I run a Linux box and a Windows 2000 box at home. I like them both so I really don't have a dog in this fight. However, my experience is that Windows is much more supportive of varying hardware than the X86 versions of Linux. Linux is getting better, but it's still not as tolerant as Windows when it comes to hardware support.
Also, I have my Linux box (Redhat 8.0) set up so that it can automatically sense any new software patches and upgrades when I run in root mode. So in one sense, Redhat "spies" on my system configuration just as Microsoft "spies" on my Windows 2000 configuration.
Wrong. You spy on your system, just like MS spies on your Windows system. You set it up--not RH. However, on Windows, Microsoft set up the spyware.
There is a huge difference there.
Nope. RedHat's RHN service running on your PC downloads a list of all available updates from RedHat's servers, then your system decides what to install.