What is your opinion on Linux and the future of the Mac?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I know this is possibly a hot topic but I am wondering what other people's opinion of Linux is on here.

I know for many years it has been said that it will grow fast. It seems years ago I heard it would be something like 50% of the desktop market now but it seems it's less than 1% and growing but still not growing that fast. Yet for the server market I think it's the large majority.

I first tried Linux about 8 years ago and found it very dos-like and hard to set up. During a trip to Germany last fall I was shocked to see how common it is. I'd go to a bookstore and it seemed half the computer magazines were about Linux and two people I visited both were switches to SUSE Linux from Windows claiming how Windows was too expensive, buggy, bloated, and full of viruses and spyware. I think Linux is making large inroads in many countries outside of the US and even more so in developing countries because of the low cost of Linux itself, basically free, and the fact it will run on older hardware and not need as much memory and processing power.

When I was a Windows user I always looked at the day Linux would take over so I didn't have to work with Windows anymore. After my Germany trip I almost bought SUSE Linux to try on my desktop but chose Ubuntu since that seems popular now. I never tried it though since within a month a friend introduced me to the Mac. I instantly became hooked and purchased this Macbook Pro. I have two programs including Quickbooks that require Windows so I still have Parallels running Windows XP on my MBP. Yet when I purchased this I planned to use Windows much of the time but found most of my software could be replaced with Mac versions and I hope to someday use the mac side 100% of the time. Any problems I've had with my MBP have been on the Windows side.

I still find myself reading up on Linux a lot and I have two Windows desktops that I very rarely use. Whenever I do I deal with viruses, spyware, etc. and am thinking of setting Ubuntu Linux up on them.

I think the the Mac is a great computer and my future definitely likes with the Mac, not Linux. With time it seems Linux is getting easier to install and more of a out of the box solution. I listen to a lot of Linux podcasts and do some reading on it and it seems many Linux people are anti-microsoft, not anti-apple and some even look at apple as an ally with them against microsoft. Yet other Linux people look at Apple as even more proprietary than Microsoft since Apple makes the hardware also.

My take on this is I think Linux can coexist with Apple in the future. I think Microsoft is falling apart and Vista helped that. It won't be overnight but I think unless something changes, maybe with Gates leaving, Microsoft doesn't have much of a future opening it up to both Linux and Apple.

The way I see it is Linux will do well with the highly technical crowd. They like modifying the OS, having more power over their computer, and are more open to open source software. I think it will also do well with some businesses since they buy so many computers. They will look at the cost of outfitting many desks with computers and how much cheaper Linux is. I've heard Linux may move into education a lot but I'm not as sure about that. I think some people at home may use it as a desktop but not as much. The big problem I see with Linux is at least at this time you can't go to a store to buy software for it. Maybe that will change with time but i see Linux being more about open source downloadable software. I'm not sure what this means for the future of many companies such as Adobe is more software is open source. Also, with Linux being so open source and so many distributions I see it being even less control than Microsoft. This is a good thing but bad in that there could be more stability issues with different hardware, setups, etc. than we had with Microsoft.

What I see for Apple is they will still give you that out of the box solution you can't get elsewhere. You have iLife and a very stable system. It may cost more but these people will be willing to buy. I think it will continue to do well in education and be very popular in the home and I think some people trust commercial software more than open source.

I see the day Apple could easily grow to 25% of the market. I have doubts about it being the majority. Some people don't like the idea of one company controlling so much but I know the result is you get a product that is very well integrated and works well. I see the other 75% being Linux eventually. I know this will take some time and I guess there's always the chance of another OS joining the crowd. This isn't at all meant as anything anti-Apple. I think Apple is a great solution and am planning on getting a iMac later this year to maybe replace one of my desktops. I just am interested in how people feel about Linux and it's affects on Apple.


  • Reply 1 of 1
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    I don't see a future for Desktop Linux Operating Systems, at least not in the US.

    It's software support is restricted to ports and "Open Source Implementations" (aka, Ripoffs) of other software, and if there is no market for software on a particular platform there is no reason to use that platform. Linux can only realize it's potential on custom configurations, embedded systems, servers, and hobbyist operating systems. It's a terrible idea for a general purpose computer.

    On a side note, I'm downloading Fedora Core and Ubuntu ISOs to use on my PC. That thing just suffered a nasty crash and fortunately I had the foresight to backup my Mother's music 2 weeks earlier (it's now on my Mac) and it even corrupted her iPod (it was plugged in during the crash) so Windows is basically useless and Norton won't even reinstall. I refuse to even have the thing turned on with it plugged into the network until I have a different OS installed. The idea is to Tri-Boot Solaris, Ubuntu, and Fedora Core for experimental reasons, and since my Mother only needs a Browser for basic surfing and email, and already uses Firefox, it works out nicely. She's getting a Macbook hopefully later this year. I'll probably set her up on Solaris until then.

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