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.

Reply Parent Score: 5

zerohalo Member since:

I agree.

Sure, Linux has a bit of a higher learning curve when it comes to setup and administration (besides the very basic install). However, most of that learning curve is because people are used to Windows. Take someone who has never used either Windows or Linux and I'm not sure the difference would be that great.

But even with the learning curve, I have non-geek friends who have switched from Windows to Linux on their small Home networks, because the time that it was taking them to deal with malware/trojans/viruses on Windows was much greater than the time that it took them to learn how to set up and administer Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rayiner Member since:

However, most of that learning curve is because people are used to Windows.

This point should not be underestimated. Windows seems obvious to those that have been using it for a long time, but it's not to those who haven't. The last version of Windows I used as my primary desktop was NT 4.0. I have to use XP often enough that I can do a basic install, but its administration is not obvious to me. For example, I know if I'm having problems with my wifi card on Linux, I can get its status by doing "cat /proc/net/wireless". What's the equivalent on Windows? What's the equivalent to "dmesg"? Or anything in "/proc" for that matter? On a more developer-oriented note, what's the equivalent to "readelf", or "strace"?

I think a lot of complaints about Linux usability stem from Windows power users who get frustrated by the fact that their acquired knowledge is now useless. People whose first reaction to needing software is to Google for it, instead of firing up Synaptic. People who have no problem with regedit, but find /etc to be arcane. It works both ways too, of course. Part of my frustration with XP probably stems from having things like 'ls' ingrained into my muscle-memory.

Edited 2007-01-22 19:28

Reply Parent Score: 5