In our previous look at Linux on the Desktop, the article describes how Linux tops Vista in 16 of 18 benchmark categories while besting Windows XP in 10 of 18 with two ties. Yet Linux a)has gained no market share in the Desktop PC market in the past year languishing at 1-3% depending on which IT Evaluator Organization you want to believe and b)after pioneering the Netbook market with the Asus Eee – Linux promptly surrendered the lead to Windows XP as soon as Microsoft deigned to offer its previously discontinued and crippled Windows XP. Voila, XP appears on just about everyone of a fast growing flock of new Netbooks from such bigtime vendors as Acer, Dell, and HP.
Unfortunately I was foolhardy enough to ask for commentary on an obvious question:
How can Linux lose to such an inferior set of OS?
Windows 7 – stake into the heart of LInux desktop ambitions?
And of course, the only response so far has been some Microsofty offering Linux Fanboy nonsense. So I have started to pour over the Web and look for other blog commentary on the issue. Here is some of the more interesting view points:
Datamation – looks at the Closed versus Open Source debate that currently wracks LInux
Henry Kingman – documents how a religious absolutism of Debian Linux developers creates problems
Internet.com – reviews why and how both Apple and Linux have lost a golden opportunity to take market form Windows and especially Windows Vista
Lentil Soup – The sad state of the Linux Desktop notes that to get things working in even the one of the most user friendly Linux distros(Ubuntu 8.10) – users are required to do Terminal compiles and other expert/hacker level work(no details provided so I am a bit suspicious).
Linux Watch – attempts to answer why Linux is losing to Windows on Netbooks and discovers that Microsoft owns the PC desktop hardware suppliers.
LinuxWatch 2 – looks at Windows XP on Netbooks and concludes that Windows 7 can’t possibly be better and so holds out hope for Linux on Netbooks. Hmmmm.
maraDNS – generally very hard on the confusion engendered by so many Linux distro; but then acknowledges here that VMWare allows him to have the best of both worlds.
Microsoft breaks HotMail for Linux users? – Microsoft continues to play “hardball” against Linux whenever it can get away with it.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols – shows how something that is trivial on the Windows desktop is tough to do in Linux, record a Linux program session. Trivial with Techsmith’s Camtasia or Adobe Captivate in Windows – read how “easy” in Linux.
VNUnet – notes that ten years after its launch Java gains a beachhold on 2 Linux desktop distos
This is our first dip into the whys of how Linux is losing to the seriously deficient Windows desktop. I suspect that as the Internet.com writer, Paul Rubens, suggests – Microsoft will not blunder so badly on Windows 7. But hey these Redmond guys are not miracle workers any more – both Vista and Internet Explorer 8 are testaments to the mediocrity that comes from having to protect so many Redmond franchises. Quality takes second seat to market share.