Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Jan 2007 21:09 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux "Today, you can do everything you want with a Linux desktop, except play the latest games. Even there, Linux is catching up. So, why do only a handful of people run Linux instead of Windows? Here are my top-four reasons why Windows wins and Linux loses."
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Not a Popularity Contest
by zeroth404 on Thu 4th Jan 2007 21:27 UTC
zeroth404
Member since:
2006-11-02

A lot of people overlook this fact, but it simply doesn't matter how many people use Linux. Popularity is worthless, especially if the users are people like "my grandma" that can't contribute to making it a better OS. Let's not forget the fact that NOBODY can contribute to Windows. Let dear old grandma use what she wants, but why should it matter which OS is preferred by majority?

Having said that, there is no "winner" or "loser" because there is no contest, and to say otherwise is foolish.

Edited 2007-01-04 21:29

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not a Popularity Contest
by moleskine on Thu 4th Jan 2007 23:04 in reply to "Not a Popularity Contest"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

A lot of people overlook this fact, but it simply doesn't matter how many people use Linux. Popularity is worthless, especially if the users are people like "my grandma" that can't contribute to making it a better OS.

Of course it matters how many people use Linux. If the platform's audience fails to grow or even shrinks, the whole Linux project will start to emit the whiff of decay. Bright minds and developers will drop away and the talent that any project needs to flourish will go elsewhere for thrills and spills. A vicious downward spiral will have started, and once started these things are very hard to stop. Your granny has nothing to do with it. The "popularity is worthless" argument is a nice bit of puffing and preening among hardcore users, but there aren't nearly enough of them to go round.

As for "nobody can contribute to Windows", why not ask the folks at Mozilla Firefox? Last year they made more than 50 million dollars from open source software, much of it off Windows users (via the search engines). To put that in perspective, it's about the same that Novell made on their entire Linux operation.

I guess next week we'll be reading "Five reaons Linux wins and Windows loses" or some similar saloon-bar opinionating.

Reply Parent Score: 5

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess next week we'll be reading "Five reaons Linux wins and Windows loses" or some similar saloon-bar opinionating.

Sorry buddy, but that is a long way off...

Vista has not hit the public yet, give it a week after that ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

zeroth404 Member since:
2006-11-02

It seems to me that dedicated Linux kernel/distro devs are plentiful. I can't even count how many distros there are, let alone how many different kernel trees.

Linux is in no way in danger. In fact, its very healthy and gaining vitality every year. There is absolutely no reason to fuss over its popularity, let alone say it has "lost" a popularity contest.

Obviosuly, Linux requires a lot of dedicated developers and users, but to say:

if (Windows.userCount > Linux.userCount)
{
Winner=Windows;
Loser=Linux;
}else{
Winner=Linux;
Loser=Windows;
}

is simply ridiculous.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not a Popularity Contest
by jptros on Fri 5th Jan 2007 00:07 in reply to "Not a Popularity Contest"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

You can certainly hack up windows in lots of ways including writing custom software (free or not). Not being able to modify the source code to the operating system does mean you can't contribute back to the end users or even corporations running the system. In terms of programming, the win32 api provides a lot of functionality that can allow you to modify aspects or features of the system you may not expect to be accessible.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Not a Popularity Contest
by phoehne on Fri 5th Jan 2007 00:15 in reply to "Not a Popularity Contest"
phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

In a way it is. If Linux had a 25% desktop market share, with 100% free and open distros, companies like Broadcom wouldn't be the pricks they are with drivers. Companies like Dell and HP would make sure that 100% of their lineup worked with either system out of the box. I remember when Apple had about 25% of the PC market and any major piece of software had an Apple port or a high-quality Apple equivalent. Look at the server space, where Linux is fairly popular. Several vendors have linux versions of their databases and tools.

Reply Parent Score: 4