March 31, 2014, 11:37 AM — Windows XP users are in a tough situation as that operating system draws close to its end of life. But there are many alternatives to Windows XP, and ZDNet thinks that Linux Mint might a very good one indeed.
I get it though. You know XP like the back of your hand and Windows 8.x has left you as cold as a penguin in the Antarctica ocean. You may also have considered switching to a Mac and gotten hives from just the thought, or contemplated a Chromebook but couldn't get past the idea of relying so much on the Internet and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). I suggest an alternative you may not have considered: Linux Mint.
Yes, I'm serious, and not just because I tend to use Linux desktops a lot and Mint in particular. I'm suggesting it for XP users for several specific reasons.
Image credit: ZDNet
There's also a gallery of Linux Mint and Windows XP images that show some similarities between the two desktop environments.
A basic primer on open source software
Sci-Tech Today has a useful primer on the basics of open source software. It could be helpful if you ever need to explain to someone what open source means.
Open source software is software that is freely distributed. In other words, it is software that is free to acquire. Everyone can access it and modify the code if they wish. The opposite of open source is proprietary software that is closely held and controlled.
For example, Microsoft Office is proprietary software. Most open source software is community based, meaning many developers in different places work independently on the software. Open source may sound really "techie" oriented (and it is), but you may be surprised to find open source software all around you and how much it is affecting innovation.
The Budgie desktop in Linux
OMG! Ubuntu reports on the Budgie desktop, a desktop environment that takes its inspiration from Chrome OS.
Like the look of the minimalist Chrome OS desktop? If so you may want to check out a fledgling Linux desktop environment that bears more than a passing resemblance to it.
The Budgie desktop, developed by Ikey Doherty, hit version 2 recently. In a field of ever-more complex shells, it’s refreshing to see something as pared back and nimble in design as this, even if it is Chrome-esque.
Image credit: OMG! Ubuntu
Given the popularity of Chromebooks, it's not very surprising that a similar desktop has made its way to Linux. OMG! Ubuntu's take on it is quite positive and it could end up being very popular with some users when it's more mature.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.