LA Times: For Consumers, Linux a Work in Progress

“While the Justice Department challenges Microsoft in court,
thousands of computer experts around the world are pursuing what
could, in the long run, be an even more powerful way to break up
the company’s monopoly. They are using Linux, a competing operating
system that, like the various flavors of Windows, can be used to
run both PCs and servers.”

“With a lot of help from an expert, I now have Linux running on
a borrowed IBM ThinkPad 600 notebook PC and a Gateway Pentium
desktop system. After using it for several days, I’m convinced that
it has the potential to evolve into a consumer operating system,
but it’s not there yet.”

“The interface, which is distributed by Germany’s KDE Desktop
Environment Project (http://www.kde.org), provides you with a “what
you see is what you get” interface that’s very easy to use. You can
open multiple applications, each in its own window and, like
Microsoft Windows and the Mac, you can copy and paste text between
documents and select commands by clicking on icons or pulling down
menus. You can launch programs by clicking on their icon or by
clicking on the Application Starter, which looks remarkably similar
to the Windows 95/98 Start menu. Like Windows, there also is a task
bar that shows your active applications.”