September 09, 2013, 12:25 PM — Is Linux the Best Operating System?
UVU Review has an article touting Linux as the best operating system. The article covers the following categories:
Maintenance and Repair
Software and Updates
With all due respect, my colleagues are wrong. Linux is hand-down the best option for computing. It isn’t even a competition. Neal Stephenson said: “Macs are hermetically-sealed sedans that look great and have a lot of advertsing. Windows machines are big SUVs that break often, but they’re everywhere and everyone knows how to use them. Linux computers are free tanks that go 90 mph in swamps, get 100 mpg and never break down.”
I’ve been using Linux for years now and don’t ever plan on switching. We can’t explore all the reasons for its superiority, but here are my main points. I’m assuming you know what an operating system is and that Macintosh, Windows and Linux are all different options.
He makes a strong case for Linux, and while I mostly agree with the article's take, I'm still very hesitant to declare a "best" operating system. Why? The choice of an operating system depends so much on the individual user's needs. This can vary quite a bit depending on the person.
Linux may very well meet all of those needs and then some. Then again, maybe not. It's so hard to generalize about this sort of thing without delving into who the individual is and what his or her computing needs might be on a daily basis.
In some cases, a user might not even need a full-blown desktop computer in the first place. Mobile devices have taken over quite a bit, so a user could get by with a mobile solution for email, web browsing, and the various other functions that used to be performed solely by desktop computers.
This of course means that they could be using Linux (Android, Firefox OS, Ubuntu), but they might also opt for iOS or some other mobile operating system. There's a range of non-linux choices available in mobile devices, so it's quite possible that Linux wouldn't be used or missed by a user.
Getting back to the desktop, Linux clearly has a tremendous amount to offer, and I always recommend that people give it a shot in a virtual machine to get their feet wet. But I'm also realistic enough to understand that it might not work for everybody. OS X or Windows might fit the bill better, depending on the user's needs.
When you get right down to it, it's very hard to even define what the "best" operating system is for computers. Whatever definition you choose may not work for other people. But Linux is certainly well worth trying, if you do you may just find yourself becoming a Linux convert.
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