Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Apr 2009 14:28 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has struck back at claims made by Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc about Windows' success in netbooks compared to Linux. Most of the claims made by LeBlanc are refuted quite accurately by Canonical's Chris Kenyon in a blog post titled "Microsoft, FUD and the netbook market".
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Now, be honest, please.
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:42 UTC
Liquidator
Member since:
2007-03-04

I already addressed the issue of hardware support in our original coverage of Microsoft's blog post. Microsoft implied that Linux' hardware support is inferior to that of Windows, but that's downright nonsense, of course, and Kenyon agrees. "Ubuntu and most Linux distributions support over 3000 printers over 1000 digital cameras, and over 200 webcams. It also supports them without the need to search for drivers on dubious websites or load drivers from a CD. Just plug and play."


Ok, please, stop spreading FUD. While I consider Microsoft's FUD plain gross, I don't accept FUD from the Linux community either.

Yes, Linux ships with more drivers than Windows XP BUT counting these drivers that are standard with the OS and the myriad of drivers you can find on manufacturers web sites in their download area, of course, there are A LOT MORE Windows drivers out there than there are for Linux.

Is this Linux's fault? No. But this is the reality, and it is f#cking important for someone who already has his own hardware (compared to some one who hasn't bought his hardware yet). I have an Ubuntu partition on my computer. Ubuntu does NOT work with a number of peripherals that I have. I doesn't work with my DVB-T board Terratec Cynergy HT PCI. It doesn't work with my Canon LBP2900P. It doesn't work with my Plustek scanner and it doesn't work either with my Dazzle DV Editor board.

So yes, it's great, there are so many drivers with Linux, while there are almost none with Windows. Problem is most of the time, the driver you need isn't available for Linux, especially for peripherals (video boards, printers, scanners, specialty boards, DVB boards). And if your default Linux install doesn't provide the driver, you're pretty much out of luck because the hardware manufacturer only provides drivers for Mac and Windows. If you use Windows, it works out of the box most of the time. But you don't even have to bother using the driver that ships with the OS (it's old-dated already), just head over to the manufacturer's web site, download the driver, install it, and that's it.

So please stop lying. There are many, many more drivers available for Windows. Some people new to Linux could believe you after repeating such nonsense on and on.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

When I spec out new hardware, I check the support across platforms. I gave up buying hardware that limited me to a single platform years ago.

In the case of specialty hardware, that may indicate the need for a specialty workstation. Your distro choice of Linux may be as unsuited to audio processing (random guess) as Windows would be to a transparent IDS/IPS or security testing toolkit.

You could also followup with your hardware vendors asking why they only support one or two platforms. They could have support for there hardware written at no cost to them beyond providing the interface specs so "we don't have budget to write drivers" is not an excuse.

The only way hardware vendors are going to take interest is if the consumer base starts asking more questions. If you honestly want hardware supported across platforms, vote with your wallet and buy hardware from vendors that support choice.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by Vanders on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:58 in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu does NOT work with a number of peripherals that I have. I doesn't work with my DVB-T board Terratec Cynergy HT PCI. It doesn't work with my Canon LBP2900P. It doesn't work with my Plustek scanner and it doesn't work either with my Dazzle DV Editor board.


Great, but I can also name hardware that doesn't have Windows drivers: it was a huge problem with Vista, and still is a problem for some users. It's swings and roundabouts, but what Conanical have said is certainly not FUD.

It's not untrue to say that Linux has more drivers available out of the box, and it's more likely to support average consumer hardware, which a lot of the kit you list isn't.

By the way, are you sure about that Canon LBP2900: http://openprinting.org/show_printer.cgi?recnum=Canon-LBP-2900

Edited 2009-04-09 17:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

If it's not FUD, it's not true either (I explained why). My Canon printer isn't supported by Intrepid Ibex at least. I have to reboot and to use my USB key to open the file in Windows to print it if I need to.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by mat69 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:01 in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

I think you can hardly compare Linux and Windows on a driver base without giving context. E.g. Linux supports many technologies that Windows does not like ARM.

