“Lately we’ve been treated to (or bombarded by) a slew of articles and blog posts proclaiming the failure and/or the death of Linux on the desktop. I could describe what I really think of these articles but my language would be a bit more colorful than would be appropriate. Suffice it to say it’s all bunk as far as I am concerned.”
Amen. The onslaught of “GNU/Linux Dead on the Desktop” stories is silly. Obviously many millions are using GNU/Linux on the desktop with great satisfaction. Many came to GNU/Linux by downloading or installing from a CD, others had some system administrator install it and many are now able to buy GNU/Linux on PCs on retail shelves. Pronouncing GNU/Linux dead is just silly. In my last position, desktop GNU/Linux saved my sanity. That other OS was close to needing full-time support for fewer than 100 PCs. Almost every school needs that many PCs and more. With GNU/Linux, I had my whole day freed for teaching or planning really neat projects for IT.
We’ve read of many migrations of organizations large and small who broke even on the task in a few months. I have done some that broke even on day one because the old machines became usable again. GNU/Linux is a winner in every way:
- performance, less bloat and fewer irrelevant tasks means PCs work for the users not M$ and “partners”,
- price, you can’t beat $0,
- NO MALWARE! alone that justifies migration,
- NO EULA! The restrictions on using that other OS create a huge burden. Not so with GNU/Linux, and
- Sharing is good! It’s the right way to do IT. The world can make its own software and share it, minimizing the cost and maximizing the performance of IT.
The sad thing is that folks who have contributed a lot to FLOSS or GNU/Linux are some who write these stories. For instance, Jim Zemlin, the head of the Linux Foundation, seems to believe GNU/Linux has no place on the desktop:
“The thing people used to care about, and the reason they chose Windows, was because there was a huge number of applications available for the platform, so they had the inertia of having lots of installed users and that led to lots of applications users could use”
Wake up, people! Very few chose that other OS, M$ and its “partners” forced it on people by forcing OEMs to make nothing but Wintel PCs. It’s sad when people who should know better fall for such an obvious ploy. Fortunately, the Linux Foundation can just get out of our way after they release GNU/Linux. The GPLv2 licence gives us the right to run the software on our desktops no matter what Zemlin thinks.