Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

How Apple Killed the Linux Desktop and Why That Doesn’t Matter

Filed under
Linux
Mac

It’s hard to say exactly what percentage of desktop and laptop computers run Apple OS X, but it’s clear that the operating system has made slow but steady gains at chipping away at that the sizable lead Microsoft established in the ’90s with its Windows operating system. Some figures put the number at about 6 to 7 percent of the desktop market.

But one thing’s for sure: OS X has been more successful than Linux, the open source operating system that has found a home on data-center servers but is still a rarity on desktops and laptops. Linux may have seen a surge last year, but it still hasn’t seen the sort of growth OS X has, nor the growth that Linux supporters have long hoped for.

Why is that?




(1) Simplicity (2) Money

(1) I couldn't possibly recommend any Linux distro to most Windows or Mac users. They simply don't have the time to learn Linux, particularly when the command line is needed.

(2) Money, money, money. Apple is earning a lot of it. It can fund development and promotion without difficulty.

Wired and it's Apple Fetish

Is there anything that Wired won't attribute to Apple being "great"?

Linux needed no help (or push) by Apple to fail, it had all the help it needed inside it's own house.

Distro fragmentation, Desktop fragmentation, fragmented support (from mediocre to out right tragic), and the number one reason Linux fails on the desktop - super ultra uber incredibly piss poor apps (that are fragmented).

The hundred or so bucks needed to put Windows or OSX on a system is a blessing when it allows you to run polished apps (many free and open source) that not only work, but look good to boot.

Linux apps are a cluster frack of poor ui, poor graphic design, poor coding skills, and poor support. The only thing linux apps have is a full cadre of apologists just waiting to tell you it's YOU not the APP that sucks.

Fragmentation is what keeps Linux down. No direction, no vision, and worst of all, no QA. It will NEVER get better (in fact the last several rounds of distros have pretty much proven it's peaked and is getting worse not better).

And you know what's really scary - it's creeping into the server market. Redhat has decided to let the Fedora fobs guide their ENTERPRISE line. Resulting in a major shake up of switching out chkconfig & service for that gawd awful mess called systemd. If I ran my data center on tablets, maybe I would be excited, since we run nothing but bare metal boxes running a hypervised pool of virtual machines - I don't really care that systemd boots several seconds faster (big whoop de doo).

Even with the complete lack of vision, Redhat will remain pretty much the only Enterprise choice (for linux that is), Ununtu will drive the linux desktop into ashes as it stumble around looking for a tablet OS that can run on a desktop, and all the other distros will continue to fumble finger their way to nowhere waiting for just one decent (as compared to windows or osx) desktop app that will never come. The few apps that approach being usable are ALL available to run native on Windows and OSX, so there is no redeeming savior to prevent linux on the desktop from slipping slowly under the sea of fanboy drool.

Linux has not been "killed" by Apple, nor has it 'failed'

Linux is doing just fine, thank you very much, and it doesn't really need developers who can't eat their own dog food around, constantly bleating, 'why can't Linux be more like Apple and Windows?'. The answer is, it doesn't need to, but must succeed on its own terms. Those terms aren't dictated by some captain of industry, they are communal, organic and fluid in nature.

Developers who admire OS X and IOS, and feel they can't work unless it's on Apple's hardware, should devote their mad skillz to developing software for Apple, and just STFU about Linux.

Sorry Miguel de Icaza that Microsoft crippleware Mono never really took off on Linux. Better luck with your next project.

