Top 4 Reasons Windows Wins and Linux Loses

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2007-01-04 Print this article Print

Opinion: You can do just about everything you want with a Linux desktop. So, why do only a handful of people run Linux instead of Windows?

Today, you can do everything you want with a Linux desktop, except play the latest games. Even there, Linux is catching up. So why do only a handful of people run Linux instead of Windows? Here are my top four reasons why Windows wins and Linux loses. Before I start, though, let me say—because people always assume Im anti-Linux when I write pieces like this—that I use Linux desktops every day. Im writing this on a SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 system, I run MEPIS 6.01 and Xandros Professional Desktop 4.1 on my laptops, and on my other desktops that I use at least weekly, youll find Freespire 1.0, Fedora Core 6, and openSUSE 10.2. In short, I use Linux. I love Linux. But, that doesnt mean Im blind to business reality, Windows virtues, or Linux flaws.
So, without further adieu, the No. 1 reason why Linux trails in the desktop races.
1. The installed base There are, what, hundreds of millions of Windows XP and 2000 systems still out there and working? Thats a lot of systems. Thats a lot of people who know nothing but Windows. Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth claims that there are at least 8 million Ubuntu Linux desktops alone out there. I wish I could believe that number, but I dont. I could believe that there are 8 million total Linux desktops out there. If we accept that there are 8 million Linux desktops out there, based on IDCs Linux market share estimates that would mean were talking over a billion Windows desktops out there. Ouch. Read the full story on Top 4 reasons Windows wins and Linux loses Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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