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Damn, they've disabled the print link for external/blank referrers. :|
I love the page design,
It's like I'm in 2000 again! Edited 2008-03-10 18:07 UTC
I am running BeOS 5.0.3 with FireFox 184.108.40.206 just in case others get diffirent numbers than me.
I saved the first page of the article to my hard drive, total data 433,345 bytes in 63 files.
I then clipped the text of the article on the first page, total characters 1048!
Am I going crazy! Only 0.24% of this page is useful info! And that is with some untrustworthy ad sites blocked!
I just got a clean PDF out of it (kept the author and link back to the article to attribute the original source).
Hit the print button (right click didn't work for me but regular click did).
copy text from below the copywrite line to the start of the title.
Past into Word or your prefered processor.
Remove the "click to see score card" links along the right side
Print to PDF and stuff it in your library for later referal
Sadly, I'm limited to Windows at work so this is based on Adobe and Word.
...it's always great to read a review from someone else who feels that going from 10.4 to 10.5 for Mac OS X is the same as downloading patches and security fixes in an XP/Vista Service Pack. Wonderful :|
Yer, it's not like leopard took 5 years to do, fix whats not broken now fix whats broken and then break it again.
I disagree with the Windows has more apps so it must be better, whatever happen to less means more?
Less is more, but people don't know what they want until they try it. Most people could uninstall 90% of what comes with an OS and still have more software than they need.
Windows definately has a good selection of popular applications and retains a deathgrip on the gaming markets.
osX has a smaller selection of applications though the average quality is probably higher than windows simply due to Apples tight control over the "user experience".
Foss, hands down, has the largest software library available too it. Even discounting various versions still developed and accounting for the many applications developed as truly cross platforms.
Based on a title count, you just can't compare either closed system with the numbers available within the Bazzar. In the Linux based OS relm, the kernel may be the only program that has less than three options to choose from. In the BSD based OS relm, the kernel is the difference between distributions and the applications available include everything from the Linux based OS world and any extras only available too BSD.
I mentioned in another post that I'm probably not understanding the judging criteria for that one but I also suspect the author limited the selection pool by choice or lack of understanding.
From the article:
Vista: 4 stars
Ubuntu: 2 1/2 stars
I am laughing my guts out...
"Only in Vista is DHCP a three hour job."
They based that on hardware support and little to nothing on the actual networking stack being used. It was a stupid comparison to begin with.
Even in hardware support they fail because OSX shouldn't even be counted in the same room as Ubuntu. OSX doesn't support half the hardware that Ubuntu does. The printer comparison was plain stupid since they use almost the exact same drivers as OSX does. I sense a bit of bias here.
//Yes, wireless works nicely in Vista, but copying files over the network is a nightmare//
SP 1 fixes that.
no kidding... Hardware support... Ubuntu got the least?? How about all the different platforms that the operating system can run on? Would take put it even? heh
True, linux covers more architectures, but it doesnt cover them with as much depth of hardware support as windows. I felt their assessment of the current situation was fairly spot on.
If you get an OS for a machine, you want it to work with that machine. You dont care that you could also install the same OS on an architecture you are never going to use. Therefore, hardware support still needs to improve on Linux for the "average PC user". The rate of improvement is fantastic though!
I was going to post the same.
While they had a point about wifi hardware, that was a point which was made in the previous topic (drivers/hardware) therefore irrelevant under the networking heading.
Given that Windows TCP/IP stack is shocking (particularly Vistas) compared to Linux's, I really do think that either this article is biased or the author really doesn't have a clue what he's reviewing.
I was also disappointed with the value for money point. Surely only having to pay for the blank CD/DVD is 5* value for money compared to the $100+ price tag for other other products.
And finally I thought it was a little misleading calling Microsoft Office on Windows as 3rd party given that it's a Microsoft product running on a Microsoft product.
I think the issue here is that this document was not written, at all, for the kind of crowd that frequents osnews.com.
I'd agree that it was not meant for the crowd that frequents OSnews; knowledgable, inquisitive, not blindly accepting of poor journalism...
I'd add that it was also of no use to the crowd that doesn't read OSnews with the kind of unbalanced comparison and completely uninformed comparison it presented.
Now, I'm not going to start talkign kernels and intimate details with the non-OSnews, non-techie type but I'd at least provide a balanced review of all three platforms running on the same hardware. I'd probably include BSD in there too if I was focusing on the more technical but not techie reader.. say.. the type who would read computer magazines.
thats what I thought...
copying 20 10k files...
estimated time remaining ... 12 days 13 hours and 6 minutes remaining ..
And as far as drivers go... Linux might not compare to XP but in my own opinion they are more abundant and better quality than Vista (think creative labs for a start)
Why? I would say they are right.
I am laughing too. Funnier one is that MacOS X is winning on the field of bundled software over everyone else. Let's make it clear: you get hardly anything more than raw operating system with MacOS X, and you get full software stack from Ubuntu (or almost any other distribution).
The case of drivers... it was said many times before - but you can't really compare driver's support for MacOS X and Linux, because one is designed to run on only one vendor's hardware - the other one has about 20 architectures supported.
Networking... ugh. No comments.
Let's make it clear: you get hardly anything more than raw operating system with MacOS X, and you get full software stack from Ubuntu (or almost any other distribution).
It's not clear at all. Mac includes iLife, which includes music-production, movie-editing and DVD-playing software -- all things you *WON'T* find in most default distro installs.
Of course you can get them afterwards, but then exactly what was your point? Mac also has a free office suite (NeoOffice) and plenty of other free and open-source software available that you can install after the fact. Edited 2008-03-11 09:46 UTC
You sound like you never used Linux, the wifi implementation is a mess.
They did come to the exact same conclusion as I predicted they would, like f.ex. I assumed they'd just fall in love with the OSX looks. I don't actually think it's all that cool and neat, I just like the integration they've done.
But well, maybe I should just out of curiosity write a review about how those OSes fair on my now little aging hardware.
Why would you want to do that? Just so you can make Ubuntu win? How about lets see how well each fare on PowerPC Platform. Or lets put it on Some very closed Laptop format where there are no Open Source Drivers?
To be fair judging each OS they needed to be running on a common platform that they all run smooth on.
