Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Oct 2010 21:54 UTC
Linux Well, it's been a while since we've opened this particular jar (box is not historically accurate) owned by Pandora. Desktop Linux... Yes, that ever elusive readiness of the desktop that is Linux-powered. Some story on ComputerWorld argues that the desktop Linux dream is dead, and apparently, the story is causing some stir on the web. Well, paint me pink and call me a lightbulb, but of course desktop Linux is dead. However - who gives a flying monkey? Linux is being used by more people than ever!
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Desktop Linux is not dead
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:41 UTC
Member since:

Here is one take on it, anyway:

The author makes these points:

Very few people by computers with Linux preinstalled on them, which means you would have to literally ask everyone who owns a desktop computer which OS he/she is running. To date, no one has asked me or anyone I know (not anyone conducting a poll anyway).

Next, the article asserts that reasons are flash, or that the reasons are lack of content, or that the reasons are due to media incompatibilities. These are all bogus. Flash runs well on most desktop Linux distributions. Media playback is often painless and beautiful on most desktop Linux distributions, and there are many thousands of applications available on most Linux distributions. None of those are the reasons for the lack of Linux to become dominant in the PC world. The real reasons have never changed. Number one is the lack of hardware vendor commitment. Number two is a lack of advertising. Number three is the general lack of knowledge/care that most users have of/for operating systems in general.

I would quibble over one thing only. I would posit that the major reason why people don't buy Linux computers in nmbers is simply because they can't buy them. They aren't for sale in any place where an ordinary person might go to buy a computer.

This is in turn due to the fact that a determined monopolist has forced desktop Linux out of retail stores. The store owners won't be allowed to sell Windows computers at a competitive price if they also sell Linux machines.

This fact is simple to verify. Never, ever, ever will you see two instances of a display machine side-by-side in the same store with one running contemporary Linux and the same model machine next to it running contemporary Windows (say Kubuntu 10.04 or 10.10 versus Windows 7). Consumers will never, ever be allowed to compare Windows and Linux out of the box configurations side by side. Even more to the point, never ever will the true price to the cosumer of two machines with similar-capability-software (one with Microsoft software suite, on with linux desktop software) be allowed to be shown to consumers in direct comparison.

It just won't happen. Consumers will not be allowed to know about such things. Never.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Desktop Linux is not dead
by bouhko on Tue 19th Oct 2010 08:53 in reply to "Desktop Linux is not dead"
bouhko Member since:

Best comment and article I've read on this subject since a long time.

Although I agree linux in the consumer space will stay kind of stagnant, what is interesting is the corporate desktop market.
When I started studying Computer Science, I was the only one in the class using Linux. I was the "bizarre" guy. At the end of my studies, about half of the class had switched to Linux (I did some promotion, the teachers did some promotion, etc...). Now, the question is : when in some years, this guys will become IT managers, will they push towards using Linux as a corporate desktop ? Even if a small percentage does, this might lead to a huge number of new linux desktop users.

The main problem with linux in the consumer market is the whole installation/configuration thing. There still are some drivers bugs and stuff like that (Windows has too of course, but it's installed by OEM). But these problems are less relevant in the corporate world since you've qualified personnel doing the installs.

Now, we just need to improve MSOffice compatibility because that's probably the one thing holding many people back.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Desktop Linux is not dead
by Aurawin on Fri 22nd Oct 2010 14:09 in reply to "Desktop Linux is not dead"
Aurawin Member since:

I recently bought a Toshiba T135-1309 with Windows 7. The first thing after opening the box was to format the entire drive over to ext4, save for a swap partition :-)

Ubuntu 10.10 is much better than XP ever was. And I use redbox too. Meaning, I am willing to stay behind curves to enjoy freedom of choice!

Ubuntu has been delivering new versions twice a year for years now. Their support and community is vibrant as ever. This artical was a total slam on desktop computing... Which will never die.

It's funny how hard they are pushing for cloud computing. Boy they really want everything there is to know about you.

Reply Parent Score: 1