What would it take for Linux to be…
If you search any blog about linux, your going to stumble accross the post “linux set to go main stream in [year]” We’ve seen and read these post for years, but Linux hasn’t gone mainstream. What if Google starts supporting linux? What if Windows 8 turns out like Vista? What if Apple OS(es) experience a rash of security attacks?
The answer is no. Regardless if all or none of those things happen, Linux would not go mainstream. Now, here are some reasons that most people tell you what Linux hasn’t gone big.
- It’s not simple enough
- It doesn’t have codecs out of the box
- It doesn’t have enough eye-candy
- It doesn’t have the programs it needs
All of these things are not the reason “why”. Example; Windows XP, it was harder for new users and users of previous windows OS due to the slightly modified interface and it didn’t pose all that much eye candy. Codecs out of the box? No, your PC distributor installed all of those codecs and programs. And as with any OS, your program has to be re-written to get the most performance gains.
So what does Linux need? In my opinion, this is what linux would need to be number one.
Easier said than done, but linux simply needs these three things. Linux has split into about 1,000 different distros, but only a handful have active development and independence. The problem with this that each distro has entered an arms race with the other, pushing for new features, faster speed and smaller size. This is one of the main reasons that Linux is unstable. “Long Term Support” for most distros is anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, which is pale in comparison to Windows products. Does it make it worse than windows, no, but the end user doesn’t want to upgrade every 6 months like a geek. Linux needs to slow the feature development and focus in on bug hunts and stability.
A second benefit of slowing the number of releases is easier support. Documentation could be written in much more detail, and offered in various forms like wiki’s or published books. The average user will be completely new to linux, and could benefit from this. But the end user isn’t the only one who needs documentation. Better documentation could get starting developers off the ground faster.
Something even more vital to make Linux successful is order. If a developer or group of developers don’t like the way things are going, they just leave and start their own adventure. But imagine what that would be like if our government operated in that manner? The dream linux distro must operate more like a democracy, letting the end users make the choices. If linux wants to go mainstream, it has to involve more average computer users.