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What is an operating system?

An operating system is what makes your computer work. The core program of any computer, it's designed to run all your apps and manage all your hardware and software. Examples of operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Android.

Available Operating systems

Most PC users are not aware there are other operating systems (OS) available, beside Windows. The alternatives are Linux Distributions like Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora.

Linux gives you the freedom to use the software you like. You are not locked into any formats that are controlled by monopolistic companies.

Linux has seen a huge improvement in the last years, especially on the graphical interface. It is used today in Universities, Schools, Government institutions and private Companies.

Assuming you already are familiar with Windows, we are going to present what Linux can do for you:

Linux Advantages:

  • Secure and stable; no malicious spyware installing itself on your computer
  • The OS contains numerous programs: multimedia, graphics, internet, office suites, games, system utilities and alternative desktop environments
  • Centralized software installation through package managers (installation of applications is very easy)
  • Very large collection of free software
  • Multiple desktop interfaces you can choose from, GNOME and KDE are the most widely used
  • The operating system (OS) and the included software is FREE

Linux Disadvantages:

  • Although big companies like Intel, HP, Epson, Nvidia, Ati and many others already provide linux drivers, not all available hardware is supported by Linux (mostly because hardware manufacturers don't provide specifications). Fortunately, this is changing fast, as linux becomes more popular! We need to be a little bit more selective when buying new products!
  • You can't run software that was written for Windows on Linux; there are linux alternatives for almost everything, please check with us; (some applications can be run through an emulator, but make sure you check with your PC provider if you depend on applications such MyOB, AutoCAD etc)
  • Not all mobile phones can be synchronized with the PC running Linux (again, manufacturers are not writing software for linux and are not disclosing device specifications; THIS IS CHANGING while the number of linux user is increasing!)
  • Although Skype works great, including audio and video on all major platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows), not all messaging software (like yahoo messenger, gtalk etc) are fully compatible!

It is really your choice! As you can see, most of the disadvantages can be easily surpassed and the difference in stability, security and cost is huge. The learning curve is short and worth while. Once you move, you'll never look back!

You can find a list with linux applications at http://www.linux.org/apps/

More information about linux:

Get Linux on your PC! Not only will you save money, but you get a secure operating system and a plus on your CV in the years to come!

Reliable Open Source software you can use free of charge (link opens in a new window or tab):

Libre Office - The Document Foundation  Firefox  Thunderbird Graphics by GIMP  7-Zip

 
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