Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

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aussie-bloke
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Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by aussie-bloke »

Linux is a very good idea, but do you think that it could replace Windows as the list of software that is Windows only is dropping all the time?
If Adobe made Photoshop for Linux and other major software manufactures joined such a trend, then what would be keeping people stuck to using Microsoft Windows?

In any case alot of things like facebook and web based apps and games etc that alot of people use in the mass market are all actually independent of the need for Windows anyway as they are browser based.

Personally I have worked out that there is actually no program that I really need that is Windows or Win/Mac only.

Am I delusional or is there a method to my madness of my thinking?

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by RacerBG »

Only Game Maker is the program which haven't got Linux support for my purposes. Linux will never replace Windows market share but it can go up to 30%-40% at least in my opinion.
Proud of Linux Mint!

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by aussie-bloke »

I was just thinking that maybe if they de-fragmented the whole Linux ecosphere where all distros would come under a major Linux brand with the penguin as the logo, but each distros name would come secondary to the Linux branding.
The being a marketing angle coming from the idea that it would be easier for the mass market to understand Linux much better this way as Linux coming in different "flavours" but essentially them running all the same software as they are all Linux.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by Previous1 »

With SteamOS it might increase its market share on gaming/consoles (the PS4 uses FreeBSD...). On the desktop, nope.
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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by skywolfblue »

Only a tiny fraction of the software out there is truly cross platform. Sure that fraction is increasing, but it'll take decades before everyone could say "every single program I could possibly need is on linux". Which is probably what it will take.

I don't think we'll see linux overtake windows for another 20 to 30 years.
aussie-bloke wrote:I was just thinking that maybe if they de-fragmented the whole Linux ecosphere where all distros would come under a major Linux brand with the penguin as the logo, but each distros name would come secondary to the Linux branding.
The being a marketing angle coming from the idea that it would be easier for the mass market to understand Linux much better this way as Linux coming in different "flavours" but essentially them running all the same software as they are all Linux.
Well, the GUI is what's most important to the average user. From the standpoint of the average person, KDE, Gnome, and Unity are completely different OSs, they look different, they behave different, all they share is that hidden programming underneath.

Advertising and grouping around something the average user will never see doesn't make much sense to me. It would be nice to see more combined talent then people making their own separate tool that does exactly the same thing. But part of the being free means offering choices.

What I do think we need is some sort of "Idiot's guide to the top 10 linux distros in 20 seconds, with screenshots of each" and it needs to get passed around a lot (I imagine many people have already done this, it just doesn't seem to be widely published). I see a lot of people pointing to each Distros web site and making the normal user have to read though a lot of stuff that may be complicated to them, and that's when a lot of people give up because there's just "too much to decide from" and they don't have time to read it all.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by daveinuk »

Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?
I hope not 'cos it won't be the same product IMO, you'd need someone big with a lot of money to want to push another OS to an unsure public, and google are already doing it. When some cotton on and realise they're not 'paying' for the OS, that might change some opinions, people that are fed up of paying thru the nose for a product will start to wonder how MS and Apple have got away with it for so long, but the general public have to want something different, and they don't, they just want it to work.

Only when it's supplied to the masses, with the product at the point of sale will you be able to further the usage. The good news is that the public are more open now to new OS's as the current barrage of mobile OS's proves, the way to push linux forward initially IMO would be tablets first as these are the 'new' laptops, I'd love to see Mint get the recognition it deserves, that's why I'll keep installing one laptop and desktop at a time to my 'convert' friends . . . . . . . . :wink:

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by aussie-bloke »

skywolfblue wrote:
aussie-bloke wrote:I was just thinking that maybe if they de-fragmented the whole Linux ecosphere where all distros would come under a major Linux brand with the penguin as the logo, but each distros name would come secondary to the Linux branding.
The being a marketing angle coming from the idea that it would be easier for the mass market to understand Linux much better this way as Linux coming in different "flavours" but essentially them running all the same software as they are all Linux.
Well, the GUI is what's most important to the average user. From the standpoint of the average person, KDE, Gnome, and Unity are completely different OSs, they look different, they behave different, all they share is that hidden programming underneath.

