Why Users Aren't Flocking to Linux – So Says Torvalds

Every once in awhile you read something that just makes sense. So it was when I read Linus Torvalds take on why folks are not flocking to Linux. No matter how much people complain about Windows, complain about the abuses by Microsoft, or just complain for complaining’s sake, the bottom line is this. People are basically happy with Windows. This master of the Linux OS says:

But according to Torvalds the reason Linux hasn’t taken off is that most people are happy with the way things are. “If you act differently from Windows, even if you act in some ways better, it doesn’t matter; better is worse if it’s different.”

Torvalds also attributes much of the frustration with Windows Vista to this same idea. In other words, it’s not that Vista is worse than XP, but it’s different and that causes distress among users.

 Torvalds thinks that since the basic uses of the desktop have been established, changing it in some radical way is more likely to anger users than impress them. This goes a considerable way to explain why recent versions of both Windows and Mac OS X have largely been focused on “eye candy” and visual/interactive improvements rather than revolutionary new features.

It was actually refreshing to hear a reasonable take on why Linux struggles to get any kind of an audience on the desktop.

Comments welcome.

His entire story is here.

[tags] linux, desktop, torvalds, windows, eye candy, improvements, change, [/tags]