Desktop GNU/Linux

Oh no! Here we go again! There is an article claiming as fact that GNU/Linux on the desktop is soon to be irrelevant as it will not matter what OS you run on your PC. How silly. It matters what OS you run on your PC or in the cloud because:

  • GNU/Linux costs less to run anywhere
  • GNU/Linux is Free Software and freedom is better for everyone except tyrants
  • Software designed to be simple, modular and effective performs better with the given hardware and budget than stuff designed to lock-in users

Really, will the FUD never stop? GNU/Linux is becoming more relevant every day as people realize they do not require M$ in their lives whether on client or server. Where I work, people are saying, “It’s faster? Install it.”, so rather than fighting to keep XP alive, my job has changed into migrating as many clients as possible as fast as I can to GNU/Linux. I am now delayed, not by expertise or availability of clients, but adequacy of the servers. I will have to shift the file-serving load that is on the GNU/Linux terminal server to a dedicated file-service on another machine. I will also have to beef up the terminal server (RAM) or add terminal servers to use clients thinly. I am looking at using GNU/Linux thick clients which are a lot more work but they still perform twice as well as that other OS.

Desktop GNU/Linux is happening whether on clients thick or thin or on servers. Repeating the same old drivel that GNU/Linux has no share and never will is tiresome and wrong. It could be that certain niches will stick with M$. It is those who are becoming irrelevant. GNU/Linux is mainstream and growing more rapidly daily on both server and desktop. Last time I looked, that other OS was still losing share in the top server hosting companies. There is no way M$ will dominate the cloud. Lock-in does not work on the web. There are too many choices too easily accessed for M$ to have a monopoly there. Look at search and e-mail and social networking, mature cloud niches. Where is M$? They have Hotmail and that’s about it.
“comScore estimates unique monthly visitors. According to the latest stats, the number of people visiting Gmail grew 43 percent last year to 29.6 million. In contrast, the much more massive Yahoo Mail grew 11 percent to 91.9 million uniques. AOL Mail finished in second place for the year with 46.6 million uniques (plus another 7.2 million visitors to AIM Mail), while Hotmail actually declined 5 percent to 43.5 million.” No monopoly there either. When it comes to price and performance, M$ is second rate because they are closed, closed-minded, and anal-retentive. see “Gmail Grew 43 Percent Last Year. AOL Mail And Hotmail Need To Start Worrying.” on TechCrunch, 20009-1-14. More recent figures show the trend continues. Gmail shows even stronger year over year % growth in Brazil.. I seem to recall that Google uses GNU/Linux. Is Google becoming irrelevant? No.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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