August 19, 2013, 12:29 PM — Diversity and the Linux Desktop
eWeek has a short but interesting article about diversity in the Linux desktop. The slideshow demonstrates some of the many different options available to desktop Linux users.
While many in the Linux community have long speculated on when "The Year of the Linux Desktop" would finally arrive, the reality is that there is no single such entity as THE Linux Desktop. The Linux desktop ecosystem is diverse, with multiple options and choices to suit different user needs and user preferences
I know that some have lamented the "fragmentation" of the Linux desktop, but I disagree with this completely. Fragmentation can be considered another word for real diversity and choice, and that's what makes Linux so incredibly useful and powerful.
There are simply so many different options for desktop users. Nobody is locked in and forced to use a particular distro or desktop environment. Desktop Linux users can float from distro to distro, depending on their needs. Or they can simply use whatever desktop environment they prefer within their distro of choice.
Now compare the range of choice offered by Linux with that of Windows or OS X. There's no comparison whatsoever, Linux wins hands down. Sure, in some cases, a particular distro may not be as "slick" as Windows or OS X, or it may even require some work on the users part to make things work in the preferred way. But the real choice is there, and the user makes the final decision about how his or her desktop computer works.
I think it's really this diversity of choice that has protected Linux, and given it its strong niche outside the control of one company or entity. You can't say the same about Windows or OS X, which are solely controlled by Microsoft and Apple. Whatever choices Apple or MIcrosoft make, you're pretty much stuck with them, and that just isn't true about Linux.
Thank goodness for that!
Linux Popularity in IT Rises
The popularity of Linux among IT departments just keeps rising. CIO has some interested details about a survey done by SUSE in the UK. It seems that more and more businesses there are using Linux in one way or another.