There is Ubuntu, There is Linux and Then There are Others

There is Ubuntu, There is Linux and Then There are Others

The Microsoft Windows users of the world are beginning to experience the pain of the new release of the Microsoft’s flagship operating system, Windows 8.

While there are some users that are happy with the new release, a lot of them are not satisfied and some even very bitter. Microsoft is pushing the marketing for Windows 8 pretty hard. There is advertising on Facebook, banners on all of the popular websites and also TV commercials. And it’s also in newspapers and magazines everywhere you read. Microsoft does always markets a new Windows operating system release pretty heavily, but more so with Windows 8. Why? Because Microsoft has accepted the fact that the strong and viable competition can actually affect their bottom-dollar. And there’s public evidence of this when you look at the share price for MST. It has flat-lined and has been this way for quite some time. They are facing stiff competition from both Apple and Linux operating systems alike.

Linux and specifically, Canonical and Ubuntu have a chance to really take advantage of the weak and vulnerable position that Microsoft is currently in for the consumer desktop operating system space. But before Canonical jumps in to the deep end and starts marketing Ubuntu as a Windows 8 killer, they really have to start taking a serious look at the situation at hand. Microsoft has had a grasp on power for so many years that they have taken advantage and abused the power held, by implementing an operating system that really does not satisfy the requirements of today’s desktop users. Whether you love it or hate it, Windows XP was probably one of the best operating systems released by Microsoft, even though it was built on the back of Windows 2000. And it may very well go down in history as the best operating system released from the company. But the release of Windows XP was interesting in a sense that it marked several points of interest. One: In a nutshell, it contained everything that Microsoft had worked hard for over the years and everything that a user wanted in a Windows operating system. Two: It also marked the end of an era for Windows as we know it. Windows XP was followed up with the infamous Windows Vista which would prove to be a commercial failure in the history of the company. But then Microsoft realized that its desktop Windows users would expect something very worthy of release after Windows Vista. And along came Windows 7. The 7th release of Windows based on the NT code base.

Recent statistics show that Windows 7 has now overtaken Windows XP as the most widely installed Windows operating system in the consumer sector. Comparing Windows 7 to its older sister XP quickly shows that the two really are not that different. There is some new updated support for the most recent and future hardware. It’s still based on the old concept of Click Start (or Orb as it is now known) for menu > Select Application you want > Launch application. But it is what works for the consumer and satisfies most users desktop operating system requirements.

And then came the decision from Microsoft Developers to implement a radical new design. The code-name was “Metro”. It would see developers ditch the old Start menu style of which Windows users had become accustomed to over the years in favor of a new tile based design for application launch and management. Microsoft has defended its stance on the decision by claiming that the new interface is designed to be suitable for all and any platform that Windows is installed on, whether it be a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Microsoft had decided that ’tiles’ were the way of the future for Windows and its users.

Time will tell whether Windows 8 has been a commercial success or not, as it’s still too early to make any assumptions. But one thing is clear and obvious, Microsoft Developers did not listen to what the customers wanted in an operating system. If they had, then Windows 8 would be embraced much more than what it currently is. And especially with power users and developers.

In truth, the old Start menu system procedure probably still had many years of life in it yet. But for proprietary software companies to move forward and continue to increase revenue of the services, things have to be changed and updated to keep things appearing fresh, new, exciting and innovative. Even if it is at the expense of its users productivity levels. And this is one of the many failures of proprietary software. When It works well, the company reaps the rewards and benefits. But then comes the pressure of maintaining that strong position. And when new services are not embraced as well as previously anticipated, then it could potentially put the future of the whole company in jeopardy.

This is where Canonical has a chance to dive right it and take the market share of dissatisfied Windows users. Canonical needs to stomp and succeed. I specifically use Canonical as an example because I honestly believe they are in the best position to make a large dent in the market share of consumer desktop operating system space held by Microsoft. But they have to make careful decisions if they are to succeed in this mission. And they have to be certain to not make the same mistake of which Microsoft has made. That being, taking their commercial interests more serious than their user’s interests. User’s interests are very important and have to be taken seriously. If they don’t, users will quickly look at the alternative.

