that informs me about what’s going on within the computer, and the other one tells me that, the computer is waiting for someone to do stuff

For me, the Metro theme is just painful to look at, with all these ugly and bright colors. However the tiles, as shown, do not tell you anything. They could, in theory, but what do you need to see there? How many new emails you have? That's displayed by all OSes, and the actual number is not too important. Subject and content? Click and you will find out. There is hardly anything else that needs your constant attention. But if you insist, Windows Vista and 7 have gadgets, which are tiny dockable applications. You can also run regular applications, resized to any size, with any transparency, reacting to hover, etc. etc.

I don't have Windows 8 and have no particular desire to download the Beta. But if tiles are not resizable, this removes a very important capability - the ability to arrange things on your desktop as that is required by whatever you are doing right now. Linux comes with virtual desktops, they are like separate desks and you can "turn" to any one of them, and items are arranged on each. In Windows world you need to pay for an advanced, 3rd party window manager that can do that.

I played with Unity in several releases of Ubuntu, but not the 12.04. I might download the CD and stick it into a spare [virtual] box to see what's happening. I'm not very enthused about Unity, generally, but as long as you only need a few applications it works fine. Its configuration is not very intuitive, though. The dashboard is quite awful; what's up with all these recent tendencies to force people to drop the mouse, move hands to the keyboard and type the name of the program? If I knew the name I could do that; but I have tons of programs that I don't know names of. Unity continues this tradition, reducing discoverability and putting more emphasis into the "direct dial."

But where the rubber hits the road I have only a few applications that could run on Linux (Firefox and Thunderbird.) WINE is not a consideration, it sucked enough of my blood in earlier years. Besides, many 3rd party applications are barely working in the native environment; running them under WINE is just asking for trouble. Ubuntu could be very usable as a kitchen computer, or an ebook-reading computer, or as a media center. But if you need a general purpose computer - one that can run Office and Photoshop and your favorite chat and your webcam and your wireless and your printer - you'd be stuck in Windows territory for a while. Windows 7 is pretty good, and it will be around for a very long time.

20 posted on 05/08/2012 10:23:38 AM PDT by Greysard
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To: Greysard

I’ll have to disagree with you. Open Office / Libre does at least as good of a job as MS Office and on a number of tasks, better. GIMP is able to handle 90% of Photoshop tasks. The only two applications that I have seen in Windows that I simply cant replicate in Linux is Project and Visio. Both have alternatives but they are not as good.


21 posted on 05/08/2012 10:30:59 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Still Thinking

Computing for Dummies?

Well then, perhaps Microsoft if doing it right, where people don’t really have to think about how to do things, and the tiles interface is intuitive enough that, even a dummy can use it.

Why make things difficult when they don’t need to be?


22 posted on 05/08/2012 10:31:45 AM PDT by adorno
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To: ShadowAce

If any gurus on this list use their PCs for extensive audio reproduction I have a couple of questions.

I have a need for 16 Gig minimum to possibly 32 Gig of RAM which means I need to leave the WinXP Pro 32 bit world. The huge RAM requirement is for audio samples in a Virtual Pipe Organ application and every sample (can be thousands of individual Pipe samples) must reside in RAM for performance issues. When playing there is no time to access these samples from any other storage media other than RAM.

I also must have the ability to run a medium size VB6.0 program linked to an MS Access DB file (no Access actually needed VB does it all) and I had heard Win8 will not support VB6 (.NET sucks for this application by the way). Is that the case or will Win8 run VB6? I know VB6 is old but damn it sure worked well for a bunch of applications and it lost many followers in the transition to .NET (you certainly could not call that an upgrade).

I am using a 10 channel Audio card from M-Audio and I doubt they have a driver available as they were barely able to make one work for XP. I would need a minimum of 10 audio out channels. Does/would Win8 support this?

It seems high end Audio is not on the priority list from Microsoft and that may make all the sense in the world for them as long as the tools are available for 3rd parties to jump in.

The video requirements are minimal for this application so outside of the audio issues a Win3.1 OS could handle it.


23 posted on 05/08/2012 10:37:43 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: ShadowAce

Vista is a dog on this 5 year old laptop, too slow to really do anything, straight out of the box.

Unity is pretty slow, too, but at least it is pretty, and in 12.04 the dash is much faster to open, altho I would not call it snappy by any means.

