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Windows vs. Ubuntu: Dell's New Confusing Take

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments
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Windows: for everyone but open source programmers.

Last month Dell posted a website that in no uncertain terms claimed that Ubuntu was safer than Windows.

"Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows," Dell wrote in its list of top ten things users should know about Ubuntu. "The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux."

"Linux is used on computers of all sizes ranging from the biggest to the smallest," Dell said. "If you’re the kind of person who likes your computer to simply work, Ubuntu is right for you. It’s based on stable, secure, easy-to-use software that’s been around for a long time."

For this month, Dell has corrected itself to clarify that each OS is for different types of users with differing wants and needs. Let's see what Dell says this time:

WHICH OPERATING SYSTEM SHOULD I CHOOSE ?

UBUNTU is not a Microsoft Windows operating system - and is not compatible with Microsoft Office programs - so it's important you make the right choice:

Choose WINDOWS if:

  • You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them
  • You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
  • You are new to using computers

Choose UBUNTU if:

  • You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS
  • You are interested in open source programming

So basically, people who use Windows or who have never used Windows should use Windows. You should only choose Ubuntu if you're into open source programming and so happen to require Dell's advice on which OS you want.

Display 13 Comments.
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  • -6 Hide
    shanky887614 , 21 July 2010 20:23
    rubish,
    there will be less virues aimed at ubuntu becasue it holds a small percent of the market

    if ubuntu ever became as popular as windows, it would be less secure becasue windows have thousands of people working on just security
    while linux is mainly developed by thousands of people and as such they are not as co ordinated as windows is in what it wants to do


    people only use linux e.g. ubuntu for things like programing becasue lets face it

    programing on windows is a pig becasue it hasnt got the stuff built it where linux has.
    the fact that linux is opensource means there are less limitations to the programers becasue if somehting dosnt work they can just tinker with the operatign system or the programs they are using on it becasue it is nearly all open source
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , 21 July 2010 21:00
    shanky887614lets face it programing on windows is a pig becasue it hasnt got the stuff built it where linux has


    You're clearly not a programmer - or at least I pray to God you're not, with a perception so staggeringly flawed/rubbish as that.
  • 5 Hide
    Vampyrbyte , 21 July 2010 21:30
    Bit wrong to state iTunes as a "Windows program." Looks much more like a dodgy mac port to me.
    There are also plenty of Open Source programs out there for Windows. Open Source programs tend to be multi-platform.

    I also disagree with Windows being the platform of choice for new computer users. I think Dell are forgetting that new computer users wont have any experience of either. Ubuntu is not a hard operating system to use. Considering these new users will be making a significant investment into their system, they would be better off trying Ubuntu, which is free, and if they cannot deal with it, they can buy and switch to windows after.
  • 1 Hide
    themainliner , 21 July 2010 21:48
    3 comments and two of them utterly useless, ill-informed, dribbling nonsense. "people only use linux e.g. ubuntu for things like programing [sic]" and "why should I program for Linux in the first place?" Why not just program? There are a plethora of cross platform programming languages including HTML and Java. For crying out loud...you don't need Windows to program for that platform, and you don't just use Linux to program for Linux. Moronic.

    People only use Linux for programming? I have never programmed, I'm tweaker, a fiddler, a gamer - but I don't do programming.

    Three reasons I use Ubuntu:
    1) It's easy. Really it picked all of my hardware up - out of the box. The days when Ubuntu was all hair pulling, CLI rage and archaic command line switches is over, it's been over for a long time. You can still use all that stuff, it make Linux infinitely more powerful and flexible than Windows. Or you can hid behind GUIs and relax.
    2) It's secure. This has nothing to do with viruses and the number of Windows users worldwide. Like networking, security was built into the Linux kernal from day 1 not a bolt on afterthought as in Windows.
    3) It innovates. Windows stopped innovating significantly a decade ago. Windows XP was fantastic (and is still very good). Windows 7 is limping behind developments made by other companies (like Apple) trying to use it monolith market share to muscle out competition. This about face by Dell is evidence of that. Dell gave a balanced pro-linux even, view one week and has an abrupt turnaround next week. I bet Balmer was screaming down the phone at them.

