Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Year of Linux on the Desktop - Not

While I use and teach Linux, I'm aware that it's still little more than a niche operating systems used by techies such as myself. While some vendors will sell you a PC with Linux installed, not many consumers opt for Linux. Widespread adoption - the so-called year of Linux on the desktop - has been predicted year after year. Unfortunately these predictions have never come close. While iPhone and iPod Touch support is great, it's a tiny step in making Linux ready for widespread adoption. In fact, computing is headed - with the iPad for example - toward a a new paradigm where the complexity of what we know as a computer is abstracted away. Unfortunately, Linux is still working to approach the "simplicity" of desktop OSs like Windows or Mac OS X. Don't get wrong these operating systems aren't simple, but for the "average" user they are infinitely more simple than Linux.


Ubuntu 10.04 supports iPhone and iPod Touch out-of-the-box
For there to be any chance of 'the year of Linux on the desktop' ever becoming a reality, certain things have to happen. One of those things (like it or not) is for a major distribution to support the most popular portable media players on the planet -- the iPhone and iPod Touch.

1 comment:

Martin Wildam said...

I think every year is a Linux year as more and more people are switching over.

And consider, that a switch might require to be well planned. For home users who do just email, web-surfing and a little bit of multimedia - no problem, but for companies there is usually a large stack of legacy applications.

I replaced Windows-applications step by step over a few years with alternatives that I know I can have under Linux as well. Now I have switched completely also at work about half a year ago working in a company with focus on Windows. It was not something done in an instant. So even, if now many companies decide to prefer platform independent solutions for new projects, effect will be in a few years.

And further: In general the slow but steady growth is better and more stable than the quick success - keep that in mind!


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