Home > Linux > What Lies Ahead For LinuxWhat Lies Ahead For Linux Submitted by anonymous 2004-04-29 Linux 55 CommentsHere’s an interview with Stacey Quandt, a Linux and open source industry analyst. She explains why she feels Linux will overtake Windows as the number one server OS within the next three years.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 55 Comments 2004-04-29 8:41 pm I haven’t seen such heady predictions since 2000. I’m all in favor of a Linux take over, I’m working to make that take over a reality. But, three years? SOmeone should give her a nudge and tell her she’s talking in her sleep. 2004-04-29 8:44 pm She says “Within the next three years I believe Linux will overtake Windows as the number one operating system based on new server shipments.”Server OS, not OS in general. Although, with the plethora of devices that have OSs on them, I can easily see Linux being number one overall.In 3 years, Linux will have, at most, 5% of the business desktops. The home market will be, at most, around 1-2%. The percentage of sales for business computers with Linux may be around 10% in 3 years. On the server side, it could easily be 50%.Note that a lot of this will depend on when companies need to upgrade their systems. If the upgrades come this year, I think most would default to Windows. But, if the upgrades come 1-2 years from now, I see companies taking a good long look at linux.The growth and gaining popularity doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is definitely enough to take notice. 2004-04-29 8:47 pm I think it’s really wonderful to see a female computer analyst covering Linux and open source markets. She’s absolutely right about the fact that this mysteriously remains an extremely male-dominated industry. I hope that more women get into open source software, either as developers or businesswomen or just plain users. I’ve seen a lot of women go to the Macworld trade show in SF, but fewer at Linuxworld. Perhaps as Linux gets more “consumer-oriented”, that will change?Anyway, keep up the good work, Stacey!Jared 2004-04-29 8:51 pm It will take a long, long time to linux get 10% of desktops. If it was a standard plataform, like BeOS, OS X or QNX, well, then it could, very easy, takes 30% of new desktops sales with just 3 years from now. But the way thinks are done now, well, it can happen just if Apple or Microsoft join the bandwagon and, well, it will not happen. 2004-04-29 8:53 pm “Within the next three years I believe Linux will overtake Windows as the number one operating system based on new server shipments.”“Any thoughts when Linux might overtake Windows on the server side?I think that’s going to happen sooner. I believe we’ll see Linux overtake Windows on the server within the next three to four years, as measured by new server shipments.”So its not 10% of the desktop market but on the whole 2004-04-29 8:54 pm Wake up son.Linux is coming up on the desktop much earlier than you predict.I say that a 10% desktop market share in one year from now is not impossible, and after that it’s going to be a clean sweep! 2004-04-29 8:56 pm I think you should be the one that needs waking up. Linux has currently about 1-2% of desktop and it doubles it every year. That’s already a lot of new market share. But don’t overreact saying that Linux can get 10% in a year, it can’t, it won’t, and red hat and novell know this and have already said so. 2004-04-29 9:04 pm As much as I like to see this happening , I have some doubts.Overtake Windows? Let’s see …80% of my friends are using Windows because of the favorite game they play and web browsing although I never understood the last part.20% because it came with their brand new shinny computer,5% because they think Windows and nothing else. The rest either have a laptop from work with this installed and some specific software.So, there’s not enough marketing,or to put it ireally rough,Linux doesn’t have that kinda ppl(rich) to bribe CEO’s and decision factors to adopt a certain politic(read OS).Is all about politics.Is that simple.My mother already uses Linux(Slack + Dropline) exactly as I do . Really interesting. She went from MSN to gaim and gnome meeting in no time. Actually she didn’t paid any attention. She trusted me that what she will use from now on is better.See? Politics.Again 2004-04-29 9:21 pm But for corporations it don’t works that way. And about your mother: What would happen if she need install a new software that was released today and she alread downloaded it? Well, under Windows/Mac OS X and other “exotic” systems like BeOS and QNX it would be a breeze. But under linux it’s easy teach a monkey how to write poetry than Joan user install any linux app. And no, swaret/apt/urpmi aren’t the answer here. 2004-04-29 9:29 pm Do you think she is able to install ANY app on Windows?Let’s be serious.For corporations for sure it won’t work that way! I use at work what I’m “ordered” to use. And you don’t have to guess that hard.My colleagues as well. Of course , MANY of them don’t care what they use as long as they are paid. See?Politics.Again. 