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Director, OpenShift Strategy at Red Hat. Founder of Rishidot Research, a research community focused on services world. His focus is on Platform Services, Infrastructure and the role of Open Source in the services era. Krish has been writing @ CloudAve from its inception and had also been part of GigaOm Pro Analyst Group. The opinions expressed here are his own and are neither representative of his employer, Red Hat, nor CloudAve, nor its sponsors.

11 responses to “The Path To Linux Desktop Domination Is Through The Clouds”

  1. chupito

    and what we gonna do when cloud services are not online (do u remembre gmail a few time ago?) and what we are gonna do when isp’s prices rises and everybody change their plans for a restricted download bandwith ? desktop are here and will be here for a long long time dude

  2. Charles Norrie

    I don’t like the word plateau. One of the reasons I came to Ubuntu is that version version out it delivered the same stable and unchanging experience for the most part that I expect from a computer and a certain West Coast company, which thinks that a new operating system should feel like the first time you had sex, markets it as such, but doesn’t deliver.

    I want my computer to be like an old lover, whose tricks and likes and dislikes I know.

    If it improves under the bonnet, as Ubuntu does, all to the good, but remember I came to this relationship because I wanted commitment which it has delivered.

    So ask Mr Shuttleworth to remember that what we want is more of the same, not an inventive young bride!

  3. TripleII

    You are 1/3 right. It isn’t one thing that will be the magic bullet. First, netbooks with easy Linux is making a difference. The OEM lock was partially broken, meaning that more and more, The average Joe’s you talk about are offered a choice (not mandated Windows). Another factor is embedded. Linux runs inside almost any hardware configuration. With instant on, we have de-facto Linux certification of hardware, one of MS’s most successful tactics, enforce hardware only works with Windows. That is basically over. It is now the exception that vendors won’t allow drivers, etc. The 1/3 you mention, the cloud, is making the OS less relevant. Gone are the days where you had to have AOL, or fat clients for all of your computing. With increased bandwidth, we are instantaneous with the cloud. That’s where Linux is showing it’s strength. Why pay for a $299 “Ultimate OS” when you can have a linked in encrypted disk for $4.99/month online. Why pay for Office when you have GoogleDocs. Who care’s who’s OS is running as long as facebook, myspace, etc, work?

    So, it is simply a complete shift in how we compute. In the 90s, MS enforced how/when/where and what we would do with computers. The internet has changed that, there is nothing MS really controls anymore, and it’s simply inertia that keeps it going. (Yes Office and OEM lock in are still strong, but fading).

    So while I agree cloud computing will change things, people make the mistake of a “magic bullet” technology, when it is really a combination of factors.

  4. darryl

    Oh dear, yet “ANOTHER” reason why we should all be using Linux (…) right !!.

    The problems with you’re argument are many and varied, so I wont bother to go into them all.

    Fistly, Most netbooks are sold with Windows OS’s and not linux. When netbooks first came out there was only linux, and 100% of them contained linux.

    Now with Win Xp available the number of netbooks containing linux is rapidly dropping to zero, as linux has done on the desktop,, well forever.

    The trouble with linux is basically its rubbish, and based on a copy (stolen) of UNIX its VERY OLD and outdated.

    Linux Kernel is now over 10 MILLION lines of code now, that bloated.

    When was the last time Linux was re-invented or re-written from scratch,, (never).

    When was the last time Linux/FOSS actually asked users what they want and need in an operating system. ??

    Why would anyone use an operating system (ubuntu) that boasts around 46,000 bugs !!.

    XP, Vista, W7 works there is vastly more free applications available for Windows than there is for Linux.

    People dont trust the cloud, people dont trust Google, people generally dont like or trust RMS.
    RMS who feels freedom is more important than quality.

    People dont want hundreds of distro’s they want ONE operating system, and they want it to work and run the programs they are used to and like.

    Linux’s model is basically a failure, its had 17+ years to refine and make their product really really good, and all they have done in that time is divide and weaken its own effort.

    17 years is more than enough time to create a new and leading edge operating system. But you did not you stuck with a clone of UNIX and proceeded to tell people what FOSS wants you to use, never listening to the users and finding out what they want.

    People buy products because they want them and the product meets their needs.

    90% of computer users are happy to pay for quality, even if there is a free but lower qualty alternative.

    We have a choice, we have a freedom that we (the users of the world) have made a choice (well 90%) and have chosen Windows.

    We know you dont like it, but we see FOSS not doing anything about it, like this post it wont be listened too and ill be called a troll.

    Call me a troll if you like, stick to the way you are doing things now.

    (how is that working for you ?)

    I would love to see linux compete with windows in terms of quality and functionality, but after years and years and years of waiting and watching MS created new and better OS’s and watching Linux peddle the same old UNIX clone.

    Dont you see the forest for the trees.

    (BTW, Koala’s are exceeding dull and stupid creatures, very small brains, you dont need big brains to eat leaves and sleep all day).

  5. Charles Norrie

    I recognise very little in what darryl says.

    If Linux is rubbish then why do most servers use it. All code potentially patented has be rewritten and was not stolen from UNIX in the first place.

    The Microsoft issues appear to be raised to create FUD.

    The average linux set up runs slimmer than the average Windows one

    Linux has been rewritten entirely from scratch (whatever that means)

    Ubuntu has lots of fora where people ask for improvements and they are written and implemented. Has darryl ever managed to make Microsoft do anything?

    I think not.

    Software is an ongoing experience. Gates knows that for ever so often he forces a new regime on the world, whether they like it or no.

    Sometimes, like Vista, they do not!

    Windows never met my need as a product.

    Free software is a reverse of Gresham’s law. Good software is driving out bad.

    Linux systems outperform Windows in almost every way.

    Is it possible darryl works for Gates. We should know!

    A koala is perfectly adapted for its niche in the Antipodean ecology, and may I suggest, Darryl, that you don’t make cheap remarks about something that is no more than a helpful metaphor, or know your biology, which I fear you don’t

    Charles Norrie

  6. Eran Kampf

    The path to Linux domination is one: release a Linux distribution that has no console!

    Linux app developers seem to rarely see beyond the console. They develop the core functionality and the command-line app and then someone (usually someone else, not from the core team) hacks some UI on top of it…

    Take away their console and you’ll see Linux flourish 🙂

  7. Krishnan Subramanian

    Eran, I don’t see any correlation between the presence of Linux shell, which BTW is the most powerful tool anyone can have, and any issues with the UI.

  8. Malcolm Bastien

    You hit the nail on the head. The important part behind the ideals of “free software” developed 25 years ago are just fundamentally at odds with cloud computing. Given this, there is still freedom to be had in a world with cloud computing. And as you said, it’s through things like Open Data, and open protocols.

    If the FSF doesn’t put their efforts into supporting the development of cloud services, then the world is going to go on without them, and what they _do_ have to contribute will be left out.

  9. SA

    It seems that darryl has sparked this thread. I wonder if he’s actually used Linux before, or is he just drawing conclusions based on what Microsoft says? Let’s be realistic here, and base our feedback on our own real experiences. Mine is from being a systems admin for over 12 years. And I can say that in my opinion, Linux is far easier to keep running, than Windows. It doesn’t require all of the constant maintenance. It is more of a “set and forget” type of software, it doesn’t need all of the attention and rebooting that Windows has. To me, this is huge. I have better things to do (like using my computer), rather than wasting all of my time troubleshooting and maintaining it, which is what I was doing when using Windows.

    I wrote my own article out of pure frustration of using Microsoft products…