In his May 7 letter [“Tech Flops Are in the Eye of the Beholder”], Robert Gardner suggested that you include Linux in your list of technology flops. He may be a card-carrying Linux hater, and I may be a card-carrying Linux lover, but he should get his facts straight.
Gardner says that in the early days, you had to be “very computer-literate” to install Linux. But in the “early days,” MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 were also pretty finicky, along with most other operating systems. Linux is now very easy to install from many different distributions.
As for Windows services, Linux will pretty much do anything Windows will do right now, except run Microsoft software without an emulator or virtual machine. And who cares? There are a lot of native Linux alternatives.