Thursday, September 9, 2010

Windows vs Ubuntu Release Cycle

I started writing this article but then felt it's point could be better represented in comic form (click to enlarge):

While it does not address how all Linux distributions release, I think you may get my point. Most people fall into one of the following for their operating system upgrades:

  • Upgrade to New Release Every 6 monthsish (Fedora isn't always on time)
  • Upgrade to a new LTS every two years
  • Upgrade to a new Windows version... Well, whenever the next one comes out!
  • Upgrade Windows? Pff, XP is support till 2020!
  • Upgrade your operating system? I use a rolling release distro!

What is your preferred release cycle for a operating system?

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. I like the 6 month'ish update cycle for Ubuntu. I dont upgrade to every 6month release BUT I really like having the option to if I really want to check out some of the new features.

    Right now I am on 9.10 xubuntu and i'll jump to 10.10 when it comes out. 10.04 was giving me problems with my crappy intel graphics.

  2. As a Fedora Linux user, I like having a new release theoretically every 6 months, mainly since I like being up-to-date, in addition to having new wallpapers and added features. Even if sometimes I face many problems in the upgrade process, I still enjoy the toil no matter what.

  3. Meh, I use Arch (rolling release), and I must say the huge benefit to having a lack a discrete releases is that I can upgrade to new versions of software that might be included, or expected for a specific release,e.g, upgrading to a newer version of a library doesn't break other software from the repositories because it expects all systems to be running <=2.8, or I can easily upgrade to the latest version of Firefox.

    That said, the down side is of course when a decision is made for a larger change in the way things work, and the end user has to figure out how to translate and/or configure settings for the new system while at the same time making sure all traces of the old are gone as not to conflict with the new.

    My thought would be start with a discrete release that rolls. When time comes for a fundumental change in how things work, whether it be a change in Daemon choice, kernel change, etc, release a new discrete release as the start for another rolling point.

    Mind you, this doesn't apply to rolling releases like Arch and Gentoo since they include very little in their base/core installs, so there is a lot of user choice. But I think you get my point.

  4. I use Ubuntu (Ultimate Edition 2.7) and PCLinuxOS, which is a rolling release. I enjoy both much better than using windows, although W7 is better than previous it is still vulnerable to viruses. I have to have it on my work PC because I work in a computer shop but I try not to log into it until I have to. :)

  5. Windows is still years ahead concerning user experience (I mean builtin stuff like Windows Explorer) and of course market share, so they don't need to have a tighter release schedule.

  6. @Anonymous Did you really just say that? Have you used Linux in the last year? The market share dominance is the only thing you got right there...

  7. It would have been a little funnier if the pictures had been identical except the screen shot.

  8. I prefer ubuntu's release cycle, every 6 months usually means you can stick with what you have for years or update to the slickest version.

    Theres one key factor you did not add in your comic though. A frame between each windows version with a receipt. Last time I checked upgrading windows was about £150, I dont use windows now but at a price tag like that I would not upgrade, just go for the new os when I buy a more powerful machine. But with ubuntu, theres no price, so I tend to upgrade each time their is a new release, if I dont like it I just go back to the old version.

    I actually have a collection of the free ubuntu cd's on the shelf right now.

  9. @ September 10, 2010 10:15 AM
    Anonymous said...

    Do you need a fish slap or a kick in the old vegetables? Year's ahead you say. Windows is actually year's behind and so is Mac on features and user experience.

    The only reason people find window's as easy is because where ever you go, the pc has windows installed. Purely because microsoft is strangling manufacturers.

    Several times MS has held PC makers by the dudads and said "You sell MS only or you dont sell MS at all". Using those tactic's make PC makers unwilling to preload alternative OS's because the majority of the consumer's cant get their mind around a PC not having windows.

  10. Cutting edge, rolling release, baby.

    Debian, sidux, Mepis, Arch, a few others.

    Install once, tweak to heart's content, never re-install.

  11. I stay with LTS cycle on machines that have to get work done. Like email, office, business work. Then distro hop on the other machines.

    Ubuntu could probably go with one release a year, but having the 'unstable' "X.10" release in the fall is useful to prototype new concepts. Get real user feedback.

    Ubuntu came up from way behind Windows, and with the rapid development cycle now exceeds it in many areas. Continuing the rapid development it's set on surpassing OSX. Plugins and Window Manager features are already emulating a lot of OSX and it's getting interesting to watch and participate in.

    They are getting caught by the buzz-saw of continuous improvement vs lurching forward in long-cycle batch processes.

  12. Ubuntu has a new version every 6 months, but supported 18 months, so you do not need to upgrade every 6 months.
    The lts version(long term version) is 3 years supported(not 2).
    The server is 5 year supported.

  13. Was that made using GMod? Looks like it. :D

  14. Conservative as I am, "if it works, don't fix it". Updates or upgrades can come with problems and I *need* my machine in working order. Consequently, I only install when I got new H/W. About once every four years.

  15. I prefer Ubuntu
    Loved the art-work :)

  16. Virtualization kinda makes the question moot does it not? My host system I run Ubuntu LTS version only. I pack up my data and homes subs then toss the rest. Get rid of the cruft. Load new LTS. Though I have to tell you the 64bit install was not clean this time around. Disappointing.

    On the Guest side its "loade'm, love'm, leave'm". A few like Debian & W7 keep around as guests. The rest I just load when I need them. I keep the iso and the dpkg --get-selections file around if I need to recreate the environment for something special I have used before. More compact, quick and clean.

  17. man as simple as this is it still is not as stupid as your freaking insult to any thang to do with comic.

  18. Debian's stable release cycle of ~2 years is ok for me.

  19. I am a windows 7 user and feel more comfortable to use it. When we talk about the utility software , there are more available for windows as compared to linux.

    For example Stellar Phoenix Windows data recovery software 4.1 - An excellent product for data recovery.

  20. When was the last time you used Linux for more than a few moments as a desktop platform raxon? Yes there are more commercial utility programs for Windows than there are for Linux, but you can do data recovery very easily with either.

  21. I will say XP is the best...errrr... Windows platform out and 7 more years of updates for it, well that’s a good thing. As far as Linux every 6 months, its nice to play with the new version every now and again, which means I switch when it comes out. But this leaves me disappointed in many aspects.

    The lack of Native Apps in Ubuntu was addressed with the Ubuntu App Showdown, but much to my surprise, not working in 12.10. The every 6 month release should be in the form of an update and do LTS for the one O/S instead of multiple releases at once.