For the past decade, an increasing number of businesses are choosing open source operating systems, such as Linux and Ubuntu, for their mission-critical computers. The size of the business making this decision is also increasing. Linux is being installed on an increasing number of computers within an organization.
Location of Linux Business
It should not be surprising that international businesses are among the largest growing number of users of open source operating systems. These operating systems are very stable, and provide reliable life-cycle experience. One important characteristic that these operating systems have is that they require much less hardware than their brand-name competitors. Because of this, it is possible to operate on equipment that may be considered obsolete to brand-name operating systems users. This equipment is much more affordable and easier to obtain in bulk. Many foreign countries operate their entire national schools on open source software as a cost-saving measure and as a way to make computers available to every student.
Another feature is that foreign countries do not have to pay license fees to American companies for operating systems or application software. Therefore, not only is the required hardware cheaper, but there are no licensing fees. As a result, the foreign market for Linux and other open source software is booming.
Reasons for Choosing Open Source
Most large business cite three reasons for switching from licensed software to open source software. They are speed, security, and stability. Microsoft operating systems have gone the opposite direction from optimizing on speed. Their layered and inefficient architecture are a result of backward-compatibility concerns, and have resulted in performance that is both slow and unstable. It is a common experience for licensed users of this software to experience delays and freeze-ups. The same architecture also leaves the hardware and software vulnerable to virus attacks. Open source software doesn’t have these inherit architectural flaws. The basic system is lean and efficient. Security holes are tightly sealed. Multiple users sessions can operate completely independent of each other with strong walls of security between them. Stability is also a leading qualification of this software. It is not uncommon for open source systems to run for years or even decades without having to reboot.
Although many companies have publicly disclosed their intent on switching to open source based software, some do not make this a point of public discussion. There are several reasons why a company would not want to disclose this information. Among the main reasons are associations that customers may have to brand-name companies, security concerns, and public relation issues using non-licensed software. Because of this, the actual number of companies using software other than brand-name or licensed software may be substantially higher than what is known. What is known is that open source software is a major contender in the operating system arena.