Top 10 Reasons not to Use Ubuntu

by Mark on October 30, 2007

I played around with Ubuntu this weekend and I have been really impressed by everything, but I know many people still want to use a Windows desktop. So I thought I would give you ten reasons why you shouldn’t use Ubuntu so when your Ubuntu-loving friends tell you about it you can be armed with some reasons why you would rather use Windows.

  1. You Don’t Try Before You Buy – We all want to believe all the propaganda from people selling us something we don’t need. So why would you want to be able to test-drive an operating system via liveCD before you install it. Tell ‘em you don’t need any guarantees either, you’ll take it as-is, sight unseen.
  2. Installation of Software is Too Easy – With Ubuntu you only have to click on the Synaptic and click check boxes to add software. Then hit Apply. You probably will feel gypped when you have to go searching for software, unzip it, quite everything else you are running, and then install an .exe. Then when you are done run Windows Update (of course only using Internet Explorer) just to make sure everything is up to date.
  3. Too Few Viruses/Too much security – Virus scanners give you a warm fuzzy feeling, they can also keep your computer from performing as fast as possible. Slowing down your performance keeps people’s expectations of you low. Without spy-ware and viruses slowing you down it’s a nuisance plus once you are logged in it’s not going to crash or be wiped out by viruses. Plus if you got too much work done you might get promoted or a raise. That would be a real pain trying to figure out how to spend the extra money.
  4. No Expensive Office Suites – You know you like to pay $400+ dollars for Microsoft Office Professional. must be some kind of communist plot. Why save that money for your kids college or support education initiatives in the third-world when you can help fund Bill Gates’ humble lifestyle.
  5. Optional Purchase Option – If an operating system is free it can’t be that good. You want to go through an activation process to make sure it’s a genuine operating system. That activation is a convenience put in place to make you feel more secure. You should be proud to volunteer your personal information and then be forced into an upgrade cycle that milks you out of hundreds of dollars every couple years. It makes perfect sense.
  6. Too many Free Applications to Choose From - Why would you want choices you think it better just to be told what to do? You should browse the Microsoft catalog first, then go to your local Best Buy for an office suite, image editors, and other document authoring software. If you are tempted to chose one package over the other on your own ask the burnout sales guy who was smoking weed behind the dumpster an hour ago for his opinion. Why would you want to use Scribus, Nvu, GIMP, OpenOffice that can be downloaded for free when you drive your gas guzzling SUV to the store add some CO2 to the global warning, maybe even run down an endangered species in route.
  7. Too Well Documented – You hate it when you can find easy-to-understand, search-able documentation. [I wanted to find out how to troubleshoot my wireless card so I went and looked at the and there was at least three easy-to-read up-to-date documents to help me.] I know I really wanted to call someone named John who was being exploited in a third world country, have him read a script about how he would help me and watch him fail miserably then have him wish me a very good day as my system was in worse condition than before we started talking.
  8. Excellent Free No Wait Technical Support – Speaking of support, why should I want to go to #Ubuntu on IRC where 1300 Ubuntu users are hanging out and offering their time to answer questions for free. It’s much more fun waiting on hold to hear John read his support script.

    John (in an accent that is so thick you can hardly make out the words): Hello, this is John, "How may I be helping you."

    You: My desktop isn’t displaying anything but a error message
    John: I am sorry to hear that, what seems to be the problem.
    You: My screen is displaying an error message.
    John: I am very sorry to hear that, I would like you to reboot.
    You: I just did.
    John: I am very sorry to hear that, I would like you to reboot.
    You: Really, why? I just rebooted.
    John: I am very sorry to hear that, I would like you to reboot.
    You: Can you just tell me problem that might cause that error?
    John (long pause): Please hold I must get my supervisor….
    You: What’s his name?
    John: Frank
    You: What’s his real name?

