Created by: MBA Online
Clearly, Linux forms a good basis for IT, judging from the percentage shares in tablets and mobile IT in general. What’s wrong is that 0.79% share for “desktop”. That’s the nonsense spouted by M$ technological evangelists who will proclaim that GNU/Linux will never make it on the desktop for a plethora of “reasons”. These fail to notice that GNU/Linux does make it on the desktop around the world in particular markets, like the BRIC countries. All of the “reasons” vanish when monopolistic control of retail shelves and OEMS is weak. The reasons GNU/Linux makes it on the desktop are many:
- the four freedoms work for real people,
- because GNU/Linux is Free Software it may be freely copied, lowering the cost of acquisition for everyone,
- there are millions of developers of FLOSS working cooperatively around the world to deliver software the world needs,
- the four freedoms also ensure the software is flexible and can be used for optimal benefit to users, not restricted by the marketing plans of a business,
- the low cost of acquisition is a huge advantage for the poor, students and young people who are not rich,
- the low cost of acquisition keeps the bulk of expenditures for supply and distribution in the local economy, where the software is actually used, maximizing benefits of the activity,
- the software works on ARM just as well as it works on old and new computers of all kinds, and
- the software works faster and more reliably because the only objective for its existence is to run, not to lock-in users to some corporation’s plan for world domination.
My own use of GNU/Linux demonstrates most of these advantages. In remote northern communities of Canada, I have taken existing IT which is often older and running obsolete non-free software with hundreds of malware infections and made it run like a Swiss watch. Further, because there is no budget item for licensing, whatever money is available can be used to buy additional hardware rather than sending money to M$. Typically this means free donated hardware gets to run modern software in schools for $0. Computers for Schools does distribute free computers with XP but it was obsolete when it was released, picks up malware and runs much slower than GNU/Linux on the same hardware. Combine that with the flexibility to allow students legally to install GNU/Linux for no cost and a vibrant implementation of the IT curriculum exists with no restriction of non-free licensing. It’s a match made in heaven. A school that can afford very little money for IT can have servers, databases, social web sites etc. running in-house for $0 and students get to learn everything about clients and servers, hardware and software.
see 2008 – Deploying KDE to 52 million young people
see 2011 – Ubuntu Linux boosted by 10,000 seat PC win
The number of users of the Internet is expected to double in the next few years in the BRIC countries and Indonesia. They are fine with GNU/Linux on desktops and Android/Linux on smart thingies.
The difference between USA and Canada and much of the world is that retailers enjoy putting GNU/Linux on shelves in much of the world while M$ has trained retailers in USA and Canada like salivating dogs to push only M$’s junk. Not so with Android/Linux which is doing very well, judging by my last trip to Walmart.
IGEL, a maker of thin clients and software for thin clients has had 300% per annum growth in its “Universal Desktop” product, which while not free of charge, includes the Linux kernel and various software to convert any PC into a thin client. Tell IGEL that GNU/Linux isn’t making it.