Woe is Linux writes John C. Dvorak in PCMag, proclaiming the death of Linux (well, at least on the desktop) and running through what the community did and didn’t do to make Linux the success it turned out to be (for good or bad).
It boils down to the marketing. The Open Source community, as a whole, doesn’t believe in the idea that sales and marketing is actually important. All that ever passed for marketing with that bunch was the gimmicky but cute “Tux” the Linux penguin.
He concludes with:
With Linux never catching on and the rise of the cloud-centric operating systems alongside the weak phone/tablet OS taking over, everyone is back where they started: pre-1975. Centralized control wins out. I guess that is what the public wanted all along and the “personal” computer movement was actually a fad. Who knew?
I can’t say I disagree. I believe that linux is a better OS at it’s core than Windows and somewhat (due to toolkit availability) Mac (which is Unix at the core already). However, it really depends on what you define as “better”. A 1000% better OS that doesn’t have the apps I use (Lightroom, Photoshop) isn’t actually better. A 1000% better OS that is super secure and super stable but only has a command line interface (like DOS?) may not actually be better.
I’ve always thought that the success and failure with Linux has been with the community. Not only the supportive community, but the community that will proclaim they’ve “never even touched a Mac” while proclaiming that Mac’s suck. Or the community which values choice (a good thing), but uses it to create 18 half baked audio players instead of one or two that are full featured (a bad thing, in my opinion).
Will this article have any effect on the community? Nope. No investors are there to pull out (well, in theory) and the coders who slave day and night to produce code will most likely continue on as before. Same with the users. If you use Linux as your desktop, or go to the trouble of finding a linux laptop for sale, you’ll continue on just fine.