back to article 2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

For the desktop Linux user, 2015 was a great year. There were major updates for nearly every single desktop available, launches of brand new desktops, even an impressive new distro that's forging its own path. Popular software packages also saw impressive updates – like GIMP, Inkscape and LibreOffice to name just a few – and …

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    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      The multiplicity of desktops is a strength, not a weakness. I use the desktop to provide access to documents which are reference material or WiP, not applications. If the only desktop was Gnome 3 or Unity I'd have given up on Linux already.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Your (nerdy - nothing pejorative, I'm with you) strength is the average users' weakness (especially those that can't differentiate between Word & Windows). If the time spent in-fighting and forking was spent pulling the same direction life would be a lot different.

        I think the average user would like a working computer to use for a purpose rather than an opportunity to try multiple distros and desktops. Choice may be good; it's nothing necessarily helpful.

        1. Ishtiaq
          Pint

          The voice of sanity

          Oh how I agree with you. My computer is a tool to do things with. I care less (as does the average user) about arguing which is the best desktop or distro.

          I have several friends who use Linux and when we are down the pub all they do is argue about the above. None of them actually seem to do anything useful with their machines and spend all their time fucking about tweaking the operating system and going on the 'net to argue with others about the above...

          I, as a Mac user am, of course, beyond the pale.

          So, when I am finally pissed off with their beardy, real ale, foodie arguments and they have thoroughly taken the piss out of my system, I ask them where are the Cubases, Wavelabs, Final Cuts and Photoshops of the Linux world?

          That usually ends the argument and then we can happily get down to the real task in hand which is getting shitfaced.

          Am sorry to have babbled on but Linuxheads, as an operating system Linux seems fine to me and I would have no problems using it but where is the commercial grade software?

          A pint because if any of my friends read this I will need one (dozen). Cheers...

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re Linux Desktop

      Have you seen all those kids with Pi's at school? They dont seem to have any problem doing pretty much whatever they feel the need to. I'm guessing it doesnt come up on the normal OS sales figures but I'd imagine Raspbian outsold Win10 lately.

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        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Re Linux Desktop

          Defo. wrong side of bed this morning.

          Raspbian is derived from Debian, and is on the Raspberry Pi. Even Mr Grumpy should be able to figure that name out.

          Binary blobs, yes, but irrelevant. Closed hardware, somewhat true, still irrelevent. These are strawman arguments. 7M Raspberry Pi's sold, Raspbian on most of them.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those who grew up with a ZX81, learned how to program the Z80 directly

          What's your point? Evolution and innovation sucks?

        3. NP-HARD
          Meh

          Re: Re Linux Desktop

          Throw all the kids in at the deep end and see which of them float.

          You are my hero.

        4. Terry Barnes

          Re: Re Linux Desktop

          I think most people who grew up with a ZX81 used BASIC.

          Hitting the metal directly is frowned on these days for all kinds of reasons - but mainly because lots of clever people will have already written a kernel for you, so why would you think that a teenager learning to program would make a better job of it? Why would you want to have to build your own networking, security and memory management modules when your task is to transmit video from a webcam, for example?

          Those kids are learning useful contemporary skills, I doubt they're much interested in earning bragging rights about how old fashioned they are on niche forums.

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            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Re Linux Desktop

              > Who is going to write the kernel for the next generation of hardware if no teenagers learn real coding now?

              Why do you think that teenagers are not learning programming now on RaspberryPis ? In order to access the GPIO they have to write Python, BASIC, C or many others. And it is not just toggling LEDs, they can use sensors and relays to study other subjects.

              > This is why I still get asked to work on Fortran code from 30 years ago - virtually nobody else knows how to, or can be bothered.

              And no one cares much about Z80 assembly or Sinclair BASIC either.

              One of the advantages of the ZX81, C64 and BBC of the early 80s was that they had 'user ports' so that you could connect up switches and relays to control things. I still have the Usborne books: "How to Make Computer Model Controllers for C64, Vic 20, Spectrum and BBC", "Experiments with your Computer", "Practical Things to do with a Microcomputer", plus many more from the early 80s, including many BBC magazines. With BBC BASIC on Raspbian these can be reused for the new generation.

              The RaspberryPi (and similar and Arduino) brings this back. In between, computers degraded to typing into Word or Excel. You should be celebrating RPi and Rasbian.

              If you want direct metal get a PyBoard or run PiCore on RPiZero with BASIC.

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                1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                  Re: Re Linux Desktop

                  > You don't need a RaspberryPI to do that, you can use any X86 machine with a printer port, (and add one via a cheap PCI card if it lacks one).

                  That may have worked in the 1980s and 90s with ISA bus and MS-DOS (and MS-DOS based Windows) or *nix. But apart from not being a usual feature for the last decade or more, they have degraded, under Windows, into being interfaced by driver software so there is less access. They are also digital only while the BBC and others catered for analogue input ports.

                  """ NOTE: The I/O port level controlling details here has proven to work well with parallel ports on the PC motherboard and expansion cards connected to ISA bus. The programming examples might not work with PCI bus based I/O cards (they can use different hardware and/or I/O addresses, their drivers make they just look like parallel ports to "normal" applications). The programming examples do not work with USB to parallel port adapters (they use entirely different hardware, their drivers make them to look like normal parallel port to operating system "normal" applications)."""

                  """Direct port controlling from application is not possible under Windows NT."""

                  Under Windows, you can write your own device driver and there are some available, but generally it is not an easy thing to do anymore, though it can be done under Linux, or other *nix, if you can find adequate hardware.

                  The point is that for the last decade or two the vast majority of 'computers in schools' and homes are Windows (only) and don't have easy access to the ports so the sort of experiments that 'home computers' were used for in the 80s and Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and many others can be used for now.

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          2. Robert Harrison

            Re: Re Linux Desktop

            The simple counter argument to this is the "Law of Leaky Abstractions". There is always immense value in being able to look underneath the layer your .Net, Java, PHP, etc environment provides and understand enough of the processes there-in.

            Of course, this doesn't take away from being productive and using today's tools as they should be used.

        5. Mage Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Linux vs ZX **

          That old chestnut!

          The majority of Sinclair users typed in listings or played commercial games. Very few of them learned to program. I did learn Z80 Assembler, 6502, 78C11, 8051, but used high level languages during learning to program (But not BASIC). I quickly progressed to Forth, Modula-2, Prolog on Z80. Various languages on PC, avoiding any serious programming in BASIC, save a test card generator for Spectrum, till VB6 and Option Explicit and writing programs only differing in syntax from C++, Modula-2, Ada or later Java.

          Learning BASIC, or even Pascal or C++ language isn't learning to program either.

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            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: Linux vs ZX **

              This is such a stupid argument. People using a ZX or Atari 800 or whatever may have dealt with the machine at a lower level and learned to program it - maybe even learned assembler, but the fact that a much lower percentage of computer users know how now is NOT a failing of today's PCs and a strength of the past. They had no choice back then, because they were about 0.0001% as useful as today's PCs and smartphones!

              One could equally argue that being able to buy a 6502, Z80 or x86 CPU is a bad deal because back in the day you had to use a breadboard and wire circuits yourself. The 80s_coder guy has definitely chosen an apt name, but he should had grumpy_old_fart to his handle for truth in advertising!

              Technology marches on, and making it easier to use computers as tools without being required to know how they work makes the world a better place. We don't need 7 billion assembly programmers, any more than everyone who drives a car should need to know how to maintain it let alone how to make the steel that is used to build a car.

              Human progress is not based on everyone learning everything that was done before them - if you had to do that it would have already halted because DaVinci was probably the last guy who was at an expert level in most fields of science. 80_coder might be a whiz when it comes to computers, but I doubt he has a similar level of knowledge concerning biology for instance - and since we are biological organisms I'd argue that understanding biology at a low level is one hell of a lot more important than understanding Z80 assembler!

            2. Vic

              Re: Linux vs ZX **

              The Spectrum probably has a larger catalogue of commercial software than any other 8-bit machine. Who wrote it all?

              John Hollis.

              HTH, HAND, etc.

              Vic.

        6. Stuart 22

          Re: Re Linux Desktop

          "The point is that today's generation being brought up on the Raspberry Pi, needs, 'Raspbian', (ridiculous name), to do anything.

          Those who grew up with a ZX81, learned how to program the Z80 directly, not how to write shell scripts that need a half-free as in alcohol-free-beer, 'OS', stuffed with binary blob drivers, running on closed hardware."

          Oh, yes the ZX80/81 - a step back in computing in everything but price from the initial PET/TRS-80/Apple-II generation. By the time you were trying to figure out BASIC they had moved on to having operating systems. And when TRS-DOS for the Trash-80 was a bit disappointing users rewrote or patched it as NEWDOS (swopping of 5" floppies was always a ceremony when at least two users got together - a sort of primitive networking).

          So the ZX80/81 guys & guyesses grew up and appreciated a richer universe. Its nice that kids today for less than £30 can go straight into more or less 'proper' computing with virtually the same functionality (if scaled down somewhat) of a sophisticated real server or desktop.

