Nov 12, 2009

OS Smackdown: Linux vs. Mac OS X vs. Windows Vista vs. Windows XP

Computerworld - Since the dawn of time -- or, at least, the dawn of personal computers -- the holy wars over desktop operating system have raged, with each faction proclaiming the unrivaled superiorty of its chosen OS and the vile loathsomeness of all others.

No matter how fierce the language or convincing the arguments, however, these battles began to seem somewhat irrelevant to regul working stiffs. While Mac OS, OS/2, Linux and many other desktop operating systems have all had their devotees over the years, the truth is that the majority of home and business users have simply used the current version of Windows as a matter of course.

Windows Vista has changed all that. Never has a Microsoft operating system been greeted with such a lack of enthusiasm from consumers and business alike. Wheter it's because of Vista's confusing array of versions, its hefty hardaware requirements, its driver issues or its invasive security features, users are resisting the upgrade to Vista and considering other options, from Mac OS X to Linux to just sticking with Windows XP, thank you very much.

Suddenly, the OS wars have a new revelance.

That's why we've asked four experts to lay out their best arguments in support of their desktop operating systems of choice:

- James Turner for Linux
- Michael DeAgonia for Mac OR X
- Preston Gralla for Windows Vista
- David Ramel for Windows XP

Each is positive that his operating system is the best and will try his hardes to convince you of that -- and is not above taking a few swipes at the competition. These are not rational, disengaded reviews; these are opinionated essays meant to sway your point of view.

When you've read all the arguments, you make the call by voting in our reader poll -- and of course we welcome your own arguments in the comments area as well.

By Michael Deagonia, Preston Gralla, David Ramel and James Turner,

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