Ubuntu Linux, a replacement for Windows

31 10 2006

Let’s face it, Microsoft Windows is getting more and more expensive by the day; and most people are forced to buy it because of its wide-array of programs and its ease of use. Yet some of us really do not have enough extra cash to buy Microsoft Windows, or really do not want to spend that much on an Operating System, but going into the free Linux side of things scares us because of its complexity. My friends, fear no more! Ubuntu Linux is the answer.

Now on it’s 5th version release, Ubuntu’s simplicity make up for the stereotype that most Linux(es) have which scare the non-technical type of people. In fact, it can almost do everything you can with Windows:

  • Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Presentations can be done with the OpenOffice.org Office Suite, which is similar to your Microsoft Office. It can edit and save files in Word/Powerpoint/Excel format. Absolutely free!
  • Windows users usually turn to PhotoShop for their image editing needs. While not completely bug-free, PhotoShop can also be ran on Ubuntu with a help of a few 3rd-party applications (I will be posting a how-to in a couple of days). However, there is also a native Linux image editing application called The GIMP. The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) sports an interface similar to Photoshop, and also has its key features, although not as powerful but can get the job done. Absolutely free! In fact, some people even use The GIMP for their image editing needs while in Windows.
  • Internet Explorer shmolerer. Use Mozilla FireFox! It’s lighter, safer, and most of all, it’s free! Well, actually IE is also free… but what the heck, I like expounding on the fact that all of these neat software for Ubuntu are free!
  • For reading e-mails, you get to have Mozilla Thunderbird! Enough with Microsoft Outlook. Thunderbird has the same features as that of Microsoft Outlook.
  • Replacing your boring Windows Media Player is easy. I don’t even want to expound on this much. VLC is a free and open source media player which can play almost all types of media format. It can also play your DVD movies!
  • Most importantly, the games. This is the main concern for most of the people who wish to completely rid themselves of Windows. Wait, I’ll go make a new paragraph for this topic.

There, the main concern of most people when installing Linux instead of Windows is “can I still play my favorite game <insert game-name here>?” Well folks, the answer, is maybe. Well it’s not a NO! Using 3rd party applications such as Wine and Cedega, you can still play most of popular games today. I personally have tried and am currently playing World of Warcraft and Dungeon Siege II in Ubuntu Linux, using Wine. A lot more Windows games which are Linux compatible can be played using these applications, although they are not completely bug-free.. But, they’re absolutely free!

Ubuntu Linux also automatically detects almost all your hardware upon installation. It was able to successfully install my ATI GPU, my HP printer, my USB Bluetooth device, my Intel WiFi card, the battery states of my laptop, the laptop power buttons/laptop lids/etc, it even automatically recognizes your Digital Camera and Flash disks when you plug them in, similar to what Windows can do!

Although not as powerful as Windows, Ubuntu, for me, is the closest Linux flavor you can get to matching it as its ease of use and installation goes for the win. So if ever you are low on cash, or just do not want to use Windows anymore, go and order an Ubuntu CD online, which they will happily be delivering right at your doorstep – FOR FREE!

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3 responses

1 11 2006
Ealden Escañan

I’m curious about the expensive statement. From what I can see, the price of Windows generally remained the same for years already, and yet the amount of features integrated to it kept on increasing.

Of course, this is when you define expensive as in monetary expense – you could view the situation from other angles, such as time and productivity.

1 11 2006

I guess I’m defining expensive relative to other options. I’m pretty sure that the commercial versions of Linux[es] don’t cost as much as Windows. From a comment on a blog entry[1] regarding Windows’ latest release, Vista, a reader comments:

“yeah, and like how much are they gonna cost? somewhere between $99-$299 each! sheesh! can’t wait for the pirated 8-in-1 bootable iso.”

And if I remember correctly, I think Microsoft is planning to sell the Ultimate version of Vista for $450! I guess the price also, for lack of a better word, encourages piracy – although that’s just my opinion.

But hands down, Windows has better and more powerful features than Ubuntu or any other Linux flavors when it comes to desktop functionality, that’s for sure. But for a tag price of $0, Linux[es] aren’t that bad. 🙂

[1] http://www.engadget.com/2006/02/19/which-windows-vista-will-you-run-you-have-8-choices/

1 11 2006
Ealden Escañan

Yep. On a pure price basis it is expensive to other options. I’m not sure of the increasingly expensive part though – it might have been brought in by Vista Ultimate, but I don’t think there was a previous product that Ultimate stemmed from.

I agree with Ubuntu not being bad – after all I used it for 2 years :P. Glad to see that it’s still improving, too.

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