I think this article gets it right on Linux as a home OS. Until there’s a version of Linux that works “out of the box” it’s not a serious threat to Windows on the consumer front. As of right now, if you want to use Linux you need to work at getting it, installing it, and configuring it, because the Lindows thing ain’t there yet. Windows, you go to the store, buy a PC take it home and plug it in and you’re done. It may not work as reliably as Linux, but most home users don’t really care, because Linux is too hard to setup to begin with. (I’d add Mac’s to that list that you take home and it works but I don’t think you can buy a $600 Mac, can you? They’re not really interested in bringing inexpensive hardware to the masses, or so it would seem)
Before I get flame comments, let me admit, Linux may be a perfectly good OS, it’s reliable, more secure, and gives you more control over your environment. 90% of the home PC market never asked for any of that, they asked for something that worked right out of the box, without asking them to do any tweaking. (You could make a case that most small businesses asked for the same thing, thereby representing a large chunk of the business market as well.) Linux still isn’t that. You want to challenge MS as an alternate OS in the marketplace? Listen to consumers and give them what they want. MS did, at one time, listen to consumers and gave them something they can use. Until Linux does the same, it will be a hobbyist and a “geek” OS, not a valid commercial OS. Why, after all these years of Linux being around, is there still no way to walk into a store and buy a desktop PC with a version of Linux and some standard apps pre-loaded? Think about that the next time you Linux zealots want to talk about competing with MS, because that’s where the real market share is, and if Linux can compete with Windows, why aren’t they even trying to get into that market?
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