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Linux Foundation Says Microsoft is a Puppy

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 109 comments

Penguin says that it is bigger than a puppy.

Think Windows is the big operating system in the world? In terms of the big picture, it isn't. The little operating system that just started out as a personal project for Linux Torvalds is now what really runs computing worldwide.

The desktop and laptop personal computing market is still owned by Microsoft, but the foundation on which everything else rests is Linux. The days of Linux fearing Microsoft are over. In fact, Linux has grown to the point where it almost feels sorry for Microsoft.

"I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore," says Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin in an interview with Network World. "They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy."

Almost 20 years ago, Linus Torvalds released his free operating system that he said would be "just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu." And now, almost two decades later, his work has shaped the IT world.

"I think that on the 20th anniversary, it's worth reflecting back on where we came from," Zemlin said. Linux had a "humble start as a project for a college student in Helsinki, to something today that runs 70% of global equity trading, something that powers, really, the majority of Internet traffic, whether it's Facebook, Google or Amazon."

Besides running big business, Linux is also the basis for new operating systems such as Android, Chrome OS and WebOS.

Of course, there is still one area that Linux can't crack. "Linux has come to dominate almost every category of computing, with the exception of the desktop," Zemlin said. "…the good news is the traditional PC desktop is becoming less important, and areas where Linux is very strong in terms of client computing are becoming more important."

Read more on Network World.

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  • 10 Hide
    kingnoobe , April 11, 2011 11:11 AM
    "the good news is the traditional PC desktop is becoming less important". I don't think that is true. But most of everything else he said I agree with.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2011 11:08 AM
    Go linux!
  • 10 Hide
    kingnoobe , April 11, 2011 11:11 AM
    "the good news is the traditional PC desktop is becoming less important". I don't think that is true. But most of everything else he said I agree with.
  • 2 Hide
    chrone , April 11, 2011 11:11 AM
    linux needs to improve its GUI a lot!

    -from ubuntu and fedora core 4 fans :D 
  • 0 Hide
    three0duster , April 11, 2011 11:12 AM
    Linux FTW!
  • -4 Hide
    pelov , April 11, 2011 11:14 AM
    phone market is largely android, which is linux

    server market is certainly linux

    desktop market is still windows. But in china a large portion of PCs are shipping with linux distros or w/o windows at all, where linux is being installed as the primary OS.

    I think certain linux distros are looking to close that gap. Ubuntu is becoming easier to use and prettier to look at, all while maintaining the linux functionality.

    go linux or go home.
  • 0 Hide
    MU_Engineer , April 11, 2011 11:26 AM
    chronelinux needs to improve its GUI a lot!-from ubuntu and fedora core 4 fans


    If you're still using FC4, I can see why you think Linux needs to improve its GUI. FC4 came out about five years ago. Current Linux distributions have pretty good UIs, good enough that MS ripped off several things from them for Windows 7. Look at the taskbar in Windows 7 for example. It looks like it came straight out of KDE.
  • 6 Hide
    anotherzen , April 11, 2011 11:26 AM
    well, if linux could run all my programs and games, i would jump the microsoft ship in a heartbeat, but i don't even se a shimmer of light in that tunnel. But sure, when the time comes, if it ever does, ill join.
  • 5 Hide
    davewolfgang , April 11, 2011 11:27 AM
    Until they have the support of the Graphic Card makers that will put out a good driver for their own cards and not have the community "rely" on a "hacked" driver from a 3rd party, they won't make a dent on anything the end users sits down to every single day.

    And until the game makers start releasing games that will run on Linux...but that won't happen until the above gets done first - they will still be in (at the most) a dual-boot set up because Games still run the best on Windows.
  • 0 Hide
    kristoffe , April 11, 2011 11:35 AM
    @davewolfgang here here ++
  • 4 Hide
    theshonen8899 , April 11, 2011 11:37 AM
    I liked Linux but this is a really immature attitude this guy has. Instead of phasing out desktops, I hope Linux because a much more compelling OS for desktop use. One great way to start is Steam.
  • -1 Hide
    pelov , April 11, 2011 11:41 AM
    davewolfgangUntil they have the support of the Graphic Card makers that will put out a good driver for their own cards and not have the community "rely" on a "hacked" driver from a 3rd party, they won't make a dent on anything the end users sits down to every single day. And until the game makers start releasing games that will run on Linux...but that won't happen until the above gets done first - they will still be in (at the most) a dual-boot set up because Games still run the best on Windows.


