Should Linux be used to replace Windows XP on older hardware?

Today in Open Source: Should Linux replace Windows XP? Plus: A review of Edubuntu 13.10, and an OpenMandriva Lx preview


Should Linux Replace Windows XP?

Windows XP is headed for the scrap heap, should Linux be used to replace it on older computers? TechRepublic takes a look at this question, and comes away with a negative point of view.

I'm all for keeping those millions of machines out of the scrap heaps, but I don't know how I feel about the Linux community crying out for everyone to use their out-of-date hardware for Linux. The success of Linux as a legitimate desktop operating system cannot, in any way, hinge on dumpster diving in Microsoft's garbage. In fact, winning the desktop war -- on any front -- cannot (and will not) be had by picking up any of the slack that smacks of the past. Success must begin in the present and quickly move into the future.

However, if Linux continues to hold on to the same dusty war cries it's espoused for years, it won't get anywhere. Sure, Linux can resurrect that old hardware. You can slap Puppy Linux on it, but all you'll get is a lightning-fast computer that can't interact with modern business in a satisfying way. Plus, you'll have an old-school interface and a cumbersome package management system. Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not dogging on Puppy. In fact, I like Puppy Linux... just not as much as I like the idea of Linux pushing the boundaries of modern modality and showing the computing world just what it's capable of.

More at TechRepublic

Hmm. I can see the writer's point here, I certainly don't want Linux to be relegated to taking scraps from Microsoft's table. That's not a good way for it to be perceived.

However, I'm not sure that that would be the case if it replaced Windows XP on older machines. The writer cites Puppy Linux as a distro for those kinds of machines, but I don't think that Puppy is really necessary. There are other minimalist distributions such as CrunchBang that might also work well.

Some older machines might even be able to run Lubuntu or Xubuntu without any problems. So why not do it? It would help increase the use of Linux while also keeping those older computers going for quite a long time.

Replacing Windows XP with Linux seems like a win-win for everybody to me, so I have to respectfully disagree with the writer's final conclusions.

Edubuntu 13.10 Review

Edubuntu 13.10 has been released, and I've got a full review of it. It's an excellent distribution for educators and anyone else who requires a learning-centric operating system.

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