As Microsoft keeps working on the development of Windows 7, I am starting to hear all sorts of reviews and feedback. Most people that tried it are happy with the OS, I won’t deny that. But then another day I came across an article on The Inquirer titled Windows 7 is enough to kill Linux on the desktop.
I didn’t want to be a basher, so I took the time to read it despite getting annoyed by the title.
So what are the arguments of the author? Basically he says that Windows 7 is somewhat stable, has some nice graphics, and also runs fine with open source applications. Then, and don’t ask me how on Earth, the guy concludes that given those factors, user friendly Linux distributions like Ubuntu won’t be worthwhile anymore.
I do believe that Windows 7 will be an improvement for Microsft. After all they are launching an OS after Vista, so it is not like it would be too hard to achieve that…
Regardless, I don’t see Windows 7 removing the main two advantages that Linux has over Windows, even if you consider desktop users.
One: Linux is open source, and therefore free and supported by the community
Two: Linux is one of the most secure desktop operating systems out there
If you then consider the fact that with each new release most Linux distros are also getting very user friendly and graphically appealing, well, I don’t see how Windows 7 is going to hurt it.
Now I am not arguing that Linux on desktop is mainstream, or that it will become anytime soon. But you can’t deny that is does have its market, and its market share (albeit small) has been growing steadily.
I wonder why that guy has not checked the numbers, in fact.
The W3Counter reports that in May 2007 1,26% of the Internet users from around the world were using Linux as their OS. In December 2008 this number is up to 2,13%, with a growth of almost 70%.
The overall number might not seem big, but Apple’s OS X is not far away, with 5,24% of market share.
If anything, therefore, Linux is growing steadily, and I don’t think Windows 7 will change this pattern.