Open Source Software and Linux

Feb 12 2009   10:26PM GMT

And you thought the various Linux distributions were hard to understand..

John Little Profile: Xjlittle

I’ve talked with users who have stated that they don’t understand what Linux distribution to use, with so many of them available that it is confusing.

If that’s confusing then how in the world do you figure out what Windows version you are going to use? Windows Vista had six SKUs and it looks like Windows 7 is going to have two..or is it still six?

Sure Microsoft is pushing the Home Premium edition and a Professional edition as it’s two primary versions. The third SKU that is supposedly not going to have an impact on all of this is the Windows 7 Home Basic. Supposedly this will only be sold in emerging markets but, well it still exists as a valid SKU.

Then there is the Starter edition. The what? The Starter edition. You know for people who are just starting to use computers. It will run a whopping three applications simultaneously. That sounds suspiciously like the Windows 7 Home Basic. Why anyone would want either one of those is past me.

By my count we are up to four. Enter Microsoft’s offering of an Enterprise and Ultimate version of Windows 7. Both of these versions contain applications that should be standard with any operating system. Not so for Microsoft when they can squeeze some more money from their faithful. That brings us to six.

Now go pick one of the three mainline distributions. Any of them-Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSuSE. No separate SKU, no licensing hassles, and not one dime comes out of your wallet to install any of them. Install only the applications that you want or better yet install everything. If you are a new user this is a great way to learn which applications that you like to use for various task. Usually two or three for any given task are included. You don’t have to buy it nor do you have to download a separate version to get a particular feature or application. Straightforward and simple.

Enjoy the freedom and lack of confusion!

-j

But what about the fast growing part of the pc market, the Netbook? I don’t believe the Netbook will have enough power to run either one of these. That brings the versions up to three.

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