Friday, March 14, 2008

An interesting PC Mag article

Should I stay (with Mac OS X) or should I go (with Linux)? Which will my next desktop and laptop OS be? 

You can't care less I fear (and you are right) but if you have similar doubts or simply are curious about it, just check this interesting PC Magazine (yes PC!) article: OS Wars: The Battle for Your Desktop.


axaroth said...

The article contains a lot inaccuracies.
Installation: the big missing thing is the fact that ubuntu is completely installed, included most important applications.
Interface: the phrase "you still have to use terminal input to install software or configure settings far too often" is bullshit (only complex applications, like apache, require a terminal).
Bundled Software: there is no reason in the article explaining why they give 4 point to Ubuntu and 5.5 to Mac OS.
Drivers and Network: choose the right hardware and you have no problems (but there are simple problems where a normal user is lost and no OS can help).

lucadex said...

Basically at the end of the day it doesn't exist an absolute "best operating system". It very much depends on your needs and (yes!) personal tastes.

As far as I'm concerned I sticked on Mac OS X (I just bought a new Mac) despite I'm not completely happy with Mac OS X 10.5 (I already blogged on that and also had later on a series of accidents that really irritated me a lot).

Two things on the article are in my opinion true, therefore I do not agree on what you said.

First is the hardware/driver support. Basically if you buy a new laptop there's a high chance that with Linux something (maybe a minor thing, like the integrated webcam or the microphone) doesn't work. Unfortunately it doesn't seem that there are a lot of Linux certified laptops sold directly by major vendors like Dell, HP or Lenovo (I just double-checked their web sites and it seems they are proposing Vista or XP). This is not a myth but something that I experienced first hand more than once. Of course there's the Linux version of the Asus EEE but that's another kind of device (one that I do not exclude to buy sooner or later if I'll be able to find it at a better price than 250-300 EUR).

Second point is the need to use the terminal for configuration. First of all that's not a negative thing per se: I'm using a lot the terminal on Mac OS X as well! But nevertheless each time I put hands on a Linux box I invariably end up firing a terminal to get things done.

I think that Ubuntu is a great Linux distribution: I installed it on my previous Mac and it worked like a charm (on this side installation was a real smooth process and I did not experience any of the issues that the PC Magazine described). But at the end (and these are the "personal tastes" I mentioned at the beginning of my comment) I feel myself much more at ease using Mac apps (Safari, Photoshop, iTunes, even Office) than their open source counterparts. Moreover on Mac OS X I can still use and enjoy the open source applications/frameworks that commonly run on Linux.

Thanks for your comment!