Advertising and grouping around something the average user will never see doesn't make much sense to me. It would be nice to see more combined talent then people making their own separate tool that does exactly the same thing. But part of the being free means offering choices.
Good point, well maybe as I think you are suggesting here, but for there to be some sort of consortium where all the Linux programmers have a roundtable system where they can pool ideas and for there to be a way that the distros will continue to exist but also for the greatest parts of code of each distro will be ultimately voted into being part of a "Linux OS" (names simply that).
This system won't suffer the same way a for-profit system would as since the distors don't make money anyway, they really have no financial reason to fear a unified collective Linux OS.

In fact, is this not the dream of what Linux was about in the first place?
It could be structured in a way that fully acknowledges and shows such appreciation for the developers that write successful code that is voted the best to be included in the main Linux OS.

The main point would be to get a very functional, stable and consumer grade OS called "Linux OS" that would directly compete with Windows and Mac OS.
This could also be applied (using another consortium) to other areas other than consumer grade OS's but with the same methods of selection to make an OS for a specific field using pooled ideas also.

What is stopping there being a "Linux OS Home Edition" and also Business edition and a Server edition etc?
All could be tailor made through this process of pooling talent.

Maybe my cheese has slipped of my cracker though, and I may need to see a shrink, lol

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by BlackVeils »

it could be a good or bad thing.

but ultimately, money (Microsoft) is power................ so i dont think it will happen.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by Tz2001 »

I think you need to break it down to user groups to answer this question properly:

Businesses - General office work

This is a tough one. Generally speaking the things most office workers need are: Web browsers, Office applications and email clients and/or skype. These are all available on Linux so I see no reason these front end support/generic office workers couldn't make the switch. That said, none of the office packages on Linux are quite on par with Microsoft office, either for features, or more importantly being able to quickly google "How do I ...." and getting many answers. That and official support.

For these groups, there's a potential to switch and no technical reason they can't, however, businesses would need to weigh up tech support costs because users were using an unfamiliar operating system against the free OS. That said, I'd encourage the switch to minimise the ability of getting malware/viruses on the company network.

Businesses - Creative industries

Graphic designers, video editors, etc - Most of these heavily rely on specific software. Mostly Adobe. A lot of these users are on OSX for no particular reason as well. There is little to no chance of getting these users to switch from OSX or Windows unless Adobe release their software on Linux. There is no viable Linux alternative for Indesign (or photoshop, Gimp's CMYK support is currently lacking). Adobe file formats are so common in the print industry that there's little chance of going back.

Businesses running bespoke software

Clearly these are tied to a design decision to build software on a platform that was often made many years ago. There is no way it's viable for these users to switch to Linux in the short term. This is why many businesses still run Windows XP + IE6 - because their software was written as an IE ActiveX plugin which wont work even on newer versions of IE. This also applies to companies which need to run software supplied to them by other businesses such as their suppliers.

Business users - software developers

I include this simply because this is the group I sit in. This group almost certainly have the technical ability to use linux without hassle, however it's going to fall solely on their job. If you're maintaining C++ applications that make heavy use of the Win32 API or.NET framework clearly Linux is going to be a bad choice. However for those developing cross platform applications or interpreted OS agnostic languages such as Java and PHP there's little reason that linux is not a viable option.

Home users - casual

I think of my sister and parents. They want to use the PC for web browsing, email, skype, occasional word documents/spreadsheets and general home use that very rarely requires any software which isn't already on the PC. For the most part, I think these users could probably switch and barely notice the difference. I'm think my sister may struggle to cope without Itunes, though. Of course there are viable alternatives to Itunes as a media player, the very simple click to buy facility in Itunes is useful.

Think about how many of these users have already started replacing desktops and laptops with tablets because the tablet offers all the functionality they need. A lot of these users could certainly switch to linux.

Home users - gamers

Since pretty much every PC game since 1995 has been written for Windows (or DOS) it's unlikely that this group will switch any time soon. That said, things are changing. With VGA passthough and SteamOS we'll likely see some significant changes to Linux gaming over the next 2-3 years. It'll be interesting to watch. Gamers tend to be tech-savy with strong knowledge of hardware and the actual technology behind the computer they're using. This group is far more likely to have at least a vague understanding of what linux is than the casual home user and would likely be more willing to try it out if it offered them something beneficial. As it stands though, this group will not switch until gaming on linux becomes easier, better supported and performance comparable to windows.


