Linux

Will Linux ever be able to give consumers what they want?

Jack Wallen offers up the novel idea that giving the consumers what they want might well be the key to boundless success.

What consumers need

In the world of consumer electronics, if you don't give the buyer what they want, they'll go elsewhere. We've recently witnessed this with the Firefox browser. The consumer wanted a faster, less-bloated piece of software, and the developers went in the other direction. In the end, the users migrated to Chrome or Chromium.

Linux needs to gaze deep into their crystal ball, watch carefully the final fallout of that browser war, and heed this bit of advice:

If you don't give them what they want, they'll leave.

Another great illustration of this backfiring is Windows 8. The consumer didn't want that interface. Microsoft, however, wanted it because it was necessary to begin the drive to all things Surface. This same scenario could have been applied to Canonical and Ubuntu Unity -- however, their goal wasn't geared singularly and specifically towards tablets (so, the interface was still highly functional and intuitive on the desktop).

For the longest time, it seemed like Linux developers and designers were gearing everything they did toward themselves. They took the "eat your own dog food" too far. In that, they forgot one very important thing:

Without new users, their "base" would only ever belong to them.

In other words, the choir had not only been preached to, it was the one doing the preaching. Let me give you three examples to hit this point home.

  • For years, Linux has needed an equivalent of Active Directory. I would love to hand that title over to LDAP, but have you honestly tried to work with LDAP? It's a nightmare. Developers have tried to make LDAP easy, but none have succeeded. It amazes me that a platform that has thrived in multi-user situations still has nothing that can go toe-to-toe with AD. A team of developers needs to step up, start from scratch, and create the open-source equivalent to AD. This would be such a boon to mid-size companies looking to migrate away from Microsoft products. But until this product is created, the migration won't happen.
  • Another Microsoft-driven need -- Exchange/Outlook. Yes, I realize that many are going to the cloud. But the truth is that medium- to large-scale businesses will continue relying on the Exchange/Outlook combo until something better comes along. This could very well happen within the open-source community. One piece of this puzzle is already there (though it needs some work) -- the groupware client, Evolution. If someone could take, say, a fork of Zimbra and re-tool it such a way that it would work with Evolution (and even Thunderbird) to serve as a drop-in replacement for Exchange, the game would change, and the trickle-down to consumers would be massive.
  • Cheap, cheap, cheap. This one is a hard pill for most to swallow -- but consumers (and businesses) want cheap. Look at the Chromebook sales over the last year. Now, do a search for a Linux laptop and see if you can find one for under $700.00 (USD). For a third of that cost, you can get a Chromebook (a platform running the Linux kernel) that will serve you well. But because Linux is still such a niche market, it's hard to get the cost down. A company like Red Hat Linux could change that. They already have the server hardware in place. Why not crank out a bunch of low-cost, mid-range laptops that work in similar fashion to the Chromebook but only run a full-blown Linux environment? (see "Is the Cloudbook the future of Linux?") The key is that these devices must be low-cost and meet the needs of the average consumer. Stop thinking with your gamer/developer hat on and remember what the average user really needs -- a web browser and not much more. That's why the Chromebook is succeeding so handily. Google knew exactly what the consumer wanted, and they delivered. On the Linux front, companies still think the only way to attract buyers is to crank out high-end, expensive Linux hardware. There's a touch of irony there, considering one of the most-often shouted battle cries is that Linux runs on slower, older hardware.

Finally, Linux needs to take a page from the good ol' Book Of Jobs and figure out how to convince the consumer that what they truly need is Linux. In their businesses and in their homes -- everyone can benefit from using Linux. Honestly, how can the open-source community not pull that off? Linux already has the perfect built-in buzzwords: Stability, reliability, security, cloud, free -- plus Linux is already in the hands of an overwhelming amount of users (they just don't know it). It's now time to let them know. If you use Android or Chromebooks, you use (in one form or another) Linux.

