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It’s no secret that Linux has had trouble gaining momentum in the world of desktop computing. A majority of computer users have a difficult time grasping how it works and how it can be used. Those who have managed to use it successfully prefer Linux over Windows because of the ease of use, access to the operating system and the increased processor speed.
However, while Linux isn’t popular amongst the home PC crowd, it has gained superiority in the realm of supercomputers. These computers are used in universities, stock exchanges, computer science and more. Even IBM’s Watson runs on Linux.
A major driving force in the use of Linux for supercomputers is the speed and stability. A supercomputer can perform 8 quadrillion calculations per second, which requires a very stable operating system. Linux provides the necessary stability as well as speed. Stock exchanges prefer Linux for its ability to handle a million trades in the space of a second. This has enabled high-frequency traders to push through their blocks of trades and make their money for the day.
It may seem strange that an open-source operating system is being used in top universities and corporations. However, the open-source nature of Linux is what makes it attractive to these users. Their programmers can tweak and adjust Linux to their exact specifications, and not have to worry about the changes causing a fatal error.
Linux may never have much of a foothold in the home PC market beyond its geek cachet. But it does dominate the world of the supercomputer.