Since its launch five years back, Ubuntu has turned into one of the most popular Linux operating system. After the launch of Windows 7, a major update of Vista, Ubuntu 9.10 or "Karmic Koala" has launched on October 29th. At present, Linux operating system has about 1% market share for desktops as compared to 92% of Windows, whereas it is popular for servers or embedded systems. Ubuntu, based on the Linux’s Debian flavor has focused to bring Linux operating system to the common people.
Here, the article compares some of the features of Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10:
Installation and upgrades
Users can easily upgrade their PCs with the new version of Ubuntu and it can be also installed on your current PCs without any hardware requirements. Further, like Windows 7 and Mac OS X, Ubuntu 9.10 automatically keeps users’ operating system up-to-date. While, Windows 7 will update only the Microsoft software and the operating system, Ubuntu updates itself with any other software installed on users’ system.
Due to their own terms and conditions, Ubuntu does not ship with the ability to play commercial DVDs. However, you can download the commercial DVD support via Ubuntu Restricted Extras in the Software Centre. It has Rhythmbox player for music and the Movie Player for video.
Microsoft’s Windows 7 come preinstalled with Windows Media Player and Media Centre, which take care of your personal files. Further, if your hardware permits, you can also watch live TV on the PC.
Software and applications
According to developers, Ubuntu is like Apple’s iPhone and supports vast software and applications. Users can have instant access to thousands of free and open-source applications. It comes with free OpenOffice.org 3.1 installed by default as its office productivity suite through which you can create professional documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The suite is compatible with all office apps including MS Office.
Windows 7 users have to buy Microsoft Office, or they can download OpenOffice and GIMP. While Windows users will have Outlook for their email, Ubuntu comes with Evolution, its emailing and calendaring software.
Windows 7 comes with Internet Explorer 8 and MSN Windows Live messenger, Ubuntu 9.10 ships with Firefox 3.5 and Empathy multiple protocol IM client.
The new Linux version offers cloud storage to the masses with its Ubuntu One service, where users can store upto 2GB of data for free, but will have to pay for more storage. Ubuntu 9.10 can also take advantage of Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service.
Microsoft also provides a cloud storage application called Live Mesh that offers 25GB of storage for free, but the service is not integrated with the OS as in Ubuntu.
Speed and hardware
In terms of speed, the latest operating system of Microsoft is definitely lighter on hardware than its predecessor, Vista and it will run well on older hardware. However, Ubuntu 9.10 also works well on a wide range of hardware.