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Michael's Minute: Microsoft Is Right (Until Next Tuesday)

Microsoft can't deny that outfitting a computer with a Desktop Linux operating system and software costs just 20% or less than equipping a computer with Microsoft Windows XP and comparable software, and that difference means real savings for computer users ( reported yesterday that MS is now selectively offering super discounted pricing for their software to block Linux).

Recently, Microsoft sponsored some research which was widely disseminated to conclude that desktop Linux is cheaper initially, but in the long run (because of increased maintenance hassles) it is actually more expensive. While such corporate sponsored research should always be looked at dubiously, Microsoft has correctly identified the last major hurdle blocking massive adoption. (Watch this funny video for more proof!) Installing and maintaining desktop Linux is much more difficult and time consuming than working with Microsoft Windows, and that does raise the effective cost.

Next Tuesday, when we release version 4.0 of LindowsOS, desktop Linux takes a giant leap forward and in so doing, overcomes Microsoft's biggest remaining criticism of desktop Linux. One of our ongoing initiatives at is an operating system with "zero maintenance." The concept is a simple one - we want to remove the hassles of managing your computer. Computers should be more like other electronic appliances (think DVD, radio, toaster). They shouldn't require learning a whole new language or taking hours to set up and maintain. While we haven't fully realized our zero maintenance initiative (there's still a tiny bit of effort that the user has to apply), as of next Tuesday, Linux becomes easier to manage than Microsoft Windows for personal computers.

Here are a few capabilities in LindowsOS 4.0 - many of which are firsts for either Microsoft Windows or Linux or both.

Easy configuration with aisles
One click configuration
I just purchased a new IBM x30 laptop and with a single mouse click I was able to install copies of all of the software programs from my old computer onto my new computer. This saved me hours in finding CDs, running installation programs, and typing in registration data. Similarly, new employees of get their computers set up with a custom suite of programs in just a single click.

Upgrade to 4.0 with 1 click
One click operating system install is the first company to offer major operating system upgrades with just a single mouse click. LindowsOS 3.0 users will be able to upgrade to the significantly improved version 4.0 with a single click -- which is the first time that computer users have been able to do major operating system upgrades, completely digital, with just a single mouse action.

Click-N-Run all of your software!
One click software install
Installing software can be a time consuming task that works differently for each program, but with LindowsOS 4.0, a user can install software with just a single click -- whether you're installing a commercial office suite or a free game. We've worked hard to perfect the system and we now see success rates in the high 90's -- even for users over slower modems.

Upgrading apps: one-click easy
One click upgrading
Keeping software up to date has always been a laborious task, but not with LindowsOS 4.0. LindowsOS keeps track of the software installed on your computer and permits you to update any of the software programs with the same one click ease as when the original program was installed. A graphical user interface shows which programs have available updates and lets you select which ones you wish to upgrade.

Plug in your hardware and you are ready to go
Plug-N-Play Support
The launch of LindowsOS 4.0 means that for the first time, desktop Linux can plug-n-play a wide range of devices, including printers, memory cards, hard drives, CD-RWs, digital cameras, and even firewire devices.
Most of these innovations are embracing the concept of complete digital delivery, which is fast and cost effective -- an area where LindowsOS is leading the way. Conventional wisdom says that "Linux is harder to use" and some analysts are now parroting this blindly. Next Tuesday, we'll release LindowsOS 4.0 and with it will be a new era when Linux is easier to use and lower in cost to maintain than any other software. I'll explain how you can be one of the first to get it next week.

-- Michael
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