Leveling the Playing Field

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 01-31-2007
So, which really is better for the desktop: Vista or Linux?

I've 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 can't be many of them. Along the way, I've 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 you're not going to enjoy it, and you'll be in danger of getting over run at any moment.

Read the full story on DesktopLinux: A Vista vs. Linux matchup—Part 1: Leveling the Playing Field