Canonical has taken heavy criticism since the implementation of Unity as the default desktop environment graphical interface. Canonical is in a hard position at the moment. Unity is probably not the best implementation of a desktop environment we’ve ever used in Linux. Yet the default alternatives, GNOME Shell and KDE are really not much of an improvement. Personally, I don’t think any are as good as the old classic GNOME 2 environment. And that is why Linux Mint is increasing in popularity. The Linux Mint Developers have listened to what Linux users want and responded with a release which contains MATE and Cinnamon. Both of which are viable alternatives which closely resemble the ‘old’ yet very productive way of getting tasks done.

Listening to the users of your software service is often underestimated. It all comes down to what you wish to achieve with your service. If you want absolute success and market power, you must “listen”. If not, you will quickly find yourself in a difficult and vulnerable “survival” position. Yet if you do listen, you will find easy success around every corner. History proves this.

Update: I have amended my article. The first iteration stated that Linux Mint has become more popular than Ubuntu. This is incorrect. I have updated the article to reflect the fact that Linux Mint is increasing in popularity and NOT in fact more popular than Ubuntu.

  • Mark Rich

    Listening to users creates products by committee. This isn’t always the best way to introduce new features and functionality without sacrifices. The success of Apple shows that sometimes you just ignore the press, the loud minority of foot stampers and those who want to be rooted to the old interfaces due to familiarity. Unity isn’t that bad and beyond Distrowatch is still the no. 1 Linux distro people head to because it’s easy to use. Consider the number of OEMs who bundle Linux with their machine and which flavour they use. I switched to it from openSUSE and have yet to find issues with Unity being an unproductive way of working. It’s fine for most people.

    Being bold and jumping in with a new design is a good thing now and then. Sometimes it works (iOS, OSX, Windows 95 start menu, etc.) and sometimes it doesn’t (Windows 8 hybrid Metro-Win7 model) but being true to your convictions of design matters more than being held back by those dragging their heals with old concepts. I have nothing against Mate etc. and if people want those interfaces then fine. That’s what’s fun with Linux but as a design it’s limited by what it can achieve. If it wasn’t then we wouldn’t have GNOME3 or Unity as interface concepts for the future.

  • Smakked

    It all comes down to people don’t like change If it were the other way around, unity or Metro before the “Start” button, then the same thing would happen people would complain and whinge, it is just in our nature. I my self don’t like Unity, i fond it clunky to get things done. Metro i have only tried for about 10Min in a store so cant really comment on it.

    Like you said there are alot of different options in the FOSS world so we have a choice. It all comes down to what works for you. From a developer perspective i can see why you would want to try something different, it gets boring fast coding the same thing all the time , so you want to mix it up and try new things. Gnome 2 was awesome, but we have to accept the fact it is gone for good and move on. There are others like CInnamon and Mate, both need alot of work before i would call it usable or even stable.

    Ubuntu/Canonical don’t have a product to take windows IMO, how ever Chrome OS does, and Google have big plans from what i have read, it just does work no issues at all, and as proven at the latest pwnage event it is secure. At least one thing it will be an interesting next 2 -3 years to see what happens.

  • Miguel Mayol

    Mint, that is great, is not more popular than Ubuntu, except for distrowatch.
    Xfce is more similar to XP and is faster. But unity, is better than metro and Gnome shell – except the new Consort from Solus Gnome3 with gnome2 aspect –

    Ubuntu can take some MS space from the future ARM64 pocket computer all in one, but it is in development and Chrome OS plus CROUTON plus a future ACL – dalvik for ChromeOS – or a merge Chrome OS + Android can be an alternative for the pocket computer all in one

  • ikt123

    Gnome 2 had its chance when Vista launched, when Windows 7 came out every one went back, I’m sorry to burst the bubble some linux users have but Gnome 2 just isn’t good enough to hold the average users attention, believe it or not Canonical does listen to what users want, and it wasn’t gnome, that’s the reason why they switched in the first place.

    “We were doing a lot of work, which was not recognised by some of the projects we were supporting heavily, ———>and still treading water<————– when it came to the real fight for hearts and minds, against Windows, against MacOS, and against Android."

