Where Linux went wrong...

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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:47 am

InkKnife wrote:...
I agree that Linux will likely never be a big player of the desktop but the reason is not technical. Marketing is the reason. Apple and Microsoft spend hundreds and hundreds of millions annually on marketing. I bet Apple spends more on marketing than the entire combined development budgets of every distro there has ever been.
I don't miss OSX at all and could not be happier running Mint.


I don't think marketing is the reason for Windows being the #1 desktop OS. It's rather the aggressive sales policy of Microsoft that literally forces PC vendors to sell their hardware with Windows pre-installed. Like "Want to get Microsoft certification for your new mobile device?" - only if Windows cannot be removed (at least that was the stance last time I read about it).

Luckily there is an easy way to counter that: enforce existing anti-trust laws! If hardware vendors and retailers were required to offer a choice of at least two OSes (e.g. Windows and Linux) to select from, we consumers would have a choice. As it is today, you are literally forced to buy Windows pre-installed, at least when buying a notebook. To prevent discrimination against Apple or the likes, hardware vendors developing their own OS could be exempt.

Unfortunately desktop Linux would still be hampered because of the lack of interest by commercial software companies to develop for it. And this lack of interest is, in my opinion, based on the very real challenges software houses are facing when trying to develop for Linux. It's in the hands of the distro developers to do something about it (or not).
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby xenopeek on Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:46 am

To my knowledge, at least with laptops, installing Windows actually enables the vendors to make more money and probably earn at least as much back as Windows has cost them. You know all the trialware and other bloat you get preinstalled on your laptop? Which you generally can use for a limited time, after which you need to buy a license to continue to use it? They don't install that for your benefit, they install it for their own benefit--they get money for installing it... There is not an easy similar way to rip of Linux users, hence it's less interesting to sell laptops with Linux as you will only get money for the laptop and can't look forward to earning money from trialware.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby InkKnife on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:54 am

powerhouse wrote:
InkKnife wrote:...
I agree that Linux will likely never be a big player of the desktop but the reason is not technical. Marketing is the reason. Apple and Microsoft spend hundreds and hundreds of millions annually on marketing. I bet Apple spends more on marketing than the entire combined development budgets of every distro there has ever been.
I don't miss OSX at all and could not be happier running Mint.


I don't think marketing is the reason for Windows being the #1 desktop OS. It's rather the aggressive sales policy of Microsoft that literally forces PC vendors to sell their hardware with Windows pre-installed. Like "Want to get Microsoft certification for your new mobile device?" - only if Windows cannot be removed (at least that was the stance last time I read about it).

Luckily there is an easy way to counter that: enforce existing anti-trust laws! If hardware vendors and retailers were required to offer a choice of at least two OSes (e.g. Windows and Linux) to select from, we consumers would have a choice. As it is today, you are literally forced to buy Windows pre-installed, at least when buying a notebook. To prevent discrimination against Apple or the likes, hardware vendors developing their own OS could be exempt.

Unfortunately desktop Linux would still be hampered because of the lack of interest by commercial software companies to develop for it. And this lack of interest is, in my opinion, based on the very real challenges software houses are facing when trying to develop for Linux. It's in the hands of the distro developers to do something about it (or not).

Most of what you mention above is marketing.
Here is my take on Linux:
I was a Mac user for decades and that is a pretty cushy world to live in but I have found that there is a selection of apps for anything I need to do available.
My old graphics work flow was GraphicConverter and Photoshop, now it is Gwenview, Pinta and sometimes The GIMP when I get ambitious. I use the same browser as ever, have a great bit-torrent client, chat, Netflix and on and on.
The application stack available on Linux is rich and mature.
Even this early in development I find Mint/Cinnamon to look and feel like a mature, sophisticated OS and the amount pf progress I have witnessed Mint accomplish in the last year is more progress than I saw in OSX over the course of ten years.
I assert that the fact that I, a long term Mac user can switch over to Linux is strong evidence that Mint is good enough to be mainstream. I am not a programmer, I almost never use the terminal. I use Mint the same way I used OSX.
GNU/Linux has never been better and is getting better everyday. It has already gone past being "good enough" and has moved ahead in important technical areas.
Linux did not "go wrong" and does not need to change a damned thing.
Personally I would hate to see the GNU/Linux community change even one thing to attract commercial developers. Let MS and Apple own the locked in, locked down world, we don't need that.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby $panky on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:40 pm

