From the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur

At a Laptop Near You . . .

If you like having Linux on your desktop PC, you might be wistfully eyeing your laptop. Though Linux has made strides in becoming more user-friendly, it can still take some time and care to get it to work with all of a PC's hardware components. For entrepreneurs who don't want to deal with the OS installation, there are a couple of options for getting your Linux to go.

EmperorLinux sells a host of laptops from manufacturers like Dell, IBM and Sharp that they've loaded and tested with Linux. They cover the gamut, from ultraportables to desktop replacement machines, with a wide selection of Linux versions available. Hewlett-Packard is the first major manufacturer to come out with its own Linux laptop, the $1,199 (street) HP Compaq Business Notebook nx5000. Loaded with the SuSE version of Linux and OpenOffice, it's another indication of Linux slowly inching its way into a more mainstream business market.

Heard the News?

Battle of the newsbots: It sounds like a bad science fiction movie, but it's actually shaping up to be a big timesaver for entrepreneurs. Google and Microsoft have developed rival services that do essentially the same thing: gather news. More than that, they aggregate news from thousands of sources and provide customized news feeds. Microsoft's offering is available through its MSNBC site and is called Newsbot. Google calls its service Google News.

This rivalry is good news for news-hungry entrepreneurs. Both services were in beta form at press time, but expect advances in convenience and scope by the time you read this. The way they're set up, you can search or browse through headlines from their many sources. Google also features a News Alerts service that e-mails you as updates to your area of interest become available. For keeping an eye on world news, both Google and MSN also provide links to international versions of their news sites.

While news aggregation isn't new, the level of sophistication and automation has improved greatly. The competition between search engines should push innovation along. Busy entrepreneurs who need to stay up to date will find these services extremely useful.


In 2005, spam will account for
12
billion
e-mails daily;person-to person e-mails will reach
13
billion
Statistic Source: IDC

Roughly
25%
of U.S. business PCs will be replaced or upgraded within the next year.
Statistic Source: Forrester Research