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 moleskine
by moleskine on Tue 19th Oct 2010 10:29 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

I don't think the article mentions of the key reasons behind Linux's failure to achievement more than a small share of the desktop market (though even that still translates into millions of users, of course).

This is that Linux was never preinstalled on PCs by OEMs on an industry-wide basis. It's an omission which almost guarantees a fairly small market share as only a few folks ever install or reinstall their own OS.

As the result, desktop Linux missed out on the magnifier effect. Had it been more popular, the pressure to do various things mentioned in this thread would have become irresistible. Things such as replacing X server, a more user-friendly file hierarchy, more support from third-party vendors, driver folks and software-makers, et al. As it is, they've always had the ready-made excuse of "acute minority interest".

In many ways this has always been a contest over who owns desktop Linux. For it to become more popular, sales, marketing and money would have needed much more influence in the development of Linux. For the most part this has been fiercely resisted by the people who do own desktop Linux, the devs. The devs have got what they wanted, which is retaining their ownership of the project. But what is a success in their eyes has been bought at the cost of unpopularity and, arguably, stagnation as various bits of the project slug it out, as do the various distro flavours of it. The result is probably seen as a failure in the eyes of the rest of the world, hence that article.

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