Ubuntu 11.04 vs Windows 7

Whether you are an Ubuntu user or a Windows user, this post is aimed to compare Ubuntu 11.04 with Windows 7 in every aspects… So let’s start a positive debate between them. Your view/idea is very important for this discussion so add your opinion through comments.

I ‘ve been using Ubuntu on my computer, from the last 2.4 years (Although I started with Windows Vista, and now I am using Windows 7 in triple boot mode, along with Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) and 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) ), and I don’t Windows in general (exceptional case : like playing games). There are lot of reasons why prefer Ubuntu over Windows or any other operating system, and of course you will notice few of them, in the comparison table.

Update 1 : Two new rows added !

Update 2 : Two more rows added! (Thanks to Conualfy for his/her comment!)

Points Ubuntu 11.04 Windows 7
Control Since Ubuntu is an open source software, you can customize it as you want..There is no limit on the level of customization because the source code is available to use as you want (under GPL). it’s an proprietary software so forget about the source code and full customization.
Cost it’s completely free to use and distribute! Not free! No way, how can you think of that ?
Fun Ubuntu is complete fun! probably due to fact that there is always something new and exciting thing/stuffs try, just for Fun! You will get bored because there is lack of new things, so it feels like ‘got trapped in a box’.
Learning Ubuntu or any other Linux based Distros is excellent from learning point of view, specifically recommended for those who are interested in learning about modern Operating Systems (OS) and want to understand how it works. Forget about that, it doesn’t make any sense here.
Security/Virus STOP!!!  Ubuntu or any Linux based OS are virus free!, because it doesn’t work on the Ubuntu platform (probably due to the reason that most of the viruses were targeted to Windows and GNU/Linux is secure by default) so using ubuntu means that we are entering into the Virus free zone. Virus is one of the greatest threat to Windows based OS..and some one said – Windows and Security do not appear together – in a single sentence.
Diversity There is always new things waiting to try – e.g if you don’t like Gnome desktop, try something different such as KDE or XFCE or LMDE etc..it’s very flexible or in other words – modular. It has some desktop optimized for old hardwares while on the other hand you can enjoy 3D desktop effects with your new computer and graphics Card. There is nothing new on this side! choose something from the Menu and go on!!
Softwares A lot of free and open source software are available right there – in the Software Center or package Manager; just select and install in moments. Whether you are a student learning – “how to program” or a developer (desktop based software or web Apps), Ubuntu has better compiler (GCC, G++ etc), IDE(Eclipse, NetBeans), editors (gedit), Terminal (Bash) and all the tools you need. For programmers the apps are good but most common desktop applications – open office, Evolution Mail etc. sucks! Some proprietary softwares are good such as – Microsoft Visual compiler/IDE, Windows Live Writer, Microsoft word,One Note, Adobe Photoshop etc, but you can get an equivalent open source software for Ubuntu. E.g Gimp instead of Photoshop, Open Office in place of MS Word etc. In short, Windows has better commonly used Applications but a lack of programming tools and Apps. Windows Console sucks! (On the other hand bash Terminal is far better, powerful and Fun!)
Ease of Use GNU/Linux has very bad reputation if we consider this point (probably due to the fact that initially Linux based OS were used by only geeks who couldn’t think about non technical users), although Ubuntu is the most simple and easy to use – Linux based distro, it is difficult (for common desktop users) to use as compare to windows 7. File permission, root … irritates a lot to a normal desktop user. Windows 7 is very simple to use! as compare to Ubuntu 11.04 or any other Linux based distro.
Stability Ubuntu 11.04 or any other version of Ubuntu has very high frequency of releasing new versions which makes it very unstable and there are always a lot of crappy bugs waiting to fix. so it doesn’t seem  -  suitable for production/personal environment, even though LTS (Long Term Support) versions can be used in production environment. Windows 7 is very stable as compare to Ubuntu 11.04, so well suitable for production environment.
Drivers Compatibility Ubuntu has a lot of compatibility problems when it comes to device drivers e.g Graphics Card drivers, Webcam drivers… All device manufacturers releases the driver software for Windows 7 so there is no compatibility issue in this case.
Start Up Time Much Faster! Slower
  • Anon

    Wow, man, thanks for this balanced review!