Knowing just what the consumer wants has always been a bit of a stumbling block for the Linux community. And I get that -- so much of the development of Linux happens because a developer has a particular need. This means development is targeted to a "micro-niche." It's time, however, for the Linux development community to think globally. "What does the average user need, and how do we give it to them?" Let me offer up the most basic of primers.

The average user needs:

  • Low cost
  • Seamless integration with devices and services
  • Intuitive and modern designs
  • A 100% solid browser experience

That's pretty much it. With those four points in mind, it should be easy to take a foundation of Linux and create exactly what the user wants. Google did it... certainly the Linux community can build on what Google has done and create something even better. Mix that in with AD integration, give it an Exchange/Outlook or cloud-based groupware set of tools, and something very special will happen -- people will buy it.

Do you think the Linux community will ever be able to give the consumer what they want? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

66 comments
toxico
toxico

I have just encountered Linux coming to Ubuntu from Windows XP.

I'd just like to get my webcam and DVD player working as they did in Windows. But having tried for 2 days I'm just about ready to give in

fsagwe
fsagwe

Great article from Jack Wallen!The only thing Linux has to do is to remove the notion that it caters for the high end consumers up the ladder:Goverment,academia,engineers,researchers it is otherwise the OS is our future..

Rene-Diependaele
Rene-Diependaele

I am an IT-Manager for 3 business for 20 years.

Since 10 years my goal was to migrate all our MS-Windows desktops and servers to Linux.

We use opensource software in our business, on MS-Windows: LibreOffice, OpenOffice, XnView, 7-Zip, Gimp, FireFox, Chrome, VLC Media Player, etc...

So we can just jump to Linux, one should think?

No... we still use -MS-Windows...

Here are the main 3 reasons why we do not migrate from MS-Windows to Linux:

11/ no easy workable equivalent for: MS-Outlook / MS-Exchange

12/ no easy workable equivalent for: Active Directory

We do not want to use cloud mail: not user-friendly, not secure, expensive, internet bandwidth to low

2/ 3th party only windows-working software (fe our ERP system)

But, in private I use Linux.

I do internet banking via my Windows XP-portable.

My bank returns a message each time I log on:

"Attention, you are using an insecure OS, please upgrade to a secure system."

and:

"Internet banking on your WindowsXP will stop working on 1st March 2015."


So I answered my bank: a user, using 'secure' MS-Windows 8, clicking on a untrusted URL is also working insecure, as under Windows XP.  No difference.

I asked my bank if they were sponsored by Microsoft to make free Windows promotion.


Now I use on my Windows XP system VirtualBox with LinuxMint13.

And guess what...

I can use internet banking without any problem via LinuxMint!

No need for MS-windows!


I mailed that to my bank... wtihout any reaction from them.  Why should they...


That is real live: money and power defines what I do.

Rene


raphael.mil.sanches
raphael.mil.sanches

 It's a great article but on your list you mention things that an OFFICE User would want... !?


Unfortunately, what HOME Users want is still missing on Linux:


- A "one-click-solution" for installing/managing/uninstalling Applications!

- Decent Video Drivers for basic tasks!

- Flash! 


Out of all the Linux Distros out there I believe is fair to say that none is actually targeting HOME Users, except for Linux Mint and Elementary OS!... all the famous ones (Ubuntu/Fedora/Suse) are not made for HOME Users, even thou we "can" use it at home and we all do!, or they would be spending more time on those issues!

At the end what HOME Users get are leftovers!... We are their Lab Rats, their Test Base, before pushing their products to the final consumer, the Enterprise, the Servers....


So... in conclusion... Users want something that has not been made yet on The Linux World... A REAL HOME DISTRO!... for HOME USERS!... Us!

Sean Hurley
Sean Hurley

"For years, Linux has needed an equivalent of Active Directory. I would love to hand that title over to LDAP, but have you honestly tried to work with LDAP?"