  9. Too many Interface Choices - I know you like the choices in Windows you can buy many versions of Vista with slightly more functionality at much greater prices. When you use Ubuntu, you have too many choices. You have the option of using Ubuntu with the Gnome desktop environment, if you hate that you can use Kbuntu using the QT-based KDE environment. What if you work in an office don’t you want the same operating system that is used by third graders in their schools. After all let’s start children while they are young authoring painfully ineffective slide decks on PowerPoint. Why would you want them to use a custom version for schools like Edubuntu . It should be a law that you need a fast state of the art computer, why would you want an operating system that doesn’t require at least a gig of RAM and a wicked fast video card. In fact Ubuntu users with modest machines use Xbuntu to keep the resource requirements low. Once again you shouldn’t be allowed to compute if you can’t afford the latest and greatest computer. Computing is a privilege and poor people shouldn’t be allowed to access the Internet.
  10. Too Much Eye Candy - You don’t want any cool eye-candy like rotating desktops transparency, woobly windows, and more. Why risk someone calling you a show-off when you start demonstrating your fancy desktop. Keep your profile low with Windows Vista, it looks just like everyone else’s desktop.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

John April 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Haha I enjoyed that. Well done!

codetiger July 8, 2008 at 8:04 am

hah, thats nice, I enjoyed a lot on this article. ;)

IHBT April 17, 2009 at 12:12 am

Ok, I’ll bite…

> 1. You Don’t Try Before You Buy
Fairly valid point. But to their credit, Microsoft does offer free betas. And I’d argue that those who don’t care about betas (or know they exist [most Windows users]) really don’t care about “try before you buy” OSs.

> 2. Installation of Software is Too Easy
Synaptic is nice. However, the default repositories do not have everything, maybe only 50% of what’s needed. Another 40% has to be obtained through adding repositories manually, which isn’t very user-friendly. Not to mention, most normal users (i.e. those who’d like to try Ubuntu in place of Windows) don’t know/care what a “repository” really is. The last 10%, a user has to search for it, untar it, solve dependencies, and possibly even compile it. Solving dependencies on Windows hardly ever happens, and Windows programs never have to be compiled.
As for ease-of-use, Synaptic wins over Windows installers, but not by much. The whole Next->Next->Agree->Next->Next->Next->Finish thing isn’t as annoying as people lead it to be, but since Synaptic gets rid of that, it has a slight upper hand. However, it is much easier to get things configured during Windows installation than it is to dig around .config files. So the Next->Next is a necessary evil in some cases.
Lastly, with Vista, the user isn’t forced into IE for Windows Updates, so that’s a moot point. And I’d argue that Windows Update is just as easy (if not easier) than Synaptic’s update (for system updates, not individual software updates).

> 3. Too Few Viruses/Too much security
Legit point #1.

> 4. No Expensive Office Suites
Another moot point. OO.o is just as available on Windows as it is on Ubuntu. Also, there’s Google Docs for the online user.

> 5. Optional Purchase Option
The whole “genuine” thing is merely for Microsoft’s security, not the users’; they have a product to sell and they want to deter theft, there’s nothing wrong with their intent. Also, the activation process is not bad, in fact, it’s automatic.
As for personal information, I’ve never, not once, given any personal information to Microsoft, so I have no idea what point is being made here.
Also, I’ve never been forced to upgrade my system. I have the choice of Windows 3.1 as well as Windows 7. If an OS doesn’t offer anything special, there’s no reason to upgrade – this goes for purchased and free OSs, alike.

> 6. Too many Free Applications to Choose From
First, the service at retail chains has nothing to do with Windows or Ubuntu. The entire retail chain can be avoided anyway since nearly all (if not all) software is available for download directly from the manufacturer.
All four of the software packages you specifically mentioned are freely available for Windows. There are also plenty of free alternatives for most Windows programs; coincidentally, most of them are also developed by the *nix community (I, personally, find that slightly amusing).

