back to article Ubuntu's Shuttleworth praises Windows 7, welcomes fight

Mark Shuttleworth is looking forward to a good, clean netbook fight with Microsoft following the release of Windows 7. Speaking with The Reg, the founder of popular Linux distro Ubuntu and chief executive of Canonical called Windows 7 a great operating system. Great? Doesn't Shuttleworth work for the competition? Shouldn't he …


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  1. Neil Greatorex

    Fair play* to him

    The man is obviously a Gent and he's doing a good job, Ubuntu is right up there now, and getting better by the day, I've converted quite a few. :-)

    * Historically, "Fair play" is not something Microsoft recognise.

  2. Andy


    That's why I dislike Ubuntu, it's just trying to emulate Windows (including all the annoying bits) instead of trying to innovate and lead with original ideas.

    I'm sticking with Mandriva Linux which IMHO has always been and still is the best desktop Linux distro, the 2008.1 edition in particular is next to perfect, I will be sticking with it for quite a while even as newer version are coming out, until a newer version convinces me even more.

  3. raving angry loony


    he says "looking forward to a good, clean netbook fight with Microsoft ". Since when has Microsoft fought clean? Microsoft is the very epitome of fighting dirty and underhanded. Possibly other companies as well, but Microsofts strategy and tactics are relatively well documented over the 30 years of their existence.

    All Shuttleworth can look forward to is Microsoft desperately stacking the deck against their competition using every slimy trick in their rather large playbook of slimy tricks. There is no such thing as a "clean" fight when Microsoft is involved. Never has been. Never will be.

  4. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Windows succeeds because

    The only reason why windows is used so much is because it comes bundled with the machine people buy. Most are unable to reformat and upgrade to Ubuntu or Fedora, or whatever..

  5. Charles Calthrop

    world explodes

    <clears schedule>

  6. ChrisInBelgium
    Thumb Down

    A word of warning

    I gave the Windows 7 beta a try as well. It decided it was a good idea to install itself on my slave disk instead of the master, and - without any asking or warning - changing the start-up sequence in the BIOS of the machine. The result was that the slave disk, which was the DATA disk used by several different OS's and which held pictures, documents, music, etc... got formatted.

    I had to go into the BIOS and change the startup sequence back to what it was before to be able to boot the PC with it's usual Mandriva disk.

    Result? That peace of sh*te is not coming anywhere any of my computers again!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    First they should make sure it works with the popular netbooks

    Being a heavy Ubuntu user (three machines now in three different versions) I was delighted when Santa bought in a new one for the family. The Acer Aspire one in its HD version looked like an ideal candidate to join the Ubuntu stable. Given that it was a gift, I did not complain about having XP home preloaded and proceeded to install Ubuntu 8.10

    Being that I'm as of late trying to be very compliant with licencing and that the seller warned that if the machine is to be returned for a refund it better had the original XP in place, I did a Wubi install first to check if everything was ok.

    Man, I'm glad that I tried, otherwise I'd have to rever to install a bootleg copy of XP to be able to use the machine comfortably. After having to compile the WiFi drivers, hack assorted power management scripts and other small annoyances, a kernel update completely broke sound and, I suspect, some sort of interrupt handling that makes using the touchpad look like playing an arcade game.

    The SDD version seems to work much better, and I think it's a shame for Acer not to release a Linux version for the HD machine, and for Intel not to release specs of the audio chipset so that at least we have a fighting chance of making it work.

    In short, Shuttleworth would do much better directing its efforts at the big manufacturers to actually produce open and decently working drivers. Then, it would be enough to make an Ubuntu version where the configuration dialogs at least fit completely in the screen to make me happy. Also, Acer, withall the money you're making selling such wonderful little machines, I'm sure that your bottom line would not be impacted if you include as part of your agreements with your HW suppliers to provide open source drivers. Plus, you'd be able to offer Linux preinstalled to the upper segment of your netbook buyers.

  8. Jack Harrer
    Thumb Up

    One thing

    He has a vision, it's hard to deny it!

    That's what Linux community needs - somebody with a vision to tell all the geeks what to do. Without it we'll still probably get to the same place, but rather later, than sooner.

    Way to go Mark!

  9. Gulfie

    "a good, clean netbook fight with Microsoft"

    Since when did Microsoft do anything other than fight dirty? Old habits die hard.

    On another matter, if they have managed to morph Vista into something capable of giving a good experience on a netbook then there is hope for Windows 7 after all...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glad to see...

    at least one Linux person talking sense.

