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Operating Systems Software Windows Linux

Ubuntu Wipes Windows 7 In Benchmarks 781

Posted by timothy
from the such-things-need-more-context-than-substance dept.
twitter writes "Recent and controversial benchmarks for Windows 7 leave an important question unanswered: 'Is it faster than GNU/Linux?' Here, at last, is a benchmark that pits Ubuntu, Vista and Windows 7 against each other on the same modern hardware. From install time to GUI efficiency, Ubuntu beats Windows and is often twice as fast. Where Windows 7 is competitive, the difference is something the average user would not notice. The average GNU/Linux user is now getting better absolute performance from their computer as well as better value than the average Windows user."
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Ubuntu Wipes Windows 7 In Benchmarks

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  • And... (Score:3, Funny)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:11PM (#26742777)

    Queue douchebag saying its only a beta.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What about benching it against the Hardy Heron beta? Or the latest svn of every package used during testing? What about a story that matters?

      • Re:And... (Score:5, Informative)

        by DesertBlade (741219) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:16PM (#26742901)
        RTFA it was tested agains Ubuntu 8.04, 8.10 and 9.04. In both x32 and x64 flavors.

        "Ubuntu 9.04 we used the daily build from January 22nd."
      • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:38PM (#26743323) Journal

        Probably even dafter . Neither is finished, so you don't know what extra logging or debug they're running (well, with Linux you could but you probably can't be bothered).

        You also don't know how tuned they are - the dev teams may not have finished all the performance tweaking in the beta, so yes, you get some numbers but unless you want to run the beta in production they are meaningless when it comes to production.

        To be fair to TFA though they acknowledge this and are pretty clear that you can't read much into the beta numbers.

      • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by uberjack (1311219) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:24PM (#26744139)
        I use Ubuntu, but I find comparing speeds between Linux and Windows silly, if not amateurish. Neither runs the other's software (without proper tools, and even then it's not nearly perfect), so what's the point?
        • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:20PM (#26745027) Journal

          Neither runs the other's software (without proper tools, and even then it's not nearly perfect),

          Close enough, though. Aside from Wine running similar tools on both platforms -- and, when Wine works, it's often faster than running the same app on Windows -- there's plenty of cross-platform development.

          Let me put it this way: Suppose I'm a Java developer with Eclipse. That'll run fine on any platform I throw at it. But, even before I get to my own software, Eclipse is such a hog that I'll want every ounce of performance I can throw at it.

          For that matter, if I'm developing a Java program -- or Ruby, or Python, or anything else sufficiently cross-platform -- I may well care when it gets to deployment time which OS is faster. If developing a new app, I may choose to support one platform over another for performance reasons.

          It's probably not as useful as benchmarks within an OS (between Linux filesystems, say) or between POSIX-compliant OSes (but these benchmarks don't test the Windows POSIX layer, I'm sure), but it's worth mentioning.

          Oh, and I like being amaturish -- a big HA HA to everyone who tried to convince me that Vista is fast, when you give it enough RAM.

          • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Friday February 06, 2009 @12:07AM (#26748093)

            We run almost exclusively system intensive high resource usage software. (100% CPU & 5GB+ of RAM, RAID arrays pushed to the limit when rendering.) Under these loads we've seen very little performance differences between OSes. Vista x64, Windows XPx64, Windows 7 x64. Across all 3 Windows apps it's effectively a wash.

            Similarly I've seen very very marginal improvements while rendering on Linux.

            The tests are kind of interesting in a "I suppose that's interesting" sort of way. But on a modern system how fast most OS features act is the split between milliseconds and who really cares?

            The summary is highly misleading "Ubuntu as much as twice as fast!" At extremely short unnoticeable tasks which no human would care to measure except in a benchmark.

            I've very very very rarely had the OS be a bottleneck. The last time I remember encountering a system slow down on a reasonably up to date system was when I was trying to run Shake on an OSX PPC G4. An older x86 system on Windows and Linux simply smoked it in every possible way. But that was far more to do with being a PowerPC chip than OSX itself. Oh yeah... and Vista's network transfer speeds when it was first released were embarassing. But those have been straightened out as far as I can tell from my experience.

        • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:45PM (#26745323)
          But really, it does matter. If I am going to buy a netbook with a 1.6 GHz Atom CPU, 1 GB of RAM and integrated graphics, I'm going to want something that runs fast. On either platform I will have E-mail, basic games, web browsing, videos, music, etc, and whichever one runs the fastest (and the cheapest) is going to be the one someone usually picks. So when Windows 7 comes out and you can either buy the $300 netbook with Linux that runs faster, or the $350 netbook with Windows 7 that runs slower, the choice for any informed customer is obvious.
      • Re:And... (Score:5, Funny)

        by clarkn0va (807617) <apt.get@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:40PM (#26745271) Homepage

        What about a story that matters?

        Do you make a point of posting in every story that doesn't matter to you? Or was it "cue the douchebag" that you couldn't resist responding to?

        You lead a very fatiguing existence, don't you?

  • +Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GermanG (462824) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:12PM (#26742809)

    Can I mod this story as troll?

    I'm a linux user but this story is anything but serious benchmarking.

    • Re:+Troll (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:19PM (#26742975)
      i dont know about you but i wont use any OS that takes more than 7 clicks to install
      • Re:+Troll (Score:5, Funny)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:09PM (#26743869) Journal
        Debian and Ubuntu's alternate install take 0 clicks (but a lot of Enters)
    • Re:+Troll (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jurily (900488) <jurily.gmail@com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:22PM (#26743023)

      I'm a linux user but this story is anything but serious benchmarking.

      Yeah, they left out almost all distros.

    • Re:+Troll (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:23PM (#26743067) Journal

      I read the headline and thought installing Ubuntu would wipe a Windows 7 partition.

    • Re:+Troll (Score:4, Informative)

      by lucif3r (1391761) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:25PM (#26743091)

      What's wrong? I mean the summary leads you directly to the conclusion you need to be coming to here:

      "The average GNU/Linux user is now getting better absolute performance from their computer as well as better value than the average Windows user."

      Seriously, that's good enough for me. Don't even need to read the article now...

      • Re:+Troll (Score:4, Funny)

        by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:32PM (#26744261)

        The average GNU/Linux user is still running that P4 2.8 GHz machine. Luckily, it's the 800 FSB version with hyper threading, and they upped their RAM to 1 GB last year.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sexconker (1179573)

          I forgot to mention the trusty 9800 Pro (yeah, ATI's 9800, not nVidia's) they have in there.

      • Re:+Troll (Score:4, Insightful)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:08PM (#26746283) Homepage

        Yes, except the article is absolute fanboyish filth that makes no effort to prove anything. It just takes a bunch of unrelated numbers, puts them into colourful charts and pretends it can draw conclusions from them.

        I, for one, don't spend much time booting and shutting down, and I can vouch for the fact that Linux' lack of defragging tools has resulted in my file server slowing to a crawl over time, bad enough that every few months I pull off all the files, wipe the partition then load the files back on, to turn 4mb/sec reads into 150mb/sec :P

        Here's something for the fanboys to ponder: at home I run XP, but at the office I run Linux (plus a Windows VM). As a web developer and network guru, Linux lets me work far more quickly and efficiently due to its network-centric design. It doesn't feel "faster" nor slower than Windows, it is just "better" for the kind of work I do. It most certainly is not "better" for the things I do at home, such as playing games, editing video and producing music. I don't care about your so-called "better value" if it turns my beefy media workstation/gaming rig into a useless space heater. If my sole concern was web surfing speed, I'd go back to OS/2 Warp and Netscape 3.02.

    • Re:+Troll (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:29PM (#26743141)

      Personal anecdotes: I have a Q6600 / 8GB 800MHz RAM / 512MB Geforce 8600GT. I used 8.10 as my primary desktop for a few months. Now I'm using Win 7 beta. Of the two, I strongly prefer Win 7, and one of the reasons for the switch was the unacceptable slowness of the X-windows GUI and all the glitches still present in Firefox 3.0.5.

      p.s. I definitely plan to give 9.04 a spin when it comes out, and in the meantime I'll keep using 8.10 in a virtual machine. I can't live without it, but I can't live with it on my desktop.

      • Re:+Troll (Score:5, Informative)

        by spinkham (56603) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:42PM (#26743395)
        1. Turn off desktop effects
        2. Install Opera
        3. Profit?

        I'm guessing the real root of both of your problems is old graphics drivers, unless you really seariously prefer IE over Firefox?

      • Re:+Troll (Score:4, Informative)

        by s4m7 (519684) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:27PM (#26744181) Homepage

        unacceptable slowness of the X-windows GUI

        I have a E4500 2.20GHz with 4GB RAM and a 256MB GeForce 8600GT (do they make a 512 model??) and it FLIES on Ubuntu 8.10; did you install the restricted driver?

