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Thread: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

  1. #41
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    i guess i have to shorten it
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  2. #42
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    I would if i could though.
    CrunchBang Linux
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  3. #43
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    there are several other reasons in addition to the geeky attitude, lack of driver and so on...

    Here's some from my experience:

    #1 I built a pc with intel h61 board, i7 processor, ocz 256 ssd, 8gb ram. the system installed quite well, but audio did not work until i changed something in alsa-base.conf file in /etc/modprobe.d/ that means the exact driver was there in the kernel, but the system was not smart enough to configure it properly. you'll find thousands such instances involving sound, video or network card. just browse this forum. there's driver, still it's unable to configure itself.

    #2 Linux has so many desktop environments but none of them are consistent. I don't need to site any example. just compare any OSS DE such kde, gnome, lxde, xfce with Explorer or Aqua, you'll know for yourself. I'm aware Linux rocks when it goes headless and works as a server sans any DE. but any layer on top of it is not refined/polished to match the other OSes.

    #3 As for applications, Linux distributions come bundled with many, but most of them though very capable lack the sane defaults. For example, GIMP is very intuitive and serves the purpose of moderate image editing envying Photoshop. But consider the sane defaults of the two...

    #4 No failsafe journey to the desktop in case of lack of drivers. I hope everyone knows what I mean.

    #5 It's a moving target. The entire linux echosystem is ever progressing but never remains stable long enough to be properly deployed. Server land has a different story, but consumer desktops suffer from this a lot.

  4. #44
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    Linux has done exceedingly well. It comes town to the hardware makers. They distribute Windows hardware, no one wants to mess with the factory state of their devices, Windows runs all the software they need, so why switch? If you could go to the store, buy an Ubuntu laptop, test it out in the store, etc..., then Linux would be a lot more popular...

    But MS established their eco-system first, and most people have no reason to switch. Especially since Windows software can be incredibly affordable through the right sources (pre-installed Windows is more or less free, others absorb a good deal of the cost, you can get Office through school or corporate accounts for dirt cheap, etc...).

    The fact that Linux does have 1 percent of the market is more impressive than it looks. How many people out of 100 are computer-savvy? 10? 5? Of that number, quite a few use Linux...

    I look at the University Bookstore here, every CS book is Linux, Linux, Linux. Not one required book is about anything MS.

  5. #45
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    As some of you old-timers on the forums know, I used to be a secondary school English teacher who knew pretty much nothing about computers. Through an extraordinary set of circumstances, my official paying gig now is doing tech support (and sys and network admin). Both places I've done official tech support are Microsoft shops (HP/Dell/Exchange/Active Directory), and I can assure you all of two things:

    1. Windows is not in any way easier to use or manage than Linux. Nor are there fewer problems or always easier-to-solve problems in Windows than in Linux. If anything, I've found Windows more difficult to support than Linux--outdated or hard-to-find drivers, search results for error messages turning up no consistent and/or working advice, random inexplicable behavior, cumbersome menus or registry keys to sift through. Believe me, from a tech support standpoint, it's much better to be able to find some copy-and-paste command or text configuration file to edit than to have to deal with cryptic error messages that lead to non-solutions.

    2. When it comes to purchasing and/or implementing tech solutions, the #1 priority is longevity and support. Is the company that's providing this service or product going to be around for years? If there's a problem that can't be fixed in-house, can we call to get support? Do other companies use this product or service?

    That last one is a biter, I think, for Linux. If you talk to Dell or HP and want to set up a Linux server, they'll do it. Linux servers are big business, and everybody knows it. You'll be in the minority for Linux desktops/laptops. If there's a problem with Windows 7 and some driver, users will be frustrated but understand it's not your fault. If you choose to eschew Windows 7 in favor of Ubuntu 12.04, and then there's a problem with the driver, no one but a Linux geek will understand. Everyone, including higher-ups, will say "Why don't we use Windows like everyone else?"

    And I have to say for 99% of what people do in terms of productivity, LibreOffice will cover it, but that 1% does matter to organizations, and in the grand scheme of things, Microsoft Office doesn't cost that much (especially if you have a large organization and can get a site license deal). 100% compatibility with the rest of the world also matters to people.

    And then you have the problem of what people use at work they tend to use at home. In fact, there's even a whole bring-your-own-device phenomenon now. I saw lots of people bringing in iPads and Macbook Airs. Not a lot of Linux stuff (unless you count Android).

    If Linux wants the desktop (not sure if that's even a desirable goal any more), it needs to have a prominent company market a fully integrated product with support. Ubuntu is not a fully integrated product. Ubuntu is an .iso download that may or may not work on your machine (yes, even if you purchased your machine with Linux preloaded!).

  6. #46
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    Microsoft established early on that PC = Windows and Windows = PC.

    That is the mindset.

    In the PC world, Windows is the 800lb gorilla and Linux is the capuchin. Has the diminutive monkey failed if if has not driven the huge ape from its perch? Or would it be best for the capuchin to take a more realistic view of itself and be content to do what capuchins do best?
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  7. #47
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    Not read the whole thread but in answer to the main question, my opinion is that simply put, you have to install it yourself. No one wants to do that.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    Possibly, having a new release every 6 months is Ubuntu's millstone around their neck. Look at MS, they don't release Win XX every 6 months (they'd be on Win 60+ by now). Drivers have always been a big issue with Linux though. When I moved over to 11.04 (over a year ago) my computer had a NVidia graphics card. Tried several times to install the correct driver from NVidia, to no avail. They system even told me I had the correct driver but that it wasn't installed. As a complete noob at the time, I trawled the internet for answers. All came back to the ubiquitous use of the terminal to install the drivers (which as a noob,I found fairly frightening and stressful)
    Someone has the sig "Linux assumes you know exactly what you are doing." Never a truer statement have I read.
    The way forward (as I see it) is for Linux to develop, in such a way, that total newcomers can install and run programs with the minimum of fuss. How many Win users have to resort to the MS Dos prompt to install programs and applications? Hardly any I should imagine.

  9. #49
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    Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSilly View Post
    Not read the whole thread but in answer to the main question, my opinion is that simply put, you have to install it yourself. No one wants to do that.
    From the home user:
    "Can I use my create-a-card"?
    "Can I run my cross stitch program"?
    "This doesn't look like Microsoft Office"?

    From the business user:
    "How can I run my in-house I.E.-only apps?"

  10. #50
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    TenPlus1 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Smile Re: Why Linux has failed on the Desktop (opinion)

    Linux has done amazingly well with all if it's communities and developers and has come a long way and evolved many forms and desktops for desktop and server use...

    If you continue to compare it to windows then simply use windows, for those who prefer to customise the look, feel and operability of their desktop then linux is a great exploration ground...

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