Jack Wallen is a Linux hack, IMHO, but everyone needs to make a living. 😉 I do read his articles that I find interesting, and we actually agree on some things…occasionally.
If he was going to try ‘n push ‘Year of the Linux Desktop‘_a.g.a.i.n_ or something similar, then I would have directed him to Linus Torvalds:
‘One of the problems Desktop Linux has is it’s not made for normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people…‘ (Karmi’s NOTE: A brief update to that, i.e. to now define ‘Technical people‘ as Developers, Programmers, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc.)
He does an excellent interview in this article, so let’s grab some snippets of what the article is about, and who he is interviewing…
The future of Linux: Fedora project leader Matthew Miller weighs in
Jack Wallen interviews Fedora’s Matthew Miller to get his take on Fedora 36, the Achilles’ heel of Linux, and whether Linux needs more new users or big companies behind it.
I recently connected with Matthew Miller, distinguished engineer and Fedora project leader, to discuss the project and the future of Linux. His insights are invaluable not only to Linux users but to anyone maintaining a Linux distribution or those considering creating their own flavor of the open-source operating system. Here is what Miller has to say.
Jack Wallen: What is the one thing missing from the Linux community’s efforts in marketing the operating system for the masses?
Matthew Miller: I think, fundamentally, the problem is that there’s not a mass-market for operating systems at all. Some people, of course, find technology at this level fascinating — probably a lot of the folks interested in reading what you and I have to say about it. But, relative to even other geeky pursuits which have become mainstream (hello, grown-ups who build cool LEGO things! hello, fellow D&D nerds!), caring about your operating system at all is pretty esoteric.
There is certainly a market for operating systems at a corporate level, in the enterprise and for millions of different technology use cases businesses need to solve. Something has to power the cloud, and there needs to be a platform for all the software that a modern electric car needs to run. Those markets have actually already decided that the answer is Linux, and those are definitely markets with a lot of money at stake.
But for the masses, the desktop operating system (and, ever-increasingly, the OS for mobile devices)? The OS is just an implementation detail as part of a whole experience, and talking about that level generally makes people’s eyes glaze over. Of course, when it doesn’t, I know I’ve found a kindred spirit, but, again, a rare kindred spirit. So — thanks for bearing with me; I’m getting around to a direct answer—what are we missing in marketing Linux for the masses? I think it’s a lost cause to try to “sell” our quirky technology interest to people who don’t see it already. We need to take a different approach.
Sorry Jack, but it looks like he agrees wid Linus Torvalds on the chances of Linux ever being accepted by the normal people (AKA “masses” wid eyes that can “glaze over” quickly). 😉
One last quote from the excellent article:
Jack Wallen: What’s the biggest difference in Linux today vs. Linux of 10 years ago?
Matthew Miller: I think first we have to start with just the amazing ubiquity of it. Ten years ago, it was cute to find a TV that ran Linux. Now, not only is it definitely powering your TV, you’ve probably got Linux running on your lightbulbs! It’s everywhere. And while Linux had pushed proprietary Unix from the server room, ten years ago Windows-based servers were pushing back. The cloud changed that—now, the cloud is Linux, almost completely. (Anything that isn’t is a legacy app that it was too much trouble to port!) From tiny devices to the most powerful mainframes and supercomputers: Linux, Linux, Linux.
Yep, I have an entire page on Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes. I am continually pushing Linux as a natural ‘Companion‘ OS for Windows 10/11_yes, an excellent ‘Portable Secondary‘ desktop OS to Windows 10/11…so to speak of such ‘Thangs!
Be sure to read Jack Wallen’s entire Article…
LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!