NEW YORK - Retired government worker Robert Biggs uses his computer mainly to get recipes and check e-mail. Public relations consultant Phil Gomes uses his to maintain an elaborate personal Web site.
The two have little in common, except that their computers both run on the Linux operating system.
This fast-growing alternative to Microsoft's Windows has taken off in the corporate world. Not only is Linux free and easy to customize, but it is also regarded as safer than Windows because fewer viruses are designed to attack it.