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Ms Windows vs. Unix/Linux

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Ms Windows vs. Unix/Linux

MS Windows vs. Unix/Linux

University of Phoenix

POS/420 Introduction to Unix

October 20, 2008

Scott Stewart

MS Windows vs. Unix/Linux

The Microsoft and Linux operating systems have been long considered to be in a competition to be the best operating systems on the market. This paper will compare and contrast these operating systems to help the consumer decide which is right for his or her environment. Such subjects as; cost, market share, hardware requirements, file processing, programming capabilities, availability if application software, networking, and user interface will be examined.

Cost

The cost difference between running a Linux desktop / server compared to a Microsoft desktop / server is overwhelming. In all scenarios, Linux ends up being the cheaper and more “functionality rich” option. In the first scenario, let’s compare the cost difference between a Linux and Microsoft desktop. The first cost difference in this scenario is the cost of obtaining the software. A copy of most Linux distributions can be obtained for under $60 dollars, and free if it is downloaded from such sites as www.linuxiso.com. A Microsoft desktop is not so cheap however; the initial cost of purchasing a full copy of Windows Vista is currently $319.95, a much larger cost than that of Linux desktop. Functionality wise, both the Linux and Microsoft desktops provide the basic needs of the “home user,” however, such additional features as an Office Software Suite can cost up to $300 dollars extra on the Microsoft platform. On the Linux platform, such packages can be downloaded for free from such sites as openoffice.org. Finally, when the cost of support is compared, both the Linux and Microsoft desktop cost the same to be fully supported. With both products online documentation is plentiful, however, the cost of obtaining hands on service will be the same for both desktops when brought to such stores as Best Buy or Circuit City.…...

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