I'm sure the article had enough errors for any enthusiast to point out.
my big beef was the meme that you have to buy apple updates every year.
we all know the mac equivalents of service packs (10.5.x) are free, but saying a. that you have to buy, when plenty are still running tiger, and b. that its every year, when tiger and leopard both had 2ish years before their predecessor, just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Exactly. What the author obviously missed is that the numbering system for os X is not the same as most OSs. 10.4 to 10.5 is a major upgrade similar to XP vs. Vista. 10.5.1 is a service release and now 10.5.2 is a major service pack akin to Vista SP1 or XP SP2. Apple does not charge for these types of updates. Also they are much more frequent. Look how long it took MS to finish SP1 for Vista, more then a year. And they stated when Vista was originally released they were going to speed updates and upgrades up. Pfft. Yeah that is speedy.
"Dell's sales of PCs with Ubuntu, for example. It sold only 40,000 in six months—that's a mere 220 computers per day. Compare that with Dell's usual six million PCs sold every six months, most with Windows"
well the link to the dell with ubuntu is hidden and no ads for it on the main page
Yes. Even if you know what you are looking for, Ubuntu is hard to find. I usually end up having to read the spiel about their Open Source PC's featuring the incredible FreeDOS operating system before I am able to find the Ubuntu offerings. And the Dell website usually "Recommends Microsoft Vista Professional" about 5 times before I *do* find anything offered with Linux.
They improved their PR techniques with the Linux community a bit this time around. But it's really the same old game of "Find the token FOSS PC" when you actually go to their site and look.
Dell, I have one thing to say, and it's a Yoda quote: "Do! Or do not! There is no try.".
It's an economic decision ... they don't want to spend a fortune supporting their Linux computers just because some clueless grandma thinks her computer is broken because the Start button is not in the bottom-left corner.
They chose to sell it only to people that know what it's about.
From the initial anouncement of the latest Linux based OS offerings, Dell has provided the hardware and installed image while all software related support calls where forwarded on to Cononical's call centre. I believe that was the big reason Dell chose Ubuntu over other OS.
"Not sure Open Source is for You?
The main thing to note is that when you choose open source you don’t get a Windows® operating system. If you’re here by mistake and you are looking for a Dell PC with Windows, please use the following link.
Shop Dell PCs with Windows"
you can't accidentally order one
I'm not sure anyone cares that Dell/Lexmark printers aren't well supported on Mac OS X since their most expensive ink jets are akin to throw away printers.
I was surprised to see that photographers should use Windows. The only photographers I know who use Windows are those who can't afford or don't want a Mac.
Oh, and as far as networking on Ubuntu, I've not had much luck with the Broadcom chipset-based wireless card. I can load the firmware but then, that makes other things not work. Ethernet is slick and fast, though.
It's too bad that Ubuntu and the other distributions haven't come up with a way to make things more consumer-oriented because the world could really use lithe, capable machines for less money. If there were a few pieces of commercial consumer software, I'd think a lot of people would choose Linux.
I was just thinking the same... I don't know any photographers who use Windows... I've only seen them using a Mac though.
And certain 'techy' types also like to use Macs for their laptops.
Pretty good article all in all, but sometimes they jump too conclusions too quickly...
Broadcom's wireless chipset works neither well on a Linux distro nor on Solaris (SXDE, Indiana, Solaris).
I've read, without any quoting from my side, that broadcom support on Linux is reversed engineered and only partially works.
I have the same grief with my pcmcia linksys 54gs based on broadcom chip. On that particular old machine I take the extra five minutes to copy the right .ini (driver) file too my Mandriva partition and use ndiswrapper. It works like a charm unless you need the one or two advanced features you'll miss.
On an thinkpad T60; seamless. It just works. (crap, now I owe old stevey royalties for his catch-phrase)
This is an article aimed squarely at your average, reasonably adept computer user. It's not aimed at the type who read OSnews.
Reading it from that point of view, it makes sense, in the same way you would compare the fluffiness of pillows.
The article is essentially a fluff piece - a "filler" article.
There's absolutely nothing new here and I admit I skimmed through the article in about 2 minutes.
Fluffy is ok as long as it's not filled with errors and glaring misunderstandins. Unfortunately, this article is just that.
Hehe, and I installed vmware without using the command line. My mom uses Ubuntu and she is damn scared of the command line (it's considered magic).
Btw, my 10 year old sister also uses my mother's computer to surf and play games. Who wanna bet she has never even seen the command line? Or even know what it's for.
You don't even need to do that for server or player, just enable the partner repos in the GUI and update synaptic.
Transparency, flexibility, and power are what I love linux for. While it is *possible* to use linux with the commandline, taking that essential bit out of the equation makes it a hell of alot less attractive. You end up with an interface and applications that are anywhere from a year to five years behind everyone else.
Linux has a hell of alot going for it, and its a shame it is being pushed onto people as something that is "good enough, and free". I would still use it if it cost 150$, but not for the UI, for the commandline, config files, and editable source code. Edited 2008-03-11 01:54 UTC
I would sort of agree. It's a historically text-based system that is slowly moving toward, but has not yet reached, GUIness.
Once it's running, it tends to run quite well without command line intervention, however. That is, if my experience is typical.
I've long since lost interest, however, in how simple Linux installs are for people who know little-to-nothing about computers. It's a "nice to have," but not essential for me.
I agree that there are *many* flaws by design in Linux(Not the kernel but the user land) as a Desktop OS, derived from its Unix ancestry. I agree that most of them have been worked around in a way similar to how Windows worked around DOS limitations and that the Linux people will try to hide it from public view.
However, I disagree that the CLI is one of those problems.
The lack of a "cross-platform" clipboard is blatant. The substandard Unicode text support(just so we can fit the for loop in a line) isn't very nice either. The lack of a unified GUI, 2D, 3D, IO, Sound and Input API makes developing anything a PITA and forces the user to have many redundant software around.
The fact that the command line can actually help you to hack your system into working when your hardware and software combination would make it otherwise impossible is not a problem, it is a feature.
Maybe the first is to explain to Windows users that the command line is a feature, not a bug.
There are many things that are so much easier to do through the command line...
My friend at MS who masters the OS uses the CLI to do stuff that can't be done with a GUI.
Make your own conclusions out of that...
Well what do you expect for the advanced users?
Frames per seconds for Gamers?
Hardware Features it uses? For the Computer Engineers
Power Usage? For the environmentalist?
Load handling? for Computer Scientist
The problem for judging an OS is the fact that people use computers for different things... I would actually agree with most of the comments by PC Mag... And would give a similar rating. I tried Ubenu and I wasn't Impressed. Vista is actually on the whole a bit better then Ubentu but still it is kinda funky. XP is kinda bland but gets the job done. And I prefer OS X, it seems like the best design I have found.
