I have been asked quite often over the past week why I went to a free and open source conference. Usually I end up talking about Linux and usually I am then asked why I would use Linux over Windows or Mac OS. This is why I am making the switch:
1) No proprietary lock in: will my music and video collection be free in the future? I want to use free and open file formats
2) Security: better data privacy, no viruses, no spyware….and a community to stop all of this when it does come up!
3) Cost savings for software
4) Cost savings for hardware life extension
5) Cost savings (free Apps) when proprietary software (tries to) stops piracy
6) No degradation of system over time due to “bit-rot” (Users want a system that “just works” all the time)
7) Easier to install/maintain versus Windows (arguable) results in time/cost savings for users
8. System and App update system is centralized and practically (one click) automatic
9) No product activiation (see Windows Vista)
10) DRM (Digital Rights Mgmt) is anathema to the LInux ethos of user freedom (this means YOUR music and software can be moved, shared, copied, etc)
11) When I have a problem I have many, many avenues to find the solution both paid and free from the community
12) I can share my customized Linux distro with my friends (PCLinuxOS with mklivecd or Kubuntu with remastersys)
Please comment with your own thoughts!
NOTE: Many of these ideas were made clearer for me after reading Con Zymaris’s article on Computerworld.com called “Desktop Linux is a Reality Now”
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