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Why Isn't Linux More Popular?


Registered Member
I'm still a little baffled as to why Linux is not outpacing Windows as an OS. The more I read about it, the more advantages it seems to have (cost, less maintenance on servers, less downtime, etc.).

The only real problem I can see if the relative lack of applications that can work on the platform ... at least the kind of things used in a lot of businesses that don't have a Linux version.

Do you think there is more than that at work? Is everyone just so invested into Microsoft that even though in the long run it may be less expensive, it would be prohibitively expensive to switch an entire business over?


Registered Member
I think that most of the problem is time and money. Companies don't want to spend the money for someone to learn to use this new product. In many companies, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And with that mentality, they don't want to change, because it is working just fine the way is. Even if it will save money in the long run. The company I work is that way. They want to save money now. It doesn't matter if it will save money in the long. It will cost too much now.


Registered Member
My last office job was like that too. It was scary the kind of money they would spend on some idiot ideas (like $250,000 or more on a consultant for portals just to provide one of the VPs with a topic for his MBA thesis, and moving a bunch of employees around to help this VP with carrying the project through and then in the end, not implementing it because they finally agreed that the people the portal was aimed at wouldn't use it enough based on their past use of an intranet and their interest even in using the computer to find out about what was going on, which was basically nil despite all attempts to encourage it). I wish someone could figure out how much money is wasted by bureaucracies finding new ways of perpetuating themselves to justify their continued existence - bet we could use that money to get a Mars settlement set up and running (just keep the bureaucrats off the list of people going there :) ).

Do you think eventually Linux will "win" over Microsoft? After all, there was a time when Microsoft didn't dominate the market. True, it was a market in its infancy, but it's kind of like Google. Not more than about 5 years ago, Google wasn't necessarily the search engine of choice.


Registered Member
Microsoft really only has a monopoly in the desktop market. In the server marker, Linux stands a much better chance (it is already taking a huge hit from the UNIX share). I think the biggest issure with Linux is the lack of user friendliness, which is a result of Linux being pretty nonstandard in many areas. Since Linux is open source, and everyone has their own ways of doing things. Simpily moving from one distribution to another can lead to the need to learn new ways of doing the same thing. Even in the GUI arena, you have a huge amount of windows managers with KDE and Gnome being top of the list. These choices are great for us, Geeky guys/girls, but for the average user who get intimidated by just turning on the computer; it just becomes easier just letting them use whatever they already know.

I think the only real way Linux is going to overcome Microsoft in the desktop market is for schools to start teaching on Linux, and not just in Computer Science labs, where the techies are, but in the business labs as well. Problem is, businesses use Windows, and schools try to prepare you for work.

Well, I guess that is my opinion on the subject.


Registered Member
I completly agree thermal. Although now with Gnome, its actually fairly easy to learn, even by your self. But in the long run, no linux will prolly never be used for business's.


Registered Member
Yeah, I hear you guys and I guess it's just one more example of how Mr. Gates has come to rule our lives. I hung stubbornly on to using WordPerfect until I had no choice when a new job I took had made the switch to Windows for all their office software. That first year was nasty, especially since I had to teach everyone else in the company how to use Word, etc. and I couldn't stand it. Plus it was Windows 98 and buggy as heck.

You never know. Maybe a bunch of guys doing open source Linux will band together and decide to all do things the same way for the common good and give Microsoft a run for its money.

With the latest monopolistic move by Microsoft in the searcher wars (shipping I.E. 7 with a prominent browser default), I just hope in the future someone can outsmart that monolith (or whatever the right phrase is) :D


Registered Member
Why isn't Linux more popular? I can tell you EXACTLY why.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Linux. I use it daily. I invest a lot of time in teaching people about it. But I don't bury my head in the sand.

Here's my list, it goes on for a while so bear with me. Also, I emphasize with caps... please forgive me if it grates on the senses a little.

1. "Linux is for Geeks." I hear that day in and day out. My best response is, "Download Slax Linux and burn a cd. Pop that in, and see how long it takes you to get a GUI." It's not that bad, folks. Sure, it's easier to get in and tweak majorly than Windows... but that's because it's DOCUMENTED, and that documentation is RELEASED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. I can do all that fun stuff in Windows too... but Linux can be used out of the box, just like Windows. STOP TELLING PEOPLE THAT LINUX IS FOR GEEKS.

2. The elitist attitude. Humble thyselves, men of Linux. It's YOUR refusal to bend down a little and help new users out that keeps them from coming. You refuse to answer simple questions, instead telling them to "read the man page." They don't even know how to use man! And, it's the most worthless, highbrow, totally assuming documentation known to God or man. You have to understand how the program works before you can use the man page to learn how the program works!

3. Big-name companies only providing RPMs. I'm serious... Give me a Slackware package any day. I track down the dependencies, I don't care. Just give me something I can USE.

4. Linux users don't speak English. They can't possibly... I've read the documentation. I write how-tos all the time about everything from finding your hard drives to recovering data from a corrupted hard drive... and I rarely get an "I don't get it." It IS possible to write your documentation in such a way that the average twelve-year-old can follow it without problems. And for crying out loud, if you're going to reference something, tell us where to find it!

5. There's no good Excel or Quickbooks alternative. Excel is probably in the top ten most used pieces of software in business, because it's so versatile. And Quickbooks is very easy to use. You just don't find that in the FOSS world.

6. Ubuntu. And here's why: It's taking thousands of great Linux users who have the potential to go out and actually get people using Linux and learning it, and shoving them in a corner finding bugs in Dapper or Breezy.

That's the start... I'm sure I can think of more when I'm not so ticked off.


Secret Agent
Staff member
5. There's no good Excel or Quickbooks alternative. Excel is probably in the top ten most used pieces of software in business, because it's so versatile. And Quickbooks is very easy to use. You just don't find that in the FOSS world.
Actually Google recently released "Google Spreadsheets" which works over an internet browser, so there you go. :)

I see what you are saying though. I think the question here should be "Why isn't Linux more popular in the workplace."

When it comes to hosting websites, there is a huge crowd of Linux users. A lot of people use Linux based hosts because it is usually cheaper than Windows, but also very versatile when it comes to hosting. Apache is a big plus, and in general it's easy to use and maintain. I've used Linux servers a lot in the past and can definitely see why it's so popular in the hosting and server realm.


Registered Member
Maybe, very difficult to newbin. Maybe, they are low profile, no have money for promotion.. :D

I newbin in LInux, language is different, not like microsoft. First time learned in Linux very difficult. I must very hard to learn it :)

In Indonesia, product microsoft very popular and get very easy. Because getting with price very cheapper.... get plough :mad:


Registered Member
Linux is really an awesome OS, but it just doesn't have the capabilities of Windows. Its a bit less user friendly as well. Linux would more than likely have to catch up in the software game as well.