Xandros Desktop 4 Professional
Xandros 4 Professional tries to set itself apart from the majority of popular Linux distributions in two ways. First, by making the installation and administration procedure as simple as - or simpler than - the best free distributions. Second, by integrating commercial software offerings into its package management system.
- Makes a number of tasks more friendly than usual for Linux
- No liveCD, not free, trial version very limited, not many packages available in Xandros Network store
Xandros will no doubt offend Linux purists, both by the tight integration of commercial software into its business model and by the lack of features such as Gnome. On the other hand, for a Linux newbie who wants a Windows-like experience, it may make a reasonable choice.
Price$ 135.45 (AUD)
To a lot of people, Ubuntu represents the most end-user-friendly nongeek-compatible Linux distribution. But there are other commercial distributions that work even harder to create a desktop experience that is, frankly, Windows-like. The two most well-known of these are Xandros and Linspire (formerly Lindows). Since Xandros recently acquired Linspire, that leaves it pretty much in sole possession of that segment of the marketplace.
Xandros 4 Professional tries to set itself apart from the majority of popular Linux distributions in two ways. First, by making the installation and administration procedure as simple as — or simpler than — the best free distributions. Second, by integrating commercial software offerings into its package management system.
While distributions such as Ubuntu try to make the installation process easy for nontechnical users by offering reasonable defaults for the various setup options, Xandros takes it a step further — in essence, by offering no choices. The first thing that the installer asks is whether you want an express installation or a custom one.
If you select express, you have made your last decision — the installer will take over the entire disk, install a standard set of packages, set your network port up for DHCP, and so on. About all you'll be asked for is the required security information for the system login. (As you'd expect, the custom install gives you a bit more control.)
The Xandros installation CD performed well during testing, installing nearly flawlessly on both VMware running on a Windows Vista quad Core 2 workstation and a trusty three-year-old Toshiba laptop. It correctly identified and configured the 802.11g wireless system in the laptop, something that not every distribution we've tested can boast. It did not, however, manage to configure the laptop's sound correctly — it did not recognise the device, leaving us without audio.
One thing you won't find with Xandros is a LiveCD version. This means that your opportunities to "try before you buy" are limited to physically installing the trial version, and installing something else later if it turns out you don't like it.
After installation, you'll be asked a few more questions when you first log in, dealing with internationalisation, time zones, and selecting a desktop look and feel. The default Xandros look is (probably intentionally) very reminiscent of Windows XP, with a Launch button in place of the Start button and little icons representing running programs on the bottom right. If you want, you can choose from several other themes, including a generic KDE interface.
The standard install doesn't include some things you might have expected, such as the OpenOffice suite or The Gimp image manipulation app (although both are available for install via the Xandros Network). You also won't find the Gnome desktop. Unlike many distributions, Gnome isn't available in the standard Xandros installation as a choice — in fact, it isn't available at all, even through the package manager. Xandros has clearly decided that KDE is the app of choice, and the company is sticking with it.
Interestingly, the install does include some of the usual suspects, such as Firefox and Evolution, the integrated mail, address book and calendaring app. You also get a copy of CrossOver Linux, an app that allows you to install Windows software on a Linux system, which makes us wonder if Xandros expects most of their potential users would rather install Microsoft Office than use the open-source alternatives.
Incidentally, Xandros does a good job of making a number of tasks more friendly than usual for Linux. For example, it has a printer driver installation wizard that walks you through the process, and seems to know about most common printers, such as the pair of networked Brother laser printers we used it with.
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Xbox One X
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration
- Amazon confirms early 2018 Australian launch for Alexa and Echo
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- University of Sydney Signs World-First Agreement with Dropbox
- Microsoft delves deeper into AI with new kit bag of tools
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCHFC Project Manager (Delivery) - 6 mth contract - Nth SydneyNSW
- FTLead Business AnalystOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTIT Field TechnicianNSW
- FTUX Designer - Large Corporate (Urgent!!)Other
- FTProject Manager - Immediate startACT
- FTPower BI DeveloperOther
- CCSenior Development DBA - OracleNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTProject ManagerOther
- FTAgile CoachOther
- CCApplication Security and Identity Management SpecialistACT
- FTPython Developer - FinTech/TradingOther
- CCPresales Network Solution ArchitectWA
- FTOracle DBAOther
- CCNetwork Engineer - Aruba/PaloAltoWA
- FTTableau DeveloperQLD
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- CCSecurity ArchitectQLD
- FTSalesforce DeveloperOther
- CCBack-End Developers - PHP - Federal GovernmentVIC
- FTSenior System Engineer - Wintel & MacVIC
- FTSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerOther