>Entrepreneurs Should Embrace Linux

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Entrepreneurs should embrace Linux. Now, this may seem like a powerful statement. And it is. I have nothing against Microsoft or Apple or any other operating system out there. However, I do believe that among them all, Linux currently favors the biggest advantage to a budding entrepreneur.

With Microsoft Vista and XP persistently scanning for counterfeit copies of their software (God knows what else) on your hardware, a small time entrepreneur in a developing country like India, Pakistan or Kenya will probably never be able to afford the licensed software. In Pakistan, Microsoft charges upward of PKR 150,000 annual license fee just to use their basic OS for a small enterprise. This price is equivalent of almost 6 months of salary of a fresh IT graduate from a good university in Pakistan. And then, the cost for all other softwares including IDE like Visual Studio or Dreamweaver and database servers can push the entrepreneur close to bankruptcy. This is acutely true due to lack of Venture Capital/Fun of bank financing for IT related companies in developing economies.

Instead of seeking out the pirated editions of these robust softwares, my suggestion for budding entrepreneurs is to embrace Linux. Not just on the server side for launching applications, but also on the desktop where the actual development happens. The cost of ownership for all the software and applications will be zero. Yes zero, provided you stick to open source. In fact, most of the Linux applications are now owned or supported by large corporations including Linux by Red Hat, Oracle etc, MySQL by Sun Micro Systems among others. The development environments (IDE) are also improving including Eclipse, bluefish etc. Besides, chances are you will be using PHP, Java, Apache, MySQL and Sendmail on the server side for publishing your web application. All of them are native to Linux and come pre insalled and totally free. And did I mention, that viruses don’t cause as much havoc in linux as they do on Windows. And an industrial strength firewall software is also included free with the OS.

Another major advantage of Linux OS over others is that it is not a CPU or memory hogger. Yes, my Ubuntu linux desktop uses on average 512MB of memory at any given time, even though I am running MySQL, Apache and a Firewall service on my laptop. This is a far cry from Vista (my laptop is dual boot) which uses a minimum of 1GB of memory for basic OS that does not even include any web or database server. Further, the CPU clock cycles are also consumed less by Linux. Hence, you do not need a top of the line system to do your programming or run a server. In one of the companies that I co-founded, Cogilent Solutions, we routinely run Linux on three year old systems and laptops with little or no glitches or upgrades required. So the cost of ownership of hardware is also lower.

So don’t wait around, embrace linux in your enterprise and start seeking the benefits of the OS that can hold its own in front of Microsoft Vista.

My favorite Linux for desktop and servers is Ubuntu. You can download your free copy today from Ubuntu

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About Atif Mumtaz
A serial entrepreneur who loves to travel, discuss politics and hikes on weekends.

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