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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Linux is a Viable Commercial AND Home Option

     So, I've been thinking a lot lately about why Linux hasn't really established itself as a viable personal PC option yet, and that has lead me to think about why I think it could be viable personal PC option.  I guess, standing on the ledge looking out into the broad world of PC manufactures, with Digital Fruit taking its first baby steps out into that wider world, I'm contemplating our best options.
     That said, this is my argument as to why Linux might just be the operating system of the future, and why Digital Fruit will begin supporting Linux as well as Windows and Mac OSX.
     First off, cost is the major reason anybody supports Linux of any variety, and probably the most compelling reason to use it now.  Linux, based off of open source code, doesn't have to be free, it can be sold, it just can't be locked away under restrictive licensing agreements (it has an agreement, called the GNU Public License, or GPL, but it a simple document essentially setting anything it is attached to as public domain).  This holds a lot of power in the business world, especially in small businesses.  It allows them to only concentrate on the cost of hardware, they don't have to worry about OS costs.  Plus, most of the modern business software available on Linux distributions is either cheap or open source as well, so it falls into the same boat.
     The second reason I have for liking Linux as a personal PC option is that it has the support of community.  Instead of having a small group of people working on OS development, (and by small, I really mean 200 - 500), you have thousands of invested programmers on major Linux distributions working to come up with the best product they can, and with out even insisting on getting paid.  This means that in the best case scenarios, more gets done.  It isn't a perfect system by far, but I have seen some amazing things happen in a short amount of time on open source projects, and Linux is no exception.
     The third reason I think Linux will be a viable option for the personal PC is it's ability to cross the device barrier.  With our world becoming even more interconnected all the time, Linux is the fastest OS to jump any device barrier, because the design is so morph-able in the first place.  Linux can operate on everything from the bios chip-sets on motherboards to full-scale super computers, all without having to change your distribution (if you choose the right distro).  So, with the capability to go anywhere, on any device, I think Linux might just be the system to propel computing into the future, and I'm personally looking forward to it.
     So, I'm sure I'll get plenty of complaints against this article, but I stick by my guns.  I've seen a lot of things happen in the computing world in my time, and I have to say, that as far as I see the technology space moving, Linux fits best to fill the void.