          And without having to blob about - just knowing which plug to put in which socket - can get a perfectly functioning PC to browse the internet. But messing about with blobs and scripts is there for the geeky crowd. The 2010_coder is being born without the limitations of a world being largely limited to POKEing & PEEKing.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re Linux Desktop

          ... but there's not a lot of call for Z80 devs now. A partially free OS with binary blob drivers is a reasonable representation of a chunk of the real world. (And this ZX81 owner stuck with Sinclair Basic over Z80 assembler).

        8. Fred T

          Re: Re Linux Desktop

          > Those who grew up with a ZX81, learned how to program the Z80 directly, not how to write shell scripts ..

          I would be more impressed if ZX81 users could have written their own microcodes and create their own CPUs. Z80 is nothing to brag about, it's the same as any programming language (albeit low level and closer to the metal.)

          Kids using high-level scripts is just as capable as those who used to write Z80 code, and they can do much more in a shorter time period, Try building a fully functional network-based webcam security system using Z80 code.

          I used to write computer games in Z80 machine code (not assembly, mind you.) I feel that game engines using scripts nowadays are much more complex and more involved than Z80 machine codes.

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    4. David Glasgow

      Paper.....

      ... sounds interesting. Where was it published?

    5. walter.bishop Silver badge
      Linux

      Desktop environments actually hurt Linux

      "I even wrote a paper all about how desktop environments actually did more to hurt long term adoption of Linux than promote it"

      Can I read it, do you have a link to the paper?

  2. J J Carter Silver badge
    Linux

    Moving on up!

    Linux will soon breakthrough from irrelevance to rounding error in the stats.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Moving on up!

      Linux will soon breakthrough from irrelevance to rounding error in the stats.

      Ever heard of exponential growth? Not saying we've got it, but if you mean that we're grown by an order of magnitude, then world domination may be closer than you think.

      At the very least we'll be ready for a big push when Microsoft follows Digital into self-inflicted oblivion.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Moving on up!

        >At the very least we'll be ready for a big push when Microsoft follows Digital into self-inflicted oblivion.

        May the lord of the rings hear this! Hilarious, yet sooo true!

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Moving on up!

        "At the very least we'll be ready for a big push when Microsoft follows Digital into self-inflicted oblivion."

        And people mourn Digital going.

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Moving on up!

      You keep repeating yourself:

      > Projecting forward the growth rate, Linux will soon advance from statistical noise to rounding error, then onwards to the next target of irrelevance.

      Soon you'll be a trollionaire.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Moving on up!

      Looked lately at how many TVs, Setboxes, routers and Servers run Linux?

      How many years ago did BT swap Windows CE for Linux on their hybrid DVB/DSL boxes?

      1. John Hughes

        Re: Moving on up!

        And of course the headline is wrong, too.

        All those Android phones? They all run Linux.

        You could claim that glibc has failed to take the phone market, but claiming that Linux hasn't is just ignorant.

        1. Quortney Fortensplibe
          Trollface

          All those Android phones? They all run Linux.

          This is where the commentard dilemma becomes painful. We all love Linux and we [mostly] all hate Java.

          But the hugely successful Android is a Linux core with a Java front-end. So, are we supposed to love it or hate it?

          Decisions! Decisions!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: All those Android phones? They all run Linux.

            "So, are we supposed to love it or hate it?"

            We hate it because it isn't iOS.

            Anything else I can help with?

    4. JLV Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Moving on up!

      Well, one thing for sure. If you are looking at cloud/vm stuff, the easy entry point is most often Linux. And then mostly CentOS & Ubuntu.

      The BSDs are, surprisingly, very absent. OSX is, unsurprisingly, missing.

      But, mostly, who wants to dig around for a Windows license/disk, unless they have a site-wide license for it? Commercial licenses and VMs are just not a great match, for hobbyists and many others. This is something MS should be way more wary of (same applies to Oracle vs Postgres).

      I also appreciate how seamlessly I can switch from bash on my mac to bash on linux via ssh. Again something MS should be wary of, despite Powershell getting some good reviews.

      So, no, not a bad year.

    5. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Moving on up!

      > Linux will soon breakthrough from irrelevance to rounding error in the stats.

      Android is a Linux distro (though not GNU). Android/Linux has the largest number of any OS for 'personal' computers (billions).

      On phones (which is the subject of this article) it is Windows that has moved from 42% of US market share to "rounding error in the stats" and will next go to "irrelevance".

      Linux also runs more servers (by number, not cost) than any other OS.

      It is likely that there are more Linux embedded commodity systems than any other single OS.

    6. Robert Jenkins

      Re: Moving on up!

      As Android is basically another Linux-based distribution, it's generally outselling Windows etc. by a massive amount already.

  3. Julian Bradfield

    No excitement here, please.

    "Excitement" means new bloatware that breaks half my workflow and expects me to learn another crappy UI.

    I want to run with software that's been essentially unchanged for at least ten years!

    1. Fibbles

      Re: No excitement here, please.

      Can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not. It's not a unreasonable sentiment though. For example, how much innovation does a word processor really need?

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        1. Nigel 11

          Re: No excitement here, please.

          And the removal of the Euro symbol will be quite useful in sixteen years time?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No excitement here, please.

        For example, how much innovation does a word processor really need?

        Studies show that 100% of all word processor users are using Phablets and Tablets nowadays, so we need word processors where you can drag&drop entire sentence-segments. None of that "typing" bullshit all the dinosaurs do, touch and drop is the way the world spins right now!

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: No excitement here, please.

          > so we need word processors where you can drag&drop entire sentence-segments ...

          from the internet into your homework, no doubt.

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      1. Thecowking

        Re: No excitement here, please.

        I use Mate, which is basically the same Gnome 2 that I was uing in Fedora Core when started trying to get World of Warcraft working on Linux, just about a decade ago.

        I _really_ like Mate.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: No excitement here, please.

      ""Excitement" means new bloatware that breaks half my workflow and expects me to learn another crappy UI.

      I want to run with software that's been essentially unchanged for at least ten years!"

      Got you covered...

      Install FVWM, no worries. Even it's web presence is Pre-Cambrian? (in Internet terms).

      1. Julian Bradfield

        Re: No excitement here, please.

        Funnily enough, fvwm is what I use as my window manager. 2.4 even - I've never been bothered enough to "upgrade" to 2.6.

  4. Salts

    It works...

    Well for me on the desktop, anyone else YMMV

    On the other hand it Fuc|< off excels on the server not just for me, but just about anyone who is worth mentioning, even MS.

    In other words if you don't like Linux desktops, get windows, chrome or osx the choice is yours, if you don't like Linux servers, I understand there maybe some options available for you, just don't ask me :-)

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      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: It works...

        > BSD.

        Downside: your nickname changes to "grumpy old fart" the very second you start using BSD.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: It works...

      >In other words if you don't like Linux desktops, get windows, chrome or osx the choice is yours

      Exactly.

      It makes me wonder, who the hell actually wants mass adoption of the Linux desktop? I mean, Linux desktop users seem happy enough at the moment, so how would it improve their experience if yet more people ran Linux?

      The only advantage that I can think of is that wider Linux adoption would put more pressure on open file formats - and that helps everybody, whatever OS they use.

      Conceivably, mass adoption of Linux on the desktop might result in more propriety productivity software coming to the platform, but apart from games Linux users don't seem too bothered by that (because they can use WINE, or VMs at a push, or because they are masochists and actually prefer The GIMP). That said, we're reaching a point where software, CAD for example, can be run through a web-browser from a remote server and so is OS-agnostic.

      So everybody's happy! Good stuff.

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        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: It works...

          >Pushing Linux to anyone and everyone seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, all those who couldn't program started designing icons, backgrounds and sounds for projects like KDE and GNOME.

          You're right to highlight the importance of skills beyond coding. Whilst coding lends itself to many people working on a project (modules, bug-reporting, audit trails, etc), the User Interface / User Experience seems harder to get right by this approach.

          UI/UX design benefits from thinking about users who are different from yourself, at varying levels of competency. If you are designing software for a draughtsman, then it is obvious the team needs a deep understanding of draughting, and not just coding. A UI design can take longer to test- with real human subjects - and then analyse than code. Coders can teach themselves to code with no more equipment than a PC, but subjects like human cognition are learnt in a different fashion.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: It works...

            "UI/UX design benefits from thinking about users who are different from yourself"

            My experience is the very opposite. It seems to concentrate on enabling the user to use a very limited repertoire of tasks very easily whilst making it downright impossible to do anything else. This applies to websites as much as to desktops.

      2. John Arthur

        Re: It works...

        Well, I for one want mass adoption of Linux precisely to put pressure on developers of third party software to provide Linux versions as well as Windows ones. I have two machines running Linux Mint and would love to use that for everything but I still have to keep a Windows box going for one piece of software that has no Linux variant and which does not seem to run successfully under Wine.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: It works...