2004-04-29 9:57 pm Those who still claims that Linux is hard to handle have not been around lately.Yesterday on this site one guy wrote that Linux is unusuable for 99% of people.KDE is more mainstream than a pickup truck!That’s a fact and it will not go away. 2004-04-29 10:03 pm Wake up son.Linux is coming up on the desktop much earlier than you predict.I say that a 10% desktop market share in one year from now is not impossible, and after that it’s going to be a clean sweep!You’re the one that needs to wake up to reality. Linux has 0% chance of having a 10% desktop marketshare in 1 year, and you would be extremely optimistic to have it at 10% in 5 years.Yeah, Linux is cool. I have fun with gentoo and everything, but don’t let being a fanboy cloud your judgement.In any case, it has to have many more widespread corporate rollouts before you see anything in the home market. Remember, it’s easy to have desktop linux working in a locked-down environment, but much harder in a home environment where hardware changes, etc…. 2004-04-29 10:06 pm His mom, like many moms, won’t be installing any new software because all they need is a browser, email client, im client…maybe, and a simple word processor. If she decides she does need to install something she’ll have sonny boy over there show her the ropes. 2004-04-29 10:15 pm “You’re the one that needs to wake up to reality. Linux has 0% chance of having a 10% desktop marketshare in 1 year, and you would be extremely optimistic to have it at 10% in 5 years. ”it didnt mention 10% of desktop so what are you fighting for 2004-04-29 10:27 pm Really? Well, it’s not what I see every day. Most people I know (Joe and Jane user) wants to install that cool software that cames on a magazine bought yesterday. I see a lot of this. My friends wants to deal with their computers. They donwload a software that they find cool and just wants install it. And they are right. Under Windows they do that without any dificult. They are teachers, lawyers, just normal people. Why it must be handled just for geeks? 2004-04-29 10:27 pm focus people…the article talks about SERVERS, not DESKTOPS.Big difference. 2004-04-29 10:28 pm You say first that Linux is not going to come to the desktop and then that Joerleis mum should be off fine with it.I say that 99% of people can switch today, it’s just a market thing.It has nothing to do with technical issues. 2004-04-29 10:37 pm “Do you think there will there be parity for the desktop?Parity takes a long time… and especially against a convicted monopolist. I think the milestone to look for is when Linux takes 10% of the market. It’s all about when corporate IT says that they will use Linux as their primary desktop operating system. This doesn’t mean that users have to give up on Windows applications, but I think we will see a decline in the use of the Windows operating system on the desktop.”Well, I think that she talks about desktop too. 2004-04-29 10:40 pm “Well, I think that she talks about desktop too.”point is. she isnt talking about just desktop marketshare of 10%. she is saying linux will be the number one on the server first and at 10% of the marketshare it will reach parity.thats a reasonable expectation 2004-04-29 10:40 pm Haha! Keep hoping. Linux doubles every year? Well, have a look:November 2002:http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/nov02_pie.gifMarch 2004:http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/mar04_pie.gifI’m sure you will have some nonsense about UA spoofing, but Google employs the smartest people in industry, I’m sure the results are accurate. 2004-04-29 10:53 pm 10% of the desktop within 3-4 years seems entirely reasonable to me. Strides are being made in terms of software, software management, configuration and design… and so on and so forth. There are problems in these areas and others but solutions are being found as we speak and 3-4 years is plenty of time to not only catch up to MS in ease of use but be better in many ways. Then who is going to pay the MS price? Nine out of ten people maybe, but there’s going to be at least one that will use their money in other ways and take the free product that is Linux (free more or less, that is). 2004-04-29 11:02 pm I’m sure the results are accurate.Of course, since they confirm your expectations. That’s called bias.UA spoofing isn’t nonsense. Most of the sites I go to I surf as if I had IE on WinXP, because then I won’t get sites that refuse me access because I do not have unsupported hardware.Anyway, the article is about Servers, not Desktops. 2004-04-29 11:08 pm “‘m sure you will have some nonsense about UA spoofing, but Google employs the smartest people in industry, I’m sure the results are accurate.”it is the result of people who have browse using linux. it is not even close a good estimate of the number of linux systems on the whole. so stop using it. its pretty silly 2004-04-29 11:21 pm >it is the result of people who have browse using linux. it is not> even close a good estimate of the number of linux systems on the whole.Yeah, but this response of that reader was about the *desktop* Linux (answering to xerxes2 who was talking about desktop), not all server installations, so Google’s stats DO have merit regarding the desktop linux. 