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Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison

2012 has already seen a major update of what’s arguably the most important Linux desktop: Ubuntu 12.04 and we’re also seeing the most radical update of Windows with Windows 8 Metro coming since Windows 95 replaced Windows 3.1. So, which will end up the better for its change?

1. Desktop interface

Ubuntu replaced the popular GNOME 2.x interface with Unity when their developers decided the GNOME 3.x shell wasn’t for them. Some people, like the developers behind Linux Mint, decided to recreate the GNOME 2.x desktop with Cinnamon, but Ubuntu took its own path with Unity.

In Unity’s desktop geography, your most used applications are kept in the left Unity Launcher bar on the left. If you need a particular application or file, you use Unity’s built-in Dash application. Dash is a dual purpose desktop search engine and file and program manager that lives on the top of the Unity menu Launcher.

Its drawback, for Ubuntu power-users, is that it makes it harder to adjust Ubuntu’s settings manually. On the other hand, most users, especially ones who are new to Ubuntu, find it very easy to use. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has made it clear that regardless of whether you use Ubuntu on a desktop, tablet or smartphone the Unity interface is going to be there and it’s going to look the same.

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