Uhm ... AD is an LDAP implementation. LDAP is an acronym for Lighweight Directory Access Protocol. Samba4 has a directory server that is compatible with Active Directory and can even be managed with the same tools: http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-active-directory-server.html

But if what you really want is to reinvent the wheel, done: http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/360800-manage-your-ldap-data-with-389-directory-server


"Another Microsoft-driven need -- Exchange/Outlook"

You mean like Kolab? http://kolab.org/

"Stop thinking with your gamer/developer hat on and remember what the average user really needs -- a web browser and not much more."

I'm not sure why I need to say this, but the Chromebook is a Linux notebook with a browser and not much more. The reason full Linux environments tend to be expensive is precisely because they meet the demands of those wearing the "gamer/developer hat".

"Knowing just what the consumer wants has always been a bit of a stumbling block for the Linux ..." But before that, "Linux is already in the hands of an overwhelming amount of users".

So which is it?



mkamenjak77
mkamenjak77

What Linux also needs is proper GUI administration.The 'system settings' in most of the distributions are several times weaker than the Windows control panel.


People want to be able to administer their PC trough a GUI.

There is another problem.Most of the companies that help develop Linux are pushing Linux to develop as a server system(because that is what Linux is to them) and any improvements that Linux gets as a desktop system are just a byproduct for them.
Mah
Mah

Linux has overtaken Microsoft, and so has FreeBSD. Google's Android and ChromeOS are Linux operating systems, and they sell about 1 billion units per year compared to about 300 million for all Microsoft's OS variants. Apple's OSX and iOS are FreeBSD derivatives, and together they also outsell all Microsoft's OS variants by a small margin. Linux servers also outnumber Microsoft's OSes in the server area by a factor of 3 to 1 or more.  

jecker-20127
jecker-20127

Jack, the only thing I believe you are missing, is elegance of Apple or at least some where between Apple and Microsoft.

Fred T
Fred T

Linux has no problem catering to its "consumers". They are in high-end technology, academia, and governments. All they did was form a community and enhance GNU/Linux to help scratch their itch.


For average consumers, the same should happen if they want Linux. Let them form a community and start developing a distribution that can scratch their itch. If they need help with the actual development, pool some money to hire someone to do the work. No one is preventing you from creating your own distribution that fits your needs.


To demand that Linux should cater to average consumers is like demanding that farmers picking fresh produce should also make dinners for you. If you want cooked dish, create a menu, gather ingredients, then cook it according to your taste


If you want food served to you, you can always choose not-so-nutritious but most numerous fast food, or go to an expensive fancy restaurant. Don't expect cooking healthy organic food by yourself can be as convenient as unhealthy fast food or as fancy as expensive restaurants.

0sinclair
0sinclair

I personally don't care much for "the cloud" so for me Chromebooks is a no-go. Otherwise I agree 100 with the price issue. The cheapest "linux installed" laptop for sale (not Chromebook) is around 700 USD whereas you can find a "slightly old tech" Windows laptop for 400 US or so

discolust
discolust

I don't think the Linux/Open Source community has to do much else. The points in this article seem really good, but I think it will come naturally. Microsoft seems to be blowing it, and Linux is ever-present and major companies are now intimately associated with the Linux kernel thanks to servers and Android.


Valve/Steam is overcoming a huge hurdle to gamers which may drive development.


I think what is needed will be created as they go. I don't think the old community has to do anything special now but do their part as they always have. They've already done the really hard work.


If businesses or those interested in impressing businesses want to solve the Active Directory discrepancy or anything else, they can, for free or a profit.


As far as looks, I think Canonical and the available desktop interfaces are good places to start. I think Canonical has already put in a great deal of effort to solve any problems there. They've done a hell of a better job than Microsoft, I'm betting.


I don't know why 100% solid browser experience is mentioned and stable operating system isn't, for Linux offers both and neither are special requirements or exceptional needs for Linux.


Duh.

cloudlion_ca
cloudlion_ca

Jack.... you're kind of looking like.... a Zerg on the hunt in that profile picture!


I'm betting someone's grandmother warned her grand children about the.... Zerg. It's a big multiverse.



VolksPC
VolksPC

Hi Jack,

I agree whole heartedly with your article.

