An Interesting Story

Arstechnica, which is a site I seem to be running into more and more often, has posted an interesting article comparing the windows experience to the linux experience.  Needless to say they’re a little biased.  Nonetheless it’s cute.  I’m actually pretty excited for ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04 LTS.  Both promise to be steps in the right direction, making more stuff just work.  Additionally as linux becomes more popular more 3rd party software is working, for example skype seems to work great in linux at the moment.  I had tried it maybe every 6 months for the last few years and never been successful up until a few weeks ago.

I think it would actually be great for someone to build two similar machines and benchmark the tasks discussed in this article head to head.  In my personal experience updating microsoft it a complete nightmare which devolves into update-restart-update-restart-update-restart, and it seems for some reason windows is never able to apply all the updates once.  I mean linux has to restart for a new kernel, but for everything else it just keeps going.  Additionally updating windows updates only the os, whereas most popular linux distros will take care of all your installed programs.

Anyways ubuntu 9.10 promises:

– blazing fast boot times 10-25  seconds
– new gnome version, promises to be faster, prettier, and easier to use (not that I had many complaints), I also hope this doesn’t signify ubuntu is losing focus on being functional and replacing it with being pretty, a la apple
– new kernel, no worries about focus on prettiness here, I’m sure it’s stable and the performance is good, but that’s kind of what I expect, you get no points for this
hal is replaced with devicekit, this is a bit technical for me, but I think the real upshot is better (less) power usage for hardware, a real boon for laptop users
– ext4 by default, this is nice, I’ve been using ext4 from the alt install cd, makes all hard disk bound activities seem significantly faster
– grub2 bootloader by default, I’ve also been using this for a while (at least I think, the bootloader isn’t exactly a central focus), not exactly revolutionary

So in the end it looks like the big changes are boot time and a new gnome (ext4 if you’re not already using it).  I guess 10.04 will be more revolutionary, hopefully with a new gnome major release.

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