GNU/Linux Reduced Costs
As you can imagine, GNU/Linux systems have many cost advantages. First of all, you don't have to pay for GNU/Linux systems. You may want to, however. No, this isn't as crazy as it may seem. Many Linux distributions -- e.g. Red Hat, Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc. -- bundle in free support when you purchase their software. That can be very attractive to businesses. But the key is, you don't have to buy GNU/Linux systems.
Here are a few ways GNU/Linux systems can save you money:
• Your operating systems are free. Enough said. Just remember, not only are your initial operating systems free, but also upgrades are free -- forever!
• Much of your associated software is free. Just about every computer will require an office suite of programs (spreadsheet, word processor, presentation software, etc.). With other operating systems these cost hundreds of dollars. With GNU/Linux, you have a choice of several full-blown free office suites (e.g. OpenOffice, KDE Office, SIAG Office, and more!). (If you'd rather pay for a commercial office suite, there are also several available.) But we're not talking about just office suites. For example, a typical GNU/Linux distribution will give you:
And another important point. Because the core GNU/Linux operating system is free, the commercial software for Linux systems tends to be much more reasonably priced -- it's hard to charge outrageous fees when your competition is free.
• Some of Linux's advantages also save you money. For example, the robust security of GNU/Linux systems means you don't have to purchase anti-virus software for your computers.
• Linux runs more efficiently. This translates into savings on hardware. Whether you run inexpensive graphical terminals instead of full-blown PCs, or simply recognize that GNU/Linux is written more efficiently so you don't need huge hard drives to hold piggish, poorly written programs, there are many hardware savings to be realized.
• Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This is a controversial point so we saved it for last. Obviously, GNU/Linux systems give you lower software costs. But TCO is more than just software costs. It includes time spent upgrading systems, fixing problems, installing/removing software, reinstalling software, maintenance headaches, time spent fixing virus problems, and other "soft" costs associated with owning, running, and maintaining a computer. It is our firm belief here at Spartacus Systems -- based on years of running and maintaining both many different types of computer systems -- that GNU/Linux has a significantly lower TCO than Microsoft Windows does.