What the Linux desktop gives that Mac OS X and Windows don't

Linux is in some ways better than the Mac or Windows. Here are a few reasons.

Lest someone accuse me of disliking the Linux desktop (which, by the way, I do :-), I thought this post was interesting, as it details things that Linux can do but Windows and Mac OS X can't.

Not all the distinctions are accurate (at least, not for the Mac), but on balance it's a good list. Here are a few of the most significant (in my opinion):

  • Linux doesn't need defraging [Nor does the Mac - not really]
  • Upgrade to the newest version legally and without paying money
  • Have the latest version of the OS run faster than the previous version on the same hardware
  • Install twenty programs with one command [I can't remember the last time I wanted to do this, but presumably it's important for some...?]
  • Have the system automatically update all installed programs [There are open-source programs for the Mac that do this, too]
  • Being able to install/uninstall everything, even if it comes embedded in the system

I particularly like that last one. Linux is very good at separating components of the system and of keeping track of which applications need which components so that you can skinny down your system without threat of lobotomizing it.

Where Linux could use serious work is in the installation of programs. Granted, I haven't put myself through the ordeal in three years, but the last time I tried to install something as simple as Firefox was an exercise in senseless frustration. I'm sure things have gotten better since then. If not, none of the above benefits even remotely redresses that grievous installation experience.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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