> 7. Too Well Documented
Windows is just as documented. And I would not say that Ubuntu is significantly better or worsely documented. True, there is more documentation out there for *nix, but that’s because *nix systems are not as out-of-the-box-ready as Windows (they’re close, but not yet).

> 8. Excellent Free No Wait Technical Support
What you call “Technical Support” for Windows is not the same as what you’re calling “Technical Support” for Ubuntu. True, Microsoft tech support is outsourced to some remote part of India; it should be avoided. However, you shouldn’t compare that to the IRC, blogs, and forums you call tech support for Ubuntu. To be fair, there are just as many blogs and forums for Windows problems as there are for Ubuntu problems. A Google search is just as easy for either OS (easier for Windows, I’ve always found).

> 9. Too many Interface Choices
Legit point #2.

> 10. [b]Too Much Eye Candy[/b]
Legit point #3. However, I’d argue that Vista Aero is closer to perfect than Compiz-Fusion (although neither are very close at all). From personal experience, I’ve never had an issue with Aero, although I’ve had multiple non-trivial problems with C-F.


I’ve never read your blog before, and I’ll probably never read it again (other than to check for replies to this message). I honestly hope that you meant to bring up these weak points not only in jest to Windows, but also in jest to the *nix evangelist. If you are seriously attempting to promote *nix, please stop, there are MUCH better resources than your blog.
I say all of this as an avid *nix user and supporter, so I’m not being biased. It just really bugs me when these weak, unsupported, overly-used, underly-understood “points” are brought up.


janat08 August 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

Actually not true; all of points are legitimate.
1. You don’t try before you buy
Microsoft doesn’t care to offer the beta publicly. I’ve been to their website and I haven’t found the offering of beta, hence conclusion is that they don’t really care about satisfaction of customers.
2. Installation of software is too easy
It changed now. It works fine (although I did have some problems when I installed it on mac, but it worked on other comp.) Article was written in 2007, and its 2010 now.
4. No expensive office suites
Yes, but Microsoft doesn’t entice users to download free office suites like OO- open office. I didn’t know about existence of OO until I got ubuntu.
5. Optional purchase option
Microsoft is leaving XP unsupported now. I read a figure that the very first Windows XP gets infected in first 10 minutes without any anti-virus or updates, so how long do you think unsupported windows xp of any kind will last? Also point being made is that Ubuntu provides the best for free, and with windows best comes at a price.
6. Too many free applications to choose from
The article again was written in 2007.
7. too well documented
Unit is definitely better documented. The community is lead by philosophy of kindness and etc. Therefore its natural to assume that its better documented. Besides I never use windows help button because it usually doesn’t have the solution nor even a problem listed. Also sometimes it directs you to ask administrator. Microsoft itself offers bad support. While ubuntu besides having the actual solutions in help function of programs, has forums for rare problems.
8. Excellent free no wait technical support
There is professional support service that you actually have to pay for, and its for businesses. I suppose its better than windows support for businesses. While again technical support such as forums and documents is better because its all in one place on ubuntu side. In windows you do have to search with google for solutions.
10. Too much interface choices
Ye, but you need fine comp to run vista at all. Although it’s legitimate point (although I never used compiz or vista).

MrMintanet November 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm

1. You can install any copy of Windows you want, however you will have to “activate” after a certain amount of time. I have a few Server and Win7 installs that have that annoying “Not Genuine” label in the corner of the desktop. Sure, it’s annoying, but I know that my copy is “genuine”, it’s just not “activated”. If I wanted to activate it, I could (as I am a Microsoft Partner), but I’d rather not burn a license if I don’t have to…

2. Sure, it’s easy to install software… if you know how to add third party repositories manually. In one hand you have “security” and in the other hand you have an extreme lack of functionality by not including software such as Adobe Flash or Java. Windows doesn’t offer this either, and it baffles me as to why both are not included as an “option” during the install (yes, I have 10.10 and it has an option to use the repositories, but it does not install it). Prior to 10.10, I do not recall this being an installation option. Furthermore, you have to figure out which “Linux” installer is right for you… .rpm, .deb, .run? None of the above? But I’m using Ubuntu! Isn’t it the most popular… See the Linux Download section on Java’s website if you don’t believe me. I realize you can “compile” an installer, but who the f*ck wants to take the time to learn how to do that just to get the website to properly display?

