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Analyst: It's Game Over for Linux

By - Source: Forrester | B 167 comments

Prepare yourself, especially if you are passionate about Linux.

A Forrester analyst yesterday told the Linux world that it is game over for the OS. No more hope for world domination. At least on desktops and mobile devices.

This special post begins with the following notes: "Poor Linux. It struggled so hard to dominate the world. It was the little open source engine that could, but it didn’t." It ends with "[…] I do not think the open source community can muster the forces necessary to compete. Open source never seems to be the innovator. Instead, it seems to disrupt pricing power for established technologies. Game over for worldwide dominance." Swallow that.

Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri recognizes that Linux has 60 percent of the server market, but states it only has 2 percent of the desktop market. iOS and Android virtually killed it in mobile. In Gualtieri's words: "Sure, Android is built on top of Linux, but Linux is only one of many piece parts of the Android mobile operating system. It is not Linux."

Feel free to chime in at the comments below.

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Top Comments
  • 36 Hide
    molo9000 , October 26, 2011 6:45 PM
    What keeps Windows dominant is compatibility with old software. Nothing else.

    Would have ditched my Windows machine long ago if I wasn't a gamer.
  • 29 Hide
    coldmast , October 26, 2011 6:21 PM
    Quote:
    Sure, Android is built on top of Linux, but Linux is only one of many piece parts of the Android mobile operating system. It is not Linux.

    Reads like someone writing on a subject they know very little about.

  • 23 Hide
    tuch92 , October 26, 2011 6:43 PM
    Why would I want Linux to overtake? Right now it's more secure with it's low market share. I'm happy being in the 1%. :) 
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    killerclick , October 26, 2011 6:20 PM
    Analyst Trollface has a point, Linux can't seem to get any traction in the desktop market despite it being free as in beer and free of viruses. And there are/were so many distros and still none of them managed to get more than 1% of the desktop market, no matter how much coverage they got.
  • 29 Hide
    coldmast , October 26, 2011 6:21 PM
    Quote:
    Sure, Android is built on top of Linux, but Linux is only one of many piece parts of the Android mobile operating system. It is not Linux.

    Reads like someone writing on a subject they know very little about.

  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2011 6:23 PM
    Android is more Linux than most would think. Actually, the whole modding/rooting community wouldn't exist if it wasn't Linux with its ton of applications (examples: vnc server/client, wireless monitoring, remote sensoring system, and so on). Moreover, it makes a lot easier to put a "real" GNU/Linux distributions on mobile devices (either with chroot or dual-boot). Regarding desktops: Linux distributions managed to keep their market share or even increase it while the total number of computer users in the world increased substantially. It may have ~2% of the total share, but among youngsters it's far more common (more than 10% in my class), so we will see in 10-20 years what will happen when all these people that grew up with Linux enter the world of work/enterprise.
  • 15 Hide
    Yuka , October 26, 2011 6:23 PM
    Actually, I feel that Linux is actually it's kernel in escense; that's what makes Linux what it is. Everything that's been built on top of it has been the creation of the open source community and privates too.

    It might not be the same for Windows and iOS/MacOS, because they want to sell you the experience and all that. Linux just wants to fit everyone needs as they see fit. You can have a linux machine and have nothing more than the kernel, bash (or name the one u like) and glibc installed.

    Desktop doesn't need that wide range of options nor do cell phones for the masses. But telling that Linux is dead in the desktop, not sure. Linux can adapt and morph way faster than Windows and iOS/MacOS can. Just look at the PPC (for example) support and you'll get an idea on how flexible the concept for it really is.

    If OGL and OSS/Pulse had better marketing and adoption, I'd say that the Linux environment would be rocking the desktop. But it ain't that way, so there you have it :p 

