Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jan 2007 16:56 UTC, submitted by Robert
Novell and Ximian Novell might have signed a patent and interoperability deal with Microsoft Corp but it is not about to give up competing with the software giant and last week released a study that suggests its Linux desktop product is better value than Windows Vista. The company's competitive guide compares SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with Windows Vista and claims that the Linux product provides 90% of Vista's functionality and 10% of the price.
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Unfortunately, you are mistaken again. I have both Windows and Linux in my house. Linux takes approximately 10% more effort to install (I choose to specify more about disk partitions) but less total time to install and set up. My Linux time is about 12 minutes from bare metal, where, the Windows machine is about 45 minutes. Linux patches to get up to date require about 5 minutes of my time. I have not timed the actual download, but it does not reqire any effort or monitoring by me. Windows, the last time I did a bare metal install took 6 hours to complete the updates, with my attemtion required every hour or so throughout the process.

From there, it gets worse. I spend more time fixing Windows than Linux, even though the Windows machine is not mine (my wife uses Windows, is computer savy and does most of her own maintenance.) I also need to do more frequent re-installs (45 minutes+updates) about every 6 months to a year as compared to when I buy a PC. And after a re-install, the patches take several hours to do (and I have a high speed line) with the download of patches to get to where I can download SP2, the the time for SP2, and then the patches that follow that, where with the Linux machine, it does not take the multiple itterations of updating, and also, I do not have to monitor it. I simply tell it to do the update, and I can go do something else.

The savings of Linux over Windows are small at purchase time. You real savings are down the road with reduced maintenance and easier managment of upgrades.

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