By Dan Pereda

I know you have heard it before, “Linux will never be main stream because of … (Insert reason)”. And all the fan boys will respond in a nice polite manner to explain how much better Linux is or how IF you had learned to use Linux first, Windows would just seem wired stupid and wrong. Well that is just it.

Windows is not better than Linux for what it does today. It is better than Linux for what it did 20 years ago. What was that you might ask? Windows took a new technology (Computers) that scared most people and made it easy and user friendly. Why were people afraid of computers? They were afraid of change, did not really want to have to learn something new, and most of all they did not want to look stupid. With Windows, the power of a computer was now graphical and any thing was just a click away.

Fast forward to today and Windows is the defacto standard on more than 90% of the worlds computers. Now you are asking the world to change from Windows to Linux. Why would they do that? What do you get from Linux that you don’t get from Windows? For those that don’t remember or were not alive, it took along time for a lot of people to accept computers as something that everyone was going to need or want. It was only after there became a social and economic mandate that you be able to use a computer and then own a computer or your gonna get left in the dust, that computers boomed in to expansion.

I do not see that Linux has much to offer the average user. Not enough to warrant people dedicating time to learn something new, or worse admitting that they don’t know something to begin with. I know some of your arguments:

• Linux is free – Most people never pay for Windows, it’s included in their computer’s purchase price.
• Linux is more secure – Most people don’t care. People think “Security problems are going to happen to me”.
• Linux is more stable – Fine, whatever. Windows XP almost never crashes. And Id rather reboot my PC once a year than learn Linux.
• Linux has a ton of free programs – It doesn’t have the main stream programs that I bought for my PC (Adobe Premier or NASCAR 2008)

What prompted me to write this is that I have several computers in my house all with different operating systems including Debian, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Ubuntu and more. Now that I am getting a little older and I am becoming busier, I just don’t have time to manage all these systems. I need to consolidate and upgrade. I pondered going to a new MAC and scrapping everything else, No my programs that I have won’t work on a MAC and I will not repurchase them just to put them on a MAC. Fine I will go fully Linux, No I can’t even port my graphics/video software to Linux. Well what is wrong with Windows? I already own copies of XP pro and Vista and frankly with my short amount of free time Windows is the easiest way to go.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Linux. It is great and unbelievably powerful. I use it everyday to run this website and others; it also runs my phone system. I don’t feel that Linux will become main stream until it can offer something that Windows can’t and the world can’t live without.

In summery Linux is still missing the “KILLER APP”.

I know what some of you are thinking and for that, in this article I am only talking about Linux on the desktop. Servers, appliances and other geek only systems don’t count.

By Dan Pereda