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View Full Version : is GNU/Linux really gaining steam??



billdotson
March 13th, 2007, 06:49 PM
Recently I have heard things like French Parliament moves to Ubuntu, CA school district switches to Linux, and so on and so on. I have read an article that says every year there is someone or some group saying this is the year of the Linux desktop and it never happens.

I have only been using Ubuntu for 6 weeks or so and I have only been keeping up w/ Linux news for about a month. It seems that recently I have heard a good amount about businesses and gov'ts moving to Linux for their workstations/desktops. Is this just more "year of Linux" news that happens every year or has Ubuntu gained enough recognition for GNU/Linux that people are starting to realize that GNU/Linux IS a good alternative OS and will save them money in the long run?

irish_flu
March 13th, 2007, 07:00 PM
I bet you can get fifty different answers to that question, and none of them will say the same thing :)

NotPhil
March 13th, 2007, 07:20 PM
... I have read an article that says every year there is someone or some group saying this is the year of the Linux desktop and it never happens ... You're going to notice more Linux news after you've started using Linux than before you start using it. But, people have been moving, slowly, over to Linux for several years now.

Linux is still a small segment of the market, though. A few government agencies, corporations, and hard-core computer users make up the bulk of its users, but Apple and Microsoft are helping push people over here with their DRM policies and their pricing.

prizrak
March 13th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Governments [and other organizations] have been more active at going over to Linux lately mostly because of Vista. Since they know they will have to move away from XP to an OS that will require them to replace their park of machines and not be compatible with half the software they use, that on top of all they will have to pay for. So now they are looking at an OS that will likely run on their hardware will still not be compatible with their software and is either 100% free or costs much less.

ade234uk
March 13th, 2007, 07:35 PM
I have been using Linux on and off for about 4-5 years. I must admit that back then the community felt tiny. There was support but you had to dig long and hard to find it. I remember feeling chuffed when I managed to get my Nvidia card running on Mandrake 8.

Over the last 2-3 years they have always said this is the year for Linux. I dont think there will ever be such a thing, it will just happen.

bks
March 13th, 2007, 07:49 PM
I think it would be great if Microsoft lost their stranglehold on the market. I was talking to my dad the other day in an effort to get him to try Dapper, but he was worried about how "hard" it would be to use. Linux isn't like it used to be though, it's a lot more user friendly or newbie friendly.

mostwanted
March 13th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Most open source software is "viral" and open source software is becoming the industry standard in many fields right now - this process will not slow down in the future! As cross-platform open source programs and open standards gain further support, the choice of platform is going to matter less and Linux market share will rise further. I don't think there will ever be a year of Linux, but that doesn't mean open source isn't taking over because it certainly is.

Mazza558
March 13th, 2007, 10:39 PM
Firefox is powering ahead of closed-source competitors as we speak. This is all due to it being a superior product, more secure, and not to mention free. Of course, this didn't happen overnight, but over time it built momentum from word-of-mouth. GNU/Linux is, in my opinion, just like Firefox was before it began to build momentum. I'd say that Linux is very near to becoming completely viable for everyone's needs and that when people begin to switch, this will cause a chain reaction due to word-of-mouth - just like with Firefox. I'm being extremly optimistic here, but I think that Linux will have 10% of the global market by 2010.

FoolsGold
March 13th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Ignore this "year of linux" crap. It doesn't actually mean anything; you can't have a year where Linux makes inrodes in any noticable way - if it's to happen, it will happen gradually.

Better to simply decide if this becomes YOUR own "year of linux", as opposed to the rest of the community.

Lord Illidan
March 13th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Firefox is powering ahead of closed-source competitors as we speak. This is all due to it being a superior product, more secure, and not to mention free. Of course, this didn't happen overnight, but over time it built momentum from word-of-mouth. GNU/Linux is, in my opinion, just like Firefox was before it began to build momentum. I'd say that Linux is very near to becoming completely viable for everyone's needs and that when people begin to switch, this will cause a chain reaction due to word-of-mouth - just like with Firefox. I'm being extremly optimistic here, but I think that Linux will have 10% of the global market by 2010.

Could be... firefox was a killer app...shame it is getting so bloated and buggy.

maniacmusician
March 13th, 2007, 10:59 PM
Could be... firefox was a killer app...shame it is getting so bloated and buggy.
ditto...at least about the bloated part.

warner
March 13th, 2007, 11:16 PM
I have been following GNU news, heavily, for the last 10+ years.

There have been "Year of the Linux Desktop" stories for at least the last 8.

So in some respects GNU/Linux desktop use will parallel the wider FOSS story.

For many years the story was "Linux isn't mission critical" "You can't make money off of FOSS" "It wont____", It can't____"

Now *everyone* talks about how FOSS has "completely changed the rules", "created a sea change", etc.

This is what is happening with the desktop now, what happened with GNU backend infrastructure about three years ago.

The stories we are seeing now are the second wave of adoption in the decade long story of "Desktop Linux". The folks who are completing their initial roll-outs. as more data emerges from these cases and the compelling savings become self evident, the pace of switch overs and green field deployments will continue to accelerate.