    Us that old enough to remember ,know that tit for tat competition is good. Netscape navigator was pice of shit, along came a free i.e, netscape got a littl better, i.e killed it. Along comes firefox and up's i.e game.

    The same goes for OS's for years you had nasty cmd line computers. The along came the likes of Apple, MS, Atari and commodore and we start getting basic GUI's. Apple up the stakes, so doe MS. MS stagnates and makes errors with Vista and Linux plays catch up.

    IMHO Ubuntu is almost there now, maybe with later, it will be there. But they need to be wary of the mistakes that MS have done. They need to balance user friendlyness with security, without swing to far to either way.

    The Linux community make some nice software, but as I've always pointed out, it's written for fans of the software, not average Joe. They need to stop looking at it from a hardcore, whizzy, it's super duper point of view and go "If I was average Joe, what would I say about this software". In the whole I guess it would lacks polish, it looks dated, it looks child like, it has a stupid name.

    Linux app just need people with a bit of design flair and then, and only then, you will have a good system, with good apps, that people want to use.

    No doubt I'll get flamed, but hey ho..

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I like that

    Someone sensible not stuck in a war of mines better than yours words. Ubuntu might actually get somewhere. I really hope so.

  12. JP Sistenich


    CLEAN fight? With Microsoft?

    HAHAHAHahahahahaha... *gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaha...

  13. Matt Devney

    Proofreader anyone?

    Linux is more expensive that Windows XP

    Microsoft isn't exactly be subsidizing Windows

    exclusion of all other operation systems

    Again, the pedantic nitpicker in me comes to the fore.

    Penguin just coz

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've used Linux in various forms since 1999 or thereabouts, and I've found over that time that the relative quality of it as a desktop system (this is *not* the same thing as its quality as an operating system overall) seems to follow the relative quality of the offerings from Microsoft.

    Certainly the biggest leap forward, in my experience, came around the same time as the later-SPed variants of Win2K and WinXP, which despite the loud exhortations of zealots everywhere, is acceptably reliable as long as you're using decent hardware and not some no-name whitebox component with questionable software-factory drivers, and make sure to keep abreast of updates and basic security precautions.

    (Driver quality I've found to be the main differentiator in reliability these days - the folks who write an open source driver to get their XYZ GT working have a vested interest in it not crashing the OS, wherease the OEMs who just want something to shove a CD-ROM in the package don't.)

    Conversely, I've upgraded through various Ubuntus while Vista has been Microsoft have fiddled with Vista, and it doesn't seem to have gone anywhere much; in fact, some elements of the user experience have gone backwards to the point where I pine for the way earlier versions handled things.

    Conclusion - competition only spurs people on to greater things. (For everyone, especially if we assume this leaner, meaner Windows 7 is a direct response to MS being seriously challenged by OSS in the netbook market!) Since Canonical/Ubuntu is predominately an assembler of software packages made by other developers, it makes sense for Shuttleworth to welcome any significant leap forward by a commercial competitor.

  15. Thibauld Favre
    Thumb Up

    "Come get some" Windows 7 :)

    Really, I like this guy! When Linux will have succeeded on the desktop, we would all have to thank Mark Shuttleworth a lot! He really is brillant... and, most of all, he has a vision. The vision that Linux on the desktop will succeed and, beyond words, he works hard to make it happen. Canonical hired a lot of usability experts, desktop experience engineers in 2008 and I'm really looking forward to seeing the result. I trust Canonical to come up with a great product, designed for the desktop.

    Where is Red Hat ? They abandonned this market! Where is Novell ? They're not interested beyond enterprise IT... Where is Mandriva ? Well, I don't really know where they are :) Go Canonical go! You have an enormous window of opportunity today to become the defacto leader on the Linux desktop and you'll deserve it because you're the only ones brave enough to actually push for the Linux desktop momentum to happen. The others are watching the market move... like if suddenly everybody would wake up one day and say "huh I want Linux on the desktop today!". It does not work like this and this is one the main reason Linux is not yet on the desktop. Lack of willingness, lack of guts!

    I also want to push for Linux to final succeed on the desktop. And I think one of the thing Linux is missing is a completely user-friendly tool to help normal users search, find and install new applications on their system. This is why we've launched with a friend of mine about 2 weeks ago a website called allmyapps ( ) which we want to position as an app store for Linux. That is an extremely nice and easy to use interface for users to find applications and install them easily. I encourage you to check it out... feedbacks are warmly welcome!