2004-04-29 11:31 pm In the server market Linux is already way ahead of the rest,but let’s get back to the desktop.Statistics don’t lie. I’m sure those figures are correct because Linux desktops have only been for sale a short while and most people don’t even know what linux is, and have not even notised if the were actyally running it right now! 2004-04-29 11:39 pm Sorry for my bad spelling, it’s late in Sweden.Let’s see some statistics on which OS those website servers are running on? 2004-04-29 11:50 pm >80% of my friends are using Windows because of the favorite game they play and web browsing although I never understood the last part.20% because it came with their brand new shinny computer,5% because they think Windows and nothing else.You have 105% of your friends? 2004-04-29 11:56 pm >Statistics don’t lie.“There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Benjamin Disraeli 2004-04-30 12:11 am That Disraeli guy was a politician right.Oki,get your point.I’ve seen statistics who shows Linux market shares between 0,5-25%, it depends of which site you ask.Osnews is certainly much higher than M$.com! 2004-04-30 12:23 am When are you Willies going to know the difference between America and Asia? 2004-04-30 12:51 am Most of the sites I go to I surf as if I had IE on WinXP, because then I won’t get sites that refuse me access because I do not have unsupported hardware.Of course, I meant “unsupported browser”. 2004-04-30 1:12 am it is the result of people who have browse using linux.Actually, it is not even that. The Google Index indicates IPs who have browsed, not individual users. Typical home users change IP addresses a lot, especially if they still connect by modem.Meanwhile, most Linux users have broadband (ironically due to the winmodem issue), so they IP adresses tend to change less. I have cable, and my IP adresses last at least 3 months, if not 6. Also, a lot of Linux installation are multi-user (if only through things like the LTSP project). My home system has 2 regular users (we were 3 up until a couple of months ago). We all registered as one user on Google’s Index.So using Google’s Index as a measure of market share is not that useful. In fact, right now it’s nearly impossible to have accurate figures for OS market shares – another thing that plays to Linux’s advantage, if you ask me.Anyway, the Linux counter (which itself registers Linux users and estimates the total number at 18 millions) has this interestign factoid:Another is simply that a lot of Linux users use a different OS for browsing – a quick peek at the Linux Counter, which is about as diehard Linux as they come, showed that more than 60% of those registering as Linux users used a Windows browser to do so.That alone would double the percentage instantly…http://counter.li.org/estimates.php 2004-04-30 2:14 am ” Wake up son.Linux is coming up on the desktop much earlier than you predict.I say that a 10% desktop market share in one year from now is not impossible, and after that it’s going to be a clean sweep!”And I have a question for you, at that time will everyone be complaining about Linux being the number one OS on the market. When Windows 3.0 was released Microsoft had a lot of cheerleaders and everyone was so Pro-Microsoft it wasnt funny, but now they are one of the most hated out there. This industry always has a habit of cheering on the underdog and when that same dog gets to be on top of the world, they shoot it down like a SCUD missle over Baghdad. One of the things she left out of her analysis is the impact of lawsuits and other such activity affecting Linux’s growth because dont kid yourself, they are on the horizon.” I think you should be the one that needs waking up. Linux has currently about 1-2% of desktop and it doubles it every year. That’s already a lot of new market share. But don’t overreact saying that Linux can get 10% in a year, it can’t, it won’t, and red hat and novell know this and have already said so.”I wouldnt say doubles, I would say it increases but not by double. I dont think we will see 10% in three years, maybe 5 or 6. The OS is becoming a commodity really fast before it was easy to push Linux and OpenOffice as the premiere alternative to Windows but as IT infrastructures get more complex people are starting to have other needs that go beyond operating systems and since the myth that Linux is “hacker proof” is finally dying down a little bit people are starting to see things more objectively. Another thing that also contributed to the growth of Linux was that people are bashing the hell out of Microsoft not by the merits of the technology mind you, I hear more and more each day not of the technical merits of Linux but that Microsoft is the work of the anti-christ, “Microsoft is evil” “Microsoft is rich enough” “Microsoft sucks” “Microsoft is a monopoly” “Bill Gates is the next Hitler” and it goes on and on. 2004-04-30 2:17 am One of my predictions in the next few years 3-5 years to be exact is that either Novell or IBM is going to do something underhanded to the Linux community, Novell and IBM both have a reputation for screwing over their partners so best to keep all eyes open because they will try. 2004-04-30 2:21 am It is just worth mentioning, when