Frustration Over WGA: Exploring Other Options

Dennis Faas's picture

Die-hard Infopackets Reader Beverly C. writes:

" Dear Infopackets Team,

In a recent article, Brandon Dimmel was quoted stating to the effect that " ... frustration by victims of the Windows WGA spying will only build the momentum of Microsoft's growing list of competition."

My question is: aside from the multiple variations of the Linux Operating System, what other options are there available for home users?

Here's my frustration: in each release of MS Windows, there are excessive features that the average home users never accesses and does not (and probably will not) use in the future; yet, these same programs often foul up the entire 'works' of the operating system as a whole.

Personally, I'd prefer to fill my taskbar with my program options, and not what has been supplied by Microsoft. For example: I've switched to Mozilla Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email and never even tried Outlook Express and [because of security constant issues, I steer clear of Internet Explorer]. And for that matter, I have never used MSN Instant Messsenger because I have absolutely *no use* it (yet it still appears on my desktop).

Although well into 'senior citizen' status, I'm not exactly a novice. It is sometimes increasingly difficult to keep up with the technology trends, but I try! From the base of and, I find lots of help from all you experts through the Internet. My heartfelt thanks to all of you. "

Doug's Response:

RE: " Aside from the multiple variations of the Linux operating system (OS), what other options are there available for home users? "

I'm glad you asked! There are a few OS's out there now and soon more to come. Primarily, though, the choice for now is either Windows, Linux, or Mac OS (and not much in-between). And that's mostly because these are the only operating systems that are under constant development and have regular bug fixes (making them relatively safe for the public to use).

RE: Linux Operating Systems

Just to get things started, there are around 1,200 different Linux distributions now available with versions for everyone from the 'fresh out of the box' newbies to the old timer experts, supporting in-home gaming to professional development. The Operating System (OS) as a group has matured and support is strong, quick, and efficient.

BSD UNIX (the name comes from the U. of California at Berkley, San Diego) in it's various forms (FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc) is not for the new user since it is truly UNIX and not UNIX-like as is Linux. You have to know a bit about UNIX to work with it, and it isn't easy. But, for the folks like myself who have direct hands on experience working with UNIX, BSD is a good implementation for the PC.

Sun Solaris is another UNIX that has a serious brand associated with it. There is a free version (Open Solaris 10) for Intel based systems that is functionally the same as the 'real' Solaris. Same comment applies as BSD, above.

BeOS is one that used to be commercially available but, since going out of business a few years ago, has been picked up by the original development staff and is in real-time support and continuing development. Personally, I haven't loaded it onto my machine, but I have friends that do and their comments are extremely positive. Watch this one in the future since I expect to see growth in the user community.

RE: Mac OS and Others

OS X (and possibly Mac OS) from Apple is one that is expected to make it onto the general PC in the future since Apple has started using Intel chips in their Mac line of hardware.

There are several other Operating Systems available, but due to the small size of their user community, most haven't had the press coverage. Nonetheless, the next few years will surely be interesting -- especially when Mac OS becomes widely used on Intel-based machines!

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