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      No, not troll, but flamebait. Because if someone asks "What has Gates done PERSONALLY to make slashdotters so hateful of him?" and you list several very good, well though out reasons [slashdot.org], it's flamebait.

      So no, this story isn't a troll, it's flamebait. Like my comment was (I liked Captain Splendid's take on it, "Mods on crack").

    • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:38PM (#26743311)
      Hey I have carpel tunnel and mouse clicking is a very important benchmark you insensitive clout.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DMUTPeregrine (612791)
        Required mouse clicking is an element of how much user interaction is required to install. Lower is better, one wants installation to be as easy as possible by default.
        Possible mouse clicking would be an element of configurable options, and for this higher may be better. One wants to be able to install properly on systems where the defaults won't work.
        It also ignores the amount of text, positioning of text, and other UI design principles, so it's an incomplete metric. More analysis would be needed to make
    • Re:+Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:42PM (#26743393)

      The title, at least, is troll-ish. Ubuntu WIPES windows 7 in benchmarks? Even the article concluded differently:

      Obviously we're Linux users ourselves, but our tests have shown that there are some places where Windows 7 really is making some improvement and that's good for competition in the long term. However, Linux isn't sitting still: with ext4 now stable we expect it to be adopted into distros fairly quickly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Quote
        However, Linux isn't sitting still: with ext4 now stable we expect it to be adopted into distros fairly quickly.
        end Quote

        Sigh, they have obviously not been keeping up with what is going on in leading edge distros. Fedora 11 (Alpha available today) uses ext4 as its default filesystem.
        But (another big sigh) too many people seem to think that Ubuntu is the ONLY Linux Distro or even worse LINUX == Ubuntu == Linux.
        Which mightily pisses me off.
        Right, I'm off to start banging my head agaist the brick wall as

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gnick (1211984)

        Thank you for that.

        True, there was one interesting metric where Windows got its ass kicked (copying small files around). But for the most part, I saw no major ownage. In fact, it showed that Windows did a better job with large files and had a faster turn-around time to boot & shut-down.

        Windows takes longer to install and takes up more hard drive room... Meh. I don't re-install my OS very often and my hard drive is big enough that the extra 5 GB is just a nit-picky annoyance and a point I can use to

    • Dear /. editors (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DiegoBravo (324012) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:51PM (#26743561) Journal

      Dear Slashdot editors,

      We understand perfectly your needs about traffic generation and advertisements.

      But please, why publish another stupidity like this... when too recently you had a highly criticized "story" about some random guy that found Ubuntu downloads faster than Vista in his home PC's. Please avoid that kind of sh... (how to name it???), that only ends turning people away for your site in the long term.

      Eventually, if you can't stop from posting about so called "comparative benchmarks", please do it in the "idle" section.

      regards,

  • by Essequemodeia (1030028) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:12PM (#26742811)
    Because I can snap both installation DVDs in half, I submit that I am clearly more powerful than either OS. Not even close, really.
  • Wrong (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:14PM (#26742867) Journal

    My unpatched Windows system can get rooted AT LEAST ten times faster than Ubuntu. Take that, Open Source!

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Funny)

      by fluch (126140) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:21PM (#26743005)

      ... and this is not a bug, it is a feature! ;-)

    • by transporter_ii (986545) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:24PM (#26744133) Homepage

      Can't speak for Windows 7, but I'm writing this from Firefox, running under Ubunut (sitting here building a new Ubuntu system for my kids). I have about 4 dual boot systems, and I'm to the point I'm not booting XP much anymore.

      I'm obviously a fan, but here is my honest to goodness feeling on XP vs. Ubuntu: Straight out of the box, XP is just as fast as Ubuntu.

      However, after you install a virus scanner, have 10 different little malware scanners you have to run to catch everything, and then every mother f'n program you installs on Windows thinks it needs to run as a service...hell yeah, Ubuntu is faster.

      Man, Windows users just don't know how wonderful it is to have a hard drive that doesn't have CHURN 90% of the time. It's freaking awesome!

      And games? As stated, all my systems are dual boot. I find my kids playing games in Linux about 3 out of 4 times I see them on a computer.

       

  • Layman? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:15PM (#26742879)

    From TFA:

    Our test machine packed an Intel Core i7 920, which in layman's terms has four cores running at 2.67GHz with hyperthreading and 8MB of L3 cache.

    (Emphasis added.)

