It seems like there are millions of Windows Vs Mac pages debating the topic, and now I have decided to write my own which I hope you will find helpful, though I have decided to add in Ubuntu’s latest release 8.10 to make things interesting.
Firstly, lets start with ever controversial Windows Vista. When I first saw Vista, I must admit, I thought wow, this is much neater. Sadly, that was only the interface, and not much else. One thing that Windows can rely on, is its business tools and the world-wide support, as other than that I cannot understand why so many people like it. Sure, gaming is better supported, but asides from that market, the high demand for Windows can surely not last, unless Windows 7 is a great improvement. The entering of my assurance many a time that installing software will not harm my computer, followed by the delay in the time from plugging in of a USB flash drive to availability of use, are two of my greatest dislikes of the operating system.However, my feeling is, overall that Windows should be used for only two things, gaming, and business…everything else, can be left to Mac/Linux.
Linux is a complicated chapter of modern day computers, with most people not knowing much about it, and some linking it with a Penguin. To help bring some clarity to the Linux world, Ubuntu has come along with its latest release, 8.10.
Now my history with Linux is not an amazing one, it is merely a few weeks old, though during that time I cannot say that it has been all that easy for a first timer wanting to fully install it on a machine. Now talking from scratch knowledge of any Linux software, I downloaded the Ubuntu 8.10-i386.iso from the Ubuntu site. This was all good and well, and once the download of 699MB finished, I burnt it to disk assuming that was the case. Be warned, you need software to burn a disk image to a disk, not just the disk image as a file. Once I corrected my ways, this now worked. I inserted the disk, and just as should happen, the screen displayed the option to install Ubuntu, or try it from disk.
Fair enough I thought. I clicked install and it begun doing its thing. Now baring in mind that most people do not wish to fully install Linux on all of their hardrive, the developers kindly give you the option of using a partition, or fully installing. I begun to think I’ll install Ubuntu on one of the hardrives, I had two in the machine and selected the smaller one. I was then told that this can’t be done for a reason I could make no sense of. Not too reluctantly however, I decided to let Ubuntu own my whole PC.
This installation was done rather effectively and I was beginning to get mightely pleased. Though now, of course, like most people, the first thing you need it an internet connection to be made. After looking a bit, I found a networking configuration option, selected DSL and put in my settings, and nothing happened. This is a huge frustration, especially compared to the ease at which Mac seems to almost figure out the connection for you.
Though admitingly, besides my few, lets say beginner mishaps, I am impressed. Ubuntu, with a few more user friendly improvements, could easily challenge Windows and Apple, and with its free pricetag, I am sure in the not to distant future it will begin to more and more.
Apple of late has only improved its position as a world force in the OS market, as this artical shows. Aggressive advertising campaigns seemed to have worked, as well as moving into new markets that seem only empressed at the new option. Apple has managed to find the balance of fun and productivity and put in a package that is easy to use.
Many of the complaints about the OS is firstly its price (though if one is to compare what you get, you’ll often find it is quite a fair offer), and secondly its compatibility (which is more of a false rumour than fact). I have been a Mac ‘fanboy’ for nearly a year, and am not regretting switching to it at all, as everything I need Windows for, can simply be done by installing Windows on my Apple using the wonderful tool that is BootCamp. Some more praise can head its way in the fact that everything works out the box, it comes with trail software, it is easy to learn about the OS, and the support is incredible.
To simplify matters:
|Windows Vista||Ubuntu 8.10||Mac OSX|
|Interface||Large improvement on XP.||4||Gnome is attractive. Misses sleekness.||3||Amazing||5|
|Ease of use||Many options. Too technical.||2||Command console is not average user friendly.||1||Simple and logical layout.||5|
|Gaming||99% supported.||5||Very few “good” games available for purchase.||1||Some games, but not a very wide choice.||2|
|Upgrading||Many options of OS.||4||Easy online upgrade.||5||One package per upgrade.||5|
|Hardware Support||Everything good, except USB’s take long to load.||5||Some drivers need downloading and installing.||2||Quick plug-and-play. Few downloads for plugins needed.||5|
|Software Support||Almost everything is made for Windows.||5||Mostly open-source software like Mozilla, OO.org etc.||1||Main ones supported.||4|
|Business||Great choice.||5||Many open-source alternatives.||4||Great choice.||5|