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Linux examined: Xandros Professional

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Linux

To a lot of people, Ubuntu represents the most end-user-friendly nongeek-compatible Linux distribution. But there are other commercial distributions that work even harder to create a desktop experience that is, frankly, Windows-like. The two most well-known of these are Xandros and Linspire (formerly Lindows). Since Xandros recently acquired Linspire, that leaves it pretty much in sole possession of that segment of the marketplace.

Xandros tries to set itself apart from the majority of popular distributions in two ways. First, by making the installation and administration procedure as simple as -- or simpler than -- the best free distributions. Second, by integrating commercial software offerings into its package management system.

A no-choice install

While distributions such as Ubuntu try to make the installation process easy for nontechnical users by offering reasonable defaults for the various setup options, Xandros takes it a step further -- by essentially offering no choices. The first thing that the installer asks is whether you want an express installation or a custom one.

If you select express, you have made your last decision.

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