There's big news in the air today: Dell has announced that they're starting to sell PCs with Ubuntu linux preinstalled in the US later this month.
What does this mean for the mom-and-pop end-user? Potentially cheaper PCs, for one, as the user no longer needs to pay license fees to Microsoft for the Windows operating system and other commonly sold commercial software (e.g. Microsoft Office has an equivalent, free and completely legal replacement in Open Office).
It also means that Linux is more and more hitting the mainstream as a realistic option for day to day desktop use. If I was setting up a complete beginner's PC today and their requirements were limited to Web, email, chat and the odd letter / spreadsheet, I'd definitely install Ubuntu for them straight away.
Want a taste of freedom? Order or download a completely free CD today. I've been using it for soon a year and it fills nearly all my needs, it even runs nice-to-have non-free things like Google Earth and Skype (coming in v1.4 for Linux this week, watch this space!) and games.
If you're a Windows user, start with small steps toward freedom: download Mozilla Firefox as your web browser, try Open Office for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Then, reboot your PC with the LiveCD in and test Ubuntu linux without any risk. If you like it but don't want to fully commit, you can even set up dual boot (allowing you to select whether you want to start your PC using Windows or Linux when you switch it on).
Anders Jacobsen |