I think the original posters premise is wrong. Linux should not strive to rival Microsoft or Apple. Microsoft is strong because it is a notoriously stable platform for software compatability and UI. That is important for businesses, users and perhaps more importantly.... developers. They sacrafice fluidity for stability. (It's all about the apps) Apple could realy care less about software compatability. If you have to buy the new shiny I-thingamajigger to run the latest OS or apps all the better. They prefer form over fundtion. They have their own followers depending on needs or likes, but Linux would have to sacrafice too much IMO to lure substantial amounts of desktop users from either. Linux is exactly where it needs to be fluid, functional, and increasingly easy to use. In fact that's why I'm here. Lately things like Mint and XBMC are amazingly easy to use and in many ways blow Microsoft and Apple away. It would certainly be nice if Linux had a single repository that would run on any distro, but I just don't see that happening on a large scale. If it does happen, I think it will begin in the next few years though. I think Microsoft is about to change the whole game. The era of write once and run anywhere is almost upon us. Yes flame away! Did I mention how much I love Mint! :)
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:47 am

InkKnife wrote:Most of what you mention above is marketing.
Here is my take on Linux:
I was a Mac user for decades and that is a pretty cushy world to live in but I have found that there is a selection of apps for anything I need to do available.
My old graphics work flow was GraphicConverter and Photoshop, now it is Gwenview, Pinta and sometimes The GIMP when I get ambitious. I use the same browser as ever, have a great bit-torrent client, chat, Netflix and on and on.
The application stack available on Linux is rich and mature.
Even this early in development I find Mint/Cinnamon to look and feel like a mature, sophisticated OS and the amount pf progress I have witnessed Mint accomplish in the last year is more progress than I saw in OSX over the course of ten years.
I assert that the fact that I, a long term Mac user can switch over to Linux is strong evidence that Mint is good enough to be mainstream. I am not a programmer, I almost never use the terminal. I use Mint the same way I used OSX.
GNU/Linux has never been better and is getting better everyday. It has already gone past being "good enough" and has moved ahead in important technical areas.
Linux did not "go wrong" and does not need to change a damned thing.
Personally I would hate to see the GNU/Linux community change even one thing to attract commercial developers. Let MS and Apple own the locked in, locked down world, we don't need that.


Re marketing I guess you are right that a lot can be attributed to marketing.

Thanks for the pointer to Pinta - looks interesting.

Yes, Linux users can't complain about the diversity and richness of the applications. Except perhaps when looking at modern 3D games. It is getting better all the time, though.

Making Linux more attractive to commercial desktop software developers only enriches the Linux community, and allows those who need Windows for the odd game or app to drop it altogether. If my photo editing software would run on Linux, I'd drop Windows in a blink. In fact, I went a long way to get Windows run as a VM with next to no performance degradation, just to be able to avoid dual-boot. It has nothing to do with locking Linux down.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:55 am

$panky wrote:I think the original posters premise is wrong. Linux should not strive to rival Microsoft or Apple. Microsoft is strong because it is a notoriously stable platform for software compatability and UI. That is important for businesses, users and perhaps more importantly.... developers. They sacrafice fluidity for stability. (It's all about the apps) Apple could realy care less about software compatability. If you have to buy the new shiny I-thingamajigger to run the latest OS or apps all the better. They prefer form over fundtion. They have their own followers depending on needs or likes, but Linux would have to sacrafice too much IMO to lure substantial amounts of desktop users from either. Linux is exactly where it needs to be fluid, functional, and increasingly easy to use. In fact that's why I'm here. Lately things like Mint and XBMC are amazingly easy to use and in many ways blow Microsoft and Apple away. It would certainly be nice if Linux had a single repository that would run on any distro, but I just don't see that happening on a large scale. If it does happen, I think it will begin in the next few years though. I think Microsoft is about to change the whole game. The era of write once and run anywhere is almost upon us. Yes flame away! Did I mention how much I love Mint! :)


