Open source software is a serious competition for paid software because it offers various advantages to users. The advantages of open source Linux for both personal users and companies go beyond the fact that open source software is free. Instead, users choose Linux because it offers better stability, higher speed, more flexibility, better security, and lower cost of ownership than commercial options.
Stability is one of the main advantages of open source Linux. The system can run continuously because it has excellent memory handling. It does not lose speed, lose performance, or crash frequently during uptime. The only time Linux users need to reboot their system is when they update the kernel.
Speed is the second main reason people and businesses choose open source Linux. The Linux Format magazine published a benchmark test in 2009 when they compared the speed among several Ubuntu Linux distributions and Windows systems.
Linux outperformed or tied with Windows in every test. For example, Ubuntu Linux installed in 14 minutes, and it used up 2.3 GB of disk space. Windows installed in 22 minutes and used up between 8 and 12 GB of disk space.
There was no significant difference in boot time, but Linux was faster when shutting down. However, Linux has seen various improvements since then, and it is possible to customize many boot options. In some cases, a Linux system was recorded to boot in under 20 seconds while Windows may take more than 25 seconds to boot.
3. Vendor Independence
According to a survey by Computer Economics in 2005, 44% of business owners marked "reduced dependence on software vendors" as their main reason for switching to open source software.
When you use commercial software you depend on various software vendors and the quality of their support. Most importantly, when vendors decide to update their software, every user must make the transition. Otherwise, they will lose their support and updates. In open source Linux, old versions are often supported for several years before they become obsolete.
4. Lower Cost of Ownership for Companies
Open Source Linux is free for desktop computers and servers. On the other hand, Windows Server 2012 is going to cost $882 (Standard Edition) or $4,809 (Datacenter edition). A full version of Windows 7 Professional costs $299.99.
However, the total cost of ownership is reduced because further open source software is free. For example, a relational database may cost around $1,350 while Linux supports MySQL databases for free.
Growing companies in particular prefer open source Linux and the open source software it supports. With open source Linux, they do not need to pay for more client licenses or developer seats as their business expands.
5. Improved Security
There are currently around 60,000 known viruses designed to exploit Windows. In contrast, there are only 40 known viruses that work on Linux at the moment. However, none of those 40 viruses became widespread before they were identified and contained.
Microsoft fans might argue that Windows is insecure only because it is the most popular operating system. However, the Linux Counter project estimates that more than 60,000,000 people worldwide use Linux, so that argument is invalid.
The truth is that there are various Linux distributions, and they use different shells, e-mail clients, and packaging systems. Because of that, one virus cannot target multiple Linux distributions simultaneously while one virus can target all Windows users.
In addition, there are fewer zero-day exploits for Linux because updates are released whenever they need to be. On commercial systems, important updates may have to wait until the next update schedule and leave your system defenseless for some time.
It would be a mistake to dismiss open source software under the assumption that commercial software offers better products or support to users. Instead, the advantages of open source Linux show that it has better support, better performance, and higher security than any other commercial system.