    Instead of reading Dell / Microsoft propaganda and inanely spouting it as an opinion why not follow this rule: when you don't know what you're talking about shut your mouth. Or better still why don't you simply try Linux so you have an opinion worth reading?
  • 1 Hide
    bv90andy , 21 July 2010 22:11
    kind of a cheap-shot even for Dell
  • 2 Hide
    Micropat , 21 July 2010 22:29
    My personal experience of Ubuntu is that the GUI (Gnome desktop and nautilus) is far superior to that of windows. For day to day use (for non-pc enthusiast) I think Ubuntu is well worth considering once someone isn't really tied into any windows only programs, especially when it's free. The latest LTS (10.4) worked right off the bat on my two laptops and my PC.
  • 1 Hide
    DavC , 21 July 2010 22:44
    as themainliner says, i presume Dell's sudden U-turn to favour windows can only be due to pressure or a deal from microsoft.

    it made sense for them to favour Linux, as it meant they could slash about 25% off their average computer price.
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , 21 July 2010 23:22
    I don't blame Dell for the U-turn, there's no real benefit from them providing machines with Ubuntu at all, after you subtract the additional costs in support it's going to cause them, and complaints from customers who don't understand the difference in OSes and are wondering why the hell their new computer behaves totally differently from what they're used to and wont run any of their old software.

    Basically Dell might as well say "here's Ubuntu, if you know this is the OS you want then by all means go ahead, if you're unsure then just get Windows".
  • 1 Hide
    gemmakaru , 21 July 2010 23:32
    That sux Dell, talk about a loaded choice. Dell should be ashamed of themselves. I wouldn't be put off by their warnings though, I'd chose ubuntu every time.

    FYI I use windows for programming at work because I have to and Linux at home for everything else because I have a choice.
  • 0 Hide
    zebzz , 22 July 2010 00:11
    I sort of get what Dell are trying to do and make a sort of statement for a person that is not all that familiar with the different OS platforms and instead of writing a mass article on the choice, they have made a decision that for most, the Windows platform will do all they want on it. Not saying that its the best, but its the most commonly used and therefore easy to support or even call up a friend that might have a better understanding of the windows platform. The good thing is that they are building hardware to work under Linux, that they have chosen a distro they fell happy to deploy and that people who do want something different can get it with a professionally packed and built machine.

    I would encourage more vendors like Dell to offer a service and keep with one distro like Ubuntu. This may then drive the Open source community to finally help standardise on a platform and start producing a real competition to Windows.
  • 1 Hide
    LePhuronn , 22 July 2010 01:30
    Also the fact they capitalise WINDOWS in every use of the word just makes you more aware of it. Gotta love subliminal cheap-shots.
  • 1 Hide
    Clintonio , 22 July 2010 03:08
    shanky887614rubish,there will be less virues aimed at ubuntu becasue it holds a small percent of the marketif ubuntu ever became as popular as windows, it would be less secure becasue windows have thousands of people working on just security while linux is mainly developed by thousands of people and as such they are not as co ordinated as windows is in what it wants to dopeople only use linux e.g. ubuntu for things like programing becasue lets face it programing on windows is a pig becasue it hasnt got the stuff built it where linux has. the fact that linux is opensource means there are less limitations to the programers becasue if somehting dosnt work they can just tinker with the operatign system or the programs they are using on it becasue it is nearly all open source


    That is what we say about Apple, it is actually untrue about Linux. Linux is open-source, people can see what problems it has, we can actively see where it can go wrong, due to it's opensourcenss. It can update and combat bugs faster due to community efforts, as more people use it, more developers will develop for it, and the more maintained it will be. Linux scales best in the 'security through obscurity' argument.

    In short; Even if Ubuntu is a bit holely now, if it grows, it'll play catchup faster than other OSes due to it's open source nature.

    I hope you find this informative.
  • -2 Hide
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