[kwlug-disc] Win VS. Lin install-wise

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Mon Aug 17 16:37:01 EDT 2009

I hate being the devil's advocate :)

On Fri, 2009-08-14 at 12:30 -0400, Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
> I can remember when the exact opposite was true.  My first few installs 
> of linux were painful, nothing worked.  And when stuff didn't work, it 
> was beyond my capabilities to fix it.  Compile stuff?  Make?  No idea.  
> I spent probably two years with no sound on my computer, and no idea why 
> there wasn't sound.   Then one day after a new install....sound worked 
> flawlessly.

One of the problems when comparing out-of-the-box support is that we
compare say, Ubuntu 9.04 to Windows XP, which was released in mid/late
2001. In 2001 Linux 2.4.0 and Redhat 7.1 were new. We don't compare to
those very often ;)

I've got a copy of the Windows 7 RC, and it actually does a few things
right. (I can't comment as to Vista as I never used it). It
automatically hit the internet and grabbed the proper drivers for almost
all of my hardware (my sound card didn't have a Win7 driver, so it
failed there). Upgrading drivers doesn't need a reboot now, so they
definitely have learned something.

> Linux now has somewhere between very good to excellent installation and 
> ongoing upgrade processes now.....and it's still getting better.  I 
> think we're almost at the point where I can keep my remote server fully 
> updated with all current installs going forward, and never have to do a 
> clean install from scratch or an upgrade/overwrite from disk.  That's 
> quite a feat, though it's obviously what makes sense.

> Not sure windows will ever be able to duplicate it since their sales 
> model involves abrupt upgrades to new versions.  More of a staircased 
> upgrade method than a seamless transition forward which is what we're 
> getting with linux.

You're right, they will never have seamless upgrades as long as the
upgrade process is where they make their money. I could see them
switching to a service-based license ($X per year) and introducing
seamless upgrades, but that would take a lot of work (and more licensing
management. woo). And people would be upset if they went six years
without releasing a major update ;)

One thing that is still a huge plus for Linux is the massive software
repositories. I wonder if Microsoft will ever try to tie their "Live"
accounts to a Windows app store, allowing third parties to publish
software through it.

Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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