          @John Arthur

          I agree.

          However, it seems unlikely that Linux will gain enough market share to attract more software vendors before other solutions present themselves:

          1. Run software remotely, from an AWS instance or whatever. The pay-per-use model works better for smaller users, and you can throw as much computer power at the job as you wish.

          2. Google's ChomeOS/Android mashup plans (whatever they are) take off and attract interest from developers, who then consider the job of porting their wares to traditional Linux distros worthwhile. Or you just run ChromeOS apps in a VM on your existing Linux box.

          3. Due to pressure from Steam on Linux, office tasks on ChromeOS and applications on AWS, Microsoft has to reduce the cost of Windows to the point that it is no hardship for you to buy it and run it in a VM.

          I'm not saying that any of these things will definitely happen, but that the path forward is far from straight.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Linux

          Re: It works...

          Drivers!

          Significant market = *ALL* vendors bothering to write drivers for their shit.

          (Also same for SW houses as already stated)

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It works...

        Many people won't switch to Linux exactly until more proprietary productivity software will be available - or something that can replace it properly. Most people workflow is:

        Turn on computer -> launch needed application -> perform what you need -> get paid for it

        The OS is almost irrelevant. The application and its inputs/outputs are not. Some determined people may go the WINE route (which doesn't ensure success always, or may introduce subtle issues) the VM one (but if you still need an OS license, why not use it directly if your main software runs on it?), or try to use alternatives, but again, people who don't give a damn about the OS they use would go the easiest route - after all most don't need to make a statement about it, just to get what they need done, and then turn off the PC.

        Open file formats matter to a minority also. Many proprietary formats are de facto industry standards and are supported by major players, and as long as they work nobody really cares if they are proprietary - especially if new formats could lead to missing features or incompatibilities - again what really matters most people is getting their job done. Proprietary formats are usually only an issue for open source projects stubbornly tied to Stallman political agenda, and those who may not be elegible to enter a proper NDA with the format owner and/or pay the required fee.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: It works...

          > as long as they work nobody really cares if they are proprietary

          This is less of a problem now but through the 90s 'making it not work' was one of Microsoft's ways for increasing revenue. A new version of Word or Excel would introduce changes in the format which failed to work correctly with the previous version. This meant that if one person in a group updated then everyone needed to buy the upgrade regardless of whether they wanted any new features (or in the case of the ribbon, did not want them).

          It is for this reason that open formats are important. Microsoft is less aggressive _because_ users were switching to open formats to avoid the 'format change' trap.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: It works...

          "Many proprietary formats are de facto industry standards and are supported by major players"

          Most proprietary formats are restricted to the vendor [the clue's in the name] and used to lock their customers into a perpetual repurchasing cycle.

          FTFY

      4. Naselus

        Re: It works...

        "It makes me wonder, who the hell actually wants mass adoption of the Linux desktop?"

        Utterly this. As I've mentioned a few times myself whenever we have the usual penguinista mutual masturbation-fest whenever all Linux distros combined gain 0.0002% market share in a year (yay, finally the ascendancy has begun), or when a new MS OS 'only' picks up 1% market share in a month (haha, microsoft finally doomed, etc).

        Who cares about desktops? I mean, really? Linux runs about half the world's actual computers. Not desktops. Proper computers being used for everything from industrial control devices to cash machines to mobile phones to about a third of webservers to 70% of the routers used to link them all together. Linux does not need desktops to be successful, which is good because Linux is simply not going to get them. Sorry guys, but for the 20th year running it's turned out not to be TYOLOTD after all, no matter how many times we're told Mint is now better than Windows (it isn't for a lot of reasons, mostly due to the distro itself rather than Linux) or Ubuntu is poised to take over the universe (no, it's not).

        The Year of Linux on the Desktop is a ridiculous notion and a preposterous yardstick to measure Linux by. I'm sorry, guys, but end-users like Windows. They like familiar UIs which do stuff for them automatically. They don't care that MS is hoovering up their data, since thy're using the PC to Google Facebook and then order an Uber so really, what's another hand in the data till? The battle is over. Microsoft won and no-one even remotely challenges them in the space. A massive MS flop like Vista or Win 8 will still end up with 5-6 times as many users as all desktop Linux distros combined.

        The point here isn't that MS is better or that Linux sucks or anything like that - the point is Linux doesn't NEED to value itself by whether it can compete on the desktop. I'm fairly sure Linux is doing poorly in the performance tires market too, but it's completely irrelevant. So are desktops. I don't think desktop is dying, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all of computing anymore and it's not something Linux is really useful for. 99% of desktops are being used by people who do not need any of the cool advantages Linux has over Windows and will be a lot happier sticking to what they have.

        The fact that OSX (the ultimate poor relation in the space) has more traction than Linux in the desktop market really ought to tell you that this section of the market isn't looking for a highly flexible and configurable OS (just as Linux' unstoppable rise in the server market says that section IS looking for that). Let's instead start talking of the Year of Linux on the Device, because THAT has been pretty much every year for a decade.

  5. joeldillon

    Not to be a pedant but Android phones are Linux phones (just not GNU/Linux) and have long since taken the mobile world by storm.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      The success of Android owes more to the backing it had from Google than it does to the OS that underpins it. And even then, it was a bit of a rush job - though its pretty good now.

      In support of my statement, I offer the example of the even more Linux-y mobile OSs from Nokia - or even WebOS from Palm - where are they now?

      I would also observe that WinPhone works better on low powered hardware than Android (though with hardware costs now so low it is is a moot point), and that QNX that underpins Blackberry's BB10 is technically superior to Linux for many applications.

      Linux is good, but it is not a panacea. The adoption of a platform, or otherwise, depends upon far more than the technical proficiency of an OS.

      1. Graham Dawson

        As you're leading us to infer, Nokia's attempt at a linuxy phone failed more due to marketing and internal divisional conflicts than anything about the quality of the device.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Yep!

          Or more generally, there are so many factors (marketing, hardware quality and availability, partner adoption, UI design, luck, time to market and so on and so on) relating to the success of an OS that to attribute success to just one factor (OS 'quality') is too simplistic.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > I offer the example of the even more Linux-y mobile OSs from Nokia - or even WebOS from Palm - where are they now?

        Killed by Microsoft. Maemo, Meego and (there was a newer development) were killed by the contract with MS even though N9 outsold Lumia where available. WebOS was killed by MS waving 'Windows on ARM' at HP and suggesting that _all_ Microsoft 'loyalty' discounts may be lost if HP continue with a competing OS.

        1. Daniel B.
          Boffin

          I'd like to point out that Maemo under the N900 was going pretty strong. Nokia's blunders on marketing made it be less of a hit, but the people who did buy it were happy with it. The real reason why Nokia's Linux variants went dead is the Elopocalypse.

          Even the N9 got rave reviews, and that one was released after the Elopocalypse.

      3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > I would also observe that WinPhone works better on low powered hardware than Android

        WP7 did work much better than Android on low end hardware. That was because WP7 was based on WinCE and had no multi-tasking capability. Apps put into 'background' were tombstoned (killed) and restarted were selected. The foreground app had no other process to compete with. Background apps were like TSRs on MS-DOS and had very limited capability.

        WP8 _required_ a dual core SoC because one core was dedicated to the UI to give the impression that it was always responsive. It was, but at the cost of processing speed and background processes.

        The main reason that WP was faster for the same _price_ of phones was that MS subsidised Nokia for a $billion a year and Nokia phone division still failed to make a profit in any quarter. They were selling phones at a loss so that they were the best performers in any price range.

        The latest phones 950 and 950XL are Octocore SoCs, no more 'low end' hardware for Win10mobile.

        1. druck Silver badge

          "WP7 did work much better than Android on low end hardware. That was because WP7 was based on WinCE and had no multi-tasking capability."

          Win CE had very good multi-tasking ability basically being a straight port of NT4. If WP7 didn't multi-task, that was down to it, and it alone.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            > Win CE had very good multi-tasking ability basically being a straight port of NT4.

            No it is not.

            """ Unlike Windows Embedded Standard, which is based on Windows NT, Windows Embedded Compact [CE] uses an exclusive hybrid kernel."""

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_CE

            """Windows Embedded Compact 7 (formerly known as Windows Embedded CE 7.0) is the seventh major release of Windows Embedded CE operating system. Windows Embedded Compact 7 is a real-time OS, separate from the Windows NT line,"""

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Embedded_Compact_7

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    For many of us the advance of systemd with the release of Debian 8 makes 2015 a not very great year at all. Debian 7 moves into LTS next month so that extends it a little further but it's getting time to get od my backside & make sure everything I want, including my favourite proprietary RDBMS & tools, can run on BSD or find substitutes.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Linux

      MX-15

      MX-15 (a cousin of antiX) offers Debian Jessie without systemd, if you're interested.

      http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page#News

    3. Anonymous C0ward
      Linux

      Slackware? Gentoo?