Someone else already mentioned that any comparison would have to be done on the same hardware or it's nothing more than guessing and grabbing at page views.
They reviewed osX so they had an Apple platform right there. The could simply have gotten four of the same Apple notebooks from the lab and put Ubuntu on one, XP on another, Vista on a third and left the fourth with native osX. Run the update for patches, confirm that the hardware all works and put a little more effort into apearing objective as a journalist. It's PC Mag so they must have a stack of review units sitting on the workbench already.
It's not like it would have been rocket science but it seems the article has been torn limb from limb already.
From the article:
"And unfortunately, you still have to use terminal input to install software or configure settings far too often, even more often than you had to use DOS command lines in Windows 3.1. Until Ubuntu can do away with the terminal for all but the most geeky uses (as the Unix-based Mac OS does), it will never become an OS for the masses."
Guess he overlooked that little thing called Syanptic huh?
It's MUCH easier to install software in Ubuntu than Windows, by far. No searching online, downloading, praying it doesn't have any malware, then next, next, next, registration, next, next, next, next, finish, reboot.
Actually he commented about an article pointing to synaptic, but it didn't fit his agenda to go back and correct his glaring error a few pages prior.
Well, it's not like synaptic is that good. Aptitude is far easier to use. However, it surely beats the crap out of windows' find-some-novel-to-read-while-i-populate-the-list package manager even for commercial closed-source applications as long as they provide deb packages(Windows isn't helpful with custom installers either).
Seems he overlook the eeePC too unless I've missed all the comments about average users having to do more than use the Asus provided GUI when working with it.
I thought the funny category was the availability of software at install. Windows has almost nothing. Just an OS and a few programs. Mac has a few more (maybe). Now comes ANY modern Linux distro. Thousands of applications - word processors, games, media players, web servers, database servers, etc, etc, etc. Any yet the reviewer gave the nod to Mac. That'w when I kinda of mentally checked out.
I think it was already decided who the "winner" would be before this article was even written.
Ubuntu got hammered very unfairly on two items - interface and networking. And as far as the "bundled software" category - it couldn't have been any more obvious that Ubuntu was leaps and bounds ahead of Windows and Mac. Yet, Mac, somehow, "won" that category.
Reviews like these are fun, but I'd rather see a more knowledgeable/honest comparison between the three.
Even as a gnu linux / bsd user, I'm gonna have to agree with the 'bundled applications' nod to mac. I mean, Ubuntu includes everything you need, but as to what the reviewer seemed to be going for - slickness, integration - Ubuntu is definitely beat (not just by mac: a well done, minimalist KDE setup would easily best both in slickness, although the only place I've seen this is Arch's kdemod, which is far from 'bundled software').
One thing that really surprised me, though, was the total absence of Compiz. One-click activation of it was a touted feature of Gutsy (not to mention Compiz's massive hype among workstation distros), and the fact that it was totally ignored really would most definitely impact the interface scores (but then again, including it would worsen the driver situation).
Oh well; the march towards a perfect distro continues.
My two main OS are Windows XP and Mac OSX 10.5, with the occasional foray in Ubuntu.
XP and Leopard are definitely the two best Desktop OS around, but I don't get why OSX is always considered the best interface, and here's my reasons. Those are the little things that annoys the hell out of me while not being "fatal". But enough to make me feels like XP is the most polished desktop experience.
My annoyances with OSX:
1) Inconsistent window focus with the mouse. Sometime I click on a button in a windows out of focus, and instead of the button being pressed, the window containing it become in focus. So nothing happen, I need to click a second time to activate the button. Under Window, if you see a button and you click on it, it doesn't matter if the window is in focus or not. The button is going to be pressed.
2) The common menu bar at the top of the screen. I like to have many application running at the same time on my desktop, and they are all arranged to cover the screen. When an application window is located at the bottom-right of the screen, for instance, and I need to access its menu, I have to move the cursor down to the bottom-right to put the focus on the window, then move the cursor all the way up to access the menu, and if needs be to interact more with the application's window, I need to move the cursor all the way back again to the bottom. In Windows, if I need to interact with an application, I just move my cursor to its window and everything is nearby.
3) Only way to resize a window with the mouse is by dragging the bottom-right corner. In Windows, you can resize using all four sides of the windows.
That's it. You guys knows tricks to reduce the annoyance on those three points? Edited 2008-03-10 19:12 UTC
After growing up on dos/win3.1 too winXP platforms and long ago forgetting the last time I build a rig that didn't have a dual boot to some Linux based distribution, I go the other way.
I click on a Windows icon then return to what I was doing since I know how long the new app will take to load; suddenly it's hijacked my mouse cursor and screen focus. WTF! I know the blood program is loading and I'll go back to it for the task I need to complete when I, the user, am ready.. not at the OS whim. - I can't tell you the number of times I've looked away for a second and found half my typing in the new program window.
For consistency.. look no further than ms Office.. the [X] behaves differently across the suit of applications; but I digress.
How about my multiple desktops.. oh.. wait.. let me go get a third party app to support a function that is native to every other window manager I've ever seen outside of a few obscure ones (PVWM is it?).
When something crashes in Windows, it rarely only takes out it's own thread. - the number of times I've lost all open websites because Flash or some bug in IE baked the collection of windows is beyond counting. This extends to crashing Excel worksheets due to bad memory management in the Excel or the IT framework it uses.
I need to learn osX keyboard commands better before I can comment there. I don't like touchpads on there own let alone for a primarily mouse driven OS but with a mouse plugged in, osX is a happy place. Ye 'Ole crtl+F9 for a distant view of your desktop is fantastic though. I don’t use it enough to really know it’s personality traits intimately though unlike the above and below.
For me, getting home too my preferred OS (neither of the above) is like sitting down into custom shaped bucket seats in a personal car after spending all day sitting no a bench seat in a deliver truck. Everything just seems to behave the right way. No new window mouse/focus hijackings (dis UI is going to Nicaragua!). No new mouse only or miserable touchpad only controls. No crashes that take down more than the single offending program thread. Any new function I may need on a whim is but a single command or GUI click package install away.
But that's just me and I'll make whatever OS is put infront of me run like a tuned F1 race car; as best it can anyhow.
