The operating system Ubuntu has a very good chance of being a very strong competition for Microsoft.
After using the system myself to play games, listing to music, browse the internet, and even do my homework; I found it to be very easy to use relatively speaking. Although, it took me some time to get used to the different look that I am used to, it was not hard to figure out how to work with it. The activities I did with Ubuntu are the every day activities that a student does on a computer.
Now from a bussiness point of view, I will start explaining the disavantages with Ubuntu.

1- Time consuming. We are very confortable using Windows, even Mac users can identify with Windows and Microsoft software. Loss of productivity is inevitable at the beginning.

2- Hardware & Software Availability. Companies for the most part buy computers in bulk for the firm, the computers come with the Windows operating system. The leaders in computer manufacturing as of right now are Dell and Hewlett-Packard. The production of computers with Ubuntu operating system is very small. Dell does produce this type of computers but HP does not. The cost of buying computers with an operating system other than Windows is higher thatn if the company bought the computer with Windows. That brings me to the next issue.

3- Installation. Given that, most businesses already have a computer, most likely management will not be willing to buy computers if there is no need for it. Ubuntu has the option that anybody can downloaded and install at no particular monetary cost. Based on my experience, installing the system took me about half an hour. If I extrapolate this time to a company that has 200 computers needing to install Ubuntu, it will take 6 hours for the Information Technology department to do this job. In addition, more time will be needed to ensure the computers are running up to speed and that no information has been lost. Even though the system is free, there are labor cost associated with its installation.

Moving to the Advantages, I will concentrate on companies that are currently using Ubuntu.
The first and most important advantage is that there are no license charges, and there is minimal cost associated with Ubuntu. This is very beneficial for a start-up company.

1- Vox Populi (Voice for the people): defines themselves as "a company that focuses on providing affordable, powerful and easy to use appliances for content capture, distribution and broadcasting". Basically, this firm uses software to convert old PCs into professional-grade recording devices for podcasting. According to Chris Dawson, the company runs 99% of its systems using Ubuntu. The only application that is not used with Ubuntu is Quickbooks. Since 2003, when it first started the company has saved over $146,000.

2- The French Police (The Gendermarie Nationale) : In 2005 this institution started to move away from Microsoft based IT infrastructure. Instead of upgrading every year and paying for Windows operating system, they change to Ubuntu saving more than "€2 million per year". The French police has phased out the transition and is scheduled to be completed by 2015 with a total of 90,000 workstations using Ubuntu. The Ubuntu website confrms this information and in addition the website www.softpedia.com adds that other agencies in France are also migrating to "open source operating systems" One of the most notable changes, occurred in the French National Assembly, which was the first goverment agency to move to Ubuntu.

In conclusion, like any other new policy or technology, people are reluctant to change. Many companies have success stories with Ubuntu and many others prefer the confort that brings to pay for a service and not to worry about any technical problems. I truly believe that Ubuntu should be a technology to look forward in the near future and this is being said from a personal and business point of view.