Linux has an excellent reputation performing on servers and network equipment. As an operating system, it has been attractive due to its stability and relatively low vulnerability to malicious software. Plainly stated, it does exactly what it is built to do with little support help from human companions. Recently, it has seen an increase in popularity as a solution for desktop computers and soon, mobile devices.
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Ubuntu, one popular desktop solution, utilizes the open-sourced Gnome (Linux kernel) as the base of their system which boasts super-fast speeds that will not lull over time. Additionally, a feature that attracts users is that it is completely free. No Linux operating system or any of its software programs are licensed, thus users will never encounter any restrictions.
The speed is due to its small footprint
The speed is due to its small footprint. Gnome, of course, features this same quality, yet offers a wide breadth of applications and tools. The intuitiveness and ease of use "out of box" is generally perceived as quite good. Users switching from Windows or OSX should experience very little issue adapting to the new system.
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So far, it might sound attractive, so why aren't more users filing in like soldiers to fight for the open-sourced operating system solution? I'll tell you why: issues and lack of support from major software and hardware manufacturers. I don't want to overblow this "Linux issues" deterrent as Windows can and will have many more, but the common user may find that it doesn't allow them to achieve the same productivity they experience on Windows because of the lack of well-known productivity tools.