If you have ever seen a global population growth trend line we are near the 10-15 degree part. The "Year of Desktop Linux" will later refer to period of the trend line when it accelerates into the 30-45 degree range.

I personally see that point being reached within 24 months.

The short answer to your question is ...

Yes! And you haven't seen anything yet, it's going to be a wild ride.

And by the way this story is participatory, you get to help make it happen.

"Your feedback on Dell IdeaStorm has been astounding. Thank you! We hear your requests for desktops and notebooks with Linux. We’re crafting product offerings in response, but we’d like a little more direct feedback from you: your preferences, your desires. We recognize some people prefer notebooks over desktops, high-end models over value models, your favorite Linux distribution, telephone-based support over community-based support, and so on. We can’t offer everything (all systems, all distributions, all support options), so we’ve crafted a survey (www.dell.com/linuxsurvey) to let you help us prioritize what we should deliver for you.

Taking a few minutes to complete this survey will help us define our forthcoming Linux-based system offerings. We will close the survey on Friday, March 23. From there, we’ll take some time to analyze your feedback and work to provide the platforms and options you choose."

http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/03/13/7985.aspx

Spread the word.

warner

hardyn
March 13th, 2007, 11:37 PM
I think it would be great if Microsoft lost their stranglehold on the market. I was talking to my dad the other day in an effort to get him to try Dapper, but he was worried about how "hard" it would be to use. Linux isn't like it used to be though, it's a lot more user friendly or newbie friendly.

Dads are sometimes hard to get on-board (im pretty sure i don't ever want to get old)... my dads CAD package is keeping him in Windows, the company used to offer a Sun port, but has since dropped it; despite user pressure the company refuses to wake up the Sun source and port to Linux oh well (despite one user offering to do it for FREE!, he was open to an NDA) ...

that same Cad package a few years ago was only available on the PC via SCO Unix (the devil i know), and he did like the Unix thing... He went to a west coast university in the late 60's and still has a little of that hippy rebel thing in him... i think he would like to get away from MS if he could.

The same story for me... im on linux 95% of the time... but there are one or two packages that will keep me in Windows for quite some time im afraid. Although some of the big players are starting to come around, i believe Disceet offers 3dStudio in 64bit linux now.... maybe more will follow?

warner
March 13th, 2007, 11:48 PM
I have read two *completely seperate* accounts of MS itself internally citing a figure of 50% plus desktop adoption for Linux within 5-8 years,

early in the next decade.

Trebuchet
March 14th, 2007, 12:22 AM
Firefox is powering ahead of closed-source competitors as we speak. This is all due to it being a superior product, more secure, and not to mention free.As a happy Firefox user I wish I could believe this, but Firefox is still tiny compared to IE6/7. IIRC it's in the 9% range, which is pretty amazing but hardly constitutes "powering ahead." And while Firefox is markedly better than IE6, its advantages vs. IE7 are much narrower if they exist at all. I switched to Firefox before IE7 was released; had it been released prior I might well have stayed with IE since my experience with early versions of Firefox was not positive. The difference between IE7 and Firefox are more those of personal preference rather than anything objective.

IE7, especially as implemented in Vista, is probably as secure as Firefox and it's also free.

Lord Illidan
March 14th, 2007, 12:42 AM
As a happy Firefox user I wish I could believe this, but Firefox is still tiny compared to IE6/7. IIRC it's in the 9% range, which is pretty amazing but hardly constitutes "powering ahead." And while Firefox is markedly better than IE6, its advantages vs. IE7 are much narrower if they exist at all. I switched to Firefox before IE7 was released; had it been released prior I might well have stayed with IE since my experience with early versions of Firefox was not positive. The difference between IE7 and Firefox are more those of personal preference rather than anything objective.

IE7, especially as implemented in Vista, is probably as secure as Firefox and it's also free.

I agree with you.

IE7 is faster, it looks more integrated with Vista (although themes exist for firefox), and supports all the things which Firefox has. Except extensions.

What I'd love is for Mozilla to stop releasing new features and put firefox on a diet. Oh, and I'd like Novell or Sun or whoever to put OpenOffice on a diet, too.

Trebuchet
March 14th, 2007, 01:03 AM
IE7 has downloadable Add-Ons, which I think are pretty similar to Firefox's Extensions. (I'm not certain because I use IE7 only for manual Microsoft Updates and have no plans to switch back.)

I note that some Add-Ons cost money, although it appears the vast majority are free.

jcconnor
March 14th, 2007, 03:01 AM
You know what I think is funny is how this thread switched to a "I Love IE" train of thought. Like MS is thinking, well, maybe if we distract them they'll get over this silly little Linux thing.

Right guys??

