Vista vs. Desktop Linux: One Year In

Opinion: Vista has been with us for almost a year now; has it caught up with desktop Linux yet?

After almost a year since Microsoft released Vista to manufacturing, its time to re-evaluate it and decide if its finally the equal of the best of the desktop Linuxes.

Thats not a facetious question. Yes, in terms of market share, desktop Linux hovers just over 1 percent of all users, while Microsoft claims that Vista by this summer had already sold more than 60 million copies. Im not impressed, and you shouldnt be either.

In the early 80s, the idea that foreign cars could outsell Detroits finest was treated as a joke. The VW Beetle was fine in its low-end niche, but Japanese cars outselling Ford, American Motors, Chrysler and GM? Impossible!

No, it wasnt. By 1990, a Japanese car model, the Honda Accord, became the first best-selling foreign car in the United States. Today, AMC is long dead. Chrysler spent most of the last few years as a division German-controlled DaimlerChrysler, until it was sold off in August to Cerebus, a private-equity firm specializing in troubled companies. Ford lost only $380 million in its last quarter. Of course that was peanuts compared with GM. Americas biggest car manufacturer lost $38.96 billion in its last quarter. Even Bill Gates piggy-bank would be squealing in pain at that kind of loss.

What company sells the second-most cars in the United States and makes money doing it? That would be Toyota. Honda is No. 5, and its earnings went up 63 percent in its last quarter.

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