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Is Linux Really Ready for Simple Users? (Part 1 of 8)

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This engaging and insightful eight-part series by Kim Brebach, a consultant with an Australian technology marketing group, explores the suitability of desktop Linux for ordinary computer users. Follow Brebach's often-amusing foils and fumbles as he investigates a veritable alphabet soup of Linux distributions -- from Damn Small Linux to Zenwalk.

Is Linux Really Ready for Simple Users?

Part 1 -- In Search of Freedom

by Kim Brebach

A New Vista

Murmurs of revolt spread through the taverns in the Kingdom of Windows. The flashy new Vista model King William had promised the people had taken 5 years to put into production, and the price matched its splendor. During those five years, the Apple Opera Company had staged several new productions of impressive polish.

The upstarts from Google were giving people free software and email services, and there were rumors that Desktop Linux was mature enough to rival Vista.

In the rugged mountains of Mozilla, far from the Court at Redmond, fiercely independent tribes had held out against King William. Long ago their artisans had sworn an oath to share their ideas and inventions freely. Their creations were built on open platforms like UNIX and Linux, with liberal use of arcane tools. Now there was talk that they'd produced a Linux desktop of great beauty.

The once loyal-to-the-royal media began asking if King William was losing the steely resolve of old. Would people baulk at the outrageous price of Vista and do the nthinkable: rebel and buy a Mac, or replace their Windows with Linux? Was this the autumn of King William's reign and would Vista become his elaborate tomb? And who would reign after King William? Would it be Big Jobs and Apple or would it be the rebels from Mozilla? Would 2007 be the year of Linux?

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