Furokh Santoke
Technology and management consultant  



OPEN SOURCE

Go Open Source.

Stay clear of exorbitant and recurring license costs, and constantly upgrading hardware to be able to run the "latest software". Achieve greater versatility and reliability in all your software used. Linux is quickly becoming the operating system of choice. After confirming its dominance over Windows in the server, smart-phone and tablet/netbook market it is steadily making it's dominance felt in the desktop segment - though it has a lot of catching up to do in breaking old mindsets. It is a free, stable and proven operating system, which gives better performance per unit harware, compared to Windows. Some of the main advantages of Linux as the operating system in desktops are listed below:

  1. Low cost: Licensing cost saved is to the tune of Rs. one crore per 1000 PCs. Cost is saved on ancillary programmes like MS office also. Cost saving continues throughout the life of the product giving you a lower TCO over its complete life cycle. Linux can also run on lower hardware (needs less RAM and works as fast on older CPUs). Thus the business need not junk old desktops every 2 / 3 years just to accommodate latest versions of Windows.

  2. Stability: Linux doesn't need to be rebooted periodically to maintain performance levels. It doesn't freeze up or slow down over time due to memory leaks and such. Continuous up-times of hundreds of days (up to a year or more) are not uncommon.

  3. Performance: Linux provides persistent high performance on workstations and on networks. It can handle unusually large numbers of users simultaneously, and can make old computers sufficiently responsive to be useful again.

  4. Network friendliness: Linux was developed by a group of programmers over the Internet and has therefore strong support for network functionality; client and server systems can be easily set up on any computer running Linux. It can perform tasks such as network backups faster and more reliably than alternative systems.

  5. Flexibility: Linux can be used for high performance server applications, desktop applications, and embedded systems. You can save disk space by only installing the components needed for a particular use. You can restrict the use of specific computers by installing for example only selected office applications instead of the whole suite.

  6. Compatibility: It runs all common Unix software packages and can process all common file formats.

  7. Choice: The large number of Linux distributions gives you a choice. Each distribution is developed and supported by a different organization. You can pick the one you like best; the core functionalities are the same; most software runs on most distributions.

  8. Fast and easy installation: Most Linux distributions come with user-friendly installation and setup programs. Popular Linux distributions come with tools that make installation of additional software very user friendly as well.

  9. Full use of hard disk: Linux continues work well even when the hard disk is almost full.

  10. Multitasking: Linux is designed to do many things at the same time; e.g., a large printing job in the background won't slow down your other work.

  11. Security: Linux is one of the most secure operating systems. Walls and flexible file access permission systems prevent access by unwanted visitors or viruses. Linux users have to option to select and safely download software, free of charge, from online repositories containing thousands of high quality packages. No purchase transactions requiring credit card numbers or other sensitive personal information are necessary.

  12. Open Source: If you develop software that requires knowledge or modification of the operating system code, Linux's source code is at your fingertips. Most Linux applications are Open Source as well.

Also see: http://www.infoworld.com/t/linux/not-using-desktop-linux-youre-wasting-your-money-782:

"Let me be blunt. If you're not using Linux on the desktop in call center and other fixed-purpose computing environments, you're doing your company a disservice.
It never fails to amaze me when I see environments with hundreds of Windows systems running Terminal sessions, with a headset-equipped person staring at the green screen and talking to a customer. Even if there were a need for Web browsing and email for those users, why would you pay for Windows on that system in this day and age?
And that's not the only place where desktop Linux makes sense. If you get right down to it, there are many instances where the only requirements of the desktop are to act as a portal to a Web-based application and possibly run an email client. With the push toward Web-based internal apps, there's little reason to require Windows at all.
Heck, there's almost no requirement for a desktop or the ability to run anything other than a compatible browser. That's where Linux on the corporate desktop comes in.
No, I don't think the CEO will be booting up Ubuntu anytime soon, nor do I think that the scores of administrative assistants and marketing folks will be logging into Fedora. However, in companies that have high numbers of desktops that run only one or two applications, it's almost a no-brainer."

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_adoption

  1. The United States Department of Defense uses Linux - "the U.S. Army is the single largest install base for Red Hat Linux"[34] and the US Navy nuclear submarine fleet runs on Linux[35].

  2. In many developing nations, such as China, where, due to widespread software piracy, Microsoft Windows can be easily obtained for free, Linux distributions are gaining a high level of adoption. In these countries there is essentially no cost barrier to obtaining proprietary operating systems, but users are adopting Linux based on its merit, rather than on price.

Some of the current users of Linux on desktops include :

  1. LIC
  2. Reliance Communication
  3. Kerala state schools
  4. 18 states of India are mandating shifting over to Linux
  5. Amazon Cloud (Server side)

Support for Linux is available from :

  1. IBM
  2. TCS
  3. Santoke.com

Contact us to help you with open source re-engineering. We have succeeded in using technology as a force multiplier for business.