  7. MyffyW Silver badge

    Upgraded my various home Linux boxes to Debian Jessie in 2015. No drama, no fuss, just worked. Significant other continued to be able play cat videos.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      >Upgraded my various home Linux boxes to Debian Jessie in 2015. No drama, no fuss, just worked. Significant other continued to be able play cat videos.

      I had problems, then again, I have a x99 chipset ...

  8. Teddy the Bear
    Windows

    Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

    Nearly... but not quite yet.

    I feel that I should, but I still can't quite stomach the faffage to get it working. Maybe later this year...

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

      Nice try.

      Having experimented with assorted versions of Windows on some kit last year, if the hardware is supported - and it supports more than any single version of Windows - then Linux was easier than any of them.

      1. Colin 29

        Re: Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

        With my Win8.1 laptop installation reaching the point where it needed a tidy up / re-install late last year I did some research and decided to switch to Linux. I tried a few different flavours ending up with plain old Ubuntu but all suffered the same problems:

        1) Resume from hibernate buggy

        2) Over-sensitive trackpad

        3) Buggy support for my bluetooth mouse

        4) Unable to read files from my GoPro

        Now I'm obviously a Linux noob and maybe someone with more experience could sort these issues out but I spent quite some time researching and attempting fixes and eventually reached the point where I couldn't afford to spend any more time on it. I then installed Win10 and all these things worked. I'm not happy about Win10's spying but I've changed settings to prevent this as much as possible.

        Bottom line - despite having a machine considered 'Linux compatible', being enthusiastic, persistent and reasonably intelligent, I couldn't get a Linux desktop working to my satisfaction. I'm sure many will succeed but suspect I'm not alone either.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

          1) Resume from hibernate buggy

          2) Over-sensitive trackpad

          3) Buggy support for my bluetooth mouse

          4) Unable to read files from my GoPro

          4) You really have to research hardware before purchase if you want to be assured of it working under linux. The position is better than it used to be, but is still an issue. Manufacturers provide drivers for Windows/Mac (plus usually a load of ugly interface software), but nothing for Linux, if you're lucky they'll provide a driver four releases old and only 32bit which will give limited functionality. It's all down to how popular the device you bought is as to whether anyone has put (usually unpaid) time and effort into writing a driver to get it to work.

          In short, if you rely on a device that Linux can't operate (yet) you're either stuck with Windows or throw it away and buy a more compatible device. Same happened to me with a car Satnav device.

          1. Jedipadawan

            Re: Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

            I had similar troubles with my el cheapo ASUS X200. It turns out there were (at least) two revisions.

            The first revision I bought in November 2014 worked with Mint KDE flawlessly. No driver troubles at all.

            The second ASUS X200 (don't ask) had a touchpad that wasn't recognised. No other distro worked with it either! It turns out that ASUS changed the components used in their popular X200 series, replacing the soundchip and the touchpad. But the Linux drivers in the (then) current distros were not up to date.

            I eventually solved the problem by upgrading the kernel to 4.2. Everything has worked a dream since then. It's a simple process in Mint as well.

            Soooo.... when you hit driver troubles in Linux - look to the kernel!

            Generally speaking

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

              If you are a Register reader and a linux user then it's likely that you are going to be a bit of a whizz on your linux PC and any configuring is going to come easy.

              There is an awful closemindedness and denial in the linux world, and a complete failure to try to see things from the viewpoint of a new user, or an inexperienced user. I think it is this attitude that really holding back linux

              I'm an OS agnostic,I don't really care how I launch the applications where the actual productivity is done.

              I have linux, I have Windows, I mess with BSD and there are iOS and OSX devices in the office and the house. It's been years since I had to faff and fettle anything on Windows, there has not been any need.

              But just today there was quite a lot of blue air between me, CUPS and a HP network all in one printer.

          2. JLV Silver badge

            >Manufacturers provide drivers for Windows/Mac

            Only partially true for Macs. I'd still research compatibility in some cases, especially with stuff like scanners.

            Things might have changed in the last 3-4 years but when I last bought a scanner (Fujitsu 1500 Scansnap, lovely gear, works fine on Macs) there were still gaps in Mac scanner support for some other manufacturers. Don't let the I-got-it-working blurbs on forums fool you, some of these things will not work easily, if at all. Of course, chances they won't work with Linux either.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What on earth is the author talking about?

    "2015 was also the year Linux phones took the market by storm. Just kidding.

    I had predicted that 2015 would either be the year we got Linux on mobile or it would be the year we got a mobile addendum to the longstanding "Year of Linux" joke."

    You do realise that 80% of the phones in the world run Android, right? Why is Ubuntu's software on top of the Linux Kernal any different from Android?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: What on earth is the author talking about?

        The C library isn't part of the Linux Kernel. So not sure of your point. Or the pointing out of the spelling mistake. Which also seems irrelevant.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: What on earth is the author talking about?

            > My point is that the Linux kernel is just one small part of Android. But the Linux enthusiasts speak as if it's the only essential component. With some effort, you could run the Android userland on a BSD kernel, for example.

            Linux + Gnome + GNU + LibreOffice + 10,000 others is a 'Linux distro'

            BSD + Gnome + GNU + LibreOffice + 10,000 others is a 'BSD distro'

            Linux + Android + Dalvic or ART + (optionally) Google stuff + 100,000 others is a 'Linux distro'

            Get over it.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: What on earth is the author talking about?

        > Why do all the penguins churn out this line as if Android = Linux.

        Red Hat is not 'Linux', it is a 'Linux distro'. ie it is Linux plus a lot of other stuff such as Gnome, LibreOffice, openSSH etc (for 10,000 etc.s).

        Android is a Linux distro. ie it is Linux plus a lot of other stuff, just not the same stuff as Red Hat in the majority of cases.

        Why do all the trolls churn out the line as if Android !Linux.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: What on earth is the author talking about?

      > Why is Ubuntu's software on top of the Linux Kernal any different from Android?

      Any non-GUI Linux software will run on Ubuntu Touch, but it won't on Android.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: What on earth is the author talking about?

        > Any non-GUI Linux software will run on Ubuntu Touch, but it won't on Android.

        Simply not true. There are many 'apps' that have ported Linux software to run on Android. Just one example:

        """Terminal IDE is an expandable terminal application, with a full Java / C / C++ / HTML / Android development kit, that runs on your Android device.

        It uses the command line, with many powerful and robust open-source applications, plus a custom ASCII on-screen 'soft' keyboard that works well (You must ENABLE it in your device's main Keyboard Settings).. and also has an extensive generic external 'hard' keyboard key mapper. This way CTRL / ALT / ESC etc.. should all be accessible.

        GCC 4.4.0, make 3.82, ctags, javac, java, dx, proguard, aapt, apkbuilder, signer, ssh, sshd, telnetd, bash 4.2, busybox 1.19.2, vim 7.3, nano 2.2.6, midnight commander 4.8, htop 1.0, TMUX 1.5, links 2.7, rsync 3.0.8, git 1.7.8, BitchX 1.1 and a nice terminal emulator are all available.

        The vim editor has been setup with c / java / HTML development in mind and is extremely powerful. Also vim has been setup by default in a humane way (arrow keys work, backspace..), so that starting on this long and glorious journey won't begin with a punch in the face.

        With the addition of all the other apps provided, Terminal IDE becomes much MUCH more than an extremely powerful IDE. One could call it a complete 'Command Line OS'.

        """

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remind us again...

    ...what is the market share for Desktop Linux

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Esme

        Re: Remind us again...

        @1980's coder - congratulations on achieving 'single most innacurate guesstimate in the universe'!

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Remind us again...

          Quite. Isn't it about 1.5% or something? Which is somewhat larger than 80's coder thought.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Remind us again...

            "Quite. Isn't it about 1.5% or something? Which is somewhat larger than 80's coder thought."

            And may I remind everyone almost all those 1.5% have chosen to install Linux. Given that ~80% people don't know/care and that most machines (99% ??) are purchased with Windows installed and many have no option anyway because their company insists on Windows anyway 1.5% is a really large percentage.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Remind us again...

          Probably didn't do much floating point work when he was programming his Z80 directly.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: Remind us again...

          I think he mistakenly cited the figure for BSD.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Linux

            Re: Remind us again...

            >I think he mistakenly cited the figure for BSD.

            Was thinking the same.

            Was also going to use the BSD icon --------------------------->

            ..but guess what?..

            There isn't one!

          2. JLV Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: Remind us again...

            >figure for BSD

            That including OSX, just like we are counting Android for overall Linux? ;-)

            p.s. I feel the need to add a flame icon, as I fully expect outraged whateveristas to punish me for my impudence :(

    2. Adair

      Re: Remind us again...

      QUOTE: 'Remind us again...what is the market share for Desktop Linux'

      But 'GNU/Linux is 'free' (beer and speech), so not actually part of a market, except to those who push it that way (which they are ' free' to do).

      Of course, this is deeply confusing and upsetting to those who have sold their souls to the capitalist mindwarp, where something is only real if it can be 'owned' and 'sold' in the 'market'.

