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The title says for itself.
There are a lot of interesting new features in Ubuntu. For example, after migrating into Ubuntu the most interesting feature for me was Centralized application installation via Synaptic (users do not need to search for an application, download it from somewhere, install it, and if it is pirated software to search keygens and stuffs like that).
What else could be added to the list?

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closed as not constructive by Stefano Palazzo Aug 25 '11 at 15:59

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.

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community wiki? –  DLH Jul 29 '10 at 17:56
    
Probably better to discuss wiki or not to wiki on meta –  Sam Saffron Jul 29 '10 at 23:20
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When asking users to contribute to a list of answers, the question should be marked community wiki. I converted this question. –  Robert Cartaino Jul 30 '10 at 15:44

20 Answers 20

up vote 27 down vote accepted

Personally:

It's free.

Way faster on my machine than Windows ever was.

Finding, installing and most importantly uninstalling software, is so much easier.

No pesky pre-installed trial software.

I don't have to worry about viruses.

I know that if I had the knowhow I could do pretty much anything I wanted.

Also, it looks pretty.

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+1 I couldn't have said it better if I tried. –  Nathan Osman Jul 29 '10 at 22:21
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+1 Great for breathing life into a older laptop, perfect for the "Hey I need to look that up real quick" situation. –  KFro Aug 7 '10 at 22:13
    
+1 for not worrying about viruses. –  altCognito Aug 30 '10 at 14:08
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+1 since these are my exact reasons. Was gonna leave a response but this is exactly it. Elaboration on the performance... The entire OS does not become unresponsive when trying to access a network share. –  Dmitriy Likhten Aug 30 '10 at 17:25
  • A stable OS
  • An awesome terminal / console
  • Access to lots of great open source software
  • An os more akin to our development servers to deploy websites
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A few things off the top of my head:

  1. After running XP & Windows 7, my six year old Sempron box is suddenly a fast system again.

  2. I love having Unix command line tools available. In Windows, I was always mucking about with GnuWin32 or Cygwin. But they never seemed to really fit in.

  3. "Hmmm, I think I want to start learning Scala". A simple apt-get and I'm off. Being able to install anything I need without having to track down the most recent download or worrying about viruses is priceless.

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In my experience it's a combination of:

  1. Software Center -- "You mean all this is free?"
  2. The fact that it isn't infected with malware. Many users are migrated when they come to me for help after catching some nasty virus and malware that requires a whole reinstall
  3. The community. People actually feel like it's easier to get help with Ubuntu than Windows.

In many cases their old applications work fine using Wine, so they often have little to complain about.

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As someone who uses a lot of virtual machines for the development and testing of our own bespoke software, the biggest thing for me was the lack of 'activation'. I can create a new VM, install Ubuntu and start using it. No messing around with keys and no worries about activation.

It just makes the whole develop/test/deploy cycle a bit less painful. :-)

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No more weekly checks if all installed software is up-to-date, downloading the latest updates and manually installing all the stuff. I have so much more spare time now to do other things than staring at those installation programs!

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What I've liked most is the feeling of controlling my OS, and not my OS controlling me.

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I love having multiple desktops, and being able to access them with a hotkey.

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There's a hotkey for that?!?! Ooh what is it? –  John Feb 2 '11 at 16:59
    
I assign them. The mapping depends on your window manager. –  Erigami Feb 8 '11 at 18:27

Personally I like the power to customize pretty much everything.

  • Panels (or Task bars)
  • Choosing between Graphical Environments (KDE,GNOME)
  • Wallpapers, Splash Screen, Login screen
  • and many more that I'm forgetting right now

And the best of all is that is simple, and free.

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When doing a fresh install, most users are also attracted by the fact that (almost) everything works out of the box, whereas on Windows you have to spend dozens of hours trying to figure out which drivers you need, where to get them and to install them.

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I like the Ubuntu Software Center. Compiz. And of course how much I spent for buying Ubuntu $0.00

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At work, we moved some people from Windows machines to Ubuntu. The praise that I heard most is that Ubuntu is fast. Yes, there are usually a couple of woes too.

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Ubuntu doesn't require restarting it after installing new applications.

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You rarely need to restart after installing new applications under Windows. When installing updates however.... –  levesque Jul 29 '10 at 13:49
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And it keep asking you if you want to restart now or later. You came back after lunch and the computer restarted without you knowing. –  Alejandro Jul 29 '10 at 15:44
    
+5 Aw dang! Can't upvote five times ;) –  DLH Jul 29 '10 at 17:54

A few days using applications that they use in Windows: Firefox, Chrome, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, Songbird, Skype. Thats why I advise to users before migrate into Linux, use as many as possible cross-platform applications in Windows.

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If they're coming from an several year old installation of Windows, they're excited to say goodbye to the sluggishness and have a responsive desktop.

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From an user perspective I would recommend Ubuntu because of:

  • Support for old hardware (old printers, scanners, whatever), although old video cards can be a PITA
  • Centralized Package Management (easier program install, upgrades, and security fixes)
  • Faster install (much much faster than Windows)
  • Faster startup
  • No bloat ware, no system tray madness (this contributes a lot to startup time in Windows)
  • More security
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apt-get is by far the most amazing thing I have found since I moved to ubuntu.

And the following are a few more things which are must have:

  • Gnome - Do
  • GVim (this is also available on windows btw)
  • Banshee
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Yeah, apt-get is my favorite one. –  Bakhtiyor Jul 29 '10 at 11:20
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+1 Downloading and installing each individual app is something I hate –  jfoucher Jul 29 '10 at 20:43
    
I kind of hate apt-get but love it, I love how easy it is to find apps but i dislike building from source etc whilst in windows its all packaged so its nice and easy to remove stuff (which it isn't from stuff you've made from source - or am i missing something!) –  Will Aug 7 '10 at 18:16
    
I'd have to agree with Helix too but apt-get was, by far, my favorite feature of *nix. The concept of using repositories to download free open source software with a single command was like magic. –  Evan Plaice Sep 16 '10 at 11:24

UI, especially since 10.04. THey like its smoothness & unobtrusive fashion. Even left handed window controls are accepted.

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For me having that left-handed window control was the first positive impressions of UI in Ubuntu. –  Bakhtiyor Jul 29 '10 at 11:21
    
I got so accustomed to left handed controls that I can't find enough themes/decorations that support them :) Plus, the mouse travels less. –  Li Lo Aug 7 '10 at 15:33

Defintely playing with Compiz effects, especially the Compiz Cube.

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Most of the compiz effects are not very polished in my opinion. The compiz cube looks ugly. –  levesque Jul 29 '10 at 13:46

One of the first features that struck me was the short installation time when compared with Windows.

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That's also true. –  Bakhtiyor Jul 29 '10 at 10:49
    
And with one CD you have also a Office-Suite included. Thats absolutely great. –  Ice Jul 29 '10 at 17:48
    
It takes as long to install single programs in Windows as is does the entirety of Ubuntu! –  8128 Aug 14 '10 at 16:19

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