To lower cost of Linux PC/Notebook we need to move to ARM. Also because of limited commercial applications available for Linux we need to provide the ability to run the large  number of applications available on Android.


At VolksPC we have created a unified distribution that runs both Android and Debian/Ubuntu applications. Check  this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y8hgh9LnoE


VolksPC


David Cuthill
David Cuthill

I use all 3. Overall Linux and OSX don't need much tinkering. They tend to work just fine once they are set up. You could simplify, even more, the update process, and getting new software and installing it? It's already simple. Keep it that way! The issue, as always is Apps. So, given that Apps is the issue, Linux should focus a whole lot more on making it easier to have Windows Virtual Machines?

Brian Barber
Brian Barber

It does already.. they just don't know it... silly sheeple.

David Cuthill
David Cuthill

If Linux were to address, for example, the 20% of the most commonly used functions in Windows and showed Linux users how to do that in Linux, that would be a start. Better still, just mimic those functions by having a very similar GUI for those functions.

John M Morris
John M Morris

Linux isn't failing to achive world domination because of a lack of Active Directory.  Because it has it already.  As somebody who has watched this play out now for two decades, here is where I see the problem.


1.  It is the monopoly stupid.  Early netbooks were as close as the world came to Linux reaching the masses.  Microsoft killed the whole market segment to put a stop to it.  Apple and Google have the resources to bring hardware to market and can't be bought off;  Apparently nobody else does.  And for 95% of customers and 100% of the ones the author is thinking about, the preload OS is seen as inseparable from the computer.


2.  Just as Windows 8's epic failure to make their customer happy, the major Linux competition also succumbed to tablet madness.  Tablets are not desktops, apparently hype can cause anyone to forget that basic fact.


3.  In the words of Steve Balmer, "Developers!, Developers!, Developers!"  It is a paradoxical truth that the platform built by developers is harder to develop on than the one built by Monkey Boy's marketing machine.  No I'm not calling for Visual Studio.  I'm calling for ONE good book.  One book that clearly explains to a new developer the complete details on developing an application for ANY of the major Linux Desktops, For example, a book on Gnome that documents all of the details to develop an app that leverages all of the GNOME technology for configuration management, accessibility, internationalization, etc.  That documents the underlying system as it actually exists on distributions newer than five years, which means SELinux, udev, systemd and all that mass of almost totally undocumented mess.  Remember, I'm talking about a book for a fresh out of (or better, still in) school programmer.

Michael Wright
Michael Wright

I am a linux user and I also have a mac, as a linux user using ubuntu I can network the OSX and ubuntu without a fuss, and I can also network windows machines as I have one of these that's a laptop. the one unifing operating system or two are the mac osx and ubuntu. if as a user you have 15 machines the mac will see them all and on the ubuntu side if you had 15 mac's ubuntu can see the mac and communicate with them. It all depends on which distro you use. Redhat will not do this, and as far as cloud servers go the one that I have runs on a linux OS and my windows machine can even see it. ubuntu happens to be my favorite OS as well as OSX and one can't be that combo, not even with a ugly stick but that just what I think.

jimbo689
jimbo689

Another thought about your AD comments:  As we're talking about enterprise deployments of Linux, where companies know they have to spend real money on proper networking, why not eDirectory (formerly Novell Directory Services)?  It is mature, cross-platform already, and has excellent management tools. Novell had already done the heavy-lifting with integrating it with Linux when they integrated it with SUSE Enterprise Linux years ago.


jimbo689
jimbo689

Linux on the desktop has improved greatly in the past 5 years with Linux Mint being the most prominent distro according to DistroWatch. Some of GNU/Linux's "problems" are beyond its control... popular commercial software needs to be ported to GNU/Linux, but that won't happen until desktop Linux reaches a tipping point. In regards to Chrome OS Linux, yes it's getting popular, especially in schools, but what about people who want the freedom not to be tied-in to the Google eco-system? And then, of course, there's the overwhelming success of Android Linux on phones.