For your windows rat you forgot to mention the one thing that pisses me off about windows since the win95 days. When I want my machine restarted, I want to restart it NOW, not 10 minutes from now. Vista and Xp take forever to restart if you have anything running or if there is an errant process (which is way to common) and with 2K and up the CTRL-ALT-DEL won't just shutdown the machine the way it used to. Whenever Ubuntu starts to act funny (because I love to tinker way too much for my own good) and I need to restart, using the kernel magic restarts the machine immediately. If I still have control of the gui then going to the exit button in gnome will *gasp* restart the computer exactly when I tell it to.
Very true.. I've been running Mandriva as my host OS for so long now that I'd almost forgot about reboots all together except when switching over for gaming. Even with VMs, I tell it to boot then do something else while Windows figures itself out. Then login and do something else while Windows figures itself out. Eventually all the third party requirements like AV get started up and update there dat file and I can finally do something with it.
At least with winXP it will eventually shut down 90% of the time. If winXP hangs indefinitely at shutdown, you know there's something gone very wrong.
My *nix boots are not instant either (solid state, some day.. solid state) but at least the time from power button too login prompt is far shorter and I can then choose too load the overhead of GUI if I, that damn pesky user again, choose too.
Ah well.. I couldn't live with only one OS on my machine anyhow. Exploring different OS is most of the fun in seeing what the hardware can really due beyond manufacturer's intended use.
Another myth from the article has to do with installs. As a person who has performed an untold number of installs going back to the Dos 3.3 days, Linux is now one of the easiest installs you will ever do. With most Windows installs (not counting restore disks), the install itself is just step 1. After that the search is on for drivers. Motherboard chipsets with integrated network cards, video and sound can be one of the most difficult. Normally on any modern Linux, the install involves answering a couple questions, clicking next a couple times, and that's it. In my opinion, MacOS doesn't really have an install. They sell an OS with a very carefully selected set of hardware. Not many people do a Mac install (I have), but I don't think it is a fair comparison.
Myths die slowly.
MacOS doesn't really have an install. They sell an OS with a very carefully selected set of hardware
Comparing OSX installation to either Windows or Linux is just plain wrong. OSX installation doesn't need to do pretty much anything cos the hardware is carefully selected so that they will all work with no issues under OSX. So, it would be more fair to compare a Linux installation on a computer with parts that are known to work under Linux 100%, and, that the Linux installer is also specifically created to run on such a setup. So, comparing them like this is totally unfair. Why not also try OSX installer on a non-Apple hardware and see how it fairs there, eh?
They should have added the cost of the hardware to the OS X price. Edited 2008-03-10 20:04 UTC
right because you don't need a computer to run linux or windows...
The article compares OS X (Leopard) costing $129 direct, Windows Vista Home Basic retail at $199 for the full version, with Ubuntu costing nothing, and so on...
So what you're saying is that for "only" $129, I can buy OS X and install it on my Asus laptop? Coolio.
no but it assumes you already have a mac, as in i bought, the only way to buy it is to pay $129. If you bought a new mac, you'd have leopard. Seeing as you're buying leopard, you already have a mac or you're buying something that doesn't work...
Or do you normally buy xbox360 games to play on your playstation 3?
It says you paid $200 for Vista, which assumes you already have a pc. Upgrade or not, you bought something off the shelf, so you probably already have a computer. Can I install vista on my PS3?
No, i have to have a computer.
Sorry, the cost of leopard is the cost of leopard, just like the cost of windows is the cost of windows...you wouldn't be buying unless you already had the hardware. Edited 2008-03-10 23:48 UTC
Mac OSX costs $129 and you can successfully get it running on non Apple Branded whiteboxes. Where's the hardware lock in? Yeah, it's not in the license that you can do that, but from what people say, it runs fine.
I don't know, I bought Leopard because I owned a macintosh. Otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. I would have bought something else, like Vista...but if I did buy it, I would have to have a computer that is capable of running it.
If you cannot understand that, then there's nothing else to say.
My thoughts exactly. He praised XP for having the best hardware support, and while that _is_ true, he didn't mention that just about no modern hardware works out of the box, without spending hours downloading huge driver packages (with built-in control panels that you seemingly cannot live without, oh how that grinds my gears)
My year-and-a-half-ish old PC only just boots XP, but after that, nothing works, not even the network (= no internet = no downloading drivers), which means I have to install the ancient drivers that came with the motherboard, reboot, download the new drivers, remove the old ones, reboot, install the new drivers, reboot, rinse, repeat. On Ubuntu, all but the graphics drivers work OOTB. That wins over support for cheap, crappy wireless devices any day in my book. After a typical XP install, I'll need at least 2-3 reboots to install drivers etc., with Ubuntu, it's 1, to install the proprietary GFX drivers, and that's it.
Heh, you know what, even though I am aware of that fact, I still like to do a reboot to make sure it works properly, a leftover of my windows days. Old habits die hard :p
Still, gotta love the old ctrl-alt-bksp when toying around with xorg.conf to get TV-out working. I'm still hoping for the day when ATI/Nvidia make their apps work as they should, giving me a proper TV-out with just a few simple clicks, as they do in XP. I won't go into detail about it, but their ways of altering xorg.conf do _not_ make for a happy computing experience.
And this is very off topic. Sorry.
I've lost count of the howto's and different ATI and community drivers I've tried to get my Radion9600's tv tuner chip working with. My old ATI Radeon AIW took all the hastle of uncompressing the community module for X and rerunning startx to have awtv working as well as it can. No amount of hoops and circus ring leaders seems to get the 9600 AIW working for me.
I eventually found the correct solution though; hauppauge. ATI can bight my titanium @ until they release driver specs for the tuner chip and I see a module that actually works seamlessly as it should. With the development of an evolving GPU module, I may consider them for video out when it comes time to buy.
I think none of the people here are average users so invariably everyone here already knows why they chose the OS they are using. But like the article said, for me, if someone asks me what computer they should get and price isn't the number one concern I would tell them to go OSX.
Its also strange to walk into regular electronics shops and hypermarkets and find apple macs for sale - and I'm talking about the arabian gulf countries!
I think its nice to see that os X is no longer treated as a niche system for artists and mac zealots.
People still keep claiming that hardware support in Ubuntu, or Linux in general, would be much poorer than in Windows. However, lots of hardware is auto-configured in Ubuntu while in Windows you may need to install drivers and software for the hardware first, restart the OS etc.
