"Windows Vista debuted to muffled applause, followed by
lackluster sales. Up until June 30, cash-strapped businesses
looking to avoid the cost of upgrading to new Vista-compatible
hardware could still purchase trusty Windows XP. Now, however,
Windows XP is available only as a costly 'downgrade' from Windows
Vista--if you buy a copy of Vista, you can install the 6-year-old
XP operating system using the Vista license.
"If that feels like a waste of your small business's precious IT
budget, and you're still looking for an alternative to Windows
Vista, look no further than Linux. The latest distributions are
free, easy to install, and highly customizable; they harness your
existing hardware without overtaxing it; and they include a wealth
of productivity applications and utilities. You may already have a
closet Linux expert on staff, but if you don't, paid support is
usually available at rates far less than Microsoft's..."