07 January 2009

He/She Speak de Troof

This is something that has often struck me, too: that installing/updating programs under GNU/Linux is hugely easier than under Windows.

This is how you install and update software on Windows:

1. Open a web browser.
2. Download an executable file from an (often un-verified) source.
3. Press next, next, next, next, next, next, next, next, finish.
4. Launch your software.
5. Wait for each individual piece of software to nag you about the latest update. (”Logitech is going to look for updates…,” “Adobe PDF Reader version 8.4 is available. Please install it now,” “QuickTime needs an update (hey, mind if we sneak Safari in there, too? *wink*)”)

On Linux, on the other hand, it works something like this:

1. Open Add/Remove programs.
2. Press a check mark and hit apply.
3. Launch your software.
4. Sit back as your software is automatically updated.

We really need to beat the the drum more about this kind of stuff.


Anonymous said...

Except for stuff you find on the web. On Windows, you click the "Install Now" button. On Linux, you have to launch the installation software, search for it, if it's not there, then you have to download it from the web page and install it yourself - something often beyond most users. (Sometimes I can do it, sometimes I can't, and I consider myself pretty technical compared to the average user.)

Glyn Moody said...

I find this happens less these days than in the past: what particular things did you have in mind?

EJ said...

I totally agree. I have done about ten years of windows system administration and the update/upgrade nightmare is still with us, even after introduction of windows update. Things are even worde than you discribe because the bulk of all windows software don't even have an update notification feature, forcing you to go and check for yourself. Also the fact that updateing one piece of software easily breaks another because dependencies are never checked is horrifying, and one of the biggest nightmares for an desktop administrator. I think we should tell the world about the wonders of Linux software management.

Glyn Moody said...