Desktop Linux: The Dream Is Dead

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Notwithstanding, Oct 19, 2010.

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  1. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding Registered Member

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    Desktop Linux: The Dream Is 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.
    >>

    -http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/207999/desktop_linux_the_dream_is_dead.html-
     
  2. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding Registered Member

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    >>
    Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large.
    >>
     
  3. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    I'm not sure which story I've heard more times: that desktop Linux is dead, or that the year of the Linux desktop is coming. Either way, I for one am bored to death about both of them.
     
  4. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    What a load of crap! No doubt, put forward by M$!

    -- Tom
     
  5. ALookingInView

    ALookingInView Registered Member

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    I can't say I didn't enjoy this read yesterday.
     
  6. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    As an almost non-Linux user I'm actually seeing it more in the media. For example, positive reviews of Ubuntu in computer magazines, Dell was (is?) offering Ubuntu as an alternative to Windows on some of their computers, and linux is often touted on shows like Criminal Minds, in which many of the techs/hacker characters use it. Of course, Mac laptops are even more common on popular shows... Windows, not so much...
     
  7. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I was saving this article for the next time I heard "coming soon" for widespread Linux desktop adoption. Of course, anytime something like this comes out, it's ALWAYS spread by MS or a "Windows lover" (I say that sarcastically, btw, sorry to disappoint). The Linux ship sailed long ago, though, just like 3D movies, it pops up every now and again and enjoys a very short spurt of attention (I'm talking in the desktop world, servers are a different conversation). Linux has had hardware problems from the get-go, forcing you to often stick to one vendor, wireless came along and Linux couldn't even get that right.

    Then of course we have Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment, XFCE, all of these different desktop environments, which does nothing but confuse people, and of course, programs that either don't work at all outside of a specific environment or work poorly. Then, we get to the fun part, repositories. Safe yes, full of choices, um, how about no. People in general LIKE to wander the web and download new things, try out new programs and services, whether it is safe computing or not is irrelevant. What's that you say, some programs can be downloaded off of the web and compiled? You want an average user to do what? These people can barely operate their AV, if they have one, and you want them to compile something? I'll try hard to hold back my fit of laughter.

    Linux on servers means good security and incredible stability, Linux on desktops worldwide is a hallucination. You basically have Ubuntu to thank for the "mainstream" even giving a damn about it.
     
  8. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    Linux is not going to be mainstream until it is as easy as Windows. Ubuntu is nice, as are some others, and they're mostly user friendly. But, not totally.

    People, those of us in the mainstream, want something we can use. We want linux to be just as easy as Windows or Mac. It isn't there yet. Until it is, the majority of us just won't be interested.
     
  9. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    The cost factor is a major concern in some parts of the world.
     
  10. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Somewhat, I'd think it's a very safe bet that pirated Windows copies in those parts outnumber Linux machines. Again, as said previously, ease of use and the ability to choose (basically) whatever program or service you like rates right up there with cost, on the list of what your average user wants.
     
  11. katio

    katio Guest

    Looks like a fair and pretty accurate analysis. But so what?
    What do I care? I can use Linux on my Desktop, what's got market share to do with that?

    This is all so 1990s but whatever.
     
  12. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I'm not a regular Linux user. Only rarely do I fire it up. I just don't have the time to learn an OS that's completely different from what I'm used to. I learned Windows with DOS and 9x. To me, the Linux syntax feels backwards and foreign. I'd need to have a lot more free time to ever try to make Linux a daily use system.

    Since this section of the forum is used primarily by those who prefer and enjoy Linux, I would ask you this question. Regarding the original statement, that the dream of Linux becoming a popular desktop is dead, why would you want it to become mainstream? All of us know what the typical Windows user is, having just enough knowledge to turn the unit on, jump on the web, and get into trouble. They insist on running as administrators but don't have a clue what that should mean. To accommodate them, you'd just about have to throw out the security model that Linux is based on. The only thing becoming mainstream would do for Linux is make it a bigger target for malware. As it is now, Linux is reasonably secure, but it wouldn't stay that way with mainstream users. Forget mainstream users. Let it be for those who know what they're doing and can appreciate a system that requires it.
     
  13. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Actually, if you read the article you'll see he links to one he wrote a couple years ago predicting a Linux desktop breakthrough.

