The nerds, he says, will answer Ubuntu; it has street cred on the Interwebs. (I hasten to add that that includes me: I’m running Xubuntu on an old laptop and it’s great, ideal for its purpose.)
But for small to medium sized businesses lacking nerds, the real answer, he says is Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.
And why, you may ask? Well, in a word: services!
In particular, if I don’t really know Linux that well and I’m running an SMB, I want a company that can offer me the full support package. That’s more than just 24×7 phone support. Both Canonical and Novell offer that. Novell also offers other support options such as certification, training, consulting, and even retaining the services of an engineer.