“The only reason more people aren’t using Linux is because they can’t go to a big box store and purchase a computer with Linux pre-installed. If the masses could head over to Best Buy or Target and drop a few hundred dollars for a PC running Linux, they’d be using Linux. Why? Because they’d discover an operating system that includes the one tool they mostly use and won’t be plagued with the same tired issues they’ve faced over the last couple of decades.”
See The only remaining barrier to entry for LinuxI’ve been writing for ages that the real barrier to widespread adoption of GNU/Linux on the desktop is more space on retail shelves. Now, Jack Wallen gets that.
Of course, this just shifts the question as to why GNU/Linux gets so little space on retail shelves. The answer to that question is mostly inertia but also that M$ forced OEMs years ago to be almost exclusively putting out That Other OS on PCs. The retailers had little choice. By now retailers are used to pushing That Other OS and are unfamiliar with GNU/Linux. This is changing but it’s not universally so. India and China are both shipping a lot of GNU/Linux to local retail shelves via the Dell-Canonical arrangement. India has 2%+ share for GNU/Linux according to StatCounter but China is below 1% still. Europe is rather strong with lots of support from governments for independence, lower costs etc. motivations. There are a few countries widely using GNU/Linux on the desktop: Uruguay, Cuba, Venezuela, India, several central countries of Europe. Mostly the move was made from expediency/necessity, political decisions or modernization of IT in education, often going from nothing/little to wide availability at lowest cost.
In 2015, we see the huge sluggishness of Wintel markets. This will motivate retailers to seek other solutions. Better GNU/Linux on those retail shelves than a product that’s not selling… Last Christmas was a wake-up call for retailers. GNU/Linux sold well, and “8.1” did not. Q1 of 2015 showed huge increases in usage of GNU/Linux according to web-stats. When school resumes in the north, I expect more increases. Then, what worked last Christmas will work again. 2015 will be the last year we see reluctance on the part of retailers to sell GNU/Linux. They’ve seen what Android/Linux has done. They will be ready to give GNU/Linux a try on the desktops. The OEMs are OK with whatever ships because the lock-in to M$ is gone. US DOJ v M$ and EU v M$ fixed that.