A Linux for Windows Users

There’s a nice review of Xandros Desktop OS Version 3 Business Edition at XYZ Computing. For about $130 you get a version of Linux particularly suited to office environments where key Windows applications must be supported. This distro is different from most in that it combines many of the separate Windows compatibility efforts (namely CodeWeavers CrossOver Office and drivers for FAT/FAT32/NTFS support); there are others it does not, like TransGaming’s Cedega (which is primarily oriented towards running Windows games within Linux). Besides the Business Edition you can also choose from their Standard, Deluxe, Open Circulation, and SurfSide which range in price from $0 to $89, with varying levels of Windows support.

Xandros.com lists the following features for the Business Edition:

- Four-click install with automatic disk partitioning
- Industry-leading hardware detection & configuration
- A single control center for all your settings
- Shield your files from prying eyes with automatic home folder encryption
- Acquire images through the USB scanner support
- Support for new nVidia and ATI PCI-Express video cards
- Recursively change properties of files in selected sub-directories
- New! Synchronize your system clock with a network time server
- Xandros File Manager
- Xandros Disc Burner
- Full server-accessed Windows networking
- StarOffice 7 with full commercial support
- Special Xandros edition of CodeWeavers CrossOver Office 3.0.1
- Xandros Networks updates
- Get notified of updates immediately with the Xandros Networks panel applet
- Startup and Trouble-shooting Guide
- 380 page User Guide (PDF with download version)
- Access to a huge inventory of free Linux software
- 90 days e-mail installation technical support

For those considering Linux in an office which requires Windows this is excellent news. The pricing leaves something to be desired, as the high price for the full set of features puts it only slightly below the cost of Windows, making it less likely to win many converts who would rather stay with the status quo, or experiment with using the freely available Windows support (WINE and Linux NTFS).

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