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Discussion on: Why is Linux Not More Popular on the Desktop?

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

I would say the lack of PR, paired with Microsoft's historic smear campaign (which they appear to have quit), is half to blame for the lack of Linux popularity on the desktop. It certainly has nothing to do with ease-of-use!

I've introduced more average computer users, especially those considered "computer illiterate," to Ubuntu, and most of them have raved about it to all their friends, with them detailing how much superior it is to Windows in their estimation. It takes me 15 minutes to get an average user comfortable in Ubuntu, and they very rarely need to contact me for support. (Once in a blue moon, I get a phone call.)

I'd say the other half of the problem is the big software companies refusing to offer support for Linux. Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, Ableton, Intuit, and (decreasingly) Microsoft have waged a war against the platform for years. Thus, the main obstacle to adoption for many users is "my software doesn't work there." There are two dimensions to this:

  1. Protools (Avid) and Ableton, as well as some Adobe and Autodesk products, sport workflows that their users are well-accustomed to. Typically, however, this can be overcome once they find open source alternatives that have the same features.

  2. The larger complaint I hear is "I can't open/save the file formats I need." Intuit, Adobe, and Autodesk are especially infamous for this, so much so that I wrote an article calling out their products as ransomware.

Of course, the only reason those products are so ubiquitous is because users are told they're ubiquitous. For example, the majority of schools and universities push Adobe and Autodesk products, even though there are many studios and companies that refuse to use those products, many preferring in-house or open-source tools. And ultimately, the only reason the schools push the products is because they're told those are the standards...and the only reason those are allegedly the standards are because the companies in question claim to be so.

I could go on, of course, about how any decent educational program will teach workflow-agnostic skills, so the student becomes proficient with ANY related software...but I digress.

In the end, then, Linux and open source aren't more ubiquitous primarily because the competition saturates all marketing channels with claims of being "the standard. The only way to overcome this is to do what the open source world has been doing for decades: educating one person at a time.

sebastiangperez profile image

Yes , that's true.
How much can you save in a company only buying one soft like, for example, Adobe Master Collection? you won't need a linux license per pc.

nerfur profile image
Slava "nerfur" Voronzoff

So true and let's not forget about different "near bribe" projects and sponsorship of schools from big companies that helps them to choose "industry standard"