Upgrade Price Wars: Vista vs. Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-09-06 Print this article Print

Opinion: Taking into account the costs of hardware, software, retraining and security, which operating system will be a better deal? (DesktopLinux.com)

Its 2007, and you want to upgrade all your PCs operating systems after the infamous March 2007 XP Meltdown. You know, the virus attack that actually melted computers running XP, but couldnt touch machines running any other OS? Never heard of it? Well, play along with me, OK? Lets say that you have a small office. Lets also presume that youve been running Windows XP Professional on decently powerful machines.
Just, for arguments sake, lets pretend that youre using PCs with 2.8GHz Pentium IV, 512MB of RAM, an Ultra ATA/100, 7200 RPM, 60GB hard drive and built-in Intel GMA (graphics media accelerator) 950 graphics. Thats pretty darn good for a business machine.
The question you face on March 1, 2007, is, With a minimal budget for an upgrade, what do you do? Do you put on Vista or a Linux that comes with business support like SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10? Click here to read an eWEEK Labs review of SLED 10. Now, if you had a Linux expert on staff, you might have had Ubuntu, Freespire or Xandros on your short list. But you dont. You need an OS supplier that can hold your hand both during and after the upgrade. Since Red Hat doesnt do much with the desktop, that pretty much means Novell/SUSE, for now. So, the first question is: Can your boxes run SLED 10? The answer, since I do it every day on a no-name box with exactly those components, is yes, you sure can. Can you run Vista? Well ... thats another question, isnt it? Based on what Ive seen of the Release Candidate 1 of Vista, the answer is no. SLED, on the other hand, does just fine with this hardware. Read the full story on DesktopLinux.com: Upgrade Price Wars: Vista vs. Linux 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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