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Microsoft

Kim Komando: Buy a computer for less than $100

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Android
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Instead you could try an operating system based on Linux. These are free, come with everything you need for basic computing, and will run great on older hardware. If you’re going to give this a whirl, check out Linux Mint. The MATE edition should run better than XP, in fact.

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And in the last few years, it has been made easier for beginners to use, thanks to its whimsically named New Out of Box Software, or NOOBS, system. This helps you install a few of the various operating systems it runs, which are based on the free Linux.

You might still end up doing some tweaking, but fortunately, the Raspberry Pi site has excellent tutorials for beginners.

Via’s APC Rock ($79) and Paper ($99) are similar systems with a bit more oomph.

When you’re poking around for DIY computers, you might come across the Arduino board. While this is a fantastic system for hobbyists, it won’t work as a computer.
Android computers

Android isn’t just for smartphones and tablets.

There are a few companies making Android “sticks.” These are the size of a USB and plug right into the HDMI port on your TV — similar to a Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick.

However, these run a full version of Android, which means you can surf the Web, install apps and anything else you’d do on an Android tablet.

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Robolinux turns your C Drive into a virtual Windows machine you can run in Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Say you want to move from Windows to Linux… but there are a few Windows apps that you can’t give up, and they don’t work well under WINE. The developer of Robolinux offers a Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system designed to let you run Windows XP or Windows 7 in a virtual machine.

But the latest version of Robolinux goes a step further: It includes a tool that lets you create a virtual machine by cloning your Windows C: Drive, which means it takes just minutes to create a version of Windows that you can run in virtualization in Linux, and it will already have all of your existing programs and data.

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Hewlett-Packard's Radical New Laptop Doesn't Run Microsoft's Windows

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Earlier this week, various press outlets noted that Hewlett-Packard had put up a video on its website showcasing the Slatebook 14 -- a revolutionary new laptop unlike anything Hewlett-Packard has ever released before. In fact, nothing quite like the Slatebook 14 has ever been released by any company.

The Slatebook 14 is a standard, 14-inch laptop, complete with non-detachable keyboard, trackpad, and various ports. But unlike the other 14-inch laptops Hewlett-Packard sells, this one doesn't run Microsoft's Windows but rather Google's Android operating system.

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LibreOffice 4.1.6 Final Released on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X

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LibO
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

All the supported platforms have received this new update, but this is a maintenance build that’s mostly about bug fixes, which means that it fits perfectly in what has been made available so far, with no major surprises.

“LibreOffice 4.1.6 is the last release of the LibreOffice 4.1 family, targeted to large deployments in enterprises and public administrations, which should always be supported by TDF certified developers. Today, we users can choose between LibreOffice 4.2.3 Fresh, targeted to early adopters and technology enthusiasts, and LibreOffice 4.1.6 Stable targeted to enterprise deployments and conservative users,” said Florian Effenberger, TDF executive director.

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Microsoft will continue to sell Nokia Android phones

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Android
Microsoft

I can’t help but wonder about the wisdom of blending elements from Windows Phone into Android. The two mobile operating systems are so different that it might come across as a franken-os that just doesn’t fit together properly. If somebody really wants the Windows Phone user interface then doesn’t it make more sense for them to just buy a Windows Phone and skip Microsoft’s Android phones altogether?

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Linux as a replacement for Windows

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

For those not in the know, let us first discuss what Linux is. It is not an application program; it is an operating system, in the same class as Windows or Apple’s Mac OS. An operating system is the piece of software that makes it possible to run any other application or user software on a computer. The operating system manages and provides the ability for programs to access the computer’s hardware, and it provides security mechanisms such as password-protected accounts that control user access. Operating systems have evolved into highly complex, multi-layered conglomerations that are essential to the operation of a computer.

Now then, your question essentially is whether Linux is a viable replacement for Windows. As usual, the answer is “that depends”. Specifically, it depends on what you want to do with the machine, and how much time you’re willing to put into learning about Linux. Where Windows is a vendor-built and supported operating system, Linux is open-source. That means the code base is public, and not supported by a company. Instead, it is supported by the community of users who contribute to its development. Since nobody “owns” Linux the way Microsoft owns Windows, it also means that multiple “flavors” of it exist – at least six or seven depending on how you count them.

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GEEK TO ME: Switching to Linux since Microsoft cuts XP support

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

There is no customer-service to call with such questions or when something goes wrong, but there is the Internet, and Linux support groups are very easy to find. A secondary advantage is that it runs in a far smaller footprint, and far more efficiently than Windows. That means that it can indeed breathe new life into that old system you were going to toss.

So what won’t Linux do? Well, it will not run Windows software, for one thing. Outlook, Office, Internet Explorer, certain games, etc. are all designed to run under Windows. The upside is that there are Linux-specific versions of just about any application software you need, so you’ll have ready access to a choice of web browsers, Office Automation Suites, photo editing utilities, or whatever you normally run under Windows — you just have to find them online, and then learn and get used to a new version.

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China developing Linux-based OS after Windows XP shutdown

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

China will focus on the development of a new operating system (OS) based on Linux to cope with the shutdown of Windows XP, an official said on Wednesday.

Zhang Feng, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said "the ministry will beef up support for the development of such an OS."

Microsoft ended support for the 13-year-old Windows XP on April 8 and advised users to upgrade to Windows 8 or get a new PC if necessary. About 70 percent of Chinese personal computers, even in critical sectors like telecommunications, are still running Windows XP.

"The shutdown will bring risks directly to China's basic telecommunication networks and threaten its overall security," said Zhang.

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Yes, you should replace Windows XP with Linux

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Linux
Microsoft

I’m very glad that the author admits to being a “Windows guy” at the beginning of the article. At least he’s being up front about it, and that’s rather refreshing. That said, I disagree with most of his conclusions. He’s clearly stuck in the mid 1990s or so in his mindset while the rest of the world has moved on from those days of complete Microsoft domination of the computing world. I give him props for noting that he has tried other operating systems and platforms, but he doesn’t seem to have gotten much out of them as the Windows-centric mindset still seems to dominate his thinking.

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Digitimes Research: Microsoft facing difficulties in 3 major segments

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Google
Microsoft

As for the partner relations, PC brand vendors are gradually accepting Google's Chrome OS and even trying to provide dual-OS solutions. Microsoft's Surface tablets also created a conflict of interest with its tablet vendor partners. With Windows-based smartphones continuing to fall behind Android-based models, most smartphone vendors have placed less attention on Windows Phone and started dropping support after the software giant's acquisition of Nokia.

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Firefox OS media-casting stick strikes Kickstarter gold

The first Firefox OS based media player has arrived on Kickstarter, in the form of a $25 open-spec HDMI stick that supports Chromecast-like content casting. The Matchstick, which has already zoomed past its Kickstarter campaign’s $100,000 funding goal, with 28 days still remaining, was teased back in June by Mozilla developer evangelist Christian Heilmann. The unnamed prototype was billed as an open source HDMI stick that runs Mozilla’s Linux-based Firefox OS and offers casting capabilities. Few details were revealed at the time except that the device used the same DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) media-casting protocol created by Netflix and popularized by Google’s Chromecast. Read more

Open source history, present day, and licensing

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained. On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open. Read more

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