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Time: The Little Penguin That Could

Aug 20, 2002, 18:00 (22 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to David Harper for this link. ]

"Imagine dining at a restaurant where there are just two dishes on the menu--and because one is being eaten by 90% of your fellow diners, the waiter advises you to order that. That was the choice facing computer consumers throughout the 1990s. You could select from a few relatively pricey Apple computers that ran Mac OS on the one hand, and a horde of cookie-cutter Windows-based PCs on the other. A third operating system, Linux, has been available for free since Linus Torvalds created it in 1991, but for years it was too complex to make it into the mainstream. For most users, Linux was like having to go back into the kitchen and cook a gourmet meal from scratch.

"Finally, that is starting to change. Linux is still the preserve of geeks, many of whom showed up last week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco. But some of those geeks have realized there's money to be made from selling user-friendly versions of this powerful and supremely stable software to those who yearn for something better than Windows. Now Wal-Mart's website is selling $299 PCs that run on an operating system called Lindows (Microsoft is suing over the name), while another Linux brand called Lycoris Desktop LX is about to hit the shelves at CompUSA. The ubiquitous Linux logo, a penguin, is already a hit at places like IBM and much of the U.S. government. Should the rest of us tune him in too...?"

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