Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Oct 2010 21:54 UTC
Linux Well, it's been a while since we've opened this particular jar (box is not historically accurate) owned by Pandora. Desktop Linux... Yes, that ever elusive readiness of the desktop that is Linux-powered. Some story on ComputerWorld argues that the desktop Linux dream is dead, and apparently, the story is causing some stir on the web. Well, paint me pink and call me a lightbulb, but of course desktop Linux is dead. However - who gives a flying monkey? Linux is being used by more people than ever!
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It's the desktop that's dead
by earksiinni on Tue 19th Oct 2010 00:47 UTC
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The Linux desktop was dead out of the gate because the desktop has for years already been dead, embalmed, and interred in millions of 19" glass coffins for all to see. From the beginning, it's been an endeavor to create a desktop experience that's been invented and pitilessly protected by Microsoft and Apple. Here come the downvoting pedants with their Amiga brochures in hand: look, buddy, I don't mean The Desktop Experience or invention in an absolute ontological sense, I mean the one that we know today. How could Linux beat Windows and Mac OS at their own game?

Unless we say that there is a Platonic ideal of "desktopitude" that all implementations had a chance to compete for. Now that's an interesting idea, but I don't think it's true. To be fair, Redmond and Cupertino took so much from other platforms, but it's their selection and their assembly that has come to define the desktop. To paraphrase Marx, the desktop's components are in a social relation to each other and their value only comes about through the socially produced product. Microsoft and Apple are the factory owners who bring these commodities together into the social labor process.

Workers, reclaim your scrollbars and brave viewports, your modal dialogs and preference windows! We seize a banner, and our wives' avatars have embroidered "Digital: A Love Story" on it. If you want to know where a society is headed, look to the games their children play. Our own childhood shattered and scattered across beige junk heaps and "End Task" clicks, our sons play "Quake Live" among the glorious ruins. Our daughters, who never knew the telnet client, are the cause of endless wars across seas, endless tears for these mighty Helens.

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