Leveling the Playing Field

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2007-01-31 Print this article Print

Tech Analysis: Part One: In this multi-part series, DesktopLinux.com columnist and operating system curmudgeon Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols pits Microsoft's latest wares—Vista—against Linux's fair-haired boy—Ubuntu—to see how the p

So, which really is better for the desktop: Vista or Linux? Ive been working with Vista since its beta days, and I started using Linux in the mid-90s. There may be other people who have worked with both more than I have, but there cant be many of them. Along the way, Ive formed a strong opinion: Linux is the better of the two. But, now that Vista is on the brink of becoming widely available, I thought it was time to take a comprehensive look at how the two really compare.
To do this, I decided to take one machine, install both of them on it, and then see what life was like with both operating systems on a completely even playing field.
My first decision was to acquire a new system. I think almost anyone—unless they have a loaded gaming system—will make the same decision. The folks up in Redmond can tell you until they turn blue in the face that Vista Premium Ready needs only a 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 1GB of system memory, and a graphic card with support for DirectX 9 graphics, a WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) driver, and 128MB of graphics memory. They lie like rugs. You can no more run Vista, with its pretty Aero interface, on a system like that than you can ride a bicycle on an interstate. Yes, you might get on the road, but youre not going to enjoy it, and youll be in danger of getting over run at any moment. Read the full story on DesktopLinux: A Vista vs. Linux matchup—Part 1: Leveling the Playing Field Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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