The only place where Linux is "behind" Microsoft is the desktop. Linux is the predominant OS in everything else: embedded devices, smartphones, routers/switches/telco equipment, set-top boxes, mainframe computers, cloud computing, web servers, enterprise servers (Microsoft may have success in this market, but it's not a clear cut dominance), and virtualization (VDI).
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby $panky on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:49 am

The only place where Linux is
"behind" Microsoft is the
desktop. Linux is the
predominant OS in everything
else: embedded devices,
smartphones, routers/switches/
telco equipment, set-top boxes,
mainframe computers, cloud
computing, web servers,
enterprise servers (Microsoft
may have success in this
market, but it's not a clear cut
dominance), and virtualization
(VDI).


True enough. In specialized systems. What will be interesting is how that will change if microsoft implements its one OS to rule them all plan. As things become more and more integrated, will the seamless integration that one OS across ALL systems brings be a major factor in many of these scenarios. Not just one OS in the vague sense... One OS, one UI, one program that can run on any platform with the same API's. I don't see google teaming up with the major distros to create a common platform for instance. Can linux as a whole do this? Do they want to? With Microsoft die a miserable death in the attempt? I guess I'll stay tuned!
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby dee. on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:07 pm

$panky wrote:True enough. In specialized systems. What will be interesting is how that will change if microsoft implements its one OS to rule them all plan.


It won't. Microsoft's business model isn't competitive in a level playing field - they're simply unable to develop a system that would be as versatile and cost-effective across the board as Linux. Linux runs almost anywhere, and if it doesn't you can just get a copy of the kernel for free and modify it to suit your needs. Microsoft cannot compete with that with a closed source OS.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby InkKnife on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:52 pm

$panky wrote:
The only place where Linux is
"behind" Microsoft is the
desktop. Linux is the
predominant OS in everything
else: embedded devices,
smartphones, routers/switches/
telco equipment, set-top boxes,
mainframe computers, cloud
computing, web servers,
enterprise servers (Microsoft
may have success in this
market, but it's not a clear cut
dominance), and virtualization
(VDI).


True enough. In specialized systems. What will be interesting is how that will change if microsoft implements its one OS to rule them all plan. As things become more and more integrated, will the seamless integration that one OS across ALL systems brings be a major factor in many of these scenarios. Not just one OS in the vague sense... One OS, one UI, one program that can run on any platform with the same API's. I don't see google teaming up with the major distros to create a common platform for instance. Can linux as a whole do this? Do they want to? With Microsoft die a miserable death in the attempt? I guess I'll stay tuned!

Microsoft is not trying to bring "one OS to rule them all" Win8 and WinRT have the same UI but that is all. The two are otherwise completely incompatible. The confusion caused by this is a large part of why the whole Win8/RT roll out has been such a fiasco.
I think MS is just too old, rich, slow, bloated and set in it's way to adopt to this computer revolution v2.0 that is going to be happening. I am not saying that they will not find a place in the market, they will. But never again will MS own computing like they have on the desktop.
Look at the last ten years and you see a parade of Microsoft failures, their phones never went anywhere and are not now. Their touch devices never caught on and are not not catching on. Apple and Google have been kicking Microsoft's ass in ALL of the markets that have emerged in the last 10-15 years with the exception of gaming consoles. The only thing MS has succeeded in doing is preserving dominance on the desktop, Linux has moved Windows out of one hell of a lot of server closets too.
MS is not going away but they will shrink into the background, along the lines of the way IBM has faded from the consumer space.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby $panky on Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:34 pm

Microsoft is not trying to bring "one OS to rule them all" Win8 and WinRT have the same UI but that is all. The two are otherwise completely incompatible. The confusion caused by this is a large part of why the whole Win8/RT roll out has been such a fiasco.


