Why Linux Desktop is still not dead ?
We have been reading lately from some frustrated individuals, talking a lot about death of Linux Desktops. While it’s good to read their opinion, it seems many of these people are either getting old or don’t live with current trend. Linux is already 20 years old and in 20 years one can get old. This article is just my opinion on this subject.
First, Linux kernel was created to copy unix kernel. Then the Desktop interfaces were created to mimic windows and macs. Software were created to copy big commercial software. We would get one or two important feature on one software and some others on another one. As a result we had to install 5 or 6 of those software to create a usable experience. I think, people who talk about Death of Linux Desktops are stuck in that era.
Its funny many people who have not even touched Linuxes for past 2 to 3 years, vaguely give their opinion based on their past experiences, even without experiencing it now.
Days of copy and mimicking popular software has been stopped for quite some time in Linux world. It is now the place for innovation. We have seen innovations in kernels, desktop interfaces (its sad, there was no middle ground for those who could not jump to new interfaces), software.
Whenever you use a free api in your favorite programming language you should be thanking Linux once for popularizing open source. Sometimes, its sad Linux does not keep all its innovations in Linux only environment. Many people quickly judge Linux by not having unique software to itself. However not keeping software to itself will do greater good, because you don’t have to train people when they jump to Linux world.
If we look at the trend of Linux’s growth, it is entering on all genre. And we all Linux users know Linux is such an intrusive (in a good way) piece of software, it never retreats once it enters a particular market.
As more and more software move on-line, and Linux Desktops takes care of rest, we are only left with very few software that is not natively supported in Linux. Sometimes these software are very important, that the user of the software cannot leave the supported operating system. However if people get trained to new ways of using software e.g smart phones, they will find Linux Desktops just as easy as using their favorite software. Hardware vendors who get more control using Linux will try to push Linux a little by little. Initially they might try to push it targeting certain group of users e.g programmers, elderly people by providing software experiences easily accessible. When software developers grow using Linux, they are going to use it for everything. When software are developed using Linux, it is only going to increase the Linux Desktop experience all around.
For people wanting to use Linux, getting graphics support was one of the hardest piece of the puzzle. Many computers shipped with default intel graphics cards. Distributions had mixed support. Even if it once got to work, it could fail on next version. In the next version some other piece of hardware could stop to work. This experience was mostly due to hardware vendors not certifying their hardware at least for some version or distribution of Linux. People don’t realize or search the compatibility of their hardware with Linux at the time of purchase. There were some occasions where vendors even shipped with additional cds that contained Linux, certified for that hardware.
Even with such bad support from hardware vendors, after kernel version 3 a lot of new and old hardware have started to work. Some legacy software still might not work, but those issues are very rare. In almost all cases Linux just works.
It is such a good time for Linux, you can confidently recommend Linux to anyone (refer above for my exceptions). I know it is not going to run your photoshop, wow, lfd2 (it might soon change), but unless you get upset based on some frustrated user’s experience, there are many people whose total work-flow is covered in Linux. We all know not all software can work for everyone.
Only based on my recommendations, you don’t just have to use Linux. However Linux is ready. Are you?