Will Desktop Linux Cross the Chasm

When it comes to the Webernet, I’m a total geek. I know this and I embrace it. I also know a thing or two about marketing, business models and innovation (at least I think I do). And I think that Linux has a major market opportunity right now.

But, when it comes to the technical aspects of Linux, I’m a total n00b. So any claims I make about Linux are probably not 100% perfectly accurate and I have learned that die hard Linux users are sticklers for accuracy.

If you’ve been following this blog recently you probably know I’ve been trying out the Ubuntu (a type of Linux)desktop operating system on an old laptop of mine.

I love it. It’s not for everyone just yet, but it’s really, really close. There are some issues with multi-media because Linux is OpenSource and licensed under the GPL which requires that it and any changes made to it stay Open. It also doesn’t help that Flash and other vendors treat Linux users like they only own a marginal percent of the market (oh wait they do). But it’s growing.


I think that Ubuntu, because of it’s current momentum, is poised to give both Gates and Jobs a run for their money. And this is why; check out these two concurrent posts on Digg.

Why use Linux? Windows XP fans don’t want it to XPire.

  • There is a large group of people that don’t want to switch to Vista.
  • Many of us aren’t ready to buy our *cool* from Steve Jobs yet.
  • In my opinion Ubuntu is the Linux answer for the XP crowd.

What Linux needs to do is grow beyond their early adopters (not abandon them but looking past them). Just like Mac had to get past their early die hard fans and move into the main stream. They also need to figure out a way to provide the same level of usability that you get with MS and Mac. This means integrating propriatery software.

I realize that to the die hard Linux user this is sacrilege, but that’s ok by me. I like Linux, I support what they stand for but I’m not a purist. If someone else wants to make their product proprietary, that’s fine too, I have a choice.

Desktop Linux needs to cross the chasm, and I think it’s ready.

Microsoft is very vulnerable now, thanks to Vista and I don’t think that the Apple value proposition will scale. Now’s the perfect time for some disruptive innovation. Linux already proved it could do it on the server side, now they just need to recreate that on the desktop - and by desktop I really mean laptop :)

I’m by no means an expert on all of the challenges that face Linux on the desktop so if you’re interested in this topic you can read others far more passionate than me.

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