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Windows vs. Ubuntu: Dell's New Confusing Take

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 102 comments

Windows: for everyone but open source programmers.

Last month Dell posted a website that in no uncertain terms claimed that Ubuntu was safer than Windows.

"Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows," Dell wrote in its list of top ten things users should know about Ubuntu. "The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux."

"Linux is used on computers of all sizes ranging from the biggest to the smallest," Dell said. "If you’re the kind of person who likes your computer to simply work, Ubuntu is right for you. It’s based on stable, secure, easy-to-use software that’s been around for a long time."

For this month, Dell has corrected itself to clarify that each OS is for different types of users with differing wants and needs. Let's see what Dell says this time:

WHICH OPERATING SYSTEM SHOULD I CHOOSE ?

UBUNTU is not a Microsoft Windows operating system - and is not compatible with Microsoft Office programs - so it's important you make the right choice:

Choose WINDOWS if:

  • You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them
  • You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
  • You are new to using computers

Choose UBUNTU if:

  • You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS
  • You are interested in open source programming

So basically, people who use Windows or who have never used Windows should use Windows. You should only choose Ubuntu if you're into open source programming and so happen to require Dell's advice on which OS you want.

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    gtvr , July 21, 2010 12:43 PM
    I wonder how many hours of research went into that comparison chart.
  • 31 Hide
    Steven Bancroft , July 21, 2010 12:47 PM
    Quote:
    Choose WINDOWS if:
    You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them
    You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
    You are new to using computers


    Did I just get downgraded to newb status for using Windows?
  • 22 Hide
    maigo , July 21, 2010 12:23 PM
    One OS isn't 'safer' than another just because no one uses it.

    Linux = Open Source
    Open Source != Linux
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    maigo , July 21, 2010 12:23 PM
    One OS isn't 'safer' than another just because no one uses it.

    Linux = Open Source
    Open Source != Linux
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 21, 2010 12:31 PM
    "If you’re the kind of person who likes your computer to simply work, Ubuntu is right for you. It’s based on stable"

    This is so wrong, in ubuntu 9 at least, I didnt try 10 yet, but I got loads of errors and difficulties, from installing java into firefox requiring a lot of weird console commands which is imo the reason why any linux based OS still fails tothe public, to the "ubuntu update" that failed in the middle and didn't install anything, but somehow marked all updates as installed and I couldn't reinstall them again, a mess of a OS compared to windows.
  • 32 Hide
    gtvr , July 21, 2010 12:43 PM
    I wonder how many hours of research went into that comparison chart.
  • 11 Hide
    bebangs , July 21, 2010 12:45 PM
    if you dun goofed, choose windows.
  • 31 Hide
    Steven Bancroft , July 21, 2010 12:47 PM
    Quote:
    Choose WINDOWS if:
    You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them
    You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
    You are new to using computers


    Did I just get downgraded to newb status for using Windows?
  • 1 Hide
    halls , July 21, 2010 12:48 PM
    Who told Dell they needed to confuse their customers even more than they already do?!
    Do Dell machines come with a choice of Ubuntu or Windows now? I didn't know they were allowed to sell Ubuntu as part of their packages.
  • 8 Hide
    iammalkav , July 21, 2010 12:49 PM
    Ubuntu 10.4 lets you install Java through their add/remove programs dialog. This is no harder to use than windows update and if you are looking at a clean install it is actually easier because you can search for "Java" and find the update easily.

    There are ways to reset/fix the information that their update program uses, but yes that part is still a pain to use.
  • -7 Hide
    falchard , July 21, 2010 12:50 PM
    How is that confusing? Seems like common knowledge to me.

    HEY EVERYONE, HACKERS DESIGN VIRUSES FOR THE OS THAT REPRESENTS 90% OF THE MARKET!

