Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Mother of All The Year of the Linux Desktop

This article is a collection of "The Year of the Linux Desktop" over the years.

As I came up with the title for this article, I did so fully realizing that many of you will likely groan at the thought of yet another "tis the year of the Linux desktop" article. However unlike other articles, I have actual concrete examples of why I think that it's fair to suggest that 2013 could be a huge year for Linux on the desktop.

In the 21 years or so since its inception, Linux has gained some amazing enthusiast street cred, but failed time and again to enter the mainstream. This year, however, may afford it an opportunity it’s never had before: to gain the momentum necessary to join the big boys in the operating system world. If that happens, Linux devotees the world over — from users to developers to even Linus Torvalds himself — may have Microsoft and Windows 8 to thank.

Ever since Android has come out I have assumed the growth path of Linux (and the ultimate strategy of Google) will be Android on phones -> Android on desktops. My take on the Netbook episode is that, where customers returned Linux netbooks they returned them because they were unfamiliar.

It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead.

"Although I don't consider 2009 as the year of the Linux desktop, most of you will probably agree with me that this is the year of the Linux-powered smartphones. We can mainly thank Android for this as its popularity and market share has been growing at a rapid pace."

When Evans Data released its survey on Tuesday showing a sharp shift toward Linux (and away from Windows) among developers in North America, the Linux world went wild. Wistful pengiun heads heralded the coming Open Source Age. But the real measure of OS success is in the number of users, not the number of developers. After all, most of the world's PCs end up in the hands of ordinary people who have no interest in coding. Fortunately for open-source addicts, there are several signs that the coming year could bring a sea-change among end users, making 2008 the year of the Linux desktop.

"This past month has seen a flurry activity from a number of players in the Linux desktop space. Red Hat, Suse, Ubuntu, Dell, Lenovo and even Intel white box system builders are getting into the act. Is the year of the Linux desktop finally upon us or is this just another flare up generated by the Linuxworld conference in San Francisco?"

See, every time someone spouts off about this mythical year it just gives more fodder to the doubting thomases and plain ol' anti-open-source-desktop people. and i don't blame them: it amounts to crying wolf.

You can see the trend and hope among Linux enthusiasts by reading these articles over the years. The release of iOS and Android have put a dampener on the question.
PS. Urban Dictionary defines Linux as Communism in electronic form.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ubuntu has peaked?

I searched 'Ubuntu' in Google Trends and this is what I got:

As you can see, the graph is sliding down and its current popularity is close to the levels of 2006.

Back when it was just starting to get popular. I think I started using Ubuntu in 2008.

With the rise of Android and iOS, there has been a shift to mobile OS.

Ubuntu too has come up with a mobile OS. I saw the video demos and it does look interesting.

Surprisingly, Ubuntu is most popular in Cuba.

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