Ubuntu's Karmic Koala bares fangs at Windows 7

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It's that time again

After the RC install totally hosed a laptop, I backed-up the home folder (yes, I should have done that first...but there was nothing essential on this laptop; just stuff that would have taken a while to copy over/install. Anyway, the fact I could still do this on a hosed system shows how resilient the underlying architecture of Linux is) and will be hitting it with a full, ext4 release install. It's an old lappy and it'll be interesting to see how it behaves.

I'm curious about UbuntuOne, but I don't get the whole cloud thing to be honest. It smacks of the whole fat-server/thin-client ethos of yesteryear. And unless UbuntuOne can *do* something for me...how is it any better to an FTP site and some local scripts? Still, everyone seems to have a hard-on for "cloud" these days...so a bit of dicking around is probably a good thing.

The encryptions is interesting. I am a fan of TrueCrypt, but if the baked-in encryption allows me to move files about (encrypted) and then de-crypt them in a more seamless way, then that should be good. I wonder if there is a Windows app for working with the encrypted folders?

Oh yeah, Windows. I'm going to have to fight with Samba again. Oh god. To be fair, I think there is something up with my home Windows network, but Samba is a total ARSE to get going and set-up so it works seamlessly with Windows (then again, I don't have a lot of spare time).

At least on the lappy I'll be able to test the multi-screen support. I wonder if that is still totally bollocks? If there are three things that are light-years ahead on Windows, it's multi-screen support*, RDP and printer support (although the last is not the fault of the Linux community).

Still, I've been really happy with 9.04 on various systems and whilst there are still usability issues with Linux when compared to Windows (some are simply the fact that Windows is familiar, others are Linux still being geek-centric), Linux is rapidly becoming a viable contender in niche areas (small PCs, netbooks).

Will Karmic make an impact on Win7? No. Not to the average consumer anyway. Perhaps on the back-end, but almost all new desktop PCs will still come with Win7 and what Linux kit you can buy will be lower-spec'd crap when compared to the Win7 stuff. Unless the Linux-distros can find a way to break MS's restrictions on the supply chain, I seriously doubt they will ever hit consumer mainstream.

*Yes, I know it can be done on a Linux distro, but it sucks. You cannot guarantee that you can control which desktop is primary (random driver issues), and you have the whole "square" virtual desktop thing to contend with which can also be an arse (one desktop left scrolling). Oh yeah, and you need to manually install xrandr and hack scripts to have a hope of getting anything even half working. That's been my experience any way. On Windows...Desktop Properties/Settings/a few clicks/job done. Linux distros *MUST* make it that easy. End of gripe.

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