Remember back in November the French Parliament announced they were switching their desktop PCs over to Linux? That was a big announcement but, at the time, they had no idea which flavor of Linux they were going to choose. Well, they chose and they chose Ubuntu. Smart choice? I'd have to say a big yes. Why? Ubuntu is one of those distributions that came out of no where, with the old Linux feel-good moral, and wound up on the top of most distribution show downs across the globe.
But why is Ubuntu so good? It's simple: they care about the end user. The developers at Ubuntu set out to create a flavor of Linux that anyone could use. They started out creating an option for Debian users that concentrates on usability, regular releases, ease of installation, and freedom from legal restrictions. They have succeeded on all fronts.
And the French Parliament making this choice proves to the world that Ubuntu is one of the best.
I remember, for so many years, the anti-Linux battle cry was that the world needed more OSs that it's collective grandmother could use. Well grandmother has given Microsoft and OS X their chances and, when compared to Ubuntu, fall soundly on their faces.
If you have an opportunity, take the latest releases of each of those three operating systems and compare them side by side for user-friendliness. We're not talking install-friendliness (which I still firmly believe Ubuntu would win), we're talking about usability.
Compare configurations. Compare simplicity. Compare snappines. Compare their computing-koom-by-ya. Which do you think would win?
I'm pretty certain that Ubuntu would win. And the French Parliament seems to agree with me. So does:
- Ian Murdock (the "Ian" of Debian)
- Eric S. Raymond (Uber geek and author of "Cathedral and the Bazaar")
- Linspire has switched to using Ubuntu
- The editors of ResExcellence.com
Okay that's a short list right now - but it grows every day. Remember, Ubuntu came out of nowhere and is now on the tip of every geeks tongue. And with the French Parliament making the switch, it's only a matter of time before other governing bodies see the benefits of using open source software. And soon you'll see Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu installations popping up all over the place. It's my hope that next will come the entirety of the EU making the switch.
Of course I can see it now - the entire EU switches to Linux. Soon to follow all Asian countries, Russia, South America, and Canada.
But America will continue feeding Microsoft. But hey, that's the capitalist way (and I'm not here to rag on my country.)
My point is that much of the world will soon be reaping the benefits of using open source software. And why not? It's free, it's reliable, and it's of, from, and for the people.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.