      But then they are 'free' to live and think that way, if that is what they choose.

      Others have different points of view, and Linux serves many of their needs extremely well, in both terms of 'free'.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      Re: Remind us again...

      "What's the market share for desktop Linux?" Exactly 100% in my business. (Mint XFCE 17 fact fans!)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remind us again...

      There are a tonne of Chromebooks out there, so a fair bit.

  11. Palpy

    And security?

    Personally, I'm impressed by Qubes (Xen hypervisor and the Qubes core run separate virtual machines with sandboxed filesystems and your choice of Fedora, Debian, Whonix, or Windows as guest OSes). I'm more interested in this than in anything Windows is doing with OS security. <begin joke> Or with privacy...</joke>

    I'm a fair numbskull -- not exactly a command-line whiz, and Bash is what I do to my fingers when hanging pictures. But by the deities of Yuggoth! Even I, ape in man's clothes, was able to set up Qubes as a dual-boot with Mint. And in about the same time it took to set up Win 7 last time I did it (2012).

    Well, anyway. Windows is dandy, and so is Mac. I use them both. But for me, there'll always be Paris Linux.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In arguments or discussions such as these I always rely on my moped. The logic is quite simple, Can Linux/Windows/FreeBSD/Mac/Android pull a caravan? No, therefore my moped is always going to be much better than those inventions and every year is the year of the moped.

    Thank you.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: every year is the year of the moped.

      You can pull a caravan with your moped?

      wow.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: every year is the year of the moped.

        > You can pull a caravan with your moped?

        Yes, his can, even without the 'mo':

        http://weburbanist.com/2012/10/15/bike-campers-12-mini-mobile-homes-for-nomadic-cyclists/

        http://www.gizmag.com/wide-path-camper/34644/pictures

    2. JLV Silver badge

      moped

      In Neal Stephenson's "In the beginning was the command line" (http://www.cryptonomicon.com/beginning.html) essay, circa 2000:

      Linux is an M1 tank coming in a free DYI kit. Bit hard to drive, but powerful.

      Mac OS - the horrendously crappy 8.x or 9.x series, and any Apple user who doesn't think it was pants by 1999 is truly deserving of being called a fanboi - was a Vespa. Cool looking but crap.

      Windows is a station wagon, IIRC. (Insert joke about Lada making station wagons?)

      Unlike Neal's latter literary efforts, he more or less manages to get the point across without rambling on about the impact that the mating habits of arctic reindeers had on the dissemination of the printing press in Outer Mongolia or whatsuch.

  13. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    A few comments

    Which distro is this "an impressive new distro".

    As for the Linux phone, Linux is the kernel, we don't speak about a Gnome desktop or a KDE desktop, it's all Linux on the desktop, why would phones be different, the kernel is Linux like in Android and that's it.

    As for "Plasma 5's Breeze gives much of KDE a refreshing new feel" This doe's indeed divide Linux users regarding how they feel about it. As a KDE user, tried all the rest, all usable but you cannot use all of them so you choose one. Have I been eagerly waiting for a "new feel", no. I think many longtime users often have a feeling that something they liked or got used to suddenly disappeared or was moved somewhere else for no reason at all. The desktop is a tool and not a f**ng beauty contest!. But the thing to remember, and this I can tell you with 35 years as a programmer. Groups like the ones behind Gnome and KDE will simply die if there is nothing else to do than tweak some old code. Doing that, as important and often difficult as it is, is not fun. To keep up enthusiasm and energy and a feeling of togetherness you have to produce, together, something new, just a fact. (I sometimes feel IBM forgot it, or never understood it).

    So I will accept what they come up with for this simple reason.

    About some earlier comments. Linux is Unix like Aix, HP-UX, Solaris and the rest are Unix. POSIX what ever number. Unix is a trademark.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: A few comments

      I'm afraid I've abandoned Ubuntu now, I used to have a very nice stable Kubuntu 14.04 VM, but made the mistake of updating it to 15.x with Plasma 5, and it continually breaks, booting to a blank screen, or an unusable desktop. I liked the 1995 look of KDE, so its Mint+Mate only for me now.

  14. theOtherJT

    No one really cares what their OS is.

    I mean, normal people. Not people like us commentards.

    No, really, they don't care. They shouldn't have to care. Computers, tablets, smartphones - these things are tools. They do a job (all right, many jobs) and they should be judged on how well they do that. The software stack matters WAY more than the OS does in terms of getting the job done, and that's all about the user experience. How hard was it to make it do what you wanted. That's what people care about, and Linux isn't always great at that.

    Maybe there are good ideological reasons for Linux (and FOSS in general) being better than Windows or OSX, but they're still going to take a back seat to "getting the job done" in any real situation. Once you have to live in the real world with deadlines and deliverables and release targets and all that shit, then ideological purity goes straight back in the the bottom of the wardrobe along with the bong you have left over from college as a cute reminder of how "free" you used to be.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Linux. I think it's a perfectly acceptable Desktop operating system FOR ME because it does all the things I want it to do, and it does them no worse than any other OS. I like the fact that it allows me to get a bit more up close and personal with my hardware and start tinkering with things too, but lets be honest here, normal people don't want to do that either. Normal people have better things to do with their lunch hours than benchmark different filesystem configurations and see if they can improve the iops performance on their NAS.

    Certainly Linux could be better, but then basically everything could be better. If these "Year of linux on the..." arguments spur anyone into improving little bits of the user experience here and there then that's great, but I don't really feel the need to get too excited about it.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: No one really cares what their OS is.

      Some actually do, for instance, out of the top500 supercomputers 490 run Linux. Google, Facebook, the worlds stock exchange run Linux. My TV runs Linux my vacuum cleaner ran Linux, my router runs Linux, most of the internet runs Linux. Your desktop runs Widows, my wife's desktop still runs Windows, my desktop runs Linux. Why do you care about it, run what ever you like.

      PS. there is nothing wrong with your comment, this article was much about the desktop and most people run Windows and more and more Apple, we all know it, so what.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. ploppy

          Re: No one really cares what their OS is.

          Nothing sucks like a VAX, as the old joke used to go.

      2. theOtherJT

        Re: No one really cares what their OS is.

        Actually, my desktop runs Debian, but that's by the by. Unless you work in a technical field, or are just a massive nerd (and there's nothing wrong with that, I'm with Wil Wheaton on that one) there's no reason why you should know or care what your OS is, is all I'm saying.

  15. nkuk

    Linux gaming

    Not mentioned in the article, but it was a pretty groundbreaking year for gaming thanks mostly to Valve/Gabe Newells dislike of where Windows is heading. SteamOS was released, the Linux steam client is as feature rich, stable and updated as often as the Windows version, the library of games is expanding exponentially, 1/3rd of my Steam library now runs on Linux and the figure is rising fast, and thats not including using Wine/PlayOnLinux/Crossover/etc.

    Nvidias graphics drivers are so much better than they used to be, Vulkan is on the verge of being released which will offer similar performance and features as DX12 - in fact it will be better for developers as it supports almost every platform, including older versions of Windows, DX12 only supports xbone and Windows10.

    All the groundwork is done for gaming to no longer be a reason to stick with Windows.

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Linux gaming

      Agreed, but this brings me to a question related to consumer commercial application availability on Linux. I haven't used Linux as a desktop for a while now, so quite of touch, please forgive.

      (I understand that you can perfectly run for-pay enterprise applications like Oracle on Linux, that's not what I am asking about).

      Before Steam and this development, there had been few games on Linux. Loki comes to mind, but that didn't go so well for them. And a lot of the games for Linux were of the free/GNU type and that doesn't always work well for a game publisher who is in it for money.

      So now we have Steam for games. But say you were willing to pony up good money for a commercial non-game desktop program. Let's take a Photoshop/Gimp alternative. Or a Quickbooks-alike. Where would you buy them? Is anyone publishing non-free programs for consumers for Linux and making money at it? What are their distribution channels? Not asking about drivers, mind you.

      I know some of you folks really dislike proprietary programs on principle. That's fine, that's your choice and this question is not aimed at you, nor is it intended to criticize Linux/GNU/GPL. In fact, free software is what makes apt-get and yum repos so good at keeping your system updated.

      But for those who want to run Linux and purchase commercial programs, like the Steam users can nowadays, what are the options? Is there much demand (the free stuff is often fairly good, outside of games)?

  16. Avatar of They
    Happy

    Nice sum up.

    Who cares about a "Year for Linux." As long as it moves forward, I can use it and get what I need from it so I can kiss MS good bye and look back on Windows years as the "extra taxation" years.

    Roll on 2016, continually improving Steam OS. A decent continued development in Libre Office and people like Ubuntu for pushing the boundaries of what others can do. Linux Mint in general and all those nerdy type people that understand coding because I don't.

    And did I say I can kiss good bye to MS?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Nice sum up.