I may be wrong but I'm not confused... right now. :lol: By one OS to rule them all I mean making desktops tablets and even phones essentially the same thing, running the exact same programs with the exact same APIs and the exact same UI accessible with touch keyboard/mouse or other things eventually. It's the only thing that explains what they are doing. They have introduced a scalable UI the same kernal on everything with only the phone not running full Metro... yet. Metro is the first phase of that. A small step where they introduce HTML/Java and a very limited set of APIs. These are going to be "portable" apps that can be accessed on any device. If you have a toster with an lcd screen you can run these apps. Next step expand the APIs for whatever versions of C and VB they plan on running and increase the screen density of menus ect , expand the HTML/Java APIs slightly and give whatever access they need within the new framework to the filesystem and the ability to comunicate with the new "desktop" apps. Let the legacy desktop wither on the vine until it's relagated to DOSbox status. Voila!

Of course there are many more changes under the hood. The COM system had needed gotten rid of for a long time. The concensus seems to be the desktop is going away. Why else would the do it if not to run everything under the new UI? Why would they do it period after listening to "wheres the start button" for the last year, unless there was a damn good reason?
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby InkKnife on Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:50 am

The desktop is not going away. There is an installed base of desktops and laptops of over a billion and a half. The trouble is that most pundits and other members of the chattering class use Wall Street logic which means they think anything that is not a huge growth area is "dead".
Even with the world economy in a slump and tablets on the rise we are still seeing annual PC sales of almost 300 million units. Very few people are replacing their desktops or laptops with tablets, people are adding touch devices to their mix of computing devices.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby $panky on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:48 am

InkKnife wrote:The desktop is not going away. There is an installed base of desktops and laptops of over a billion and a half. The trouble is that most pundits and other members of the chattering class use Wall Street logic which means they think anything that is not a huge growth area is "dead".
Even with the world economy in a slump and tablets on the rise we are still seeing annual PC sales of almost 300 million units. Very few people are replacing their desktops or laptops with tablets, people are adding touch devices to their mix of computing devices.


You might be right. But the desktop IS going away eventually. Punchcards were great for their time. Dos was great for its time. The desktop is great... as long as you have your nose sticking in a monitor. It's not great for 10ft interfaces, small mobile screens or any other kinds of interfaces besides mouse/keyboard. Why should users have to learn to use one UI for their phone and maybe tablet another for their computer, and yet another for their gaming system. Another one for work maybe, and a different one for any other device they may have or may purchase in the future? Why should users have to learn different features and interfaces for the "same program" that they may want to use on different devices? Why should developers have to write 4 different versions of code with different APIs and different UIs to let you use their product on different devices? Dear god how much time is wasted by users and developers porting and learning to use software every year that does essentially the EXACT SAME THING? The hardware limitations are almost gone entirely. The interface problems are gettting close. The only thing holding this scenario back is fear of the unknown. People want to grasp onto the desktop like its the last life preserver on a sinking ship! God himself did not invent the desktop! 20 years of microsoft desktop apps (most of which are updated regularly) can still be accessed or ported until there is no need for them. It will happen IMO the only question is when?
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby InkKnife on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:42 pm

$panky wrote:
InkKnife wrote:The desktop is not going away. There is an installed base of desktops and laptops of over a billion and a half. The trouble is that most pundits and other members of the chattering class use Wall Street logic which means they think anything that is not a huge growth area is "dead".
Even with the world economy in a slump and tablets on the rise we are still seeing annual PC sales of almost 300 million units. Very few people are replacing their desktops or laptops with tablets, people are adding touch devices to their mix of computing devices.


