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
  • TS

    An interesting comparison and some good points made. Just a small whiff of bias though 😉

  • Alexandre

    Sorry, but Open Office is a peice of shit, try to open a MS document, you’ll get the text, but most of the formatting will have serious problems…

    Best thing to do is to get CodeWeavers to run Microsoft Office in Ubuntu.

    • Benson

      I agree. Open Office is a P.O.S. It’s as bad as MS Office now. This was not always the case, the first releases were quite good. They just became the same monster they tried to compete with- (MS Office)

      It used to be leaner, more stable, simpler(in a good way), more intuitive, etc.. Now in its insane pursuit to “out Microsoft Microsoft,” all of that is gone.

    • Guntherkrause

      What if I said MS Office was a piece of shit and it had bad formatting?

      • Gabriel

        i’d call bs

  • conualfy

    I quite disagree that you don’t have good programming tools in Windows. There are lots of professional tools you can use.

    You could compare some other useful things also:

    1. memory usage (Ubuntu is better)
    2. startup times (don’t know for sure)
    3. drivers compatibility (windows drivers are easier to find; Ubuntu usually will detect your harware without any problem; I was pleasantly surprised to see that the mobile usb internet stick (RDS Digi.Mobil) was a lot easier and faster to install in my Ubuntu 11.4)
    4. file copy test: make some tests with a) a large file b) more medium-sized files c) lots of small files
    and copy them in Windows and Ubuntu, them compare the times.

    Ubuntu is a good Linux distribution, quite easy to use and fast. There are things Ubuntu is better than Windows for sure, and there are others where Windows is better. I think each should use both and chose after working on both for a while. BTW: I think Google has a big role in promoting Linux, as they make software for Linux too and they support development of open source software.

    • http://www.sudobits.com rkjha

      Hi Conualfy,
      Thanks a lot..I’ve just added some of your points!

  • rider skn

    even i think that everybody should use both windows and ubuntu to get the best out of them

  • Gautam

    A linux lover has written this article. too much insult of windows.
    Well DONE :) I like the points

    • http://www.sudobits.com rkjha

      Hmm… :)

    • Vishal

      Windows is a bloatware!!!!!!!

  • Bijoy

    Obviously RKJha is an avid ubuntu enthusiast. :) But I too support ubuntu for the reasons mentioned in the comparison. Would love to know how usb and bluetooth work with ubuntu. Seems a bit slow, but not sure if it is my pc/usb port. Been using ubuntu for the last 1.5 years and before that windows 95, 98, and xp for over 10 years. I must admit that once I switched to ubuntu, it took some time for me to understand the OS and get used to it. After that I kicked out Windows from my pc. I agree with what some people have mentioned here, use both for a while and then decide. Unless you are a gaming freak, most probably you will end up using ubuntu as your primary OS. The only issue that I have faced with ubuntu is the lack of good games in it. The best part is, if you need a software to do something, you can be sure that it is available free of cost. The bonus is NO VIRUSES!!!!! Have not used an antivirus or searched for keygens or cracks for the last 1.5 years! :)

    • http://www.sudobits.com rkjha

      hi Bijoy,
      Thanks a lot! for sharing your experience with us ..
      Have Fun! with Ubuntu! :)

  • http://goodusers.co.cc sinatria

    Ubuntu is so stable for me, i use ubuntu for working, make a document, make a picture, and so on. Music n Film too.. i use Ubuntu 10.04 Lts.. until now i still have support for upgrade all my application… so don’t be doubt to use ubuntu.. it freeeeeeeee…

  • Sam

    The only reason i choose to install ubuntu for personal use is not having to pay for it. However when I switch to Windows, it feels like getting back home after having a long and tiring getaway… Linux is good when run as a server, but for desktop usage, Windows is always one step ahead…

    • http://www.sudobits.com rkjha

      Hello Sam, you are not the only one who think like that – Actually the main problem :) with Ubuntu is that –

      (1) it’s Free of Cost,Most of the human don’t really give proper attention to something which is completely free, with respect to something (e.g windows) for which they have to pay a lot.