    Cheers!
  • 23 Hide
    whooleo , October 26, 2011 6:24 PM
    two words: Dumb ass...
  • -3 Hide
    littleleo , October 26, 2011 6:28 PM
    I seem to remember GW saying it was game over how well did that work? LOL, well Mike we'll see if your right, won't we.
  • -6 Hide
    i7Rocks , October 26, 2011 6:31 PM
    game over? when did we even start playing?
  • 22 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 26, 2011 6:34 PM
    dumb analysis. sounds like a disgruntled ubuntu user. may be he is a mac user who tried to use ubuntu and failed. :p 
  • 9 Hide
    nikorr , October 26, 2011 6:34 PM
    Quote:
    No more hope for world domination.
    It never was.
  • 4 Hide
    dreamer77dd , October 26, 2011 6:36 PM
    It not easy like a Playskool toy or Ipad. It seems to be for the programmer or tech head and not for my grandmother that doe snot know how to copy paste. Until that happens it not going to be on many computers. People are just not that smart when it comes to technology, more then before but they just want it to work. Computer make my printer work with out me knowing anything.
  • 23 Hide
    tuch92 , October 26, 2011 6:43 PM
    Why would I want Linux to overtake? Right now it's more secure with it's low market share. I'm happy being in the 1%. :) 
  • 36 Hide
    molo9000 , October 26, 2011 6:45 PM
    What keeps Windows dominant is compatibility with old software. Nothing else.

    Would have ditched my Windows machine long ago if I wasn't a gamer.
  • -3 Hide
    enforcer22 , October 26, 2011 6:46 PM
    This has pretty much been obvious for years.... An open source OS is not going to go main stream... Free isnt always the best price... Linux is nice and all but has totaly failed to be what it promised to be before XP came out. I dont see anything changing at all. Well unless they standardise some of this stuff and make a real forced effort to bring something worth it to market. But that kinda reminds me of OpenGL and how the people in charge of that cant even do it.
  • 9 Hide
    11796pcs , October 26, 2011 6:48 PM
    Ubuntu is fantastic for those who want a lean OS (like Windows XP) but don't want to pay anything and want to be extremely secure. Because there are people like me who need that (I have Ubuntu on my 1 GB of RAM laptop) there will always be a place for Ubuntu and open source in general. The only reason open source diesn't catch on well is because it isn't advertised and actually requires you to use some brainpower (something most Americans don't seem to have unfortunately) to set it up. It's not bad software, it just isn't advertised enough (and thank God it isn't).
  • 6 Hide
    billybobser , October 26, 2011 6:51 PM
    An open source OS without support of the programs that run on it is gonna ......

    Sure, you can do fixes etc to run em. But cbfa.

    I'd use linux, and I'd probably like, but the little things would grind me down.
  • 18 Hide
    pcwlai , October 26, 2011 6:51 PM
    User experience is very bad in Linux for desktops.

    My recent experience with Ubuntu 11.04:
    1. Auto update removed my UEFI packages and makes the system not bootable after automatic updates.
    2. nVidia official drivers requires console mode.
    3. No virtual console for nVidia except third party drivers which does not work in conjunction with nVidia official drivers for X window.
    4. Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium HD not working.
    5. Realtek official audio drivers not working properly even compiled successfully.
    6. GNU compilers suite latest version can be installed but not suitable for compiling applications (at least without messy system setup) for Ubuntu desktop.
    7. Shutdown is fine but reboot will give you crashes or black screen of death.
    8. Proper shutdown but still crashes the file system and requires fixes.
    9. UEFI boot record in UEFI ROM get erased after firmware update (no such problems in Windows).
    10. Booting to safe mode or memory test crashes immediately.

    Conclusion is:
    1. Not suitable with latest hardware even it is open source
    2. Not stable when you need a GUI for desktop.

    No matter how good Linux is or how fast is can be updated from the source code level, if it does not work in the latest hardware or even some popular configurations, hardcore users will leave it without a choice. Not to mention normal users.

    The quote, "It just works", is really the only way to go if you want the market. 99% are normal, even not all geeks want works done and not messes all the time.
  • 16 Hide
    wolfram23 , October 26, 2011 6:55 PM
    If Linux could run DirectX games I'd give it a shot. But since I need Windows, I'm more than happy to just stick with Win 7. I basically use my PC for gaming, internet stuff (email, facebook, finding and buying ***), and as a media server for movies. Mostly in that order of importance too.
  • 14 Hide
    tical2399 , October 26, 2011 6:57 PM
    killerclickAnalyst Trollface has a point, Linux can't seem to get any traction in the desktop market despite it being free as in beer and free of viruses. And there are/were so many distros and still none of them managed to get more than 1% of the desktop market, no matter how much coverage they got.


    Until its made super simple for the masses it won't catch on. The herd core techie is a SMALL part of the computer user base.
  • -1 Hide
    smelly_feet , October 26, 2011 6:59 PM
    Isn't OsX currently based on a unix/linux kernel? If so, then the "Linux" desktop will continue to live precariously through Apple's OsX.
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