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Xandros Desktop OS 3.0: A Solid, Modern Replacement for a Windows Desktop - page 4

Looking at Xandros

  • January 27, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Xandros uses a customized version of KDE that is designed for the convenience of new users. Its Launch menu is cleanly laid out, offering familiar sections for "Most Used Applications," (i.e., recently-used applications), "All Applications," and "Actions," which provides the ability to run a command-line-oriented command, open Recent Documents, and so on.

The "All Applications" section provides a single Applications menu plus shortcuts to commonly-used applications such as the KDE Control Center and the Xandros File Manager and Xandros Networks, the latter two of which are custom Xandros applications that are discussed in subsequent sections of this review. Figure 3 shows the basic layout of the Launch menus, highlighting the Crossover Office submenu.

As a Linux distribution whose target market is largely former Microsoft Windows users, Xandros provides a familiar desktop and Linux versions of most of the applications that Windows users would expect. For those situations where the equivalent of a Windows application just won't do, Xandros' inclusion of CodeWeavers' Crossover Office applications is a tremendous win for any former Windows user.

Crossover Office is a customized, enhanced version of the WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator) project, which is a set of libraries and applications that implement Microsoft Windows APIs, and which therefore enable you to install and run Windows software, such as Microsoft office, on a Linux system. Xandros installs version 4.1 of Crossover Office by default. To get support and updates, you have to purchase a license from Xandros (a convenient link is available in the Xandros Networks application, discussed later in this review) or directly from CodeWeavers.

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