  • Nicolás Abel Carbone

    Interesting read. But you lost me when you say Mint is more popular than Ubuntu. This is simply not true, stop believing Distrowatch. Distrowatch is not a valid reference for distro popularity.

    Look, for example, Steam survey ( Ubuntu: ~1.8%, Mint: ~0.2%
    Or, Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report ( Ubuntu: 1081M, Mint: 11.4M.

  • rMatey180

    Mint with Cinnamon, my choice.

  • Alberto Garcia

    Exactly. The author lost credibility as soon as he made that statement.

  • Jayson Cluff

    KDE using “Search and Launch” activity desktop is my absolute favorite. It combines desktop icons with the “start button” concept. It’s clean, easy to navigate, and fun to use. There is a search bar and quick launch bar on the top for favorite programs. I keep trying and testing all the others (Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Mate, Enlightenment, Xfce, LXDE, Openbox, etc.), but cannot find a desktop I like as much. Kubuntu is my go-to distro. They do not use the Search and Launch activity as the default, but it’s easy enough to change.

  • Bruce_Mc

    Apple did not listen to users when designing the 128k Mac, the iPod, or the iPhone. All of these changed the computer industry significantly and irrevocably. They changed the way people used computers.

    Microsoft’s stock is “flat-lined” because they have stumbled badly in phones and were very late to the game with tablets. Microsoft listened to their desktop users for too long, which made them slow to react to the significance of tablets.

    In summary, “listening to the users” when designing an OS is stagnation and slow death.

    “Linux and specifically, Canonical and Ubuntu have a chance to really take advantage of the weak and vulnerable position that Microsoft is currently in for the consumer desktop operating system space.”

    Sales of “Consumer desktop OS” computers have just about stopped growing. Soon sales will be declining. Users are moving to tablets, and Microsoft wants to keep their users on Windows tablets as they move. At one point, being king of desktop sales was being king of the world in computing. Now it’s more like being king of Rhode Island.

    Microsoft’s goal in releasing Windows 8 is not to make desktop users happy. It is to reassure desktop users that it’s OK to switch to a Microsoft tablet. I don’t think Windows 8 does a great job of this, but it’s a start. Microsoft is way ahead of Canonical and Ubuntu in moving people to tablets.

  • Gaius Maximus

    Distrowatch notwithstanding, I have to agree with Chris’ primary point. And apparently, a lot of others do, too. It’s all over the internet. Gnome and Canonical are even forced to defend their decisions publicly, and, in doing so, only manage to further alienate their once faithful users by their arrogant stances. And why?

    The fact is, and you can see this easily with very little research, that Canonical, Gnome, and KDE all perceived an opportunity to exploit Microsoft’s inability to break into the phone/tablet market to their advantage, and, in their zeal, they decided that their full attention must be focused on that end, leaving little or nothing for maintaining their existing efforts, grossly overestimating their chances for success, and fully discounting the value of their existing user base.

    And which came first is not only hard to discern, but also hardly of consequence. Microsoft and the *nix DEs all moved in the same direction, practically simultaneously, almost as if in a race, each fearful that the other would beat them to preeminence, and none of them asking their users. None of them really doing any research or testing. None of them caring about us. In fact, we’ve as much as been told to get with the program or get lost.

    Ignoring the example of jQuery and jQuery mobile, they all opted for a one-size-fits-all approach to UI/UE design, which while technically viable, simply overlooks the one most obvious fact staring them in the face: Mobile and media-center UIs are compromises necessitated by the limited screen size (even if only because of its distance from the user, as in the case of media-center UIs) and lack of decent keyboard such devices are confined to, and which no one really wants on a device offering better hardware, even if it does offer the perceived advantage of a common UI across all one’s devices.

    But, about that … Who would want a steering wheel on their phone? Or a media-center in their car? (Haven’t there been enough deaths already?)

