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Can anybody tell me if Linux is better than XP and does most programs work with it also what is the cost
Linux can be cheaper, depending on which distribution you go for.
Linux requires a fairly steep learning curve, particularly if you are used to Windows; many versions (distributions / distros) are free to download and use.
In general, anything you can do on Windows, you can do on Linux and often for free.
*does most programs work with it*
All Linux programs work with Linux - all Windows programs work with Windows.
Linux also has
Wine - to enable some Windows programs to work with Linux
Cedega - to allow some Windows games to work with Linux
CrossOver Office - to allow MSOffice to work with Linux.
Also there are many programs which have versions for both Windows and Linux - eg - FireFox - Thunderbird - OpenOffice - and more.
There are many free versions of Linux, amongst the ones that are more straightforward to get to grips with are Freespire, Ubuntu/Kubuntu, PCLinuxOS, OpenSuse, Xandros free version. Also much Linux software is also free, and much is similar to Windows software in quality and ease of use.
I always dispute that Linux has a steep learning curve - in gerneral it's as straightforward as Windows. It uses the same Desktop Point and Click metaphor as Windows. Clearly there are differences - but they're not exactly rocket science to get used to.
I often leave my system in Linux instatead of XP and my son and grandson use it without comment and always have since I first installed Windows. It's really that simple.
Installation is just as straightforward - the biggest issue is that not all hardware is always detected and supported right off (nor in Windows, of course) - but Linux driver suppoprt is patchy, particularly for "unusual" makers.
IMHO it's way past time there was a forum for Linux here, then Linux users could pitch in a bit more easily. I think it might get more useage than the "Digital World" forum - but there seeems to be some reluctance about it.
However, for maximum compatibility
What does that mean? All software written for Linux is compatible with Linux - likewise with Windows. In addition Linux has several pieces of software to give compatibility with Windows programs - does Windows have any software to give compatability with Linux? (answers on the head of a pin please;-))
What I'm pretty sure you mean is that most games are written for Windows - which is true. That's nothing to do with compatability. There are many games for Linux too, and most of them will be free!
and so-on - Google will show you enough Linux games to come out of yopur ears
As I wrote in my first post. "Windows fans will tell you Windows XP is better and Linux fans will tell you that Linux is better." I suspect no amount of arguing on web forums will ever settle the issue, I come down firmly in favour of Windows. I still think you will find the greatest range of software for Windows rather than Linux and not have to use additional software, i.e. emulators, to make it work.
I have Xandros Linux on an older PC which also has the option to boot Windows 98SE. Linux takes a lot longer to boot up than 98SE, is this due to the processor, a Celeron 400 something, or does Linux invariably take longer?
It depends a lot on which Linux distro you are using. Most of the more sophisticated distros are closer to WinXP in their requirements, than Windows98SE (which is now a quite elderly OS).
*I still think you will find the greatest range of software for Windows rather than Linux and not have to use additional software, i.e. emulators, to make it work.*
You may be correct that there is more software written for Windows. I don't actually know, but I suspect that there is probably as much around for Linux as for Windows.
That's to miss the point, which you seem to be approaching solely from a Windows standpoint - and saying a lot software is for Windows. Yes it is - however there is a lot of very good Linux software that Windows won't run too - but lots that will run with the emulators that are available. The reverse is certainly not true.
I use Windows XP and Linux - there's a historical perspective that means I have work which I have done in the past with Windows programs, and I need to retain and update. There is nothing I couldn't have done with Linux as it exists today - it just so happens that I didn't.
I'm not an OS "fan-boy" of either persuasion - it seems daft to me that one could be a "fan" of an OS. Both Windows and Linux do a job - both do it well - both have strengths and weaknesses - both have more software than you could shake a stick at and software to do most jobs that exist.
I just dislike seeing Linux criticised for issues and misunderstandings that don't exist, and for essentially not being Windows.
Sorry I see you did say Xandros - and yes Xandros has heavier requirements than Win98SE in my experience. On the other hand it's much more akin to WinXP in terms of functionality (it can read NTFS partitions for a start - Win98SE can't.)
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