[ubuntu-uk] UK Marketing: Alternative Article for Local Press

Ian Pascoe softy.lofty.ilp at btinternet.com
Sun Oct 21 13:00:50 BST 2007

Following on from Chris's post last week, I decided to have a bash at
writing one myself.  Nothing wrong with Chris's, but I wanted to put a
slightly different spin on it.  Copy follows:


An Alternative to Windows?
By Ian Pascoe, Ubuntu UK Loco Team Member

 Anyone reading this article will more than likely have heard of Microsoft
and their Windows desktop.  If you are involved with being more creative
with your computer, you may well have heard of the Apple Mac, but have you
ever heard of either Ubuntu or Linux?  No?  I’m not surprised as these are
the new kids on the block and having made in roads into the professional
server market, are now beginning to move into the consumer market.  Well
known computer suppliers Dell now offer desktops and laptops with Ubuntu
installed as an alternative to Windows, together with other less well known

Why should I bother with Ubuntu or Linux as my computer works perfectly well
with it’s current Microsoft installation?  The short answer is, as long as
it works, there’s no real need to change – unless of course you are looking
to move to the latest incarnation of Microsoft’s Windows, and you are having
to try and justify the cost for the new Vista  desktop, or maybe., you have
so many viruses and spyware on your computer that you gave up trying to use
it for anything other than the most simple tasks ages ago.  There are lots
of other reasons too.

Interested?  Well, here are some of those other reasons.  Firstly, because
of Linux’s ancestory it is considerably more secure than Microsoft’s
Windows.  Secondly, Linux, Ubuntu, and the other thousands of other various
projects operate as a world wide community of individuals, and generally are
not corporately controlled.  Thirdly, you have the choice to choose what you
want.  Fourthly, 95% or better of what you can do on Microsoft or Apple you
can do on Linux, and in some areas, it can only be done on Linux.  Lastly,
almost everything within the Linux community does not place any hardship on
your wallet or purse – or put another way, it’s free!

Taking, for example, Microsoft’s latest Windows package Vista.  If you
currently have Windows already on your existing computer and you want to
upgrade to Vista, it is highly likely that you will need to upgrade the
computer’s hardware to enjoy the delights of it’s new Aero interface, as
well as the cost of the Windows software upgrade.

Now using Ubuntu, you can get the same effects as Vista’s Aero interface
without either the cost of upgrading your computer, or the additional fees
for the Vista upgrade itself.

You will have noticed that I have changed from Linux to Ubuntu – the reason
is that Linux can be thought of as the equivilant to Microsoft, and Ubuntu
as the equivilant to Windows.

What could you expect to get with Ubuntu?  There are a number of different
flavours of Ubuntu, for use in different situations, but all of those that
are not targeted at specialist uses will have the basics of what most people
need – an Office suite, including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation
and database software, e-mail, web browsing, instant messaging, the ability
to play DVDs and CDs watch and download music and videos, and even, when you
get more experienced, the ability to run Windows applications as well!  And
lots, lots more.

If you decide to take the plunge and have a look at Ubuntu, what do you do
next?  Well, the easiest thing to do is to either download , or send off for
a Live CD.  This CD contains everything described above and will run on most
modern, and a few not so modern, computers, without interfering at all with
whatever’s on your computer at the moment.  And if you decide you like it,
you can then get it to install directly onto the computer without affecting
anything else that’s on there, as long as there’s enough space for it on the
Hard Disk.

What do you do if you get stuck?  Because, as I mentioned above, this is
driven by the Linux and Ubuntu communitys, there are a number of different
ways you can get help.  Firstly, through your local Linux Users Group, or
for Ubuntu specific problems and questions, there is a UK based Ubuntu team
that can be contacted either through an e-mail list, web based forum, or IRC
channel.  For those who want it, there is also a subscription support
service as well.

If you want to do some more research, the nbest place to start is at
www.ubuntu.com, and this site will also enable you to obtain the Live CD.


I'm still not 100% about the contents, but the Sunday roast is a-coming and
I won't get chance to look at this again until later this evening.  So any
comments, will be appreciated!

Ah, the smell of roast tatties .... here I come!


More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list