    Linux on the desktop, you have to believe it to see it!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What a...

    lovely man he is :-)

  17. Gordon
    Thumb Down

    The guy has some nerve

    So... according to this guy, is it not fair for Microsoft to lower its prices to compete?

    Here's news to you, Mr. Spaceman: it is you who is compiting on price, not quality. You are an hypocrite.

  18. Matt

    a month late

    It'll be late if this is true "according to Shuttleworth, that's what's planned with Ubuntu 9.04, codenamed Jaunty Jackalope and due in May." - normally the .04 release is in April (hence the 04) not May.

    Ubuntu really needs to dump the brown theme and get some decent eyecandy on the desktop. The rest of it's fine.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Official. "Windows is great!" - A. Freetard.

    Whatever the technical merits of Linux may be, it is simply too difficult for the average user to use. Just look at all the netbooks being returned for the "upgrade" to Windows. And now Shuttleworth says Windows 7 is a good product! The naïvity is staggering, and it's that same naïvity that keeps Linux confined to the niche, l33t h4x0r crowd.

    Also you have to consider the pressure MS will bring to bear in order to distort the market. Companies that do sell Linux boxes only sell low-spec P.O.S. systems and barely advertise the fact. Why can I not got to (say) the main dell page, select and box/lappy that tickles my pickle and then select Ubuntu as my OS? Because MS says "no" (well, that an nod one wants to buy Linux boxes it seems).

  20. alan



  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    You're missing the point Gordie me boy. Now be a good lad.. sit still, close your trap, get your nose out of Microsoft's ass.. and listen.

    Microsoft is "selling" Vista at a loss in order to move Vista in the notebook market. Why? Because they do not want to loose market share and if they cannot sell the shit, they can give it away at a lost. Good business? Microsoft is prepared to take that knock as they can cross subsidize that loss by profits made in other markets. Market share is more important than short term gross profit in that market. Then there's also the legal view that although a monopoly is not illegal in itself, it is illegal to use that to monopolise other markets.

    Paris.. as she knows about marketing (and a lot more than Gordie by the looks of it)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu < XP

    Mark Shuttleworth is using well known sales techniques. When comparing Windows XP with his own product he invites us to believe that the two products are equivalent. They are not. When he says that Windows 7 is a “Great operating system” he gives the impression that he’s the kind of guy that knows what a great operating system should look like, in fact there’s scant evidence of that.

  23. Chris
    Thumb Up

    @ Stu Reeves

    You'll get no flames from me. I completely agree with you.

    +5 insightful !

  24. Saucerhead Tharpe

    Andy Madriva

    Former user of Mandrive myself, nothing against it, but it is a bit daft of a fan of a KDE system to have a go at Ubuntu on the lines of matching Windows.

    I show KDE to my Windows loving pals and Windows is immediately what they think of.

    IN any case the thing that suprises them is how Linux can be basically the same under the hood, but you can change the hood for different purposes, like Gnome that I use on my home machine and Xfce for my Asus EE

  25. Saucerhead Tharpe

    Gordon, so very wrong

    He is not criticising Microsoft for lowering its prices to compete

    He is criticising it for cross-subsidy. Taking a LOSS to try and dominate a market. By the way, that is something that a company convicted of abusing a monopoly position is supposed to be wary of doing.

    XP should be dead now, accorindg to Microsoft. It is now being kept going because they cannot face the alternate, a readily available machine using Linux, taking market share and perception away from Windows, and they are willing to take a loss on the prodiuct to stop that happening

  26. calagan

    Give away Windows 7 for free and kill Ubuntu

    Shuttleworth makes an interesting point saying that dirt cheap XP OEM licences hurt Ubuntu a lot.

    I think MS should consider giving away Windows 7 for free if they want to maintain their lead. In any case, the real cash cow is Office, not the OS.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Telegraph can't spell! (either)

    That apostrophe before "diss"; why? After, it might represent the shortening of "disrespect", which is where the slang "diss" comes from. If there was another after "diss" it would enclose it in single quotes. Placed before the term, it has no function:

    "I'm not going to 'diss it", he said categorically

    "Than", I think:

    "You can make the argument Linux is more expensive that Windows XP"

  28. Anonymous Coward

    RE: A word of warning

    I'm sorry to hear you lost your stuff but I'm afraid you sir, are and idiot.