Gnome 2 running compiz was not so bad, def much faster than Vista, and I loved being able to switch desktops or see all my open windows by dragging the mouse to the corner and clicking the mouse button.

But I have finally settled on Xubuntu, untweaked, no compiz. I mostly only use the browser, the terminal, and Gnucash anyways.

Metro just looks confusing to me, but I haven’t tried it. Probably won’t. I assume I will get a Macbook soon, like Linus, and dual boot MacOS and Ubuntu.


24 posted on 05/08/2012 10:48:52 AM PDT by TeachableMoment
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To: taxcontrol
Open Office / Libre does at least as good of a job as MS Office and on a number of tasks, better.

I have OpenOffice installed alongside the MS Office on this very computer. However I rarely use OpenOffice (MS Office is faster, among other things.) I need MS Office because of business documentation that I generate and edit. The last thing in the world that I need is the complaint from several people that they can't open my documents, or that something is askew in them. I don't want to take that risk. MS Office 2010 Home & Business costs $199 online, and for a business this is not a concern at all. It's just one of costs of doing business. Saving on that would cost you more.

I used GIMP before, but today Paint.Net is sufficient for most of what I need. I am not a photographer.

I looked into Linux clones of Project some years ago, but they were totally inadequate, more like weekend hacks. Project is a complex beast, and it is probably worth its high price to people that need it. I don't do Project.

Visio could be replaced with Dia on Linux. I tried that, and it kind of worked. But Dia was crude. In the end it became another example of being penny wise and pound foolish.

The problem is that all good software, regardless of the OS, is very complex. This means that a large team of coders has to toil on it for months, if not years. This includes support and new versions. Very few F/OSS people are willing to do that. That's the reason why you can't have an equivalent of Quicken (or QuickBooks) on Linux - the effort to make one, even just the GUI, would be monumental; but then you also need Internet connections to thousands of banks... forget it. The F/OSS mantra is "scratching an itch" - which means that each developer does what he wants because he needs it. If his need is common enough the world gains another useful application. If the need is unique the world ignores it. F/OSS does not develop for an imaginary, synthetic audience (like all ISVs do.) Each F/OSS program has a well defined audience. This means that the application will be developed to fit the needs of only that audience, without much thinking about needs of other people who are not present. Design from requirements is unheard of; as result GIMP was hobbled by its strange interface for years - simply because the developers said "works for me, WONTFIX." If you look into Firefox's Bugzilla you will see many examples of developers sticking to their opinions even when hundreds of users tell them that they are wrong. Ubuntu/Unity is not far from that example either. MS/Metro is also falling into that category, for the same reasons. A big software house often thinks that users will take whatever is given to them.

Commercial developers (for any OS) usually have to actually listen to their customers, and the result is often better. I used some commercial software for Linux (Eagle CAD) and it was just fine. But few companies develop for Linux because the sales are tiny (about 1% of the volume) - so why to invest into the R&D? There are other reasons too; you need to use special libraries like Qt to write code that is portable. But that is a major decision that you have to make before you write the first line of code. And once that decision is made you are locked in. Even if tomorrow the Windows-only .NET 5.0 gives you direct interface to Kinect or brainwaves you can't do anything about it; you bet on a specific horse and you stay with that horse to the end. That's why it's so important to pick a winner early in the game.

25 posted on 05/08/2012 11:10:30 AM PDT by Greysard
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To: ShadowAce
but that’s a lot of work to make an interface that’s already ugly prettier and, when you’re done, you’re still left with an interface that doesn’t look or work the way you’ve been using Windows for years.

Which was pretty much my response to the change from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3.

Unity, I'm working with.

26 posted on 05/08/2012 12:41:00 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: ShadowAce

The Win8 desktop reminds me of Tandy's old Deskmate.


27 posted on 05/08/2012 12:46:43 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: adorno

Not saying I want it to be harder, or even hard. The current way is already easy. I don’t, however, like being patronized, like when they named the local computer icon on the desktop “My Computer”. How precious!


28 posted on 05/08/2012 2:13:23 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: taxcontrol
I’ll have to disagree with you. Open Office / Libre does at least as good of a job as MS Office and on a number of tasks, better.