      Though on my Acer Aspire One 7" (plastic cut inside to fit 32G CF card and adapter instead of stock 4G flash) and Acer TravelMate 2420, the Linux Mint + Mate Desktop with animated login screen disabled is best. Adjusted GUI to be like Win98/NT4/XP classic (without rounded bits).

  17. Bbbbit
    Linux

    Choice overload

    I love Linux. I love the speed and the CLI and the choice. It is great on the server too. In addition my girlfriend thought I was a superhero when I resurrected her old Asus Seashell netbook (although I also had my underpants on outside my trousers). W7 had slowed to a crawl on the Asus but she loved the hardware. So I bunged Lubuntu on it and all she cared about was: Can she do basic "Officey" work on it? Can she browse the web? Can she listen/watch media? Tick, tick, tick! Happy days.

    The reason that Linux will never rival Mac and Win in the desktop space is that Linux is not really a brand like they are. Imagine the average punter in a PC shop:

    Sales Bod: " Well sir there are a number of operating systems available; here is Windows 10, here is Mac OSX and finally we have Linux which comes ...in Fedora? Zorin? Mint? With Cinnamon, Mate? Which Ubuntu flavour would you like? Ubuntu Gnome, Ubuntu Mate, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu? Burgerinabuntu? Perhaps you could try that with the LXDE desktop? Actually you look more like an Arch with Xfce man to me. No? Debian, Gentoo, Suse, OpenSuse with Tumbleweed..."

    Punter: "What's a Mac OSX?"

    Linux is a loose fog of a system rather than a crystallised brand and I do not necessarily think that is a bad thing, quite the opposite given I have to work with Windows and Mac as well as Linux. Indeed is that what Linux people really want? Is it not enough that Linux in its myriad forms runs a huge amount of the world's servers and presumably also the IoT? As a bonus the large minority of us who are slightly more technical than the rest of the population also get an awesome desktop for nowt and get to keep old kit in gainful employ for years longer than if we did not know about Linux. Previous 'tards have already addressed the Pi & hobbyist angle.

    I think some people should be careful what they wish for. I think the Year Of The Linux Desktop should always be next year.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Adair

        Re: Choice overload

        I actually have a wife!

        1. Adair

          Re: Choice overload

          Who loves me!!!

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Choice overload

        What is up with you 1980s coder?.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: Choice overload

          Yup, slightly mysterious. Guess he is just testing how many downvotes can be gathered by simple trolling (and laughing his arse off in the process).

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Bbbbit
        Happy

        Re: Choice overload

        @1980s_coder Yay! I am a minority. I'll tell HR and they can put it on one of their "inclusivity" pie charts. Can I add I do not live with my parents either, or does that stretch credibility?

      4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Choice overload

        > How many Linux users actually have girlfriends? Surely you must be in the minority...

        Quite right, most of us have grown up and have wives.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mentions of the GNU? Not one? OK, Stallman will be over soon.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      No GNU

      I used to think RMS was being over sensitive about the GNU/Linux pedantry.

      Now with Android (it uses the Linux kernel, so it must be Linux). I think we need the more accurate term.

      Android uses Linux, it's Not GNU/Linux. Maybe GNA Gnus Not Android...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: No GNU

          "Why not ANL Android is Not Linux."

          ANL is gnot a recursive acronym - Android is Not All Linux might appease me, after all (Android is Not All Linux) is always fun...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No GNU

          But Android is Linux, and it already has a name: "Android".

          It really is useful to distinguish between the different options for the kernel and the user land. So you've got GNU/Linux (Linux kernel with GNU user land), Android (Linux kernel with its own user land), various BSD variants, and also GNU/kFreeBSD (BSD kernel with GNU user land), and even GNU Hurd (based on Mach microkernel).

          A statically linked Linux binary will run on GNU/Linux or Android.

          A dynamically linked Debian GNU/Linux binary won't even run on a different release of Debian GNU/Linux because the C library will have changed.

    2. Fibbles

      OK, Stallman will be over soon.

      He's probably too busy eating his own foot skin.

  19. Alister Silver badge

    Then again, many, perhaps most, ATM users are Linux users

    Hmm, not sure of that, either. Every broken ATM I've ever seen in the UK is running Windows CE of some sort - hence why it's broken, probably...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      The ATM is just the terminal. It could be running OS2/Warp yet still be in communication with a machine somewhere running Linux, even if it is just a router along the way. Thus the user of an ATM is making use of Linux.

      The ATM example was only used in an attempt to unpick the term ' Linux user'. For most discussions, an ATM user, whilst making of Linux, wouldn't be considered a 'Linux user'

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      "Then again, many, perhaps most, ATM users are Linux users", yes that I also found rather dubious so please Scott Gilbertson where did you get that from. Then, of course, as a Linux user I am still a Linux user at the ATM.

  20. MJI Silver badge

    At work

    Everyone has a LInux phone, so I expect big figures from them.

    But then is has been wrappered by Google

    1. present_arms

      Re: At work

      17 machines here on Linux, :D mostly Trinity Desktops as I do the remaster of pclinuxos with Trinity as the desktop, incidentally there is an ISO with LXQT that a friend made too which is rather neat to be honest :)

      Alie

  21. John Sanders
    Linux

    Year of Linux

    The year of Linux comes the moment you feel confident and learn enough to solve problems with it.

    Linux is an engineering ecosystem first, you are expected to get your hands dirty, if you are OK with that you can have a lot of fun and achieve things, otherwise you will get the feeling that everything is sharp or stings, and will pain you to no end.

    For me the year of Linux in the desktop came the moment that X.org appeared in 2004 when the graphics stack became just a bit more bearable, prior to X.org the truth is that it was not even remotely usable.

    Ever since X.org appeared I began doing more and more on Linux and less and less in Windows to the point in which nowadays I do 99% of my computing stuff in a Linux box. It pains me immensely to do anything in Windows lately (and no it is not for lack of skills).

    Linux improves lots in different areas each year sometimes in small increments, and sometimes really large ones, this creates at times a nice snowball effect when the different improvements come together simultaneously, it goes from good enough to excellent when you least expect it thanks to the amplification effect that almost anything can be connected to anything else.

    Linux will never be a choice for those who want a 1:1 replacement for Windows, it doesn't need to be, it works really well once you realize that it doesn't need to be like Windows.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Year of Linux

      " prior to X.org the truth is that it was not even remotely usable."

      Strange then that I and my colleagues (200+) were running all sorts of commercial and in-house scientific software on dual Xenon workstations with 3D graphics hardware using RedHat Linux around that time.

      Also even in 1996 I was using X at home without serious problems

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Year of Linux

      I agree with what you said and add that those

      > ... who want a 1:1 replacement for Windows

      should just stick with Windows.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. An(other) Droid
    Headmaster

    Ian and Murdock?

    > ... combination of Ian and Murdock's girlfriend ...

    Just a little confused, that's all.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Ian and Murdock?

      ... combination of Ian and Murdock's girlfriend ...

      Just a little confused, that's all.

      Deborah (or something like that) - Ian Murdock's girlfriend at the time Ian Murdock created DebIan

  23. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    The OS development that will persuade the most people to switch to Linux is Windows 10.

    1. nkuk

      It worked for me, its been a pleasant and simple change, so much so that I often forget that I'm running Linux (Mint) it just sits in the background and lets me get on with things.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2016 really could be the year of the linux desktop..

    ..just as long as M$ maintains their recent level of quality control.

    I'm currently typing on a brand new laptop from a major manufacturer (Lenovo) on which the latest Windows 10 cumulative update has failed to install. Browsing shows the problem is widespread with a myriad of possible proposed arcane workarounds, none of which are simple or convenient and some which are downright risky (deactivate anti virus and the firewall before running Windows Update!).

    After running XP for over 10 years, I can't remember a single time I had this kind of problem with updates. The niggling issues I often encountered when I dabbled with Linux were absent, so I just stuck with M$. If this is to become the new normal with Windows 10 however, then it really won't be long before I make the switch.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: 2016 really could be the year of the linux desktop..

      After running XP for over 10 years, I can't remember a single time I had this kind of problem with updates.

      Last week I built a machine using a spare W7 license and an SSD that'd been donated by a customer. Beaut boot speeds and the like but.. After more than 48 hours of "checking updates" and another 16 or so "downloading updates" it hasn't managed to download anything other than the one "update to update update". There's 140 or so there but not much use if they can't be downloaded.

      Have seen similar quite a bit on 7 of late with fresh installs. Almost like something with the update to update updates has something in it to make your experience with 7 a little more hellish, like they want you to use something else... Which I would do on this machine if I didn't want to see how 7 handles installing a ton of updates on an SSD, and how the Aegis W10 killer works on one. (So probably get sick of 7 next week and chuck something fun on there)

  25. Chairo
    Happy

    "By and large though desktop Ubuntu was a bit boring"

    You make that sound like a bad thing.

  26. Jedipadawan

    Regarding Linux 'denial'

    Since 'denial' was mentioned…

    I say this kindly with no reference to anyone here. http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/happy_32.png

    I generally find denial is more an issue in Windows world. If we define denial as ignoring reality and imposing a world view that is, in fact, a fiction then Windows users claims about Linux are total denial, certainly in respect to how Linux is today.