    If anyone is going to install Windows 7 beta or any other OS for that matter onto a computer with anything important on it whatsoever (including a working OS) please do yourself a favour and disconnect all your drives first (including external). Use an old spare drive for the new OS you want to play with. Then you will avoid all possibility of *doing something stupid*

  29. Tone
    IT Angle

    @ChrisInBelgium A word of warning

    Do install the Beta only on a dedicated test computer.

    Don't install the Beta if you're uncomfortable troubleshooting your own PC problems

    That said only a numpty would have missed the Where do you want to install Windows screen and it changed your BIOS settings???

    Oh and Don't install the Beta if you're uncomfortable troubleshooting your own PC problems, lol

  30. 4a$$Monkey

    re: A word of warning

    1) You installed a beta OS on your PC and didn't backup your files.

    2) You formatted a volume and didn't double check it was the right one.

    You fail at IT!

    Oh and Windows 7 is great - it is what Vista should have been.

  31. Gerry
    Thumb Down


    Gordon, you're a muppet - you need to learn how to spell correctly.

  32. /etc
    Gates Horns

    Shuttleworth no hypocrite


    "So... according to this guy, is it not fair for Microsoft to lower its prices to compete?"

    That's *your* words not his.

    According to the Reg here's what he said:

    "We are in an awkward situation now because they are giving away XP in the netbook market - they are literally giving it way to OEMs," he claimed.

    Nowhere does he say that's "not fair". All he says is that is Microsoft's price-dumping with XP is causing him problems. But notice that, as well, it is causing MS problems: MS have to discount XP heavily just to shut Shuttleworth et al out. That's not good news for MS since their business revolves around charging OEMs as much as they can possibly get for pre-installed Windows.

    But - according to the Reg - Shuttleworth is speculating that MS will no longer be able to afford to subsidize Windows for netbooks in the future - presumably he thinks it will need to recoup the cost of developing Windows 7. Maybe yes and maybe no.

    But don't accuse the man of being a hypocrite for saying something he never said - because *that* is both "unfair" and dishonest.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    XP on a netbook

    Good luck, it will be owned within a week - it's just too old and leaky now.

  34. Tom Silver badge


    Compiting on price is probably illegal. Competing on price isnt. Lowering your price stifle competition is!

    I quite like Ubuntu - like Windows its for people who dont really want to use a computer but like something on their desk/lap to make them feel important and technologically aware.

    But at least with Ubuntu you can actually get to use your computer should you want to.

  35. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Nice twist..

    Better than chucking chairs around and calling people rude names, like some bald headed billionaires we could name!

    Read: Yes, we want Win7 to be great, but also to be bloody expensive so people think twice based on whether they actually need such a behemoth O/S just to browse and receive email!

  36. Alexander

    the emporer is still naked

    Reality check time, linux in some of it's flavours is not a terribly bad OS nor it is Terribly good OS but it will never be able to compete properly in the Desktop or notebook market until it understands that 95% of users need idiot proof interfaces and End user support that does require hours of net trawling to find an answer or half an hour hacking at a cmd line to get things to work.

    I have used unix based systems for years in the back end and used linux as a web server but as a desktop it is just to much hassle and always has been, hardware and application vendor support is better these days but still lacking and poor, so mr shuttleworth real problem is not MS but vendor support and the oh so many flavours of linux distro's.

    The funny thing is linux was designed as a open source freeware the current pay for distro's are just another operating system on market and reading shuttleworths comments it is like MS is just catching up with W7 .....very puzzled maybe shuttleworth is reading his market share figures upside down?

    And the truly funny thing is that when eventually someone does get a linux Distro in to a form which the majority of people can use, it will almost certainly be be full of wizards,installers and no input from the user bar a click much more like a Win or Mac OS and all the current fan boys will be crying foul that their beloved OS has been nerfed.

    So a word to the wise , you linux fanboys better be careful what you ask for and dream about as you might just get it.

  37. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Up


    He wasn't saying that at all. He didn't say it was wrong.....

    I'd like to see a genuine Linux threat to the desktop market. If OO can start to be a completely viable option to Office (which its becoming) and more 3rd party app developers develop for Ubuntu (the Linux flavour with the most minstream potential) then there will be a genuine fight on our hands and that can only be a good thing.

  38. null
    Gates Horns

    W7 on a NETBOOK?

    Has anybody here tried installing the W7 beta on their netbook? I run Vista on my laptop (P Dual Core with 1GB RAM) and it runs, but it's a hog. I can't imagine running Vista SP3 on a netbook... Let us know.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Wow another interesting Windows v Linux debate

    Yawns.....Fanbois of Operating Systems discussing the merits of what is in essence is a tool.

