Finally a geek post again! So I’ve been using both operating systems on my EEE netbook for some time now. Window 7 starter came with the system, I did a dualboot installation of Ubuntu Netbook Remix next to it. The reason was that I liked to explore (finally) if I can make the step to using only opensource software. My needs are pretty basic; internet, wi-fi, image editing and uploading and maintaining my blog for a bit. Plus I like to listen to music. These are my findings to my specific needs ( and noobiness on both OS ). Along the road sometimes I need more performance ( video’s ) but also long battery times when doing simple stuff and not having a socket ready somewhere.

User Interface

Windows look like, well windows. So familiar, but comes also with all the annoying things. I especially dislike to start menu, which encourages you to search for programs and having to click again to see all programs. I like to have full control what I have over there.

Tabbed browsing became better in Windows 7, but still sometimes the toolbar has a life of it’s own. It takes some tinkering around to make it small and less omnipresent since on a netbook space is everything.

I love the interface of Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Every category has a handy tab and you can add favorites to the top category. It’s easy to put all your much-used-programs over there. Also the small topbar with volume control, date and time and more is great.

I also love the software center on Ubuntu which makes searching and installing stuff peanuts. Windows does it the old-fashioned way of searching, installing, clicking yes on the warning, installing, clicking yes if the program wants to check internet etc.

Performance (battery)

Beforehand I was thinking Ubuntu would win this hands down. To my surprise I declare this a draw. Both windows 7 and Ubuntu really hold out almost 10 hours when doing simple tasks. When being stressed with video or even heavier sites it goes down to 5-7 hours. Still not bad.

Performance (WIFI)

This is a hard one. Windows 7 consequently reports better Wireless connectivity than Ubuntu. What Windows calls ‘excellent’ is for Ubuntu considered as around ‘60%’. The geeks are less easily satisfied? When the signal is good both perform about the same, at the same speed.

The only thing that takes a very small swing to windows is in my experience when the connection is average or weaker Ubuntu drops the connection more often than Windows.


Firefox, Open Office, Thunderbird and what not run on both systems. Ubuntu also has Swiftfox which is neat and small. I like notepad++ better than anything, but I won’t complain about gEdit and ScitE which are good alternatives.

A thing I need Windows for is Mapsource, the sorry excuse for a application I use for my GPS. This is entirely the fault of Garmin using proprietary software. Which totally sucks . If anybody knows anything that actually works, drop it in the comments!

So far, it’s a draw if you disregard all the crap that comes pre-installed with the starter edition.

But then the graphics departement. I only need to organise, view, edit (crop, resize, sharpen, save as) my photographs. That’s it and basically nothing on Ubuntu beats IrFanView. Gtumbs doens’t have sharpen, F-Spot doesn’t do a good job either ( and it has it’s own life when it comes to tagging – no feeling at all I’m in control of my photo library ), Krita and GQview also don’t do the job. This is the single reason I need to boot into Windows more than I should. So I declare this a win for win7 for now ( anybody knows a solution to this? )


While the EEE pc’s are not the fastest in the universe I really hate to wait for stuff to boot, pick up, etc. Ubuntu has by far the fastest interface. Windows – to my taste – too often gets slow in ‘waiting for programs’, ‘ don’t shut down updates installing’, lot’s of taskbar icons and ‘ the user is a complete moron popups ‘. Sure, with some tweaks it becomes better, but it doesn’t beat the directness of Ubuntu.

User friendliness

This is a question of taste. Ubuntu and most applications has their quarks probably making it harder to master for average users. Windows 7 has to my taste way to many questions, popups and annoying ‘features’ (like popping up when I plug in headphones; yes sir I can find the holes alright ).

The hardest part was installing Ubuntu. That mostly had to do with the weird partitioning the EEE comes with. The install itself works like a charm.

If you are used to Windows like XP then 7 is probably the easiest. If you like to fiddle around a small bit and discover something new; Ubuntu netbook remix might well be your pick. I like it anyway and I’m far from being a linux guru.


So to conclude this swat of text. It’s a pretty fair equal score which might look brighter on linux since it’s always considered hard to use for users who are not of the pale geeky kind. If the problem with the image programs would be fixed ( and Garmin sees the light one day – pray my children ) I’d prefer (personally) Ubuntu over Windows since it’s a bit faster, looks a bit better and fits just a bit better on the rather small screen.

What are your experiences? Welcome in the comments!