Is Linux ready for the masses?
Linux is not just used by a particular segment or group of people in a society. Today, it used by people from almost all communities - students, software developers, employees, web designers, system administrators and even users with basic OS requirements of multimedia and entertainment. Is just being free and open source the reason for increase in its user share as compared to its competitors? May be a better reason can be its competitive advantages over others.
Linux provides a platform of freedom and innovation to its users. Every user is a part of the Linux community wherein he/she is free to develop or use software under the Open Source license. This generates a feeling of free/open culture movement for software development and usage, irrespective of their skills and social dimensions. Linux empowers its users with magic of self expression by adding the flavor of “Open Source” to it. Today, Linux is being adopted by masses whereas a few years ago, only users specializing in Linux preferred using it. It also gives a base for prototype testing as well as for interpersonal interaction with many others around the globe who shares similar interests. Linux has helped in broadening the economic potential in various businesses and has opened the package of technology resources for the individual users.
There can be various reasons for people using Linux. A few to list are;
- It’s Free. People tend to download and use Free Software without having any knowledge about its functions and applications and work on it thereafter. Most of the applications written for Linux are also free to download and use.
- People trust Linux and its features, as most things are not hidden, so less chance of being spoofed.
- Linux is for people who like to work on something new and experiment with the drivers, applications and other software products.
- People are interested in learning Linux. Ubuntu and SUSE are friendly versions which are generally taken up by the beginners for them being easy to use.
- Linux is pretty resistant to system crashes. Even if it does crash, it usually quits the application and rarely requires a system-wide reboot.
- Linux has got several flavours which satisfy the needs of diverse users. Red Hat, Open Linux, SUSE, Debian, FreeBSD, Linux Mandrake etc. have several common elements but the difference in the graphical user interface, package managers and the assorted applications makes it more attractive. Different users use different distributions which increases the spread of user base.
If you want to pick up an OS which gives you complete freedom of customization without worrying about upgradation of hardware and memory inefficiency, Linux would be a good choice.