While Windows XP may not have that many default drivers that is no surprise after all, first Windows XP is _old_ while there are constantly new versions of Linux distributions with new kernel versions etc. and second they have no central way to install drivers from the net yet, what could solve the problem outlined before (Windows 7 is supposed to fix that).

Though I guess it is safe to say that windows has more support for peripheral devices than Linux so far.

"Problem is most of the time, the driver you need isn't available for Linux"

Well that is not a fact. Maybe it is your perception, but those people who don't have that problem (simply plug and play) probably would disagree. It really depends on what devices you have, you may be one of the lucky ones without any problems or another that is riddled with them.

E.g. my printer (choose a faster driver though), my scanner, my fathers camera, my brothers camera, my graphics card (R500 series) work all out of the box. While all of these aspects need further care on Windows XP.

"If you use Windows, it works out of the box most of the time"

For me most devices do not work out of the box on Windows XP, not even close, e.g. repainting is so slow, maybe 2 fps. Windows 7 tries to fix that -- imo a great thing -- though I have not tested that myself.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

You probably mean the ARM architecture...Seriously, other than technicians, who really uses or needs this support? There's no advantage at all IMO.

I think I wouldn't care if Windows didn't ship with any driver at all. After all, as you said, drivers are outdated on Windows, and you can find these drivers on the manufacturor's web site. Not having a central location to get drivers is not a problem at all, it even gives manufacturers more freedom (remember the nag screen saying the manufacturer hasn't paid the tax and therefore is not verified - use at your own risk).

I'm always amazed to see people not having hardware compatibility issues with Linux...I mean...There are so many threads of new users complaining on Linux forums that their peripheral isn't recognized, and some other senior users sometimes saying they are out of luck, or sometimes asking to recompile the kernel with a beta-quality module...It's a terrible experience for a new user who wants to use his existing hardware.

For me, some hardware doesn't work out of the box on Windows either. But I don't care, I just go to the manufacturer's web site. At least I have a solution. This is not the case with Ubuntu. If it doesn't work out of the box, it won't work.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by protoz on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:10 in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
protoz Member since:
2008-04-28

Did you even read the article?

The last PC I built was for my brother and as an experiment I installed Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit on it just to see how long he could go before he wanted to go back to Windows. Over a month has gone by and he's never had a better time using a PC.

He plugs in all of his peripherals and they install automatically and work without any user intervention. This includes his video card, sound, printer, cameras, gf's ipod shuffle, his samsung mp3 player, web cam and wireless keyboard/mouse.

Each of those required a driver or software to be downloaded/installed on Windows before they worked properly. So you are correct. Windows has more drivers because they are needed to get peripherals to work correctly.

Ubuntu had everything he needed and a way to keep his music away from his gf's music (He uses Songbird and she uses Rythmbox). He was about to install the camera software for his cameras using wine but, I told him to just plug it in and see what happened first. F-Spot popped up, imported his images and tagged them automatically.

The only thing that hasn't worked was Wheel of Fortune which he bought at Wal-Mart. I could probably get it to work with a little research but he said he never played it before anyhow.

The only reason I still use Windows is for gaming because everything else I use works great on my Ubuntu server I use to play with Ubuntu.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

I'm dubious with such a good hardware support on a computer with Linux (unless you carefully picked your hardware beforehand).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by mabhatter on Thu 9th Apr 2009 19:48 in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"So yes, it's great, there are so many drivers with Linux, while there are almost none with Windows. Problem is most of the time, the driver you need isn't available for Linux, especially for peripherals (video boards, printers, scanners, specialty boards, DVB boards). And if your default Linux install doesn't provide the driver, you're pretty much out of luck because the hardware manufacturer only provides drivers for Mac and Windows. If you use Windows, it works out of the box most of the time. But you don't even have to bother using the driver that ships with the OS (it's old-dated already), just head over to the manufacturer's web site, download the driver, install it, and that's it."

Don't forget that those same vendors all cashed in to make people buy new hardware when XP (and later Vista, 7) was released even though the hardware was 6 months old and perfectly serviceable. Once a driver is in "Linux" it typically stays out there until nobody cares to maintain it. Things do fall off for lack of use/developer interest, but they could be fixed if you wanted to. Proprietary drivers not so much.

Reply Parent Score: 5