    If it works -> use it; if it doesn't -> don't!

    Is it really that complicated?

    For my own (and contraversal) OS, the hacked XP Lite that's around some torrent sites is the best I've used....mind you it's not really secure and there's no updates, but it's fast and all the crap is taken out. The difference is amazing on my dual booted laptop between it and OpenSuse 11.0.

    MS should employ the gang who "lite'd XP" on Windows 7 and see how good it'll go.

    My opinion and that'll never change!

  40. Havin_it
    Gates Horns

    So MS won't willing/able to take the hit of giving away Win7 to the OEMs as they have XP, in return for locking-down the market that they only don't own already because it came late onto their radar? Is that your assertion, Mr Shuttlewit?

    Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side :/

  41. h4rm0ny

    Good for Mark.

    Well it could just be nice marketing on Mark Shuttleworth's part - he's undoubtedly smart enough to know that being gentlemanly will reflect well on him - but in any case he said it and I agree with him. In my experience, those of us who have extensive experience as programmers, working on large projects such as the Linux kernel, are mostly fairly respectful of the Windows O/S because we know how much work actually goes into such a project and the obstacles (usually management) that you can face. We don't tend to mock those we're running with. It's the people on the sideliness - the fans - who usually do all that. But if a notable like Mark Shuttleworth takes the highground it may discourage the howling fans from misplaced abuse of Microsoft. To be certain there are things that need improving in Vista, and to be certain the company has indulged in all sorts of bad behaviour in the past, but there's still a lot to respect about their products and I look forward to seeing Windows 7. It's acquiring a very nice, low-key sort of hype at the moment. Though I seriously doubt anything will draw me away from my Linux box.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I gave the Windows 7 beta a try as well. It decided it was a good idea to install itself on my slave disk instead of the master, and - without any asking or warning - changing the start-up sequence in the BIOS of the machine. The result was that the slave disk, which was the DATA disk used by several different OS's and which held pictures, documents, music, etc... got formatted."

    so what your saying is you didn;t check the big screen with all disc drives/volumes on when selected where to install, then clicked on the message that says "this will delete all data" when you clicked format and now complain cause the install did excatly as told and deleted all the data. So why is it MS's fault that you can't use your eyes?

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @ Alexander Posted Thursday 22nd January 2009 12:59 GMT

    "And the truly funny thing is that when eventually someone does get a linux Distro in to a form which the majority of people can use, it will almost certainly be be full of wizards,installers and no input from the user bar a click much more like a Win or Mac OS and all the current fan boys will be crying foul that their beloved OS has been nerfed."

    All you have to do is switch to another distro, or make your own.

    You have a CHOICE.


    "...If you choose not do decide,

    you still have made a choice."

    - Neil Peart

  44. null

    Visual IDE

    "'d like to see a genuine Linux threat to the desktop market. If OO can start to be a completely viable option to Office (which its becoming) and more 3rd party app developers develop for Ubuntu (the Linux flavour with the most minstream potential) then there will be a genuine fight on our hands and that can only be a good thing."

    OO is a great app, comparable to Office in every way and better for some things. What linux really needs though is a visual IDE like Visual Studio. Emacs and vi are sufficient for seasoned programmers but the reality is that the majority of developers in the Windows environment program with Visual Studio in general, and quite a large portion code in Visual Basic. What these guys lack in quality they make up for in sheer volume and a lot of business applications are coded in Visual Basic (like cash register apps and database front-ends for instance).

  45. stim
    Gates Halo

    love it.

    i love windows 7.

    linux looks lame.

  46. Anonymous Coward


    Eclipse? A decent enough IDE (I use it for J2SE) and plenty of helpful plug-ins available. Runs on Windows too. Although if you think MS are going to help anyone build a competeing IDE, you are clearly going insane! :o)

    As for VB...eww...stinky (and I speak as an old VB5 MCP), although it is good at what it was intended for (rapid prototyping of Windows GUIs). .Net is a marked improvement, but is still non-portable, and if a Linux desktop does gain traction in the enterprise (which is exceedingly unlikely, applications dictate the OS you use) then this is going to become a serious problem for MS and their partners.

    Which is why MS will not permit any Linux distro to get that traction and why they continually strive to lock their partners into using their proprietary languages and OS as it keeps the money rolling in.

  47. Chris

    To quote Sir Humphrey...

    You have to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back.

