Pick a Free OS

My Linux wish list

I travel quite a lot and consequently I interact with people from various fields--students, geeks, hardcore academicians, marketing gurus and such. And guess what's hot with most of them? Yes, its Linux! But, in spite of its popularity and the multi billion-dollar investment that IBM has just made in Linux, I really haven't seen any sporadic increase in the nature of Operating Systems that are being shipped for desktops world over. Many of us Linux fans, would just shrug this off as an understatement and would rather confine ourselves to the fact that Linux, as a N.O.S (Network Operating System), has been able to grow by leaps and bounds (according to IDC figures it has been a meteoric rise for the Open source Operating System, somewhere to the tune of +100% last year).

But the question still arises "why hasn't this gem of an Operating System not been able to penetrate the desktop segment and make a sizeable dent in Microsoft's Market share?" Pondering further on this, I realized there are a few issues we geeks need to tackle in order to ensure that Linux rules the desktops in the near future.

Here, I would like to clarify that this article isn't aimed at OS bashing or criticizing the lackluster performance of Linux on the desktop, rather it is aimed at focusing on various issues and concerns which the whole Linux community should converge and work upon. As a company dealing only with Open Source technologies to implement all our solutions, I feel proud to preach the capabilities that Linux can provide on the N.O.S (Network Operating System) front, but at the same time let us also realize that mass market penetration is only possible if we confront and tackle the various issues that Linux fails to address thereby hindering its growth on the desktop front.

Not that most Linux distributions haven't addressed these issues. Installing a Linux distribution has come a long way since the times when people installed Linux the hard way -- putting all the Operating System components right from the kernel to the partitions to the utilities together. A Herculean task indeed! Today, most of the Linux distributions available off-the-shelf, offer a significant amount of convenience to the end user, both in terms of installation as well as administration. But, providing the end user a `click, click, click' technology hasn't been something that we were ready to address uptill now.