The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Friday, December 16, 2005

There can be only one

Unlike Windows, which comes in a variety of "editions," each one with a different feature set, Linux comes in only one flavour: the full-blown Operating System with all the trimmings.

With this in mind, Linux is most directly comparable to the "Professional" version of Windows. In the case of Windows XP, that's the Professional Edition. When Windows Vista comes out sometime in 2006, there will be nine editions! I think Linux will be most directly comparable to the "Professional Edition" or even the "Ultimate Edition" of Vista.

I dislike the marketing games that Microsoft plays with these various editions. It is so much simpler for the consumer to just choose the one best edition that has all the bells and whistles. That's why when you're comparing the cost of Linux versus the cost of Windows, you should be comparing to the best Windows edition that Microsoft sells.

For example, Windows XP Home Edition costs $250 at retail and about $100 when preloaded on a new computer. Remember that the Home Edition is the "neutered" version of Windows.

Assuming that you were considering the purchase of the "commercial" version of SUSE Linux for US$60, the question that has to be asked is: Why would you want to pay at least as much money for a less-endowed edition of Windows?

As far as I'm concerned, there should be only one version of an Operating System for sale: the best version!


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