a fight to get into a space that no one wants?
..for which I entirely blame Microsoft and apple...
The real issue is that 'consumers' are abandoning desktops in droves for touch screen fondleslabs, leaving Microsoft Apple and the Linux community (whatever that means) fighting for a space that no one is buying.....
..EXCEPT real computer USERS who dont JUST use the thing for shopping tweeting and posting drivel on facebook, and downloading videos and music.
Which is why MINT and a sort of trad windows/gnome2 type feel is scoring: because people who need keyboards and multiple apps open simultaneously and the power to switch between them, and need a mouse to do graphic work and so on, and who don't appreciate CPU grabbing eye candy, but want flexibility of configuration...find that something like MATE or CINNAMON suits their work style.
Linuix has always been restricted in 3rd party apps, and that is likley to continue: there is after all no reason to use Linux to e.g. run a 'creatives' desktop when adobe and quark only support OSX/WIN platforms.
Power users tend to run the desktop that supports the apps they need to use: Linux doesnt feature there (yet).
Average word processing/spreadsheet/mail stuff is doable well in linux, and some organisations have realised that and switched. But those users don't need fancy interfaces either.
At the consumer computer illiterate level, there exists android and IOS to run on their I-Bling. What is the point of giving them Unity?
Another point: The dotcom 'boom' was predicated on the assumption that somehow visitors to websites would be easily seduced into spending money somewhere - easily enough to make click through revenue a business model. But we are - and are likley to remain - in a recession. Really who is spending money on-line, and do blanket advertising splashes actually modify it? The answer - in my case at least, is to run adblock and simply remove all commercial content. If I want something definite, a simple google search will identify what I want. I don't buy things just because they are advertised. I simply cant afford to.
In short the assumptions behind the business models of a huge swathe of dotcom companies, including those seeking to profit from Linux, are likely to turn out to be fundamentally flawed.They think they know what will work, before its been shown to work.
At least Mint is saying, "tell us what you want, and we will supply it."
After all, we all left MS/Apple because their attitude was "This is what you get: your views dont count: If you want to have a PC this is what its going to have on it"! and their relentless pursuit of the mindless majority gave us Vista and the I-phone.
All I want for linux, is more apps. Not a fancier way to load them. If I want a user shopping experience I'll buy an I-bollocksthingy.
Personal Computers themselves are forking from the unholy matrimony of the corporate and professional desktop and the consumer home/games device - which Windows somehow managed to straddle - into two distinct arenas. Consumers and computer illiterates, and power users and professional corporate desktops.
Linux had better decide which route to take. It won the server wars. It failed to win the corporate desktop wars and it utterly failed to penetrate at all into the consumer arena except via android.
It should, having won the server war, where quality of function and resilience outweigh all other considerations, be in a good place to win the corporate and power user desktop wars. The problem is to convince purveyors of quality applications that cost money, that it is a suitable platform to support.
It already has penetration as android into the consumer arena: Perhaps it should leave it at that, and concentrate on becoming the 'serious' choice for companies and individuals who actually need to generate output, rather than mindlessly consume product.