Article Watch: “Linux Desktops will never be popular” September 12, 2006Posted by NAyK in Article Watch, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux.
I read an interesting article today. About why Linux will never become popular at the Desktop level. The main argument is that geeks/nerds that designed/built Linux think differently from common people/users/consumers. And what makes linux builders excited are the very things that put common non-techie people off. The author especially likens the “bragging about the technology under the hood” idea of Linux to transparent machines cases that ultimately put normal people off. Basically, the techinical brilliance of Linux doesn’t appeal to common people. The zillions of choice puts people off.
Get real: the Linux desktop has been designed and implemented by technology enthusiasts, for technology enthusiasts. If they were to seriously try to make it appealing to the masses, the effort would collapse halfway because they would be dismayed by the result. My take is that things are just fine the way they are, and the Linux desktop for Dummies an utopia.
The author says, “To them [consumers], the simplicity of a monolithic, predetermined set of options is best. It is a known fact that most users will not download an application from the Internet on their own but will use either what is preinstalled on their system or what their close friends send them. The issue here is clearly choice; they do not like to choose between options for a plethora of reasons, therefore they appreciate when the choice has been made for them.” Also, Linux geeks love to learn. While the common user doesn’t. In effect: “So what is the Linux desktop missing? Is it easy installation? An office suite? Interoperability? Drivers? A cute mascot? It’s none of the above. Linux will always be unpopular on the desktop because it is in every way comparable to a fully revamped Hot Rod with an engine so large the car needs no hood, so long to assemble it can only be the work of die-hard mechanics and so difficult to drive it takes a pilot, not a driver, and of course some explanations or it won’t start, or ram into a wall (makes you wonder if it’s even legal to drive it in the streets). People rather buy the average SUV and, if they’re a bit eccentric, they watch Pimp My Ride.” Finally he concludes by saying, “Get real: the Linux desktop has been designed and implemented by technology enthusiasts, for technology enthusiasts. If they were to seriously try to make it appealing to the masses, the effort would collapse halfway because they would be dismayed by the result. My take is that things are just fine the way they are, and the Linux desktop for Dummies an utopia.”
My comment? None right now. I’m sure he’s right on many counts. I’m finding it difficult to work with Linux on my Desktop. But I’m enjoying it. And hopefully now and in the future I’ll be able to provide myself and my friends with alternatives that are piracy free and affordable.