Reasons to Switch to Ubuntu From Microsoft Windows

by : Nick Poma

There are many valid reasons to switch from Microsoft Windows to Ubuntu Linux. Both the average computer user and corporations can benefit from the switch to Ubuntu. Do not worry if you have never heard of Ubuntu, I will briefly introduce you to the best free Linux distribution available.

The name of the Operating System is an African word which means, "Humanity to others," this is a strong belief and sentiment held by its founder Mark Shuttleworth. Mark is also the first astronaut from an African nation to go into space, in a 2002 Russian mission to the Space Station. Mark has also worked tirelessly to improve scientific studies in African nations.

Ubuntu is a completely free Operating System, which has all of the bells and whistles available in Microsoft Windows. The fact that this Operating system is completely free should appeal to the average user, but more significantly to businesses, which spend much of their IT budgets on user licenses with Microsoft. Ubuntu comes in a few different versions available to meet the needs of users and companies in need of specific configurations.

1)Ubuntu Desktop is a basic user Operating System which is a very close match to the Microsoft Windows Operating System. It includes many types of free software, including graphics programs, and an office suite, which is 100% compatible with Microsoft Office. Email, Internet browser, games, and other various software is included, and makes Ubuntu just as productive as Windows, without the cost.

2)Ubuntu Server addition, includes everything needed for an individual, or company to run a Server. One of the advantages to using a Linux server is its security. Although, no server can be 100% hack proof, Linux distributions have a better track record than most other Server platforms. Ubuntu Server can automatically install LAMP components at the time of the installation of the Operating System. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MYSQL, and PHP. These components when installed will ensure that you have all of the functionality of a complete Web Server from the time of installation. Ubuntu Server also allows updating and system administration control over all workstations connected to it. This gives a company a large financial benefit by eliminating the need to update each workstation independently.

3)Xubuntu, and Kubuntu are merely derivatives of the Ubuntu Operating System, but they utilize different desktop interfaces. Xubuntu utilizes the Xfce desktop environment with a heavy emphasis on GNOME applications. Kubuntu is a derivative that utilizes the KDE desktop and application. This particular setup is my favorite and it feels the most like Microsoft Windows to the user.

4)Finally there is Edubuntu another derivative of the Ubuntu Operating System which focuses mostly on education.

The Ubuntu Operating System is just as easy to install as the Microsoft Operating System. There is a host of free software which is completely compatible with Ubuntu, which can do everything that the costly Windows based programs can do. The only real drawback is for gamers. Most games developed by the gaming industry does not include support for Linux, but there is a way in which you can play some of your Windows. There is free software available which can emulate the Windows Operating System in a Linux environment. As more people switch over to Linux distributions, the gaming industry will most likely recognize the trend and start creating Linux versions of their popular titles.

I can not impress upon you enough that the Ubuntu Operating System is 100% free, and so is the software that is included with it. Just the Operating System and the basic software included is a savings of approximately $1000.00 USD alone. In a company setting, multiply that by the number of workstations you have and you will soon come to understand the benefit of switching to Ubuntu.