    I mean, the amount of times I have been told that:

    "Linux has no usable GUI" - So KDE, GNOME, Cinnamon, XFCE et al do not exist

    "You have configure everything using the CLI in Linux" - which means the system settings panel in KDE which I use where you can configure far more than Windows (and many argue goes too far) does not exist.

    "It is really hard to install software in Linux…" - So hard you select the software from the software manager and click 'install' and it downloads and installs for you automatically

    "...you have to compile the code from source!" - which I have done! When I was using Slackware. Now I use Mint KDE I have not compiled code once. But it's nice to have the option in Linux.

    "There are no usable applications in Linux" - which is why I am more productive in Linux than ever I was in Windows (honest!) and am enjoying creating anime music videos using Kdenlive.

    And it goes on and on and on. Windows users keep describing Linux as it was circa 1997 and not how it is now! I got so fed up with this, I created a video demoing Mint 17 running KDE with applications, software installation, flash video, video editing etc.

    There maybe denial among some of the hardcore Linux users about the growth of Linux - but it is very hard to measure numbers. I am personally convinced that Linux share is greater than 1.5 world wide with adoption by the Chinese, large parts of Africa, many user of which are not online. But I have no way of collating figures, I grant. But I have no reason to claim that Windows only handles up to 245 colors, does not support true type fonts, has no uninstall process, has no real multi-tasking and can only handle up to 16MB of memory.

    I mean, that's all true… for Windows 3.0 in 1990.

    I would be in a state of denial if I criticized Windows for its failings in 1990 here in 2016. Yet, that is effectively what (some) Windows users do with Linux. They insist on comparing how Linux used to be with Windows as it is now.

    Very odd.

    As it stands, on a price/performance basis there is nothing to beat Linux.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Regarding Linux 'denial'

      "I would be in a state of denial if I criticized Windows for its failings in 1990 here in 2016."

      Of course. In 2016 Windows has a completely new set of failings.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        Re: Regarding Linux 'denial'

        Of course. In 2016 Windows has a completely new set of failings.

        To be fair - and I say this as a long time Linux geek - so does Linux. No OS is or ever will be perfect.

  27. i1ya
    Boffin

    Just in case if anyone is curious about "an impressive new distro that's forging its own path"

    After the day of thinking, I came into conclusion that author meant SolusOS - got release 1.0 in early 2016 and I was impressed by the fact that it has own package manager (in contrary to numerous Ubuntu offsprings). Also there are PapyrOS (as in "Arch/Google Material Design") and Maui (as in "Qt/Wayland") but last time I visited them, both were far from beta (or even from Alpha).

  28. dajames Silver badge

    Ubuntu also fell well short of its stated goal to have 200 million users by the end of the year.

    [snip]

    Alas, the stats currently on Canonical's website currently claim a mere 40 million users.

    Taking the figures on distrowatch as a rough guide, there may be something like three times as many users of Linux Mint -- which is based on Ubuntu -- as there are users of Ubuntu qua Ubuntu, so that's another 120 million using an Ubuntu-derived system, bringing the total to 160 million.

    Then there's lubuntu, Ubuntu maté, etc., are they included in the 40 million?

    Taken all together, Ubuntu's usage is not as far short of 200 million as the article suggests.

  29. Jedipadawan

    All of this talk of Z80 programming...

    ...it misses the point which is...

    Real programmers coded for the 6502.

    Load/Store instructions - no MOV command.

    No block move commands at all.

    Pure 8 bit processing, no 16 bit instructions at all.

    Even branches were +/-127 bytes!

    No multiply instructions.

    Only three registers and all eight bit with only one capable of math handling.

    No I/O so devices mapped to RAM directly.

    Polled interrupts!

    Forget shadow registers!

    Real men coded 6502! By candlelight. On a calculator keyboard!

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: All of this talk of Z80 programming...

      Real programmers coded for the 1802. No hardware stack or call/return instructions! And it went into space!

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: All of this talk of Z80 programming...

        > 1802 ... And it went into space!

        Every one that was ever made should have gone there! ;-)

  30. CFWhitman

    Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

    When you refer to Android as a Linux distribution, it is entirely misleading. You can make an argument that it's technically accurate, but it is still misleading.

    Traditionally, the phrase "Linux distribution" has not referred to the kernel, but to the operating system sometimes referred to as GNU/Linux. It is true that it has sometimes been used to refer to embedded systems that technically weren't GNU/Linux, but were only API compatible with it. Those systems, though, still used the same software as GNU/Linux and still 'felt' like GNU/Linux.

    Android has made no effort to remain API compatible with GNU/Linux (much less ABI compatible). Applications for GNU/Linux must be ported to work with Android. It's clear that Android is a different operating system than GNU/Linux. Also, there are distributions of Android, like Cyanogenmod and various manufacturer's distributions. Even if you were to argue that Android distributions are Linux distributions, it wouldn't make sense to call Android in general a Linux distribution.

    Calling Android a "Linux distribution" ends up being inconsistent and only serves to confuse the uninitiated (I've seen this happen). It is much more straightforward to refer to Android distributions and Linux distributions as separate things. Then you only have to explain that the operating system which people refer to as "Linux" is really just the first operating system based on the Linux kernel, called GNU/Linux by some, and that Android is another operating system based on the Linux kernel. As confusing as that may seem to some people it is much less confusing than trying to explain the inconsistencies involved in referring to Android as a "Linux distribution."

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

      > When you refer to Android as a Linux distribution, ... it's technically accurate

      When you refer to Android _not_ being a Linux distribution, it's technically, and practically, _in_accurate. ie wrong.

      > the phrase "Linux distribution" has not referred to the kernel

      Yes it has. 'Linux' _is_ the kernel. A "Linux distribution" is the Linux kernel plus lots of other stuff. You may have failed to understand this.

      > the operating system sometimes referred to as GNU/Linux

      Yes, GNU supplies one of the user environments. You can also have GNU/Hurd, or potentially other kernels.

      > Android has made no effort to remain API compatible with GNU/Linux

      The GNU user environment is entirely command line based. Android, being for phones and touch based tablets, has no requirement to support command line, thus it does not include GNU. However it does not reject GNU and there are many apps that will enable the GNU environment. How hard is that to understand ?

      In terms of the API GUI compatibility: Gnome, KDE, XFCE have different APIs. Android GUI has another one. None of them are related to GNU.

      > it wouldn't make sense to call Android in general a Linux distribution.

      It _is_ a distribution that includes Linux as the kernel. What wouldn't make sense would be to call GNU/Hurd a 'Linux distribution' (just because it is GNU).

      > Calling Android a "Linux distribution" ends up being inconsistent and only serves to confuse the uninitiated

      Well it has certainly confused you, yet you seem to be unwilling to admit it and become 'initiated'. It would be 'inconsistent' to call it BSD or Hurd, but it does have a genuine Linux.

      > the operating system which people refer to as "Linux"

      People who are not confused refer to Ubuntu, or Red Hat, or SUSE.

      1. CFWhitman

        Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

        I pointed out in the post you are replying to that, technically, referring to Android as a Linux distribution is absolutely incorrect. Technically, even if you are right in principle, which is not nearly as cut and dried as you make it out to be, Android would be a group or a family of Linux distributions, not a distribution in its own right.

        You saying that the phrase "Linux distribution" has referred to the kernel doesn't make it so. That is inconsistent with the way the phrase has been used, which should be obvious. People didn't refer to anything which wasn't an operating system as a "Linux distribution," even if it was something that included the kernel. Technically, each kernel release was a distributable version of Linux, yet no one referred to those as "Linux distributions."

        How is it hard to understand that Android's use of an incompatible/conflicting C library puts it in an entirely different position than anything else that you refer to? All the other things that you mention work with the GNU C library or another API compatible C library. They don't work with the Android C library. They all coexist peacefully in the same root directory. Android cannot.

        GNU/Hurd is not a Linux distribution, and I have never heard anyone argue that it was. (Do you know what a strawman is?)

        I am not confused, but your arguments make it seem that you are.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

          > Technically, even if you are right in principle,

          Yes, I am am right technically and in principle.

          > Android would be a group or a family of Linux distributions

          Thank you for agreeing. Yes, Android is a group or family of Linux distributions, each with its own version numbers, or even different names: Cyanogenmod, Nokia X, Amazon Fire.

          > You saying that the phrase "Linux distribution" has referred to the kernel doesn't make it so.

          Linux is the kernel. Various systems also include Firefox distributions, LibreOffice distributions, Apache distributions. Collectively they are properly referred to as 'Ubuntu' or 'Red Hat'.

          > That is inconsistent with the way the phrase has been used, which should be obvious. People didn't refer to anything which wasn't an operating system as a "Linux distribution," even if it was something that included the kernel.

          You are getting confused again by trying to contort words into meaningless phrases.

