Linux may be everywhere but is it really winning the popularity battle?
A quick look online around forums and content praising the dominance of Android or the rising popularity of other Linux kernel based platforms like the multi-device Tizen, often shows Linux enthusiasts hailing the dominance of Linux, its increase in popularity amongst end users and how it has won the battle against UNIX and DOS.
The reality however, is that Linux kernel based platforms like Android have gone well beyond Linux. The regular world can easily identify with Android as it is everywhere around them. There is a high chance that the next individual holding a Samsung smartphone close to you doesn’t know that Android is Linux based.
“It is very true that Linux is everywhere and has gone well beyond the server domain which it has a strangle hold on but it is not in the face of everyday consumers in anyway” says Brendan at Umbrellar Linux Hosting specialists.
As a desktop OS, Linux used to be known as more of a tinker platform for hobbyists that do not want to run commercial apps. Linux may have become more popular with regular users if it grabbed the opportunity provided by Windows Vista as a usable version of Linux for regular people. This is far from the case now yes we still like to have many versions of the OS and can debate on which is best for what reason but now even with the release of Windows 10 there is never a better time to choose Linux.
And the fact that Linux is both a kernel and an operating system and the fact that the kernel isn’t intertwined with the rest of the operating system means it could be used as more than just another computer OS.
Google’s Android is a quality example of how this differentiation can be put to good use. The separate kernel allowed Linux to enjoy adoption away from the server domain. However, contrary to claims by Linux fanatics, Android is just as reliant on Linux as it is on Java.
The Linux kernel also forms the background of Google’s Chrome OS. The Chrome OS has remained a niche product in the mould of desktop Linux but its shadow is ever present on the PC world especially at a time when cloud services adoption is gaining traction massively. The rising possibility of an all-internet computing platform will make Chrome OS more popular than it is today. The same cannot be said for Desktop Linux.
Linux lovers must find a way to agree with the fact that very few people realise the presence of Linux in everything including telephony equipment used in standard retail outlets. Linux variants also power Linksys routers, synthesisers, digital pianos, TV recorders, digital signage and so much more.
The fact that developers can create all of these products and OSes in real life should be enough reason to celebrate for the Linux community. However, attempts to drum up the talk of rising Linux popularity among end users will always be greeted by strong opposition. The end user looks at a digital signage board, a smartphone or a TV recorder and never thinks of Linux in any way. The Linux community must accept that this powerful platform we all love will always remain in the background. At least for now.
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