The Little Penguin That Could

Ready to dump Windows? Rival operating system Linux is showing up in easier-to-use packages

Imagine dining at a restaurant where there are just two dishes on the menu--and because one is being eaten by 90% of your fellow diners, the waiter advises you to order that. That was the choice facing computer consumers throughout the 1990s. You could select from a few relatively pricey Apple computers that ran Mac OS on the one hand, and a horde of cookie-cutter Windows-based PCs on the other. A third operating system, Linux, has been available for free since Linus Torvalds created it in 1991, but for years it was too complex to make it into the mainstream. For...

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