I have to warn you, this is an opinion article and about my desktop experience on my laptop, so not much to learn of technical details as you might have seen in the past. It concerns my Windows desktop and the use of Ubuntu’s desktop
I wanted to write a follow-up to my Win8.1 article, because I changed my opinion quite a bit. I’ve grown tired with the Windows desktop, but not of lack of trying;
– We bought an touch monitor with the Win8 TP, and it was fun for the first hour, but after that it was just not usable.
– I’ve bought a XPS12 duo to try and use Metro/TIFKAM with Win8. I though there might be a use case for me while in meetings. But again, the use case in tablet mode was useless: No touch access to my files in TIFKAM, no access to agenda’s of colleagues, the mail app was just mail (no tasks/notes), etc.
The fact is I dislike the Windows UI less and less. I especially got tired to click 10x times more then I was used to, I hate all the white-space in the apps/screens which takes up useless space, the dual control settings and the terribly implemented UAC (although I understand what they were trying to do as it works very good on Linux/OSX). These things were more irritating on the Server Side, as it uses the same UI and I (and others) don’t believe in the core version.
The last thing that annoyed me was the touch-pad drivers for the XPS, they never worked like I wanted them to. I wanted a touch-pad experience on the mac, but however I tried it, it was just so-so. Then I tried to “refresh” my PC (with a new profile) and ended up with Win8 without the .1, so updating to 8.1 took me half a day and then the touch-pad was even worse than I had before. A colleague of mine had the same problems with a XPS13, although his solution was even more laughable: he installed the Dell driver, set the functions, exported the registry settings, de-installed the Dell software and imported the registry settings. He also needed to de-install a MS update every month as this overwrote his settings. So I decided to try Ubuntu to find out it if the touchpad issue was a hardware problem or a software problem. And guess what.. Out of the box the whole touch-pad experience was like the Apple one! As I understand it, MS has seen the same problem as the PC vendors are doing a bad job at touch-pad drivers and MS is trying to get control of the touch-pad again.
But.. I found the Ubuntu experience quite liberating. Everything worked out of the box, it has a software centre that has almost everything I need (like the Apple app store), Openvpn is nicely integrated, the Skype client is much better than on Windows (much better UI at least), Teamviewer works, and even Netflix works (even though I needed Chrome for a while for that because of the DRM). Every few years I’ve tried Linux and after a few days I decided it was not mature enough for production use in my desktop. But I was really surprised and have been using the platform since Ubuntu 15.10 (which stands for month 10 of 2015, guess where the Win10 build numbers come from) and I’m really impressed and becoming a fan. Using a Linux desktop is a bit work related too, as we are probably going to Linux based servers. I decided I could use the exercise and take a bit away of the fear of Linux and overall the experience has been very good. The community (askubuntu.com) is very newbie friendly and has most topics documented.
After a while of following the news I found out a lot of the Linux community that’s quite interesting, especially with the MS announcements in mind;
– Microsoft Nano server –> Ubuntu core
– Microsoft Docker –> Ubuntu Docker
– Microsoft Windows 10 –> Ubuntu phone
– Microsoft IoT –> Ubuntu IoT (core with snappy)
These MS announcements are not very far off from the Canonical ones.. Taking in the larger stuff like MS joining the Linux foundation and MS SQL running on Linux, I would suggest you take a look at Linux too.. In our company I’ve had some influence as there are already 5 of them using Ubuntu on their laptops. 😈