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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use Linux all the time. Although there was common ground in the networking and development world, there was almost none in the system administration arena. The only way to remedy that was by using Linux all the time. This was daunting. Just trying to find my way around the Linux file system was hair-pulling frustration, yet work needed to get done. I experimented with different forms of coexistence: Linux virtual machines hosted on Windows; Windows virtual machines hosted on Linux; the Windows Ubuntu Installer (WUBI), formating old workstations. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end I decided the best setup was to format a workstation as a Linux workstation with a full GUI desktop, and to format a remote server as a typical Linux server. I found keeping a Windows workstation too tempting; it was too easy to fall back into old habits. With this setup it was possible to power up a Windows VM when necessary, but the inconvenience of working on an underpowered VM encouraged me to stick with Linux, regardless of frustrations. The setup gives you the full Linux experience: learning how to connect printers and handle things like email on the workstation side, while also administering a server via secure shell (SSH). Then it was a matter of figuring out how to get productive, especially at the command line.