Have to disagree. There are a couple features in MS Office that I use on such a regular basis, I'd consider them indispensable (and I'm running on Office 97 and 2K!), and OO doesn't have an equivalent. Also, what the hell is with unifying the recent files list for all the OO apps?? If you're in Calc, the list shows all the recent files for all the OO apps. Shoot, I'm pissed because I can't turn the list length up past 10 in MS Office, so I sure don't want to waste 70% of the [limited] entries on docs created by other programs.

29 posted on 05/08/2012 2:20:29 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Still Thinking
I don’t, however, like being patronized, like when they named the local computer icon on the desktop “My Computer”. How precious!

That's minutia.

However, did you ever think that there might be a reason for that name/tag? "My Computer" denotes, things that are resident or pertinent to that particular computer, or "your computer", as opposed to, stuff that resides on other computers, which might reside on other computers on a network, which "your computer" might be a part of.
30 posted on 05/08/2012 6:33:54 PM PDT by adorno
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To: adorno

Whatever the old label was, denoted that clearly without being pedantic. Now I just rename the damn thing “Local Machine” and I’m happy.


31 posted on 05/08/2012 7:22:09 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Lee N. Field
Using 12.04, hate Unity. Loving Gnome 3 with Cairo, it does exactly what I want. With 11.10 the Geany development environment would eat many cycles even when minimized, clearly buggy. That is now fixed and everything seems much snappier.

Been thinking about looking at Mint though, with all the buzz from the Unity Hate Club being focused there. I'll drop it in a VM box, (hoping that it works better than trying to drop XP into same box expecting to be able to use USB, so sad).

I, for one, welcome our new FondleSlab Overlords /.

32 posted on 05/08/2012 8:10:15 PM PDT by Mycroft Holmes (<= Mash name for HTML Xampp PHP C JavaScript primer)
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To: for-q-clinton
> This is a joke of an article Right? I mean it’s so onesided you can just put a big * by the whole thing and say...all this can be ignored.

Good idea, please ignore it. Bye! :)

33 posted on 05/09/2012 6:47:04 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: ShadowAce
Linux-wise, I've used a mix of Fedora, CentOS, and Ubuntu desktops for a decade and found I had to revert to using Windows and Mac desktops because that's where the required GUI apps for my work are. (sigh) My Linux boxes (which slightly outnumber the others) are all text-only commandline now, accessed over SSh with X11Forwarding on; I can call up X11 for individual apps if needed, from a shell xterm.

So far, I have found one thing I like about Win8. The default dark-blue-green background color (as shown in the posted screenshots here) is more or less identical to the color I've used for many years as my Windows desktop -- plain background color. I find it very relaxing and easy on the eyes compared to the lurid blues of XP or the swoopy-loopy Vista/7 Aero stuff.

Good on them for picking a nice color.

Other than that, my only concern is whether I can force Win8 to present a simple Win2K-like desktop with small meaningful icons of consistent size. If so, fine. If not, I have no use for it and will stick with Win7 until Win9 comes out to correct this apparent mistake.

34 posted on 05/09/2012 7:08:49 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: Lee N. Field
HA! I was just about to post the same. Was also thinking about DESQview.

Depressing. So many pixels, so little information. May as well use ASCII text for how meaning-free the icons are. And that goes for BOTH Win8 and Ubuntu!

What do we see on that Metro screen?
Store, with an "8". 8 what? there's enough room there to express the nature of each of those 8 things.
Xbox LIVE Games. What games? completion status of each perhaps?
Photos. Plenty of room there to run multiple slideshows of recent pics.
Calendar. So tell me already what's coming up next and what's important to plan for!
Maps. Surely it knows where I am, so show me at least a stylized version of that, not some meaningless stylized version of nowhere in particular.
Internet Explorer. Cue the trumpets, we've got the circle-e icon! bah. Show minimized versions of my favorite few, so clicking in that box brings up one.
Messaging. Oh that looks happy. Not. Surely something meaningful can be displayed in that space.
People. Uh, OK. People. Who?
Video. Like Photos, show clips of popular/likely stuff. Give me CONTENT!
Mail. How many unread? total inbox size? Which inboxes are there?
Pinball FX2. Wait...11 icons in, we find something that's not minimalist-white-on-garish-color? Jarring. And meaningless too, showing nothing useful about the game.
Solitaire. Could ya hint at which "solitaire" it is?
Desktop. Wait, what? isn't that what I'm looking at? And what's up with the fish? (does it at least swim for my amusement?)
Weather. You mean I have to tap/click on that just to get what should already be showing there? Temp, forecast, warnings, etc. should just be there.
Camera. Maybe that icon is enough. Aw 'cmon, can't you show me something useful there?
Xbox Companion. 4 diagonal icons away from a related icon?

