Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 22:52 UTC
Linux Miguel de Icaza: "To sum up: (a) First dimension: things change too quickly, breaking both open source and proprietary software alike; (b) incompatibility across Linux distributions. This killed the ecosystem for third party developers trying to target Linux on the desktop. You would try once, do your best effort to support the 'top' distro or if you were feeling generous 'the top three' distros. Only to find out that your software no longer worked six months later. Supporting Linux on the desktop became a burden for independent developers." Mac OS X came along to scoop up the Linux defectors.
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Bitter Miguel
by Valhalla on Thu 30th Aug 2012 06:43 UTC
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

Linux has never had any real momentum on the desktop, and Miguel's flamebait use of 'killed' just shows how bitter he is that it didn't actually go up in flames once he left. Looking at some of his points, codecs for watching movies, really? Is there any Linux user out there who has problems with codecs for watching movies? PDF Viewers?

Miguel left Linux once his attempt to push Mono onto the desktop (both user and enterprise) failed utterly and now he has 'seen the light' in Iphone and OSX where he is selling MonoTouch but of course due to his bitterness he can't let go and thus tries to paint the Linux desktop as having been 'killed'. (pause for dramatic effect)

Apart from Ubuntu there's never been any serious push to put Linux on the mainstream desktop, and while it has become the most popular distro I don't think it attracts alot of people who were already using Linux because they are drawn to Linux for it's flexibility, not a one-size-fits-all-solution.

For mainstream users to move to the Linux desktop in any serious number there has to be something drawing them there, and there never really has been, your facebook page will look the same in Windows, you can listen to your music, watch your videos and unlike on Linux you can play just about every game for the pc platform. Add to this that the OS comes preinstalled with the machine you buy, there's really no incentive for the mainstream users to switch.

Linux on the desktop has always been the haven for developers/tinkerers people who want a great level control of their system and be able to customize it to their needs, this is not what the overall user wants.

In fact the overall user generally don't give a crap about the OS as long as it allows them to do the aforementioned (surf, watch movies, play music and play games comfortably), Windows does this perfectly well.

Linux on the desktop is chugging along just as it always was, and like the kernel the surrounding components are pretty much always in heavy development, sometimes breaking backwards compability and requiring recompilation of affected binaries.

That's the 'price' you pay for this development model which is not controlled by a central authority, if you can't live with this then yes, you are better off with something else than Linux, or at the very least stick to a distro like Ubuntu which moves very slowly and works on ensuring compability between it's versions.

So no, I don't ever think Linux on the desktop will reach any 'critical-mass',but it sure as hell is never going to be 'killed', and Miguel's departure certainly hasn't made a lick of difference one way or the other, even though he really would want it to be so.

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