Desktop Linux distros ignored consumer developers, now irrelevant

Credit: flickr/nixa_

With a market share of 1-2 percent, desktop Linux never broke through. Some blame the Linux developer culture for this failure.

Miguel de Icaza posted, “Who Killed the Linux Desktop” last week, and pointed out Desktop Linux had a great opening when Microsoft Vista bombed. But the community was too involved in “our own internal battles and struggles,” to make a move in the market. Therefore, desktop Linux market share is between one to two percent, depending on which survey you trust.

Why? “Backwards compatibility, and compatibility across Linux distributions is not a sexy problem,” says de Icaza. Developers in the Linux community want to be innovators, and make the “next big thing.” And so “boring details like support and backwards compatibility,” are ignored by the community, and therefore the consumer community ignores desktop Linux.

Not dead yet

Why do people keep saying the Linux desktop is dead? I use it everyday for all kinds of things.

Paul Lieberman on tirania.org

Linux desktop isnot dead (but Gnome did all for kill Linux as os for masses) It is mostly because of Kde - the real desktop - not research project. And other things like e, fluxbox.

Naben 3nhnh on plus.google.com

has linux desktop failed? Really? Correct me if I am wrong but we are talking about a concept which has spawned thousands of distros used in millions of computers still.

f4stjack on news.ycombinator.com

Stone cold

Desktop linux has utterly failed, yes, clearly. OSX grew to over 10%. Linux desktop continues to remain statistical line noise.

flyinRyan on news.ycombinator.com

> Why do people keep saying the Linux desktop is dead?

Because it is? Duh!

LHB Outreach on tirania.org

It is surprisingly hard to maintain proprietary software for linux, as different versions ships with different shared libraries, have different ways of doing things. Even maintaining systems that need to run on RHEL 4 through 6 takes _a lot_ of effort.

noselasd on news.ycombinator.com

Bigger problems

The Linux desktop isn't dead, native apps for *all* desktops are dead.

Leif Gruenwoldt on tirania.org

That depends on how far Microsoft and Apple go with the tabletization of Windows and OS X in the next few years. I've been a mac user for years, but after playing with mountain lion, I could see the writing on the wall. It was time for a new laptop, so I went with a thinkpad with Arch Linux.

learc83 on news.ycombinator.com

I wish the gnome people had understood the real rules inside the kernel. Like "you never break external interfaces" - and "we need to do that to improve things" is not an excuse.

Linux Torvalds on plus.google.com

Do you still have a Linux desktop? Does anyone in your company? If so, which distribution?

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