Desktop Linux: The Dream Is Dead

ChairmanMiau

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
370
The fact that we have a 10 page thread that's contantly bumped to the top of Front Page News seems to indicate that the subject at hand is infact not 'dead'.
 

3one5

Gawd
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
579
I love my quad monitor Ubuntu setup. Been using Ubuntu as a primary OS for years now. I have a hard time switching back to a Windows OS because I don't want to pay for all the free tools I have now. Linux is much more customizable and really sets the power user free.
 

ripken204

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
1,427
throughout the last few years i have played around with linux, finally with Ubuntu 10.04 I have 10.10 Ubuntu seemed to finally hit a milestone for me where it is perfectly usable as my main OS.
i rarely use Win7 anymore, only for playing games and Adobe Lightroom.

Linux is nowhere close to dead.
The issue with Linux is that it's not advertised at all, most people either don't know of it or are scared of it.

Sure people may have heard the word "Linux" but have they ever heard of "Ubuntu" or any other distro,
Do they even know what the word distro is? Most wont even know how to install it, despite simple instructions on the Ubuntu website. Burn a cd? Install from flash drive? Most people have never done any of those things.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
674
Ubuntu 10.04 is the primary OS on two of my machines. Far from dead, but I'd have to agree that it's not advertised or even understood.
 

Stone Cold

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
1,146
My brothers are non-technical. They managed to get Ubuntu up and running on a laptop. That amazed me. The installers have come so very far. ...
Anyhow, if Linux has a 1% market share, that is amazing. I thought OSX had a market share around 5% for sake of comparison.

I just installed the latest Ubuntu. As far as any newbie would be concerned, it displays garbage (esoteric text) on the installation, when booting up, and when exiting. There is absolutely no excuse for that, and Ubuntu is the most reputable newbie-friendly Linux distro. Linux people don't even get simple stuff right, which is why Linux market share doesn't exceed the masochistic experimenter demographic.

To be fair, even if Linux were "perfect", it still wouldn't exceed 1% of the market. They'd still need millions of dollars to spend on marketing. But, even that wouldn't be enough. Apple has a polished OS and they spend millions on marketing, yet Apple OS X would still be at about 1% if not for the success of Apple's other products which carries Mac OS X.

Compatibility is king, and that is Windows. Windows will stay king until the OS no longer matters (everything runs on everything).
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
If you have to use another OS for certain activities, you've failed. - something Steve Jobs could say

The original article never said that Linux is dead, it said that the dream of desktop Linux ever being a major player was dead, two quite different things. The average person isn't likely to run two completely different OSes for their computing needs. Until Linux supports the vast majority of the things that people are used to doing on Windows or even OS X and does it at least as well as either then why would the average user even want to bother?

Sure there are reasons like security but it's just something the average person has zero interest in.
 

TheBlueChanell

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
4,660
I just installed the latest Ubuntu. As far as any newbie would be concerned, it displays garbage (esoteric text) on the installation, when booting up, and when exiting. There is absolutely no excuse for that, and Ubuntu is the most reputable newbie-friendly Linux distro. Linux people don't even get simple stuff right, which is why Linux market share doesn't exceed the masochistic experimenter demographic.

To be fair, even if Linux were "perfect", it still wouldn't exceed 1% of the market. They'd still need millions of dollars to spend on marketing. But, even that wouldn't be enough. Apple has a polished OS and they spend millions on marketing, yet Apple OS X would still be at about 1% if not for the success of Apple's other products which carries Mac OS X.

Compatibility is king, and that is Windows. Windows will stay king until the OS no longer matters (everything runs on everything).

Apple also has a high cost of entry. You're going to be paying roughly $1k at minimum to get a device running OSX. If there were cheaper pc's available that ran OSX, you'd bet your bottom dollar that OSX would have more market share than it has now. This is kind of obvious, but you may have overlooked it.

Windows has ton's of market penetration, a wide range of entry costs, and pretty much has an Iron Curtain in enterprise environments. It's just more accessible.

I could see a lot of public school districts switching to Linux but the problem is managing/administration. AD is king, sure there's alternative's but none hold a candle to AD.
 

ChairmanMiau

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
370
it displays garbage (esoteric text) on the installation, when booting up, and when exiting. There is absolutely no excuse for that

Why? Everyone is used to some sort of esoteric text as part of the booting/shutdown/OS installation process. It just gets ignored by the typical user unless it hangs.