discussing timescalees for Linux desktop progression, that six years ago, KDE was barely in early beta, Gnome wasn’t in sight, and the only true UI application for the desktop light user was really the GIMP.Between then and now, hardware support has changed radically, things most often work better than windows straight off, USB, Firewire, Wifi, SMP, clustering. We’ve got network transparency, high quality free web browsers, office suites, DTP packages, UML designers, quality IDEs, burning software a la K3b, better package management (urpmi through Mandrake’s package installer UI has not caused me any problems at all lately, including resolving deps.), and so on.In the time it took the Windows experience to move from 98 to XP, a lot has changed.It is 2 or 3 years until Longhorn, and by XP’s numbers, it will take until 2010 before that has 50% market share on the desktop through upgrades. That’s the same time again since Linux came out of nowhere.I can’t say what will happen next, but I think people need to appreciate that this is a situation where the rate of change in Linux is large. Whether it will stagnate or continue remains to be seen, but it is foolish to suggest that we even know the state of the market a year from now.Honestly, for the record, I think there is a buzz about Linux at this point, certainly growing in the mainstream media. They choose to kingmake the iPod last year, despite it not making inroads for some time having already been on the market, and suddenly, it was the best selling tech toy of the year; design awards, etc.Food for thought. 2004-04-30 2:43 am As some people have pointed out in the comments above, there has been this “cry” that Linux is ready for the desktop, will be ready for the desktop real soon now etc. I believe until there is a clear direction and a coordinated direction, Linux as a desktop operating system for everyone to use is just a pipe dream.Needs to be one gui toolkit that gets developed for. The KDE and Gnome camps can still have their own desktop, but they both use this common toolkitProject utopia seems to be heading in the right direction in enabling a use to plug his/her devices in and have the configured ready for us.But again, the Linux community is still playing catchup in the desktop area to the likes of Microsoft and Apple while all this “infighting” is happening between QT/GTK, KDE/Gnome and so on. 2004-04-30 2:56 am “And I have a question for you, at that time will everyone be complaining about Linux being the number one OS on the market.”it doesnt always happen that way. apache is by far the leading web server and it is still being appreciated by the people.well some of the bsd people do get vocal about linux but it is not that badwindows has also those toolkits too like gtk and qt. despite what people thing there in no wars between kde and gnome people. they just have different approaches and they do cooperate in freedesktop.org initiatives.you cannot just abandon years of efforts on qt and gtk to create a new toolkits. thats not going to happen. we can work on interoperability so that people arent forced in anyway to use a particular desktop and thats what is happening. sharing common specifications and framework is needed not a single toolkit 2004-04-30 3:16 am Lay instead of lie. 2004-04-30 3:21 am Well, having the title “What Lies Ahead For Linux”, could really be saying what lies are being spread about Linux being desktop ready to compete with MS 😉 2004-04-30 4:01 am longhorn is coming…stop posting on this board and contribute to the mono project…we’re wasting time 2004-04-30 4:54 am I find it interesting that your posting implies that Linux users all “just get along.” Maybe you did not intend this, but this is definitely not true. Check out this none other than a lead GAIM developer:http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35890 2004-04-30 5:08 am lol hes right, damn gentoo users are a huge pain in the @$$.They use RIDICULOUS optimizations and start bitching that the packages don’t work properly. 2004-04-30 5:15 am It’s kind of funny to watch Linux in-fighting from the outside. 2004-04-30 7:42 am >You have 105% of your friends? Bad math on my side 2004-04-30 8:19 am The embrace of Linux is actually capitalism – extreme capitalism – the nirvana that every capitalist is drooling for – getting something for nothing and infinite profit margin. But if that’s simply just too blatant embarrassing then I’m sure the devs won’t mind getting paid for what they like to do best. Under communism the devs would at least get paid in respect of their higher resemblance with the human race rather than productions costs – allthough the pay would be the same no matter who or what they are because all men that are created equal should also be treated as such. Secondly, what is freedom if someone can’t give and/or be given something for free – not even considering being boxed with some *ism as a commie, socie or capie? 