It is, of course, just a plain fact that hardware manufacturers support Windows more, and there's lots of hardware that is not supported in any other OS but Windows. However, if you first check and guarantee that the hardware you are going to buy is Linux-compatible, I can see no reason why hardware support would be so poor in Ubuntu.
An example, I have a nice Logitech Quickcam Fusion webcam connected to a PC that has both Windows and Ubuntu installed but I've not managed to get it to work in Windows although I've read documentation online, tweaked BIOS settings etc. and tried many times. It should be officially supported in Windows, with an installer CD and all. The webcam does work in Ubuntu, however (although not every feature that should be available in Windows, and I've to admit that making it work took some effort from me). There seems to be some hardware compatibility problem with my motherboard USB chipset that may prevent the Windows installer of the webcam software from working? But, despite that, and after some searching with Google, I could get the webcam to work quite well in Ubuntu (Skype, photos etc.). I've given up trying to make the webcam work in Windows, but that is no biggie as I rarely use Windows anyway.
...oh yeah, and now I remember that actually my Logitech microphone didn't work in Windows either (the microphone separate from the webcam, the integrated webcam mic doesn't work in Windows either).
That was actually very odd as microphones are not supposed to be that difficult hardware to support (sound in and that's it?). The mic should just work without the typical Windows hardware installation routine: put in the installer CD, install software and drivers, reboot, cross your fingers and hope that everything works when Windows comes back alive. There was no installing of drivers either in Windows or Ubuntu. Yet, the microphone does work in Ubuntu, but still not in Windows. (Granted, I've not even put very much effort into studying the problem in Windows - as Windows is not the OS I use daily.)
After all these hardware problems in Windows, I cannot understand why I should believe that Windows has much better hardware support than Linux/Ubuntu??
you consider configuring Ubuntu as "taming a wild beast", what on earth would they think of Fedora?
The question is more, what would you consider having to configure Windows (drivers/apps/antivirus/firewall/adaware)?
I know from experience only techies know how to configure their Windows boxes. The others have to stop using their computers a few month each year because of the virus (i.e. their computer don't work anymore, whatever the reason) and see their data erased by the support technician when he reinstalls the OS. That's getting a pain, because most of the people I work with have downtimes like that now and then, and of course they didn't save the data they're supposed to send you.
well ... it is my JOB too.
And Fedora and CentOS are just as easy to use as Ubuntu.
Now, if you want them to break US law, they don't, so if you want to play DVDs or MP3's then you will need to add 3rd party repositories.
If you have ever heard of livna.org, RPMFusion, or RPMForge then you should be able to get whatever you want.
I grow tired of all the Fedora / Ubuntu wars.
The bottom line is this ... both are equally usable.
If you like RPM management, use Fedora. If you like deb management, use Ubuntu/Debian. Both apt-get and yum resolve dependencies and allow adding 3rd party repositories. Both synaptic and yumex allow graphical installs. There is just no REAL difference in using these products as the underlying packages are almost identical.
I love CentOS dearly. And the bulk of my desktop users were on CentOS until our recent F8 upgrade. But I respectfully disagree. Fedora, CentOS and Ubuntu all have their strengths and weaknesses. I far prefer CentOS and Fedora in a situation in which I know I am going to have a strong administrative presence, and I have everyone running via XDMCP or NX.
But when I have someone who insists that they have to use the CDRom, and scan images directly into emails, at a remote office, meaning a standalone machine, I find they have less difficulty with Ubuntu. Its in the little details that you and I would not consider to be a big deal, but are to normal users. I consider the CentOS/Fedora/Ubuntu combo as being my 1-2-3 punch. I need all three, but between them, they cover pretty much everything I need. Well, I do use OpenWRT, as well. But the users never see that. ;-)
 Thanks for the cool, up to date freenx/NX3.0 packages in centosplus, btw. Fedora is still using NX2.1 and resuming sessions doesn't work nearly as well. I use the CentOS srpm for my F8 servers. :-)
Like most current PC/IT magazines that deal with computer software, I've got a feeling that PC Magazine is still quite Windows-centric. They get their living by covering subjects that especially Windows users are interested in. Even if they would not favor Windows intentionally in a comparative OS review like this, the current editors of most current computer magazines still seem to know Windows a LOT better than they know Linux. Like previous commentators have already pointed out above, not everything they say in the review can be considered an objective truth and much has to do with what people are just used to. Edited 2008-03-10 20:59 UTC
To me, PC Magazine is the Vogue magazine of computing. It is mostly filled with glossy, sexy advertisements. Even most of the "articles" are just thinly veiled advertisements for the latest cameras, monitors, etc. The actual content mostly boils down to "10 Ways To Keep Your [Man|Computer] Happy!"
Oh Byte magazine, how we miss thee!
Thanks OSnews for reminding us to ignore and never read any Ziff Davis Media sites.
It's good to be reminded once in a while just in case some of us stumble onto one of their sites by an accident.
The article reads like a satire and provides a lot of good laughs.
To their credit, at least they include Linux nowadays.
A little bit of exposure in mass-media is better than nothing.
I am sorry to tell you that the target audience seems to have taken the step of ignoring quite some while ago and that, hereby, (http://www.ziffdavis.com/press/releases/080305.0.html) ZD was filing for Chap 11 already on march 5th. Sad.
They are just trying to get some of the ad revenue that PC World gets from Apple. (where you switch the logo to Mac World and couldn't tell the differance)
It's a no-brainer, the folks rating the OSs are not the experts.
While I don't dispute the MacOS victory, I think they scored Ubuntu low either out of ignorance or because they just wanted to.
It doesn't have hardware problems, in fact it supports hundreds if not thousands of devices out of the box that neither MacOS nor Windows support natively (or in many cases at all like a few of my old sound cards that still work in 2.6). IE: My blackberry, or my PDA, or even my webcam.
Also, they score it because you have to use the command line? That's very rare, nearly everything done on the command line is exposed via a menu option: IE: Configuring the GUI, your network card, or even installing / removing software.
Spend more than 2 minutes with a live cd next time.
1)You should never compare OS X to Windows or, worse, Linux, because OS X runs only on Mac hardware (I know you can install it on many PCs, but that is for geeks only and it is illegal).
2)Who told them that Linux=Ubuntu?
From my point of view openSUSE scores better than Ubuntu in most comparisons with OS X or Windows that they did.