You might be right. But the desktop IS going away eventually. Punchcards were great for their time. Dos was great for its time. The desktop is great... as long as you have your nose sticking in a monitor. It's not great for 10ft interfaces, small mobile screens or any other kinds of interfaces besides mouse/keyboard. Why should users have to learn to use one UI for their phone and maybe tablet another for their computer, and yet another for their gaming system. Another one for work maybe, and a different one for any other device they may have or may purchase in the future? Why should users have to learn different features and interfaces for the "same program" that they may want to use on different devices? Why should developers have to write 4 different versions of code with different APIs and different UIs to let you use their product on different devices? Dear god how much time is wasted by users and developers porting and learning to use software every year that does essentially the EXACT SAME THING? The hardware limitations are almost gone entirely. The interface problems are gettting close. The only thing holding this scenario back is fear of the unknown. People want to grasp onto the desktop like its the last life preserver on a sinking ship! God himself did not invent the desktop! 20 years of microsoft desktop apps (most of which are updated regularly) can still be accessed or ported until there is no need for them. It will happen IMO the only question is when?

You need different UI's for different task sceneries. Why should users of precision pointers be hamstrung by using an interface designed for our big, fat fingers?
The current thought fad is the idea of one UI, one OS, but the idea is fundamentally flawed.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby $panky on Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:38 pm

InkKnife wrote:
$panky wrote:
InkKnife wrote:The desktop is not going away. There is an installed base of desktops and laptops of over a billion and a half. The trouble is that most pundits and other members of the chattering class use Wall Street logic which means they think anything that is not a huge growth area is "dead".
Even with the world economy in a slump and tablets on the rise we are still seeing annual PC sales of almost 300 million units. Very few people are replacing their desktops or laptops with tablets, people are adding touch devices to their mix of computing devices.


You might be right. But the desktop IS going away eventually. Punchcards were great for their time. Dos was great for its time. The desktop is great... as long as you have your nose sticking in a monitor. It's not great for 10ft interfaces, small mobile screens or any other kinds of interfaces besides mouse/keyboard. Why should users have to learn to use one UI for their phone and maybe tablet another for their computer, and yet another for their gaming system. Another one for work maybe, and a different one for any other device they may have or may purchase in the future? Why should users have to learn different features and interfaces for the "same program" that they may want to use on different devices? Why should developers have to write 4 different versions of code with different APIs and different UIs to let you use their product on different devices? Dear god how much time is wasted by users and developers porting and learning to use software every year that does essentially the EXACT SAME THING? The hardware limitations are almost gone entirely. The interface problems are gettting close. The only thing holding this scenario back is fear of the unknown. People want to grasp onto the desktop like its the last life preserver on a sinking ship! God himself did not invent the desktop! 20 years of microsoft desktop apps (most of which are updated regularly) can still be accessed or ported until there is no need for them. It will happen IMO the only question is when?

You need different UI's for different task sceneries. Why should users of precision pointers be hamstrung by using an interface designed for our big, fat fingers?
The current thought fad is the idea of one UI, one OS, but the idea is fundamentally flawed.


I'm not sure how you would lose precision exactly? If you are running AutoCad for example, you would still have the same mouse, and the same screen. The menus should not be a problem. If you are one of those people that need toolbars filled with 200 icons on screen at all times you can still do that, although it would mean more scrolling and zooming to make them usable on a tablet. You could double their size to make them usable on a tablet. Or you could simply write two versions if it is really needed. This should be a decision by the developers and users, the OS should just simply allow them to make the design decision. Windows 8 doesn't allow for this in it's present incarnation, but then again you can't even run a decent word processor in Metro nevermind autocad. But for the majority of programs we use everyday it shouldn't be an issue. If I'm watching netflix what the hell do I care if the play button is the size of a pea on my phone and the size of a grape on my computer. They both still work and they both look great. You could also scale the size of the buttons depending on display...
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby dee. on Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:53 am

Desktops aren't going away. The reason is simple:

There are plenty of applications that require a) a large screen, b) a real keyboard and c) a mouse, and those applications aren't going away any time soon. Desktop computers provide all 3 of those things, and they do it well.

