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Perfect Storm Brewing: The Linux Desktop - Part One

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From time to time I get the question of “Why has Linux failed on the Desktop?” Recently Linus was also asked this question, and he considered it a personal failure, since his first desire was to have Linux as a desktop machine. He attributed this to the fact that end user customers just do not like installing operating systems on their machines that they purchased.
I both agree and disagree with Linus.

First of all, Linus, you have not failed. Linux is winning, and will have world domination.

But the world of “consumer retail” is made up of two things:

* Volume
* Shelf space

Lesson One: Stores sell what they are comfortable with.

I remember walking into my first computer store, probably around 1984 or so. While this might sound late to some people, I was not interested in “personal computers” at the time, because I had all the computers I needed at my fingertips. Sometimes it seemed as if I had more than I needed, because I had just taken a job with Digital Equipment Corporation, and had joined their Unix group.

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