Microsoft Opens up Its Business Intelligence


The trouble with most comparisons between desktop Linux distros and Windows is that they are written from the perspective of someone who is comfortable enough with a PC that they can undertake a feature-for-feature comparison in the first place.


Consider the following statement:

It all compares pretty favorably to Windows's Add/Remove Programs system, which should be familiar to everyone reading this.

If you believe that most of your users are, in fact, comfortable knocking around Control Panel, then the informal benchmarking in InformationWeek's Serdar Yegulalp's head-to-head comparison of Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista should give you a fair idea of what your business could expect in an OS migration.


And even if your users get lost just trying change time zones on their system clocks, there's plenty of useful info in Ubuntu.


I was most struck by Ubuntu wins the install test, primarily because you can run a reasonably full-featured instance of the OS from a boot CD without wiping down your hard drive. That's a real plus, particularly for a small shop without a big test lab.


Migrating to the Thunderbird e-mail client (Ubuntu's druthers) sounds like a nightmare, but then again what e-mail migration isn't? I was more taken with this assessment of Ubuntu's hardware management capabilities:

The most common types of hardware and usage scenarios are handled the best, but the further you drift from that, the more complicated it gets. At its worst, Ubuntu's way of dealing with hardware often involves manual hacking to accomplish things that ought to be trivial (and in Windows usually are).

Another red flag for most businesses:

... if you're considering moving to OpenOffice from Office and working with existing files, make sure the documents you want to work with can be read first.

Granted, Microsoft's diddling with open document standards efforts is a major pain -- note, I didn't say surprise -- but businesses have to be able to use Word and Excel docs. Period.



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