Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 24th Jul 2008 04:32 UTC, submitted by snydeq
Linux Mark Shuttleworth today urged development of Linux models to rival what Apple has done on the desktop and mobile devices. Certainly on the desktop experience, we need to shoot beyond the Mac, but I think it's equally relevant [in] the mobile space, Shuttleworth said, outlining the challenge as figuring out how to deliver a 'crisp and clean' experience, without sacrificing the community process. Key to this will be services-based mechanisms for creating revenue for free software that go beyond advertising, Shuttleworth said, adding that cadence in free software releases spurs innovation, and that a regular release schedule, as well as meaningful ties to Windows, will be essential to fulfilling the vision.
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I'm posting on the internets
by IanSVT on Thu 24th Jul 2008 12:48 UTC
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I read the article you linked to and to be honest, I don't even know what Mark Shuttleworth is talking about in regards to Apple. There are a few reasons why I think there is a perception that Linux in general falls down compared to Apple and even Microsoft:

-Computers are appliances. To you and me, they're a tool with almost limitless uses. To 98% of your consumer computer users(here on out referred to just as users) out there they're appliances that are turned on, some work done, and then turned off. They're microwaves with youtube and email.

-Accessibility is an issue. And by that I mean if you buy an Apple, you get OSX. If you buy anything else, you get Windows. That's pretty much the standard even taking into account recent deals between Novell/Ubuntu and PC manufacturers. Users don't understand the concept of an operating system, live CDs, or dual booting. And for the most part, they don't even care about the OS.

-Users don't care about the details such as licenses. It's the larger issues that matter to them. Can I get my email? Can I get onto the internet? Can I use itunes? Can I take my word documents home with me and work on them? Until they can't do those things, or something else which Linux can provide over the competitor, there's no real reason to change systems. When it comes time to get new hardware, the user is back at the point above where they have a choice of Apple(OSX) or PC(Windows).

From a personal view, I believe Linux is very competitive with Apple and Windows on the desktop. Technical reasons, aside from maybe package management, are not why Linux trips up in the race with Apple and Microsoft. Accessibility to Linux, forced accessibility really, is where the separation is. Relationships with hardware manufacturers are a great start and must continue to occur and be strengthened. I believe getting Linux into the hands of every days users is the key for market growth. Desktop Linux is progressing just fine from a technical aspect; consumer uptake is something that companies who want to sell Linux or Linux services need to make happen.

Edited 2008-07-24 12:51 UTC

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