Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

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

Filed under

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

ZTE launches container networking solution for open source NFV

ZTE has unveiled an end-to-end container networking solution for open-source NFV, which it hopes will promote the development of cloud native technology and the open source ecosystem. The vendor says operators need the ability to quickly adapt to changing network demands with low cost solutions while maintaining continuous innovation. As such, it believes that containers are the best carrier for NFV transformation. ZTE says that container-based cloud native applications will become the trend for communications technology applications. However, the native Kubernetes network model used in the IT industry is too simple to meet telco service requirements. Read more

LuxMark OpenCL Performance On Windows vs. Linux With Radeon/NVIDIA

When carrying out this week's Windows vs. Linux gaming tests with AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs on the latest drivers, I also took the opportunity to run some fresh OpenCL benchmarks on Windows and Linux with the competing GPU vendors. I was particularly interested in running this test given the maturing state of ROCm on Linux for providing a new and modern compute stack... That coming with Linux 4.17+ will even begin to work from a mainline Linux kernel. Albeit for this round of testing was using AMD/GPUOpen's stock ROCm Ubuntu packages for 16.04 LTS as outlined on their GitHub page. Read more

Top Linux tools for writers

If you've read my article about how I switched to Linux, then you know that I’m a superuser. I also stated that I’m not an “expert” on anything. That’s still fair to say. But I have learned many helpful things over the last several years, and I'd like to pass these tips along to other new Linux users. Read more

i.MX6 ULL module runs Linux with real-time patch

Artila’s “M-X6ULL” COM runs Linux 4.14 with the PREEMPT_RT patch on an 800MHz i.MX6 ULL, and offers dual LAN controllers, 4GB eMMC or an optional microSD slot, and an optional carrier board. The M-X6ULL, which follows other Artila i.MX based modules such as the i.MX537 based M-5360A, measures only 68 x 43mm. Still, that’s hardly a record for modules featuring NXP’s Linux-driven, power-sipping i.MX6 ULL. MYIR’s MYC-Y6ULX measures 39 x 37mm. Read more