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Good Year for linux ?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This year I'm slowly making a transition to Linux. Though I cannot leave Windows behind as I am too accustomed to it, I intend to spend a lot of time on Linux to be able to get a very good grip of it.

I've started off with Ubuntu 8.04 64-bit edition and so far it has been pretty exciting. I've seen many linux users say that we should not think Windows when moving to GUI Linux like Ubuntu - but reality is, Windows GUI has more than 90% marketshare and most people don't like spending time finding alternatives. If Windows users could just seamlessly resume their work on Linux, it would be an ideal solution. So from a practical point of view, Windows users should be able to find most of their stuff on Linux desktops. For example, the "Windows key" is used on Windows PCs to access the Start menu. In Ubuntu this is not the default, but this can be changed in Keyboard Shortcuts (Windows Key is referred to as the "SuperKey" in Linux). On the other hand, to quickly access the desktop using the keyboard, Ubuntu's default is CTRL+ALT+D. And so far I haven't found a solution to making it Windows Key + D. While it doesn't bother me & many other Linux fans to use the new combination, it seems to be a pain for many users - only because of the fact that their fingers are already synchronized to it & hence prefer it that way. I don't want to keep ranting about what can be done in Windows & that can't be done in Linux.

But there are 2 good reasons to try out Linux this year :

  • Wine 1.0 - after nearly 15 years in development, the stable version of Wine got released - for running Windows exe files. But this still yet to work with all EXEs.
  • OpenOffice 3.0 - Support for MS Office 2007 formats and since ver 2.2 no more long startup times which was terrible when compared to MS Office which runs natively unlike OO which is Java dependent.