Now I guess you could argue that you could take a tablet, connect it to a large screen, keyboard and mouse, but then why would you need a tablet for that? There's a reason that kind of "docking" schemes haven't become popular, and that is that it's much easier to simply have separate devices for different tasks - tablet for mobile computing, desktop for more demanding tasks at home.

Two things are probably going to happen though: firstly, tablets and such are going to take over that part of the market that doesn't need all the features of a full desktop. Users that just want to share pics of their dogs on facespace or whatever are perfectly happy with tablets and such. This is already happening, to an extent.

Secondly, the desktop computers themselves are changing to accommodate people's needs. We're likely to get desktops without huge tower cases, instead the main unit being a small being a small device about the size of a DSL router, which can support multiple screens, a keyboard and mouse. All-in-one's will likely also increase in popularity, although they need to work out the problem of monitor replacement. We might even see a return of 80s-early-90s-era home computer style devices, where the CPU is integrated with the keyboard. These are also already happening, to an extent.

But one thing is sure, the concept of a desktop computer is not going anywhere.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby $panky on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:01 pm

dee. wrote:Desktops aren't going away. The reason is simple:

There are plenty of applications that require a) a large screen, b) a real keyboard and c) a mouse, and those applications aren't going away any time soon. Desktop computers provide all 3 of those things, and they do it well.

Now I guess you could argue that you could take a tablet, connect it to a large screen, keyboard and mouse, but then why would you need a tablet for that? There's a reason that kind of "docking" schemes haven't become popular, and that is that it's much easier to simply have separate devices for different tasks - tablet for mobile computing, desktop for more demanding tasks at home.

Two things are probably going to happen though: firstly, tablets and such are going to take over that part of the market that doesn't need all the features of a full desktop. Users that just want to share pics of their dogs on facespace or whatever are perfectly happy with tablets and such. This is already happening, to an extent.

Secondly, the desktop computers themselves are changing to accommodate people's needs. We're likely to get desktops without huge tower cases, instead the main unit being a small being a small device about the size of a DSL router, which can support multiple screens, a keyboard and mouse. All-in-one's will likely also increase in popularity, although they need to work out the problem of monitor replacement. We might even see a return of 80s-early-90s-era home computer style devices, where the CPU is integrated with the keyboard. These are also already happening, to an extent.

But one thing is sure, the concept of a desktop computer is not going anywhere.


I agree with everything you just said. When I say the desktop is going away, I mean the windows desktop UI, the COM system and all associated legacy programs. There is no doubt, if it does happen, there will have to be two "flavors" of modern UI apps. The OS should not dictate which device or devices we choose to run any given app on, but it should allow for any possibility as much as possible. It seems silly to fragment everything because you cant run autocad on your phone. I know nothing about unity, but it sounds like Ubuntu is thinking along these lines.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby DrHu on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:05 pm

guerrillase7en wrote:Backwards compatibility, and compatibility across Linux distributions is not a sexy problem. It is not even remotely an interesting problem to solve. Nobody wants to do that work, everyone wants to innovate, and be responsible for the next big feature in Linux.

Windows OS did that for years, until win7/8 when they changed their bios methodology, but I expect you can still read into win7/8 from a previous windows OS (NT, XP, Vista)

And Apple did a similar process after they switched from Apple Classic to OSX, although since it was a complete different OS, it was a little incomplete..

Additionally and the main cause for lack of interest in Linux or even Apple OSX is Microsoft's massive marketing and oem advantages
--they have been chastised (EU and others..) for that often enough that it is apparent that this is their approach to a marketplace..
    Apple has only bypassed them via I devices (Iphone, Ipad and so on), and Microsoft still has their office suite running everywhere (from which they get a larger percentage of income/profit): even on Apple OSX (albeit not the latest version that is available to a windows OS)
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