With the rapidly increasing cost of proprietary operating systems – Linux might become the new norm. The question now is only whether you will be able to use it.

The History of the Linux OS

The idea of an operating system dates back as far as 1951. With the creation of the personal computer, engineers needed something that could collect and process input from its user. This brought about a multitude of solutions, of which most were made specifically for certain companies and machines. Everyone soon realized that this would not be enough though. People started creating their own devices for machines and they were looking for ways to connect these devices to computers. Proprietary operating systems were not only difficult to integrate with, but it also cost a lot of money to do. It was finally also very expensive for computer manufacturers who didn’t have their own operating systems, to obtain one.

This lead to the free, open-source alternative named Linux – one of the three widely-used operating systems today. So if Linux performs the same functions as its rivals, why is it not used more often?

A Lack of Marketing

The developers working on Linux invest their own time and effort into building the operating system. This means that they cannot invest much more into marketing. Sadly this means that not a lot of people know of Linux or its benefits. With the proper funding and marketing, we could see a great increase in the use of Linux in both homes and offices.

A Lack of Support from Proprietary Developers

Unfortunately, proprietary software developers are also holding back the OS’s growth. A good example of this is Microsoft’s Office suite. We all know and love MS Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Currently, Microsoft is not developing the software for Linux. If you want to use it, you will need a workaround. This is sadly the case for most proprietary software. This shouldn’t discourage prospective users though.

The great news is that just as a free operating exists, some free alternative to paid programs also exists. A good example is a popular alternative that performs all the functions Microsoft Office, called Libre Office. For applications without free alternatives, such as those custom-made ones for companies – There is also “wine”, a program made for Linux, that allows you to run other Windows programs on it.

Training – The Final Challenge

Once you’ve found the alternatives for your everyday programs and you’ve installed a distribution of Linux – the only challenge you still face is using it. The biggest problem is that training for the operating system is scarce, so you will have to take the time to read through long manuals or figure things out for yourself. Once you’ve done this though, you will be ready to use the world’s best free OS.

So with everything said and understood, the question is still whether you will be switching over. The answer is simple: If you’ve got lots of time and patience and you’re looking to save a bit of money, it would be crazy not to!