November 29, 2011, 11:49 AM —
Ubuntu has ruled the Linux desktop distribution market for years, but upstart Linux Mint is leapfrogging them with version 12. But a billion users will continue to ignore Linux.
Linux Mint is the fourth most widely used home operating system, trailing Windows, Mac OS, and Ubuntu. But make no mistake – Ubuntu and Mint are a very very distant third and fourth in this race. Which is a shame, because Linux of all flavors offers a free or very low cost alternative to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, and include the OpenOffice productivity suite, eliminating the need to pay Microsoft a second time for Office. And Linux wrings much more performance from older equipment than Windows. But it's been the "Year of the Linux Desktop" for about five years now, and billions still ignore all these advantages.
Mint jumps ahead of Ubuntu because of user interface issues: Ubuntu switched to Unity, leaving behind the much more popular GNOME interface (Linux names are always more fun than those from Microsoft and Apple). Mint, based mostly on Ubuntu, includes GNOME 3.2 in Mint 12, but also keeps GNOME 2 for those who prefer the status quo. Download it for free and try it, and you'll experience something a billion fellow users will ignore as they gripe about Windows issues and Mac OS lock-in. Their loss.
Is the Linux Desktop community so desperate for corporate support they keep tolerating Canonical?