Linux cons for photography, print shop work and video production:
- Photography – No Photoshop (WINE isn't a solution). You'd be shocked at what a big deal CMYK and keyboard shortcuts can be. Sure, one can always lay claim to Seperate+ (plugin) being a fix for the lack of CMYK support, but this is a fallacy. The fact is, it's just not the same. Then there are the names for the tools within Photoshop.
Don't laugh, but coming in as a GIMP user, Photoshop gives me the same impression with the tools being just different enough to cause workflow stoppage. Now to be clear, most pros will tell you they spend less than 10% of their time in Photoshop and with greater time spent using Lightroom.
But photographers are a touchy bunch. I ought to know, my wife's a private-school-trained and degree-holding photographer. While she ended up in décor and design in the long haul, this training all took place using Adobe software tools.
- Print Shop – I see the only really big breakdown being much of what was discussed in the photography section, plus proprietary application formats of customers coming in wanting their work printed. Conversion from the proprietary file over to one that is Open Source is rarely smooth, and even less likely to transport well back with the customer. Projects that start and finish with Linux tools, however, could yield the same results as the proprietary solutions.
- Video editing – Interestingly enough, I believe the biggest cons for Linux video editing affect small to mid-sized productions rather than larger, blockbuster studios. For example, a smaller production might be inclined to try Lightworks as their editor of choice. And while good, factually it lacks the features found with Final Cut; mostly effects related. Perhaps the biggest issue is for a Final Cut Pro user coming into the Lightworks workflow – it's a learning curve.
- Speaking for smaller production special effects, Adobe strikes again with After Effects. As great as Blender is, it's NOT an After Effects alternative whatsoever. After Effects provides small and mid-sized productions the options to add cool special effects, without a big studio budget. And finally, there's on-the-fly-editing. Tools like Wirecast and its virtual cameras, virtual studio sets, live chroma keying, 3D effects and other instant video edits make it deeply missed on the Linux platform.
For Linux users, this would mean doing all of this stuff post-production, which isn't a great selling point. This isn't to say this stuff is impossible, the good folks over at LinuxGameCast have managed to do a good job with many of these things. But this took its production staff working hard to fabricate solutions specific to their workflow.
Developers – exception to the rule?
I wanted to touch on one area that some folks have mentioned recently – developers switching from OS X to Linux. For web developers especially, I can absolutely see how the switch from the Mac to Linux would be a doable one. After all, development for the Web is quite doable from either platform.
But outside of Web developers, honestly, I don't see Mac users "en masse," seeking to disrupt their workflows for the mere idea of avoiding the upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Granted, having seen Yosemite up close – Mac users who are considered power users will absolutely find this change-up to be hideous. However, despite poor OS X UI changes, the core workflow for existing Mac users will remain largely unchanged and unchallenged.
No, I believe Linux adoption will continue to be sporadic and random. Ever-growing, but not something that is easily measured or accurately calculated.
Also see: Best Linux Desktop: Top 10 Candidates
The 9 Best Linux Distros
100 Open Source Replacements for Expensive Applications