Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Will Linux-makers kill each other?

<Something I wrote for class that I thought I should put up>

A couple of discussion threads in my Linux class are talking about Linux beating/catching up with Microsoft. At the expense of being called a pessimist, I want to ask if that is really possible. To be honest, there are too many flavors of Linux out there today. We briefly touched upon the 10 most widely used distros in class already. Wouldn't a new user be confused as to which one to start off with? And I'm not talking about a computer savvy user here. There aren't 10 versions of Windows to choose from, are there? So when it comes down to making a decision, what do you think a *new* user is most likely to pick?

We're all riding high over Linux being 'hot on MS wheels' if you allow me to quote from a previous post. Which Linux are we talking about? Ubuntu? Mandriva? SUSE? Or all of them together? But hold on - in a sense, aren't these flavors competing with *each other* as well? Consider for example, the server market. Linux is quite established there. But the customer will pay just one of the Linux companies for support, right? It will be wishful thinking to believe that Red Hat would have been really happy if it lost out to Novell in being the OS of choice for the google cluster. (That Google has in-house Linux support is a completely different topic, but you're getting the drift here).

I'm not sure whether Linux is ever going to *beat* Windows. I'm just happy as long as I get to use it and have my fair share of Microsoft bashing. Although it does bother me that my dentist uses Windows :-|


P.S.
Mandriva fires founder over losses

This one's kind of old (Feb '06) but definitely worth a read.
Microsoft has a problem

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