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Which Linux makes the best business Windows replacement desktop?

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Some of my Linux-savvy friends and I have been hashing out what the best Linux desktop would be for a SMB (small to medium sized business). Out of that conversation, Ken Hess came up with a list of ten best Linux desktop distributions that has Ubuntu at the top and Jason Perlow, while dividing distributions into community and commercial versions, also sees Ubuntu as the best Linux desktop. Ah… I disagree.

It’s not that I don’t like Ubuntu. I do. I just stayed focused on the full question, which was: “If an SMB wants to upgrade from XP, what Linux variants would you recommend? Consider this would be for an SMB with limited in-house tech expertise.”

Note that last phrase: “limited in-house tech expertise.” There goes Ubuntu. Yes, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, does offer professional technical support, but Canonical is still new at the support business and its offerings are rather generic.

My answer is that those requirements pretty much narrow it down to Novell and SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop). Novell, and its resellers, knows support and SMB.

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