Windows 7 is said to be leaner and meaner than Vista ... a sign that MS is moving in the right direction. Several programs were ripped out of the OS and made optional. Despite this, Windows 7 weighs in at about 5GB, while Ubuntu 9.04 takes up about 3GB. In addition, the Ubuntu release boots 40% faster, shuts down 39% faster, uses less memory both at boot (55%) and with apps running (40%), and benchmarks significantly (17%) higher. Both were tested in VirtualBox using the exact same hardware setup.
I tried to be objective, but when you look at the comparison below, it's really hard not to declare one the absolute winner. Unless you're seriously tied to MS products, you should give 9.04 a run to check it out.
Note: because there has been criticism that I didn't provide enough memory, I've re-run the tests using 1 GB. The result? Start-up and shut-down times were virtually identical, and Ubuntu's Geekbench score was again 17% higher. No change worth mentioning.
|Feature ||Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 4 ||Windows 7 Beta |
|Boot time -- Performed three times and averaged. Because this is difficult to measure, I set auto-login and waited until all desktop elements were loaded and the HD stopped grinding. It includes the time for the VM to start and any bootloaders (3 secs for Grub).||1:09||1:40|
|Shutdown time -- Performed three times and averaged. Recorded from time to press "Shut down" until VM disappeared.||0:11||0:18|
|Memory use at boot with no extra programs running.||137 MB||319 MB|
|Geekbench score -- See end of post for complete breakdown||1523||1299|
|Memory use with four Google Apps tabs (GMail, Docs, Calendar, Photos), Browser, Movie Player, and Image Viewer.||254 MB||460 MB|
|Browser||Firefox 3 is an advanced browser that is quick and extensible, It is currently the second most used browser behind Internet Explorer. While there are a huge number of extensions to the browser, not all are Ubuntu-compatible. |
Opera is native.
An early version of Chrome exists using Wine, but uses version 0.9.
Internet Explorer 6 is available using Wine.
|Internet Explorer 8 (currently beta) offers a vastly improved compliance and speed over IE6 and IE7. |
Firefox 3 is also available as a separate download.
Opera is native.
Chrome is available at version 2.0.
|Office Suite||OpenOffice.org 3.0 gives the user remarkable MS OFfice compatibility and improves speed and functionality over version 2.4. |
MS Office 2003 works acceptably under current versions of Wine, but may require tweaking.
|No office suite is installed by default. |
OpenOffice.org 3.0 is available as a separate download and offers all the same features as the Linux version.
MS Office 2007 is available natively.
|Evolution is a full-featured PIM with the ability to connect to popular servers like Exchange and Groupwise. It includes e-mail, calendars, tasks, and contacts.||Windows Mail is not installed in this version, but can be added later. The newer version no longer supports WebDAV, though. |
Windows Live Mail is also available.
|Search||The Deskbar applet gives access to full-text search as well as a dictionary, Wikipedia, and web search, all in one place.||Windows Live Search can be put on the taskbar and search your local files and the web.|
|Movie Player||Totem is a simple movie player which can play most formats without getting in your way. YouTube and BBC videos can be viewed directly from the player. |
Elisa Media Center is available from the repositories and will manage videos for you.
|Windows Media Player is both a player and a manager. |
Windows Media Center is another option.
|Music Player||Rhythmbox will manage your music, play Internet radio, handle podcasts, and share music on your network. |
Totem is used when you open an audio file manually.
Banshee, Amarok, and Exaile are popular alternative music managers.
|Windows Media Player will manage your music. |
The Media Center is another option.
|Photos Organizer||F-Spot will manage your photos for you. |
Eye of Gnome is used if you open a photo manually.
|The Windows Media Player also will manage your photos for you. |
Windows Photo Gallery isn't installed by default, but can be added.
The Windows Picture Viewer is used if you open a picture manually.
|Chat Client||Pidgin |
Empathy is the next-gen client with voice, video, and file transfer.
aMSN offers just about every feature available on MSN.
Kopete is a multi-service client with voice and video.
Many others are available.
|Windows Messenger offers full access to the MSN network. |
Official clients exist for just about every protocol.
Pidgin is also available as a separate download.
Many other full-featured chat clients exist.
Skype 2.0 is available for download
|Skype 4.0 is available for download and provides many more features than the Ubuntu 2.0 version.|
|CD /DVD Burning||Brasero handles writing various CD and DVD projects like data, audio CDs, movie DVDs, copies, and image burns.||Windows CD/DVD maker handles video DVDs if your video card is up to snuff.|
|Graphics Editor||Gimp is good for web work, but is often criticized for its interface. |
Photoshop CS3 works acceptably under Wine, but may require some tweaking.
|None (unless you count MS Paint). |
Paint.NET is available as a separate download and is reported to be excellent.
Photoshop CS4 is native.
|Video Editor||None is installed by default, but several applications are available for installation.||Microsoft Movie Maker offers easy basic video editing with various effects.|
|Notes Client||Tomboy Notes is a hyperlinking note-taking application.||Sticky Notes and Journal are available.|
The operating systems were tested in VirtualBoxOSE with 512 MB RAM allotted.
|Criteria||Windows 7 Beta||Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 4|
|Version||Geekbench 2.0.19||Geekbench 2.0.15 for Linux x86 (32-bit)|
|Platform||Windows x86 (32-bit)||Linux i686|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate||Linux 2.6.28-4-generic i686|
|Processor||Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2140 @ 1.60GHz||Intel Pentium Dual E2140|
|Model||innotek GmbH VirtualBox||Linux PC (Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2140 @ 1.60GHz)|
|Memory||511 MB||511 MB|
|Blowfish Single Threaded (ST) scalar||951||1364|
|Blowfish Multi-threaded (MT) scalar||987||1417|
|Text Compress ST sclar||1235||1220|
|Text Compress MT scalar||1203||1161|
|Text Decompress ST scalar||1472||1124|
|Text Decompress MT scalar||1425||1051|
|Image Compress ST scalar||1294||1249|
|Image Compress MT scalar||1303||1135|
|Image Decompress ST scalar||805||808|
|Image Decompress MT scalar||842||814|
|Crafty Chess ST scalar||1632||1455|
|Crafty Chess MT scalar||1361||1467|
|Lua ST scalar||2322||2087|
|Lua MT Scalar||2347||2033|
|Floating Point Score||945||1663|
|Mandelbrot ST Scalar||1031||1203|
|Mandelbrot MT scalar||1056||1174|
|Dot Product ST scalar||452||743|
|Dot Product MT scalar||472||809|
|Dot Product ST vector||403||325|
|Dot Product MT vector||533||418|
|LU Decomposition ST sclar||1162||2037|
|LU Decomposition MT scalar||1224||1305|
|Primality Test ST scalar||2022||1770|
|Primality Test MT scalar||1525||1402|
|Sharpen Image ST scalar||333||3353|
|Sharpen Image MT scalar||328||3353|
|Blur Image ST scalar||1339||2708|
|Blur Image MT scalar||1350||2689|
|Stream Copy ST scalar||3415||2369|
|Stream Copy MT scalar||1533||1490|
|Stream Scale ST scalar||1431||1587|
|Stream Scale MT scalar||2326||1458|
|Stream Add ST scalar||2135||2758|
|Stream Add MT scalar||1758||1784|
|Stream Triad ST scalar||2630||1611|
|Stream Triad ST vector||2559||1474|