Linked by Allen Boyles on Mon 7th Nov 2011 09:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces In the commercial software world, user interfaces are generally designed by one group. Like Microsoft for Windows or Apple for Mac OS. Those desktop environments were designed by one company who did things like user testing and statistical analysis to try and make the desktop they thought would work best. Linux is different. Large groups definitely DO perform user testing and statistical analysis, but one group can also say "Here's what we want" and, if they have the ability to code it, their idea comes into being. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Linux lets people create what they want. If you don't like what's out there, fork it! Or start from scratch! You're in control!
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Mainstream success
by jeffb on Mon 7th Nov 2011 23:02 UTC
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This group seems to be a bit missing the point regarding mainstream success:

1) Linux is over 60% of the server market
2) Linux is around 92-97% of the super computing market
3) Linux is around 40% of the embedded OS space something like 3x the size of the next largest player, and the Linux kernel doesn't even support RTOS
4) Linux is the 2nd most popular virtual operating system on mainframes
5) LInux is doing fantastic in mobile phones and is around 40% of the smart phone market, expanding into every area and is likely to be the dominant OS


That is huge mainstream success. That's it. That's what it looks like.

In terms of the desktop market, Linux has replaced all the workstation OSes except OSX and OSX is frankly better in too many different ways that Linux can't complete with.

However... there is a lot of open source in OSX. If you consider what happened to the propriety Unixes servers I think the example is instructive. Closed systems was the initial state of commercial Unixes. The way OpenSource won on the server was a progression:

1) Commercial OSes running commercial applications
2) Commercial OSes running primarily commercial applications with some open source
3) Commercial OSes running primarily open source applications with some commercial.
4) Open source OSes running primarily open source applications with some/no commercial
5) Open sources OSes running open source applications.

In the last decade the windows platform moved from (1) to (2). In this decade it may be moving from (2) to (3).

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