Linked by David Adams on Tue 4th Dec 2007 19:39 UTC, submitted by michuk
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "It may be a brave opinion but I predict that Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista are going to be the two operating systems that will take over the largest chunk of the desktop OS market during the next couple of years. This comparison is based on my experience with both systems during the last couple of weeks on two different computers."
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All of those are only available in the US - so basically you're saying to me that the world revolves around the US.

Funny that you said that. Actually, that is exactly the same thing that I can say about you and other Mac apologists and your obsession with Apple products. While I do understand that Apple sells reasonably well in the US and to some extent in Europe and in places like Australia/New Zealand, it is nearly unknown everywhere else where the average income is much lower.

I've already met several Linux users in person - at work and otherwise - but I can count in the fingers of one hand - and have some fingers left! - how many people that I know that have worked with Macs, let alone that can afford them. Heck, I have friends working on IT for years that have never seen one Apple computer in their entire lives and frown upon the suggestion of using it when given the chance. When I go to the mall and drool over a MBP on the shelf, my friends/relatives look at me as if I were a weirdo. Apple just priced itself out of these markets! (And if the number of complaints in forums like this is anything to go by, it is not unreasonable to presume that it is not exactly affordable over there either...)

Here in Brazil we have what we call telecentres (translated literally for the lack of a better word to describe them) where city's employees and volunteers teach people that cannot afford their own computer the basic concepts of computing and guess what: most of them use either a local version of Linux or Windows. Sometime ago, the fast food chain McDonald's deployed cyber-cafes in most of its shops with funny looking computers running a highly customized WindowMaker, with a few dockapps and Firefox running almost fullscreen. When you buy a lunch, you get a ticket that allows you to use it for a few minutes. They're good looking, easy and fun to use.

Nowadays you can even walk into some shops and purchase a laptop running Linux from vendors like Acer, Amazon or Itautec (the latter is a brazilian company).

Except for LAN Houses, where gaming is the main concern, most other computer-oriented deployments intended to be used in public places are running really low-spec/refurbished systems and since they're mostly used like Internet appliances anyway, Linux suit them just fine.

You can sing praises to Apple all that you want but it doesn't change the fact that despite the hurdles to get a proper number of Linux users out there, one can safely expect that counting all the Linux users in the 3rd world together will probably result twice as much the number of Apple users in the whole world.

And keep in mind that these kids in Africa getting acquainted with a computer for the first time in their life running Linux and the current universities' undergrads that are gradually getting familiar with these technologies as well will probably help to change the landscape within the next decade. If I were you, I wouldn't dismiss Linux and OSS in general so fast.

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