Summary: The corporate press mentions the end of Windows XP (no more support) but rarely does it mention GNU/Linux; a migration to Free/libre software is simpler than commonly believed
THE apparent distraction efforts aside, today is the last day for Windows XP as a live operating system. In light of that serious event (relevant to many because Windows XP is still widely used), some articles don’t even mention GNU/Linux at all (see the comments, readers are not easily misled) and some provide only scarce coverage for remedies like Robolinux , despite an expensive press release [2,3] which was disseminated in various sites. We found only one article about Robolinux (there may be more, but they are not going ‘on the radar’).
This is rather disappointing. There are orders of magnitude (in terms of numbers) more articles about the Heartbleed® stunt (from Microsoft’s ‘former’ security chief) than about GNU/Linux as the logical route for computers that still run Windows XP. Users of these computers can use Wine or even the improved (but proprietary) versions of software that incorporates Wine. Inside a company they can rely on remotely-accessed application servers running Windows for troublesome applications, with
vnc for remote access from GNU/Linux desktop (that’s what one can do at the worst scenarios) and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (SJVN) shows how trivially it’s done (very visual).
What we are hoping to find is that more people follow advice which recommends at least mentions migration to GNU/Linux now that Windows XP is unsupported [4-9] (there ought to be be more coverage like this). Putting the derogatory phrase aside, right now there is a big opportunity for GNU/Linux on the desktop , and not just because of Chrome OS (which is a GNU/Linux distribution but not a freedom-respecting one). People can now swap a PC running Windows XP with a shiny new Chromebook for just $99 and there are many options when it comes to Chromebooks . Whatever people choose, they need to escape the trap of PRISM (mass surveillance) and proprietary software. BSD too is an option. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Robolinux, a fast and easy to used Linux distribution based on Debian, has just received another major update, raising the version number to 7.4.2.
Robolinux, founded in 2011, invented and has released “Revolutionary Stealth VM” so you can run Windows XP or 7 inside all Linux Mint OS Editions or all Ubuntu Versions and Derivatives Virus Free for as long as you want to without the need for Microsoft security updates or anti virus anti malware software.
This week, Microsoft ends free support for Windows XP, cutting off the supply of security updates and bug fixes to anyone unwilling to pay the $200 per desktop fee MS is asking for extended support.
XP machines aren’t just going to explode at midnight on 8th April but with hackers and malware authors already comfortable with the antiquated OS, it won’t be long before some new exploit is discovered that will never be fixed. In short, if you value security then it makes sense to stop using XP.
It’s doubtful there are many people out there at this point that don’t already know that support for Windows XP will come to an end tomorrow, April 8th. Despite that, a number of individuals and businesses will continue to run the operating system.
This doesn’t likely apply to those maintaining an HTPC, as this tends to be a more geek-savvy set, but no doubt a few are out there. For those users, XBMC has passed its judgment, and the verdict is Linux.
Other than Windows, users and companies could look at Linux versions that run many Internet servers and those in companies. GNU/Linux is also at the foundation of Google Inc’s Android mobile OS.
Linux distributions include Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary, Zorin and Lububtu. Ubuntu 12.04, for instance, comes pre-installed with the LibreOffice suite—a Microsoft Office equivalent. However, migrating applications from Windows XP to a non-Windows (read Linux) platform is easier said than done. But then, Linux distributions are free.
Microsoft’s decision to stop providing technical support for Windows XP after Tuesday has caused a great deal of confusion and consternation among the millions who still use the trusty old operating system. I’ve opined that there’s no reason to ditch Windows XP, which will continue to work as it always has, and that you can safeguard its security by installing a good antivirus/antimalware program.
However, there is another solution that is faster and more secure than Windows XP – or any other version of Windows. It’s Linux, the long-suffering stepchild of the PC industry.
Today, as Microsoft discontinues support for Windows XP, a 12 year old operating system, users all over the world find themselves with only a few options to choose from as they move on. It’s not surprising that Microsoft encourages users to migrate to Windows 8.1, but of course, there are other alternatives. The best one by far is Linux. With over 100 distributions, Linux not only offers flexibility, but also reliability and support.
Microsoft’s Windows XP dies on April 8, and I will not be among those who mourn its loss. The sad part about the death of XP is that those who still run it might not even realize that their operating system is now dead.
It used to be a rallying cry, then it turned into speculation and finally it became a joke: That the next year, or the one after that, or very soon at least, would be “the year of the Linux desktop”. Even the meaning of the term has changed a bit, depending on the time and the publication. Maybe it means the year when Linux will be a majority operating system on desktop computers. Maybe it means that Linux accounts for a significantly increased share of the market.
But as I have been using Linux in the past several years, it has increasingly occurred to me: We’re at a point where we have a large number of incredibly polished distributions available. You can run a Linux system for a standard user without barely ever touching the terminal. There’s a wealth of software, both applications and games available, most hardware works without any worry, and the days of manually editing xorg.conf, our old best friend, are pretty much gone.