I can see why you'd dislike it aesthetically, but how much time does one spend staring at the boot/shutdown procedure? I could bring in a stupid car ignition analogy...

More of an issue is Ubuntu's ugly default color scheme, poor choice of default font, and shitty name. Nice icons, though.
 

Pylon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,299
I think the default scheme has improved, and Dejavu Sans looks pretty good as a display font (unless they changed it to the new font, to which I would agree). I would agree that the name isn't that attractive. It's not exactly something someone would take seriously.
 

rudy

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
8,687
Lots of free programs grow like firefox without advertisement. There is more wrong with linux then just lack of advertising. Maybe the problem is linux proponents come up with bad things to advertise. For 99% of desktop users who will never change the source code they do not care if you can compile your own kernel or if it is open source. And at the end of the day the best solution is one OS that does it all. So linux needs to come up with better applications that can make it an all inclusive package that is easy to use and extremely productive.
 

Pylon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,299
The thing is, other than the fact that it's free and relatively secure, Ubuntu doesn't really offer much of an advantage over Windows or OSX. Also, since 10.04, there's a number of bugs plaguing it (e.g. it won't resume from hibernate/suspend), and fixing bugs in general takes some heavy command line use and oftentimes requires editing text files, enough to put off first time users.
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
15,885
I've used Ubuntu on and off since 5.10. All I have to say is it has come a LONG way.

I started using Linux with SuSE 6.3, back in 1998. While Linux as a whole has come a long way, in many others it's still stuck in '98. Take for example the inconsistent use of open/save dialogues. With other OSs you get this nice consistency, whereas Linux seems to abhor the mere concept. Every app does things differently, making it painfully obvious which apps got ported from Windows/OS X and which are truly Linux-only apps.

I remember spending a whole afternoon with I believe Red Hat 6.x just to get the @#$#@ onboard sound working. Felt like a major victory, but I wouldn't wish it upon someone less technical and above all patient :)

Disasters such as PulseAudio do not help to reinforce the idea that Linux _is_ ready for the desktop if you aren't ready to spend many an afternoon putting out fires.
 

lightp2

Gawd
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
672
Lots of free programs grow like firefox without advertisement. There is more wrong with linux then just lack of advertising. Maybe the problem is linux proponents come up with bad things to advertise. For 99% of desktop users who will never change the source code they do not care if you can compile your own kernel or if it is open source. And at the end of the day the best solution is one OS that does it all. So linux needs to come up with better applications that can make it an all inclusive package that is easy to use and extremely productive.

Hi rudy,

The basic issue is due to current Multi-Media expectation of the consumer desktop.

1. Many current Multi-Media techs involve patents and royalty payments
2. Since Linux cannot find a business model to get users paying for consumer Linux desktop. it follows that Linux vendors also not willing to enable such multimedia capabilities in the official way.
2a. If enable without patent access/royalty payment --> litigation issue? they cannot take the chance of enabling support with patents/royalties issue outstanding else they could be hit with huge legal payment if wrong results.
2b. As a result, users need to look for alternatives. This affects the general idea of a minimal-support consumer desktop.

3. Due to the same issue, very few big computer manufacturers can do this in a big way deploying consumer Linux desktop. It is also fast changing on 6-month cycle. There's a lot of headaches with minimal gain. Common non-tech folks expect things to work immediately. Several support calls later your margin is basically gone yet still need to prepare in case the patent holders/royalties collector come knocking if you don't have reasonable plan to address all such issues.

However, things are very different with those Android-based Media-Players/Tablets. Perhaps those vendors already address these patents/royalties issues in the background so their products come fully prepared to support full multimedia experience. Therefore my comment that Android is more realistic for large scale Linux-based consumer products deployment. Of course when Google release Chrome OS for desktop/laptop it could be even better because Google is big enough to deal with a lot of such issues. Obviously don't kid ourselves Google will find ways to recover the initial investments through various business means.

The issues are also somewhat addressed in the new age when multimedia stuff migrated to Flash-based formats with Adobe Flash Player freely available. Again, there's obviously a lot of Adobe gains in case all old audio/video formats converged into Adobe Flash.
 

crackbone

Gawd
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Messages
745
It's dead. The primary strengths are perfect for mobile, and since that's where the major growth is anyway, I'd say Linux had a bright future, just not on the desktop.
 
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