Linux is not as popular as some other desktop operating systems such as Windows or Mac. While there generally isn’t a lack of apps for the platform, several big names such as Adobe are missing from the Linux apps scene. One of the reasons for this is that the Linux community believes in free and open source software. There’s just not as much money in it for the big software companies, especially considering the relatively smaller Linux user base compared to Windows or Mac. Still, there are many popular Mac and Windows apps and services that are also available for Linux. Here are some of them.
1. Chrome & other browsers
Chrome, the most popular browser isn’t the most popular for no reason. Most Linux distributions come pre-installed with Mozilla Firefox which is a free and open source software like Linux. Google’s Chromium browser, the free and open source alternative to Chrome is also available in the Linux repos. Google’s Chrome browser though is only available via its own website but it is available. For Chrome users switching from a Windows or Mac machine to Linux, this would be a huge relief. Losing all your bookmarks can be a massive disappointment. Fortunately, with Chrome officially available on Linux, you don’t have to worry about that. Not only Chrome but most popular web browsers do have a Linux version on their respective websites such as Opera, Vivaldi, etc. There is no Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer or Apple Safari, of course.
2. VLC Media Player
If Chrome is the king of web browsers, VLC Media Player is the king of media players. VLC is available not only for Windows or Mac but almost every platform that can make use of a media player. It even runs on Raspberry Pi! Moreover, VLC is free and open source which is always a huge plus especially among the Linux lovers. Anything that’s free and open source is more than likely to be available on Linux. It would be really surprising and upsetting of VLC wasn’t available for Linux. Fortunately, it is, and it works just as well as it does on any other platform. You can subscribe to podcasts, play your music library, enjoy videos in almost any format, and convert formats, and so much more with it. VLC Media Player is available via its official website but it is also included in the repositories so it is available via the software center.
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Gaming is something that Microsoft Windows has beaten everybody at. There’s just no competing with it at this point when it comes to popular AAA titles. While Linux gaming has seen a rise in the past few years it is still tiny compared to Windows. The rise has largely been possible due to Valve porting many of its games to Linux, as well as bringing Steam to Linux. Newer, popular titles are still not available for Linux, pretty much how it used to be for Macs two decades ago. Things have improved a lot over the years though and you can now find plenty of games for Linux on Steam. Just don’t expect anything to blow your mind with the graphics.
Are you sensing a pattern here? Spotify is the leading music streaming service by a margin. Available in most of Europe, most of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and parts of Asia, the service boasts of over 170 million users. Out of those over 75 million are paying subscribers. Spotify operates on a freemium model where some basic functionality is available for free and with limitations. With such a large user base, you can expect any song that exists in the world (or at least in the countries Spotify is available in) to be available on Spotify. The Spotify app for Linux is available as a Snap and is also included in the GNOME Software Center.
Must read: 5 Reasons Why Linux is Better Than Windows
Much like every other app or service listed above, Skype needs no introduction. It is the stuff of legends, or at least it was. One of the most popular internet calling services, Skype has earned its name. Since being acquired by Microsoft, Skype seemed to be at a standstill while competition has risen to take its place. Microsoft has renewed its focus on Skype and is swiftly adding new features to return Skype to the glory days. These efforts have resulted in the latest and greatest versions of Skype being made available for Linux. You’ll even be able to buy and use Skype credit in the same way; the differences are barely noticeable.