  48. Alexander

    @coward.... sorry @anon

    Wakey wakey , we are talking about a Linux OS as a rival to a Win based or Mac OS's and any distro that ever comes near it will be scorned by the fanboy brigade as not true linux , if that even is a proper statement.

    And by that if they mean it is not awkward to use or piss poor in the hardware and application support deptartment then they will be probably right, and as soon as One distro comes close to a more Win or Mac looking Gui with their ease of use that is acceptable by a maintream user then the rest will jump on that bandwagon and dont kid your self they wont.

    Choice is an illusion of perception, incase you did not notice it is all about the money and shuttleworth moaning about the price of OEM XP is a bit funny, MS would rather you had vista, it is the consumer in the business market that is demanding it, nothing to do with MS's desires.

  49. Charles Calthrop

    at Tom, dickhead

    "But at least with Ubuntu you can actually get to use your computer should you want to."

    What a fucking moronic statement that is. For a start, why would you ever switch a computer on and then think "Oh, thank fuck I'm running XP because I don't want to use it". Are are towns and citiies full of silent offices where everyone still writes memos and sends telegraphs, except for those in the dark basements who, gasp, send emails and browse the net? If you look at webstats are the requests 100 % from linux machines?

    Why do people come out with dickshit comments like this? Even the most hardcore, bald but polytailed, white linen trousered, holier than thou, bitterly lonely evangalist for an operating system must be able to see that hundreds of millions of people use computers which don't run linux just fine.

  50. Chronos

    My OS has a bigger dick...

    First off: Windows as a client can be secured against future threats and vulns quite simply. See that Services applet in Administrative tools? That's your key to being secure if you know the uses to which the machine you're securing is going to be put. Simply disabling server on a client machine that should not be sharing files locally anyway closes more holes than I care to count. Then get your arse to the ADC and set a decent security policy. Learn to use the OS you're crticising before slamming it as insecure.

    Secondly: XKCD's world-view: Make me_a_sandwich. Get stuffed. Sudo make me_a_sandwich. OK.

    The real world: sudo make me_a_sandwich. Please run configure. sudo configure. configure: not found. sudo ./configure. Yay! Output. sudo make me_a_sandwich. More output. What? not found? Ah, fuck it. I'm not hungry any more...

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Windows, but I'm not going to be seen to use the security crutch as an excuse. My contention with Windows is lock-in, interoperability, banging useless shit that has no place on a corporate network into its OS (why the fuck a server needs a GUI, leave alone a bloody media player, is beyond me and please do NOT mention remote desktop. ANY OS worth its salt will sandbox such as that, keeping it separate and away from the core system) and lack of standards. Anyone clued-up enough is going to know how to secure a Windows box to the same standard as he or she can secure a *nix box or use things like the border gateway's firewall and ADC to make up for the shortfall. Linux, BSD and Solaris are not ready for widespread desktop use by the AOLers, but make pretty decent desktops in "enterprise" situations (buzzword alert). That's an unfortunate (for some) fact. There again, some of us know that ./configure --without-mayo LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib" CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include" will get you a fucking sandwich, my friend. That our mailing lists are not full of "my internet doesn't work"? Just call me Mr. Grateful.

    Speaking of Internet on Gn00/Loonix boxen (since M$ was just so frigging hilarious), when are you going to put eth0 in /etc/network/interfaces like a normal person, Mr Shuttleworth? If some clown "accidentally" removes the network manager from startup, guess what he starts bleating about? You think it doesn't happen? Think again, smarmy boy. It does, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and on the netbook? Linpus is about the best of a bad bunch, including XP, for a noob in my opinion. Why? Because it exposes, in a simple manner, everything a noob needs to run the system within its limits without promising things it can't do. Feel free to have your own, but don't try to force it on me without some very cogent, reasoned arguments.

    No, let's be honest here: As a monk would say, ALL software sucks. It's selecting the application with minimal suckage for your target usage that makes a sysadmin. To be quite honest, this blind faith in one OS over another, as if it really matters if you were doing your job properly, is starting to get on my tits (OK, moobs), hence all the swearies.

    Coat, because I'm not going to be drawn into discussing the merits of Slackware's run control system or why Gentoo's portage shits itself with fortnight-at-a-time regularity.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ null

    I have run windows 7 on a latop with only 1 gig or ram etc , runs quite nicely actually. Windows 7 (not vista sp3 as you said in a real funny joke, or is XPsp3 actually , windows 2000 service pack 5/6? ) has some quite big changes under the hood, jsut no new driver model this time!

