It’s seems that with all Microsoft has done wrong, Linux appears to do everything right. With the recent boom of Ubuntu, and its adoption by DELL, Linux can do no wrong. It’s about time that someone point out the obvious and show the world that Linux isn’t perfect… yet.
Since it is so popular, and my current distribution of choice, we might as well use Ubuntu as the specimen for this review.
Problem one: the bugs. A recent bug has come to my attention, and it’s just one of many. The particular bug to which I am referring has a nasty effect of causing my laptop to overheat. This is rather hindering to my daily routine. It is especially annoying when I’m attempting to compile the code I’ve written that day.
Windows may have plenty of bugs, but at least it doesn’t cause my laptop to heat up to extreme temps and shut down. Bugs like these are just one of the reasons I keep Windows around.
Solution: better bug testing and faster results
Problem two: incompatibility. Let’s face it, most programs don’t work on Linux. Granted, I can spend the time setting up WINE or even learn to use a different program, but time is money. I’d like my programs to just work… especially the games.
I’m also sick of having to download and compile programs that aren’t in repositories. Pick a standard, use it. There are a lot of programs out there, and many of them are written for Linux, but they aren’t always very accessible. Downloading source code, and compiling, is not something that the average Joe will be able to do.
Windows, I’m sad to say, has the luxury of being number one. Therefore, most programs just work. It’s nice.
Solution: get software developers to make us some good stuff or make WINE easier to use
Problem three: formats. I wish that someone would agree on the codec issue. Some distros have them, and some don’t. The issue is apparently related to legalities, but when I’m using my computer all I know is, “I need them.” I need mp3, wma, wmv, and I’d really like to watch DVDs too. Getting all these codecs can be easy if you use Automatix, but the Ubuntu team doesn’t really want you to do that.
Solution: help fix Automatix or give us a better way to get what we need
Problem four: support. I know how Linux works. If you have a problem, Google it or seach the forums. Ubuntu’s forums are really an excellent tool and you can almost always find an answer there. The problem lies in the type of answer you get. When using Windows the answers tend to be:
“Click this, then click that, and hit the OK button.”
“Restart your computer.”
As much as I hate to do it, or recommend it, most problems with Windows can be solved with a simple restart. Now, when it comes to Ubuntu, the answers tend to be:
“Open the terminal and type <long section of codes and commands>.”
See the difference? Most people would probably be lost at the word “terminal.”
Solution: better failsafe techniques and problem solving software
In the end…
Ubuntu has come a long way in relation to other distros. It still has a lot to do, and it has to be careful. Convenience is nice, but you don’t want to alienate to hardcore Linux users. There is a happy medium… somewhere. My advice? Stop trying to beat Windows. Make bug #1, the primary goal, to make an excellent distro. Then let Microsoft worry about beating you. This constant effort to beat Windows will only turn Ubuntu into Windows.