Education

Let's remember that Microsoft had a very clever strategy in the 90s. They pretty much gave schools their software so that anyone who'd used a computer at school had used Microsoft Windows. This is still pretty much the case. And at the same time, they struck deals with PC manufacturers to ensure that all PC manufacturers supplied Windows with their PCs. This is still the case. There is still no viable commercial alternative to Windows.




In the bigger picture, there's no reason Linux use shouldn't grow slowly but as it stands there's no "Killer app" which will cause mass migration. With commercial PCs shipping with Windows and most end-users being unaware that a PC can even work without Windows. PC manufactures could start supplying Linux in order to offer cheaper PCs however supporting Linux can be a lot more difficult than supporting Windows.

Linux on the desktop has finally reached the stage where it's usable by non-technical end-users which is fantastic but to suggest that a free, community driven operating system can compete for market share with Microsoft (and to a lesser extent Apple) who have a multi-million dollar advertising budget and deals with Dell, HP and every other PC brand you've ever heard of is preposterous. As it stands, outside a few schools and select businesses, most people using linux on the desktop had to make an active choice to do so, and go to the trouble of installing it themselves whereas 99.9% of people using windows are using it because it came with their PC and they don't know or care that anything else exists.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by exploder »

I do not think that Linux will ever replace Windows but I do think it will gain market share. Some people will never loose the Windows mindset, that's just how it is. Times are changing though thanks to cell phones. Android dominates the mobile world right now and it makes people more receptive to give Linux a try.Fresh ideas are making it to the desktop and it is helping to make people understand that Linux is not a free version of Windows.

Good game titles are making it to Linux, the Steambox is in the works and this helps Linux overcome the problems gamers have with making the switch. Graphics drivers are improving at a rapid rate also because of this. Things are looking very good for Linux appearing as a main stream choice now. Windows is always going to be around but they are going to have to drastically change the way they do things to compete in the very near future.

Even people that do not like Linux have to understand that it's very existence forces Microsoft to create a better product. I look forward to the day I can walk in a computer shop and see Linux powered computers for sale.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by FreedomOfTheOpenCode »

Yes, eventually, in one form or another.
Last edited by FreedomOfTheOpenCode on Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by craig10x »

That's very true...look at how well Chrome Books are doing...if they develop Chrome Os into a full fledged operating system, microsoft look out :lol:

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by mintybits »

The price of Windows is low enough that the non-hobbyist user is prepared to pay it in order to get ease of use, consistent interfaces, good software and technical support.

Even though linux is free I don't think it represents good value for most users.

I don't think "linux" as a movement is organised in a way that can deliver a superior experience in these areas. The kernel development is very good because it is well sponsored and centrally organised. But outside the kernel things are much more disparate and patchy. Linux is not free if peoples' time is accounted for. For hobbyists and IT pros this is not a problem but for most users who want a computer only as a time saving tool, linux is just too expensive.

I really like linux because I am an IT pro and I treat it as a hobby and I really dislike Microsofts' attitude. I like being able to tinker. I dont like the utter shoddiness of some of it, not least the awful installation and booting system, the limitations of Open Office and the problems I still have with my printer. But I dont mind because I enjoy tinkering.

I think, to make linux dominate the computer world would require a major change in how the linux "community" is organised and funded. Canonical is having a go but even they cant get it right.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by kurotsugi »

if we consider android as linux derivative....it already happened. jolla's sailfish OS, intel's tizen OS, google's android and his forks, china's goverment's COS, all of them are linux. firefox OS is also linux.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by Aristotelian »

exploder wrote:I do not think that Linux will ever replace Windows but I do think it will gain market share. Some people will never loose the Windows mindset, that's just how it is. Times are changing though thanks to cell phones. Android dominates the mobile world right now and it makes people more receptive to give Linux a try.Fresh ideas are making it to the desktop and it is helping to make people understand that Linux is not a free version of Windows.
Android indeed undercuts Windows and iOS/MacOS, but I don't think that helps Linux necessarily. I think it is more likely that Google will produce some version of Android that runs on Desktops and Laptops. Then people who have put Android on their phones and tablets will be able to put the same system on their computers. I think the Chromebooks are the first step in that direction.

