Linux, sometimes referred to by the press as ‘Windows NT’s worst enemy’. Wired Magazine once called it ‘The greatest story never told’. This is a perfect definition because the story behind Linux is indeed a great one, yet it is unknown to so many people.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Back when ‘Stayin’ Alive’ was still topping the charts, and Microsoft was a spec in the world of computers, AT&T produced a multi-user operating system and labeled it ‘UNIX’. Throughout the years, UNIX caught on and many different versions of it began to come out. A popular one, called ‘Minix’ (mini-UNIX) was available for use at The University of Helsinki in Finland. A student at the University named Linus Torvalds believed he could create an operating system superior to Minix. In 1991 he started his new operating system as a side project, but it soon developed into a full-time hobby until 1994 when the first official version of the operating system was released.
You’re probably now saying ‘so what’s the big deal about Linux? Isn’t it just another operating system?’ Absolutely not! First of all, Linux is released under something called ‘open source license’. Open source is really more of an idea than a thing. Linux is released with all the source code and files that it was made with. This means a few things. Anyone who is good at programming can mess with the Linux code and release his own version of it. This also means that even though if you buy Linux in a store it will cost money, you’re not paying for the actual Linux itself. Your money goes to the price of packaging, the extra software that comes with the operating system, and technical support. The second, and most important reason that Linux is a big deal is because it’s a much more stable operating system than Windows. It runs on any system; even bottom of the line 386’s from before Linux even came out. Programs running under Linux almost never crash, and in the off chance that one does because of bad programming by the program author, it will not take the operating system down with it. Another important reason Linux is good is that it is secure. It is much harder to bring down by a hacker than Windows is. This is just an extremely short list of the reasons why Linux is so great. For further reading check out.
Today Linux can stand toe-to-toe with the best that Microsoft has to offer and there are at least five reasons to make the switch. In addition to the five below, Linux runs on fewer machines and therefore ends up with fewer viruses and malware as compared to Windows.