Jack Wallen Gets It

“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 Linux
I’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.

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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19 Responses to Jack Wallen Gets It

  1. “Windows Media Player can and do play everything else, but without the command line mumbo jumbo to install codecs.”

    Bull excrement! We test this regularly. Microsoft DOES NOT WORK for the vast majority of media content out there.

  2. dougman says:

    What??

    …command line mumbo jumbo to install codecs.

    never had to do that on Linux.

  3. antifanboy says:

    The point was about the open published standard (ogg-vorbis) used. Right now, Apple only plays Apple formats (and Apple controlled material/content); Microsoft (unless perhaps VLC or other opensource software is installed) only plays Microsoft formats (mostly from Microsoft controlled entities). Linux and Android play everything else from many thousands of independent third parties.

    Windows Media Player can and do play everything else, but without the command line mumbo jumbo to install codecs.

  4. antifanboy says:

    The point was about the open published standard (ogg-vorbis) used. Right now, Apple only plays Apple formats (and Apple controlled material/content); Microsoft (unless perhaps VLC or other opensource software is installed) only plays Microsoft formats (mostly from Microsoft controlled entities). Linux and Android play everything else from many thousands of independent third parties.

    Windows Media Player can and do play everything else, but without the command line mumbo jumbo to istall codecs.

  5. ram says:

    Correct! Not “steaming” but STREAMING. There are at least three free music streams running on each of those websites. Subscribers (paid) have access to rather more 😉
    The point was about the open published standard (ogg-vorbis) used. Right now, Apple only plays Apple formats (and Apple controlled material/content); Microsoft (unless perhaps VLC or other opensource software is installed) only plays Microsoft formats (mostly from Microsoft controlled entities). Linux and Android play everything else from many thousands of independent third parties.

  6. antifanboy says:

    By the way, http://www.finevenuemusic.com and http://www.lowcostrestaurantmusic.com are sites that make custom audio for commercial application(ie stores, banquets, restaurants, elevators, ect.), not steaming.

  7. antifanboy says:

    “Further to the dominance of Linux in China (and probably in 6 months by the Christmas buying season in other countries), check out the new (Linux) products from:

    http://www.kontech.com.cn
    http://www.panodic.com
    http://www.szjawest.com/index.html?lang=en
    http://www.puluz.com/

    and a great many others that do not necessarily have English language web pages.
    These all have a flavor of Linux preinstalled.

    One thing that is driving Linux set-top boxes, TV’s, and media centers, is the availability of STANDARD FORMAT media content from streaming sites such as:

    http://www.finevenuemusic.com
    http://www.lowcostrestaurantmusic.com

    not to mention the obvious video channels from Google and partners.”

    What home user is interested in digital signage, POS(Point of sale) equipment, Chinese cable boxes, knock-off GoPros streaming elevator music? In fact, how can a cash register stream media?

  8. ram and others comments languished in the “pending” queue all day while thunder storms knocked my ISP for a loop. I’ve lacked either or both connectivity or a name-server most of the afternoon. It’s what we get with a perfect storm of cold front/jet-stream/hot-moist front all stirring the pot. Great lightning show however…

  9. ram says:

    Further to the dominance of Linux in China (and probably in 6 months by the Christmas buying season in other countries), check out the new (Linux) products from:

    http://www.kontech.com.cn
    http://www.panodic.com
    http://www.szjawest.com/index.html?lang=en
    http://www.puluz.com/

    and a great many others that do not necessarily have English language web pages.
    These all have a flavor of Linux preinstalled.

    One thing that is driving Linux set-top boxes, TV’s, and media centers, is the availability of STANDARD FORMAT media content from streaming sites such as:

    http://www.finevenuemusic.com
    http://www.lowcostrestaurantmusic.com

    not to mention the obvious video channels from Google and partners.

  10. oiaohm says:

    –The only folks who don’t need to worry about security are those in a prison.–
    Not true those in prison can still be framed by a backdoored OS so extending their stay.

  11. YY wrote, “The very interesting thing will be what the government is going to do with Windows 10 with the NSA backdoors already build in.”

