(V2.0) The Guide to the (100%) Linux Desktop Revolution

The Guide to the (100%) Linux Desktop Revolution

Version 2: the rewritten version and the last version (for the moment)

In the rewritten edition I show clearly that the ways I’m pointing out are the ways to gain market share in the Desktop world and that KDE 4.0 and other desktops, distributions and developers are not doing the right things to gain market share.

I have been a fan of Linux for years and it has always been a back-on-and-off and keep-up-to-date thing. I always tried to follow the news to get the latest and greatest in the Linux Desktop world because for a long time I thought the developers behind the Desktop projects and Linux in general were trying to outrun Windows and Mac. I’m writing this article now because I want to share the thoughts I have about Linux and Linux Desktops. The main reason though is the development of KDE 4.0 and the ongoing development of the Ubuntu and Kubuntu distribution as both of them have hit the news big-time, Ubuntu, because it is a easy distribution (the press says) and KDE 4.0, because people expect a lot from it.

In the first version of this article I draw a very bad picture of the situation but this time I want to underline this “not so good” picture but try to write it more clearly so everybody gets my point. This is not a lame-article trying to get attention or waiting for comments like “you suck”.

I think the Linux community needs to make an effort to get Linux onto the Desktop. I think there is no such effort at the moment and that Ubuntu and other distributions are at the moment still only try to get the attention of the geek-user. There has been made no effort to make configuration and installation easier and there has been made no effort to create any vision of a Linux Desktop.

This is what I’m aiming at, a “Linux-Desktop-vision”. When Steve Jobs gets up on stage and talks about the next Mac OS X release, the crowd goes crazy and when they get the release, they really enjoy it because it is software that really makes sense and is easy to use. Bill Gates hasn’t figured that out yet, but neither has the Linux/Open Source world.

The only way to get Linux on the Desktop would be a united effort of developers and projects that would try to create a vision for a complete Desktop. Choosing between KDE, GNOME and others isn’t easy and suggesting that we need KDE and GNOME united is crazy, but yes that actually would make the whole thing a whole lot easier. But that’s not what I’m asking/longing for. I’m longing for a Desktop vision that will bring a complete Desktop into the Linux world which means a very nice, clean and easy to use desktop together with applications that can stand up next to the ones we see on Mac and Windows. Copy? No! I’m talking about a few essential applications that every desktop comes with and even Linux already has them but they are just not fun and easy to use.

There is one project that is often called the (somehow still secret) killer app of Linux/KDE: amarok. This awesome music player improved release by release and is now able to easily stand up next to iTunes, Windows Media Player or other audio players. Why is that? Because the amarok developers took ideas that were there and had other ideas in mind and combined the result was a great audio player the world had not seen before.

What the Linux world clearly needs is something like iLife and iWork because these few apps are blowing the average user away and make them use their computer in different ways and they start to choose a different Operating System over other OSs because they see what they can do and go with the more fun, easier solution.

When KDE 4.0 will be getting ready it will be more a technology preview then a real release because it might be a great piece of software but it will lack these applications because most of the basic applications that are there right now are just being ported. KOffice is being reworked but I haven’t seen anything live yet that could stand up to Office 2007 or iWork 08. I have just seen a reworked UI in the old-grey “welcome to the office”-style.

GNOME 3.0 isn’t coming and GNOME lacks a basic vision for any further development. Sorry but I will repeat that from the first version.

So the Linux Desktop community has to come together and say we want to have a great picture/image, music, video, word, spreadsheet, presentation and cd/dvd burner and together with a new desktop like KDE 4.0 this new Desktop would rock.

The sad thing is that these projects already partly exists but that a lot of people are putting efforts into writing similar things because they want some things different but where are the powerful united efforts? Take the KOffice suite and put some creativity in it and boom you could stand up to Microsoft and Apple. How about digikam? A wonderful piece of software but just to complex for average joe… make it easier to use but keep the pro stuff but add it into expert bars so the people who know editing can get is easily but the average joe doesn’t run over it when he is just looking at his basic tools. Well music and video editing and even picture/image editors are rare these days but when there are good solutions and interest for Linux becomes stronger then the main software companies will throw there software to the Linux users because they want to sell to the most users there are in the wild.

Well this time it’s rather short but I think still pretty clear:

Get together and develop the software the people want and you will simply win the desktop (just take a look at the market share Apple gained in the last 2 years). If projects like KDE 4.0 will again only proof that some parts of the Linux desktop can be as good or even better as the rest but they don’t represent a Linux Desktop vision then even these efforts will fail and 4.0 ends up just as a proof of concept.

Thank you for reading and please send me your comments. Voice your opinion in support and maybe more developers get together and start united efforts to finally win the Desktop!


11 Responses to “(V2.0) The Guide to the (100%) Linux Desktop Revolution”

  1. 1 Mike Wazowski

    As soon as I read the title “Peter P. Parker critical views on Linux”, one question kept bugging me…

    If Peter P. Parker picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter P. Parker picked?

    Incredibly difficult to say it even once especially after a buddy of mine shared a pitcher of beer for lunch today and no food. After about 5 mins we wiped the tears away, read the article, then he told me to try KDE out since I was running Dapper LTS, and have not tried anything other than the default gnome. So after “sudo apt-get install kde-desktop” and some patience I have KDE running and like it better than gnome. everything I used in gnome is working just as well and for some reason the fonts look crisper w/ better anti-aliasing. Looks like KDE should be the default on ubuntu, yes? I’m leaving it behind since this is one of several gnome complaining entries I have read about over the past few months.

    Cheers mate 🙂

  2. 2 lassegs

    Yeah, I just wanted to tell you if you’ve “used Linux for years”, and as you tell us follow the niche news, you should really know that there has been _a hell of a lot_ of work done when it comes to ease of use. Today you can actually say that Ubuntu is easier for average Joe than MSWindows is.

    Don’t undermine the great work done by the Gnome team, the Ubuntu people, the fedora people, the SUSE people etc etc etc etc.

    Please, download Debian 3.1. Pretend you have the computer skills of the average Joe (actually, I presume you do), and go on to install Debian with a graphical desktop. Good luck with that.

    Things have come a god damn long way, dont go undermining that.

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  1. 1 The Guide V2.0 is out! « Peter P. Parker critical views on Linux
  2. 2 FreeSoftNews » Blog Archive » (V2.0) The Guide to the (100%) Linux Desktop Revolution
  3. 3 Manifeste | Gentlemen-Nerds

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