Well. simply, pretty much anything you can do with other operating systems. Linux has Office Suites, web browsing and servers, graphics tools, compilers, Integrated Design Environments, pretty much anything your techie little heart desires, and a VAST majority of them are FREE (like in FREEdom and FREE beer). You don't have to pay any royalites to use a certain compiler, no stupid end users license agreements that say if you say something bad about the Company, they have the right to stop you from using your software, and it just keeps getting better.
I keep hearing that Linux is not ready for the desktop. I wonder why that is? I have been using Linux as my only operating system since 1997, and I run DV Cameras, net cams, memory sticks and not to mention my web consulting business from Linux. I have never once in that time felt the need to return to ANY other operating system.
I would love to tell you that Linux has air-tight security, but, it doesn't. But, if you keep your system updated, Linux has some of the toughest security available anywhere, mostly without cost to the user, as a matter of pride by the Companies that market Linux, and the software writers themselves. Most of the time when a Linux security vulnerability is discovered, it is often a matter of from mere minutes to a couple of days until a fix is available. And I have NEVER seen Linux pretend that a security hole did not exist, like SOME companies love to do. And, one of the features I like most about Linux is you don't have to BUY an upgraded version to get rid of the security issues. To me, that is simply extortion. There is no other sector of the market where a company would be allowed to sell junk and get away with it. If a car company sold you a twenty thousand dollar car that came without a steering wheel, or no matter which way your steered , it still steers to the left because the company knows better than you what you need, that car would be recalled, and the manufacturer would have to make it right without costing you to fix it. Why is it that commercial software is exempt from these laws? Why should I be unable to get my car to function correctly just because it came with a shrink wrap license? Me thinks too many people in governments may be getting money shoved into their pockets (without their knowledge, I'M SURE!!!)
One more thing about security. How can your system ever be secure if the software owner/manufacturer/vendor reserves the right to check out what is on your system every time you go to their page. ANYTIME ANYONE leaves a hole like that in your operating system, it WILL be exploited. Stand up against deliberate back-door programming, no matter what operating system you use. Squealler software should NEVER be tolerated.
Most people don't want to go through the learning curve that they went through with Windows or MacOS again. I don't blame them. But, if you are willing to give Linux a try, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. And, if you don't want to give up Windows or MacOS right away, you can dual-boot your system so that you can keep your other OS. Linux does not come with just the operating system, a couple stupid card games, and a proprietary web browser that takes all day to display a simple page, and an e-mail client that is ripe for virus spreading. Linux can come with from a few hundred to several thousand applications included at little or no additional cost to you. If you decide that Linux is not for you, you can delete the Linux OS, and not be out a penny. I can't see how anything could be easier or simpler than that.
If you stick Linux into a search engine, you will get umpteen gazillion results, and many of them will be over your head trying to figure out what they mean! Linux gurus can't help it, they have their own language. But, let me help be your translator (O.K. I don't know what a lot of it means either, so I'll just point you to the pages that make sense to 'normal' folks).
On my last Linux page, I tried to point out every Linux program, put them all in a little box, and found out it just doesn't happen that way. Many Linux programs refuse to fit in a nice little box, and if I pounded the square peg in the round hole, I was not doing the page users any justice. So, I will try to let the pages speak for themselves, (or let another page take the blame.)
Well, everyone. Linux is developed by thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of programmers, distributors, officianados of every shape and size. Linux truly is a world project, and since I do not program, do not have a distro (yet), and have few talents to offer, my niche is to get more people involved with Linux.
But, more to the point you probably want to know "Who makes Linux Distributions?" and there are many. I will send you to a place where if you have a cd-burner, you can download your Linux distro online. (No, it's no piracy! You see Linux is freely available to use. But, if you do find a Linux distro that works well for you, please buy it. It will give you manuals and other goodies, and help keep your favorite distro alive and well).