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Linux: Desktop fail


June 23 2011

2014 update: Linux desktop usage share in May 2014 was 1.63%. On the other hand, lots of people are using Linux on their cell phones via Andriod

When I wrote a rant about how Linux can sometimes become an absolute headache to deal with, the article became viral. It first showed up on LXer; from there it entered the blogosphere; when Katherine Noyes wrote an article about my blog entry, a number of Linux news aggreator sites picked up the article.

This has been an annoying experience for me. For example, Gerhard Mack called me a "nut" and Robert Pogson referred to me as an "example of the trolls".

I don't think calling someone names is a very effective argument and comes off as someone who is an internet loudmouth. I blogged about Linux internet loudmouths in my old blog over two years ago (local copy) and I'm still not impressed.

The fact of the matter is this: Despite being cheaper than Windows, and despite not having the licensing headaches Windows has, Linux has, according to Robert Pogson's own figures, at most a 1.7% percent desktop share. Compare this to Firefox, a much younger open source project, which has well over 30% of the desktop market share (yes, I blogged about that too / local copy).

While Linux is an excellent server OS and works well in the embedded space (including smartphones and tablets), it has not been able to penetrate the desktop market. Calling people who point out Linux's problems on the desktop names is not going to change that.

To post a comment about an entry, send me an email and I may or may not post your comment (with or without editing). Linux advocates: Please perform some basic research about me and how I use Linux (here's one clue) before getting out your flamethrower or deciding that I don't know how to use Linux.)