3. Agree.

4. Microsoft’s Office software is far too expensive, but regardless of cost, it is obvious that if we had the option to start over and rethink the productivity software we use today, I’m sure that OO would be chosen at this point. However, Office is one of the prime reasons that Microsoft has existed for as long as it has (in the business world), and it is safe to say that it won’t be going away… if ever.

5. “I read a figure that the very first Windows XP gets infected in first 10 minutes without any anti-virus or updates” Do they really? Because if that was true, that would be completely bullsh!t.

If you can’t afford it, don’t steal it. It’s that f-ing simple. Sheesh.

6. “Too many free applications” – ” Why would you want to use Scribus, Nvu, GIMP, OpenOffice that can be downloaded for free when you drive your gas guzzling SUV to the store add some CO2 to the global warning, maybe even run down an endangered species in route.” Yes, because Linux users don’t drive SUVs or shop at Best Buy… What kind of worthless analogy is this? You are painting quite a f*cked up picture here. Chill out, Dennis Leary, and focus on the real points. This was the point in the article where I stopped taking you seriously.

I won’t even go in depth on the incredible amount of SHIT software out there for Linux. Half of the apps in the Software Center (Ubuntu) are pathetically written and most are hardly usable. A vast majority of the apps are written by the same Linux “power users” that talk circles around you in the message forum. You know… the guy who answers your question on with more questions. Example: OP “How do you install Java on Ubuntu?” Linux Power User “Did you run sudo apt-get update in terminal?” OP – “WTF is a terminal and why should I use it to install a runtime that my cell phone from the year 2000 can operate?”

7. Too well documented? You’re damn straight Ubuntu is too well documented, and it’s very difficult to sort through decent support and crap support, not to mention you have to become a member of about 50 different message forums just to post comments (I had to join your lame blog just to post this). I don’t doubt that Ubuntu has an EXTREMELY supportive network of users, but it the problem is that these “supportive Ubuntu users” have a very difficult time dummying it down for new users. I can’t tell you how many times I had given up on Ubuntu or any other distro for that matter, due to not being able to write my own driver to install a Linksys Wireless USB Wifi Antenna. I mean, it’s only one of the most popular and widely used products on the market… why should it “work out of the box”…

If Ubuntu was able to “work out of the box”, their online support wouldn’t be nearly as “over crowded” as it is. Their OS lacks and therefore they require more support. The beauty of Ubuntu’s support is that 99% of it is conducted via message boards for free. Super cool. So is Windows… And no. Windows has far more content online than Ubuntu, so put your pipe down.

8. Comparing Microsoft’s support to Ubuntu’s support is like comparing Apple’s support to Dell’s support. They are different companies with different visions, goals, etc. It is hardly worth bitching about outsourced IT support anymore. Go Dubai …*sigh*.

9 & 10 (Being you pretty much separated them for no reason). Firstly, you should know that the educational industry promotes and very much pays to support the open source movement. Attacking the educational field is highly ignorant and so is mocking the ability to have “wobbly windows” over an easy to use OS.

Sorry, guys. I’m a Mac owner. You’re all losers in my eyes.

lmaldonado July 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I don’t see any problems with Ubuntu, right now I am using it and I find it easy to use, it just requires some thinking. Ubuntu requires you to think, not like Mac or Windows. Plus, since there is a variety of distributions, I find Ubuntu a good and stable open source program.
Using Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhall. Ubuntu prints my college papers without installing software(who needs to take unnecessary memory space?) The webcam built-in software is already fordownload and hell yeah is better than those cameras such as Logitech, and the one it came installed. More functionality and the most important thing…it’s freee!!

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