    Chuckle… I’ve noticed M$ is advertising “10” like mad with promises that youngsters will grow up with it and never need a password or worry about security… M$ is deluded and trying to continue deluding consumers. The more features M$ builds in, the less secure their OS is. The only folks who don’t need to worry about security are those in a prison.

  12. YY says:

    “ram wrote, “I can’t see how StatCounter’s claim of only 1% Linux in China when all the Chinese trade press, e.g. Consumer_Electronics-EDM shows are Linux machines.”

    The thing in China is that in general no Windows is pre-installed. After buying, people go to a shop next door and then let somebody install Windows. This is done massively. However, after the government prohibited Windows 8 with the excuse of power consumption and the government deal by proxy with Canonical, we should see a very sharp rise in the LD market share.

    The very interesting thing will be what the government is going to do with Windows 10 with the NSA backdoors already build in.

    Also, the same thing with Russia, India and a lot lot of other countries 🙂

    Cause let’s face it. As a government, you simply cannot allow either governmental nor citizens use Windows due to (state) security risks!

    The NSA has done a great lot of good for Linux.

  13. ram wrote, “I can’t see how StatCounter’s claim of only 1% Linux in China when all the Chinese trade press, e.g. Consumer_Electronics-EDM shows are Linux machines.”

    Yes. The peak to valley ratio is huge on the data too. It’s unnatural. Between the language barrier and The Great Firewall, it’s hard to know what’s happening. Still, the trend is very positive, more than doubling in five years. Recent moves by government, Dell and Canonical should accomplish something sooner or later.

  14. ram says:

    I can’t see how StatCounter’s claim of only 1% Linux in China when all the Chinese trade press, e.g. Consumer_Electronics-EDM shows are Linux machines. Seems to me the number is closer to 100%.

  15. Mats Hagglund says:

    I have even my own personal experience this summer how this Wintel dictatorship still makes its harder to buy computer without any OS at all than i believed. Actually i have to buy laptop from Germany to get what i wanted. Even most of dedicated Linux fans won’t have walked that road.

    I learned something important: Wintel PC dictatorship is fighting back fiercely. It’s a miracle (= Windows is so terrible) how Linux could get that 5% marketshare of PC in these conditions.

    http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php?year=2015&month=6 (Linux got ~ 4.3% market share of pc….= 2.84%/67%)

    Sure it’s easier to get desktop without any OS/with Linux but not near as easy to get decent brand new portable without any OS or Linux pre installed (with ChromeBook being exception of course).

  16. ram says:

    The retail store problem with Linux is the same as any other product that is supplied by organisations that refuse to pay “push money” (also known as a bribe) for shelf space. The smaller stores, often Asian, don’t get the opportunity of the big Wall Street financed chains to collect push money, and hence they mostly sell “White Box” Linux systems. That is also what a fair fraction, perhaps the majority, of the population buys.

    In many countries, particularly the English speaking ones, the big retail malls resemble institutions out of Soviet Russia. Loaded with goods the “elite” wanted to push, but not what the “ordinary Joe” in the population wanted to buy. What the English speaking world has today is not capitalism, but fascism.

  17. YY says:

    I install GNU/Linux all the time as a volunteer for a foundation. In my experience, people mostly don’t even know it’s Linux since I rarely tell them. I just say it’s faster, (extremely) more secure, more beautiful and all the real professionals in the World use it. And actually, they ALL love it and then the neighbours, friends, family and sometimes whole school classes come to ask for the same 😀
    I even had a situation where the school was forced to change the online school schedule – using Silverlight – because of the complaints.
    It’s that simple: The ALL love it!

  18. E. J. van Waasdijk says:

    When I ask in my computer shop why they do not sell Linux computers, the answer is that their desktops can be bought without any operation system. They do not advertize GNU/Linux because with Windows on the computers the clients come back about once a year to have the computer cleaned of mailware or reinstalled. With GNU/Linux they would never see the client again until the computer is at its end.

    They have to make a living and this is easier when they have their profit on the sales of the computer, Windows, anti-virus programs etc. and an assured yearly service of cleaning/reinstalling the OS.

    Greetings.

    E. J. van Waasdijk

  19. dougman says:

    But people are using Linux, all the time, they just don’t know it.

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