We are in the year of GNU/Linux

Story: It Will Never Be the Year of Desktop LinuxTotal Replies: 15
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May 15, 2009
10:02 AM EDT
I agree (kind of) that there will never be a "victory point" in which GNU/Linux suddenly captures like 50+% percent of the market in 12 months. It's impossible. However, with all due respect, we are IN the year of GNU/Linux. Maybe we just don't feel like it ^_^.

First of, GNU/Linux now have major distros in all platforms, from the big iron (aka super computer) down to the little iron (Smartphone). Okay, it's been there forever, but the distros are relatively quiet (how many people actually know that their routers are running Linux?) However, with the showoff of Google against Apple, now everyone knows Linux is officially everywhere.

Secondly, Linux is mentioned everywhere. Actually, we don't really need positive reviews, you know. Like Obama against McCain, we only need to be mentioned. And, guess what, Open Source is being promoted as the solution for the economic downturn. Yeah, our dear "friends" will do their best to argue that Open Source and Linux are dangerous, and Free Software has no value whatsoever. Remember how McCain tried to convince people that Obama is clueless about economics? (again, who is REALLY clueless here?) Yeah, just like that. They can throw all kind of FUD around, but this time, we have big ally.

The ally is: Economic Downturn. Usually, good people are only loved in hard time, since they generally don't like to flatter and monkey around. Similarly, Democrats have been pushing for their agenda since the beginning of last century; Libertarians have been around forever; Green, um, may be longer than Libertarians. Yet, Republicans won, since they know how to market, and in good time, people tend to believe in marketing. In bad times, like now, ha, flattering carries you only that far.

Lastly, GNU/Linux mature IN COMPARISON TO Windows and Macintosh. Once upon the time, I need to downgrade the whole system from 64-bit to 32-bit, then compile a kernel module to talk to a driver for my wireless card (like 2 years ago, Broadcom nightmare). Once upon a time, "installing software" in GNU/Linux means "./configure;make;make install". Once upon a time, I forgot to mount NTFS partition as read-only, and destroyed it. Once upon a time, CLI is a must. That's how bad GNU/Linux is compared to Windows. Okay, granted, I still go to CLI from time to time (I absolutely not stand Nethack's GUI, for example), but I can live comfortably in GUI, doing all kind of work and entertainment. That's the growth of GNU/Linux.

Thus, 2009 IS the year of GNU/Linux. Okay, maybe a bit of late 2008 and early 2010, too, but who care. The point is, GNU/Linux is REALLY REALLY ready for mass adoption. Okay, granted, a great push toward adoption of a product is generally a single-vendor activity, but we can do that, too. Earlier this year, Linux Foundation launched "I am Linux" video contest, which is a step toward the right direction. Guys, we need stuffs like that. Imagine if Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and a few more distros announce a campaign to educate GNU/Linux in 2 months; or FAT patents are declared stupid, and Microsoft is handed a hefty fine; or FSF wins a major case in software patent; or GNOME and KDE announce something a theme contest (Gosh, time to prove that Apple's taste is actually pretty bad); etc. These create NOISES, and these noises will ultimately bring us chances to educate people about GNU/Linux, and convert them to our side.

Again, THIS is the year of GNU/Linux. Well, if you believe so, and act accordingly.

May 15, 2009
11:13 AM EDT
I disagree. This is the era of desktop Linux.

May 15, 2009
6:29 PM EDT
When looking at a logistic curve, there are only bends; no peaks.

The only thing that 'peeked' is the market share of Windows; so a safe assumption would be that 2009 is not going to be the year of Windows. Not really safe because of Win7, but still rather safe.

May 16, 2009
4:47 AM EDT
I disagree too

I label this 'the era of pathetic coming out labels.'

so we can now have the 'year' of linux and the 'year' of windows all wrapped up into the year of butt monkeys.

I guess you can tell where you can carry your 'year of ' predictions now.

May 16, 2009
8:31 AM EDT
I hate to burst everyone's bubble where Windows 7 is concerned. But I've just been looking at it and It looks to me like it's basically an improved WinXP SP3. By that I mean they've taken the best of the glitz from Vista (It really does owe a lot to KDE4) and married it to what is basically XP SP3, it's even possible to revert to the so called Classic desktop (aka Win 98) which gives you a look that is similar to Win XP with the Classic desktop... Vista won't revert to that desktop, we've tried, at work. Also selecting the Best performance option in Control Panel --> System --. Advanced --> Performance, yields you the same Win98 (the Classic0 desktop as I have on my XP machine at work.

My guess is that Microsoft have listened to the feed back, the fact that people love Wind XP, and given them Win XP SP4 and called it Windows 7. This would explain why the basic in stall of Windows 7 Ultimate doesn't use much more disk space than a basic install of WinXP with SP3 service pack applied, 7 Gig, which though big by Linux standards... A full install of Ubuntu with full office packages and the Gimp and the rest of the stuff you get on a basic Linux install doesn't take up that much space, it's true, but compared to Vista, that's lightweight.