    Not sure what kind of laymen the authors hang out with, but all the laymen I know couldn't tell you the difference between a CPU and a hard drive, or the difference between GHz and GB ... much less figure out what "L3 cache" is!

  • by DesertBlade (741219) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:15PM (#26742883)
    I always just figured the speed was gained from not having to run virus software all the time.

    With virus software installed on Windows 7 ubuntu would kill it even more.
  • Bravo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:19PM (#26742959)
    Clearly Microsoft has been listening to us. Vista takes up a whole 8.2GB, while Windows 7 takes up a mere 7.9GB. I can't wait to get a crack at this smaller, slimmer version of Windows!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fluch (126140)

      But it is still beta and untill it is released they still have a lot of time to fill in at least 0.3GB of useless stuff, most likely even more than that... ;-)

  • Install time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:19PM (#26742969)

    Why would anyone care about install time? The only interesting part of the install is how much of your hardware works out of the box, and how much of it can be made to work easily.

    Of course installation is the easiest feature to review, but this is 2009 - there is nothing interesting about OS installation anymore.

  • Value (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:20PM (#26742985)

    Value is an entirely subjective concept and it will vary wildly from person to person. For many people, a computer with a free OS that can't run their favorite program has much less value than a computer with a paid OS that can. The same could be said for people who don't want to learn a new interface or people who don't actually want to take the time to instal their own OS.

  • What sold me.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DanWS6 (1248650) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:20PM (#26743001)
    Is the gaming benchmarks.

    I've been slowly switching from XP to Ubuntu on my work laptop, but I am still stuck with XP at home. I just play too many PC games to give up XP. I really don't care if it boots slower than Ubuntu, or takes longer to shut down. What matters to me is actually using the PC.
  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scot4875 (542869) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:26PM (#26743111) Homepage

    Installation time? *Mouse clicks* to install? Seriously? Those have got to be some of the most useless benchmarks I've ever seen.

    Startup and shutdown time are marginally more useful benchmarks, but still not really very important unless you're talking about embedded devices, which the desktop version of Windows 7 (obviously) isn't even designed for.

    The file copy benchmarks really didn't find a clear winner either, and that was the only arguably significant benchmark. Or are there really desktop users that spend all day copying files between hard drives and USB drives?

    I really didn't care all that much about the outcome. I don't have an emotional investment in Windows or Ubuntu, but this was nothing but a pissing contest from someone who wanted to make some poorly constructed graphs showing that their favorite OS beat another OS (and it didn't even do that! Windows won on a few of the tests!)

    --Jeremy

  • Dubious indeed (Score:3, Informative)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:30PM (#26743165)
    Unless something has changed from XP to Win7, this line has me scratching my head:

    Boot up time was also measured from the moment the machine was turned on, and the timer was stopped as soon as the desktop was reached.

    Anyone who has ever used WinXP knows that you can't really do anything until all the services and task bar things have loaded. You still have several seconds (20-30 on my machine) once the desktop appears before you can actually do anything.

  • by kentrel (526003) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:33PM (#26743221) Journal
    I have no idea why it took so long. It would freeze on each step, even just after selecting trivial things like keyboard and languages. A google search revealed this was a common problem. After about 30-40 minutes of waiting I finally got to the partition section where bizarrely there was no option to create an Extended Partition, so I had to cancel the install and use the Partition program manually. Why???

    Then it would be a repeat of all the old steps as I restarted the install sequences, taking about 30-40 minutes each time. Several times there was a new bizarre problem at the partition stage, which caused me to restart several times. After installing I had no large resolutions even though I have a major brand graphics card. A Google search and a download later, that problem was solved but no dual monitor support yet. A google search revealed it was a pain in the ass and I don't have the heart for it yet.

    I've installed various distros bunches of times but never had anything as slow as Ubuntu. Obviously the install program is buggy or I have some hardware conflict, but I've installed windows (A LOT) and never had that problem

    Now that I've got Ubuntu up and running I should say that I'm very impressed and its running nicely, though it is still slower than windows at graphics intensive operations.
    • I have no idea why it took so long. It would freeze on each step, even just after selecting trivial things like keyboard and languages ..... etc.

      And about a month ago, I setup a dual-boot Ubuntu/Windows machine. Ubuntu was done in about 30-40 minutes. Windows on the other hand, I spent most of a day to install the OS, track down the necessary drivers, install office suites, anti-virus, etc..

