Every six months, GNU/Linux inches closer toward breaking the monopoly of Microsoft Windows and competing with the polish and elegance of Apple/Mac.
For a long time, GNU/Linux was touted as an operating system for geeks and developers. Drastic changes have occurred. Most GNU/Linux players like Red Hat and Novell have moved into the enterprise segment where there are lesser challenges as compared to Desktop or home user segment, where Windows is a dominant OS.
A company called Canonical took this challenge and came out with Ubuntu. Although there is also a Server Edition, the primary focus of Ubuntu is home users. Founder Mark Shuttleworth is living up to his promises. In the last three years that I have been using Ubuntu, I have never seen any other product evolve so drastically.
Ubuntu: Free Software Philosophy
Ubuntu offers an operating system which is based on the GNU Userland and the Linux kernel (together called GNU/Linux), which follows the Free Software philosophy and makes sure you get best of the three worlds.
Canonical has several paid services as well, including the all-important commercial technical support. I suggest using those services, because they help you get support with the hassles and nuisances of setting up your computer, simultaneously helping Canonical emerge as a successful commercial product.
In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Canonical has launched a new music service called the Ubuntu One Music Store. It's an excellent place to buy tracks from the world's biggest bands. The Ubuntu One Music Store is a cloud-enabled digital music store. Purchases are first transferred to your Ubuntu One personal cloud and then automatically downloaded to all of your computers. Canonical gives all customers 2 GB of free cloud storage. This music is also playable on all devices including the iPad, iPod and iPhone, and streamed using UPnP to your Media Centers.
Save Lynx, Support Ubuntu
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the new release from Ubuntu, is code named the Lucid Lynx. Unfortunately the Iberian Lynx is endangered with some estimates putting the numbers as low as 150 animals remaining. So the team at Canonical decided to give their users the chance to help the people at the charity SOS Lynx. To contribute to the charity all you have to do is buy a track from the Ubuntu One Music Store at the normal cost. That's it. Canonical will give away 50% of their take of the revenue up to a total of $1004. You can of course directly contribute to the charity if you prefer.
GNU/Linux and Free Software are perfect example of a pro-people business model and not an anti-people business model where companies strip users of most of their rights. Support Ubuntu One, support Lynx.
It's for you and for me
Ubuntu is a perfect operating system for home users, businessmen, students as well as big enterprises . There are certain specialized areas where Ubuntu is working on increasing its presence. Those areas (ie: film making) are so specialized that you would need a special set up.
Ease of use. Installation of Ubuntu is graphical. You can download and burn a CD and use the entire operating system from the CD without installing anything. Installation is quite easy and fast. One of the biggest advantages of using Gnu/Linux or Ubuntu is software. There are thousands of software packages in the Ubuntu repository, thanks to Debian.
Unlike the Microsoft/Windows environment where one would have to search the web for software, pay a fee and also take the risk of getting a virus; with Ubuntu, there is something called Ubuntu Software Center to search software. Search a topic such as “movie players” and a list of trusted software becomes available. Just click on the install button and install it. There are other similar features which makes life easy for the ordinary home user.
When you download and install Ubuntu, you get an entire bundle of necessary software pre-installed. The software packages include: word processor, spreadsheet; presentation; movie player, music player, Internet browser; IM chat client (called Empathy) which allows you to connect to your friends on networks including Yahoo! MSN, Facebook, Google Talk and many more through this one software.
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx has emerged as the best GNU/Linux operating system ever. With looks that can kill, Software that makes Mac OS X and Windows look like Nincompoops, and a rock solid Operating System Kernel at the bottom, it’s the creme-de-la-crème of Operating Systems.
Do you want the best OS? Try Ubuntu!