Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 30th Mar 2012 20:33 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Two years ago, Linux guru Caitlyn Martin argued that "Ubuntu is a Poor Standard Bearer for Linux" due to reliability issues. She said that "Other distributions have problematic releases but other major distributions do not have significant problems in nearly every release. Ubuntu does." In her follow-up piece "How Canonical Can Do Ubuntu Right: It Isn't a Technical Problem," she explained how "...the problem I am describing is probably rooted in policy or business decisions that have been made..." and she offered specific ideas on how Canoncial could address the situation. Are these criticisms valid today? Does Ubuntu offer good reliability? Does it deserve its mindshare as the representative of PC Linux?
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RE[3]: Ubuntu works great for me
by Alfman on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 02:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ubuntu works great for me"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

bassbeast,

I've never been one to claim a mass migration to linux would be quick, easy, or painless. So I think your "Dude" comment to me is misdirected.

Like you, I also see normal people becoming disenchanted with microsoft, but as you say, human nature is to stick with what we are already familiar with and it is difficult to change those habits. So it's true this impedes linux adoption.

Also, it's still far too difficult for average consumers to purchase a system that's not bundled with a windows license. I don't care if we blame MS coercive monopoly power or not, but either way the lack of alternate operating systems on store shelves is an impediment to OS competition. Consumers have a tradition of going to stores to try before buying - even for online purchases.

You explicitly mentioned the netbook. I know someone who was looking for one this past year and low and behold all the local computer stores sold only windows devices. Clearly this exposure puts windows at a huge advantage even before a buyer sets hand on a keyboard. So again, this impedes linux adoption.

However despite all these impediments, what I was trying to say in my last post is that win8 might end up being even more foreign to users than linux desktops. Also, the exclusive metro-app store might give retail stores a huge reason to reconsider their relationship with microsoft. If they predict metro will kill retail software sales, as it likely will, they'd be wise to start shifting their eggs around.

Believe me, I am under no delusion that it's easy to displace entrenched market players who hold all the cards, but these are still some excellent opportunities in my opinion. Just be realistic about expectations: If linux has 1% desktop share today, and 1.5% next year, a 50% growth in market share for one year is huge news.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rjamorim Member since:
2005-12-05

Also, the exclusive metro-app store might give retail stores a huge reason to reconsider their relationship with microsoft. If they predict metro will kill retail software sales, as it likely will, they'd be wise to start shifting their eggs around.


Indeeeed, they should explore that large untapped market: Linux retail software sales, right?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

rjamorim,

"Indeeeed, they should explore that large untapped market: Linux retail software sales, right?"

I realize you couldn't resist the urge to use sarcasm, but in fairness I explicitly placed the figure at around 1%, I never said it was a "large market".

I do happen to think the linux market for commercial software is largely untapped. Even for myself I buy -windows- tax software to do my own taxes since I cannot find any well maintained linux equivalent for my state to do the same thing. Annoyingly the software doesn't even work under wine. I would happily buy a linux version or better yet open source version if I could.

What we have is a catch-22, where virtually 100% of the tax accounting firms target the 97% of the market who predominantly use windows and neglect the remaining 3% because they're too insigificant to care about (figures are illustrative only). It's a strong negative reinforcing cycle.

And I think the untapped market goes well beyond tax software. I spent money on a few turnkey video editing hardware/software packages for windows because I couldn't find what I needed for linux. This is untapped commercial potential.

So, yes there are definitely opportunities, but the key is cracking down the barriers to entry and getting those products in front of actual customers. The metro app store, with it's exclusive distribution model and 30% fees, is going to make metro users much less profitable to vendors. More opportunistic business leaders will want to cater towards the smaller yet more profitable alternative OS crowd. So I do expect linux to see decent growth. Whether it reaches critical mass or not remains to be seen, but all I can say is that would be nice to finally see microsoft forced to compete on merit instead of abusing it's monopoly power.

Reply Parent Score: 2