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Warning: Linux Desktops Ahead

Ximian has introduced Ximian Desktop 2 (XD2), offering a GNOME-based desktop for Linux that includes a variant of OpenOffice, Ximian's Evolution e-mail client, simplified printer setup and interoperability with Windows. Here comes the heterogeneous network--again.

What vendor options should you look for when moving from Windows to Linux desktops? Start with these:

• Red Hat Linux: If you can get past this distribution's lack of support for MPEG, MP3 and Macromedia Flash formats, it is more stable than most.

• Ximian Desktop: Built off GNOME, it's a solid application that matches the productivity potential of Windows Office desktops.

• StarOffice: A replacement for Microsoft Office, it comes at a decent price and beats OpenOffice in quality.

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