In the end it is just Windows, it's not something to get excited about 9although the Windows fanboys will trumpet it as the new sliced bread), it looks prettier than XP, and is more accessible, by virtue of the fact that it is probably a nicely warmed over XP, Vista, which is a regular pain in the bit you sit upon. But because it is basically WinXP, I don't think Microsoft will get all that many complaints about it.

May 16, 2009
9:29 AM EDT
I've played with Windows 7 a little bit in a virtual machine (couldn't get networking going). It's better, obviously, than Vista. It's much more responsive and has the feel of XP. They got rid of the default hideous black and went with sane colors. It's designed IMO to be sold as an improved XP.

It's still Windows, still a resource hog, but - depending on what the final product looks like - is probably not a compelling reason to look at alternative operating systems. OTOH, I saw little about Windows 7 that would stop someone from moving to Linux if she was already considering doing so.

May 16, 2009
6:42 PM EDT
I agree with bigg, there is nothing about Windows 7 that make any difference to the movement to Linux, it won't speed it up, and it won't slow it down. I can foresee all the same problems that affect Windows currently surfacing at some point in time, no doubt the repair shops will have time set aside for book ins at 6 monthly cycles from time of sale, the Anti Virus companies will make their money, and their products will be just as ineffective.

Basically Windows 7 is a big non event. That will be, by virtue of marketing and advertising made to seem somewhat relevent. It does however give Those who've stuck with WinXP what appears to be an upgrade path.

May 17, 2009
1:36 AM EDT
I posted this on another thread, but I'll post it here as well:

Well, you could define the year of Linux at the point it hits 10%, 25% or 50% marketshare.

Right now, its desktop marketshare is increasing less than 1% per year according to this website: http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php

I plotted a chart you can see here: http://keithcu.com/LinuxDesktopGrowth.png

May 17, 2009
2:31 AM EDT
I can show you other websites that would dispute that less than 1% growth. Certainly last year's netbook sales would have caused more than a 1% bump. Accurate numbers are almost impossible to come by and many of them are skewed to minimize Linux marketshare.

Also, it will never be the year of GNU/Linux or the era of GNU/Linux because, with the exception of the FSF faithful, nobody calls it that. It's just Linux.

May 17, 2009
5:23 AM EDT
It will be the year of GNU/OpenOffice.org/GNOME/KDE/Java/GIMP/Emacs/Firefox/Thunderbird Linux. Of course even that doesn't give credit for most of the software that came with my distribution. Guess maybe we should stick to using names to identify a product rather than attribute credit for its creation.

May 17, 2009
11:06 AM EDT
> It does however give Those who've stuck with WinXP what appears to be an upgrade path.

I agree. They've apparently tweaked the Vista kernel enough that it will now operate on new machines as well as XP did on 3 year old machines, which means users of XP can now upgrade with only the usual loss of some older peripherals and programs. Which is all anyone has ever expected from Windows.

In comparison, Vista involved the loss of numerous peripherals and programs, and included a significant performance degradation, even on new hardware.

May 17, 2009
11:27 AM EDT
Quoting: I can show you other websites that would dispute that less than 1% growth.

Thanks Caitlyn, I'm getting really bored with citations referring to that same old dumb much-debunked 1% figure. Years ago even IDC and Gartner were releasing higher figures for Linux desktop penetration.


May 17, 2009
12:02 PM EDT
TC -

I am getting a wee bit bothered, though, by one thing.

I would bet that we could go through the archives of LinuxToday -- the old LinuxToday -- and find ten year old threads that match this one nearly verbatim. At some point, shouldn't the conversations move forward?

May 17, 2009
12:18 PM EDT
That's a fair question, dino. As there have been a lot of articles recently on both LT and LXer recently debunking the 1% figure, as well as several related figures like MSI's infamously bogus 4x higher return rate, I wonder why the wrong (or at the least highly questionable figures) have such a sticky persistence. I guess it's the same old FUD/propaganda dilemma: how much countering it is too much?

May 17, 2009
7:13 PM EDT
Quoting:Right now, its desktop marketshare is increasing less than 1% per year according to this website: [HYPERLINK@www.w3counter.com]

Do you really think Chinese people do read English webpages? I don't. Therefore, statistics from both w3counter, NetApplications and Xitimonitor are all flawed; except when it comes to marketshare in Western countries.

Even then those numbers are questionable as most of the times it's not specified how they are measured. If I visit the same page 100 times, does it count for 100? Do they count IP's? MAC-addresses? Do they count boxes ore humans? Silly question it may seem, but there are multiheaded desktops. Do Google bots count as Linux?

Therefore, web statistics are almost the worst way of measuring market share.

May 17, 2009
10:00 PM EDT
Quoting:Do you really think Chinese people do read English webpages?
My filesystem speed article is more likely to be translated into something Slavic or Scandanavian. Maybe once a month I see a translation into Chinese, and that comes from google.tw, never from google.cn or Baidu.

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