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Windows 7 v Ubuntu 9.10: an illustrated guide

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Enterprise IT managers, frustrated for the last three years by Windows Vista, have recently begun to move Linux from its traditional home in the datacentre out to user desktops. However, it's still very much a minority option and Linux's progress could be halted in its tracks by the release of Windows 7, which is widely seen as the logical upgrade for those still running XP.

Whether or not Windows 7 will actually put paid to Linux on the desktop remains to be seen. But to give you flavour of how the two platforms measure up, we've compiled a brief illustrated guide, comparing key business features as implemented in Windows 7 and the latest version of the world's favourite Linux distro — Ubuntu 9.10, otherwise known as Karmic Koala.

Getting started

Hardware support is much the same, and both Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. However, Windows 7 licenses have to be paid for, while Ubuntu is open-source and free.

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