I’d guess that the people most involved in and attracted to Linux originally didn’t have the sort of design taste, non-technical user empathy, and marketing savvy to make Linux desktop the standard.
Linux grew in a way that reflected its originators and eventually lost too much momentum on the desktop side of things. With tons of success in extra areas, Linux folks started leaning more in on strengths and desktop became more of a niche.
With open source becoming more mainstream and desktop computing stagnating of late, I think there’s room for the next great OS to be open source, and it would be great if it were more grass roots and not a Google project.
How is that different from Canonical? Ubuntu was grass roots, and they invested a lot into the desktop experience. Also, I think modern distributions don't reflect that era of engineer-minded design anymore (unless that's their explicit goal).
I think you’re right. But I think the history still matters, just like how Apple’s founding history and Steve Jobs still help sell iPhones.
It shouldn’t matter as much as it does, but the world sometimes contorts itself to make it matter.
Do you think a grassroots project could compete with OS X and Windows?
I'd love to see it done, but I think it would need strong sponsorship from at least one major player in the software industry.
Could, yes. It's not the most outrageous idea.
Tough barriers. Maybe not totally grassroots, but a startup. What if it were a startup that built open source software and served a global community of developers, a DEV Community you might say. 😅
I'm just kidding—sort of. It's a project I'd love to be a part of if the stars lined up in any way.
There are some technically cool new OS projects like Redox. Oddly I don't have a lot of expectations that it will succeed greatly, but I'd also get pretty excited about the prospect of personally being involved in making that happen.
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.
We strive for transparency and don't collect excess data.