The business world is dominated by Windows when it comes to operating systems, and it’s easy to see why: the OS is easy to use, has a nice interface and there are thousands of business-oriented programs and applications that have been built for it over the years.
But the landscape is starting to change, with Mac OS X and Linux taking up more and more of the market share every year. While we all know that Mac OS X is a great consumer OS and it’s perfect for a lot of new technology businesses that are related to high tech and the Web, it’s interesting to see Linux getting into the game, as well.
The OS has already proven itself in production settings, with over 70 percent of all Web servers in the world running Linux or Unix, but it’s actually possible to use it as a main operating system for the computers in your office. Here are just a few apps to demonstrate that Linux is good for businesses:
OpenOffice is a free alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite, and it has pretty much all the features you’ll ever need for creating, editing and saving/exporting any kinds of documents. It doesn’t look as good as Office 2010, but it’s more than good enough for an office environment, and it’s completely free to boot!
Wine (also known as WineHQ)
Wine is a godsend for any Linux user out there. The package basically allows you to run almost any Windows programs and software, and most of the times everything works as it should – it’s pretty impressive seeing it in action, really. The installation is very simple, and then you can install Windows software just like you would in the actual OS – if you have any windows programs that you can’t live without, this app can let you finally move to Linux.
If there’s one program that corporate business users like, it’s Microsoft Project. Well, I have to say that it runs really well on Linux using Wine, but if you haven’t yet spent a boatload of money on a license, you should definitely check out OpenProj first. The software has pretty much all the features of Microsoft Project, without the exorbitant price tag!
GNUCash is a free and open source financial accounting software for individuals and small businesses, and frankly it’s better than a lot of the paid solutions out there. GNUCash lets you keep track of your money, expenses, income, taxes, transactions, contracts and other things, with easy to create and understand reports and graphs and support for a lot of the third party solutions out there.
OrangeHRM is one of the best HR Management solutions on the market, and it’s also free and open source, with a paid hosted version available if you don’t want to take care of all the server management and maintenance. The software lets you manage and keep track of employees, managers, leave time, benefits, performance, time sheets and more – pretty much everything you need for managing a well-sized company!
Be sure to check out the apps listed above when you get the chance, at least inside a virtual machine or on a separate computer – once you see what Linux can do, you will think twice before brushing it aside as a business-ready OS!