Vista Gives the Linux Desktop a Chance

Opinion: It's late, it's lame and installing it won't be cheap, so now is the perfect time for Linux desktop vendors to make a charge at Microsoft.

My friend Mary Jo Foley wants Microsoft to come clean about what will be in Vista. I just want Microsoft to fess up to how they will make it worth having two different versions of the Windows client OS.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read Mary Jo Foleys column on Vista.

Microsoft recently said that the company was working on two different Vistas: one for everyone, which Ill call Vista Vanilla, and the other for enterprises, which Ill name Vista Pro.

The boys from Redmond are also working on two versions of Office 12, but thats a story for another day.

So why two versions? Do you get 10 percent more security in Vista Pro? From where I sit, better security is the only virtue I see left that Microsoft can put in Vista.

Theyve tossed out the new file system, WinFS; the command line, Monad; and, as Mary Jo notes, its hard to know whats really left in there anyway.

Or will Microsoft do to Vista what it did to XP: make one version, XP Home, crippleware.

For all practical purposes, the only difference between XP Home and Pro is that Home wont work and play well in NT Domain or W2K/Server 2003 Active Directory trees. That functionality was in Windows 98 and 2000, but Microsoft decided it was worth an extra $100 list to "add" it to Pro.

Thanks guys.

Can we expect more of the same in Vista? It looks like it to me.

/zimages/2/28571.gifDavid Coursey takes readers on a tour of Windows Vista. Click here to view the slideshow.

I actually sat down and tried to think: What could you possibly add to one version of Vista to make it worth more than another.

I couldnt think of a thing.

Next Page: Linux desktop is another story.