A look at Linux
Vista, Microsoft's new version of Windows, is almost ready to roll. You'll be able to purchase a Vista PC or an upgrade for your current Windows computer by the end of January. (Go to www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec091006.html for a report on how much Vista will cost and where you can order it ahead of time.)
Vista has a lot of advantages over Windows XP, Microsoft's current operating system. But the comparison with XP, which will be 6 years old when Vista is introduced, is misleading. XP is old very old, if you measure age in Internet time. A better comparison is OS X, the operating system that powers Apple's new Macintosh computers.
When held up against OS X, Vista at first seems little more than an attempt at flattery. It has see-through windows and dialog boxes (something OS X has had since 2001), secure user accounts (in OS X from the beginning), a safer Web browser (an OS X feature for many years), a built-in calendar (part of OS X, likewise) and dozens of other features Apple users have enjoyed for five years.
But whether Microsoft copied Apple's operating system or simply came up with similar ideas, Vista obviously is not the only choice for Windows users who want to ditch XP for something safer. And switching to an Apple Macintosh computer is not the only alternative, either.
You might find your best choice is to stay with what you have.