Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why do PCLinuxOS and other Desktop Distros sit only on 2% of the desktops and notebooks?

pclinuxos adoptionPCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, Mint and Mepis proponents often claim that desktop linux has improved a lot in last 5 years that it has become much user-friendly and productive. But do you still realize why desktop linux still sits only on 2% of the systems. There are many views as to what keeps people away from using even so user-friendly desktop distro such as PCLinuxOS. Some say Linux is still not ready for desktop for lack of mature software, loose desktop integration, lack of support, multiplicity of standards.... and many more....

Do these views justify the stagnant adoption of desktop linux? Well they do to some extent and all of them really don't matter that much. So what is that big roadblock?

It's pirated microsoft in developing countries that really pose a threat to deployment of Linux. Top models of major Desktop/Laptop brands come with original copies of MS windows preinstalled but still some lesser known brands and base models of top brands come with PCDOS or FreeDOS. The sales of such models and brands actually outnumber those who come Windows preinstalled. As soon as those low (base) model desktops/laptops are shipped out from the vendor/retailer the user loads a pirated copy of windows xp or vista. Because pirated XP and Vista are available for just Rs. 40, it means less than $1. So who is going to take the pain of choosing a desktop linux distro, installing and configuring it if needed. The same is true with 99% of assembled PCs. Rarely ever anybody purchases a licensed copy of Windows for an assembled PC.

Difference of figures between desktop and laptop sales and microsoft windows sales says that more than 80% of the home users are using pirated copies of windows. And they are happy with it as they don't need the genuine microsoft advantage at all. After all, why any home user will need it anyway, he/she just uses the box for word processing, web browsing and some multimedia works. Though windows sucks them for viruses and many other problems, it's not a big deal. It just takes another 30 minutes to do a fresh install.

It seems that Microsoft is indifferent towards piracy. Because this piracy is a blessing in disguise because it helps maintaining MS dominance in desktop market.


Darrell said...

You claim lesser known brands and base models of top brands come with PCDOS or FreeDOS, that the sales of such models outnumber those with Windows preinstalled and that they cost less than $1? Where is the evidence for this?

Anonymous said...

It took a bit longer than it should have for distros to start including the multimedia codecs people depend on out of the box. I know people who prior to PCLOS, Mint, Ubuntu (not built in but has an easy tool to obtain them) who simply got sick of not being able to play back their files without some draconian command line tasks. I love linux but the mentality that every single aspect of what someone runs on their system needs to be open source is crazy. Shouldn't it be up to the end user?

manmath sahu said...

Hi Darrell,
thanks for your comment. the sales of base models outnumber power models, it's quite evident from the sales figures. i have procured data from top pc vendors of new delhi. Of course In this blog I am talking about the pc sales in developing countries like India, Pakistan and some other Asian countries. Definitely, the report is altogether different in European countries and America.

manmath sahu said...

Hi Anonymous,

Pls first register in blogspot so that I can address you better through the comments.

Well, I totally agree with your view. The "whole system should be open sourced" is definitely a crazy idea. And that's definitely one roadblock for linux adoption.

Anonymous said...

if pclinuxos and other desktop distros sit only on 2% of the systems then what about the claims by ubuntu, fedora and opensuse? the data seems biased.

How about this