Just as Microsoft fans are itching for the scheduled shipping of Microsoft Vista come January 31, Novell has just put up a site bashing the latest operating system offering by the proprietary software giant. Self-serving of course. But Linux enthusiasts and FOSS advocates will sure love it, an additional arsenal in the armory of free software.
I did visit the site this morning. It used four criteria in comparing Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 from Microsoft Vista, namely: monetary costs, security, usability, and flexibility. To summarize the comparisons:
- Costs: Purchasing SLED 10 is 434 USD cheaper than Vista Business Edition.
- Security: System security in SLED is assured by Novell AppArmor while Microsoft has not really redesigned the Windows security system with Vista.
- Usability: SLED has equivalents to features boasted of with Vista. But more importantly, SLED has OpenOffice.org 2.0 while Vista has none (Microsoft Office has to be bought separately.)
- Flexibility: SLED can be used under any computing environment (general purpose, thin client, kiosk, etc.) while Vista can only be reconfigured in exchange for additional costs (for-free licensing and training investment).
While Novell must be commended for such an offensive, Ubuntu must follow suit. And so must Red Hat and Mandriva. There are lots of forums where Vista has been bashed here and there. It’s time that these be organized and put up in public sites.
As for Novell’s attempt, I’d give it a score of 7. Not a perfect 10 because it is just able to rehash the FOSS’s case against proprietary softwares. Seven is a significant score by the way. And I’m giving the score of 3 to other distributions that sure have other arguments against Vista but are yet to take the cudgel in public.