Before I get too deep into this article, I am a big fan of Linux and the concept behind Linux. I would love to see a 3rd player come into the market and really truly challenge Microsoft and Apple for desktop dominance. Yes, Google has their OS but it’s not on the scale or level of Windows or Mac. About every 3 years or so, I blow away one of my laptops and load Linux Mint or whatever distro has the most promising desktop and make a concerted effort to permanently move away from Windows. I tried this again 3 months ago and made it about 2 ½ months before I gave up and reloaded Windows in defeat.
Don’t get me wrong, Linux has made some impressive strides in terms of hardware compatibility, printing, networking and overall general compatibility. This last time I loaded Linux Mint, it found and detected all my hardware perfectly. I decided to load it both on a Dell XPS and Acer Spin 5 to get a sense of how far Linux hardware support has come. In this area, I am impressed! Linux has really done an amazing job in the past few years of making sure your WIFI adapter works and you can print to your local and network printers. So what’s still wrong with Linux? Before I get into the bad, let’s take a look at 10 reasons you may want to consider Linux.
So you might be ready to download and install Linux over your Windows OS now right? Well, let me give you the bad side of Linux. Again, I have tried for years to completely replace Windows with Linux and haven’t been able to do it yet. This last time I tried, I was able to go about 2 ½ months before I threw in the towel. So, you ask, why did I give up?
As I said before, Linux has really made some amazing progress in the past few years. But the reality is that it’s not enough to dislodge Windows or Mac from the desktop yet. Until the Linux community fixes basic things like the ability to search through a larger spreadsheet or an email client with native Exchange support, end users are going to stay with what they know. Back when Microsoft was competing with Novell and IBM, Microsoft won that battle because they listened to what end users needed and gave them all the features and functions that made their lives easier.
Instead of the Linux community spending years of time trying to come up with 20 different ways to install software on the OS, time needs to be spent developing applications and features that people can use at home and at work. Until a graphics designer can use Photoshop, they aren’t going use it. Until the producer can run all their audio software, they aren’t going to use Linux. Yes, Linux has alternatives but they are lower quality and more time consuming and until they are better and faster, the desktop market share for Linux will continue to stagnate.
I love the Linux OS and the idea behind it and I hope one day I am able to delete Windows forever and run Linux on my machines for the foreseeable future. But that day isn’t here yet and is still a long way off truth be told.