Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Sunday, August 7, 2011

  • Aug 07 / 2011
  • 43

GNU/Linux Desktop: Not Dead. Thriving.

Articles continue to be written that GNU/Linux is dead on the desktop. see Graham Morrison – Ignore the speculation, Linux is far from dead

He confuses the Linux kernel with the GNU/Linux operating system:
“What most of us forget now is that Linux was never created to compete with Windows. The first major release of the kernel, 1.0, came only a month after Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Those two technologies couldn’t be more different and, despite appearances, they are just as different today.”

Of course a kernel was not created to compete with an operating system. Free Software, as defined by RMS was intended to compete with non-free software and it does very well.

The example of netbooks is described as a “failure” even though M$ lost $1billion paying OEMs to install XP instead of GNU/Linux. What other products have such impact in their first year as GNU/Linux had on netbooks? The current share of netbooks is a staggeringly great success considering there were very few netbooks shipped with XP in the first year of the netbook. In that first year, ASUS shipped millions of netbooks with GNU/Linux. Now, more are shipped each year than ASUS did. Then about 1 million netbooks shipped in the first quarter. Now the world ships 7 million netbooks a quarter and a good percentage of them run Linux. What has changed is that more OEMs are shipping GNU/Linux.

Further, GNU/Linux ships on desktops, notebooks and tablet computers using x86 and ARM processors. GNU/Linux remains the lowest cost option for all kinds of computing, desktop or not. W3Schools and Wikipedia show visits by GNU/Linux systems steadily growing. The market leader’s share constantly falls. There’s no sign of GNU/Linux slowing or stopping for sure.