  • messam malik

    Although Ubuntu is a good operating system but when it comes to gaming performance Windows is the best choice………
    But still Ubuntu is not that bad…

  • Short and Simple

    No driver problems here at all with my linux (ubuntu 11.04), earlier releases are a pain in the ass though.

    Linux Not Sutiable for gaming upset if you really wanna go through the trouble of setting up Wine (not to difficult though)

    –On the lines of stability, my ubuntu has always ran fast no matter what i put on it, windows on the other hand will slow down after a month easily, only time ive had to reinstall the current version of ubuntu due to speed issues was when my laptop dropped and my hard disk got bad sector (ooops).

    To Lolrus:

    new version of ubuntu is much better than previous // not much need for terminal due to the new set up that will allow you to download just by typing in what you want and hit download… (i liked the terminal way much better)..

    Anyways once you try linux your drawn to it, windows is for children that need to play games.

  • GBE

    Linux is virus free. Not really true and Linux will not archive what windows does on the desktop because much of the free software is marginal at best. If your using Linux on the desktop your missing out.

  • Randal Lovelace

    OK, yeah seems that the discussion is rather biased from both sides.
    I do computer repair  – know how I get rid of Windows Virus? I boot the client computer to a USB that I have Ubuntu 11.04 and run ClamAV.
    Any idea why virus scanners fail when running under Windows (any version)? Because Windows won’t let them scan files that are ‘in use’ so to truly scan Windows – you have to do it while Windows isn’t running.

    Now as for the comparison of Windows 7 vs Ubuntu 11.04 – Windows 7 won’t run on my laptop (hardware incompatibility), Ubuntu 11.04 runs on my laptop – only one item didn’t work from initial install (the Broadcom WiFi) – though an annoyance that is not easily fixed (I choose not to fix it and opted for my USB WiFi).
    As for the claim that Libre Office sucks – hmm have to disagree, typically I find that the only issue opening MS Office files is that I may have to get the font used, though that has only happened 2x (I’ve been using Linux since 1998 – and Open Office worked generally as well).

    As for gaming – I’m not a gamer – but I know that Windows will always be better for gaming in general. This is due to game developers using DirectX, which only works in Windows (Wine and several other methods can run many of these games, but they take a hit in performance).

    As for productivity – if Linux (and especially Red Hat, Mandriva, Ubuntu variants) weren’t productive then why would so many European governments be using it exclusively?

    I don’t dislike Windows – I actually like XP Pro SP3 – ran it as a dual boot for years. I don’t care as much for Vista, and to me 7 is bloated and seems to not work well with hard ware that is only a few years old (this laptop for example is only 4 years old).

    So, overall I prefer Linux, yes… however I don’t discount that Windows has tons of pay for software to enhance its user experience (such as Games and 2D / 3D creating software)… but Linux does have access to many of these – maybe not the newest latest versions, but Linux users are patient – seriously.

    As for community – Linux users world wide is not as large as Windows users – no doubt, so many computers were sold with OEM installs of Windows that it’s just amazing that anyone uses Linux at all.

    But then again – I can install Linux on PC or Mac (even the old PPC Macs)… (oh right but Linux isn’t supposed to compatible with hardware… really?)

    Just my 2 cents on the subject.

  • LovingWindows7

    Article seems biased towards Ubuntu. My Windows 7 install boots to active desktop in less than 20 seconds whereas Ubuntu takes 40+ seconds to active desktop.

    • LovingWindows7

      And don’t even get me started on Windows 8, where I get to Metro UI in 3.7 seconds from cold boot.