    So, maybe you actually like these new interfaces. Or maybe you’ve just come to peace with them, or managed to adapt them to your needs more or less. You are in the minority. Perhaps Mint hasn’t eclipsed Ubuntu, but it’s gaining ground, and that’s undeniable. I haven’t made the jump because I opted to stick with Lucid on most of my machines, experimenting with others on a spare. Currently, I’m toying with Gnome3 classic to see just how close I can get to Gnome2’s wonderful functionality, but I’ve dabbled with all the others, and found them even further from the mark. Although not perfect, so far, LXDE is looking like the best choice for me.

    One thing I can tell you is, I will not have Windows 8 anywhere, nor the current iterations of Unity, Gnome3, or KDE. I will not bend. There will always be some option. And, if they want me back, then they need to give me what I want. That is, after all, at least number 2, if not number 1, on the list of promises open-source has always touted.

  • Gary Trotcko

    Linux is not a Windows 8 competitor and probably not going to overtake M$ power in way of killing its flagship OS. The main Windows 8 competitor is Windows 7. The current state of thing resembles the situation with Vista and XP.

  • Symon Cadwalader

    Kde not much of an improvement over gnome-shell, Unity???? Don’t make me laugh dude…. what the heck are you on about? Kde is stellar

  • Ed

    Sorry but I really do not like the title of this article! Where is the respect for Debian without which there would be no Mint or Ubuntu or a hundred others. As far as which Linux distro will get the bragging rights on who took down M$, Anybody watching realizes they are doing a great job of this all by themselves.

  • Chrisjones

    You are correct. Debian does lie at the very heart and provide the foundations of both Ubuntu and Mint.

  • Chrisjones

    I did not reference Distrowatch anywhere in my article.

  • bubba_jones101

    Unity will continue to improve. i cannot go back to Gnome 2 at this point. Kudos to Canonical for pushing the linux envelope. It’s a bold move and honestly the best foot forward that the linux world has made in quite sometime.

  • Evropi

    KDE is not an improvement over Unity. You just have no taste in DEs – KDE 4.10 is at least as good if not better than GNOME 2.

  • seatex

    A recent popularity poll. Looks like Mint has come on strong since Unity.

  • R. Scott Kimsey

    I like Ubuntu well enough, but I prefer Linux Mint or even Fedora. Not a huge Unity fan. For a lightweight distro, Crunchbang is nice as well. I’m looking forward to Ubuntu on phones and tablets, though. I think I’d like the interface just fine there.

    As for Windows, anyone who like Win 7 and can’t get around Win 8 isn’t putting any effort into it. Especially if they’re also a Linux user (we pride ourselves on our ability to customize, right? Well, if you “customize” Win 8 by taking half a minute to install Classic Shell, you’ve basically got a better version of Win 7).

  • deep_dish

    With respect Sir, your opinion on KDE not being much better than Unity is just nonsense. KDE has stuck to all the accepted designs standards that Canonical threw out the window when they began their “lets see if we can completely destroy a beautiful UI and replace it with a counter-intuitive, idiotic piece of crap” project.
    Microsoft aren’t losing because Windows 8 isn’t very good, – they are losing because they have a Boss who is perhaps one of the worst Corporate CEO’s in all history (and they have a vicious internal structure that pits employee against employee, instead of employees against comptetitors). So instead of innovating, employees fight to survive, see decent projects trashed by jealous fellow employees, all overseen by a boss who is famously bad tempered and who famously hasn’t got a single clue about the market he operates in. Whilst Redmond is still very much in 1998 mode, the rest of the world has moved on. Microsoft are like a company trying to make a profit from selling flints and tinder boxes whilst their competitors are busy making refillable lighters.

  • PaxD75

    Getting any OS pre-installed on devices has always been the key. IBM did not do this with OS/2 while Apple did with their line of OSes. OSes from companies like Amiga and Atari competed for a while because they managed to produce complete products. BeOS understood the importance of trying to get their OS pre-installed. They ran out of time but, more importantly, they ran into Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior.

    Generally speaking, Linux has failed to get Linux pre-installed on devices. You can’t pick up Linux devices, off-the-shelf, in stores. Canonical still hasn’t worked toward developing hardware partners for anything except their smartphone strategy. Canonical keeps producing full-featured and tablet-based OSes (distros) that do NOT offer 100% compatibility on the hardware they attempt to run on. This hardware is essentially controlled by Microsoft (desktop side) and Google (portable devices).

