The economy, as everyone is well aware, still recovering. While the days of costly software and expensive licensing is not likely to end completely, I suspect we will see a sharp decrease in this era. I decided to write 26 reasons why Linux and below is the reasons:
1) Upgrade – You can’t just download an updated version of Windows. You have to use the CD that came with your PC and download all the patches Microsoft has issued since the CD was made. With Linux, you simply upgrade to the latest version of your distro (most convenience on Ubuntu), and your data files still exist after the upgrade finish, there’s no need to worry about them. You do not need to re-install the applications you had installed as well.
2) Updates Automation – For many desktop Linux users, it’s something that we often take for granted. When we go to update our desktop operating system, we also have the option to update the software installed on our system as well…automatically. This saves time and hassle for everyone involved as no one is left wondering if they have the latest application updates or if they need to be installed.
3) Hardware – Linux runs happily on older hardware and the hardware requirements don’t increase with every new version. If you have really old computers like Pentium I/III, you can still convert them to thin clients using LTSP and still use them. If you compare the hardware requirements between Ubuntu and Windows, you would notice that Ubuntu’s hardware requirements hasn’t changed for many versions.
4) Peripherals – Ignoring the myth of Linux peripheral support being rather a headache, the truth of this matter is that today’s modern Linux distributions provide the very latest in CUPS (printing) and SANE (scanning) support. There are seemingly unlimited numbers of peripherals out there that will work as needed on today’s Linux desktop. Nearly anything USB-based to be ready to go out of the box with little to no configuration required.
5) Community supported – Perhaps one of the best kept secrets with modern Linux distributions is the unparalleled support available to non-profit and for profit groups alike. Linux has more wider support from online forums, articles and most importantly the community. There are Linux Users groups is almost every country, city and small towns as well.
6) Drivers – The Linux kernel comes shipped with large number of hardware drivers. 3000 Printers, 1000 Digital Cameras and 200 webcams were supported by Ubuntu. On Windows, a lot of hardware doesn’t work until you install the driver, this problem is worse with Vista as Microsoft doesn’t allow drivers to be installed which are not supported/certified by Microsoft. On Linux, a huge percentage of today’s common hardware works perfectly out-of-the-box.
7) Resources – Even the most lavishly equipped Linux distros demand no more resources than Windows XP and 7, Vista is greedy; a single-user Linux PC operating system that needs 2GB of RAM to run at acceptable speed, and 15GB of hard disk space, is grossly obese.
8) Cost – Linux is free, and that includes all the applications. Microsoft is greedy. Windows 7 Home Premium and Ultimate cost hundreds of dollars, even when upgrading from Windows XP or Vista. Moving up to Office 2007 involves handing over another bundle of dollars.
9) Growth – Dell, along with smaller PC vendors, is selling Linux-based computers these days because the demand is growing. Clearly it’s not at the same level seen with Microsoft Windows, but users of desktop Linux are proving to be a force to be reckoned with.
Linux offers no glass ceilings, the growth rate for this platform is completely dependent on where the community wishes to take it. Bundle this with its low barrier to entry and there will always be tremendous room to grow despite the tough economic market.
10) Reliability – Linux has been time-proven to be a reliable operating system. Although the desktop is not a new place for Linux, most Linux-based systems have been used as servers and embedded systems. High-visibility Web sites such as Google use Linux-based systems, but you also can find Linux inside the TiVo set-top box in many livingrooms.
Linux has proved to be so reliable and secure that it is commonly found in dedicated firewall and router systems used by high-profile companies to secure their networks. For more than ten years, it has not been uncommon for Linux systems to run for months or years without needing a single reboot.
11) Vulnerabilities patches – I suppose most people would like to believe that when a security issue or related vulnerability is discovered, the issue is dealt with quickly. With Linux as your platform of choice, you can rest assure that when a security flaw is discovered, it’s being dealt with quickly and securely. Linux is more secure because its patches in hours not days. Microsoft took 200 days to provide a critical patch.
12) Choices in desktop management – You say KDE, I say GNOME. Others might instead point out that Xfce or LXDE is where it’s at for the ultimate desktop experience. Linux is a true multi-user operating system. Each user can have his or her own individual configuration all on one computer. This includes the look of the desktop, what icons are displayed, what programs are started automatically when the user logs in and even what language the desktop is in.
You can define your desktop environment, each of the selections for the Linux desktop is designed because Linux enthusiasts expect choices to be available. With proprietary operating systems, you’re stuck with whatever the OS you’ve selected gives you. This is not the case with Linux.