      (2) You can’t feel like Home (as you said) on Ubuntu just within a few hours or days; it may takes up to a month (or may be few months) to understand the real power/features of Ubuntu. So my point is that – when a window user suddenly enters into a Linux based system such as Ubuntu then they just don’t understand “what can I do? with Ubuntu“; and of course it requires some time and patience to explore that.

      Have Fun! :)

  • Rajat

    See this too: http://wp.me/p1C21n-I

  • walentaz

    Just have tried Ubuntu 11.04 and I’m disappointed. First of all, I use my PC mainly for internet (surf, chat), listening to music, watching movies and once in a while i play some game. So:
    1. Internet – everything would be OK if not flash video playback issue on Ubuntu (mainly in full screen).
    2. Listening to music – on windows I’m using AIMP2 (winamp-like player) mainly because of tabbed playlist and easy switching between them. Didn’t find alternative in Ubuntu and running it with wine was buggy.
    3. Watching movies. On windows, I’m using GOMplayer, which supports overlay subtitles (better quality of subtitles and having them always below the movie on separate layer). Because I’m from Poland, most movies I watch with subtitles (sometimes it’s to hard to clearly understand everything in English). I didn’t find any player for Ubuntu that supports overlay subtitles.

    Also I don’t care about boot/shutdown time, price (have win7 oem with notebook), security (know how to protect from viruses, never had them cause me a trouble). So basically I don’t see where Ubuntu could be better for me than win7. Few days, when I was trying Ubuntu, gave me a headache. A lot of thing didn’t work as I wanted, couldn’t find good alternatives (because of its lack), and I was just wasting time, because in the end I have realized, that Ubuntu just can’t meet my expectations.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKEF3US77WKQMABDJ73D3QCCLM Burns You

      Try vlc media player and as for the rest you must be just lazy have EVERYTHING WORKS RIGHT IN UBUNTU 11.04. Also installed on several friends and family computers and they love it .. Had to install flash , java  vlc for them and everything WORKS. They as well as I prefer it over windows 7 and if you ever own vista you would feel like shooting yourself had it on 2 laptops and downgraded to xp . 
       Now its ubuntu 11 on everything.
      There is nothing better than plugging in a printer in ubuntu and it just WORKS ..try that with windows.. Easy to set up wireless printers in ubuntu just google it and a few copy and paste in the terminal had my 2 wireless printers working.
      Windows are for lazy non wanting to learn people.

      • Anonymous

        Because someone doesn’t take 8 hours to fix a small problem you call them lazy?! I have the one of the most common printers on the market (kodak) and it wouldn’t work on ubuntu no matter how hard I tried. I like to learn new things and solve problems but sometimes its nice to install something without having to learn a programming language! EVERYTHING SEEMS TO FAIL ON UBUNTU!

        • Andrew

          I’m sorry, but I don’t know how you can say that. I installed Ubuntu, and as soon as I looked up in the corner I saw the wireless automatically connect, printed test page just fine, and the webcam installed with one click! I have no idea how you can say that everything fails on Ubuntu!

        • gobby

          “EVERYTHING SEEMS TO FAIL ON UBUNTU!”  Wrong!  I just reinstalled win 7 on my PC with MSI mobo and there was NO DRIVERS for my NIC! I installed good old ubuntu 11.10 and viola!  When you use a T Mobile broadband dongle with a win-based system you have to install the software (dashboard) to get Internet access.  In ubuntu you plug it in, select T mobile uk and viola! 

          • Glayvorkia

            That is one thing about the Ubuntu 11.10 and Mint..I don’t have to hunt for a driver disc….IT”S IN LINUX Already!!!

      • Drt

        “you must be just lazy”    I’d have to agree

        He has two choices:

        1) he uses win7 and everything works out of the box (allegedly) and watches it eat resources and gradually slow to a halt as his registry a night mare (careful with them reg-cleaners now lol)
        2) he uses ubuntu, spends a little time getting it set up correctly and to his liking, and it works, period!

        • Glayvorkia

          And do not forget about the New full Mint..it is an awesome alternative t Ubuntu 11.10(no windows Vista..I’m too old for those headaches any more)

  • Mark

    Obviously, RKJHA is a very big Ubuntu supporter. It’s not difficult to see that this post is very biased.