      This is why anecdotes are useless, for every anecdote that shows one thing you can find one that shows the opposi

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:36PM (#26743267) Homepage

    On my old PC laptop, Ubuntu gets very unresponsive, even with every combination of ATI drivers I use. Both Windows XP and Windows Vista boot as fast, if not faster, on it than Ubuntu did. In fact, Windows Vista was generally more responsive during normal use. There were plenty of times where Vista could easily handle stuff like Firefox with Flash and some other stuff open, but Ubuntu would slow down to a crawl.

    Mod me down if you want, but I've found Windows to be faster and more responsive out of the box, especially against modern Linux distributions.

  • Has to be said... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:37PM (#26743283) Homepage Journal

    People use applications, not operating systems.

    It doesn't matter how fast it is if it doesn't run the software that people want. That's the biggest thing that holds up Linux on the desktop.

    If Linux for the desktop is ever going to really be a viable option, someone needs to come out with a distro with the goal of, "absolutely, positively, 100% Windows Compatible" via Wine or similar technologies.

    That distro would conquer the world.

    (Cue people giving the argument, "but Microsoft will just change Windows". Yes, they might, but that doesn't affect the installed base of applications, nor does it affect the myriad third party applications, and if there was a viable target, third party companies would ensure compatability.)

  • by caseih (160668) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:40PM (#26743349)

    This will probably get me a troll mod, but I have to say that it doesn't matter how much faster Linux is than Windows in raw speed. All that matters is what the user perceives. And I have to say it doesn't look that great for Ubuntu or Fedora or any modern linux distro right now (but that's improving!). Right now I have Fedora 10 on a brand new dual core AMD 4550e (low-wattage, but still) with 4 GB of ram.

    Let's start with the GUI since that is most visible. Without compiz, Fedora's Gnome GUI is quite fast, but to the user feels slow. You can see widgets redraw and reorder themselves. When you size a window you can see the contents adjusting. You can see tearing of the edges of window decorations. When moving the windows around you often get tearing. These artifacts actually make the desktop feel slower even though it really isn't at all.

    With compiz-fusion on, things get a little bit better. But still resizing a window is very painful, especially one with a lot of widgets in it. Moving a window around is usually fast enough, though. I believe compiz's rendering engine is synced to screen refresh which helps a lot here (OS X did this for years). Still thought the system often just feels slow. Windows take some time to pop up some times. Sometimes I get a window of garbage (instead of a popup menu) and then the menu appears in it. Sometimes the effects (fade in, fade out), are delayed. Fancier effects like beam-in, beam-out (kind of cool and makes windows users take notice!) work well sometimes and then sometimes stutter or are delayed.

    Maybe this is related to the recently-talked about I/O kernel bug, but my Fedora 10 box stutters all the time. My cron script that renders my background Earth picture with the proper clouds and day/night lighting will cause video and audio to halt for a complete second *every* time it is run. This never happened on my older, single processor Athlon with Fedora 8. PulseAudio also seems to cause audio to stutter at the slightest hint of any i/o. In this machine, anyway, with Fedora 10 and compiz-fusion, my Gnome desktop is very disappointing from the perception of performance pov. In raw speed I'm sure it beats Windows Vista or 7. But when you're frustrated with the inability to play back video and audio without skips, and the stuttering and delays in rendering GUI elements, none of that matters.

    Now use a Vista computer with decent hardware with the effects turned on. Everything is silky smooth. Window resizes, moving windows (even with translucent blurring). Popups are timely and smooth. The system just feels more responsive than my Fedora Gnome desktop. Things like audio and video have a high priority and never stutter.

    How can we improve this? Several ways. First GTK with client windows goes a long ways to solving the resize problem. Rather than having asynchronous messages being passed to each and every widget's window by X11, we only deal with events to the main window. Sub windows are all managed by GTK internally, eliminating the sync problem. This should hit mainstream soon when some corner cases are taken care of. From what I've read, KDE users might already enjoy this as Qt is supposed to already do client windows on X11. Then we need to get pulseaudio fixed somehow. And the kernel bug. Development on compiz after the merger with Beryl seems to be stalled as well. Seems like 80% of the work is done, but the last 20% always struggles to get done, especially in open source software. Finally I hope that issues regarding RGBA and ARGB in GTK in particular get addressed (if they still exist). Then hopefully more apps (KDE already can do this) will use ARGB visuals appropriately.

  • FreeBSD (Score:3, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:42PM (#26743385) Homepage Journal

    Should have been fair and included FreeBSD in the comparison.

