posted by Phoenixfire159 on Wed 6th Dec 2006 02:39 UTC
IconThe title of the article seems familiar to you? Naturally it would, when you read something like this. But I do state the corresponding sentence isn't even grammatically correct, thereby making it difficult for me to parody. I am sure that Linux is not close to extinction but is rather gaining momentum or at least holding its ground.

Now the following stipulations stand. First, in this article I will address the topic of software freedom or openness; it would be impossible to discuss Linux without this. Second, I will weight the pros and cons of the Linux way, the Windows way, and other "ways" as I see fit. Third, everything concerning these issues will partially be influenced by my own beliefs (anyone that tells you they are just describing the situation objectively without expressing attitude needs to take at least the following courses: psychology, sociology, literature, and - if time permits – genetics.

Linux's success

Since you’re reading this article, I'll assume that you frequent OSNews. The volume of recent articles chronicling the successes of Linux may have led you to believe that it has a lot of momentum. This is true. The data in that article shows that Microsoft’s Windows servers’ revenue grew by 4.6% this year, Linux’s by 5.4%, and Unix’s declined by 1.7%. This means that Linux servers are still a more popular choice than Windows servers while Unix servers are becoming less and less popular. This of course, is expected with companies such as SGI and Sun more-or-less switching from Unix to Linux. Now I believe through all of the circumlocution in the previous article’s conclusion that the author's overall vision was that Unix would eventually replace Linux where Linux now dominates. This is all nice and theoretical, but all figures indicate otherwise. Things fall when they stagnate, not when they are moving with all deliberate momentum.

You may object right now – "The previous article wasn’t about servers! It was about desktop Linux!" And you would be correct. According to this article, Linux’s desktop market share is 2.8%, an order of magnitude smaller than its server market share of 28.3%. I believe you can reason which is its more important market. Since its clearly the server market, to base an article about the future of Linux on data from the desktop market renders his point, at the very least, invalid.

The matter of OS choice

Windows has a much easier to use graphical interface than Linux for novices. Even if you’re an ardent Linux aficionado, you’ve got to concede on this point. Think about it: how many times a session do you drop back to your terminal to perform simple administrative tasks, etc.? If you still don’t agree, you probably don’t want to read on.

Okay. Now we’ve got that Windows basically monopolizes the desktop market and has a much easier to use GUI than Linux for novices (I realize Linux doesn’t have a GUI – by this I’m referring to things such as GNOME or KDE). Great. It always was a system for geeks. Think about it: you frequent OSNews; tell me you’re not a geek. Okay, I also realize that many people are probably reading this on Windows or Mac right now, but a fair number of OSNewsers probably have Linux on some computer.

Additionally, Linux is not a company. With all of these recent news announcements concerning Novell or Red Hat or Oracle or Canonical, it's easy to lose sight of this. Linux, in the common sense of the word, is a community – a community of geeks. And unless Microsoft coalesces some government into passing an anti-geek law, this community can’t die. Projects like Debian or Gentoo will always be around. In many ways you can think of this like V for Vendetta. Linux is an idea, and ideas never die. Hell, people still program in Fortran. Why? Because no matter how many companies out there release programming tools to compete with Fortran, it’s an idea that’ll never die.

Table of contents
  1. "Linux war, Page 1/2"
  2. "Linux war, Page 2/2"
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