    • Anonymous


  • krish

    Sorry mate – this is just a comparison between ubuntu and windows and a very generalized one at that. Was expecting more specifics.

  • http://toadermircea.eu Toader Mircea

    Dude, this is just wrong.
    You can’t just draw a line and say windows 7 is a piece of ****. I’m using both and need them both.
    Windows 7 for work, I need XAMPP, Photoshop CS5 and NP++ (and a few other windows only software), you simply can’t replace photoshop/illustrator/corel with gimp/inkscape/xara. I use ubuntu server and lamp on my home(made) server and i’m just getting along with both.

    • Sloth

      Xampp exists for linux to

      • Anonymous

        Of course yes!… but it is called LAMP(Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP) …and this combination is far better (and of course more popular) than XAMP (the windows version of LAMP).

  • Himanshu

    can i run ubuntu through my usb flash disk ? would it cause any problems? or i should use smaller one’s like slax?

    • http://www.sudobits.com rkjha

      of course you can Mr. Himansu!, just create a bootable pen-drive and take it any where you want, but I would recommend you to give it a try (by installing it on your harddrive you can do install it along with your existing operating system such as Windows Vista/Xp/7 )

      Have Fun :) with Ubuntu!

  • Darkstar

    I think its all on what the user wants. Windows 7 may be awesome for some whereas Ubuntu may be awesome for others. Truthfully I think its all on what you want out of your system and what you want to use it for. I think all this comparison crap is just hype, it really means nothing in the real world. Everyone will use what they love. Now just to throw my own lil twist in here. I personally have a love for Linux as a whole. But I also have to say that Microsoft did a nice job with Windows 7 as well. For me Windows 7 is a gaming platform though, Linux has potential in that. My pick overall would be Ubuntu cause I am a big Linux fanboy. Personally though, I never try to convert anyone cause I truly believe to each their own. Use what you love and what you enjoy.

  • Gilbert

    well, i have just been to the comments above….and am going to download and install ubuntu right away! I will be able to share my ubunt uxperience after sometime.

  • Prashant

    Hello guys by this comparsion i think ubuntu is much better…………………………………………….R.K. Jha can plz tell me how to install ubuntu on usb and how it works(step by step plz)…………



  • Saeed Akhtar Awan

    Hi, Microsoft Windows 7 is the most reliable and efficient OS of all times and no other OS anywhere in the world is comparable to it. I’ve used Windows 98, ME, XP, VISTA but when it comes to Windows 7 there is no way we can think about any other OS to use in the personal computers. It is the most secure and fast OS i’ve ever seen over all the OS i’ve used in the past. First of all it’s efficient processor usage, it’s intelligently designed look, it’s working, data transfer, downloading, security, encryption of files, parental lock feature and specially options to keep your data more secure are incredible features of this operating system. When we talk about OS whether its Ubuntu, MAC OS X Snow Leopard or whatever, there is no competition with Windows.

    East & West, Windows is the Best.

  • Lodmot

    I have a desktop computer which I built, and this is the honest truth– ever since I put window7 on it, I’ve always had problems with it. Blue screens every 20 minutes of use, pops and clicks in my surround sound setup, and constant explorer crashes. As soon as i began using ubuntu, I’ve had none of that happening ever again, and the thing runs so much nicer now. That’s amazing…

    • Garth

      B..b..b..bullshit, you must not know how to fix a computer, probably something wrong with your hardware. The ‘Blue Screen’ only occurs if there is a hardware problem.

      • Akhil Ratnadas

        i agree with lodmot……………..i was experencing the same trouble with my windows now i turned ubuntu 10.10 and works everything fine

  • Gill Bates

    Add performance.  If you compare speed of file download, database I/O, or any other application performance, Linux is much better.  Also, most people use what they know, and would rather learn where Windows 7 rearranged their icons (over XP or Vista), over the (overrated) intimidating “switch to Linux”.  Personally, I’m disappointed w/ Ubuntu 11.04.  But 10.10 is still better than any Windows OS; and its not even close to the abortion of Vista & cost associated to that.  Overall, Ubuntu allows a USB install to coexist w/ Windows (dualboot), so you can have both as needed.  Try putting Windows on a Linux box  it wont work