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There's been quite a bit of debate online this week about the arrival of Windows 7, and what it means for the future of Linux.
"Given the advantages of using Windows, particularly if you use open source software to do your office functions, it becomes harder to say that more user-friendly versions of Linux such as Ubuntu are worthwhile…
if Microsoft had released Windows 7 instead of Vista, there would have been no rise of Ubuntu or OS X," writes The Inquirer's Nick Farrell.
"It looks like all the arguments (except being mad at Bill for being rich) have been answered," writes Network World's Ron Barrett. "Linux users have no reason to hold back anymore. Windows 7 is well placed to crush and put an end to the penguin."
Computerworld's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols disagrees. "Windows 7 is just warmed over Vista," he writes. "It's great that with 7 Vista may actually be usable now, but it's Linux, not Windows, that's leading the way to the future of the desktop. Linux won't crush Windows anytime soon. There are just too many people who are married to Windows. But, the slow crush of Windows by both Mac OS and Linux has begun."
But Maximum PC's David Murphy contends that in the netbook market – which is what this is really about – it'll still come down to cost. "There's no doubt that Windows 7 will make more headway into the netbook market than its failed attempts at capitalizing on this emerging sector in 2008," he writes. "But the ultimate factor in the netbook space isn't the feature set of the operating system. It's the cost. When two similar notebooks exist at a hundred dollar price gap, we can't envision a consumer adopting the pricier model just for the Windows 7 experience."