      • Roshane Ishara Fernando

        woah… for some users windows 7 might be alright .. But for  me , LINUX
        is just awesome … Because the real power of Linux lies on the
        Terminal not in the GUI… LINUX teaches you to think Deeply !!!… I
        agree windows has a nice GUI ,but underneath it’s all about BUGS …
        Windows is good for you not for the HACKERS !!… 99% of the
        Supercomputers run Unix and LINUX , do you know it?? wt if you use
        windows for those supercomputers ?? all servers will be fucked up coz
        windows has totally a fucked up code…. can u ever install windows for a
        Web server or email server ?? haha… yeah probably you can install
        windows for a server but the thing is , viruses will shit on the windows
        source code …. lolz.. IT”S DE END OF WINDOWS AND BILL GATES !!
        REST IN PEACE BILL GATES !!
        This
        is for You all WIndows guys : Keep in mind that::  BUTTONS AND MOUSE
        POINTERS ARE FOR IDIOTS … LINUX ARE FOR HACKERS and
        PROFESSIONALS.. 

  • Anthonystarkland

    I’ve read the majority of the posts on this page…  You are all correct.  Every one of you.  Look to your left and right, yeah, they suck.  I got the windows 7 error that told me that my HP wouldn’t install correctly and I got the Ubuntu 11.10 error stating that my new harddrive was about to fail.  I also had the linux mint appIndicator:bar error that rendered my goto button a wait-here.  Oh, my little Debian, crashing upon first INSTALL.  From experience, dude was right, linux is a joke.  From experience, chick is more than correct, Windows is a giant bug.  Can we say it together?  Mine is better than yours :)

  • Redcon

    i have no problem comparing the 2 but as soon as i read your comparison the first few lines showed me it was a joke

  • reality

    You give the very reason Linux is on 1% of desktops it’s geek only the average person want a tool not a toy.

  • Elendilm

    Whoever said linux is not stable is a real A*.
    There are servers with linux running continuosly(without even turning off) for more than 15 YEARS without crashing.
    100% of  the supercomputers use the linux kernel. 99% of the govt offices like militiary, national defence etc use a variant of unix or unix-like os. majority of the servers employ linux. Where the fuck is windows in this regard. All windows does is to make it easy to
    watch films(silly stuff) that too which crashes so often. And whoever thinks Internet Explorer is a good browser has never seen FIrefox.
    Also linux makes use of the power management and “condition of hardware” and runs software accordingly from personal experience.

    • Anonymous

      Who said Linux is not stable – but here we are concerned about Ubuntu, Ubuntu is a Linux based OS, and the comparison is biased towards desktop experience.

  • Dinooo

    ubuntu 11.10 with gnome shell 3 is very stable and fast :D 

  • Plupoli1234

    You guys are going back and forth and this issue will never bve resolved. I simply use dual-boot. Windows for games and Ubuntu for everything else! I love to be able to completely make my computing experience to my liking. Yes, it takes a little time to figure some stuff out, but I HAVE figured everything out and have EVERYTHING I need working beautifully in Ubuntu and it looks SWEET while doing it! I am a full-time student and do use Windows for certain applications such as visio, simply because I am used to it. I am definately NOT a fan of Unity however, I think one of the best aspects of Ubuntu is the Compiz Cube and other effects. As far as online activity such as facebook, messenging, etc… Ubuntu is WAY better because it pops right up on my desktop when someone posts anything on facebook or twitter so I don’t have to use my whole screen for a browser with facebook on it. My advice is, try out ubuntu and really spend some time looking into getting compiz desktop effects to run properly and finding some nice screenlets that you can use, and also customizing and you will find that the possibilities are endless and the finished product is well worth the time and energy put in to get there because it is a work of art and your friends will be amazed at how awesome it looks. Also, after using wobbly windows, compiz cube, Expo, etc… windows just feels so rigid and boring. If I am bored I can just mess around with my desktop and have a ball!!! Don’t be so fiesty and just give it a chance….it’s not like it costs you anything!!

  • Jesagon

    The ‘positive’ facts for Windows only start from 1. The rest are negative, but it’s true. The only people who think Windows is better are the ones who never tried Ubuntu for more than a minute and the ones who actually installed it, but gave the other OS on their computers more hard disk space than Ubuntu.
    I may sound like an idiot, but I really think Ubuntu is better in everything than Windows. I mean, with WINE, Ubuntu can run almost anything that needs Windows.