    Ubuntu has many advantages in productivity over Windows. The problem is gaining market share. The Ubuntu development team probably would not be able to handle hackers targeting them. Even though Linux has less security holes, Windows has the manpower behind it to quickly deal with security threats.
  • -7 Hide
    irh_1974 , July 21, 2010 12:50 PM
    Lawsuit in 3... 2... 1...
  • 2 Hide
    serra , July 21, 2010 12:50 PM
    It is fairly clear that anyone using that chart to decide, should choose Windows. I can see their point, Unbuntu isn't for the majority of users, since it does require a tiny bit of willingness to find solutions and software that isn't on the shelf at BestBuy.

  • 18 Hide
    tsnorquist , July 21, 2010 12:51 PM
    Why doesn't Dell put up some highlight reels of what all can/can't be done in both operating systems.

    Show the end users visually, not bullet list two points.

    They get an F for lack of effort.
  • 13 Hide
    wotan31 , July 21, 2010 12:54 PM
    falchardEven though Linux has less security holes, Windows has the manpower behind it to quickly deal with security threats.

    That's a bizarre view. Linux has far more developers than Microsoft, and security patches are typically issued same-day or next-day for critical security flaws. Microsoft on the other hand takes 90 days+ to issue security patches, even for the most critical of holes.
  • 10 Hide
    halls , July 21, 2010 12:55 PM
    falchardHow is that confusing? Seems like common knowledge to me...

    You'd be surprised. I've tried to help people who are completely clueless about computers; I'm talking about people who only use Internet Explorer because it has "Internet" in the name, can't distinguish that program from their ISP, and don't understand how using the URL bar makes browsing faster than typing everything into Google and clicking the resulting links. They don't feel safe without Norton no matter how terrible of an AV program it is, and if they ever accidentally saw their computer's BIOS screen they'd want to return the thing immediately.
    To me, these people represent Dell's main consumer base. They've never learned about the complexities of their computers and only use them as a small part of their daily lives. From what I understand about Ubuntu, it is a much more hands-on and involved operating system to get going, and this is the last thing people need if they just want their computer to do the same, very few simple tasks every day.
  • 7 Hide
    wotan31 , July 21, 2010 12:56 PM
    hallsWho told Dell they needed to confuse their customers even more than they already do?!Do Dell machines come with a choice of Ubuntu or Windows now? I didn't know they were allowed to sell Ubuntu as part of their packages.

    Why wouldn't they be "allowed" to sell whatever they want to sell? I didn't know you were allowed to access Toms Hardware web site. Who gave you permission to do that?
  • 6 Hide
    runswindows95 , July 21, 2010 12:56 PM
    I bought one of the Dell laptops preloaded with Ubuntu mainly because I prefer to run Linux on a laptop more than Windows. The best thing is they even provide Windows drivers for all the hardware. Far as word processing goes, I can't stand Office 2007 anyway! The interface is WAY more confusing to me than Open Office. Also, who REALLY uses Itunes as a media player on Windows? Since I don't use a Ipod, I don't even bother installing it.

    Also, to install JAVA on Ubuntu, just go into Package Manager, and search for "Ubuntu restricted". It installs Flash, JAVA, and mp3 support automatically.
  • -9 Hide
    DjEaZy , July 21, 2010 12:59 PM
    ... Dell, WTF!!! Ubuntu not compatible with m$ office??? It haz OOo, that i use in all OS'es... This is B$... how much is M$ paying Dell? I have Ubuntu 10.04 transformed it no something similar to OSX... it feels very OS X Leopard like... so in a sense you can say, that 'you better not use Linux or OSX, becouse is it not like windows'??? By the way i use OSX, Windows7 and Ubuntu 10.04, because this is needed for my work... and open-source make it compatible!!!
  • -5 Hide
    Regulas , July 21, 2010 1:03 PM
    maigoOne OS isn't 'safer' than another just because no one uses it.Linux = Open SourceOpen Source != Linux

    Exactly, and who laid out the Ubuntu desktop on the picture! It sucks, Ubuntu can be allot less intrusive looking than that in five minutes after the install. That picture is not what Ubuntu looks like after the initial install anyway.

    Save for games I would choose Ubuntu any day over the Swiss Cheese OS known as Windows. Their Browser is still tied into the OS at the kernel level (Back doors for the FEDS) and it is still a patchwork piece of crap OS.
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