Saturday, March 24, 2012

alive and kicking

Had a good laugh about this article: "Why Linux on the Desktop Is Dead"

I laughed because most of us desktop Linux users will be surprised to find out that Linux on the desktop is dead. I guess I should stop using it right now. What a joke.

But in some ways, it wasn't funny at all.

For one thing, the author, Tom Bradley, tried one Linux distribution (Ubuntu) for 30 days. To be fair, it would really have to be like the first 30 days ever using Windows, or the first 30 days ever using a Mac -- and on top of that, if you had installed Windows or Mac OS-X yourself on a computer that was built for a different operating system. How much does the "average" user really know about Windows after the first 30 days of ever using it? It's the same with Linux.

Also, Bradley talks a lot about "market share," I don't see any reason why Linux needs a large market share to be useful, or even successful (depending on how you define "success," I guess). It hasn't had a large market share in all this time, yet many of us don't use anything but Linux, and have no reason to use anything else. I don't care what percentage of desktop users use Linux; I'm not sitting here hoping for the day when Linux becomes a "major player." As long as Linux is available for those who want to take the time to learn to use it, and as long as I can figure out how to make it work for me, I'm happy.

Check out the comments following the article, and you'll see how ridiculous many of Bradley's comments really are. He begins the article by saying that Linux is "never going to be a factor on the desktop, so don't even waste your time considering it." What? There are tons of reasons why someone might want to try Linux that have nothing at all to do with how many other people use Linux. So what if it never becomes a factor in someone else's eyes?

Bradley concludes:

It doesn’t change the fact that you’re part of a negligible market segment. It doesn’t change the reality that Linux is not as intuitive or user friendly as it’s rivals, or that it lacks the third party hardware and software support of its rivals, or that using it requires a learning curve and the dedication to dive into forums and learn to tinker. It’s great for hobbyists and hackers, but not for an average user at a company.

So, move on. There’s nothing to see here. The dream of Linux becoming relevant in the desktop market will never be realized. The desktop OS market is a two horse race between Windows and Mac OS X.

I'm glad I didn't listen to people like Tom Bradley when I was first starting out with Linux, and in my eyes, this article seriously damages his credibility. He got a taste of Linux, but he still doesn't know much about it, or much about Linux users. When it comes to this article, I'd say, "Move on. There’s nothing to see here." Linux on the desktop is alive and well, thank you.

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