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Linux, an alternative to Microsoft Windows - by PSRV

Whether you're starting a new company, forming an LLC or incorporating your business - expenses just seem to add up. One of the budget busters we hear about all the time is computers. More specifically, the operating system upgrades which lead to application upgrades, which end up making your hardware obsolete after a few years.

Let's face it, Microsoft Windows dominates the business world of computers. But at over $199 per copy, plus Microsoft Office Professional at $349, the operating system and software you need to run your business adds up quickly as you grow. So, what are small business owners doing?

More and more of them are turning to open source software, like Linux. Linux is distributed for free. All you have to do is download it, burn it to a CD, and you can install in on as many computers as you like. There is no licensing fee, and none of the intrusive activation hoops to jump through.

Linux comes with a copy of "OpenOffice." It's not quite a feature-for-feature equivalent to Microsoft Office, but it's very close. And the price is

There are thousands of other apps available for free that replace many of the most popular Windows apps. Even small business owners can save thousands of dollars by switching to Linux. There are a few professional applications not available for Linux - or at least not nearly as functional as they are on Windows: AutoCAD and Photoshop. There are workable alternatives, but if you need the full capabilities of those apps, I wouldn't recommend making the switch to Linux.

But, for basic office functionality - and a potential cost savings of thousands of dollars, you may want to give Linux some serious consideration.

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