Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Apr 2010 13:10 UTC
Linux We all know Synaptics, the company that seems to produce just about every touchpad you can get your hands fingers on. Their touchpads also do a lot of multitouch and gesture stuff, but up until now, their set of gestures, the Synaptics Gesture Suite, was only available on Windows. Luckily, they've ported it over to Linux, and made it available for OEMs building Linux laptops.
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RE: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by spinnekopje"
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Linux can only gain a lot of market share when hardware just works, just like it does on windows.

The ironic thing is most hardware does "just work" in Linux. In fact, setting my ASUS laptop up, even using the OEM Win7 DVD, I spent over an hour (possible 2 - wasn't really paying much attention to time) installing the drivers.

On the same system, Linux picked them all up during the install and everything "just worked" after the installer rebooted. This would never happen - not even on Win7 (as demonstrated above).

The problem with Linux is when hardware isn't supported. In Windows it would take around an hour to find the website, drivers download page and then download and install and reboot. In Linux it can take hours to trawl through wikis and messageboards to find work arounds.

So Linux does "just work" with hardware far more often than Windows. Where it falls down on is hardware that doesn't have open source / reverse engineered drivers and there's no properly supported proprietary ones. Thankfully hardware like this is the exception rather than the norm. However you only need one device like that every so often to bring the overall experience down. After all, it's easier to remember the times you've spent hours configuring something that would have worked in Windows than the times you've not needed to do anything as everything "just worked".

As for your other point about Linux gaining market share; I think there are bigger issues holding it back:
* Microsoft's monopoly (everyone has Windows so that's all most people know and all most people want)

* It's neither "cool" nor considered easy to use like Apple (partly down to the FUD machine from Microsoft and partly down to people recounting 20th Century Linux which, on the whole, wasn't novice friendly)

* Lack of unified image (personally I love the variety within Linux, but it's much much easier to sell a single brand than it is a disjointed community)

* and lastly (at least off the top of my head), most people don't really care what they use enough to investigate into alternatives. Particularly when, for them, Windows is "good enough" (a phrase I've often heard when suggesting new software from web browsers to OSs)

Edited 2010-04-20 12:40 UTC

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