  52. Paul Uszak

    Visual IDE


  53. Dave

    Re: Visual IDE

    Isn't this what Eclipse is trying to be?

    Given its cross-platform nature, it makes it easy to migrate from one OS to another if really needed. Of course, it still needs tweaking to make some of the set-up easier.

  54. steogede

    @Saucerhead Tharpe

    > Former user of Mandrive myself, nothing against it, but it is a bit daft of a fan of a KDE

    > system to have a go at Ubuntu on the lines of matching Windows.


    > I show KDE to my Windows loving pals and Windows is immediately what they think of.

    I've never got the KDE/windows comparisions, other than that it has a task bar at the bottom of the screen I really don't see anything in common.

    Back on topic: One of the things I have always liked about Mark Shuttleworth is that he doesn't try to say Linux is great because Windows is worse. He doesn't sit around looking for faults in Windows, he looks for the good (perhaps so he can embrace and extend) and he looks for the bad in Linux with an aim to improving it (though he might not always improve what I want).

  55. Saucerhead Tharpe


    I usually then spend a bit of time explaining the differences between KDE and Windows but to be honest it's a Windowing system. Ergo any comparision is going to default to the one you have most experience of.

    Because that becomes they way it "should" be

    Which is maybe why I haven't warmed to KDE 4.1 yet

    ON a related topic, I miss my Miggy

  56. OffBeatMammal
    Thumb Up

    Nice guy, but playing catchup

    I used to have an Ubuntu machine. It performed okay, it did what I wanted most of the time but it wasn't that user friendly.

    When I got hold of the Win7 Beta I tried a dual boot. I didn't lose any data. Everything still works on the Ubuntu partition but I don't often swap out of Win7.

    Why? The UX is amazing. This is what Vista should have been. The performance is pretty stunning and the best thing is the bits on the machine that Ubuntu didn't seem to recognise or supply drivers for now work with Win7.

    I am budgetting to upgrade every machine in our house to Win7 the day it launches.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Microsoft has nothing to worry about. Why doesn't Shuttleworth talk about fixing that ACPI BUG IN UBUNTU WHICH IS STILL DAMAGING LAPTOP HARD DRIVES, which was allowed to go unfixed for two years.

  58. Jerome
    Thumb Up

    Acer Aspire One

    @ the anon coward who had so much trouble with Ubuntu on his Aspire One: I too have an XP version of the Aspire One, and I installed exactly the same version of Ubuntu on it (in a dual boot setup with XP). I had no trouble whatsoever - everything worked perfectly out of the box, wireless, sound etc. Very odd indeed.

  59. Pooptydoo


    "Why doesn't Shuttleworth talk about fixing that ACPI BUG IN UBUNTU WHICH IS STILL DAMAGING LAPTOP HARD DRIVES, which was allowed to go unfixed for two years."

    They actually just fixed that bug last week:

    I've had Ubuntu running on my old laptop for about 3 years now, and on my newer tablet for a year and a half. My mother's running Xubuntu on her old 400MHz laptop, and my father-in-law's got Ubuntu on his laptop too. None of us have had hard drive problems on our laptops. Due to the bug reports on launchpad, I know this problem existed for some people, but I haven't personally seen any problems from it. That being said, I'm sure it probably killed the lifespans of our hdds, and we'll all have to boot from the LiveCDs within a few days.

    tl;dr - acpi bug fixed

  60. Anonymous Coward


    Jerome, I'm the anonymous coward that was complaining about his Aspire One with Ubuntu 8.10.

    First, if I did not made it clear in the first comment, Ubuntu 8.10 was working from the default installation, including sound and touchpad calibration. I only had to fiddle with the MadWifi sources to make the WiFi card work. But It broke after applying an update that included a new kernel.

    What can I say, I just peeked on one forum that there was one kernel command line argument called nolapi_timer. My God, what a difference it makes. As I was suspecting, this single change in my grub command line has restored sound, smooth cursor movement and made all messages about problems handling interrupts are history.

    In fact, I'm typing this on its rather smallish keyboard running Ubuntu 8.10 enjoying wireless, etc without problems.

    I learned about that parameter in a forum comment that said that the nolapic_timer is used in the boot line for Linpus that comes with the SSD variety. However, I think this is a good example of how Linux should not be tried to be introduced to the market. A preinstalled one would have already this parameter in place, whereas a downloaded CD would not, creating a very bad image for Linux if attempted without help or without the patience necessary.

