Windows Vista is finally out and in the coming weeks hundreds of shoppers around the world will stock up on new powerful computer machines run the latest offering from Microsoft.

I wonder if such a migration would be a good idea in the first place. For one, the cost of the new WV Operating System would cost as much as a new machine. Apart from issues concering security and privacy of its users, WV’s price tag of around $ 600 WV makes it clearly unaffordable to students and the poor. And the middle-class in developing countries like India who happily bought pirated software will now have to spend a bomb if they upgrade to WV since only genuine versions of the software will work.

But all is not lost. There is an alternative to Windows Vista and it is called Linux. Among the most user-friendly versions of Linux are from Ubuntu and Linspire. All one needs is a CD of Ubuntu available free of cost to get your computer up and running in ten minutes. Of course, linux being linux the user will have to install bits of code like Automatix to get a fully operation operating system going.

Herein lies the crux: the average user gets put off at the idea of keying in code in the terminal window. I guess a good many of them would rather plunk good dollars at Ol’ Bill’s feet than enter code.

Make Money from Linux

But I espy a window of opportunity for Linux enthusiasts. If someone get come up with a companion CD for, say, Ubuntu Linux containing all the missing software wouldn’t it be a great business proposition? And if the companion CD came with an automatic installer so that all the additional software could be installed with a single click with a corresponding icon showing up on the desktop, wouldn’t it be completely blissful. No SUDO, no code, just click and run.

My business idea goes like this: Let a few linuxers join hands to put together a hassle-free Companion CD. And let it be released in the wild after complete testing. In India, computer assemblers who stand to get knocked out by the MS-big manufacturer nexus could be wooed by the Penguiners to educate buyers about Linux. They could organize workshops for computer assemblers to educate them about Linux. Most ‘engineers’ too continue to be paranoid about Linux and if you get them on your side, half the battle for Linux would have been won.

What do most people look for in an OS anyway? Net surfing, email, Word, maybe some office software. Once the Linux OS with all the companion software gets going it shouldn’t take more than an hour for a new user to make the switch from Windows.

In the developed world where labour is expensive anyway students could be roped in to plug Linux.

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