  • Rus166

        I don’t think this is a very good comparison, sounds more like a sales pitch….
    Anyway, I’ve been using Windows all my life, my home computer runs on Xp, have all sort of tools installed on it, including Netbeans, Eclipse and Java MDK, I’m a bit a programmer. Also I’ve never found a problem that couldn’t be solved on any of the machines I’ve used running on Windows, there’s always a patch, update, fix or workaround for ANY problem big or small.

        Now on to Linux, my work computer has Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot installed and also Windows Xp, I prefer to use Ubuntu specially ‘cos of my work (I’m with the IT crowd xD) and also ‘cos I like it, the UI has some cool graphics, multidesktop makes it easier to work with many windows and I find it fun to use the terminal (just because it looks cool). Although I have to admit at first it was hell, I had issues with my Wi-Fi, still haven’t figured out how to get the LAN printer configured and working, and Libre Ofice always makes everything sloooooooow as hell. Other than that it’s a pretty nice OS.

        I also use WIndows on the same computer, I need Visio and I haven’t tried the linux version yet (not sure if it exists) so I just use Windows. The only prob I have with Windows is (apart from the fact that I get a blue screen at the login screen once in a while, but that’s not Windows fault, I might have messed something up but not sure) is  the viruses, they’re everywhere and no matter what antivirus software I use, or how many of them I still have to go around my file system and getting rid of them myself before they get out of hand. Another important thing to mention is games, Windows is for games, Ubuntu isn’t since there are no releases of popular games for Linux based OS. 

         Also I read a comment that said that no gaming company would release a game for Linux just so that the users could demand source code and rip the company off by distributing the game for free….uuuuuh I have never ever in all my life payed a single penny to play a game, my games are worth the cost of a DVD. So I think already companies are being pretty ripped off…..

        Summing up, Linux has to get it’s game straight and fix it’s bugs and make it more user friendly, especially when installing “restricted” software.  And Windows has to stay on it’s toes or Linux will gain more ground fast. That is all :)

  • Sandeep

    You should also write about 3D games for Both OS

  • Dude

    Linux is incredible! Just works the moment you install it. It saves energy on my laptop when not plugged in. I don’t play games, but use it for school. I love being able to run PowerPoint and other Office files right on Ubuntu! LibreOffice is really nice and is so wonderful to use. It worked on my old computer perfectly. That computer used to run Windows and it was so slow. Now the computer is fast and simply works. Ubuntu is good for everything: slow computers, fast computers, productivity, and all. You can find out practically everything by searching it on the internet. Tons of helpful blogs. Unity is so gorgeous to use! Software is so easy to install! I could go on and on…. The only thing is that there are not a lot of games to play, except for online (of course).

    Have fun with Ubuntu! I’m never going back to Windows again (just started using Ubuntu a few weeks ago)!

  • Barleybetty

    What a joke- I believed in all of the stability talk and ease of use- but cannot install a simple printer-and cannot get reasons for problem; and a quite common one it seems!!!! Whats going to happen when I try to use Blue toothe mouse key board. What happened to “THE WORLD COMMUNITY” on a old issue. I feel mislead.

  • anonymous anon

    im been a windows user! but as i seen my friends all had changed to linux systems due to constant virues, constant critical updates crap, mircosoft spy ware checking ur system for authentic windows products if that be the case message error 404, internet explorer unable to show web page, or or web site security certificate is expired etc all designed to get you spend money for windows! now as for myself did not know all these facts why im a linux user & will keep on useing linux! thank all those people at linux honestly awsome pictures & resolutions! plus linux helps you learn things of computer i would never have known! windows is the same boring never ending updates & virues!

  • Morpeus

    We shouldn’t try to convert people and their beliefs – most of them can’t help it. “Windoze only users” will never get it unless they’re willing to be helped, so… this is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take
    the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe there is nothing else but Windoze . You take the red pill – you stay in
    Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.