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Linux and Windows: virtualize, Wine or dual boot route?

As I've mentioned in previous articles I currently have all the applications I need on my Ubuntu Linux desktop so I never need to use Windows. However, there are unfortunately still plenty of applications that some users need which are not available under Linux and have no equivalent. Adobe's Flash and Photoshop spring to mind, Turbotax is another that some miss, how about iTunes? Luckily for those users there are at least three options that will allow them to run the software they need while retaining Linux on their desktop. But which is the best one?

Most Linux newbies who have migrated from Windows will by default have partitioned their hard disk and have a dual boot system in place. This has some advantages and plenty of disadvantages.

In many cases dual booters will not have to boot up Windows too often. It would be hard to imagine that serious Flash and Photoshop users wouldn't have a dedicated machine - quite often a Mac - to do work such as professional image editing.

However, Turbotax, iTunes users and PC gamers will remain regular Windows users and little will change for them while they're running those applications. The good news is that they'll generally be using Linux to surf the net, check emails and do most of their work while they only use Windows for a few applications. The bad news is that they'll still have to maintain Windows with security software subscriptions and load regular critical updates from Microsoft.

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