Yesterday I realized that I have run over 30 different kinds of Linux on my laptop. My final choice?
Not much of a surprise here, I guess — seeing as my blog is called “LoCo About Ubuntu.” For me, it’s a matter of choice.
When I run Ubuntu, I get an easy-to-use interface with a nice brown theme (yup, I like the theme) and a huge amount of applications available at my fingertips. Ubuntu’s also fast, stable, and doesn’t give me much trouble when I want it to do something that requires large amounts of RAM. Ubuntu also has Restricted-Manager, which easily installs all of the proprietary drivers I need with one click to get my laptop up to speed. Oh, and did I mention the 6 month release cycle?
Other distributions, meaning those not based off Debian or Ubuntu, did not work as well for me, since they do not offer the same quality experience for me. I have been hard on many of the other distributions because I want to see them do well as well as Ubuntu, with the exception of Novell’s SUSE and OpenSUSE for the possibly dangerous situation of being tied to our largest competitor, Microsoft. Even though I am part of an Ubuntu LoCo team, I work for Linux adoption. One that frees people from getting into the “product treadmill,” which requires users to pay hundreds of dollars every other year just to have the latest version.
I remember shopping for an office suite to be used for school. Office 2003 Student and Teacher Edition cost $130 for three licenses. It was always confusing to me why I would be buying a “copy” of software instead of owning it. Then, I met OpenOffice.org. Later on I met Ubuntu, and was surprised to find that OpenOffice came preinstalled, as well as popular programs like Firefox! All the major applications that I had used in the past were there for me to use, which made switching a breeze. Almost (if not all) all distributions have Firefox and OpenOffice preinstalled. The basics are there, but there is a need for applications in a system. I have chosen to stick with Ubuntu as my distribution of choice because of this reason. Ubuntu provides all of the applications I need.
Product updates are almost a necessity. Ubuntu’s 6 month release cycle seems to be just about right for an operating system. Upgrades are free, which would otherwise be $169 in the Mac world, and anywhere between $100-400 in the Windows world. Glad to be free from that!
It is all about choice. My choice is to run Ubuntu, as well as the thousands of applications that can be used for free, versus that of a world which is much more expensive and restricted.