March 8, 2004

Upgrades make Linux so easy to use

Don't you wish some days you could just toss that Windows computer out the, er, window and try something else? Something where viruses and worms
weren't everyday occurrences, where you didn't have to suffer through lockups and crashes every few days? Where the screen wasn't cluttered with
pop-up ads and strange spyware programs, snooping on your every move?

Welcome to the world of desktop Linux. If you really can't stand Windows or just want to try something new, the Linux operating system is right up
your alley.

Available in a number of "flavors," Linux isn't perfect. But if there's one generalization that characterizes the state of desktop Linux today, it's
that you finally don't have to sweat the small stuff.

Linux systems install easier, get you up and running faster, and interact with devices and content a lot better than a year ago, when I last reviewed
desktop Linux (Jan. 18, 2003). You no longer worry about downloading and installing drivers for things like printers and cameras. And media -- songs
and video -- automatically trigger an appropriate player: no fussing with downloading, uncompressing and installing arcane software.

There are exceptions, as I'll note. But Linux is more "ready to run" than ever, with far less worry than Windows over viruses and operating-system



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