high end hardware do not work under ubuntu.
Really? I've seen a few low end machines that struggled to run Ubuntu, but it screams on the two higher end computers that I have, and runs fairly decent on the mid range ones. My lowest end one may have some problems.
An i7-4770 is in the top five most common top end CPU's according to PassMark, and it's paired with 12GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM (soon to double), and Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, runs as fast as greased lightening, and no matter what I do, can't seem to get the CPU to break the 15% mark (most of the time it's running at less than 5%), and the RAM, maybe 20% if a lot of browser windows are open.
If it weren't for Windows, the thermal paste wouldn't be broken in.
If you're a student, most the time you can get windows for free if not uber cheap.
I'll agree with you on that one, all that's needed is a valid student email address, and through DreamSpark, students has access to all sorts of MS software for $99 per year, and some schools pays this, depending on courses and/or ability to pay. Yes, even at $99 yearly, that's dirt cheap. Especially if one has multiple computers, where the cost per OS & MS Office install becomes less.
Some gaming is becoming available to Ubuntu users, there's Steam for Linux that's growing, but titles are restricted, however this isn't the fault of Ubuntu or any Linux OS. It's the fault of hardware vendors who doesn't provide adequate driver support for the hardware we pay for. They see Ubuntu users as freeloaders. The only thing they're seeing is that we don't have Windows, the hardware costs much more to obtain, a decent GPU alone costs more than 2 copies of Windows, and that's just a good mid-level card.
High performance gaming would be available to all, if the GPU OEM's supported those who lays down their cash for the hardware, and not because of what OS is being ran. With as many six figure engineers that the major OEM's employs, seem like a few of them could write drivers to suite the need for any OS.
As I wrote in an earlier posting, AMD ought to be the ones to grab Linux, while they still have some clout, create deals with major retailers & give Linux the exposure it deserves, while at the same time boosting their profits, maybe even climb out of the hole they're in. Nothing else seems to be working at the moment, their last advantage over Intel was late in the last decade, when they emerged with microprocessors that could do a lot of work & yet run with less energy. Somehow, they broke away from what was working & again tried to take on Intel head to head, and have lost. Their GPU business is the last of their glory, and now NVIDIA has came gunning at that, producing feature rich GPU's for just a little more than the $100 AMD offerings, that a few months back would have been $200.
So this is why we're at a disadvantage in gaming, they want our money, and give shabby support in return. What's there to expect?
However the rest of Linux runs great on top end hardware. In fact, out of the top 20 supercomputers, over half runs Linux, and none runs Windows. I'd call a supercomputer as top end as it gets.