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Linux in the Mainstream, Who’s Really to Blame?

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Today while browsing I found this article where someone wrote about his frustrations trying to install Firefox 3.6 in Ubuntu, and felt that the difficulty he had was a prime reason for the failure of Linux on the desktop. I was so completely annoyed after reading his piece that I thought I would post an “answer” of my own, but it transformed into something different. What are the real reasons why Linux has failed to go mainstream?

Reason #1: User Ignorance

First of all, let’s clear the air a bit on the article I linked to above. When it comes to Ubuntu, it is not a rolling distribution. You cannot expect to automatically have the newest major version of anything until the next version of the distribution is released, which happens every six months. The same holds true for Firefox. You will probably have Firefox 3.6 automatically when Ubuntu 10.04 comes out should you choose to upgrade, but you will not get Firefox magically on release day without breaking Ubuntu’s release policies.

This is why research is so important if you decide to use Linux.

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