    ( in my personal experience, its noticeably faster then any Linux distro on the same hardware, )

  • Value (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:42PM (#26743411) Homepage

    The average GNU/Linux user is now getting better absolute performance from their computer as well as better value than the average Windows user.

    Depends on what you value. I value not having to hunt down and configure obscure software to sync my phone. I value the ability to use third party software when it's released, not when they get around to making a Linux port. I value having drivers that are updated regularly, and a wide variety of quality software options, with actual support, and a user community that doesn't tell me I'm stupid because I couldn't get figure out how to connect to my WiFi network (the solution for which depends on what minor version of the windows manager I'm using, which affects which connection manager is installed by default, etc., etc.)

    I also appreciate a uniform interface and application model, which Windows provides. It neither looks nor performs like a hodgepodge mix of new and ancient components, regardless of what may be present under the hood. I appreciate a clipboard which performs as expected. I've also had, by far, more success installing Windows on a wider array of hardware than Linux, including Ubuntu. Oh, the LiveCD won't work for that hardward. Oh, there's no wireless driver for that NIC, but you can wrap this other driver and then do this, and it will work most of the time, except when it doesn't.

    A value to me is not saving 7 minutes on the install, or clicking 12 fewer times, (in what should be a one-shot deal anyway), or an OS footprint that saves me 0.01% of my available storage space. Value to me is reliability, choice and quality of software, and minimal fuss with configuring devices and hardware. With XP, Windows reached a level of maturity/stability that I now expect of any OS residing on my desktop (or laptop). That I have to actually pay for the OS and keep Avast resident is an acceptable tradeoff for those things.

  • So what (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:47PM (#26743483) Homepage Journal
    In most cases, install is done once, and most users will never to an install from scratch. Minimizing install time is best akin to making sure you keyboard input routines are blazingly fast, because, you know, on modern computers we have the problem of people typing faster than those input routines can handle.

    Boot up and Shutdown times are equally irrelevant. I shut the PCs down on weekends. Am I going to notice or care that it takes a few more seconds for a machine to boot up or shut down. Also, these times are highly variable. Even on the same machine I suspect the variation is way outside the differences between the OS. 30 years ago we cared a little bit about boot up times. But then, we were reading from disk or tape, so these times were significant, and we might shut down a machine several times a day. When Apple made the Mac a super fast boot up machine, it was to solve a problem. Now it is just to win a juvenile contest. if there is not an order of magnitude difference, it does not really matter.

    File copy time can be an issue, but not for everyone. I am going to make what may be a controversial statement. When I copy a multi Gigabyte set of files, and it takes a half an hour, that does not bother me. Neither do I care that for a large movie one OS might take a 30 seconds, while the next might take two minutes. What annoys me are those little daily copies of a small file that take a minute or so. Clearly there is some overhead. Sure, know how long to copy 1000 files is cool, but when does that happen.

    What we don't have is how long it takes to set up a printer, something that I find I do way too often. Or how long it take to print to a printer, which has some OS dependence. Or how long it takes a save a file in MS Office versus OO.org. Or how long it takes to setup email. Or how long it takes to load a web browser. You know, the things that people do every day and tends to eat away at a persons limited time.

  • "twitter writes..." (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:28PM (#26744211) Journal

    Every time those words appear on the Front-Page of Slashdot, Bill Gates kills another kitten.

    But seriously, are we expecting an objective and balanced news article from twitter on Microsoft? There's "provocative" reporting, then there's the "Fox News" of reporting. This article sinks below both.

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:09PM (#26744873)

    Install time? Clicks per install? Installed footprint? Does anybody care about those?

    The file copy tests were marginally useful, but not exactly controlled. But it certainly looks like the Linux USB drivers and related I/O code is better than what exists in Windows.

    Then again, on what is possibly the most useful and meaningful benchmark, Windows wins. The Richards thing is not disk I/O bound, so we're talking about memory allocation/deallocation and probably some underlying C library calls. Since we're on identical hardware, the difference is either due to the Windows memory manager, faster library routines, or a more optimized version of the python interpreter. (Which wouldn't really be a win for Windows per se.)

    I'd like to see something like...oh...a standard database benchmark (e.g. TPC) run on a couple different databases (Postgres and Oracle would be fine) installed under both Ubuntu and under Windows 7 on identical hardware. This would, of course, be influenced by how well optimized these database implementations are on each operating system, but there's little we can do about that. The test would essentially be Windows+Oracle vs. Ubuntu+Oracle, or Windows+Postgres vs. Ubuntu+Postgres.

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