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

today's howtos

Tizen in Bolivia and India

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Microsoft says its best not to fiddle with its Windows 10 group policies (that don't work)

    On Monday, we revealed that a security researcher had used a packet sniffer to show that many settings designed to prevent access to the internet were being ignored with connections to a range of third party servers including advertising hubs.

  • What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course
    Google Project Zero's Windows bug-hunter and fuzz-boffin Tavis Ormandy has given the world an insight into how he works so fast: he works on Linux, and with the release of a personal project on GitHub, others can too. Ormandy's project is to port Windows DLLs to Linux for his vuln tests (“So that's how he works so fast!” Penguinistas around the world are saying). Typically self-effacing, Ormandy made this simple announcement on Twitter (to a reception mixing admiration, humour, and horror):
  • Hacked in Translation – from Subtitles to Complete Takeover
    Check Point researchers revealed a new attack vector which threatens millions of users worldwide – attack by subtitles. By crafting malicious subtitle files, which are then downloaded by a victim’s media player, attackers can take complete control over any type of device via vulnerabilities found in many popular streaming platforms, including VLC, Kodi (XBMC), Popcorn-Time and strem.io. We estimate there are approximately 200 million video players and streamers that currently run the vulnerable software, making this one of the most widespread, easily accessed and zero-resistance vulnerability reported in recent years.
  • A Samba remote code execution vulnerability
    Distributors are already shipping the fix; there's also a workaround in the advisory for those who cannot update immediately.

KDE, Qt, GTK and GNOME News

  • KDE Plasma 5.8.7 LTS Desktop Environment Released with over 60 Improvements
    KDE has announced today the release and immediate availability of the seventh maintenance update to the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment. KDE Plasma 5.8.7 LTS is now considered the latest stable and most advanced version of the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS (Long Term Support) desktop environment, which some of you out there are probably using on your favorite GNU/Linux distributions instead of a short-lived branch like KDE Plasma 5.9 or the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.10 release.
  • Summer of Coding!
    After a month of dread and panicking about the fact that Google Summer of Code results are announced in the middle of exam season... I'm happy to say I'll be doing the Rust plugin for KDevelop!
  • Qt 5.9 Release Candidate Available For Testing
  • Qt 5.9.0 RC released
    We have released Qt 5.9.0 RC today. You can update it at the top of your Qt 5.9 beta(4) online installation or do clean installation by using qt online installer. Detailed instructions here: https://wiki.qt.io/How_to_get_snapshot_via_online_installer .
  • The Road to GTK+ 4 Continues, New Milestone Adds Initial OS X and Meson Support
    A new milestone was released recently, GTK+ 3.91.0, which adds quite a bunch of improvements and bug fixes, but also some new APIs and compatibility with other supported operating systems besides those based on the Linux kernel. For example, GTK+ 3.91.0 implements initial support for Apple's macOS platform, which will make it possible to run apps written in GTK+ 4 on OS X.
  • Epiphany Browser Updated for GNOME 3.25.2 with New Shortcuts for Switching Tabs
    Ahead of today's GNOME 3.25.2 desktop environment development release, the team of developers behind the Epiphany web browser have released the second milestone towards the Epiphany 3.26 stable series, due out later this year.