Recently, I’ve been working to remove Windows from my life, in its place I’ve put Ubuntu. This has been applied to my web servers, laptop, desktop, tablet and now mobile phone.
As you can probably imagine, I’ve had a lot of negative comments from those people that haven’t used Ubuntu and therefore don’t have an understanding of its stability, flexibility and impressive performance on poorly spec’d hardware. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect everyone to like the operating system and in most cases it comes down to user preference, but, here are the reasons I choose it over Windows.
Reason 1: giving new life to old hardware
For me, this is one of the key selling points of Ubuntu, let me explain – recently I went to see my parents, they have a 3 year old laptop, running Windows 7. I went to show them something on the PC and ended up getting frustrated and giving up as the PC boot took what seemed like forever.
My dad is an avid Ubuntu user too, so, he installed that on his old, crusty laptop – the difference was night and day. The boot was faster, the performance once booted was much more consistent and the PC generally performed at much more acceptable levels.
There is a lot to be said about a lighter weight operating system. Not only does it mean you can extend the life of existing PCs, but, you can also buy a lower spec computer to start with, costing you less!
Reason 2: you don’t need MS Office
People use this as a reason as to why they don’t want to use Ubuntu all the time. They’re under the illusion that there is no alternative to Microsoft Office.
Ubuntu comes with a huge bundle of freely available software, the office suites include LibreOffice and Open Office – if you’re not happy with them, you could try Google Docs or even Microsoft Office 365 if you really can’t face moving away from your familiar environment.
Reason 3: open source
If you want a serious piece of software on Windows, you’re going to pay a lot for it – let’s take Photoshop as an example. That’s a very costly piece of software – but, Ubuntu comes with a free alternative called Gimp. Once you’ve got your head around the new piece of software, it’s very capable and is more than likely to meet your needs.
That’s not to say that all the other tools you use (such as Spotify, Filezilla and Chrome) aren’t available on Ubuntu, because they are – they’re available as a one-click install in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Reason 4: user interface
It’s a widely accepted notion that Windows went horribly wrong with Windows 8, so, let’s compare Ubuntu to Windows 7, which is customizable to an extent, but you are somewhat restricted in what you can change.
On the other end of the scale, you can change almost everything with Ubuntu. If you don’t like the Gnome interface which came bundled with your operating system, you could swap it for KDE, and if you don’t like that, find another.
Ubuntu provides a much more customizable UI, making you feel at home right away.
While I don’t expect this post to convert any of the Windows enthusiasts, I do think it’ll help to shed some light on why people choose Ubuntu over Windows. There are plenty more reasons, including:
- Easier to SSH to Ubuntu servers
- No annoying virus protection software required
- Can leave the OS running night and day without requiring a reboot for an update
I’ll be the first to admit that Ubuntu does currently cater more towards the technically minded individual. But, as time goes on, that is changing.
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