2004-04-30 10:35 am I strongly believe that if you want Linux to be truely successful on the desktop you have to attract small commercial software companies. People want choice. It is good that some software is free in any sense, but i have no problem paying $35 for a program that i think is better and that suits my needs. And a lot of people from the Windows and Mac worlds share the same view. It seems that a lot of Linux users don’t get this, either because of the GNU philosophy or because they don’t want to pay for software. Remember that small companies can grow bigger and if you have them in your camp from the start it will be beneficial for your platform.Right now there is little reason for small commercial developers to develop on Linux. And all those dual-licensed libraries don’t make the case any better. There seems to be an illusion among Linux enthousiasts that any developer that doesn’t write open-source code will easily buy their dual-licensed libraries for a lot of money. Why would they if they can get the next Visual Studio that will include among others the real XAML instead of a dual-licensed imitation like MyXAML? No offense to the MyXAML people, but their strategy won’t work.The only possible way to success on the desktop for Linux seems imho to be coming from the Mono people. Their licenses are reasonable for every developer, open-source and commercial, and code developed on Windows could be deployed on Linux with relatively small modifications.I hope that De Icaza and co. have not been too deeply influenced by the preeches of Stallman and understand that the future of Linux is the coexistence of open-source and commercial software and that the “all software should be free” mentality leads to nowhere. 2004-04-30 11:14 am I have a simple answer to your statements.Noone will choose to use things that only works on a platform, who will just decrease in numbers and eventually go away and never come back. 2004-04-30 11:23 am I have a simple answer to your statements.Noone will choose to use things that only works on a platform, who will just decrease in numbers and eventually go away and never come back.I have never been good at crossword puzzles. You really should explain this for unenlightened people like me. 2004-04-30 11:55 am Sorry…my english sometimes sucks.What I meant was that MS OS:s will go away.They have to start develop for other platforms or they will be out of business.Probably they will realise that in time and try to support Linux as well.When I say Linux I mean OSS platforms.I think that every software company in the whole world,except for one, are really glad for this. 2004-04-30 12:48 pm Yeah your english sux (swedish public schools..)“What I meant was that MS OS:s will go away.They have to start develop for other platforms or they will be out of business.”Care to explain this one?To me it seems like it would be better for them to continue pushing the competition out from the market.“I think that every software company in the whole world,except for one, are really glad for this”Except those that plan to actually SELL their software and make some MONEY, its well known that linux users have THE worst cheapskate mentality.For a capitalist society to work well ppl will have to be prepared to pay good money for products/services or the market will collapse due to outsourcing, unemployment etc.No I dont hate Linux, I just want it to remain mainly a hobby OS as it could seriously hurt the computer/IT industry if it would take of. I guess Stallman expects the herds of unemployed coders to join him coding linux for like $30 a day? 2004-04-30 1:15 pm An OS is for a program that an road is for a car.Think of a scenario that Toyocedes own the roads.I agree with you thogh that MS has been pushing competition out of the market but such fascist manners usually comes to an end.People wake up and so will you! 2004-04-30 2:04 pm To say that linux is too difficult for the average user too manage is ridiculous. My 65 year old mother uses Xandros Linux and routinely installs software she sees on Xandros networks. Within a week of the install she had already discovered Pysol and that hooked the deal for using Linux. After the first couple of weeks the support calls dropped of and she manages fine on her own. It is interesting to note that she has never used Windows. 2004-04-30 4:03 pm I know hundreds of technical users, and I keep in touch with many IT people through work, school, the military etc. Out of all of them I can name 2 people that use Linux as a primary desktop, and both of them also have a Windows box or partition in case they need it. I am sure it is different for some of you, but in my personal experience Linux holds much less than one percent of the desktop market share. Not that it counts for anything, but it seems to back up Google’s page statistics. 2004-04-30 6:07 pm thats a very poor way to gather stastics. brazil has millions of linux desktops. in my office about 90% use linux. doesnt mean 90% of the world population uses linuxgoogle stats actually say its around 1.7 % btw 2004-04-30 11:25 pm One cannot ascertain statistical results from personal knowledge. As we’ve shown earlier, the Google Index is a very poor yardstick to determine OS market share. The fact that your personal experience apparently comes to the same result doesn’t represent validation for either: you can’t validate imprecise data with more imprecise data.