Vista/SUSE Smackdown

Which operating system is really going to be win the desktop championshp belt in 2007? Here's our early look at the two.

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In one corner, we have the champ—Windows. Come January, it will come out swinging with what Microsoft tells us is the latest and greatest version ever—Vista.

In the other corner, we have the challenger—OpenSUSE 10.1, the latest shipping version of Novell/SUSEs community Linux. Sometime this summer, its commercial version, SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, will come out looking to KO the champ.

Before this epic battle begins, lets take a look at their training camps.

Deep in Redmond, Wash., Vista Beta 2 Build 5381 is training hard, one might even say frantically, as it tries to get ready for its January debut.

Those who have looked in on the champ have not been impressed. An experienced MSNBC reviewer, for example, said, "Installing Vista Beta 2 was one of the worst operating system experiences that Ive ever encountered." /zimages/4/104592.jpg

Your pugilistic reporter didnt find installing the champ in his ring that bad. In fact, it entered the Gateway 835GM ring with its Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz dual-core processor, an Intel 945G chip set, 1GB DDR2 (double data rate) DRAM, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and built-in Intel GMA (graphics media accelerator) 950 graphics, without any trouble.

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