    When users do end up getting a good install on selected hardware, updates often do lots of damage. None of this makes for a serious player. Dissatisfied Windows users will continue to opt for the downgrade path (Win7).

  • David Bucci

    What they’re saying is that DistroWatch statistics are where the myth of Mint being more popular than Ubuntu comes from, even if you didn’t reference it. It IS a myth. You can give your opinion on KDE vs. Gnome etc. safely because it’s an opinion – but you have your facts wrong, which does touch on your credibility.

    Though I’m not as hardline as the posters above, no one has time to check every fact.

  • David Bucci

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Chris. I think a missed point in your blog is that MS built a successful full-lifecycle ecosystem with Windows, making their OS manageable in a corporate setting – and that that’s insulated their overall marketshare over the last 10 – 15 years. Canonical is, to my knowledge, the only group out there that’s putting forth Linux desktops as an organized, manageable alternative to Windows at that level (both with Landscape, their own management alternative, and with integration into Active Directory).

    Individuals, one by one switching to Ubuntu, definitely matters, but companies and organizations (schools, non-profits, government agencies) adopting Ubuntu creates a tide, a force-magnifier that is critical to Linux gaining significant desktop market share.

  • brentrbrian

    Regardless of where you get your statistics, MINT is the choice of newly converting windows users. Not to mention, you can install MINT and forget it (ie DVD’s play).

    When I demo LINUX for folks, MINT is the choice of 100% of them after comparing Ubuntu and Mint .. adding Fedora to the mix makes for interesting conversation, but it is still, overwhelmingly, MINT.

  • flamer

    Fight fight fight. Fight about a badass windowmanager. dumb as hell. it’s still linux dudes get over it.

  • Evan Summers

    enjoyed reading – thanks

    I find that the Unity launcher is very similar to the Windows7 dock, except that it is on the left, which makes better use of today’s wide screens. Vertical space is best used by applications rather than the shell.

    Furthermore, the Unity search and notifications is well done, and Ubuntu update and security is great. So, to my mind, it’s the leading desktop OS and shell, bar none.

    Now as regards the bigger picture…

    The benefits of a unified interface across phone/phablet and desktop in particular, will accrue. MS and Canonical are betting on this. That’s not to mention the three other “screens of our lives” namely tablet, TV and IVI…

    MS and Ubuntu desktop users are rankling at the change, but as users inevitably grow more attached to their phones than desktops, this strategy will appreciate.

    On the Linux front, Canonical is more agile and community-based than Google, and best executes this unified vision. I invariably bet on Linux and opensource, and Canonical is the dark horse in this race :)

    Canonical could replicate the success of Android and ChromeOS, with the crucial advantage of a unified platform. I hope they induce developers of mobile apps. QML being Javascript-based, is well-chosen, in my opinion.

  • John

    Considering that Steam only officially supports Ubuntu, that is actually very favourable to mint that it ranks that high. You should pick an unbiased survey…

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    Nicolas, honestly: don’t trust too much of those Steam statistics, and not those of wikimedia. Instead you should understand that trend of exodus from Ubuntu to Mint during the last two year has been remarkable great one. And it’s based of negative attitude toward Unity. At the same time Mint community have indeed listened users much better. Perhaps i’m not best person as example but i have stopped using Ubuntu since 2011 and during the last two years i have installed only Mint to computers of other people (my relatives, friends and children). Now it’s only question do i follow more Cinnamon or MATE. Ubuntu, with it’s Unity UI is absolutely out of question.

    Sorry for this laconism but Canonical didn’t appreciate too much Linux users.

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    I ques nobody disagree that idea that both Mint and Mageia have increased their popularity among Linux-users much much faster than Ubuntu. It doesn’t surprise me at all if Mint would be close even with Ubuntu.

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    Me too. My hard choice during the next two months won’t be between Ubuntu and Mint but between Linux Mint Cinnamon and Linux Mint MATE. Perhaps Mint with Cinnamon is now mature enough for default OS of my dualboot Linux-computer.

