Is Ubuntu the right OS for your law firm? John K. Walters thinks it could be. Writing as a special to law.com, he says it's time to at least consider it -- epsecially if you dread turning those pockets inside out to buy the hardware necessary for a Windows Vista upgrade.
Walters explains that the Linux distribution backed by Mark Shuttleworth's Canonical has become a favorite among "Penguinistas" because it is easy to install and incredibly user-friendly, not to mention it comes with free security, updates and system tools, as well as an office suite, e-mail and calendaring, and the Firefox browser. Further, the fact that 7.04 includes NetworkManager in the default install does a lot for the OS's "enterprise viability," he says.
Even still, managers considering Ubuntu should ask themselves the all-important question before making the leap, Walters indicates. Is Ubuntu enterprise ready? It's getting there, he says. The fact that independent software vendors are increasingly creating versions of their apps to run on Linux means that they consider it a valid option, and Dell's decision to pre-load Ubuntu on certain PCs and laptops certainly won't hurt. Moreover, Canonical's various partnerships mean that programs like Sun Microsystems' Glassfish app server and VMWare's VMI run on Ubuntu.