Windows 7 VS Ubuntu 10 Beta on the same Machine

I never thought I’d like Windows after Vista was such a let down. But I like Windows 7 much to the amusement of the Tech guys because I’ve religiously pushed Ubuntu for ages.

My poor HP Pavilion DB5 goes through the wars with me but has done very well. However the Vista installation became rarely used as I was happy with Linux day to day and Vista was a dog to use.

I’ve now upgraded my Vista Installation to Windows 7, so here are my thoughts comparing the two.


You will need. 3 Coffees, 1 Ubuntu Boot CD (if you are installing Windows 7 on an existing Linux Installation) and Patience!

I’ve always found Linux installations pretty easy.  – I can’t report any problems with the Beta except that it removed Java! WHY?! anyway – I would warn you in a production environment not to upgrade to 10. There were  a few glitches which I’m sure will be ironed out when this version finally comes out it will be a good fight against Windows 7 and Mac.

Windows 7, would not upgrade my Vista instead insisted in putting all my “Stuff” in a windows.old folder thank goodness. The installation was quite deceptive as it seemed to take no time at all to get through the stage with the % counter but when it got to completing installation it took ages. It did leave me with a Boot loader that was wrong and I couldn’t get to my Linux installation without rewriting the grubloader back to the partition! OUCH!. Lucky I had a Linux Boot Cd.

Avast anti Virus wouldn’t run on Windows 7. Just broke. I’m not sure if it was me or Windows 7 but I don’t mind.


You know I think they’re about the same. Both are quick to boot up and very stable. Windows 7 has some really dare I say it nice ways to control windows, really it’s almost for me down to which desktop I want to choose. Both are now running in 64 bit on my machine, both work nicely. Although Windows 7 lacks some of the nice wizzy desktop decoration of Ubuntu and seems to only have a few widgets whereas Ubuntu has loads, I’m sure that will change over time.

The Moral Issue

For me the use of Windows 7 over Ubuntu or any other Linux distro is perhaps more about the morality of one company controlling the operating systems of the World’s desktops. What if Microsoft has something in their code (and I’m not saying they do) that at the push of a button could shut down or destroy desktops in a particular part of the world? Is that right? How can we trust cash machines that run on Windows XP, and they do people I know because I lost £40 to a Windows XP cash machine!.

The Cost Issue

This is a tough cookie, Windows 7 + Office Pro is an expensive choice against FREE Ubuntu! But Ubuntu takes more to look after, it’s like the Little Girl with the Curl, When it’s good it’s very very good and when it’s bad it’s Horrid.

Not everything did work for me on Windows 7 till it had installed a myriad of updates. It couldn’t find a printer driver for work’s printer whereas linux found it and easily installed it, my t-mobile dongle still doesn’t work with it but worked faultlessly with Ubuntu.  This was a pain at home because I live on a boat and we can’t have any sort of cable and there’s no wireless provider in my area.

Ubuntu & Windows 7 Living Together

Ubuntu happily sees the Windows 7 drives, but Windows 7 doesn’t happily see the Ubuntu drives. This can be fixed with a driver when I can find one that works! 

Booting from the Grubloader works brilliantly, but Windows 7 did fail to really set up the boot loader properly. It failed to look at the other partition on the disk and simply installed a link to the WUBI bootloader that I used to have years ago. What frustrated me particularly is that they don’t have a simple boot.ini file you can edit any longer! You have to use an awkward command line utility. But then in Linux we are ALWAYS using an awkward command line utility!


Both seem to be pretty stable. Windows 7 Internet Explorer 8 crashed about 4 times just wondering to my usual haunts, Napster, FB etc. Linux until these newer kernels for this version had been crashing with the hard disk going mad. 

I’m surprised Windows haven’t invented a better Disk format than NTFS but maybe I’m missing something. Linux’s ability to not have to defragment the disk is awesome.


The difference between Ubuntu and Vista was amazing Ubuntu was much faster, between Ubuntu and Windows 7, you know they are about the same speed. However Ubuntu tends to stay at the same speed whereas all the Windows I’ve had before have got slower as time went on and they got more “clogged up” with all the stuff I spend my life trying out.

How to choose?

Don’t choose, get both, install Windows 7 and Ubuntu on the same machine. If something doesn’t run under Ubuntu (which there is not much) try it under Windows 7.  

My Primary Operating  System is….

Difficult to say as yet, I’ll update this as I go, today I’m in a “Freedom Fighter Kinda Ubuntu” mode. Tomorrow I might feel a bit more Windows 7, but Second Life and Netbeans and Lovely Open Office run on both. Ubuntu’s advantage at the moment is it accesses both drives and that’s a big advantage Microsoft(tm) could do with putting into Windows 7.

Well done Microsoft, a proper version of Windows that is Stable and fast. I would like you please to put in reading of Linux drives natively.

Well done Ubuntu, a proper version of Linux that is Stable and fast.


About Paul C

I am a Senior Java programmer/Web Technologies, Play in a band called Mandolin Monday, I have a cat and I live on a boat.

Posted on April 15, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Fantastic report,I just now subscribed to your rss feed.

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