Apple has made quite a significant contribution to Linux (and other, unix-like open source projects) in the form of CUPS. So thanks for that.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Linus Torvalds Announces Subsurface 4.6 Open-Source Dive Log and Planning App

Linus Torvalds not only works on the Linux kernel, but he's also part of the development team behind the open-source dive log and dive planning application most of you out there know as Subsurface. Read more

openSUSE Tumbleweed Gets XOrg Server 1.19 & Irssi 1.0, PulseAudio 10 Coming Soon

openSUSE Project's Douglas DeMaio is informing the Tumbleweed community today, January 18, 2017, about the latest software updates and other improvements delivered by a total of two snapshots released last week. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Linux use on Pornhub surged 14% in 2016
    Pornhub is one of the preeminent porn sites on the web. Each year Pornhub releases a year in review post with anonymous details about the site’s users. More and more Linux users are visiting Pornhub, Linux saw an impressive 14% increase in traffic share in 2016.
  • Amdocs partners with Linux Foundation to accelerate OpenECOMP adoption in Open Source
  • Calamares 2.4.6 Distribution-Independent Linux Installer Delivers Improvements
    The Calamares team is proud to announce the availability of the sixth maintenance update to the 2.4 stable series of the open-source, distribution-independent system installer Calamares, for Linux-based operating systems. Calamares 2.4.6 comes approximately two months after the release of the previous version, namely Calamares 2.4.5, and, as expected, it's a bugfix release that only delivers various improvements and bug fixes for some of the issues reported by users during all this time.
  • Shotwell Photo Manager 0.25.3 Released
    Photography fans will be pleased to hear that a new bug-fix release of photo management app Shotwell is now available to download.
  • AntiX 16.1 is available for public
    AntiX is Debian based Linux distribution. It uses lightweight desktop environments like Fluxbox, Icewm, Xfce, etc. This distribution is originated in Greece and is typically ideal for old systems. Few hours ago AntiX team released new version named AntiX 16.1. It is based on Debian Jessie.
  • Tumbleweed Preps for PulseAudio 10, Gets Ruby, Python Updates
    Developers using openSUSE Tumbleweed are always getting the newest packages as well as updated languages and past week’s snapshots delivered update versions of Python and Ruby. The most recent snapshot, 20170112, brought Python 2.x users version 2.7.13, which updated cipher lists for openSSL wrapper and supports versions equal to or greater than OpenSSL 1.1.0. Python-unidecode 0.04.20 was also updated in the snapshot. Another update related to OpenSSL 1.1.0 was PulseAudio 9.99.1, which is a release in preparation for PulseAudio 10.0. PulseAudio 10.0 includes compatibility with OpenSSL 1.1.0, a fix for hotplugged USB surround sound cards and and automatic switching of Bluetooth profile when using VoIP applications.
  • Genode OS Framework Planning For Async I/O, App ABI, Qt5 Plans For 2017
    The Genode Operating System Framework has announced their planned roadmap for this year as the involved developers continue working on this original OS initiative. The overall theme of the Genode OS work in 2017 is to focus on stability and scalability, but there is also much more on their road-map for this calendar year.
  • PrestaShop
    Helping people overcome the challenges of building and growing an online business is what the PrestaShop open-source ecommerce platform is all about. The significant PrestaShop 1.7 release provides innovations focused on three themes: sell faster, create easier and code better.
  • This Week in Spring: Reactor 3.0, Open Source CD, and All Kinds of Cloud

Linux on Servers

  • IBM i Open Source Business Architect Lays Out A Plan
    Enterprise level application development is no place for open source languages. Can you believe it? That was once the widely accepted truth. Jiminy Crickets! Things have changed. The number of the stable open source distributions available with comprehensive support and maintenance goes well beyond common knowledge. Industry giants, successful SMB players, and mom and pop businesses are finding good reasons to use open source. Even IBM uses open source for internal business reasons. There are reasons for you to do the same.
  • Lightning Talk - Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes by Blake White, The Walt Disney Co.
  • How Disney Is Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes
    The Walt Disney Company is famous for “making magic happen,” and their cross-cloud, enterprise level Kubernetes implementation is no different. In a brief but information-packed lightning talk at CloudNativeCon in Seattle in November, Disney senior cloud engineer Blake White laid out a few of the struggles and solutions in making Kubernetes work across clouds.
  • Puppet Launches its Latest State of DevOps Survey
    Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008. Fast-forward to today, and Puppet is still making news, creating jobs and more.