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Desktop Linux: The Dream Is Dead?

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October 18, 2010 10:02:47 PM

Hey fellas and ladies,

I happened across this piece on PCWorld. What do you guys say: Is the dream indeed dead or has it simply hit a hiccup?

Quote:
It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead.

Despite phenomenal security and stability--and amazing strides in usability, performance, and compatibility--Linux simply isn’t catching on with desktop users. And if there ever was a chance for desktop Linux to succeed, that ship has long since sunk...


For more:
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/207999/de...
a b 5 Linux
October 19, 2010 12:58:32 AM

I disagree personally. From my experience, Linux use for desktops has been on the rise (although I'm sure there's statistics out there to prove otherwise, but who cares about those?). I feel Linux is starting to become more of a user-friendly OS (some distro's at least), and I honestly don't see how anybody could think that Ubuntu/Mint/etc. is "harder" to use than Windows, just different. That's just my opinion however, only time will tell.
October 19, 2010 1:45:58 AM

I agree with your statement that Ubuntu, etc... aren't harder to use, but rather, that they are just different. Everyone is just so used to Windows that anything different running on a PC seems almost beyond reasoning, especially to more intermediate users. In my time toying around with Linux OS's, I've found them to be relatively easy to use after learning how they work. But in comparison to how older versions of Linux used to be, the newer ones are indeed far more convenient and easier to use/pick up.
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a b 5 Linux
October 19, 2010 2:31:57 AM

buwish said:
I agree with your statement that Ubuntu, etc... aren't harder to use, but rather, that they are just different. Everyone is just so used to Windows that anything different running on a PC seems almost beyond reasoning, especially to more intermediate users. In my time toying around with Linux OS's, I've found them to be relatively easy to use after learning how they work. But in comparison to how older versions of Linux used to be, the newer ones are indeed far more convenient and easier to use/pick up.


There are still plenty of distro's out there that most people would have a panic attack trying to use. I'd like to see the average user successfully complete an Arch/Gentoo install; it'd be painful to watch. Any of the "popular" distro's are VERY easy however.

People are so afraid of change, I never quite understood it. Everyone seems to be under the assumption that Linux is still how it was 10 years ago, and that only the IT masters are able to use it. I find that Ubuntu/Mint/PCLinuxOS/etc. are all EASIER to use than Windows personally. Most options are right out in the open, and there isn't a half billion programs installed from scratch. The Software Center in Ubuntu makes it easy enough for a chimp to access any software he could ever need (which is a horrible analogy, due to the fact chimps rarely need software :D ).
October 19, 2010 3:37:14 AM

Actually, the above mentioned story has inspired me to put Ubuntu onto my laptop. I have it on my desktop as well (dual boot with W7 64 bit), but I don't use it too often. I figure this way, I'll use it more often:D 
a b 5 Linux
October 19, 2010 4:18:57 AM

The whole premise of this article is a moot point. The year of the GNU/Linux desktop isn't important. Linux doesn't need market share, nor does it need "average" users. "Average" users are not a valuable asset to Linux because they contribute nothing but leech support resources. Microsoft and Apple make you pay to leech.
a b 5 Linux
October 19, 2010 4:30:15 AM

Fair point. I still like people seeing Linux as a friendly OS, and a serious competitor though. Too many people think it's down to "Mac or PC", when there's a multitude of options besides OSX and Windows that don't cost you hundreds of dollars.

I don't think Linux will ever really catch on as a mainstream OS. Commercialization is not what Linux is about, and that's what would be required to get a real market share. There's a huge community of developers that use and promote Linux, and that's fine in my books.
October 19, 2010 5:46:05 AM

I agree. I must say, I'm impressed with version 10.10. I can see myself using this more often than not. Mixes things up a bit;)
October 19, 2010 1:59:46 PM

I agree with most of the comments made here, but I would like to see Linux as the dominate OS in terms of market share. I think Canonical is a great first step towards creating a single "face" for the masses with Ubuntu and I wish them continued success while staying true to the spirit of the open source community. In the meantime and throughout the future, I still look forward to all the other distros out there for the more "advanced" users. So, no, I don't believe that Linux is dead as a desktop, but there is still a lot of work that still needs to be done to make it more dominate.
October 20, 2010 5:13:01 AM

buwish said:
I happened across this piece on PCWorld. What do you guys say: Is the dream indeed dead or has it simply hit a hiccup?


