Linux is based on industry standard UNIX operating systems that have evolved over the years into a variety of different flavors. Linux is a shareware and available for free or very inexpensively from companies like Red Hat. An operating system is software code that allows hardware-like a PC-to interact with software programs. Today, other than Linux, operating systems like Microsoft XP or Windows, OS/400, and OS/390 (for mainframes) cost money to install, customize, maintain, and upgrade. Linux can substantially reduce that cash outlay, saving your firm money to invest in other areas.
Linux is here to stay and getting stronger every day. IBM is out in front waving the Linux banner. Internally, IBM is running Linux on more than 1,200 servers, including those running ibm.com. Companies like PeopleSoft and PSC Group are following suit.
Because Linux isn’t well understood, here’s a summary of advantages for those considering Linux.
- Linux is stable. Servers and workstations can literally run for years without a crash.
- Linux is secure. Very few viruses have hit Linux systems. Linux is designed and built with security in mind.
- Linux is a modern standards-based operating system. Linux has all the features of a strong, production grade, operating system like Windows.
- Linux runs efficiently on almost any hardware. That old hardware you had to retire because it was inadequate for the latest software upgrades is now a valuable resource.
- Since the software is free, the upgrades are free. Imagine getting a new version of Linux for all your systems, and it includes the latest versions of your office software as well.
- Software licensing problems disappear. Linux grants the right to freely copy and use this software. If, however, you purchase proprietary software that runs on Linux, you’re bound by the software vendor’s license agreement, which varies from vendor to vendor.
- Linux is easy to install. Most of the main Linux distributions offer a graphical installation process that automatically configures the system. Upgrades are equally easy.
- Linux is easy to network. Networking is built in to Linux at the core. It’s easy to connect Linux machines and set up servers on an existing network.
- Linux offers strong graphical user interfaces (GUIs). The GUIs are similar to the Windows environment, so you’ll be comfortable if you use Windows now.
- Linux offers solid access to the Internet. Browsers, e-mail, etc.-applications are numerous and work very well.
- Mobile computers are supported. Laptops, Palms, and other gadgets work with Linux and include the features most users have come to expect.
- Standard office applications are available. You can use word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, address book, calendar, and more.
Bring in a firm that has expertise with Linux, and enjoy the savings to your bottom line. IBI