    So I rectify my comment to say: Ubuntu is ready for the netbook, but not ready for the distribution system that has made it so popular so far but instead needs to come preinstalled with all those details ironed out.

    And I still think that Acer could benefit from documenting its kit better, specially the newest chipsets used in their hardware periphery.

    But I'm now back a happy Ubuntu user as everything is working wonderfully again.

  61. Saucerhead Tharpe

    AC with the HD Comments - Fixed already, not Ubuntu's fault either

    That was down to HD manufacturers creating work arounds for heavy HD usage by Windows. Ubuntu, which does less writes, falls foul of that work around.

    And it was taken care of with 8.10 and recent updates. It was on the tech nesws sites AND slashdot

  62. Reg Blank

    Ubuntu so simple... retired Mum uses it.

    When her laptop (Thinkpad R51/PM 1.5/ XP) became too treacle-like to be endured any longer, I offered her the option of Ubuntu to test run for a week, and if she didn't like it I'd install XP again.

    So far, she likes it better than XP! She likes the attractive sounds it makes (she was about ready to smash the computer if she heard the Microsoft woosh once more), she likes the desktop theme (admittedly I changed the default one, I couldn't stand configuring in all that brown), she likes the performance (like buying a new laptop), and she likes the name and it's ethos (Zulu for "humanity").

    So for all those constipated Linux tossers going "I'll stick with my >>insert insignificant hardcore distro here<< thankyou very much", your opinion, while legally permissible in a democratic society, is entirely worthless and without merit.

    Ubuntu is designed for people like my Mum, and is incredibly successful. Once I had shown her around the GUI, she was all set to go. I installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and everything worked out of the box.

  63. Anonymous Coward


    I just wish they would fix networking. OK, that is an upstream issue (gvfs IIRC) but seriously; distributing an OS that will not network properly with other PCs (esp. Windows) is just chronically stupid. That has been a bug for YEARS and in my book it is a CRITICAL, SHOW STOPPER (as it will be for most people).

    Linux = Networking fail; stick to Windows.

  64. Martin

    Why I'm sticking with Ubuntu

    "I am budgetting to upgrade every machine in our house to Win7 the day it launches."

    And if we assume, say, fifty quid a machine (and that's likely to be WELL on the low side), that would be two hundred and fifty quid.

    I won't have to budget anything but time to upgrade my machines to the next version of Ubuntu.

  65. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: misguided

    Um, how is it trying to ape Microsoft/Windows?

    Ones that don't get blasted because "people don't want change. they want exactly the same interface as they had before".

  66. Wayland Sothcott

    Acer Netbook runs Linux

    People just want to be able to use their computer. The problem is that some programs are only available on some of the operating systems. With programs like Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, VLC then you can actually use any operating system.

    Far from making themselves important, operating systems should fade into the background where they belong. Unless you class such functions as office software and media players as part of the operating syste.

    Many of my customers ask me if the computer comes with the full version of Windows XP because they need to write letters and edit spreadsheets. They have assumed that MS Office is Windows XP. This confusion is the norm.

  67. Robinson
    Thumb Up


    "I gave the Windows 7 beta a try as well. It decided it was a good idea to install itself on my slave disk instead of the master, and - without any asking or warning - changing the start-up sequence in the BIOS of the machine.

    Result? That peace of sh*te is not coming anywhere any of my computers again!"

    You did something wrong, not the OS. The OS cannot change the BIOS startup sequence - it runs on top of the BIOS. I installed it on a slave drive and didn't experience any problems at all.

  68. Mark

    re: BIOS?

    Yes, the OS DID do something wrong.

    It changed the booting without asking.

    Linux doesn't do that.

    The person you're responding to got the terminology wrong, not the problem and you should have been able to see this, but wanted to take a dig instead.

    The MBR was changed and so the only boot option became the only one MS want you to use: A Microsoft Operating System.

    Which is nice.

    For them.

  69. Gordon Crawford

    good for him

    open competition would be nice ! But MS open?

    that is sorta like open competition with banks, the Governments around the world are propping up the crooked and/or poorly run ones instead of prosecuting them. [go EU]

    How ever , no U here.. I will sell him tree machines that do not load U here . they run 98SE fantastic. and one runs XP and PC Linux okay. IF he can get them to run , he will have increased the possibilities of more people being less frustrated and wanting U. And me , well maybe the new hardware will run U..

    as for W7, I built the last computer 4 years ago for a win that was [at that time] 6 months late. Vista sucked, so win7 is really late.

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