I wholeheartedly agree. While *I* choose to use Ubuntu on a day-to-day basis, as many others do, making it a very popular distro, OpenSuse would be much better for a comparison like this in a lot of areas. Then again, as it's been said already, it seems the author wasn't really out to give Linux a fair review, but just needed *some* distro to make it seem "fair".
"Then again, as it's been said already, it seems the author wasn't really out to give Linux a fair review, but just needed *some* distro to make it seem "fair".
From the article's "Pick the best OS" page:
1. Some vendors of some types of hardware (wireless cards is a fair example) refuse to support Linux. To do a fair comparison with OSX and Windows, the hardware should therefore be chosen on the same basis. Since OSX is supported only on hardware that has specific support for OSX ... that criteria should therefore apply to all of the OSes under consideration. If you chose hardware (in particular wireless and video card hardware) for which there exists a known-working Linux driver (just as you would for an OSX machine) ... then Linux has no hardware driver issues, and it should not be marked down 9just as OSX or XP or Windows is not marked down) because there exists hardware on which it does not fully work. There is no markdown of any Windows version because it does not work on PowerPC machines, for example.
2. Why was Linux marked down three times because of the failure of some hardware vendors to supply specs for their wireless hardware (even under NDA) to Linux developers?
3. Linux wins hands-down on bundled applications ... why was that fact not recognised?
4. Linux wins hands down on ease of installation of additional applications ... why was that fact not recognised?
5. Linux wins on performance ... you can run a functional and responsive Linux desktop on far less capable hardware than is required for Vista ... why was that fact not recognised?
6. Cross-platform capability ... Linux supports a number of desktop applications out of the box which have versions of the same application that will run on OSX, XP and Vista ... and Linux alone has an emulator that will also run near-natively the applications designed for XP. Linux is easily the most cross-platform and cross-architecture capable OS of the three ... why was that fact not recognised?
There seems to have been a decision made before the article was written as to which of the OSes was to win. The categories considered are designed to support that pre-decision. If you look at the whhole picture ... the answer you get is vastly different.
Because I can't mod you up, I want to say that I wholeheartedly agree with most of your points.
To be fair on the software part. I guess its more about the type of software included rather than the quantity. They specifically mentioned iLife and the equivalent applications in Vista. They did mention that Ubuntu has nn office suite by default but neglected to mention that it also has a PIM app (Evolution).
I do agree that there doesn't seem to be an iLife equivalent in Ubuntu. I would love to see more focus on a more consumer-friendly apps. Evolution is nice but its a little bloated, and I think an approach similar to Apple's or even Vista's with seperate apps for each task. Its the unix way, imo. Cheese is a great Photobooth like app. The iLife like apps are there but they aren't installed by default and they need huge amounts of polish. If the linux community can get these up to snuff then the next comparison should be better in-terms of software. I doubt it will be unbiased regardless though.
Agree entirely. It's as if the writer thought "how can I pitch OS X while seeming to be objective?" - mention a couple of negative points about OS X and some positive ones about Windows, and include a high profile Linux distribution for a bit of extra credibility...
To do a fair comparison with OSX and Windows, the hardware should therefore be chosen on the same basis.
No, the most fair method to conduct a hardware comparison would be to randomly select common components (motherboard, graphic card, sound card, printer, etc.) and see which OSes are the most compatible. The software included with the hardware supports which OS(es)? Which OS, if any, supports the hardware natively? Are there 3rd party drivers available, and are they fully functional?
I suspect the results would be: Windows #1, using the drivers included with the hardware. Linux #2, with the aid of 3rd party drivers and applications. OSX a far distant third, only running on hardware specifically selected for it.
This is not correct.
Linux works on more hardware than either Windows Vista or Mac OSX.
Linux also works (out of the box) on more hardware than even Windows XP (out of the box).
You've made a very good argument, and it would be an interesting experiment for sure.
It could be that my suspicions are completely wrong, or it could be a difference in the definition of "works." Sure, with Linux and other alternative OSes you can get basic function from most common hardware. But the bundled applications and demos are generally Windows-only, and many times the hardwares' features and capabilities are not fully functional. That's my past experiences anyway.
Take sound cards for instance, even the most common mainstream models like the Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi and variations. Does the 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound work correctly in Linux? Digital sound? 24-bit capable? Desktop controls available? All plugs and jacks functional? Drivers are stable? No tweaking necessary?
Now apply the same questions to less-common sound card manufacturers' products - Turtle Beach, M-Audio, Diamond, etc.
You'll have to excuse me if I remain a bit skeptical.
Finally ... if you are trying to fix or re-install a system and you ask many owners ... "where is the CD that came with your printer/scanner/CD burner/motherboard"? or whatever hardware doesn't have drivers on the OS install disk ... they will look at you blankly and say "what CD"?
Tell me about it! Edited 2008-03-11 19:39 UTC
I would say OS X is the most polished and nicest from a end user perspective. They made *nix simple and approachable to the average Joe while linux was still off in super-nerd land to get up and running.
Ubuntu is the best project for Linux so far that I have seen for an end user perspective. The package management and update system rocks and feels solid. If you can remain a typical end user and do not go deep underneath you are pretty set on having a rather stable system. Pull a couple low level maneuvers, even if following some online howto's to the letter and you can potentially get yourself into some serious trouble that will take the super-nerd side of you to bring back to a working state. The end user would be dead in the water and not be liking the ride very much.
As mentioned previously the wifi and networking in Linux is absolutely horrendous, especially the wifi. And even with Ubuntu its a hit and miss affair. If you have a Dell laptop like myself you have a good chance of everything being supported out of the box and having a very Mac like end user experience. If you have other laptop makes and models you can easily end up with half of the critical components of your computer not working out of the box. A real problem for a typical end user when say its your networking that isn't working. You won't expect an end user to figure out how to do super-nerd linux kung-foo to work around and patch the system up from such a state, let alone even mentally build a solution or possible solution to such a problem in his or her mind.
And to the user: "In conclusion i would say that in terms of usage, i use Mac OS X Tiger 80%, linux 15%, and Windows XP 5% (Dvd Decrypter and Dvd Shrink)." -- You can easily take your Windows XP use down to 0% like I have. I run DVD Shrink in Ubuntu 7.10 so I no longer have to drop down to Windows XP. I've wiped XP off the laptop HD and used the space for linux only now for about three months and never looking back.