Unfortunately I think Linux is always going to suffer from the perception that it is too complicated for people who just want something simple and user-friendly running out of the box. I think Android is the more realistic alternative to Windows/Mac ecosystems because people already have a comfort level with it.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by DrHu »

Nope ...short answer
  • and neither will Apple OSx or any other new OS, such as Android
    --Microsoft competes in the same space (content/media (TV stations for example), games and mobility)
Although Google is coming on strong with their Google apps drive and library deals, and especially streeview or Google maps..

There are also no applications that can compete for mind-share/market-share with Ms office suite, except for Adobe for media creation with their graphics suites..

I saw the comment about Chromebook, and actually I think an internet only appliance is a handicap to anyone who wants some control of their data, whether by Google, Microsoft, Apple or anyone else..
--of course you can always use a USB drive to store that data (I think, even though it is designed for internet/cloud use only)

Another option is another OS, such as Jolicloud, which probably can also work on Google's chromebook or another netbook choice..
http://www.jolicloud.com/

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by DrHu »

mintybits wrote:For hobbyists and IT pros this is not a problem but for most users who want a computer only as a time saving tool, linux is just too expensive.
I think that is a misinterpretation of people's use of time, if they think about it

Every Windows OS will require (at least the more rapid releases of late) greater time to learn about their operation, too many changes
--the same problem happens with every new release of windows office suite, too many new changes and design choices
  • All of these require more training, although many company's don't bother and simply assume people will adapt to what they need to learn
    --mostly a correct assumption, but its belies the cost of windows and upgrades of same..
In fact most people don't even need an office suite (really), they can for word processing at least get along with a simple editor that can do some reasonable formatting
  • highlights (bold and so on)
    fonts ( a small selection of typical choices)
    inserts or links (include other data, such as graphs or tables (spreadsheet-style data)

FreedomOfTheOpenCode

Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by FreedomOfTheOpenCode »

mintybits wrote:Even though linux is free I don't think it represents good value for most users.
To quote David Emery:

"The only people who have anything to fear from free software, are those whose products are worth even less."

Or those who charge too much.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by aussie-bloke »

exploder wrote:
Even people that do not like Linux have to understand that it's very existence forces Microsoft to create a better product. I look forward to the day I can walk in a computer shop and see Linux powered computers for sale.
There are people that do not like Linux? Other than Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer who is there? lol

Also, I think it was Dell that were selling laptops with Linux pre-installed on them (as the only OS and NOT just a dual-boot setup) a while back I was sure of it, but then Microsoft played hard-ball and said basically that if they don't pull those Linux machines from sale then they would lose the OEM Windows licence.

I know I grew up as an Apple boy so I can be accused of being a bit biased against Microsoft, but this type of dirty tactic stuff makes me hate Microsoft so much, if they were not this way then at least I would respect them as a company, regardless of their garbage products.

Also if someone wants to say that Apple restrict the Mac OS, well they have the right to as they made it, so if they don't want to sell that to non Apple hardware owners then they have that right. But Microsoft basically bullied a major computer retail manufacturer into dropping Linux machines from it's lineup, so that is different.
Last edited by aussie-bloke on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Will Linux ever replace Windows market share?

Post by Previous1 »

As this has been quoted out of context:
mintybits wrote:The price of Windows is low enough that the non-hobbyist user is prepared to pay it in order to get ease of use, consistent interfaces, good software and technical support.

Even though linux is free I don't think it represents good value for most users.

I don't think "linux" as a movement is organised in a way that can deliver a superior experience in these areas. The kernel development is very good because it is well sponsored and centrally organised. But outside the kernel things are much more disparate and patchy. Linux is not free if peoples' time is accounted for. For hobbyists and IT pros this is not a problem but for most users who want a computer only as a time saving tool, linux is just too expensive.

I really like linux because I am an IT pro and I treat it as a hobby and I really dislike Microsofts' attitude. I like being able to tinker. I dont like the utter shoddiness of some of it, not least the awful installation and booting system, the limitations of Open Office and the problems I still have with my printer. But I dont mind because I enjoy tinkering.

I think, to make linux dominate the computer world would require a major change in how the linux "community" is organised and funded. Canonical is having a go but even they cant get it right.
The point is, not only do you have to learn and work with Linux (which isn't too hard), you also have to learn to work around it. This is a major setback for most users, who'd rather pay 200$ than spend 200 hours to get a working system.
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