And you, Ubuntu, are showing just as much nothing.

I'm not calling for cluttering the screen with irrelevancies, but there are ways of slick expressions of meaningful information with a resulting display that feels just as clean and simple as these information-devoid displays.

Millions of pixels, and nothing more to show than Deskmate on a TRS-xyz.

35 posted on 05/09/2012 7:47:36 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: for-q-clinton

but WHEN do the windows 8 phones come out? I understand a cell phone providers are taking a wait and see on the win 8 phones. It just seems to feed the wait for the next phone loop.


36 posted on 05/09/2012 8:00:49 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: adorno
How popular can GNOME 2.x have been if the total user base for the whole Linux family is around 1%? So, a fraction of 1% would make it popular? How about providing context/perspective for what is being talked about?

This is a strange criticism. I hear all the time about popular music, and yet how many people actually listen to that music regularly? How often? What size is their collection, and how eclectic? On a planet of 7 billion we are expected to believe that selling a few hundred thousand copies of a song, or a book, or whatever else is reasonably popular. A few million and it is very popular. And yet we are talking about tiny percentages. Do you protest these assertions of popularity on such grounds?

Sorry, Charlie, most people on the planet will be sticking with Windows 7 or Windows 8 when it comes out.

Likely true, and after they surf the internet many of them will also go out and eat a McDonald's hamburger. What of it? McDonald's is undeniably popular, on a mass scale such as you seem to insist on, and yet it hardly denotes quality. And the preference of the general population doesn't diminish that other sort of popularity which exists among a smaller more select population which takes more interest in the real quality of what they consume or use. The constant and unassailable popularity of McDonald's convinces me of nothing. I am much more interested in the opinions of people who care about how their food tastes.

37 posted on 05/09/2012 9:00:30 AM PDT by cothrige
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To: longtermmemmory

ATT is all about Windows Phone 7. I believe Windows Phone 8 comes out this fall/winter and Verizon is saying they will jump onboard at that time.

Verizon loses money on iPhone and ATT takes 23 months to make up what it costs them to sell an iPhone. Carriers hate the iPhone, but they have to carry it because consumers want it. Verizon dumped a ton of money in android, but they are spooked now that google is buying motorola, so they now want Microsoft to be a viable alternative.

Once Verizon gets onboard with a real windows phone you’ll see the numbers take off.


38 posted on 05/09/2012 9:45:11 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: cothrige

Talk about strange criticism!

Your defense and analogies of Linux doesn’t change the fact that, Linux is still a very tiny percentage of usage for computer OSes. You also can’t change the fact that, a fraction of a tiny percentage is even more tiny. Tiny does not equal popularity in the bigger picture of OS usage, and even a tinier percentage of the tiny OS, does not equal “popular”. Like I said, things need to be put into proper perspective. No matter how one wants to look at it, Linux is quite irrelevant in the PC marketplace, and a tiny percentage that a distro occupies in that Linux ecosystem, is even more irrelevant.

Sorry, Charlie, facts are still facts, no matter what spin anyone wants to put on them.


39 posted on 05/10/2012 6:20:40 AM PDT by adorno
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To: adorno
Sorry, but that makes no sense and changes nothing about what I said. 7 billion people in the world, and fragments of a percent are counted as popular. I have never heard anyone ever argue that Miles Davis is not a popular jazz musician because of the small percentage of people who listen to his music worldwide. Such a statement is just silly. He is popular among jazz devotees and that is the audience that is relevant to discussions about him. Gnome 2 is also popular, among free software advocates and users, and that audience is the only relevant one to a discussion of those desktops. And those are the facts. Good grief.
40 posted on 05/10/2012 7:47:46 PM PDT by cothrige
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To: cothrige

Look, you can use all the statistics you want, and they’re still not relevant.

The world’s population is not a relevant statistic to use. 7 billion is not the number to look at, because, most of them don’t use computers or have the facility or know-how to use them. Perhaps you should change that number to something more reasonable, like perhaps 2 or 3 billion who have access and perhaps the ability to own and use a computer.

