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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Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:42 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Frankly I think what's killed linux is not using gnustep as the desktop ui/toolkit. You have a bunch of projects like compiz trying to recreate the macintosh experience and failing harshly. I'm looking at you compiz. Linux is trying to be windows 7 but it's only just now approaching windows XP.

The bar has been set too low. Linux should have been aiming to be like Mac OSX. A tight UI, with nice effects all bonded together and designed to complement each other, not a horrible mess of usability like it currently is.

No matter what Linux does in the next 5-10 years, all it will achieve is Microsoft status (MAYBE if it's lucky). It's not going to make anyone's computing experience magically changed. Until Linux learns to be less Microsoft Windows and more Mac OSX, it's going to be a third rate experience compared to the other two systems.

Microsoft has it's vast library of software backing it, and Apple is actually usable for your grandma, and has effects that are integrated throughout the desktop experience not just thrown in to look pretty. Notice how all the popular linux distros are locking down the ability to customise the UI? Ubuntu is very rapidly becoming a black box, try getting wireless (with encryption) running when network-manager hasn't started because you've shutdown gdm. Android is pretty self explanatory, it's linux totally locked down but you can copy files to/from it unlike an iphone, that's not really progress.

The most ironic thing that could happen may well be that as Linux rises, it boosts Apple while killing Microsoft. Imagine if Apple decided to enter the desktop market when microsoft is at a weakened position of say 40-60% desktop share, throwing open their OS to the clone market. At their current price of $39.00AU/$29.00US Linux use would crash with the rush to switch to Macintosh.

Horribly inconsistent user interfaces, buttons with the same names but different meanings between desktop environments. Menubars on windows or top of the screen should be a setting you can choose not something forced upon you. Everything about the Linux UI is horrible compared to the Mac UI. I use Linux as my primary OS but there's no way I'd use it if I could afford mac hardware.

If linux really wants to kick ass on the desktop, start by trying to take down Apple, not Microsoft. You don't aim to be number 2 if you want to win, you aim for number 1. Everyone agrees that OSX is the best desktop OS available, they might slag it because of a lack of games or cost but I'm yet to see someone bash it on technical merit or usability (outside of kernel/performance people and those issues could be solved with a linux kernel anyway).

Edited 2010-10-19 02:48 UTC

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