Dubious about replacing your old familiar Windows? Worried that you’ll need to follow a steep learning curve?
Then don’t be.
You can make the transition gradually.
All the applications that I would recommend that you use on Linux, are available for Windows.
My recommended Applications are:
Email and Calendar: Mozilla Thunderbird with the Lightning Calendar extension.
This combination is now perfectly usable, with some features that even Outlook doesn’t have – the Calendar can subscribe to an external sharing site such as icalx.com where sharers can have full read/write function AND the calendar can be accessed not only from any other computer running the same software but from your web browser as well.
Office Suite : There are two choices here, both with Windows editions.
On the one hand we have the original Open Source Office Suite from (now) Oracle called appropriately enough, Open Office, (or OO for short) and the newcomer on the block called Libreoffice (LO).
Currently there’s not a lot to choose between them, but some commentators are having slight misgivings about the direction in which Oracle may be thinking of taking OO.
They both offer excellent functionality, easily as good as MS Office 2003, (but without Outlook, but saying that, you are at liberty to use whatever email client you like), and, with the important comfort of the old familiar menu system, unlike the ribbon introduced in MS Office 2007 and later.
There are also useful extensions you can add to export and import from Googledocs for example, and to publish documents direct to one of most of the major blog sites.
Web Browser : Now most of you will have heard of Mozilla Firefox, but of course there are others.
The major ones that have both Windows and Linux versions are Google Chrome and Opera. Google Chrome is a fast light browser that takes a little bit of getting used to if you have used nothing but IE, whereas Firefox will be less of a learning curve.
Opera is a bit like Netscape Navigator (for those of you with long memories!) in that it is not just a Web Browser but also an email client and a News Reader.
The point of all this is that there is CHOICE.
You don’t HAVE to use what is put in front of you. You don’t HAVE to use whatever Redmond suggests you use.
The whole point here is that you can use what suits YOU and not what a large impersonal multi-national corporation says you SHOULD use….
Good luck, and remember – the point is to RECLAIM YOUR computer and software for yourself.