When it comes down to software linux is pretty much the same, all the distros package the same basic apps again and again, with either the KDE flavour or Gnome. All the FOSS software, you have to admit, has a large percentage of crap from your typical end user perspective. It doesn't matter if you can list 300 games, if only a small handful are of any quality that a typical end user migrating from Windows of Mac might expect. They will take a look and see mid 1980's era game style and balk instantly.
Sound is disgustingly horrendous for the typical end user, especially with games in mind. How many times are you going to try and teach a end user to hack around his system to get rid of scratchy popping sound due in part to issues with the underlying major sound systems and hardware. In the rare occasion where a game will include linux ports and Mac OS X ports, I'll always turn to the OS X port for most of the game play. Why, gorgeous cinematic sound with no pops or scratches and even the bloody animations seem to run smoother and colours look better. Its just a better "feel" for a typical end user. End users don't all work as coders, network admins, or techical support technicians. So if you are one of the later you will do well with linux. But have a semblance of a brain to admit that you can put linux in front of grandma all you want but so long as she doesn't stray from the most basic tasks and demands of the system, she will keep the impression of an ok end user experience.
So while Dell laptop + Ubuntu is my current best machine, it probably won't come as a surprise that a Macbook Pro is my next, and already on order from the store.
I think most of the categories in this comparison should have split into two further sub-cateogories: "out of the box" and "third party additions". In most "out of the box" categories, Ubuntu would actually win! Out of the box, it has more games, more hardware support, more productivity apps, far more programming tools, more wi-fi support (remember that often Windows has virtually no standard wi-fi support - it's often done with third party drivers - and Mac OS X tends to only support its own Airport stuff), easiest to install from scratch, far superior software updater compared to Mac OS X/Windows (who only do Apple/MS updates respectively) and the only OS with official live CDs to "try before you install".
Surprising there was no mention of Compiz (or Compiz Fusion) - which surely would push the Ubuntu interface rating up - instead we got some whinge about needing the console which, ironically, isn't actually a standard icon and has to be dug down a few menus to find anyway!
I got the feeling this article was written by someone who isn't that familiar with Linux and simply didn't like it. Maybe they need someone who's au fait with Linux distros to do their next tri-OS comparison?
Everyone, Macs/Windows, seem to understand the article. It is what it is, someone subjective opinion. I am a Windows person. Works fine for me at all level, specifically with stock trading software and accounting programs. Vista has not giving me any problem even when using XP specific programs.
But, the Linux crazies, they always have to come up with an excuse. People, go to church for religion! OS's are not part of the western philosophical thought. You guys invest too much time and effort defending something that people will use if they like it or if works for their benefit.
I do not care how many programs Linux distros come with, if more than 80% are garbage I cannot use. All you do is trick someone wihtout knowledge of Linux into, either buying a PC with Linux loaded, and then, this person finds out that what he wants to do with his PC he cannot do.
Like someone said before, this article is not for the reader of OS News. Common users buy a PC and want to buy programs at the store that will run in their PC. They cannot do that with Linux.
Oh yes, I have tried Linux for many years. First one was Suse 9.0 until about a year ago when I tired of reformatting drives, etc, because of Linux. Ready for prime time? Not yet boys!
No one is making any excuses, except you in your comment.
Here's the thing - 75% of the article was complaining about Ubuntu. Most of the complaints were without merit - the "you have to use the command line" bit, for example, which caused Ubuntu to lose the GUI section despite the fact that they actually loved the GUI. Or the repeated mentioning of drivers. It seems to be purely based on second-hand information from two or three years ago, and no on actually trying the thing out.
The reviewers were willing to overlook all kinds of problems with both Mac OS X and Windows, particularly Windows XP which they had absolutely no complaints about. Every minor complaint about Vista or Mac OS X was some variant of "it's not the same as Windows XP", basically.
it was not a 'gui' section, it was an 'i' section - that's why they bashed the terminal.
(... no pun intended)
A lot of people seem to be picking holes in their treatment of Ubuntu (and there are quite a few -- what would an OS need to do to get 5 stars for price? Let you download it for free, then put $50 in your Paypal account?)
But doing this risks losing sight of the big picture. For possibly the first time, Ubuntu is being considered on equal terms with Windows and Mac OS in a "mainstream" (in tech circles) review. This would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago.
What's more, it's earning praise: Gnome is seen as "clean and well-organised" and as incorporating the best bits of the Windows and Mac interfaces. And package management is (rightly) seen as a big plus.
So yes, it got some criticism, some of it deserved, some of it misguided. But let's not lose sight of the fact that right here, we're seeing beginnings of the much-longed-for "Linux as a mainstream OS". These are exciting times.
I have been using Linux for about 7 years and exclusively for three. Only one major distribution has always disappointed and that is Ubuntu. From it's bastardised Debian roots to its sh*t brown wallpaper it annoying. Lots of hype and not much else IMHO.
Oh, STFU with these Ubuntu bashers already. if you don't like it, don't use it. Every jealous bastard in the world comes out to bash it, the main reason being the wallpaper. Come the f--k on is that all you want to complain about?
Every time Ubuntu is mentioned anywhere you get these f--king trolls. I'm tired of that shit already.
But each time they come to a pit fight I already know it will be a Linux bashing time.
Okay just a few points.
Author states that if Linux does not come out from the shell it will never be ready for the masses.
I'm a tech and spend all of my day fixing your Goddamn Outlook and you do know how? WITH LINE COMMANDS!
Run-> outlook.exe /cleanfrebusy or /sniff or /resetfolders, you name it I have it, I have TWO PAGES of those.
"Hey, you're tech, it is normal!" No, it is bloody not, if the ONLY solution is line based and the user is not aware it is beyond bad usability, it is Elitism!
Graphism? Do not dream of it "Yes Ubuntu it is cute, but OsX is cool, so it wins, point" No details about the fact that you can tweak Ubuntu (or any distro) to a point that it eats on OsX's head and that I mean OUT OF THE BOX! (activate trasparencies in XFCE and then come back to me explaining me AERO)
The Office part is the one that killed me it clearly states "Yes Ubuntu has openoffice for free, but Vista and OsX can have office paying so they are better"
It means that it does not matter what software is given for free with the distro, commercial ones are still better because you can PAY to get the programs that do the same things?
So finally we procede through this delirium to the conclusion: "Mac is better for artists, Windows for spreadsheets and Linux for nerds that loves to experiment" Lovely, we are in what? 2008? Nice to see people evolving with time.