    There's a simple solution to that: Use OpenCL/OpenGL. DX works much better on windows, and it needs emulation on linux. But OpenCL/GL work just as well on either OS
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 11, 2011 11:52 AM
    kingnoobe"the good news is the traditional PC desktop is becoming less important". I don't think that is true. But most of everything else he said I agree with.


    Well the sad truth is that it will be true shortly.
    With the big companies (including MS) focussing on clouds and standardized/uninnovatively predictable systems it will be true. You don't need a desktop in 10 years. You just need an interface that can connect you to the services you need.

    I dread the day, but I'm sure one day we service people won't have to just know windows to serve our customers. We'll have to know a million different versions of small compact, dumbed down, linux systems with each their own interface, no compatibility and no diagnostics facilities (in favor of speed and accessibility ofc).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2011 12:13 PM
    We'll have to know a million different versions of small compact, dumbed down, linux systems with each their own interface, no compatibility and no diagnostics facilities (in favor of speed and accessibility ofc).

    I slight exaggeration there, or is there actually a million, or do you mean a handfull maybe, also, your predicting the future is also at best your own opinion on what might happen possibly, why would they be dumbed down, linux systems with each their own interface, no compatibility and no diagnostics facilities (in favor of speed and accessibility ofc)...... they aren't now, and regression is not the best way to innovate.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 11, 2011 12:20 PM
    ipredictWe'll have to know a million different versions of small compact, dumbed down, linux systems with each their own interface, no compatibility and no diagnostics facilities (in favor of speed and accessibility ofc).I slight exaggeration there, or is there actually a million, or do you mean a handfull maybe, also, your predicting the future is also at best your own opinion on what might happen possibly, why would they be dumbed down, linux systems with each their own interface, no compatibility and no diagnostics facilities (in favor of speed and accessibility ofc)...... they aren't now, and regression is not the best way to innovate.



    They are now ! each version of android is different, ios is different, each windows phone os is different, each symbian version is different, each onchip linux is different. And dumbed down - well what can you customize in a modern non desktop system? sometimes you don't even have any themes to pick from except whatever the oem has decided for you.

    Maybe we won't have millions of different systems, but we already have more than a hundred different linux distros and many versions of most of these. That adds up to thausands with little in common except the basic idea of all modern operating systems (boot loader, kernel etc).

  • 2 Hide
    adamboy64 , April 11, 2011 12:34 PM
    pelovgo linux or go home.

    I am home, and also loving Windows.

    neiroatopelccI dread the day, but I'm sure one day we service people won't have to just know windows to serve our customers. We'll have to know a million different versions of small compact, dumbed down, linux systems with each their own interface, no compatibility and no diagnostics facilities (in favor of speed and accessibility ofc).

    Yes, that is a concern too..
  • 3 Hide
    xyster , April 11, 2011 12:37 PM
    I was never a big linux user, but that changed when I started up a small online business. MS Server worked for a while, but it was far cheaper for me to go Linux when I wanted to grow -- and surprisingly, Ubuntu made the CLI setup pretty easy. My only complaint would be that dealing with file permissions is a nightmare at times.

    I really don't think I'll ever use Linux though for my main desktop PC though, maybe as workstaion, but not on a system I want to play games and surf with. I don't like the GUI in linux still.
  • 3 Hide
    pelov , April 11, 2011 12:42 PM
    The terminal is in common, and in nearly every distro of linux. And if you're in the business of IT for a linux-operated company you'd be a fool not to know how to use it.

    One major positive linux has is it's ability to customize; the "flavors" of linux. If you can install a program on opensuse or ubuntu, you can do it for debian or linuxmint. Though they may all look slightly different, the basics are pretty much the same throughout. Though they are different, it's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather have the option to D/L ubuntu 11.4 with gnome 3, new KDE or Unity rather than the typical "Here's you operating system. They're all the same. Now pay me $150."

    Making drivers for linux isn't as hard as people make it seem. It's not the various distros that can create problems for software/hardware devs to make the drivers, but rather the ability of linux to utilize practically any hardware that creates the issues. If gaming transitioned to an open standard of programming, rather than a microsoft monopoly via DX, all of computing would be better off, not just your desktop and laptop but your phone, tablet an HTPC included.
  • 0 Hide
    damianrobertjones , April 11, 2011 12:47 PM
    What do puppies usually grow up to be? Snarling killers :) 
  • 2 Hide
    arlandi , April 11, 2011 12:50 PM
    never underestimate the power of the enemy. especially when you're on top.
  • 5 Hide
    lradunovic77 , April 11, 2011 12:53 PM
    Just because Linux found its way on mobile market doesn't mean anything.
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