Is Fragmentation Hurting the Linux Desktop?: Page 2

Some very basic problems are slowing growth in the Linux desktop.


You Can't Detect What You Can't See: Illuminating the Entire Kill Chain

Posted December 27, 2011

Matt Harley

(Page 2 of 2)

Another bonus for users would be a video about what new users should expect when installing a Linux distribution on a PC displaying the "Made for Windows" sticker on it. This alone would not only prevent additional user defection back to Windows, it would increase Linux PC sales as well.

I think I've made my case for improved support for Linux PC vendors. So wouldn't it be nice if Ubuntu posted a simple button under "Get Ubuntu" that listed these partners? Even better than that, how about listing those desktop PC partners rather than only listing Ubuntu server partners?

My personal favorite of these partners has to be Dell. Amazingly, Ubuntu is still linking to a page that doesn't even exist anymore! Don't take my word for it folks, visit Ubuntu's OEM partners for yourself and click the Dell link. Currently it's still pointing to dell.com/ubuntu. And if you're looking for Zareason or System76, good luck – you’ll find no mention of these companies.

The Ubuntu.com website needs a little less glitz and a little more substance. It's the completely avoidable problems like this that perpetuates what feels like a glass ceiling for Linux desktop, slowing growth toward a larger market share. Which truly is a shame for all parties involved.

Linux fragmentation as a saving grace

My expectations for community-funded Linux distributions are pretty reasonable. I understand that these are volunteer efforts, so time is at a premium. However, when I see distributions that actually have access to resources completely overlook painfully obvious blunders, it really bothers me.

I see great Linux distributions with tons of developer work put into them that get a bad name simply because obvious issues are overlooked by the "marketing" team. It would be like building something really amazing, only to have someone come along and fumble their way with sharing your hard work.

To be sure, I find myself seeing the wisdom in the diversity that is the Linux desktop. While it's true that desktop Linux is fragmented on many levels, this may also provide opportunities for those willing to capitalize on the mistakes made by others. I'm not talking about financial opportunities here. No, I mean opportunities to provide simple solutions to simple problems that tend to create complex headaches.

Perhaps someone will take the most user-friendly Linux distributions available and address some of the concerns I've presented. By actively promoting the companies that sell Linux PCs and offering branded, compatible wifi devices, there could be a massive change in new users.

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