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We're glad you are thinking about making the move. Linux has some tools that are designed to let the user run Windows software – the most famous being the Wine API and related utilities, but once you move to Linux, you might discover that your old Windows software is not as critical as you thought. You're much better off working with the native Linux tools if you switch to Linux. The good news is, the Linux environment has equivalents for most of the common tools you are running in Windows, and most of these tools are available for no cost.

I don't know if you could get Microsoft Messenger running in Linux, but Linux has its own messaging tools, including amsn, a Linux tool that lets you communicate on Microsoft's MSN network. Because Hotmail is a webmail tool, theoretically you could reach your Hotmail account from a browser running on any operating system; however, the question of whether Microsoft has succeeded in keeping the Hotmail website free of proprietary constraints is best answered by the people in Redmond. In any case, the mail you see in Hotmail is just ordinary email, and Linux has lots of excellent email client applications.

Article Suggestion

Thank you for publishing your magazine! I have been a subscriber now for a few years, and I enjoy your magazine thoroughly. I would like to suggest something in the way of an article. Why not do something on the distributions based on one of the big distros. As the subject of my email says, I would personally like to see something on the Ubuntu-based distros, for instance, Linux Mint. I hope you consider something like this, I think these distros are doing good work in promoting ease of use and good design, and they deserve to get some lime light!

Mark Murphy


Thanks for the suggestion. We'll see what we can do. Watch future issues for more on Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based distros.

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