13) No proprietary vendor lock-in – Among the top five reasons I love the Linux desktop, one has to be the lack of any concern over proprietary vendor lock-in. With proprietary operating system, you are dependent on the vendor who developed the operating system. With Linux you have a choice of vendors, so even if the vendor fails to give you support, you can always move to another vendor. Choice of vendors also means more competition, which means better value for money for the customer. This is not the case when using open source software designed for the Linux platform.
14) Cross platform ability – Linux is compatible with alternative operating systems by design. Whether it’s Windows virtualization on a Linux server or allowing Windows users to install Linux onto their PC through something like Ubuntu’s Wubi, Linux makes platform cooperation simple. Distros bundled with Samba support provide file and printer sharing across the OS spectrum One can only conclude that any perceived challenges with daisy-chaining operating systems comes from the proprietary side of the fence. Linux has certainly done more than its fair share to make cooperation an obtainable goal.
15) Linux is better for students – Linux is in my opinion, better for students than Windows or OS X. Without diving into the “we live in a Microsoft world” mentality, consider this. Anyone can run Microsoft Windows. But to master the intermediate options presented by a modern Linux distro will translate into that student being able to run any operating system without any problems. Combine this idea with the fact that if properly maintained, Linux can provide schools with savings on licensing costs, which in turn translate into funds for other school needs.
16) Excellent Development platform – If you are a developer, you will like Linux. Linux has all the development tools, libraries and compilers built in. If you are Java developer or a Web developer using PHP/Perl/Rub or doing C,C++ development, you will feel at home.
17) Freedom of Choice – Linux offers freedom, Choice of application programs means that you can select the tools that best address your needs. For example, three popular word processors (Abiword,Kword and OpenOffice) are available. All three are free and interoperate with Microsoft Word, but each offers unique advantages and disadvantages. The same is true of Web browsers.
18) Security – Many new virus signatures were documented for Windows, compared to Linux. Even Microsoft’s CEO Steve Balmer couldn’t clean Windows Viruses. Its not that there aren’t any viruses for Linux but Linux is more secure and less virus prone. By default users cannot install applications unless they change their permission or login as a supervisor. This ensures that any virus or malicious code cannot go and write to your application folder.
19) Multiple workspaces – Its like having multiple desktops. Instead of having all your applications on one desktop, you can have them sorted on multiple desktop workspaces and easily switch between them. For example you can make one workspace for work, one for music, one for emails, one for browsing and so on. This can be in a grid or linearly organised.
20) 3D Desktop – With Compiz this makes it easy to switch and view multiple desktops simultaneously. It also add a nice eye candy to Linux. If you still believe Linux is only for geeks, this feature will definitely change your mind. This doesn’t require you to purchase expensive graphic cards, it very comfortably works with on board graphic card.
21) No rebooting – Linux also doesn’t require rebooting when a new hardware device is added configured or when you change any setting or re-configure your Network or when you install a new application. Linux doesn’t require frequent rebooting. Linux runs extremely stable, even if an application crashes, there is no need to reboot the whole system, just restart that application or service.
22) No Hidden APIs – Windows many hidden or undocumented APIs which is used for unfair advantage to Microsoft. In Linux all APIs are completely open and documented. For example Microsoft specifies that everyone writing Internet application should use the Winsock API while Microsoft Internet Explorer doesn’t use the Winsock API, it uses an undocumented API allowing Internet Explorer to run faster than other browsers.
23) Customize shortcuts – On Linux you can associate applications to whatever shortcut you choose. On Windows, you cannot associate your beloved Firefox to key combination Win+F, for instance, because it is already associated to ‘Find’ functionality provided by Windows Explorer which you can’t change.
24) Scalability – Most of top super computers in the World use Linux. Windows just can’t scale to that level. While NTFS file system can scale upto 16TB, XFS on Linux can scale upto 18 million TB! yes that bigger than what you would ever need. Linux can scale to Unlimited processors. It is already running on a single system with 2048 CPUs. Windows can’t even claim to come anywhere near that number.
25) Games – Linux has games too! there are some really nice games which many of the Linux distributions bundle. You may not have all the games in the world but you definitely have a huge collection of free games. You can even use Wine and Playonlinux application to play windows game as well.
26) Social Networking – Empathy and Pidgin are popular IM clients on Linux are single clients that can connect to all the protocols such as Facebook, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN, Jabber, ICQ, AOL and more. And with Gwibber client, you can view your social network (Twitter/Facebook broadcast from the desktop) status right from your desktop or update your status to all your accounts without logging onto each of them separately.