LordNyuknyuk writes "I currently work as a young network engineer that services approximately 40 small businesses with Windows networks (SBS 2000/2003, Terminal Server, WinXP Pro machines — however there is light with Smoothwall applicances in place as well). As a result, I've been running a WinXP/Fedora dual boot machine, with the Fedora mainly for my own personal education and hobby. The XP Pro boot has become my 'daily driver' as it helps for supporting these clients in a standardised way — and I think it is a useful tool to run the OS that you are supporting. I don't mind it — it is a nice system once you have it tuned correctly.
I am planning on travelling and picking up some contract work along the way. I have bought a new notebook with Vista Business OEM, which I don't mind so far, but don't prefer to XP Pro (and I'm waiting to be get roasted by the Slashdot crowd). I have heard though through various channels that a lot of large enterprise businesses will not even be considering rolling out Vista for a couple of years. Microsoft has granted downgrade rights to XP Pro to Vista Business OEM users.
My question is: What would be the best OS to run here? Do I get ahead of the curve with the Vista, and discard the useful tool of running the OS that I will ultimately be supporting on a day to day basis? Do I setup a tri-boot to get the best of all worlds and sacrifice the disk space, keeping in mind the complexity, hardware support, pooled email/contact details etc? Do I forsake Vista for now and 'downgrade' to the XPPro/Linux dual boot? Does anyone perform in-the-field and first level support with MS using customers armed only with your Ubuntu beast? Is there any value in Virtual Machines in this case?"