““The current situation with dozens of distributions, each with different rules, each with different versions of different libraries, some with certain libraries missing, each with different packaging tools and packaging formats … that basically tells app developers ‘go away, focus on platforms that care about applications.’”
So, yes, 2019 will be the year of Linux end users who don’t know they’re Linux end users. But, “the” Linux desktop as a mass-market alternative to Windows? No, that’s not ever going to happen, not as long as Linux developers can’t play on the same page.
See The Linux desktop: With great success comes great failure“SJVN is usually right but this is one of the exceptions. His own article proves that folks live in their browsers. Lots of people don’t even own a desktop machine these days. Lots of people who own a desktop live in their browsers. So, GNU/Linux which can run a browser no matter what distro, no matter which package manager, no matter where they live, can successfully use a GNU/Linux desktop. My wife (TLW) does. If she can do it anyone can.
The latest figures show there are whole countries where GNU/Linux thrives at well over 1% share of the desktop. That’s well beyond computer-geek levels. GNU/Linux works for people and no amount of revisionist history or apologies for monopolistic tyrants will undo that. Allow competition in the market and GNU/Linux thrives. Last time I checked, not a lot of people are buying That Other OS either. Given a choice, as many would choose GNU/Linux to run their browser as anything else. All those “must have” applications that are TOOS-only are niche products that are not needed to run a browser. Most browsers run just fine on any distro of GNU/Linux. I recommend Debian. It works for me.