When building or buying a computer, one may spend a hundred dollars or more on a Windows OS. But do you really need it? Many users are completely unaware or uncaring of the Linux OS. Linux is a free, open-source OS which powers everything from Android phones to microwaves. Its versatility and zero-dollar price tag make it a solid competitor to Microsoft Windows. However, Linux is far from perfect, and a user’s needs and interests need to be heavily considered before a decision between the two is made.
One of the most important differences between Linux and Windows is compatibility. The vast majority of Windows programs do not have a Linux version, so some users may have a hard time adjusting and finding alternatives to their usual regime of programs. However, there certainly are alternatives, and most tasks can be suitably fulfilled in Linux, albeit in a more basic form.
Another factor to consider is how comfortable a user is with computers. Linux is a good deal more advanced than Windows, and even user-friendly versions such as Ubuntu tend to be less beginner-oriented than Windows. Typically, children and the elderly should not even consider Linux, as they will need the simple, worry-free performance of Windows. However, if a buyer is on a strict budget, these users may want to take the time to learn about Linux, so that they can save their cash without running into too many issues.
You should also consider what you are going to use the computer for. For gaming, a user should definitely stick with Windows. While modern games are increasingly becoming available on Linux, the vast majority remain Windows-only. For business use, again Windows comes out on top, as many important business applications don’t have a Linux version, such as the Microsoft Office products. However, for the average, everyday user who needs a computer for basic tasks such as writing and internet access, Linux is a perfectly serviceable alternative to Windows. Suites such as Kingsoft Office offer basic productivity capabilities, and provided that the user has the tech knowledge to deal with the odd technical or compatibility issue, the Ubuntu UI is far from an unpleasant experience.
For the vast majority of users, Windows will be a more ideal operating system. But, for those who don’t need Windows’ advanced capabilities or are on a budget, Linux can be a fantastic alternative. Linux may not be for everyone, but for some, it may just be the perfect solution.