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Ubuntu Linux vs Windows Vista: The Desktop Battle

It may be a brave opinion but I predict that Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista are going to be the two operating systems that will take over the largest chunk of the desktop OS market during the next couple of years. This comparison is based on my experience with both systems during the last couple of weeks on two different computers.

My first impression when I saw Windows Vista installed in a computer store was “wow, this looks pretty modern”. My first impression when I saw Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon was “wow, it looks pretty simple”. No offense here — default desktops of both systems are nice and elegant. They are however very different. Microsoft guys made a bold decision to reorganize the old good Windows look and feel. Old childish-looking desktop has been replaced with a more business-friendly one. Also the behavior of the main desktop elements changed a bit. This has a positive refreshing effect but at the same time confuses whole lot of people used to the traditional way “Start” menu and desktop works (fortunately you can still revert to “traditional” behavior in the preferences) . Gutsy Gibbon, on the other hand, did not introduce many changes in the main interface. It still comes with GNOME, precisely version 2.20 of this environment, and except for minor polish in details, it looks pretty similar to the first Ubuntu system — Warthy Warthdog — released 3 years ago, in 2004. This is not an accusation at all — to the contrary — I believe that this is what most of the people prefer and expect.

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