I'd like to see cloudbooks running Firefox OS, with built-in CUPS local & network printing, USB ports, and some form of local software not tied to Firefox web-apps. I'd like to see cloud-connected versions of light-weight apps like Abiword and Gnumeric (with native default ODF support, and Office Open XML support to appeal to all segments of the market). A low-cost, but robust Firefox OS cloudbook that could talk to a company's own servers and utilize web-enabled enterprise applications, and cloud-based services would go a long way to get a form of Linux into the enterprise mobile desktop market. A SAMBA and AD-enabled cloudbook would be a requirement to get into existing enterprise networks.

For all the "heavy-lifting" needs, such as photo and video editing, and CAD/CAM? Well desktop GNU/Linux, of course. With enough penetration holdouts such as Adobe, Autodesk and an ODF-compliant MS Office (thank you Munich and UK gov, etc for pushing open standards) would come to the Linux desktop out of financial necessity.

I would like to see a fully free and open Linux, but reality dictates we'll need to accommodate and accept proprietary software running on our favorite platform.

klwilcoxon
klwilcoxon

As a long time user of linux as a real user and not a geek, my problem has always been that distributions seem to cater to the geek and not the regular user. Terminal, multiple desktops, user management, partitions are all things regular users don't care about.

AIXGuru56
AIXGuru56

If you can't embrace the UNIX/Linux mindset fully you will never like it. I've worked with UNIX since 1990. I've been running Linux at work for 8 years. I have a Windows VBox since Outlook is the only program that does collaberation such as other people's calendar or a group mailbox. Also some web developers think IE is the only browser.

Android is a stripped-down Linux. I'm waiting for a tablet I can load full Linux and doesn't cost $600. I want more than an HTML5 thin app. I want to set up CUPS, cron jobs, use real programs, command line, and more that is broken on Android.

a_sm1th
a_sm1th

Chrome OS is Linux! How could you make such a massive oversight with this article? One can install Ubuntu in a chroot on Chrome OS, run both Chrome OS and Unity at the same time, and switch between the two without restarting. 

Shawn Quinn
Shawn Quinn

I think Linus is almost there. Ubuntu, for example is a quantum leap better today than it was 10 years ago. In fact, the interface is so much like mac, it wouldn't surprise me at all for that OS to become a real player in the desktop OS space eventually. Especially if Windows keeps getting worse.

IsJos Kan
IsJos Kan

Consumers barely understand Windows, how they going to manage nix

Perpetuallight
Perpetuallight

The issues I have with Linux are thus:


Instability. I downloaded Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, and OpenSuse. All of them suffered the same issues in various areas. It would lock up after some usage or an update would kill some integral part of the system.


It requires that I use repositories. God these are a nightmare. I hate it, I can't just go download an executable file and run it like I can on a Mac or Windows? Not to mention every piece of damn software REQUIRES their own address to work, and may the good Lord help you if their server is down or is no longer there. I can't just go to filehippo and grab it.


It is NOT easy to deploy. VMWare VSphere is a nightmare on Linux. It crashes XORG randomly, sometimes it refuses to boot past the boot loader until I go to said computer and hit Enter at the boot loader. Every. Distro. Does. This!


40 differing distributions to accomplish the job of 1 and no good applications to speak of...


Applications become unstable after slight kernel changes.


In a nutshell, not in my lifetime. Linux will NEVER be a viable solution!

BubbaChen111
BubbaChen111

Chromium, ChromeOS, and Android are all "full-blown Linux environments".  You've gone full retard bro.

bigbigboss
bigbigboss

Will customers be ever get what they want ? Of course not.  There is not one customer.  There are zillions of them.  And each with different, and probably conflicting demands, even for the same customer.  No customers can never get what they want, because they don't know what it is they want, and it also changes every second.  However, Linux doesn't have to give consumers what they want.  Linux just has to be less suck than the competitions.

liam101
liam101

You mention AD migration/interoperability as problem, and speak of LDAP, but fail to mention freeipa! Yes, LDAP is part of the package but it's point is that it includes the other components necessary to provide an AD-like experience, plus it includes a usable web GUI.

my_bit_bucket
my_bit_bucket

Linux needs to settle down and become a viable software platform.