If desktop Linux is dead, it's because the desktop itself is dying.

Personally I'm typing this on a Linux machine, I have four other Linux machines in the house (not counting all the embedded Linux systems) and I use a Linux desktop at work. Pretty soon this will be the only one of those machines that dual-boots into Windows, and only because I use it to play games and edit video.

So I'd hardly say that it's a failure as a desktop OS.
October 22, 2010 9:37:35 PM

randomizer said:
The whole premise of this article is a moot point. The year of the GNU/Linux desktop isn't important. Linux doesn't need market share, nor does it need "average" users. "Average" users are not a valuable asset to Linux because they contribute nothing but leech support resources. Microsoft and Apple make you pay to leech.

I agree with this. I think it is better to just leave Linux for the more technically inclined people. I'm all for free software, but there are too many idiots out there that can't follow simple guides, FAQs,etc. If Linux becomes mainstream I'd hate to be one of the people on a Linux Forum trying to help all these people.

Quote:

If desktop Linux is dead, it's because the desktop itself is dying.

Far from it. There will always be desktops for the people who value raw performance. I agree, for the Average Joe a decent laptop is more than enough for web surfing, watching vids, etc. People have been saying that desktops are dying for a long time and we still have desktops.
a b 5 Linux
October 22, 2010 11:23:18 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Far from it. There will always be desktops for the people who value raw performance. I agree, for the Average Joe a decent laptop is more than enough for web surfing, watching vids, etc. People have been saying that desktops are dying for a long time and we still have desktops.


There will always be a need for desktops. Desktops will always be more powerful than mobile computing, and there will always be people that need more performance than mobile computing has to offer.
October 23, 2010 2:14:58 AM

I agree. The only time we'll ever see mobile hardware that is on par with desktop hardware is when pigs fly, at least for the foreseeable future. ;)  Let's face it, there are still and will always be users out there who need/value raw performance, which is why the desktop will be around for quite sometime yet, if not longer (however long that may be).
October 23, 2010 5:09:14 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Far from it. There will always be desktops for the people who value raw performance. I agree, for the Average Joe a decent laptop is more than enough for web surfing, watching vids, etc. People have been saying that desktops are dying for a long time and we still have desktops.


We still have vinyl records, 35mm film and horse-drawn carriages, but few people would deny that both are now irrelevant to the majority of the population.
a b 5 Linux
October 24, 2010 7:01:49 PM

Really? More people travel to work by Bicycle every day than by car. More people cook on paraffin than on gas and electricity. Don't forget just how big a place the world is and what an influence that can maintain.
November 30, 2010 8:53:35 PM

woa! feel a little bit offended by that lol. Personally I think Linux will be around ALOT longer than windows :)  Take a look at the super computer and server market... 90% linux :D .
Android, Meego anyone?

IBM, Intel and AMD all support linux, Sony (obviously) samsung, google.... need to say more?
(sorry if am a tab on the anti-windows side)
December 1, 2010 8:51:36 PM

I don't think the dream of Linux is dead. I swapped out a hard drive to try out Ubuntu 10.10, installed it, and I like it a lot so far. I've had to do some things myself, and I still have at least one problem per day (over the course of 3 days), but most of them are pretty easy to solve.

When I installed it just 3 days ago, I found it a lot easier than when I did so about a year ago. One thing is that my graphics card and sound card were natively supported, and were included in Ubuntu's setup, which I did not expect. This means that the operating system is definitely getting more user friendly.

