Linux Desktop

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-07-09 Print this article Print

Some of the ones I like include Xandros Desktop OS Business Edition as a standalone desktop for SMBs (small to midsized businesses). Xandros biggest virtue to someone looking for a drop-in replacement for a Windows PC is that it comes ready and able to work with both Windows 2000 Active Directory server and Windows NT PDC authentication.

Novells SuSE Professional 9.1 is an excellent pure Linux or NetWare/Linux business desktop, and Red Hat Desktop is ideal if youre buying into the whole Red Hat Enterprise Linux approach.
If you want a Linux for the home, Linspires eponymous operating system, formerly Lindows, is hard to beat.

None too sure about OpenOffice, StarOffice or Java Desktop System? Cant get along without your Microsoft Office or some other Windows application? You dont have to!

We recently kicked the wheels on CodeWeavers CrossOver Office Professional, and it runs a ton of Windows applications. It wont run all of them—Office 2003 is a no-show—but for earlier versions of Office, it does just fine.

O, you could use my old favorite, NeTraverses Win4Lin, and run Windows 98 or ME as a virtual machine under Linux, and then theres almost no business Windows application that you cant run.

Listen, I know jumping from one operating system to another isnt easy. Its just that were now seeing security problems with Windows that are worse than the ones weve ever seen before. It used to be that if you took the time and effort, which could be considerable, to keep up with Microsofts patches and your anti-viral updates, youd be safe.

Thats no longer true. Today, the crackers hold the whip hand over Windows. Going onto the Web with Internet Explorer is like walking onto a minefield blindfolded. If you want to be safer, switch to another browser. If you want to be safer still, now is the time to think about switching to Linux. Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been using and writing about operating systems since the late 80s and thinks he may just have learned something about them along the way.

Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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