20 Reasons Linux Will Boom in a Post-Recession World: Page 3

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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.

And finally, the nail in the proprietary coffin. Ten years from now, Linux is still Linux. The basics of how to get things done, largely unchanged and familiar. With proprietary operating systems, it's a learning curve with every new release.

16) Strong development – Similar to the issues raised with proprietary vendor lock-in, development with proprietary operating systems is dependent on the health of the companies that support them. There is no real partnership here, outside of the usual software developer outreach we've all come to know and love. If a company such as Microsoft or Apple finds themselves in dire straights for some unforeseen reason, development is likely to suffer.

With Linux things are different. Many of the components built into this platform are already done by people working on a shoestring. And any corporate involvement is done through a community-based shared approach, among multiple companies. Should one fall down, another is there to take up the slack.

17) Distribution choices – One of the founding pillars behind the concept of Linux on the desktop or on the server is choice and the ability to move from one to another with little hindrance along the way. The one thing that had me sticking with Linux years ago when I was still getting used to the differences was the option to "distro hop."

Despised by some, distro hopping when done by new users can provide for a perfect vehicle to discover which Linux experience is right for that person. In these trying economic times, it's refreshing to see that a new sense of discovery can be made available without the need to stop by the local big box store for the latest software.

18) Security – Having discussed the fact that vulnerabilities are addressed early with the Linux platform, it’s worth noting that anti-malware and firewall issues are taken seriously by Linux developers and users alike. Currently, malware is not really a threat to Linux or its users. Obviously as popularity ensues, this will begin to change.

On the firewall front, Linux uses something called iptables to address any firewall protection needs with Linux. And like most things with this platform, there are a number of front-end software applications to make managing firewall effectiveness as simple as they would be on Microsoft Windows.

19) Software is available free of charge – For the most part, software available to Linux users is provided free of charge. This means anyone with the desire to learn the application's learning curve is free to utilize it and, if need be, enhance any existing documentation to further the adoption of the software in question.

20) Ownership - If there was one single draw that keeps me using Linux on my desktop and for my web server, in addition to media delivery and other tasks, it’s ownership. With Linux, I not only own my data without concern of being locked out, I'm able to tweak my installations to meet my needs. This provides me with a sense of ownership I had never experienced with Windows or OS X.

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Tags: open source, Linux, Gnome, KDE, operating systems

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