Then, we are talking about Linux desktop/laptop OS, not the mobile Android. Which then brings the population that is exposed to Linux to a much lesser number; perhaps 1 to 1 1/2 billion people.

Then, we’re talking about a percentage which is around 1% of the “PC” market for the number of people who actually have Linux on their computers. That brings down the number of people who might use Linux to a very tiny percentage of the number of PC users. On top of all that, the number of people who might have the Ubuntu distro is a small percentage of the 1% who do use Linux. And from that, the Unity UI is a fraction of the Ubuntu users. So, we’re down to a tiny percentage of the Linux users, and down to a microscopic percentage of PC users, and an sub-microscopic percentage of the number of people who do have computers, and beyond that, we have an imperceptible percentage of the number you like to quote, that being 7 billion people.

Like I said, it’s okay to want to defend your bias for a product or a company. That’s known as fanboyism in the industry. ZDNet is known for blowing things out of proportion, and “popular”, as they used it in the article, is very far from being the truth. And so are your comments and especially, your numbers.

BTW, I have Linux on two of my computers, and Unity is on one them. But, I’m also very practical and I’m not going to exaggerate or inflate the numbers. While I have Linux and understand it well enough to use it for most of what a PC is intended for, especially application development (which is what I do), I rarely use it. And, it’s the same with a lot of people who have downloaded and installed Linux, but use it very rarely. Having something available does not equate to usage. So, there again, Linux desktop is even less popular. Linux is the equivalent of exercise equipment which people purchase, and then it gets put in the closet permanently, for lack of usage.

And, stop using the 7 billion number. It’s quite irrelevant, and makes you sound desperate in trying to make a point.


41 posted on 05/11/2012 6:07:59 AM PDT by adorno
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To: ctdonath2
HA! I was just about to post the same. Was also thinking about DESQview.

I do remember and did use DESQview. Hot stuff in it's time, and the thing to have if you were BBS-ing. Full premptive multitasking of MS-DOS apps, on a 386 with a couple megabytes (or less) of RAM. And it handled serial port communication well, which Win 3.1 did not.

I also remember seing DESQview-X (an X server for a DOS environment) demo-ed, at Merisel's Softeach (computer reseller tradeshow, now (alas) defunct).

I guess that makes me an old farte.

42 posted on 05/11/2012 3:26:57 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: Wurlitzer
> The huge RAM requirement is for audio samples in a Virtual Pipe Organ application

Would that be Hauptwerks? I knew nothing about them before I read your post & did some Googling. Downloaded the free trial and it is AWESOME!

As far as anything audio on modern Windows, good luck.
I couldn't even record audio from my vst’s, I had to go out and buy an Asus Xonar just to do that. You might be able to run the M-Audio software in xp compatibility mode, but...?

The problems with modern Windows and audio are such that I'm tempted to just give in and get a Mac/ Its almost at the point that one buys the hardware to get to play with the software.

At a guess, based on your Freeper name, you've got the Theater Organ emulator? Had a chance to hear one live a few years back, wow.

43 posted on 05/14/2012 12:24:57 AM PDT by ADemocratNoMore (Jeepers, Freepers, where'd 'ya get those sleepers?. Pj people, exposing old media's lies.)
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To: ADemocratNoMore

Thanks for the reply! Yes Hauptwerks is the main program I use and it is absolutely awesome. I have a real Wurlitzer Theater organ in my home and the console can play pipes, VTPO or both. The latest offering by Paramount and their 4 manual 50 rank VTPO for Hauptwerks is beyond awesome. Very close to the real thing and always in tune.

While I am not a Windows basher, it is fine for Office type applications, MACs pay a lot more attention to audio IMO.

I, unfortunately, have a program I wrote in VB6 which, handles a bunch of communication between the PC and the micro-controller (8 cpu cores for real multitasking) for my organ console which, can control 1000+ real pipes or the Virtual Theater Pipe Organ programs. The VB program also displays my entire library of sheet music 2 pages up at a time.

The MAC option may be the best but it will involve at bare minimum, converting the VB6 program I wrote to RealBasic.

As I wrote the VB and the micros assembly programs I should be able to handle such a conversion albeit at a cost significantly higher than Windows. However, given how much I have invested already the cost differential is minimal.


44 posted on 05/14/2012 4:14:42 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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