• It's free for download but you have to pay a tiny bit to mail order it or buy it from
a company. If you're getting Linux for more than 2-3 PCs, you can also get training and
support at a small free, if you choose to have it. Else it's the Linux community on the
Net to your rescue.
• If you want to get comfortable with Linux, you don't have to let go of windows. Get Linux
installed on a seprate partition and you can switch between Windows and Linux. There are
some Linux versions that run off CDs too - xandross and Knoppix.
• You don't have to be a geek to work with Linux. There are Desktop environments that let
you work in Linux as you work in Linux as you would in Windows.
Linux hand in decreasing PC prices.
The PCs bundle the operating system. Linux being an open source operating system, means
that the code that runs is open for everyone to see, work with, modify and develop their
own innovative apps for it. The deal with this experimentation is that you have to share
the knowledge you gained and the software you created with the public domain. So the
operating system comes to you for free, or if there are some copyrighted application on it,
you play up a bit. But this is nothing compared to the fortune people spend on OSs like
windows. And a company bundles Linux and applications based on it with a computer, quite
a bit of the software cost comes down.
Linux came into being about 11 years ago- it was developed by Linux Torvalds of Finland
along with a group of programmers from the open source software movement. Linux was mostly
something only the geeks worked with. And yes, it was mostly about commands and programming.
But over the years with so many Linux enthusiasts (about 50 million of them) working on
it and sharing knowledge about it, quite a few versions have come up which are as easy to
use as windows. And developers are still free to work with code and enhance it.
Linux is growing steadily year after year. With a passionate community backing it, with
big companies Like IBM and HP pledging their support for it, it's no wonder Linux - the
wonder operating system for servers of the past, has also made it to the desktops of today.
Not in a sweeping way yet, but in ways that will help you -the user. PC prices are already
on their way down. And you get more choice with operating systems and applications.
From being an OS only computer professionals had heard about, Linux, in a short time, has
made a transition into the lucrative and high profile home PC segment. Most of the decision
to switchover sounds very economical. From a measly base of a few thousand users, Linux now
boasts of close to 50 million users, cracking the monolith of Microsoft's monopoly. Companies
like IBM, HP and Dell have also taken to Linux in a big way.
Microsoft doesn't agree with the free concept at all - the software is free but the support
isn't Windows code to outsiders so they could build on to it. Very recently though, the
company has allowed part of the code to be opened up to some US government are vying with
each other to get tech-savvy and help the citizens through e-governance, the opening up of
the OS code is important, countries like India need a variety of regional language fonts
and content to be created which can't done without Microsoft's help, if the choice is
Windows. Since this isn't happening much, they have gone ahead with adopting Linux.