I am tired of people claiming that M$ won the war and GNU/Linux need not apply here or there in IT. It’s crap, unadulterated crap. GNU/Linux is more popular than ever and finding its way to lots of retail spaces where ordinary (non-geek) consumers are buying them. That other OS, on the other hand is declining in popularity steadily and M$’s client division had a 6% per annum drop in revenue. That’s not winning a war but resting on laurels. Ordinary folks who are never going to install an OS but want some IT that works on their desks are buying GNU/Linux systems retail all over the world.
- Qooq – A PC for cooks, not geeks. It’s hardened for the kitchen and is a tablet that’s goop-proof and with a stand for zero/one-hand operation. It runs Linux on ARM and is loaded with content for cooks: recipes, techniques.
- Dell is selling GNU/Linux PCs in over 100 stores in China.
- Acer sells them (Walmart, and Amazon)
- HP sells them and they have retailers for them.
- Lenovo is selling millions of them for schools and students (Classmate PCs).
Large enterprises which value efficiency are using GNU/Linux desktops and servers. The Kerala State Electricity board with 10 million customers saved 80 million rupees using FLOSS. They had a few specialized applications and paid 15 people to write for GNU/Linux. Individual consumers who don’t have anywhere near that complexity of IT, can and do use GNU/Linux desktops and notebooks with satisfaction from a host of applications. see also Debian’s repository
It’s a tired tale, that GNU/Linux is not/cannot make it on the desktop. GNU/Linux on the desktop happened long ago and continues with fresh growth today. There still are some retailers who don’t stock GNU/Linux but those are decreasing in number steadily. All the advantages that people see on servers are available on desktops/notebooks/thin clients/netbooks/smart thingies. There’s just no reason not to use GNU/Linux and plenty of reasons to use it (low cost, simplicity, easy maintenance, less malware, fewer re-re-reboots, speed, it’s Free Software, the licence costs $0 and you can make as many copies as you like, …). I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because it has great tools for system management, can be used on servers or clients and has a huge repository of software packages and APT (Advanced Packaging Tool).