Windows 10 versus Linux

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 26, 2015

Windows 10 seemed to dominate the headlines today, even in many Linux circles. Leading the pack is Brian Fagioli at saying Windows 10 is ringing the death knell for Linux desktops. Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 will be free for loyal Windows users and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said it's the newest Open Source company. Then Matt Hartley compares Windows 10 to Ubuntu and Jesse Smith reviews Windows 10 from a Linux user's perspective.

Windows 10 was the talk around water coolers today with Microsoft's announcement that it would be free for Windows 7 and up users. Here in Linuxland, that didn't go unnoticed. Brian Fagioli at, a self-proclaimed Linux fan, said today, "Windows 10 closes the door entirely. The year of the Linux desktop will never happen. Rest in peace." Fagioli explained that Microsoft listened to user complaints and not only addressed them but improved way beyond that. He said Linux missed the boat by failing to capitalize on the Windows 8 unpopularity and ultimate failure. Then he concluded that we on the fringe must accept our "shattered dreams" thanks to Windows 10.

However, Jesse Smith, of fame, said Microsoft isn't making it easy to find the download, but it is possible and he did it. The installer was simple enough except for the partitioner, which was quite limited and almost scary. After finally getting into Windows 10, Smith said the layout was "sparce" without a lot of the distractions folks hated about 7. The menu is back and the start screen is gone. A new package manager looks a lot like Ubuntu's and Android's according to Smith, but requires an online Microsoft account to use. Smith concludes in part, "Windows 10 feels like a beta for an early version of Android, a consumer operating system that is designed to be on-line all the time. It does not feel like an operating system I would use to get work done."

Smith's full article compares Windows 10 to Linux quite a bit, but Matt Hartley today posted an actual Windows 10 vs Linux report. He said both installers were straightforward and easy Windows still doesn't dual boot easily and Windows provides encryption by default but Ubuntu offers it as an option. At the desktop Hartley said Windows 10 "is struggling to let go of its Windows 8 roots." He thought the Windows Store looks more polished than Ubuntu's but didn't really like the "tile everything" approach to newly installed apps. In conclusion, Hartley said, "The first issue is that it's going to be a free upgrade for a lot of Windows users. This means the barrier to entry and upgrade is largely removed. Second, it seems this time Microsoft has really buckled down on listening to what their users want."

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols today said that Microsoft is the newest Open Source company; not because it's going to be releasing Windows 10 as a free upgrade but because Microsoft is changing itself from a software company to a software as a service company. And, according to Vaughan-Nichols, Microsoft needs Open Source to do it. They've been working on it for years beginning with Novell/SUSE. Not only that, they've been releasing software as Open Source as well (whatever the motives). Vaughan-Nichols concluded, "Most people won't see it, but Microsoft -- yes Microsoft -- has become an open-source company."

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