In the world of enterprise, few things are more important than the smooth running of the necessary logistics to do business. This goes doubly so for those operating on an international theatre–which now, thanks to the connective power of the internet, is no longer a title relegated to the giants of industry alone.

A more level playing field has opened worlds of opportunity, but a few strident dangers as well. Primarily among them is the security of your systems. Very few businesses these days operate less than 50% digitally. And yet, as a small business, computers are essentially vital. As a mid-size corporation, you need the best business computers out there. Perhaps you’ve hit on some annoying issues and are seeking a quality Windows alternative. The goals, regardless, are generally much the same.

So where’s the disparity here, between the international corporation and the small business living in the same online markets? Namely, that said corporation likely has a dedicated, full-time staff ensuring their system’s security. The mom-and-pop? Not so much. That’s why the best business computers are always running the fastest, most secure systems. Which, naturally, means Linux.

Here are the big reasons to switch your business desktop to Linux:

OUT OF THE BOX SECURITY

With Linux, you get a level of security out-of-the-box that Windows users couldn’t pay for. By ‘pay’, what we mean is that while a highly skilled–or in the industry–an individual would know what to open and what not to open, your average MBA isn’t going to always know the difference. That usually takes security personnel and a dedicated IT staff. Running Linux the vast majority of security concerns just aren’t feasible concerns any longer, and your business can enjoy the best security there is: not having to worry about it any longer.

78% of enterprises feel that Linux is more secure than most other operating systems.

— Petri Aukia (@aukia) May 9, 2016

SAVE ON LICENSING FEES

What’s one of the biggest things that come to mind with the term open source? Alright, there are more than a few, so let’s center in on this one: it’s free. Now while this may not apply to your keyboard, that monitor you’re using, or even the desk it’s all on, it does apply to the powerful system you want to run, and here’s why: free in this context means not only free to use, it means free to operate! This is largely due to the open source nature of Linux itself. Dozens, if not hundreds, of brilliant people in every field, are working every day to challenge and fix weaknesses and issues in the Linux system–and this process has been going since day one of its inceptions.

The practical translation here is that all of those vital, mission-critical services you’re used to having to pay for (over and over) and continually update (again and again) in Windows (Office, Antivirus, Malware, Software) doesn’t cost you a dime or time with Linux!

EASY TO USE

Due to the open source nature of Linux, it is now easier than ever before to install and run. Long gone are the days when you had to take extra steps and make an actual effort to get Linux running. At one point, you had to download CD images, burn them to disk, then run each disk sequentially to get the install done with. Now, with all those people working on the system in their spare time, the Linux installation and OS fits on a small USB–usually no more than 1GB in size.

One of the most intuitively convenient features in the switch from Windows to Linux as the best Windows alternative is the UI–specifically designed with Windows-familiarity in mind. This translates into no paid training expenses, no specialists coming into either setup or educate, and no special certifications needed–all things your financial department will really appreciate.

NO LOCK-IN

Few things are more fundamentally insulting that coercion. Which is why we have a healthy disdain for monopolies. Well, that’s essentially what the term lock-in represents (also known as vendor lock-in or proprietary lock-in). Windows, Apple, even Google, are all about proprietary controls–and are consistently moving in the opposite direction from open interoperability.

Breaking: Don’t use priced proprietary software if a FOSS solution has the features you need. Save your “outrage” for shit that matters.

— Keith Williams (@bonsai) November 1, 2015

So how does Linux handle the issue of lock-in in practical terms? Well, it used to be quite the hassle for two major reasons: 1) the internet was a much different place then, and 2) installation and set-up used to be manual.

Dealing with the former, we see that back in the day the digital environment was extremely proprietary–Internet Explorer 6 ruled the day, Flash ran everything, and so on. In order to run these applications, Linux users had to be able to search out third-party collections of these vital-to-operation apps. For the issue of installation, the process was manual, and–for the majority of people who just want their system to be secure and to work–far too cumbersome. Today, both issues are solved: installation is very nearly automatic, and those vital operational applications are already found for you and ready to go.

As such, Linux cross-system, cross-platform applications are compatible with everything, from Windows to Mac.

MAINTENANCE

As we mentioned in point three, the Linux operating system is wonderfully easy to use. It’s even easier to do the maintenance and upkeep on. With Windows, you deal with endless prompts for updates–many of which, the running joke goes, which hold you at gunpoint… understandably, not so amusing when you experience them. As the best Windows alternative, Linux updates are either one-click-and-done or totally automatic. And they don’t require a hard reset when they’re done.

One of the coolest features with the Linux system is this: all of your applications will update in one go. No more playing Russian Roulette with your updates of critical software, never knowing when this or that thing is going to decide it doesn’t want to work today until you give it an update (and company credit card) that takes an hour when you have a meeting in half an hour that–surprise!–requires that exact application.

FINAL THOUGHTS

All in all, we’re seeing some amazing things these days, and one of them is the inarguable progress toward open source projects and digital collaboration stepping up to answer some of the biggest problems facing the world–and all of us. Working together toward mutually profitable and mutually strengthening solutions is the way forward in making this planet just a little bit less crazy.

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