Linux Topic
   >  What is an Operating System?
   >  Why use Linux?
   >  When not to use Linux
   >  Can I run Windows Apps under Linux?
   >  Linux Costings verses Windows


Is there any reason why I would not want to use Linux?

When not to use Linux

There is one real reason why you would not want to use Linux: if you use third party software that is written specifically for Windows or MacOS then this software will only run under that O/S (-unless the vendor provides a Linux version or the software is certified to run under the WINE emulator).

It is possible to configure your PC to dual boot -either to Linux or Windows -but this will involve learning to use both operating systems and so most users in this case will probably just stick with the one that supports their software natively.

There is one real reason why you would not want to use Linux: if you use third party software that is written specifically for Windows.. [and] the software [will not] run under the WINE emulator

The second reason is simply inertia: if your PC came pre-loaded with an operating system, then most people will stick with it, as the easiest option.

However, we advise that people should consider switching to Linux if they experience any of the following:

  • You feel that your PC's performance is unacceptable

  • You feel that your PC is unreliable and frequently locks up or fails (-note: this could be due to hardware problems rather than the operating system but, generally, if you have not added or fiddled with the hardware for some time before the problem starts occurring, then it's more likely to be a resource issue)

  • You are on an unsupported version of a proprietary O/S and are experiencing issues: any fix would probably involve purchasing a later version of the O/S, which is not an insignificant expense well require hardware upgrades to even run

    As of April 8, 2014, Windows XP is no longer supported and you may not have the luxury of upgrading to Windows 7/8 due to hardware limitations. In that case, why not try Linux? You have nothing to lose (-but backup your data first)!

  • If you run several computers within your home (-or are on a very tight budget) and cannot afford to purchase up to £100 worth of O/S software for each PC

Making your Decision

To help you make a decision on which operating system to use, refer to the diagram below. It is arranged as a flowchart of decision and actions:

Decision Tree Diagram

If this is your first PC, then you are not likely to be committed to any one Operating System or own any software that requires the use of a specific O/S. In this case the decision is a no brainer: Linux will cost you nothing to purchase and applications are normally free and widely available, which is in stark contrast to the proprietary alternatives.

If this is not your first PC but you don't have a lot of native software that you need to run, then Linux will also be a good choice (-again, as the applications are likely to be free or a fraction of the price).

If you do have native software for an O/S such as Windows, then check if it will run under the WINE emulator on Linux: if it does, then Linux is again a great choice.

If you have native software which will not run under WINE, then check if you can purchase a Linux version: if this would be less than the cost of a Windows licence, then it will be cost-effective to replace the apps and go with Linux.

Finally, if it is not possible or cost-effective to replace your applications with new Linux versions, then you are better off sticking with your proprietary O/S.

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