Reasons why I love Ubuntu, and you should too.
(Disclaimer - I’m covering features - I’m no geek when it comes to tech and coding, so excuse some errors.)
- It’s built off the rather stable, clean, and fast Linux kernel.
In my opinion Windows seems like a broken vase that is continually patched up with masking tape. The vase was still broken from the start, and although it is pieced together with tape, it will never be a full and decent product. I feel as though Microsoft has been adding too many needless features and updates to an outdated foundation.
In contrast, Linux, being open-source, has many flavors and can be continually updated by the community to suit modern computing needs. In a Valve test of the popular game “Left 4 Dead 2”, the linux port outperformed the Windows version, showing that Linux can be much more efficient than Windows. An anonymous Microsoft employee states:
“There’s also little incentive to create changes in the first place. On linux-kernel, if you improve the performance of directory traversal by a consistent 5 percent, you’re praised and thanked. Here, if you do that and you’re not on the object manager team, then even if you do get your code past the Ob owners and into the tree, your own management doesn’t care. ”
As long as the internet exists, I’m willing to bet that Linux will receive support and continue to grow WITH the community, as the community creates it themselves.
2. The User Interface.
Although much up to personal preference, I’ve found Ubuntu in particular to have an extremely intuitive UI, along with some beauteous graphics. Ubuntu’s newest 13.10 release looks like this:
The interface is extremely clean cut and new. The “Start” menu equivalent as shown in the top left shows usable information, and provides a super-quick search for any file or application. The transparent colors will also change automatically based on your background color. All-in-all, it’s more user-friendly, usable, and - in my opinion - more handsome than both Windows and Mac.
3. MULTIPLE DESKTOPS
I’ve made this into another section itself as I find this to be an EXTREMELY important feature. Ubuntu employs multiple desktops. Mac users most likely know what I’m talking about, but Windows users may hesitate. ”Multiple Desktops” is just what it sounds like: the ability to switch between desktops for easier organization.
If you use Windows, I’m sure you’ve run into the problem of cluttering your desktop with applications and messages. With Ubuntu, you can switch fluidly between 4 desktops. For instance, I can drag Chrome to one desktop, my Email to another, Steam to another, and keep the fourth free. (Keep in mind each desktop functions the same as it does in windows, and you can drag around multiple applications and close them at will.) I can then switch to these desktops with a simple hotkey (default: control+alt+arrow keys) or by clicking an icon.
I’m sure many Windows users are thinking, “Well, even if I had that feature, I probably would feel uncomfortable using more than one desktop.” This is because Windows users are used to Windows. We are all accustomed to the various bugs and workarounds to the point where we don’t even notice them. Believe me when I say that you will use most of the features Ubuntu has to offer, and be amazed that Windows is so far behind. I’ve found that experience similar to my dealings with web browsers. I thought Internet Explorer was fantastic- but when I installed Google Chrome, IE looked terrible in comparison.
4. NO MORE OFFICE!
I’ll be quite frank here when I say I absolutely hate Microsoft Office. It’s less intuitive, and terribly expensive. Microsoft Office 2013 Professional can run up to hundreds of dollars.
Ubuntu, on the other hand, has LibreOffice preinstalled. If you’ve used Open Office, LibreOffice is built off of much of Open Office’s code. In my dealings with Libre, it’s fast, user friendly, compatible with Microsoft and other programs, and best of all… Free! Even if you aren’t considering Ubuntu but need an Office program, I’d totally suggest LibreOffice.
I believe the open and closed source natures of the two operating systems to be accountable for their feature sets. Microsoft will always lag behind; because lets face it: They’re a business, and their main motive is making money. While it is true that making users happy would certainly make Microsoft more money, I tend to disagree.
When Youtube changes designs or does something we don’t care for, we complain, and then deal with it. This is because there isn’t much anything like Youtube on the net (No, Vimeo doesn’t even come close.) Google has a monopoly on us, and we just deal with their changes because we don’t have a choice.
I believe the same situation applies to Windows. Because Windows holds nearly 90% of the market, Microsoft doesn’t have to worry about consumers being unhappy. We just learn to grin and bear the kinks the OS has, since we seemingly have no other choice. If you want change, you need to put power in the hands of the common man! Democracy, everyone!
6. It’s not your go-to OS for now…
Let’s be honest here; Windows users don’t stay Windows users simply for familiarity; More programs run on Windows than on any other operating system, and that is why Linux hasn’t caught on yet.
In a rather vicious circle, operating systems are quite unpopular if programs are not written for them, and programs are not written for operating systems unless they are popular.
Because Linux has around 1% of the Market share, many companies fail to port their great programs to the operating system, as it doesn’t offer any revenue. In fact, Adobe is one of the reasons why I’m still running Windows. I need various Adobe programs for my hobbies and work, and as of now, the suite is not available on Linux.
Many games also utilize Microsoft’s DirectX Graphics API, which is why you’ll see few AAA titles on Linux. But this is changing. EA has announced that they will be focusing more support on Linux systems, probably because of the announcement of SteamOS, an open-source gaming OS from Valve that is based on Linux.
EA has also worked with AMD to develop “Mantle”, a new competitor to Microsoft’s DirectX that can potentially run on Linux Systems. Battlefield 4 will be the first game to run Mantle after a December update. Although I am unaware of the specifics, Mantle is a low-level API that can run much faster than either DirectX or OpenGL. These new games can potentially mean more users of Linux, and that can mean more programs will be ported/written in Linux!
7. What a nice guy!
Although Linux and Ubuntu are open source, Ubuntu is backed by Isle-of-Man based company Canonical. Besides being the first man to enter space via a commercial flight, Mark Shuttleworth heads Canonical. Besides backing Ubuntu, Canonical maintains and promotes various open source projects, such as Juju, Launchpad, and more. Supporting Ubuntu and Canonical also helps support open-source software development and distribution.
8. Next time on: I didn’t know that was Linux.
Although I am aware that Ubuntu does not equal Linux, but Ubuntu is rather a flavor of Linux, I don’t want people to shy away just because Ubuntu is a form of Linux. If you’ve used or know of the following, chances are you have encountered Linux. Wasn’t so scary, right?
Everything here is powered by Linux.
- All Android Phones (Including Samsung Galaxy, HTC1, etc.)
- DVR Devices, like TiVo
- Google and Facebook (Like most companies use Linux servers.)
- The New York Stock Exchange
- Air-Traffic Control
- 90% if the worlds supercomputers
- Soon - the Ubuntu Phone
(Source for many of the above facts.)
I’ve tried to get all the facts straight and source, but if I’ve told a lie, I apologize and ask you to correct my mistake!
Also, I’m in no way affiliated with Canonical or the Linux foundation, I just really like the OS!