Advantages and Disadvantages of Ubuntu Linux

June 21, 2012

A cold chilly morning here in Kenya during the months of June and July. As the world continues to embrace newer technology in the Information Age people are still in the era of Industrial Age. SOme of this people are reluctant to move ahead. According to them they feel better off living in the ‘Industrial age’ than the information age. I am talkig about people using Windows and Linux. In this case I will be referring to Ubuntu Linux (11.10) and Windows XP, Vista and 7. Lets consider why one would use Ubuntu.

The advantages

1) What I like about Ubuntu is its relatively secure compared to Windows and OS X. There are hundreds of thousands of viruses, worms and trojans targeting windows users. Other users who have ill knowledge of viruses become their victims and some have their information compromised as not all kinds of viruses can be detected by anti viruses.

2) Creativity: Ubuntu is open source. Before Precise Pangolin was relased (12.04LTS) every 6 months a new version of Ubuntu used to be released. The new versions come with better or improved apps, additional system features/softwares, fonts, backgrounds, themes and more. Consider Windows XP, its been in the market for more than a decade now. Till todays date there are millions of computers out there which run on windows XP. With Mircosoft it takes them nearly a decade to relase a new version of their product. Clearly it can be implied Ubuntu is evolving at a much faster rate than Windows.
Despite Microsoft having released Windows Vista, or 7, I do not see any big difference between them when comparing it with windows XP. The idea behind Windows Vista and 7 is still the same. Same types of files .dll,.sys,.NetFramework, NTFS,start buttons are common in all windows distros (execpt windows 8) since evolution of Windows 95. The only change between them is the visual appearance. However there are small improvements made to Windows 7 that makes comparison next impossible with XP

3) Compatilbility- For users who are used to Windows, they can run their windows apps on Ubuntu as well with sotwares such as WINE, Crossover and more. Therefore they wil get a similar experience as running the application on a Windows computer.

4) Popularity: Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro till today. The reason of its popularity is due to the creativity and the excellent support in the Ubuntu forums which I personally like. And its still being improved day by day.

5) Ubuntu comes with all the software pre-installed that one would ever need and use. This is one major advantage with all Linux distros. Unlike Windows which just comes with the recycle bin and other basics like calulator, wordpad and Windows Player.

Disadvantages of Ubuntu.

1) Compatibility: When manufactures make a computer, they have an assumption that the computer will run on windows. They therefore have to first provide support for the hardware in terms of availability of drivers and other issues. With Ubuntu there is less hardware support. Case in point: Dell does not support Ubuntu operating systems which I am currently using. I wanted to upgrade my graphics card but since my OS is not supported it makes it difficult for me to obtain support even if upgrade. Therefore windows has far better support than Linux.
Another case in point: With the newly released Ubuntu 12.04 it was difficult for me to configure my modem to work on it. On Ubuntu forums and other related sites have many questions on Internet problems on Ubuntu 12.04 however some of them are solved.

2)Gaming: This is the biggest advantage to Windows. It is not possible to play mordern games on Ubuntu. One thing for sure is the thousands of games released by various companies cannot run on Ubuntu unless you use an emulator. And WINE being popular is not an emulator. Even the game that runs on Ubuntu the graphics will not be similar to that of Windows computer. Windows users will agree with what I am saying.
Another thing is graphic support on Ubuntu is relatively poor when compared with Windows. Look at how many add-on’s are available to enhance graphic experience on Windows and because of this personally like Windows for purposes of gaming till today’s date

3)Availability of softwares- I will agree that Linux has thousands of free applications and sotwares available. However if I do not find an application then a substitute will be available. The substitute software may or may not be able to do specific functions that I want. Case in point: In Ubuntu I use WinFF as a video converter. WinFF is damn slow when converting large videos, it can only convert limited type of video files it will take forever for it to complete. Comparing that with AVC(Any Video Converter), the MAXIMUM time it will take is 1 hour. A large number of video formats are supported. People who have used this will understand what I am talking about Yes the substitute is available but its not very useful. It discourages me to use it. And beacuse of this Microsoft has a significant market share than Apple or Linux. Read more about this here

4) With Ubuntu (by default) cannot be able to play Mp3 files. Ubuntu will definitely have a bad impression to one who is new to Linux. In windows you do not need to install additional codecs or even if you need its not restricted unlike Ubuntu where by Mp3 formats are restricted. Ubuntu is therefore not as mature as Windows is.

5) Availability of support – I know I said this is one of my favorite advantages but what if I experience a new kind of a problem with Ubuntu that other users haven’t? If I post my problem on Ubuntu forums it will take nearly 2 months or more to get a solution. But with Microsoft they respond within weeks if not days. Also other Windows users will have experienced similar problems and posted a solution to it or if not, then an alternative to it.

In conclusion Windows beats Linux in market share because of its excellent hardware support, availability of software’s and its a good gaming platform. However I equally like Ubuntu.

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