Leveling the Playing Field

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.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead the full story on DesktopLinux: A Vista vs. Linux matchup—Part 1: Leveling the Playing Field

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