Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Jan 2007 15:00 UTC, submitted by editingwhiz
Linux "The OSDL's Desktop Linux Working Group has published its first year-end report on the state of the overall desktop Linux ecosystem. The report provides insight into the year's key accomplishments in terms of functionality, standards, applications, distributions, market penetration, and more."
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Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

Back when many people in the Linux community were saying Linux would be on the desktop and really pushing hard for it, many people listened, but the notion that normal people could run their own desktop Linux systems back then was laughable.

These days things have really come a long way in terms of being user friendly, but most people quit listening a long time ago.

Because of this, I believe the people who feverously advocated Linux on the desktop for all those years have actually managed to cause harm.

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Because of this, I believe the people who feverously advocated Linux on the desktop for all those years have actually managed to cause harm."""

Typical of any revolution. Like most things, taking over the desktop is harder than it looks, at first.

I'll take a nice, slow, steady pace over a bloody palace coup, any day.

Windows will not go out with a bang, but with a whimper.

And by that, I really mean that it won't ever seem like that big a deal. I'd love to see a world in which Windows enjoys a healthy 33% market share. Linux might have another 33%. And all the rest might have 34%. (Others might target different numbers and favored players; I suspect *BSD fans may be a bit upset with me on that last.)

Windows is not bad. Too much of *anything*, even water, is unhealthy.

It may take 10+ more years. But balance will be achieved, eventually.

If things go well, *everyone* can end up happier. Even Microsoft.

Edited 2007-01-26 15:47

Reply Parent Score: 5

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I think I've said this three times now, but it still remains very relevant:

"If Linux is going to change it needs to evolve in other matters; not just release numbers. They need open source graphics drivers quite badly, they also seriously need to get out of the North-America-only mindset. Shuttleworth (with Ubuntu) has been successfully putting linux into markets where Microsoft don't exist, and don't matter. There is nothing /wrong/ with linux in this regard at all. These markets don't need/want a Vista clone."

Linux does not need to conquer the desktop to 'win'. Nor does it need to 'beat' Microsoft to win.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Linux does not need to conquer the desktop to 'win'. Nor does it need to 'beat' Microsoft to win.

Actually, what we really haven't done is define the term "win." I think Linux has already won. Microsoft is scared, server market has been penetrated, corporate offices are noticing. Linux is more popular than Solaris and Tru64 and Irix and HP-UX and arguably IOS. What more could constitue winning?

Edited 2007-01-26 18:43

Reply Parent Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Because of this, I believe the people who feverously advocated Linux on the desktop for all those years have actually managed to cause harm.

I disagree. There's no such thing as bad publicity. In P.T. Barnum's immortal words: "I don't care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right!"

Linux has been gaining mindshare for the past 10 years...now the technology is catching up to this awareness, and the number of users worldwide keeps increasing.

I don't think that people have ever stopped listening...if anything, interest keeps growing, especially in emerging markets such as China.

Reply Parent Score: 5

merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

I disagree. There's no such thing as bad publicity. In P.T. Barnum's immortal words: "I don't care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right!"

I disagree. It's a basic notion in publicity: Making a new product is easier than "fixing" a not-so-well received one. If you want to advertise Linux go on, but do it right: bad mouth word can do way more harm than waiting a few years more. I'm not saying that we should stop talking about Linux, but let's draw the full picture when we do it, presenting the pros and the cons of its use.

While it's true that interest in Linux and general FOSS is growing (just look at Firefox), bad advertisement equals to bad reputation, IMHO.

Edit: Oh, and I'm not even asking for a specific market share, I just want the competition to make fair play, and work towards interoperability and platform agnostic formats. Maybe I'm asking too much?

Edited 2007-01-26 16:46

Reply Parent Score: 2

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Actually, Linux has been ready for the desktop for the last 6 years (when I came back to Linux after leaving it for Windows95+Cygwin).

The key thing you're missing is that back then it was ready for the Unix techie desktop. It did involve a bit of skill, but you could do anything you wanted to do on Unix that you could on Windows and for the few cases where there was a Windows-only app you needed to run, you could use VMWare.

The release of OpenOffice, easier installs, the adoption of apt-get and yum-like updating tools by most distros brought Linux to the Windows power user desktop a few years back. The current focus on usability and easy to install codecs and drivers and glitz is now moving Linux to the average user's desktop. The only thing that's need now for Linux to break into the consumer market is for PC makers to preinstall Linux, but that time is coming (some vendors are testing the waters already).

Reply Parent Score: 5

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Your comment makes absolutely no sense. Nobody was telling normal people that they could run desktop Linux. People were saying that in various forms for awhile now, but not in any medium (read: not OSNews or Slashdot) that normal people read. So how could all these normal people form a negative opinion of desktop Linux if they never even heard about it in the first place?

Reply Parent Score: 5

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

You're too involved in your niche. Most people weren't listening back then because they weren't hearing. The technology community is tired of hearing about Linux, but Joe Schmoe has barely heard of it and then often only because of that IBM ad and a few other minor things.

So no, the advocacy hasn't hurt it at all. And those people who thought it was awful years ago are continuing to try it out occasionally, and every now and then a few of those people get convinced that "hey this isn't bad." They keep checking for a couple of reasons that vary:
1.) It may be their job to be aware of what's out there.
2.) They may be curious and enjoy playing with operating systems.
3.) They may be mad at their current system for some specific reason.
4.) They see a review and are intrigued by some item within it.

It all just builds slowly. It does seem like it's very unlikely that a mass adoption is going to happen. I think if anything happens it has to happen slowly. OSes are just too difficult for most people to install for them to try something on a whim.

Reply Parent Score: 5

tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

I don't know about premature. After all, everything has to start somewhere.

http://www.crn.com/sections/channelbusiness/channelbusiness.jhtml?a...

Interesting article.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

The only thing laughable is the idea that somehow promoting linux could in someway, "harm", it.

Reply Parent Score: 2