In simple terms Linux is a Graphical User Interface driven version of UNIX, which has been developed to run on current personal computers. There are a number of different organizations that put out what are called distributions, which are basically different flavors of the operating system. Current operating systems like Mac OS X, Android, Chrome OS and even the PlayStation 4 system are all descendants of UNIX.
Two of the more common distributions that are good Windows replacements are Ubuntu and Mint. They use familiar navigation, file accessibility and offer free basic apps to do just about anything a Windows machine can,.
Why would someone consider a migration to this foreign operating system? Linux can run better on older systems that don’t do a well with current versions of windows. If you have an older laptop that came with Windows XP; 1. Microsoft doesn’t support it anymore and 2. Current versions of Windows will not run as well on that old hardware. Linux operating systems tend to be less virus prone that Windows machines and are very stable.
Good candidates for Linux are basic machines that need to surf the web, answer email and run basic Office type apps. Kids that need a machine for school are perfect for a Linux based system. You can take an older laptop, install the operating system, maybe put a new batter in and get some extra life out of that old machine. The operating system is free, making it a very cost effective solution for a decent running computer.