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Why Linux on the desktop is dead

Tony Bradley | March 26, 2012
Linux is awesome. It's a powerful, capable, flexible operating system with tremendous potential. But, it's never going to be a factor on the desktop, so don't even waste your time considering it.

I know there's an army of dedicated Linux hobbyists who will no doubt unleash a barrage of flames and tirades as a result of this article. They'll tell me all the ways Windows sucks, and all the reasons Apple is evil, and make exalted claims about how wonderful their lives are since they made the switch, and how they'll never go back.

Let me preemptively say, "That's great. I'm happy for you." It doesn't change the fact that you're part of a negligible market segment. It doesn't change the reality that Linux is not as intuitive or user friendly as it's rivals, or that it lacks the third party hardware and software support of its rivals, or that using it requires a learning curve and the dedication to dive into forums and learn to tinker. It's great for hobbyists and hackers, but not for an average user at a company.

So, move on. There's nothing to see here. The dream of Linux becoming relevant in the desktop market will never be realized. The desktop OS market is a two horse race between Windows and Mac OS X.

Besides, we live in a post-PC era where even Windows and Mac OS X are being supplanted by mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Android is a Linux variant so Linux fans can claim that as a consolation prize for the lack of success on the desktop.


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