I want just to point out that websurfing and web related activity are good on the three which actually brings me to a simple question: since we live in the time of WEB based application, is it such ininfluent point?
Author thinks so since he placed this info as a detail not getting that this will be THE battlefield of the next years.
*Goes burn a Linux CD" Be right back, iI have to show the poor guy what he REFUSED to see.
I wish PC Mag had some sort of edit function... or maybe just a "Delete this article" button. They should, 'cause their readers can't be THAT stupid!
I followed the link and promptly closed the browser tab. There's no way I'm reading site where each page contains 6 vertical feet of ads and 3 tiny paragraphs of text. I'm not wasting my time with that site.
what there's ads on that page ? i didn't see any
Vista and OSX both apparently support DVD playing out of the box, among other things, but is there any bigger Linux distro which does offer such? It seems all the Linux distros are catering to the US population by not shipping with such abilities or proprietary codecs..but the fact is, not everyone lives in the US. There's lots of countries here in Europe where it is legal to ship with all the necessary stuff to play DVDs, play MP3 and so on and so forth.
Oh, and by the way..I personally know of only one open-source DVD player for Linux which supports menus too, and that's Ogle. Ogle just isn't really too pretty, and it's buggy. :/
Xine has supported menus for ages. If you want menus just in totem just install totem-xine instead of totem-gstreamer. Better yet use VLC which supports everything. Is it really so hard for people to do a google search?
Dvd playback in Ubuntu is no on by default but it's so easy to turn on that its just another excuse people use The included Ubuntu help documentation even walk you through the steps.
Since i have linux,Mac Os X, and Windows XP installed on my pc, let me make some observations.
Unless you are some teenage dork who plays high powered games
all the time or you need to use Photoshop in connection with your job,
it is ludicrous to use Windows as your main operating system.
Mac Os X is the coolest looking and easiest to use of the three
operating systems. But all the best applications cost a fair amount of
money. Now that Mac Os X can be run on a pc, it's a whole new ballgame.
Linux , and i am referring to only the top 10 or so distros listed on
Distrowatch's hit list, Is easy to use, very easy to install,comes with more
programs than most people would ever need, and is very secure. I
would say that if i could only have one of the three os'es, it would be
In conclusion i would say that in terms of usage, i use Mac OS X Tiger
80%, linux 15%, and Windows XP 5% (Dvd Decrypter and Dvd Shrink).
Ubuntu or most other intimately FOSS based OS has to have the advantage there. Even if you drop 70$ for Mandriva Poweruser, your getting a huge library of software to choose from.
You can't beat prepackaged and even when you have to upgrade, the Apple puts a lot f attention into the end user. Yeah, osX has it there definately.
This is more subjective. The osX makeup layerd over BSD is darn pretty though. I've yet to have a "oh, wtf now" moment when working on my wife's osX machine.
We may have to clarify "bundled". In terms of "directly available too through easy GUI selection" then you can't beat network repositories for Debian, Ubuntu, Mandriva and many others not to mention what BSDs have available. In terms of "included in the base install" then osX definately retains the more usable selection over Windows while Ubuntu has a very rich default selection.
Third Party Software
Maybe I missed the part where 3000 or so third party packages available to Debian outweighs the much smaller, though more popular, win32 library. "Popular" does not equal "more" but I may not understand the scoring criteria on that one.
Drivers and Hardware
In terms of hardware, it's all OS neutral regardless of what the manufacturer tries to tell you. It's hardware guiding pulses of power through it's chips and connectors; it doesn't care what brand of logic it's pushing except in Apples DRM'd OS case. In terms of drivers, Windows still get's first pick from the manufacturer's budgets for new hardware. In terms of overall hardware including almost new to archaic, you can't come close to what the Linux kernel supports unless you happen to have run your WinXP kernel on R/C radios, embedded systems or hardware older than seven years.
As always, the limitation of new hardware bias against nonWindows remains a synthetic market force not a natural market force. If hardware vendors used generic interface chips to hider there BS IP claims they could release driver specs and save there own development budget for making better hardware.
Windows is pretty and convenient at the expense of security. osX is pretty and benefits from BSD's inherent focus on security. Ubuntu comes from a lineage where, like BSD, security is the main focus though it's been dropping the ball in favour of convenience.
For consumers from the highest intelectual to the lowest common denominator, yeah, osX is the stronger recommendation still. I'm all for Linux/BSD based OS but I have friends I wouldn't put it infront of yet since they tend to take first apearances as gospel and would discount it for not being Windows; sadly. The gamers will remain shackled too Windows due to DX09/DX10 and the game developer's choice to ignore anything but the fanboy market; booo.. boooo game houses.. booooo.
The game houses and consumers should all be asking ATI/nVidia where the open driver specs are for there video cards and giving development time to openGL or another trully cross-platform framework rather than just the cross-Microsoft framework. In truth, I'm open to the idea that ATI will have something usable by the time it's time to by my last new system part, GPU, but I do so love the hardware that is 8800.
I stopped reading after seeying this The use of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) in particular brings a no-fuss, no-muss approach to getting products to see one another.
The article writer must have missed the upnp series and routers on GNUCITIZEN alltogether imho.
Wal-Mart shoves Linux PCs off store shelves, not web site
By John Timmer | Published: March 11, 2008 - 01:05PM CT
Wal-Mart's experiment with selling cheap Linux-based PCs in its stores has apparently come to a close. Starting last October, the retail giant stocked desktops from the Green PC line manufactured by Everex. That stock ultimately sold out, but Wal-Mart has apparently decided not to refresh it. The Associated Press quotes a company spokesperson, referring to the machines, as saying, "This really wasn't what our customers were looking for."
This is such a rant over Microsoft again.
The article is so biaised that it is ridiculous.
Of course, Mac OS is so "bargain" that it is as cheap as free, so no advantage to Linux. On the other end, Windows cost a few dollars more, but how horrible ! this is absolutely unbearable.
Not worth even reading. The article author can be flagged "receives gifts from Apple", you get the the full summary in this title.
"With Apple, users pay every year (or so) to get a major upgrade. Microsoft provides its major Windows upgrades, called Service Packs, free of charge. Paying more for Mac OS upgrades is a bit galling when you've already paid a premium for the hardware."
erm, wrong! I bet the difference between Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5 is bigger than between Windows 98 and Windows ME. Did the author know that Apple delivers free "Service Packs" as well? 10.4.1, 10.4.2 and so on …
You just can't compare an upgrade with a service pack! damned!