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Word Processing: The OpenOffice.org suite is installed on Ubuntu by default and provides many features of Microsoft Office. Vista comes with WordPad by default; the full version of Microsoft Word (or Office) for Microsoft Windows, is available at an additional cost.

Figure 2.9: OpenOffice.org Writer

Multimedia: Several multimedia programmes are configured by default on Ubuntu, such as Sound Juicer, Rythmbox, Serpentine, Movie Player and Sound Recorder. Sound Juicer is the default application for playing audio CDs. If you plug-in an iPod on Ubuntu, Rhythmbox organises music and creates playlists for you. This is similar to Microsoft Windows Media Player. You can use Serpentine to author audio CDs.

To play the mp3 format on Ubuntu, you need to install a codec pack. This is because Ubuntu is not distributed with mp3 codecs due to licensing restrictions. Playback of mp3 files is enabled by default on some versions of Microsoft Windows.

Vista has two multimedia programmes, Windows Media Player 11 (WMP for short) and Windows Media Center (WMC for short). WMP is best for playing music, and WMC is useful if you are using the computer as your core entertainment system. WMP can contain a large music library. With the index search system of WMP, you can search music numbers by a particular artist or search for specific numbers.

Image Editing and Picture Management: With the Picture Gallery application of Microsoft Vista, you can upload thousands of images and add tags. You can also organise the images quickly and work on them easily because you can tag them with one click. F-Spot photo manager organises your personal photos on Ubuntu. It integrates seamlessly with popular Web based image databases, such as Flickr and Picasa Web.

Ubuntu provides Gimp for image editing which is a powerful Photoshop-like application. Microsoft Windows Vista provides 'Paint' for basic image editing.

Figure 2.10: GIMP

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