Sunday, November 1, 2009

Linux is Great But How Does Windows Sit on 90% of Desktops?

lack of linux application softwareTry the latest iterations of major Linux distributions you will know the platform Linux has come a long way. There have been immense development in kernel, desktop integration and opensource application software, all of which together make a Linux operating system that we know. But the big question here is "why do many people still love Windows", why is there such an hue and cry when the latest (and greatest, as they say) Windows 7 hits the stores? And why does Windows sit on more than 90% of desktops? Read on to know my interpretation. No rants or fanboyism!

Linux is not that geeky anymore, thanks to Mepis, PCLinuxOS, Mint and a host of other such desktop distributions! Install the latest PCLinuxOS 2009.2, Mepis 8 or Ubuntu 9.10. Most certainly you won't have any problem installing it. The good part is you will get a complete desktop: an office suite (OpenOffice), an Internet bundle (Firefox, Thunderbird plus an FTP Client, IM client & more), a decent multimedia apps set (Totem, Mplayer, VLC and the likes). So, as a home user you will have very less to look for outside your install disc. And all these are free. Whereas in Windows retail copy installation you have to buy an OS disc, device drivers and other application software. But why there is no such buzz when the latest *buntu reached mirrors? And the market is so up for MS Windows 7?

Simple. The Linux community fails to complement users with those MS comparable software that they have been working on for more than a decade. Take OpenOffice as an example. It's a complete office productivity suite by every aspect. On it you can create stunning presentations, draft elegant letters and resumes, work on spreadsheets. Enough to meet your home use. But it's not a replacement in certain enterprise/professional environments. It behaves like a snail while handling big/complex spreadsheets, macro-ridden large documents, and complex database. Feature-complete, but a poor performer!

Of course, there are some proprietary office suites for Linux such as Softmaker, ElOffice and Ashampoo that look/work like Redmond's. They cost very less compared to MS Office. But they are unknown to the Average Joe.

Likewise, there is no scarcity of apps. There are thousands. However, people are looking for a few solid counterparts of their favorite Windows applications. In this regards Firefox is a real heavy-weight that topples other browsers (IE, Safari....& other) down in all possible ways. Also K3B is very versatile as a CD/DVD burning software. Even it feels and works better than the proprietary NeroLINUX. There is no such case for OpenOffice.

Let's hope makes performance and polish its primary goal.


Rob McGuire said...

You said that you would express your interpretation with "no rants or fanboyism" and then you immediately start throwing around the old "M$" thing as a way of referring to Microsoft. It's hard not to think of this as a fanboy rant when I see things like that.

manmath sahu said...

Thanks Rob McGuire, I stopped saying M$ as it sounds fanboyism to you.

Anonymous said...

There is no "buzz" as you say, because 95% of all Windows users do not even know that anything else exists. They were brought up on it and know nothing of the world outside that. The only people that know more are those enlightened individuals that choose to take the time to learn about other "geeky" stuff. Your average Windows user has not even heard of Linux and cares even less. They just want a PC that works. There never will be a "grand revolution" (although I do support the idea). You can convert a few individuals and the ones that I have shown the "light" have done well with it. The only way that Linux would move to the forefront is if Microsoft and/or Steve Balmer happen to have some form of massive faux pas. But, then again, they seem to have survived the Vista debacle..............

manmath sahu said...

"But, then again, they seem to have survived the Vista debacle.............."

And Microsoft is again gathering lost glory with Windows 7. It's pricey and polished.

Jazon said...

One reason why Windows is ever popular is because of piracy. Pirated copies of the OS and its applications are everywhere. Why pay when you can have the exact same thing for free? That is the sad truth.

Anonymous said...

Why ? because M$ is forced trough people's throats ! no other reason ,giving people no chance to choose for another operating system on a desktop or laptop !
This because M$ is forcing manufacturers to install M$ or otherwise they will "handle" them in another way, or just cut them from their shipping list, ask Acer

How about this