- Acquisition costs: The initial investment in the software is significantly lower than with Windows. The exact amount you'll save depends on the distribution you select. Also you can save a lot of money if you run Linux on your servers and don't need Microsoft's Client Access Licenses.
- Available source code: Since Linux is free software (free as in freedom, not beer) the source code is available. If something needs to be adjusted, your programmers can do so.
- Support: If you have any bugs, they are generally solved rapidly. Also, if you have questions, you'll find a huge number of bulletin boards and mailing lists where help is available.
- Stable and safe: Linux is a stable operating system that is not so vulnerable for viruses, and so far, I have seen no spyware.
- Connectivity: Most, if not all, the functionality you need is present -- and there is plenty of connectivity to other platforms to integrate with your existing IT environment.
- Cheaper hardware: You can run Linux with older hardware, so an upgrade to Linux doesn't mean you have to buy new PCs.
- Easy to install: Some distributions will get you up and running with only few questions asked and an installation time less than ten minutes. If you plan your roll out efficiently, configuration can be done easily.
- Software compatibility: Not all programs are available for Linux, but there are alternatives. This means that you have to rethink how you can enable the functionality you need.
- Learning curve: Currently Windows is widely used, thus most users are familiar with the operating system. By making a switch to Linux some aspects might function differently. This mean your users might need training.
- Users: Initially some users will have a hard time accepting any change. So if the process isn't managed very well, productivity could be affected.
This was first published in January 2005