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Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit Leaves Desktop Linux Behind 212

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the time-to-push-back-on-corporatization dept.
Linux.com's Joe Barr has an interesting commentary about the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and the astounding lack of attention for desktop Linux. Now, a great deal of the monetary support driving Linux these days comes from companies with a vested interest in "big iron" but hopefully this won't completely eclipse the rest of the community. "Before I learned that the press was not welcome in any of the working-meetings at the summit on days 2 and 3, I saw and heard rumblings of discontent from more than one ordinary Linux desktop user. One example: a top-ten list of inhibitors to Linux adoption, created by a committee of foundation members, contained nothing at all relating to desktop usage. Nothing. Everything on the list was about back-room usage. Servers. Big iron."
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Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit Leaves Desktop Linux Behind

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  • by east coast (590680) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:02PM (#23066882)
    And why exactly shouldn't Apple count? Don't get me wrong, I'm not fanboi and I've never been tempted to "swing on that side" except for my iPod, but Apple should be counted.

    Granted, it's a different business model and a different product offering from Linux but if anything Apple should show that the mythical Windows stranglehold on the desktop is just that, mythical. Apple has gotten to the places that I heard that Linux was going to be in 5 years ago. They've actually done it, it's not a lot of talk and hype. For Apple it's as real as the dollars in their bank account. If anything the target users that Linux was suppose to rope in went Apple. I think that it's important for the Linux community to understand why and how.

    I personally only had a minor interest in Linux and it went south for several reasons that I've ranted on about before. If I were forced to take up a new machine running either OSX or Linux today I would give Apple a try. Linux for me has turned into the "been there, done that" bad experience of computing for me. And even in the years that I've been following Linux both as an interested bystander and for a while as a user I still see the desktop Linux revolution as a bunch of vaporware.

    Maybe something will happen, maybe I'll change my mind. But I wouldn't place bets on it. And turning away from Apple as not counting is a grave mistake in understanding what it's going to take to get Linux the kind of marketshare that Apple has proven to be available.

    Windows will not dominate forever, no. But I don't think it will be Linux that will take it's place on the desktop.
  • by nicklott (533496) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:04PM (#23066922)
    I think you have cause and effect mixed up. Linux desktops will start replacing windows when Big Business starts paying attention.
  • by compro01 (777531) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:07PM (#23066958)
    i think he's referring to "industry curve" as the software industry. basically, what software developers are making vs. what software major businesses are using.

    i'd say his lead time is a bit off (i'd cut that to maybe 5 or 7 years), but the concept holds that major businesses are slow to change to the new latest-and-greatest software. i'm sure there are still places transitioning to XP still.
  • So What? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:16PM (#23067082) Homepage Journal
    So what? All that means is that a better name for the foundation would be the "Linux Server Foundation". It's not their obligation to care about Desktop Linux, if it's not in their business interest to do so.

    By the same token, they don't "own Linux". When there are people who care enough to improve Desktop Linux, they'll do it (as many are). That's how Linux works: it's Open Source not just to read, but to write with your patches. When those people make money off Desktop Linux, and form a "foundation", maybe they'll have the sense of proportion to call it the "Linux Desktop Foundation". There's already plenty of orgs with those interests. So what if "the" Linux Foundation isn't one of them? And who's got the right to tell them they should be?
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:55PM (#23067668)
    For me, the year of Linux was 2006. That was the year that I came out of my office into my living room where my wife was having a "Moms Club" play date for the kids. As I poured myself a cup of coffee, I heard three of the stay at home moms discussing the move to Linux for their home computers. One had already moved, one was currently trying it out, and the third had heard of Linux but had not tried it. When stay at home moms are discussing Linux, it has obviously reached its "Year".
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:11PM (#23067910)
    It's just going to be a long, slow growth curve as both MacOS and Linux suck up increasingly large chunks of Microsoft's market share.

    Growth curve?

    What growth curve?

    Top Operating System Share Trend [By Versions] [hitslink.com]
    Top Operating System Share Trend [hitslink.com]

    I've played pool tables with a more visible slope than this particular measure of the trend line for Linux - and since these are web based stats, I am going to assume that the numbers for Vista for real.

    - - a fair representation of Vista's strength in the consumer market.

    20% by the end of in April. 50% probably no later than late summer or early fall. The Back-To-School sale.

    In the W3Schools OS Platform Statistics [w3schools.com] it took OSX and Linux five years to edge up from 4% to 8% of the market - and these stats track the pro, the web developer.

  • by yuna49 (905461) on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:27PM (#23068082)
    Calling yourselves "The Linux Foundation" suggests a degree of breadth and openness that this group clearly does not demonstrate. I don't have a problem with corporations holding meetings to determine what they might undertake collectively, but then call it what it is, the "Corporate Linux Users Foundation" or something like that. It's nice that they pay Linus's salary, I guess, but do you really think Novell or RedHat or IBM would tell him to take a hike if he offered to work at one of those places instead?

    I wonder what kind of access you get for an individual affiliate membership of $25 [linux-foundation.org]? Somehow I doubt they'd pay much attention to me compared to those Platinum sponsors at $500K. Reading the Bylaws [linux-foundation.org] tells me only that as an affiliate member I can't vote for members of the Board, vote to dissolve the Foundation, etc. Other than that, whatever privileges Affiliates get is determined by the Board. I didn't see a list of those privileges, but I can't claim to have scoured the site.

    And, doesn't Adobe have a few interests on the desktop?
  • by Spudds (860292) on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:52PM (#23068422)
    Pure poppycock!

    I myself know a handful of people that I or friends have "converted" for various reasons. All the converts are very non-technical and they are all very happy with linux. Between the "No viruses? At all? Wow!" to "That moving cube thing is Awesome!" to "That's all I have to do to install software? And it's all free?!!" they are very, very happy with it.

    Breaking point my right butt cheek.

    It will take a long time for Linux to claim the majority of the desktops, but it is an absolute eventuality.
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:25PM (#23069734)
    I can argue that.

    First of all, it might not "just install". I have a lot of programs from 90-s and early 2000-s that just DoNotWork(tm) on XP/Vista.

    Second, you STILL can get DLL hell if application tries to be nice and uses shared DLLs.

    Third, you can get SECURITY hell if application does not try to play nice and stores private copies of DLLs.

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.

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