In terms of ease of use, Ubuntu outshines Vista without a doubt. But it is arguably limited when it comes to software. Most applications written for Windows have not been ported with Linux, and therefore you may not be able to get your favorite, programs running on Ubuntu. However, I don’t think this is much of a problem, as there is a whole world of open source out there, which sometimes provide even better functionality. And if you intend to use your new Ubuntu box for Digital Signage, no problem. Ubuntu is packed with applications which will allow you to do anything you want to your Ubuntu OS for the purpose of a dedicated Digital SignagePlayer. These apps include VNC (so you can remotely console to the box), Uncluttered. (so you can clean the desktop), free firewall and others.
Long gone are the days of having to compile your own kernel in order to run the open-source operating system. Ubuntu, a free Linux distro from Canonical, provides a near Microsoft Windows-like experience for those new to Linux. We're reviewing this particular Linux distro because PC manufacturer Dell now ships some new models with Ubuntu already installed. But before we extol its many virtues, we should note there are also steep trade-offs when using Ubuntu. Linux is not Windows, nor is it Mac. Programs written for those other operating systems will not run under Ubuntu. Instead, be prepared to abandon your Microsoft applications in favor of equally fine although less well-known open-source products such as OpenOffice (included within Ubuntu), Evolution (e-mail), and Ekiga (VoIP). That said, some popular software, like Firefox and Opera, are written for Linux as well. If you only use your computer to check e-mail, surf the Web, and in our case run a Digital SignagePlayer, Ubuntu might be just right for you. And if you're an advanced computer user, by all means, try Ubuntu; Linux is designed for you.
In general, Ubuntu is the OS of choice for MediaSignage as we are advocates of free software. We support the GNU foundation and contribute to the open sources ourselves. And since it is free, it means you can deploy your Digital Signage software without shelling $80-$200 per OS license.