Firstly, all power and praise to the Ubuntu and Open Source software movement and excuse my simplistic attempts at evaluation.
My experiences with Linux distributions is as follows:
Trialled on PIII Celeron 400MHz, 192 MB RAM, 30GB Maxtor DiamondMax 8 PATA.
I tried different flavours of Linux, originally installed alone, then with a basic Win XP setup (no service packs) and my preferred Ubuntu solution (the philosophy is outstanding)
Whilst there are many excellent features of the software which makes it very attractive I found that it loads and runs far more slowly than Windows, despite my high expectations.
Basic XP: 45s,
Xubuntu: 75s to login then 15s to desktop.
Kubuntu: 105s to login then 60s to desktop
XP: IE: 5s
Xubuntu: Firefox: 13s
Kubuntu: Konqueror: 18s
XP: Wordpad: 3s
Xubuntu: AbiWord: 12s
Kubuntu: AbiWord: 25s, OpenOffice.org, Writer: 105s
The key finding is that, in the setup I tried, the systems seem to load and run MUCH more slowly. This was very unexpected and disappointing.
I await pricing of Windows Vista and bundled prices with, say Dell hardware to be able to compare this against, possibly a faster machine to compensate for my findings of a slower running Open Source solution.
Linux is almost there in terms of ease of installation, quality, hardware detection and simplicity but the speed issue will put anyone off?
Am I missing something (WITHOUT going into any highly arcane, technical solutions!)