    Probably not much more of a target than it hardly is now. Even if Linux could eventually cut into Windows market share by 20-30% (highly optimistic numbers I'd wager), it will still be used by mostly tech-savvy users, and malware authors will then have to decide on whether they try to create exploits that can target both O/S' or only one of them, the latter approach no doubt being the easiest, which still, imo, leaves Windows as the primary target.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2010
  14. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    What hardware problems? My Ubuntu box was easier to setup than Windows 7. And Windows XP is a nightmare if you have new hardware. You have to install all your drivers from scratch.

    Those desktop environments don't matter to most users because most users will stick with a single, pre-packaged distro that comes with a specific DE.

    The Ubuntu repositories have over 30,000 software packages to choose from. Is that not enough?

    I am glad that compiling is hard. It keeps people from installing BS they don't need. In my experience, 90% of the time when a newb is asking how to compile, they are trying to compile something that's already in the repositories.

    I guess it's a trade-off: do you want an OS that allows you to install vetted packages from digitally signed repos, or do you want an OS that makes it easy to fill your drive full of junk and malware? I'll take the former, but that's just me.

    Also, as another guy said, I don't really care about market share. Linux works for me, I can control it, modify it, hack it in ways simply not possible with Windows. I don't care if Joe Sixpack computer illiterate can use it or not (although I do think the "difficulty" of Linux is vastly overstated).
     
  15. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I'm glad you have hardware that has Linux supported drivers from a vendor, or are lucky enough that the drivers that were made by Linux users/devs work well enough for you. You're not the only user in the world however, mileage may vary.



    Point taken.



    If the available choices don't have the features you want/need, won't work with proprietary file types, aren't compatible with one thing or another, or there is no Linux equivalent of a program you need/want, then no, it isn't.



    Installing "BS" is a matter of opinion and, frankly, no one should care what program or service another person uses...funny I say that on this website, lol.


    The "difficulty" of Linux itself IS overstated. The hard parts are the aforementioned compiling, which you may not need to ever do, depending on your circumstances, and the command line, which, if all goes well, you won't see unless you are typing in your Admin pass. You may not care if Joe can't handle it, but Linux devs and the community should. Joe is an extra person using Linux, which is the end goal, right? The more, the merrier?

    All that being said, if, like you are, a user is happy with Linux and it works for their needs, then there is no reason to not use it, dead dream or not.
     
  16. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Of the hundrer of machines I have installed Ubuntu in as well as other Linux flavors, hardware was ever any issue, OTOH, even Windows 7 can't run my Yamaha sound card, most Win7 installations on brand new laptops run frequently into driver issues whereas the same machine works fine even on LTS release of Ubuntu or SUSE or Fedora.

    Of course desktop Linux is totally dead and buried, now lets go to Cuppertino and Redmond and do a Happy Happy Joy Joy dance but what do they care, the Desktop linux share was always below 1%, just wonder whats the brouhaha about, why does Redmond need to spend billions on anti Linux propaganda really, all for a dead has been system ;)
     
  17. Dreamwalker

    Dreamwalker Registered Member

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    I can think of one big reason, it's easier to spy on people with only one [closed] system in place.
    and that's what the world is working towards, lock stepped minds.

    I refuse to play that.
     
  18. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Could be just another market-share tactic by a cash-rich company. They could very easily crack down on piracy in India, for example. They hardly do. Maybe the argument is: better use my pirated version than anyone else's free version.
     
  19. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    You don't compare apples to apples here. Any OS that is unaware of new hardware is mandated to needing the correct drivers, no matter who makes that OS. Take a linux distro from 10 years ago and install it on a brand new i7 machine, will it be seamless from the install disc with everything working? (I don't know, truly, will it?).

    I have installed Ubuntu, and a boatload of other distros. I don't think it gets much easier than either Ubuntu or win7 today. Win7 asks precious few questions, you just watch it install. In seriousness, as far as installing the OS goes, what is complicated about win7? I know, Ubuntu is pretty easy too, not saying it isn't. But of all the M$ versions I have used, win7 is by far the most spartan in what the user needs to do to install it. I just don't see either of them being a clear winner because both are really easy.

    Sul.
     
  20. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    Please don't tell my daughter. ;)

    I spent several days trying to reinstall Windows XP on her "Designed for Windows XP" laptop. The install hanged at the same point each time. A hard reset fixed that problem, setup then completed. Of course after that I had to install the "manufacture" drivers for the display, touch pad, wired and wireless NIC's. Never could get it all to work right.

