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Linux for human beings, not yet

Segunda-feira, 28 de Janeiro de 2008

This is not a translation of the last post, it just happened that we had a similar discussion at the company I work, and I’m putting here the email I sent to that discussion.

What most of the Linux users don’t realize is that keep saying that Linux is better than Windows won’t help it to increase market share.

If you don’t have any idea what is the Linux market share, I can give you a hint. It’s around 1%, probably less.

Based on what? Based on the traffic statistics of a software development related web site. Not Linux related nor Windows related, just software development related. It’s reasonable to think that this kind of site has much more access from Linux users than the average.
The numbers for this site are:

Windows: 96.71%
Linux: 2.83%
Macintosh: 0.37%
Others: 0.09%

Linux IS better than Windows? In its kernel design, memory management, file system management, security I have no doubt it’s FAR better than Windows.

Where it fails is in ease of install, use, maintain.

Looking at the big picture, why Linux Community wasn’t able to solve the drivers problem yet?

Deals with hardware makers/vendors are needed, to release hardware with Linux drivers or, at least, hardware specifications on which somebody would be able to develop it.

This could be achieved through the major Linux supporters like IBM, Mark Shuttleworth, don’t know other names.
Maybe just political power of all this people/companies/organizations would be enough to achieve such deals, maybe “some” money would be needed and that could be a great problem in the sense it’s hard to see where this money would return, if would at all. In such a big market, money isn’t something that you can set aside, and this is a big
problem for many free software projects.

Instead of trying to do something in that direction (deals), looking at the big picture again, looks like every company is developing its own Linux without talking to anyone else.

That’s why I said the decentralized way Linux is developed doesn’t help much.

Money alone isn’t guarantee of good software (Vista is there to prove that), but it’s needed in such big projects, even when most of the project is made of contributions.
I’m afraid that Mark’s money alone wouldn’t be enough. Time will tell, so far, Linux is not winning.


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