‘Why the ‘nerd’ Linux when I get the ‘user-friendly’ proprietary OS?’ is the most common question I hear when I speak of Linux amongst friends and relatives. ‘Linux is for nerds’ concept still prevails. But the fact is that almost all Linux distros today are as user friendly as Windows if not more. This fact can be proved only if people are willing at least to give it a try. Distros like Ubuntu Linux, openSUSE, Fedora are all very user friendly and stable OSs. Every common work can be done in neat GUIs, the desktop and related things are very much similar to the windows if you use the Gnome or KDE version. There is nothing that keeps you away from trying Linux now.
The cool factor is that you gain complete freedom and control over your system. You don’t like a particular distro, then throw it away and load another of your choice. Now this would cost you almost INR 5k if you were using Proprietary software. You install the proprietary OS, then run to the local computer shop to buy an anti-virus software, costing you anywhere between 500-3000 INR. For a normal user, virus in Linux is just a joke (yeah i admit there have been exploits on Linux machines, but most of the time they were due to negligence of the user rather a black hole in the Linux OS itself). So one is free of the virus attack scare when plugging in a USB and other external drives. Play it cool!
Recently, my aunt bought a Dell laptop with W7 pre-loaded. Everything was fine until she opened the system to type a document; oh! there wasn’t any office suite installed!! MS office suite =2-4k, while OpenOffice=FREE!!! I installed openSUSE, OpenOffice etc. for her and she is now a proud user of FOSS.
In India, particularly for home users, there isn’t much difference between the FOSS and proprietary stuff in terms of the cost factor. This is because, 99.99% of the home users are tempted not to ‘buy’ the proprietary software but use the unauthorized version. But i bet this won’t be the case in foreign countries where one will think thrice before violating a EULA/copyright law. Why the headache when you have a whole world of Freedom ‘Open’ and ‘Free’ before you to explore?
Lets say you use the licensed version of a proprietary OS. When you install cracked software into it, you are opening your system to numerous vulnerabilities. So, for a worry free environment in the proprietary world, you’ll have to pay a huge fee. But in the Open world, most of the things come for Free (though Free generally refers to Free as in Freedom). Freedom is what matters!
World of licenses may and will exist, but measures have to be taken to curb the evil culture of Piracy. All the Windows freaks out there, if you are really serious about your advocacy of Windows, make sure you raise your voice against piracy; ‘cos using a pirated version and speaking for it is….no words. Words that do not match deeds are unimportant-Ernesto Che Guevara.
Why the costly proprietary version when I get better things in this world for Free?! Think! Act wisely!
Freedom, power, full control, stability, low cost of ownership, increased productivity, secure, user-friendly, worry free….what more do you want for your ‘Operating’ System. Go ahead..pick a distro of your choice..enjoy the Freedom!! Power 2 you!!