    I finally gave up and informed my daughter. I told my daughter that XP would not install and that I would try Linux. She was not exactly thrilled with that idea.

    I installed Linux. No need to mention the flavor. I will say that it has not not been mention in this thread so far and it is not listed in my signature. The install went without a hitch. No added drivers were needed. Everything was recognized on startup, including the wireless NIC. (In that I was surprised.) The only thing I had to do was set it up with the key. On top of that, adding my network printer, scanner and NFS shares were a piece of cake.

    My daughter was reluctant when I gave her laptop back to her. The reluctance disappeared as soon as she booted it up. She was quite pleased at the speed. I gave her a quick run down of the DE and a-how-to on some simple customization. Something show did with XP, she was amazed at the changes she could make. Showed her some of the available programs all ready installed and then turned her loose. She is happier than a pig in slop.

    Dead indeed. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    This is a thread guaranteed to raise different opinions. As one with an ovesized nerd mentality, I can very much appreciate Unix bases systems, as well as open codebase. But I can also appreciate where the majority of what I want to use will work, and that is on the windows platform.

    Someone else hit the nail on the head IMHO. The millions and millions of users today who are most decidedly not like those of us here, they are the ones who drive the market. As stated, they like to download and play, and in general want no responsibility. They see the computer as something different than we do, and treat it thus.

    As long as this is the case, how can an OS like Linux really hope to compete in that market? As stated, how do you choose a distro? How long do you use linux before you find things are so different that you long for the 'old comfortable shoe' you have used for years? (I know a few who have done that)

    When you think about people like us, who would be open minded to trying Linux out, we are different. We (usually) are not afraid to install something new. We (strangely) actually enjoy installing something new. I am sure you will agree (or should for heavens sake) that most of the 'rest of them' don't have any interest, desire or patience to install the OS. They act like it is a major life changing event. They could care less if thier machine runs better after a fresh install. They see it as nothing more than a process that takes away from thier facebook or porn time.

    Is it any wonder than the millions of average users won't try Linux when they won't even reinstall the OS they have? Its not to me. It is not a case of which is better, but which is already entrenched. And unfortunately for Linux, Windows is pretty deeply entrenched. Besides, if you only do a few things typically and don't have issues, what is the compelling reason to switch? We can say it is more secure, but the masses don't understand that. We can say it is more stable, but the masses don't understand that. We can say it is faster but the masses don't care about that really as long as it works reasonably fast. (I don't think standard distros today are faster - in fact I am quite disappointed in how bloated they have become -- unless you use one of the smaller and purposefully speedier builds). The bottom line is IMO, nobody really cares outside of those who are enthusiasts like Wilders members. They have more important things to do, like use facebook and watch porn ;)

    Sul.
     
  22. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    If I may ask, was the distro you installed the same age as XP? And I mean this, I am not trying to prove some point. I want to know, if you take a distro built at the same time XP was, does it work flawlessly, drivers wise? I would not imagine so, but I don't know.

    Sul.

    Edit: Also, did you reinstall the image or do it manuel style? Was the laptop made in 2001-2002, or newer? Point is, all newer hardware needs new drivers. My 975xbx2 has a sata controller that XP disc did not recognize because it was not even made yet when XP was created. I slipstreamed SP2 and also all my drivers and had no problems installing. If the laptop was lets say 2006 and you try to use a 2001 version of XP, do you really expect it to be able to communicate with hardware it knows nothing about? Just asking is all.. it is like judging win7 today - it installs perfectly for everything but my pci sound card. In 5 years when I buy a new computer, which has all new and bleeding edge hardware, can I then say win7 is junk because it doesn't know how to communicate with the new hardware?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  23. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    This bit from the article doesn't seem to have created any ripples here:
     
  24. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I can see that coming. Not for me personally, but for lots of average users I know, they would be perfectly fine using the browser as thier OS. Seems more and more of them only do things online.

    Sul.
     
  25. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    My best answer is no it would not work flawlessly, the distribution (2003) did not exist in 2001 nor did the laptop (2006). ;)

    My point was we had hardware with a "Designed for Windows XP" sticker on it. I used a Windows XP SP2 install disk, yet the install was problematic, it should not have been. It should have worked out-of-the-box or at the very least after adding the manufacture drivers. Linux did work. While it is true I used the latest version of the distro. I also used the latest version of Windows XP. As a foot note, I tried installing Windows 7 on that laptop. That did not work either.
     
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