NoTiG
March 14th, 2007, 04:42 AM
IMO there will be a year of the linux desktop. ALready hundreds of thousands of people convert every year. It is not long before it's millions. With open source there is this exponential effect where the more people who use it, the more contribute. I think even though millions already use it.. so far it has been gradual.. but I feel... that it's coming to a point where it's going to take off. Everything is just coming together. There are so many people passionate about it. For instance... i will give you an example.... i recently read an article about microsoft vista adds being vandalized in some subway on its launch date... linux has a commited passionate following that grows every year.. and you can see the fruits of this involvement in everything that is taking place. IMO the year of linux is soon... but i think there is 1 main problem... Games. I hope they will find a way to get direct x 10 games working. ALready they have most good games working... with some hassle.

I also can't wait until you can install ubuntu.. from windows... without even having to burn it to a CD

aysiu
March 14th, 2007, 05:34 AM
When the supposed "year of the Linux desktop" comes, you won't need an article in a tech magazine or a thread on the Ubuntu Forums to let you know it's here.

http://www.psychocats.net/essays/linuxdesktopmyth

EdThaSlayer
March 14th, 2007, 08:40 AM
It could be Linux propaganda to make us proud of using our operating system,even though it might be true.

Lord Illidan
March 14th, 2007, 11:11 AM
You know what I think is funny is how this thread switched to a "I Love IE" train of thought. Like MS is thinking, well, maybe if we distract them they'll get over this silly little Linux thing.

Right guys??

It's not I love IE, it is that firefox has to stop resting on its laurels and start catching up. It is slow and buggy, there's no doubt about it.

Trebuchet
March 14th, 2007, 12:30 PM
IMO there will be a year of the linux desktop. ALready hundreds of thousands of people convert every year. It is not long before it's millions. I'm sure millions of people use Linux. Who knows, maybe there's as many as 100 million Linux users worldwide.

I'd just like to point out that one million is 1/1000th of one billion. Clearly there's a long way to go.

Trebuchet
March 14th, 2007, 12:33 PM
You know what I think is funny is how this thread switched to a "I Love IE" train of thought.Firefox is a great browser, but IE hasn't been sitting on its hands. What was a clear advantage for Firefox a year ago is much narrower now.

Personally, I like the fact there are several good browsers out there (I don't like Opera, but I know lots of people do.). Competition is good.

roderikk
March 14th, 2007, 03:19 PM
Hm, I don't know how much value to put in these statistics:



2007 IE7 IE6 IE5 Fx Moz S O
February 16.4% 39.8% 2.5% 31.2% 1.4% 1.7% 1.5%
January 13.3% 42.3% 3.0% 31.0% 1.5% 1.7% 1.5%

But these are straight from the w3c:

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

They state that FF currently has a market share of 31.2% which has been very steadily growing over the past years!

Just annecdotal, but the other day I was going to the gym here and overheard some guys talking about how windows just didn't work for them anymore and how they wanted to try out this Linux thing... also among my friends I see a general trend in the direction of linux. And when someone who I used to help with windows needs troubleshooting (my mom, my boss) I usually decide to help them switch over to Ubuntu... and they think it is cool and looks good and just works!

I think we will never have 'a year of the linux desktop' but we are just at the start of an age :-)

stig
March 16th, 2007, 11:16 AM
If the "French Parliament" story hasn't already been linked in this thread, here it is: :)

"The French parliament has chosen Ubuntu to power the desktop computers of its representatives and their assistants. Parlement Franšais is to dump Windows for the Linux distribution on 1,154 desktop systems before the start of the next parliamentary session in June......

Full story:
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2185308/french-parliament-switches

Also, on open source software in the UK:

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2185139/tories-back-open-source

Kateikyoushi
March 16th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Firefox is powering ahead of closed-source competitors as we speak. This is all due to it being a superior product, more secure, and not to mention free.

Well yes firefox is in the spotlight, and this is really good for us but I would argue with some of those statements find opera superior in most fields, the extensions are killer though.

I certainly think that linux is growing, since I knew it compared to windows linux became a competitor and many of us would certainly say superior.
This competitive product, with vista on the other side gives linux a huge window of opportunity, both with home and corporate users.


If you think it was picking up steam, look what's coming next...

billdotson
March 17th, 2007, 12:57 AM
what really is so bad about Vista.. I hear alot about it being DRM-laden but never hear any specifics. I have also heard varying opinions on how hardware intensive it is. I would like to see some cold, hard facts about the problems in Vista before saying that it is so horrible. I am not defending Windows per se but I would just like to know the facts of how it is.

Redlance
March 17th, 2007, 10:51 AM
BAH click link look at hits Nuff said
http://web.archive.org/web/20020525145204/http://www.distrowatch.com/

Kateikyoushi
March 17th, 2007, 12:02 PM
what really is so bad about Vista.. I hear alot about it being DRM-laden but never hear any specifics. I have also heard varying opinions on how hardware intensive it is. I would like to see some cold, hard facts about the problems in Vista before saying that it is so horrible. I am not defending Windows per se but I would just like to know the facts of how it is.

You have to get a new pc for it, or you could just switch to linux with your few years old PC and saw couple of hundred bucks.
I rather help my friends save a few hundred.