My main focus has mainly been on desktop computer systems, and I have considered Microsoft the dominant force. Though Linux has made some inroads onto consumer desktop systems, for the most part I have always considered Linux more of a novelty than a real desktop contender. So when I read that Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin made a statement that ‘bashing Microsoft was like kicking a puppy,’ my ears perked up and I went to see exactly what this man meant.
For the past several decades the battle of words have been exchanged between Microsoft and the Linux communities. The Linux folks reminded me of a Rodney Dangerfield in that they could not get any respect. No matter how vocal the Linux people were, they just couldn’t support getting Linux on the desktop computing systems. With the exception of a short stint on Dell computers, Microsoft continued to be the dominant force on desktop systems.
Mr. Zemblin provides some indisputable facts concerning where Linux has grabbed the lion’s share. He cites that Linux has found a home on consumer electronic devices such as the Amazon Kindle. He also states that Sony televisions and camcorders use Linux as well as smartphones, which use Google’s Android, which is based on Linux. Linux powered tablets also are beginning to show promise as Google’s Android system is being introduced.
Mr. Zemlin thinks that, while Microsoft is used on 9 out of 10 desktops, as we enter into a post-PC world, this becomes less important. He claims that Microsoft is struggling to grab a foothold into the tablet, smart phone, and embedded markets. He predicts that Linux will continue to grow in these markets and take a commanding lead. He is also optimistic that Android powered phones are now more popular than the iPhone and also touts HP use of webOS, another Linux-based operating system.
I must say that Mr. Zemlin makes a convincing argument that Linux is going to be a dominant player in the tablet and smart phone marketplace. It also seems that Linux is gaining in the server market place as well. I believe that being a dominant force in these markets will make more consumers become aware of Linux and maybe, just maybe, Linux one day can be a contender in the desktop marketplace as well.
What do you think?