The thought of moving to Microsoft Vista has put many Windows users into a panic, writes Ubuntu Linux user and IT pro Fred Marsico, the chief technology officer of Quantum Mechanics R&D in Corvallis, Ore., in this guest blog post.
In trade mags and blogs, I have read about the Vista-versus-Linux issue, and it’s now my turn to say something.
Since December, I have used Ubuntu Desktop. Aside from the fact that I have no virus warnings, no malware and no bots downloading themselves, it has been business as usual. I use Open Office and have no problems with reading and writing MS Office documents. My old Windows Me PC would not let me do that with a new version of MS Office, and of course that meant upgrading to XP as a prerequisite before installing Office. Total cost would have been about $300.
My wife has an older HP notebook running Windows XP Media Center. I chuckle as she reboots each time she gets an update or adds and removes programs. I have been running nonstop with only one required restart for a patch to the Linux kernel.
I read all of these horror stories about Vista on the blogs and comments on many sites about the same. I also see many intentionally derogatory messages posted by Windows users on the open source sites. According to them, Linux is for geeks; “normal” people don’t need to constantly tweak settings and such, as Windows is “automated.” This means that all of Windows software installs without much intervention.
In an honest comparison, it is true that Linux would greatly benefit from an Install Shield application that would make software installs and removal ubiquitous, but I also remember when Windows users complained about the same things.
Another point to ponder is that most of the back-end computers handling banking and ATMs are running Linux. And regarding security, if the banks trust Linux, we should have no problem doing so too.
With faster and multiple-core processors used today, I would have thought that Vista would have been written from the ground up with optimization in mind. With the hefty hardware requirements, it seems Vista is now the most bloated version Microsoft has rolled out to date. Just because I have 2 GB DDR RAM and a 100 GB HDD does not mean that I want my OS to hog most of them. I thought it would make having several applications running concurrently faster, and cause less hangs and crashes.
With the end of the software’s service life rapidly approaching, Windows XP users are panicked. They dread the thought of moving to Vista . Many are starting to look at the Mac OS or Linux as an alternative. Perhaps Bill Gates stepped down because he could foretell the future, and it begins to look like Microsoft is faltering.
With the state of affairs as it is, software developers should move to open source in droves. They can still write proprietary code, and can still sell it at retailers and online.
They just won’t have to pay homage to Microsoft. Monopoly software is dead; long live open source!