Summary of Linux features & benefits for someone considering leaving Windows?

I have a good friend. He has a commercial real estate property management company. He is very tech “un-savvy”. BUT he is intrigued by Linux. He asked if there’s an overview or summary, or better a video - that can introduce him to Linux. More particularly, Linux in an office environment so he can leave MS Windows.

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I would help him install Linux on an available machine and show him how easy it is to use office products on Linux. I have Libre Office installed by default on Zorin 17. Additionally, I installed Only Office as a flatpak, since Only Office has better compatibility with MS Office documents.

Once that’s done, copy over all his MS Office documents to the Linux machine and have them open using Only Office by default. Then let him use it to get familiar with opening and saving files.

Office documents are the easy part. What’s challenging, IMO, is Email and Contacts. I’m surprised that there are no useful client applications for email and contacts on Linux. I’ve tried them all and not one has performed to satisfaction even though my needs are minimal. I currently use the web interface to my IMAP email account and for contacts, I use a plugin on BetterBird (a fork of ThunderBird), to read in VCF files and to be able to export VCFs, should I have the need to do so.

If your friend uses a CRM then he can use that for contacts, as long as he’s using a web interface. So there are some things that he might need to work out before he can migrate to Linux. I caution you against painting too rosy a picture for him because it most certainly will not be easy for a non-tech savvy individual but with your help he might be able to overcome some of the more difficult aspects of the migration. Subsequently, he will need to commit to learning enough to get around to doing things that he needs to do on Linux, just like he did with Microsoft. Learning anything new takes a little effort and time and one must recognize that and commit to that, if they see value in making the shift.

Thanks Midline. Good info for-sure…but, my friend is an “executive”. He’ll want to understand what Linux is and what it can do for him / his organization. Then, he’ll “delegate” the nuts & bolts to his IT person. Any references or links to where I can send him for the Linux overview would be much appreciated. Thanks again

I’m not sure I quite understand what you’re looking to present to him but he can do everything on Linux that he currently does using MS, in some instances even better than MS. All this without having to pay for software (although I would encourage him to contribute to open source development teams).

Also, IT maintenance becomes simpler with Linux. They can also setup NextCloud for document sharing and such. They can setup Jitsi for video conferencing. His IT team will become like the bored Maytag service individual we see in Maytag’s ads. :slight_smile: Search YouTube for videos on such comparisons to perhaps find something you can point him to.

Having said that, it seems to me like you’re trying to convince him to make the move and he’s resisting the same by asking you to provide features and benefits. I’ve learned a long time ago that it is futile to try to convince anyone to make such a move. It must come from within them. Either they want to be free of big tech and their pervasive surveillance or they simply don’t care enough to want to make the investment in time and effort to do so.

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Seems to be a lot out there … how to set up linux in a small business environment - Brave Search

Adding a few more items that I found useful …

For note taking I use CherryTree which is a cross platform desktop application (Mac & Linux - I don’t know about MS since I was a Mac user). He can also look into Trilium which allows for collaboration on notes and for hosted solutions. Trilium Notes is also a cross platform app and one can even use it with a browser interface.

There is a movement to getting to immutable installations. Most immutable Linux distros use OCI (Open Container Initiative) to install applications and do things in the user space while the distro files remain immutable and updates are contained until they don’t break anything. One such distro that I’m watching currently is VanillaOS. It’s most current implementation called “Orchid” is based on Debian. I’m looking to move away from all distros that engage in telemetry (including Ubuntu). Once VanillaOS is out of beta I shall play around with it to figure out whether I like it. This might be something your executive friend might want to consider using since it will insulate installed desktops from breaking due to a distro update. It stabilizes things in a business environment and isolates library contentions for applications and their versions using containers.

This feature is not available on Windows and the frequent MS update cycles cause havoc on a regular basis. So, immutable distros, IMO should be a good selling point to your friend. Not to mention that he will be safer using Linux since it has far fewer viruses than Windows does.

If the points discussed in this thread do not appeal to him then I don’t think anything else will.

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Hi Midline, firstly, thank you. What I am looking for are videos (like the ones that Jeff curates for the weekly Linux for Beginners webinars) that overview the pedigree and enormous advantages of making the change to Linux from Windows.


GREAT!! Perfect – thanks so much. Hopefully, we’ll have a new convert soon.

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