Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Happened to PCLinuxOS 2008 and Red Hat Consumer Linux Desktop - Red Hat Global Desktop (RHGD)?

redhat global desktop has been droppedWe know Linux has enough potential to be a consumer desktop and we also know that Linux has less than 2% of desktop market share. Let's admit the truth. Linux enthusiasts may site a thousand reasons on why Linux does not sit on consumer desktops, or conversely why people are not ready to Linux even after Linux is absolutely ready.

Let me put my experience. I have been using Linux since 2000 and I am proud of it. Of course, I had undergone a phase of agony while using Linux. The problems I faced (and still facing sometimes, despite using linux for last 8 years) were related to wireless, gadgets, drivers and application software.

Everybody knows the modern linux kernel understands the system better than the aging windows xp (and vista). I have noticed PCLinuxOS 2008 manage the CPU, HDD and other devices of my notebook better than XP. But I still have to run Windows XP on another partition of my HDD. Reasons? I can't run Web CEO, Indicom Plug2Surf and Nokia GPRS internet connection on Linux. They run only on Windows. And it's an official compulsion that I have to use those software. Of course, at home I retreat to the safe abode of PCLinuxOS.

Well, at this junction I had little hope on Red Hat Global Desktop. It had made news way back in 2007. And like any other Linux Enthusiast I was happy on that news. But the latest update is that Red Hat has dropped its consumer desktop! The reason as the Red Hat spokespersons say is, "The desktop market suffers from having one dominant vendor, and some people still perceive that today’s Linux desktops simply don’t provide a practical alternative. Of course, a growing number of technically savvy users and companies have discovered that today’s Linux desktop is indeed a practical alternative. Nevertheless, building a sustainable business around the Linux desktop is tough, and history is littered with example efforts that have either failed outright, are stalled or are run as charities."

Having said all that, now all hope is on PCLinuxOS 2008 and Mepis 8. Hope they will solve the wireless problems of my Compaq C702TU. So far I have tried Mandriva 2008.1, Ubuntu Hardy Heron and OpenSuse 11. But I could not get desired performance from my Broadcom wireless chip. But it seems PCLinuxOS 2008 will take at least a month or two to appear, and, alash! there can no guess on the release Mepis 8. May be it will appear after an year from now.


Stephen said...

Whether Linux has less than 2% of desktop market is debatable. Since a lot of the time, it's being downloaded for free, nobody really knows the exact usage numbers.

manmath sahu said...

Right. Nobody knows the exact market share of Linux. It's just a rough estimate.

uC said...

Actually nobody knows how many Vista's are in use since they come with a new machine and no one keeps them.

COMP USA had boxes and boxes of Vista's brought back that Microsoft would not take back.

I still have a windows licence label on this openSUSE machine. NO WINDOWS ON IT. I do linux driver development for a living. My Other company Dell Precision 4300 laptop has a XP licence on it. Cheaper paying the windows tax than the ubuntu tax.

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