Otherwise it's doomed to relegate on 2% of world's computers.


More here: http://bit.ly/gBOiz6

Craig_B
Craig_B

AD is based on LDAP, even though it's not a full implementation of LDAP.  SUSE Linux (Novell) has the capability to use IBM Directory Services, eDirectory or OpenLDAP.

yuwash
yuwash

Yes ChromeOS and Android are both free and opensource Linux distros, but what this article is trying to discuss is probably about truly getting people into the Linux community. (“their "base" would only ever belong to them”) Most Android users aren’t that enthusiastic about the os the same way Windows users aren’t either. And certainly they aren’t considering a second about actively contributing for the development. The way Android or ChromeOS present the system to users surely makes it easy to use, but really doesn’t show the fascinating part of Linux (or anything floss): its hackability. You can’t easily find config files or its documentation (without going to the developer section of Google’s help site, which is absolutely not written for newbies). As soon as you use the command line of such embedded Linux distro, usability is irrelevant. TBH, I really don’t know how to get more people excited about hacking community-developed software. You need to start learning at some point. IMO you can’t get ordinary consumers change their attitude towards computing just by offering perfect Linux distros.

Denny Wygant
Denny Wygant

Linux is just the kernel. At prices like these you can't afford not to call.

orionds
orionds

Linux on the desktop?

Low cost?

Yup. Saved me and the school tons of money not having to upgrade hardware and run single-core computers speedily for day-to-day work for students, including movie and audio streaming, as well as multimedia post-processing.


Seamless integration with devices and services?

Pretty much. As a teacher, we are trying and using a web platform for English learning from an international publisher. They suggest Firefox as the most compatible and it runs perfectly in Linux. Tried Chrome, the login page won't even show up. Checked ram usage too. Chrome same as Firefox.


Intuitive and modern design?

Yup. Students think they're using a Mac as I have tweaked the desktop to include a dock and similar pull-down menus.


100% solid browser experience?

Absolutely no problem using Firefox in Linux - watch video, listen to music, use Google drive, banking, stock trading, e-mail, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, Book Depository, Goodreads, the list goes on ... I can do them all ... and a whole lot faster and more stable than in XP (the last Windows that I used).


Linux distros can be installed in Chromebooks too ...

_russellk
_russellk

You're asking the wrong question. Linux can meet consumer wants and needs, the issues are the applications people rely on being available. Will more proprietary companies such as Adobe ever make a linux port? That alone would allow a huge market to go full-time linux. 


And in a broader sense linux actually already gives consumers what they what, they just don't realize how many things run on linux. But I know that's not what you mean. It will just take a couple proprietary software titles to be ported over to really start easing the grip Microsoft has held on the market for so long. Many have had to use it out of necessity or have just moved to apple. I don't know many people that have said in the past 10 years that they like using Windows. Quite the opposite. Everyone is eager for something new.

cloudlion_ca
cloudlion_ca

Linux already gives customers what they want! Ah... Android isn't... *cough* Windows. 


Not to mention all the smart appliances out there running Linux. 


Most people I've introduced KDE to.... forget Windows. There is the real challenge. I have to support the fan base at discounted rates. I charge Windows clients "full" charge... and they pay. When those people switch to Linux. My revenue stream drops a few points. 


Honestly... I do make more money from Windows customers and Apple OS X customers. Most customers who switch to Linux; they seem to have the capacity to read, google, and explore their options fully. That's why I tell my customers to explore Linux. In the end.... most of the client that switch spend less money wasting their own time and more money pushing me to provide real "Value Added Reseller" services. 