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    Yeah, but Apple is an American religion, not company listening people. It’s a religion that “there ain’t free lunch”. Though during history of mankind most of best action by modern humans have been done not because money and power but to make things better. Ludwig von Mises has expressed it well enough that peace and co-operate, not war (and self-interest) , is the main story of mankind.

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    Some 4-5 years ago i had a dream that Linux got some 4-5% of pc OS marketshare. That’s probably the reality today. Never ever trust those pay-per-click statistics by Net Application or what so ever. Net Application statistics are based 75% of pay-per-clicks and other commercial sites. Only 10% of sites are blogs and social media. So that “1% Linux” is total bullshit, you should realize it. Linux users don’t have to pay-per-click, they don’t have to buy hardly any software at all.

    Actually now after success of Android (70% of smartphone, 45% of tablet markets) there ain’t much special need to slaughter Windows, it’s already hanging on ropes, very badly beaten. Killing Windows must not be obsession. It’s not even necessary. Microsoft is defeated because it didn’t manage to kill Linux and open source. 1990’s will never come back. The rest of the story is indifferent.

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    You know what. Majority of Linux users were right: icons of apps should be on right, not on left. That’s the one of these many cases where Canonical didn’t listen users. And there were so many. We are humans, but honestly – most of us wont’ never get used on both Metro and Unity. Metro is ugly and Unity is some how impractical. I never get used on it.

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    I won’t never recommend Fedora for newbies. It’s either Ubuntu or Mint and Mint is much more familiar to most of people (i have made some test for those who are have never before used Linux). Cinnamon is probably the best new UI during the last 3 years. It’s like old Gnome but have some fresh new features and some fine aesthetic. KDE looks great (e.g Plasma Netbook interface) but functionality too many times pissed off me.

  • Eddie O’Connor

    I’m curious…what does it matter which desktop interface is “on top”?….I have been using Linux since 2000, and I have turned my back on Windows, not because of the way a desktop looks or “feels” but becaue of all that I can DO with Linux, that I’m UNABLE to do with Windows. Whether or not M$ gets a majority of the market share is irrelevant. As long as when I fire up my machine I can complete whatever I need to do efficiently and withouth blue screens or constant reboots, that’s all that matters. I wish people would stop with the Microsoft vs. Linux “wars”….it doesn’t matter what YOU least not to me….just like it SHOULDN’T matter to YOU what I use! Use what you like…and deal with whatever issues you come across….no one is putting a gun to your head and FORCING you to use Gnome, Unity, Windows etc.

  • Stephen Green

    Glad to see you amended the article. Distrowatch is the only site I’ve found stating that
    Mint is more popular than Ubuntu?
    At any rate, Debian users such as myself are a bit miffed as well. You do realize Ubuntu and all it’s children are based on and rely on Debian, right? I too had sometime ago discovered Ubuntu. V 6 I believe. And it led me to Debian..

  • LinuxLover

    The biggest threat to Microsoft Windows is the smartphone and tablet market. Most people really only use their computers for email, Facebook, etc., which are things any tablet or smartphone can do for much less money and be much more portable. Linux isn’t even on the radar, and I hate saying that as a Linux user. Microsoft Window’s biggest competition is iOS and Android. Also, many are waiting for them to undo the harm they did with this release in the next one. If they do, the next Windows may be a hit, though much less of one than XP and 7 ever were, due to handheld competition. The days of the monolithic computer are gone. Some will continue to run desktops and laptops, while others are just fine with an iPad or Nexus device.

  • LinuxLover

    Both Microsoft and Ubuntu are making a big mistake. Apple has already said that moving OS X’s interface to something more like iOS is not what’s best for the Macintosh platform. They are two different species of systems that require different UIs. However, Microsoft and Ubuntu both made the sad mistake of trying to graft a touchscreen UI to a desktop OS. It’s just bad all around and it’s going to fail. Ubuntu, in particular, doesn’t have a chance. All they ever did was basically take marketshare away from existing Linux distros and have never done anything to make the public more aware of either Linux or Ubuntu. The vast public either has never heard of Linux or still thinks of it as a geek OS. That and Ubuntu is even later to the game than Microsoft is. However, Microsoft has the money and clout to do better. Both are doomed, IMO.

