This commercial that brags about being a PC has a fault. Majority of computer users, especially in the US, assume that PC = WIndows. The fact is PC = Personal Computer or Pentium Computer, which can encompass just about any computer including all types of operating systems (OS). The larger computers are servers, mainframes, and supercomputers.
I can see why most individuals would associate PC with Windows OS with the popular “I’m an Apple and I’m a PC” commercials.
So, for the rest of the post the PC will represent non-Apple computers, PC = Not an Apple.
The Windows Problem
Windows OS (XP, Vista ) is not the only solution for PC users. In fact; Windows is the most expensive OS for a PC and the most difficult to maintain, upgrade, add-on, support and customize.
There are plenty more OS options for your PC, listed are a basic overview of alternative PC OS. You can see via directories (Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia) for the full listing of OS options. Here are the OS that I have worked with and deserve a better look as a Windows OS alternative.
- FreeBSD : An advanced OS derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.
With over 17,000 ported libraries and applications, and supports applications for desktop, server, appliance, and embedded environments. FreeBSD can be installed from a variety of media including CD-ROM, DVD, or directly over the network using FTP or NFS. FreeBSD is available free of charge and comes with full source code.
- Ubuntu : Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you’ll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge.
You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.
Ubuntu issues a new desktop and server release every six months. That means you’ll always have the latest and greatest applications that the open source world has to offer. Ubuntu is designed with security in mind with free security updates for at least 18 months on the desktop and server.
Upgrades to new versions of Ubuntu are and always will be free of charge.
- NetBSD: NetBSD is a free, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system available for many platforms, from large-scale server systems to powerful desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research environments, and the source code is freely available under a business-friendly license. NetBSD is developed and supported by a large and vivid international community. Many applications are easily available through pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection.
I am a fan of Operating Systems that are free, creative and take full use of the entire IT community. The best of the best developers are not in ‘Cubicle Windows World’ or limited to ‘Apple Developer Land’. Get out your old computer and download some of these OS. Test, play and get Windows out of your mind.