This is a pretty interesting article. Even if you take Novell out of the discussion it's interesting.
Link and article posted .
Jan. 19, 2007
Novell has just launched a Vista/Linux comparison site, in anticipation of the Jan. 31 arrival of the retail version of Windows Vista. Unsurprisingly, Novell's site reminds users that SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) is already here, and promotes it as the better upgrade for Windows business users.
While Microsoft and Novell may be partners now when it comes to Windows and Linux interoperability, don't think for a second that they've become bosom buddies. In this Web site, Novell bashes Vista both on TCO (total cost of ownership) and on usability grounds.
Novell claims that "With SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, you receive over 90 percent of the functionality of Vista and Office for less than 10 percent of the price." In the pricing section, Novell walks you through the cost differences between SLED and Vista and Vista/Office 2007.
When it comes to dollars and bytes, SLED is the clear winner. It only costs $50 and it comes bundled with a full-function office suite, OpenOffice.org 2.x. IN contrast, the Windows Vista Business upgrade price is $179. If you buy straight retail, it's a cool $299. Vista, of course, doesn't come with an office suite. Microsoft Office Professional 2007 for Windows Vista costs $499 per user at list. The upgrade price isn't cheap either, at $329.
Of course, all this pricing information presumes you can run Vista on your existing PCs. SLED 10 will run on any recent PC. Vista, for all practical purposes, requires a system with at least a 1GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 1GB of system RAM, a graphics card that is DirectX 9-capable with WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) drivers, and at least 128MB of graphics memory.
It's not just the upfront client software pricing, though. Novell points out that the per-user maintenance costs for an enterprise user with Windows Vista Business will run an additional $87 per year.
To manage 25 Vista desktops with Microsoft SMS (Systems Management Server) 2003 your management software cost will be $6,055. That breaks out as $3,999 for a Windows Server 2003 license to manage 25 Vista desktops (Windows Server + 25 Client Access Licenses), and $2,056 for a SMS 2003 license to manage 25 Vista desktops (SMS + 25 Client Management Licenses). Novell? You'll get comparable functionality using ZENworks Linux Management 7 for $69 per user, or $1,725 for 25 users.
Price, though, is only one of the matters that Novell considers. For all of Microsoft's bluster about Vista being more secure, Novell points out that "Windows was designed without security as a key principle and was allowed to grow into a monolithic collection of code."
Microsoft can say what it wants, but it's still pretty much the same old insecure kernel underneath Vista. The proof? The first confirmed Windows Vista flaw, a denial-of-service issue that was publicly released on an underground Russian hacker site, is still unpatched. And, yes, it hits both Vista and older versions of Windows.
Need to know more? Novell will be happy to tell you in even greater detail why SLED, rather than Vista, should be your next business desktop.
-- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols