I’ve been using Linux since I got my own PC however I started using it full time (meaning at home, work and play) in 2006 only. It’s a differentiation I would like to talk about. Also Happy Linux Day, August 25th.
I know about linux since the late 1990s, and play with it by installing it on my old machines. I think the word that I should use is tried to install. Back then, I was just happy if I see the log in screen at all. I tried Slackware, Mandriva and PClinuxOS.
Around 2004-ish, I was using Opensuse on a laptop I borrowed from a friend and came across a brand new distribution called Ubuntu. I was happy with Opensuse and during that time it was the prettiest in the Linux world.
Ubuntu came to be the most popular distro around 2007, and by that time I have installed it on all my machines. At home, my PC and laptops display the brown (some say orange) color of the background / desktop. Linux is already dominant in the server, but in desktops and laptops it lags behind Windows. Why? In servers, we install our own operating systems and software. You can’t say that in laptops especially. When you buy your laptops it’s pre-installed with Windows, most commonly. Consumers, end users, won’t be installing operating systems even if they buy a no OS laptop, they’re going to ask somebody else to install their preferred OS. So in this business environment, Microsoft has the upper hand because it controls the manufacturers and make deals with them. Linux doesn’t have such power and resources.
Linux is open source. It is free to use and modify as you please. It is the linux developers’ gift to the world.