  • LinuxLover

    Listening to customers is what got Apple in trouble, prior to the return of his Steve-ness. Jobs axed all of that and had a grand plan he executed. It worked, but it was a gamble that was hedge by a slow progress, device by device, toward their success.

  • LinuxLover

    KDE should have been the model for the Windows 8 UI. It’s suweeet!

  • Scott M. Allen

    I would stick with Ubuntu if it were not for that POS called Gnome 3

  • Bruce_Mc

    The first working computers were developed for aiming cannon. Much of the innovation in computers and in technology in the last 100 years has been funded by the military. I’m not saying it’s right, or it’s the way things should be. But it’s the way things are right now.

  • Bruce_Mc

    From the very beginning Apple was looking for new users for their phones and tablets. They didn’t have enough Mac users make their new products worthwhile.

    Microsoft and Ubuntu do not have that luxury. They both need their current user base, for different reasons. Microsoft does not want to abandon the revenue, and Canonical needs cheap/free labor. Scaring away current users with something new and alien could doom both of them.

    I’m not counting Microsoft out until I get a good look at Windows 9. They know how to learn from their mistakes, at least when there is enough pressure on them to succeed, and clearly the pressure is high right now.

    Canonical/Ubuntu may have a more difficult time of it. I think they are already losing some mindshare to “linux distros” like Cyanogenmod and AOKP. I don’t know whether phone and tablet modding people will embrace Ubuntu’s offerings.

  • William

    Thank goodness for virtualization technology. I run Win 7 as main OS but also Xp-64 and Linux Mint as virtual machines. I still find myself using XP more than the others. Guess old habits are hard to break. As as Windows 8 is concerned, I’m not impressed. If there is such a thing as over-thinking an OS, this one fits the bill. Afraid this one will be another Vista. But, I could be wrong.

  • ronator36

    To be honest: only Windows 8 sucks more than Ubuntu. Try to get rid of unity, try to become root (not chroot) and then you might see how much Ubuntu sucks.

  • Miguel Mayol

    I do use XFCE after trying MATE avoiding Unity. But Unity is quite good for non power users as it is not for the actual majority inside Linux users where we both are. And we are talking here about the future where Ubuntu phone can have a chance of a good market share. And we will install alternative distros as now alternative Android mods.

  • Wendell Anderson

    It is inevitably to some degree that Microsoft will experience commrcial succes with Windows 8, even if not at a level they consider acceptable. After all, almost every new desktop, laptop and Microsoft Tablet is shipped with Windows 8.

    An aspect of great difficulty for Microsoft not covered as much in the Tech media, is fact that computer security on the Internet has reached epidemic levels, particularly with Cyber attacks on governmenst, large corporations and technology firms. Most of these vulnrbilities have been successfully exploited through weaknesses in either Microsoft Windows – desktop and Server, IE browser, Exchange, SQLServer, Sharepoint or the IIS HTTP servers, or some combination thereof. On one occasion recently, Windows security essentials, an integral and critical part of Windows 8 “twice” failed security testing at Security labs in Europe. Another incident around same time is Windows 2012 server being badly hacked at CanSecWest security even in British Columbia, Canada.

    This type dilemmas have taken a toll on USA technology security, as reported by Richard Clark recent outgoing National (Fdral Government) Cyber Czar in a comprehensive report.

    Hopefully for Microsoft pending the Windows 8 replacement, called Blue, will give USA computer users more reasons to be pleased, in regard better quality and more secure code, easier and less convoluted UI. If not Windows users and US as whole are in trouble.

  • Carter Lavering

    I just use Ubuntu, but with different desktop environments. At the moment, I’m running GNOME 3.6, but I also have GNOME Classic, Cinnamon, GNOME Classic (No Effects), and Unity, of course. I think I have more, but I can’t recall them off the top of my head. Plus, with different desktop environments, you don’t have to dualboot, you select it from the login screen.