Windows Growth Slows, are Netbooks to Blame?



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No Contest, as I have been running Linux on a laptop originally purchased with Windows Vista Premium for over a year now.  I attempted to live with Vista for about six months before trying to revert to XP. 

The manufacturer (Toshiba) never released XP drivers for the sound board, WiFi, or Ethernet card on their website.  This forced me to go to the original hardware sheet and seek out the drivers from the individual primary chip manufacturers for each and all were available but it still took two days to get the XP side of the rig up. 

UBUNTU however ran out of the Box even on 8.04, now that 8.10 is out I can't find anything that doesn't run out of the box.  I run regularly configure odd and old equipment in a training lab we run and 8.10 runs every WiFi card (even USB dongles) without any user configuration on the back end.  Windows on the other hand requires you to manually find the drivers for anything other than an onboard card.  If you have tried Linux in the past and found it too difficult, give it another shot now with UBUNTU 8.10 or later (available since 31 Oct 08 in final release).  It can be downloaded for free from and run as a Live CD without any changes to your hardware to try it out. 

Nowdays I only keep a small XP partition on my machine for two government applications that there is no port for and I occasionally have to use.  I only end up having to boot that partition every other month or so, I am forced to use Windows at work as it is part of a government standard desktop load but I do not find any difficulty at all in the transition when I get home, I am able to open and work with any document, spreadsheet or presentation created at work under UBUNTU and OpenOffice with no difficulty, in fact since we went to Office 2007 at work I have found that Open Office is far more compatible and stable with documents created under previouse versions of MS Office than MS Office 2007 is.

Give it a try, You won't regret it.




Take the current trends to the long term - Linux is becoming more main-stream, which will aid current driver issues and make support for newer users easier to find, putting it in more direct competition with windows.

As Linux becomes more substitutable for windows, simple economics state that either Windows will have to offer benefits worth its premium or lower its price. Examining recent MS behavoir, it has done neither: Windows 7 promises less add-on features, substituting instead "we can get the basics right (or at least good-looking)" while simultaneously doubling the licensing fee for vista from XP, indicating that microsoft, in the long term, will be clutching at straws in the notebook market as its revenues fade. If microsoft seeks to be anything more than a business software company in the future they need to adjust their business model.



I bought the windows version of the aspire one only because it came with 15 times more storage space and im very happy with that choice. Even with XP, the aspire one is surprisingly responsive for an incredibly underpowered (by our standards) machine. I also installed ubuntu with wubi on the same machine and use that about half the time because it is a great os, but it does NOT feel noticeably faster. Setting up drivers like for the wireless card was a real pain but after that, i can do about the same things i need to with either os (except game.....the aspire one plays warcraft 3 well!!).

Open source like ubuntu may be the future because ubuntu and other distros are really awesome in different ways

Having the ability to fall back on XP when you dont know how to do something in linux which you DO know how to do with windows but dont have the time or effort to work out is definately worth the money.

I would choose windows over linux any day, but linux is always a very welcome second






Good comments there.  Nice to see objectivity. :)



i will take Ubuntu any day over windows if it will drop the price a nother $50

and i have ran ubunta and it is a very nice oc after you lern the ways of the os 

i find it just a easy to work with as windows and if your not going to use it for gaming then it is by far much better then windows 

if thay ever crack the key to alow windows games to run on linux alot better then windows is is in some deep shit i all ready have a mac for my every day use and only keep a windows pc around for gaming and have all ready switched my lap top over to Ubunta for every day use 



If the Linux pc came preconfigured then I would take that, but I have such a hard time with the damn drivers and wireless with Linux I would probly run back to Bill. If speed was of any conern I wouldn't be buying a netbook.



>> So would you rather a faster netbook running Linux, or a slightly slower machine with Windows?

 Neither, I prefer more horsepower than a netbook can provide. If I had to use one I would prefer Windows over Linux.



Lord Omega

You can have the horsepower that you want with a laptop running linux because it is far lighter and can run faster. you can also do much mor e with it. Most of the time I can do rendering and stuff with my laptop (an IBM T43) and get them done rather fast. I I hate how Windows can be so slow at times (even if you have fast hardware, it will slow down) and with linux, it almost never slows down (unless you much with it)



My dad has a fairly old P4 1.8 Ghz with 256MB RDRAM. XP ran fine, at least with a clean install. Two sisters still live there plus a mom, so... but it did run fine, nonetheless. I have seen a fresh install on 256MB of same-era DDR (single-channel) and suspect that the RDRAM made the difference.

My problems with Ubuntu started as soon as I put the CD in and discovered that I could not run the Live CD with 256MB, not even to install (scroll down to "Alternate install CD" at So I downloaded the alternate install version and burnt it. While trying to run that the install hung twice in the same spot quite a ways into the process. By listening closely to the noise the PC was making at the time I hypothesized l that the CD-ROM drive was not spinning up fast enough and was caught in an infinite loop. Fortunately I had a PC with a dead mobo that someone had given me. I took a drive from that one and replaced the "slow" drive in Dad's. It then installed fine. This further confirmed a suspicion that I had formed while installing Ubuntu on my own PC at home: as tough as the software seems to be, Ubuntu seems to be fragile when it comes to hardware issues; where Windows will soldier on, Ubuntu will sometimes refuse to march. Further, excepting boot times, I have not noticed a performance increase. In fact, a fresh XP install seems to be more responsive. Then there is the fact that every time the computer is turned on/restarted the Linksys wireless USB adapter needs to be unplugged and plugged back in; this would be fine if I were the one using it, but my sister gets stupidcomputeritis (otherwise known as, "Oh brother, where art thou?") when she runs into problems.

My point is that to some extent the Linux love seems to be given for the wrong reason: it is currently "in" to bash Windows and Microsoft. Along with what you already know about my dad's computer, I have Vista Home Premium 64-bit and the latest version of Ubuntu on my uber-computer at home. So far I have only found two features to be truly compelling about Ubuntu: 1. it is free, and 2. one-button update for every piece of software installed; other Good Things include decreased chances of malware/virus infection and faster boot times. Those are compelling features but not enough to make me switch. I am a gamer, I keep my computer clean, and, frankly, I love Vista. Admittedly I have 8GB DDR2, a quad-core proc, a Radeon 4870 HD, and a RAID 0 setup, but I really do like the OS.


 The glass is at fifty percent.



Most of what you experienced is documented on the web, ie, your initial install CD wouldn't boot because you didn't have enough RAM.  If you'd have read the FAQs, readme.txt files and such, you'd have known this.  That's like complaining that Vista won't install on a machine that has only 64MB of RAM...of COURSE its not.

Not much will install on 256MB of RAM nowadays.  XP may but XP is at least 9 yrs old.  Vista won't and Windows 7 won't.  Linux WILL, if you find the right version (this is the case for almost all hardware compatible issues).  That's the beauty of Linux and even BSD.  I've an install of OpenBSD on a P200 that has only 64MB of RAM.  It is functioning as a server.  I may be able to get XP installed on that machine, but its definitely not going to function as a server and still be functional.

I've been using Linux for 11 years.  It was difficult the first year or two, but as I started retaining all things Linux, it got easier.  That's the case with almost everything in life, though.

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