My company is thinking of switching to Linux now that Microsoft's Vista has come out. We don't want to have to pay the licensing fees associated with Vista. We're considering Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Can you tell us about some of its strengths and weaknesses?

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the best-established Linux distribution for business use. It has the largest installed base, as well as the largest number of applications certified to run on it. There are also a high number of certified engineers that are available as consultants and employees.

On the other hand, RHEL is best-known as a server operating system and much less as a client platform. In addition, using RHEL also requires subscription fees although these are far less than Vista, particularly when you consider the hardware investment that Vista typically requires.

This was first published in April 2007

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