The problem however is, it takes a bit of effort to work with a Linux based operating system. It takes effort to install new drivers. It takes effort getting used to the interface. It also takes effort to make some decisions or do something yourself. A lot of people are not willing to try it out and overcome these obstacles. Many people who aren't that tech-oriented will deny Linux of any chance the moment they install/try it.

I agree with Shadow as well. Perhaps the community is just fine without people who can't figure anything out themselves. Either way, it's all good.
December 14, 2010 12:22:02 PM

You have to remember, it's PCWorld, quite a few of their writers are OS biased toward Windows or OSX so honest views of Linux are hard to come by without some sort of knock in there. Maximum PC hasn't even updated their Linux section in a month either. I plan to dual boot on the new machine, for now I'm running Live CDs to test with. While I wouldn't mind seeing Linux unseat Windows or OSX, it won't happen due to the average joe schmoe who knows very little of windows and doesn't do their homework on other OSes and expects Linux to be identical to Windows and then bashes it when it's not. I say let the smart people use Linux and the fanboys and haters can have eachother in their little fantasy world outside of fact.
a b 5 Linux
December 14, 2010 12:57:49 PM

bugmenot1983 said:
I say let the smart people use Linux and the fanboys and haters can have eachother in their little fantasy world outside of fact.


Sounds like a bloody fantastic world to me ;) 
December 14, 2010 2:27:20 PM

bugmenot1983 said:
, it won't happen due to the average joe schmoe who knows very little of windows and doesn't do their homework on other OSes and expects Linux to be identical to Windows and then bashes it when it's not. I say let the smart people use Linux and the fanboys and haters can have eachother in their little fantasy world outside of fact.


Eh, I think there's a *little* more to it then that.

I think there will always be a profound market for Windows/Mac OS because of the customer service aspect. I can't tell you how many people I know who are terrified of the idea of having a computer with no phone tech support. And even the ones who aren't terrified of the idea of no body to call are daunted by the idea of wandering onto the internet searching for answers and attempting a fix themselves.

Add into it that many fixes do include command line or editing daunting looking config files and many people just freak out. :heink: 

I don't think this has much to do with actual mental wattage, just mental disposition. A computer is kind of like a car... most people have one, and most people who have one are not interested in how or why it works, they just want it TO work.

Combine that with Linux's reputation (deserved or not) for being for "nerds", it's just not something many users would even consider doing.

I think until a Linux distro gains more steam and people perceive there to be "safety in numbers" Linux will continue to struggle with its lack of centralized support and percieved reputation for difficulty.

For my own part I've decided that anyone here at the studio in a position that does not REQUIRE Windows has to make do with Linux. Their distro of choice, but Linux. Not shelling out the $100+ for Windows if it's not NEEDED. End of discussion. :na: 

Oh, and my mom is hinting I need to build her a new desktop computer. I told her sure, but it'd be a PC (because you can't get Mac hardware) and it'd be Linux, but I could make it look like the Mac OS. She's fine. Said what happens if it breaks. In all honesty, I feel totally confidant that since all she does is surf the net and type emails, it won't break... LOL. :pt1cable: 
a b 5 Linux
December 14, 2010 10:32:54 PM

Giraffemonster said:

The problem however is, it takes a bit of effort to work with a Linux based operating system. It takes effort to install new drivers. It takes effort getting used to the interface. It also takes effort to make some decisions or do something yourself. A lot of people are not willing to try it out and overcome these obstacles. Many people who aren't that tech-oriented will deny Linux of any chance the moment they install/try it.


I disagree, I gave Ubuntu (yes, I dislike Fedora for end-users, they whine so much) to a average Jane user and she loved it so much more than WIndows 7 which was previously installed she went on to install it onto her daughter's computer because she found it more logical to work with the way Ubuntu was set up. She found the OS so much easier to use than Windows, because of the Ubuntu software centre.

Now if only I could convince myself to stop using MacOS X. It's a very expensive habit.
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