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So I am about to buy a new laptop and was wondering what OS I should commit to. I have been using Windows XP for quite some time and feel it's time to move on. I have heard Windows 7 has been getting good reviews but I have been using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Live from my flash drive to test the OS out and I like it alot! (I also used Kbuntu at my university)

So my question is: Upgrade to Windows 7, make the switch to a Linux distro (and which one do you prefer), or both (dual-boot)?

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closed as not constructive by BloodPhilia, Gnoupi, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, MDMarra, heavyd Jul 8 '10 at 14:01

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

(Side note: I am software developer mainly using Java and Android, so if you say Linux, which distro would be work well with those needs) – A.Donahue Jul 8 '10 at 13:54
It's impossible to objectively answer this question; questions of this type are too open ended and usually lead to confrontation and argument. Voting to close. Try and answer other people's questions first... Just see what kind of questions are asked here and gradually become aware on how this site works. – BloodPhilia Jul 8 '10 at 13:54
FWIW, the non-subjective portion of your question confused me. You say you are are buying a "new laptop". Perhaps you can get a laptop with Linux pre-installed, but it's generally not worth it. Windows 7 is cheapest when included with a new machine. I would recommend getting a Win 7 laptop and then dual boot a Linux distro as Mistiry suggested (below). Possibly do extra research to determine which laptop best supports your preferred Linux distro, though I'm not sure where you'd go for good info about that. Linux discussion groups maybe? – irrational John Jul 8 '10 at 14:19
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It really depends on what the machine's purpose is, and your expertise with using the operating systems.

Personally, I use Linux on any computer that I have a say-so in what is installed. But, for the average user, Windows may make more sense to use.

First thing you should make sure of is that the hardware in the laptop is compatible with Linux. Nowadays the hardware support for Linux is superb, and most likely there is a driver or workaround for all of your hardware. My last install of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS found every driver on the first try!

If you're going to use the laptop for games, web browsing, and general computer usage, you may be better off with Windows. I haven't been a fan of MS since XP, but Windows 7 is actually pretty nice.

All-in-all its more of a question of what are you going to need the laptop to do, and which OS can do it better.

Or, if you've got the hardware and HDD space, set up a dual boot! I recommend installing Windows first, and then Ubuntu, if you plan on a dual-boot situation. Doing it the other way has caused me too many headaches in the past, although it has been since XP/Ubuntu 6.04 since I've set up a dual-boot.

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It very much depends what you intend to use the machine for. For instance if you plan to play modern games then you Windows is the way to go (though some play nicely under Wine, most don't).

Rather than dual-booting you might find virtualisation (using free-as-in-beer products like Virtual Box) far more convenient, running Windows directly on the machine and Linux in a VM, or vice versa (Linux on the machine and Windows in a VM). Just make sure you get a machine with plenty of RAM.

As you are already familiar with Ubuntu, that would be the place I'd suggest you start. The virtualisation option is a help here too: you can try many different configurations if you want to and switch between them with ease in order to compare the differences and see which works best for you.

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