Kicking Puppies or Giving Up on GNU/Linux Deskktops

I love puppies. They are cute, cuddly and hardly ever bark or bite. They do sometimes get under foot and that is something I try to avoid. Big dogs and I, however, are bitter enemies, just like M$. Jim Zemlin likened disrespect of M$ to “kicking a puppy”. His view is that GNU/Linux has won every battle in IT except the desktop and that was because of anti-competitive acts. The anti-competitive acts he has right. Giving up on the desktop, though, is not in the cards.

The desktop is changing. No longer do folks need a big case on their desks to do the job. Notebooks have taken over. No longer do they even need a thick/heavy/hot notebook. Netbooks, smart phones, tablets and some hybrids have taken over. When the dust settles, some kind of thin client probably running GNU/Linux on ARM will have evolved. It’s survival of the fittest, not the fattest, in IT. That other OS has a severe disadvantage, that Zemlin points out. GNU/Linux just works better on everything. When the conventional desktop with huge local resources goes the way of the DoDo bird, GNU/Linux will be there on whatever results.

M$ managed to have GNU/Linux excluded from the desktop not by targetting GNU/Linux but all competitors in the early 1990s before GNU/Linux was on the radar. When the monopoly had all channels secure, GNU/Linux could not enter except as a geeky effort. For consumers and business, there was not much play. For thin clients, nettops, tablets etc., there is no traditional lock-in by M$ so GNU/Linux will flourish.

We see that in smart phones and tablets in 2011 and M$ is floundering. It cannot compete on price/performance without giving up its huge monopolistic cash-flow. Really. Is permission to use your PC worth $100 or more? Why not just use it and avoid dealing with M$? That’s what is happening in all areas of IT except the “desktop”. We saw in the netbook that M$ wasn’t needed and they cut prices. They will have to do that in all forms of personal computing to stay relevant. In the next few years thin-client computing will take off and there is no need for M$ on a thin client. That saves a $20 CAL. There is no need for M$ on the server. That saves $1000 or more. As we build servers with hundreds of virtual machines there is no need for M$ on any of them.

According to stats, that other OS is on only 86% of connecting PCs. According to Bloomberg, that other OS is on only 72% of new PCs. The installed base of that other OS is falling dramatically as a percentage of web usage.

Here is a chart of PCs in use by “enterprise IT managers” (19% manage less than 100 PCs, some 10K+) according to IDC:

Use of Operating Systems Accoding to It Managers in Business

That was the situation a year ago. Also included in the report is the information that folks are planning to migrate 6.4% of PCs to thin clients.

This data should put to rest the idea that 1% of PCs run GNU/Linux desktops. Shame on you, Net Applications.

No, the GNU/Linux desktop is thriving and will do even better as the idea of a desktop changes. GNU/Linux will be there.

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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10 Responses to Kicking Puppies or Giving Up on GNU/Linux Deskktops

  1. I doubt anyone can humiliate you, oldman, but I agree, you deserve more respect.

  2. oldman says:

    “I also ban people who are not here to make the world a better place but to attack or humiliate people.”

    Hopefully, Pog , you will keep this in mind the next time one of those on your side of the discussion Attempts to attack or humiliate ME.

  3. Nope. I ban people who sneak foul language in on their names and e-mail addresses.

    I also ban people who are not here to make the world a better place but to attack or humiliate people.

  4. Azathoth says:

    So you ban people just because they don’t share your “opinions about IT”? I’m seeing that pluralism is not your thing…

  5. Nope. The content of your post did not get you banned.

    I have 45 years of experience with IT using all kinds of computers from lash-ups to mainframes. I have opinions about IT. There are people who legitimately hold that M$ and its partners have done some good in IT and are willing to omit evil from their considerations. I am not one.

  6. Richard Chapman says:

    “It’s survival of the fittest, not the fattest, in IT.”

    Good one Robert, good one.

  7. ... says:

    So basically the conclusion of this rant is that a claim is only true if it fits into your worldview of Linux and anything that contradicts that must be true!


    rp: another troll banned

  8. ray says:

    So what is holding back Linux?

  9. There will always be some, like me, who prefer to sit at a computer than to run around with it. At the moment about 60% of PC production are notebooks. I don’t seen that number ever exceeding 80% of notebooks+boxes. The boxes may yet become integrated with keyboard or monitor but there will still be a need for people to access files and folders.

  10. ray says:

    but by then, the desktop will be meaningless.

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