I'm fat and ugly for a good reason and most of my customer's love me. 

greg72nova
greg72nova

What has driven the Apple, Google and Microsoft is the profit motive.When you are on target, people buy your products, when you are slow to see the future, they look elsewhere. I have a great deal of respect for the people who put in the hours to make Linux a working OS and keep it that way. Profit, however, may not be their motive.  I have used Linux and wanted to see its use increase. Compared to the versions I used 7 years ago, there has been some real improvements in the user interface.  But while it's stable, I like many others raised on Microsoft PCs, compare my Linux experience to my Windows experience. For me, Linux (Lubuntu on a former WinXP notebook) can still be a bit of a challenge. Now that something like Chrome OS is becoming more refined, I think I may be ready to finally leave MS and Windows behind.

Joshua Morden
Joshua Morden

Yes, Linux already has: Android, Chrome OS, and webOS in LG smart TVs to name a few.

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

@Fred T We've got 300 distros already. In fact, you hear the complaint "there's too much to choose from!" 


For those folks who don't know what a Linux is, but are dissatisfied with Windows, I recommend Zorin or Mint.

jecker-20127
jecker-20127

@Fred T your statements are exactly why Linux has not overtaken Microsoft in the consumer market. The author is correct. The average consumer does not know what a community is, nor do they know how to start a community to develop their own distribution.

Mah
Mah

@AIXGuru56

I am not sure what your problem is. You like the Linux/Unix mindset, so install Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, RHEL, CENTOS, Debian Linux etc. 


Android is for those who don't want to mess with CUPS, cron jobs, command line etc. 

Mah
Mah

@a_sm1th


Errr...I presume this is a sarcastic post, but if not, then I hate to break this to you, but Chrome OS is Linux and you can install Ubuntu in a chroot, run both Chrome OS and Unity at the same time, and switch between the two without restarting.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK6msARu_wQ


a_sm1th
a_sm1th

@Perpetuallight What a load of bs. My Kubuntu 14.04 desktop install is perfectly stable. Not sure why you need this "vsphere", but server virtualization on Linux is probably one of the most common things in the universe. There are downloadable installers for many apps, i.e. apps like Chrome, which come as .deb or .rpm installers. Some distros have set up app stores, which handle all the repo stuff in the background, basically what something like the Mac app store does. 40 different distros don't accomplish one thing, they accomplish different things but share the vast majority of their code. You imply a lack efficiency that doesn't exist. As for there being no apps, if you're talking about GNU/Linux desktop apps, some of the most high end software in the world (such as Autodesk Flame, Foundry Nuke X, Siemens NX, Davinci Resolve, etc) exists for GNU/Linux. Tons of games are coming to Linux with Steam OS. All of the essential apps like Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Trillian, Skype, BitTorrent apps, etc exist for GNU/Linux. Chrome OS is getting more and more apps, all of which will run in Chrome on GNU/Linux. Chrome OS will be gaining support for running Android apps, and that support will likely find its way to GNU/Linux too. The app ecosystem keeps growing. Linux dominates 80 percent of the server market, nearly as much of the smartphone market in the form of Android, and Steam OS and Chrome OS are on the rise in the PC space.

_russellk
_russellk

@orionds Also it is unfair to compare XP! You're comparing a 14 year old operating system to modern operating systems. Of course it's going to be faster!

_russellk
_russellk

Also another important factor is the impact Google will have, having already utilized linux for android and Chrome OS is based off of the Linux kernel. All that they have already contributed to the open source community and the applications, and tools for developers they have built. They have a large stake in linux. Also with the help of their Drive applications, such as Docs which enables users to open and edit most types of standard documents. You don't necessarily need Micr$oft Office anymore. And gee, not to mention all the wonderful open source contributors working passionately everyday. I think a viable, polished, and shippable linux is right around the corner. 

Mah
Mah

@jecker-20127

Linux has overtaken Microsoft, and so has FreeBSD. Google's Android and ChromeOS are Linux operating systems, and they sell about 1 billion units per year compared to about 300 million for all Microsoft's OS variants. Apple's OSX and iOS are FreeBSD derivatives, and together they also outsell all Microsoft's OS variants by a small margin. Linux servers also outnumber Microsoft's OSes in the server area by a factor of 3 to 1 or more.  

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