Blog Talk: Vista Vs. Ubuntu

In July, eWeek Labs Senior Analyst Jason Brooks reviewed the latest build of Microsofts Vista, 5472, and Ubuntu LTS 6.06. Brooks said he found Vista to be progressing nicely, although Build 5472 made no huge changes to the next-generation operating system. However, he liked Ubuntu LTS 6.06 well enough to give it an Analysts Choice award and to call it his current favorite desktop Linux distro.

Shortly after both reviews had been posted on, Brooks posted a blog pondering the similarities and differences between the two operating systems. The responses were numerous and passionate and were almost entirely from the Ubuntu/Linux/open-source side of the fence. Weve published some of the discussion below; you can read the entire thread, including thoughts on how Ubuntu can make you sexier, at


… Once Vista RTMs, no matter what we have to say about all the new flashiness that the OS will deliver, the products most important advantage will be that Vista will work better with other Microsoft dominant applications and protocols than rivals such as Ubuntu may ever manage.


So, no matter what, Windows is the winner because it supports legacy Windows software better? I dont think so. We all know how Windows locks in customers, forcing them to spend lots of money on upgrades, not legacy.


I just loaded Ubuntus latest release. It gets my vote. With this release came instant use from the equipment with very little user baby-sitting during install. Microsoft has a place, but the world will like Linux after the apps get better.


I have begun to deploy Ubuntu on last-generation hardware, complete with printers and NICs. In one fell swoop, I managed to get four smoking current user workstations with … essentially all the applications we have been brainwashed into thinking we need for ZERO dollars.


We switched over all our servers AND workstations from Windows to Ubuntu (Dapper) about six weeks ago. The motivation was security—despite commercial firewalls and auto-updating anti-virus software, we continually found key loggers and viruses on the systems, probably there via IE or Outlook Express.


I need Photoshop. I cant live without it. Plus, I also use a number of other Windows photo-related programs. If I could run all my Windows software on Linux, I would gladly do so, but, that is not the case!


To respond to the title of the blog article "Vista vs. Ubuntu," I think that, yes, Ubuntu does represent a threat to Vista, but perhaps not yet. Actually, its not Ubuntu per se, but Linux and BSD in all forms.

Average Reader

When I first saw Vista beta, I thought to myself: "Wow, now heres a sweet KDE ripoff!"


Im a systems administrator, and I just installed 6.06 in my office with a Windows domain. Im not seeing any turning back.


Maybe for business use you can compare, but the large portion of Vistas initial market is going to be home users. Can Ubuntu serve the home user better than Vista? Not if youre a gamer or an avid user of "Windows Only" applications.


This is like 1999 all over. Just replace "Ubuntu" and "Vista" with "Corel Linux" and "Windows 2000." Microsoft wont be losing its firm grip to any Linux distro any time soon. The only company I can see pulling this off in the next 10 years would be Apple.


Do any of you think that anyone other than we few of the extreme geek club even know that Ubuntu exists?


For all those people who cannot live without their Photoshop, try Ubuntu and load "Wine" onto it.

Jd, sys. admin

If Microsoft ever chooses to unbundle ActiveX from the Windows OS (which I dont see happening all too soon), then Windows has a chance to regain market share.


If any Linux distro is going to make a serious effort at challenging Vista, it has to drop the entire RPM/package model and lowercase dashed identifier thing. Basically, the OS has to be "dumbed down."


The majority of comments are always about the good news about Ubuntu (Linux) and the bad news about Vista (Windows). My point of view is both have their place. Ubuntu, for those dedicated folks who believe that free and open should guide the computing world, and Vista, for those who demand more from their computers and are willing to pay for it.


Why wont any form of Linux overtake Windows in the foreseeable future? Because it is not being preinstalled on hardware for consumers and because very few of the name-calling Linux aficionados are really doing much to get it installed in the business world.

Rambo Tribble

The biggest obstacle facing Linux remains hardware vendors failure to provide drivers. … The second biggest obstacle is, of course, supporting Windows apps. Inertia is always difficult to overcome.


A few years ago, at my Fortune 500 company, we reworked several of our major engineering development systems around portable development environments. We learned our lesson from the VAX—dont write one-OS applications. Rather, plan ahead for the DEC-ization of Microsoft.

B. Goodman

Well, once Ubuntu gets pre-loaded on 90 percent of PCs sold, beginning in February 2007, itll be a force to be reckoned with! Oh, wait, I dont think thats Ubuntu after all.