The lowdown on Linux OS

What is Lindows? It's a Linux OS with applications, easy to load and install, that walks, talks and looks like Microsoft Windows. It costs less than Windows and is easier to install than most Linux distributions.

What's new? Voice over IP, remote desktop sharing and IEEE 802.11 WiFi support have joined the list of standard office, Internet and e-mail apps.

Who needs it? At the moment, the most likely office use would be for computers that host a limited number of applications, such as those at schools, job kiosks or Internet terminals in libraries.

Must-know info? It's a low-end OS primarily for consumers, but Lindows Inc. plans to release a professional version in the fall that could begin to make small inroads into office settings. The OS is desktop-only; no server version is available.

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