PCWorld: Linux vs. Windows: The Rematch

“You might be pretty happy with Windows XP. But Windows
continues to suffer from more than its share of drawbacks: From the
newer operating system’s incompatibility with older software to
Microsoft’s well-known security problems, Windows still engenders a
fair amount of user aggravation. Windows XP also subjects its users
to the indignity of the Microsoft Product Activation service: You
might have to ask Microsoft for a new key if you upgrade more than
one or two major components.

“The question for PC users, of course, is what’s the
alternative? When we last looked at Linux, it was still rough
around the edges. Two years later, we can’t say that Linux is
better than Windows on all these counts, but Linux has matured. To
find out whether it’s finally ready for the average PC user, we
looked at SuSE Linux 8.0 Professional ($80 boxed, free download,
www.suse.com), just one of many distributions (customized Linux
versions). Popularized in Europe, SuSE has made it to retail
shelves in America, with a hefty set of printed manuals and a
massive amount of useful software on CD-ROM.

“If you can’t get Windows to work your way, or if you feel like
it never will, Linux represents the pinnacle of the customizable
operating system. You can change the entire desktop if you don’t
like the way yours works. Linux also provides superior security
compared to Windows systems, and works on more hardware, from 486
processors to the latest Pentium 4s. In many ways, Linux is more a
set of infinitely rearrangeable operating system building blocks
than a unified OS…”


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