          What 'thing' isn't an operating system but includes an operating system kernel ? Maybe just the kernel alone, but that is called 'Linux'. Are you trying to claim that Android isn't an operating system?

          > Technically, each kernel release was a distributable version of Linux, yet no one referred to those as "Linux distributions."

          No. They called the release, "a release", or "an update".

          > GNU/Hurd is not a Linux distribution, and I have never heard anyone argue that it was. (Do you know what a strawman is?)

          You are attempting to argue that something can be called a 'Linux distribution' _only_ if it includes GNU, and that this has nothing to do with the kernel (as in "absolutely incorrect", "doesn't make it so", "inconsistent with the way the phrase has been used"). GNU and Linux are separate things that can be used in combination with other things, such as GNU/Hurd or GNU/FreeBSD. The _only_ thing that makes it a 'Linux distribution' is the inclusion of Linux, how hard is that ?

          > Android's use of an incompatible/conflicting C library puts it in an entirely different position than anything else that you refer to?

          Yes, there are at least two groups of things that use Linux. One of them is the various GNU/Linux, the other is the various Android/Linux. There is another hybrid group that has both GNU and Android running on the Linux kernel.

          It happens that generally 'Linux' is used to refer to systems that include the Linux kernel and much other software from many different sources. In the same way 'Hoover' is used to refer to many different brands and types of household appliances, or even as a verb to refer to using those. Or 'iPad' is used to refer to any type of tablet computer. I have even heard 'GoPro' used as a verb, in that they would GoPro the area before starting landscaping work.

          That doesn't make that usage 'right', or more importantly, doesn't make it the _only_ usage. 'Hoover' can still be used to refer to the company or to their branded washing machines. You don't have to stop using 'Hoover' for a DWT L413AIW3 because confused people would think it was a vacuum cleaner.

          You are attempting to restrict the use of 'Linux' so that it is not used in connection with the vast majority of uses for that kernel. It seems that your only motivation is so that Linux is seen as a tiny part of computing instead of being, as it is, in the majority of computer devices today.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

      > Applications for GNU/Linux must be ported to work with Android.

      Not at all. The code of most GNU stuff is processor agnostic and ARM versions have been available for years.

      The standard C library and others as appropriate need to be supplied along with the programs and a shell (bash, dash, csh, etc). These libraries, which act as an interfacing layer between the programs and the system, would access the Linux kernel in exactly the same way as they do on other Linux distros.

      Note: GNU is primarily command line and text software. An interface library is needed to provide the display and input, but that would be required for other different systems.

      Several apps are available for Android that provide GNU utilities (eg: Terminal IDE) and languages and 'applications for GNU/Linux' can be recompiled for ARM to run in those user spaces.

      > It's clear that Android is a different operating system than GNU/Linux.

      Android has quite a different GUI from the usual desktop GUIs of Gnome, KDE, or several others. That is because Android was designed for phones. Similarly, WP7 had quite a different GUI from Windows 7.

      GUI programs such as written for X, Gnome (GTK) or KDE (Qt) would need various amounts of porting but Qt4 is available on Android as are X Servers.

      """Most Qt applications should be portable to Android with ease, unless they depend on a specific hardware or software feature not supported by Android. If your application is not using any such feature, deployment is probably the only step that demands some changes to your application."""

      https://doc.qt.io/qt-5/portingtoandroid.html

      Your 'argument' seems to be based on dogma rather than anything approaching knowledge.

      1. CFWhitman

        Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

        You have some things in your post here that are technically incorrect. You should be aware that Android and GNU cannot coexist in the same root directory. In order to run both on the same device (even when they are both compiled for ARM or both compiled for x86) they need to each have their own root directory. This can be accomplished by installing them to different partitions or using a chroot jail or some other type of container.

        There are several applications that have been ported to Android from GNU/Linux, and they can come in handy when you are in Android. I have run a GNU/Linux distribution on a number of ARM devices, and the executables for those cannot run inside of an Android environment. I have run Android and GNU/Linux on the same device, and you cannot run an executable for one system in the other even when you are running the same kernel for both systems (each time I did this I was running the same kernel for both systems; I don't mean two copies of the same kernel; I mean the same exact kernel).

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

          > You have some things in your post here that are technically incorrect. You should be aware that Android and GNU cannot coexist in the same root directory.

          When did I ever make the claim that they would, and what relevance does that have ?

          > I have run a GNU/Linux distribution on a number of ARM devices, and the executables for those cannot run inside of an Android environment.

          And I pointed out that there are several apps available in the Play Store and/or FDroid that are collections that include GNU/Linux executables that _do_ run in an 'Android environment'. These collections may well include their own libraries that provide an interface between the utilities and compilers and the Android display system, but these use the Android provided Linux kernel. The utilities are built from the same source code as the ones that you ran.

          Whether they run in the same 'root' file system is irrelevant, they certainly can access the Android file system, and are installed in the same place as other Android apps.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conclusions....

    Isnt is great what you can do with stats? - you can come to all sorts of conclusions!

    Microsoft get over 100m copies of Win10 deployed in a few months, and its a "catastrophe" and evidence of a slow, lingering death.

    Linux (desktop) becomes even more fragmented and fails to move the needle at all, yet its heralded a success. What an interesting little corner of the net this is :-)

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Conclusions....

      > Linux (desktop) becomes even more fragmented and fails to move the needle at all, yet its heralded a success. What an interesting little corner of the net this is :-)

      Linux is on a couple of billion phones, maybe a hundred million tablets, a couple of hundred million 'PC's (desktops and servers) and maybe a billion or more 'devices' (TVs, PVRs, routers, and other embedded) and 95% of Super Computers. It is also a large percentage of mainframes and clouds. Yes, it is a success.

      Linux desktop is a success because it has survived and grown in spite of Microsoft trying to kill it as it managed to kill OS/2, BeOS, Novell, WebOS, and many others. It is also a success because those systems that it is on have been a deliberate choice rather than a forced default caused by a lack of other options.

      > and evidence of a slow, lingering death.

      It is the desktop itself that is a slow, lingering death, as evidenced by the sales figures.

      1. CFWhitman

        Re: Conclusions....

        @Richard Plinston I agreed with you until you said, "It is the desktop itself that is a slow, lingering death, as evidenced by the sales figures."

        Perhaps if you are referring specifically to the large box sitting on or underneath your desk, then that is supportable (though I still think there are reasons why some kind of easily customizable, upgradable, and powerful hardware will stick around for a while, even if it changes size and shape to some degree). However, the desktop in general is just much better than alternatives for certain things. It will take on a smaller less 'generally used for everything' type of role, but I can't see it dying in the forseeable future.

        Of course, it's arguable that Microsoft has taken the first steps toward a "slow, lingering death." Of course, if it can make appropriate adjustments, this doesn't have to be the case. I don't think it's going in the right direction to prevent it at this point though. Still, even if it is headed that way, its momentum in the business world could make it take a really long time.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Conclusions....

          > However, the desktop in general is just much better than alternatives for certain things. It will take on a smaller less 'generally used for everything' type of role, but I can't see it dying in the forseeable future.

          The sales of desktop computers, whether they are on top of or under the desk, are declining. The usage of desktop computers is also declining as the tasks done in the past on desktops, such as web browsing and email, are being done on phones, tablets or other smaller devices. Most of this is because all recent desktop computers are 'good enough' and won't need replacement for many years, and most mobile devices are 'good enough' to replace their usage.

          Declining or dying does not indicate complete elimination, as indicated by 'lingering'.

  32. Martin Maloney
    Linux

    The best thing about Linux is not...

    The best thing about Linux is not that most distros are free. The best thing about Linux is not that it is relatively immune to various kinds of malware. The best thing about Linux is not that it is bundled with more applications than the typical Home/SOHO user will ever want to use.

    The best thing about Linux is that Microsoft can't coerce/trick you into “upgrading” to Windows 10.

  33. sisk Silver badge

    Bah, 2015 was the fifth or sixth straight "Year of the Linux Everything Else". Let Windows have the desktop and let Android and iOS fight over the phones and tablets. It's only fair since the penguins have everything else.

    (Also with all these new-fangled sub-$10 computers coming out it's just a matter of time before one of them makes it to the store shelves as a super cheap PC, and you can bet your boots it'll be running some flavor of Linux when it does.)

  34. Dave_A

    'Not counting' Android makes no sense.

    Just because it runs an alternate GUI & package-manager, vs X+(desktop-of-choice), doesn't make it any 'less Linux'....

    And with Google heading towards a 'desktop-y' interface, it is probably the only chance Linux has of being a mainstream desktop OS...

    There's also the whole 'Chromebook' thing, which has (Arguably) been more commercially successful than any given conventional 'desktop linux' effort...

    In the mean time, FreeDesktop/RedHat/Mr Pottering continue to screw up 'conventional' Linux by trying to glom the worst features (binary logs, random & paralleled start-up sequence, monolithic 'one program to rule them all' design) of Windows onto it...

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