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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is Linux mature enough for the consumer market?

Geeks like me can and do use Linux - I use it as a complement, can't actually totally substitute Windows.

But on the consumer market news are not so pleasant for Linux. According to The Register:

Ubuntu-based things do pretty well in techie circles. The consumer space is a different beast.

Now that most of the desktop experience problems have been addressed, the OEM lack of support seems to be the greatest problem remaining to be solved.

David Liu, chief executive of Emeryville, California-based gOS:

Linux companies like ourselves need to work closely with people making the next wave of appliance or netbooks... we need to seize it before other people fill the gap," Liu told a LinuxWorld panel on life, now that OEMs are shipping Linux PCs.

"The business model of Microsoft will adjust down [to netbooks and appliances]. We can do it, but it's a really small window of time. The PC world is moving on.

So what does Linux need right now? Above all, critical mass in usage. When  this happens, OEM will really be forced to support it. Business and customers aren't likely to support this critical mass building, so Linux now depends on one and only specialized market: education.

Education market is not without its flaws - above all it isn't really as appealing from an investment view as the consumer market. But it can evangelize a new generation.

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Development Catharsis :: Copyright 2006 Mário Romano