"DESKTOP LINUX IS DEAD!!"
It was so comforting to read those features asserting the unquestionable death of the Penguin OS on desktop computers at last. Windows is growing; Linux is disappearing. That's the way it should be. Linux can stay on servers, mainframes, supercomputers, highly important systems, where it belongs, not inside computers used by plain people. After all, why would regular users want an OS that runs on supercomputers sitting on their home/work systems?
When I read the first article about the death of Linux desktop, a shock of unbelief went through my spine. Could it be true? Could the dreams of glory of these obnoxious Penguin lovers be shattered as broken glass by the supremacy of the Redmond empire that we love so much?
More posts came up; all of them reinforced the idea of how Linux plummeted. Hence, a smile of satisfaction appeared in my face as I tasted the wine brewed from victory.
However, something happened which began to unsettle me.
IS LINUX DEAD?
In my city, I had only seen a Linux computer in the wild: it was a bothering little aubergine desktop in a small restaurant. Except for that one, all of the computers that I have seen for public use were nice and friendly Windows systems. So, I expected the owner to come to his senses in a two-month period...Yet, the Ubuntu computer is still there after four months. It's one example of unexplainable phenomena in the world.
Then, I recall that only two professors used Linux netbooks in the Faculty of the University where I work. Those systems were like a pair of little insects; I knew their owners had to switch to Windows soon. But they never did. As a matter of fact, I realized that there is another professor that is running Linux on her netbook and now wants to put it on her laptop as well...And there's a dual boot desktop in one of the offices, too. Every time I see it, the machine is running Linux.
Does that mean that Linux on the desktop is still alive and kicking? No, that's simply not possible! The articles were very solid and convincing. There must be something wrong here.
Let me take a look at numbers again:
From 1 Ubuntu desktop, 1 Mandriva netbook, and 1 Mepis netbook, it has gone to 1 Ubuntu desktop, 1 Mandriva desktop, 2 Mandriva netbooks, 1 Mepis netbook, and 1 Mepis desktop in a five month period.
Slowly, unrest took hold of me as I attended an event in the Faculty last Friday. It was a speech about Open Source!
They are announcing an institutional migration to Linux!
From 4,000 licenses the University paid to Microsoft two years ago, they went down to 500 this year. With the additional budget, the University has managed to acquire new equipment for students. The madness has gone to some regional centers, where they have already substituted their Windows systems. The University is also promoting open culture with a repository called Kérwá. As if all this were not enough, the University has a mirror server for ... (the horror!) Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and there is even an institutional customized version of Open Office!
My colleagues who went to the talk also want to migrate to Linux and Open Office! Didn't they see the beautiful video Microsoft produced explaining why you shouldn't? Or how the grades of students are affected negatively if they use Open Office instead of MS Office for their assignments?
Maybe people are actually reading the EULAs and they do not like the idea that you become a serf of Microsoft (a Microserf!)....I mean, if you neither own MS Office nor the proprietary formats (.doc, docx, etc) in which you save the files, how can you claim that the documents you produced are yours?...Could that be the reason explaining why professors and researchers here are gradually abandoning beautiful MS Office and its fair price? Or is it that they read the EULA and discovered that its terms are threatening their productivity?
But the story does not end there... Why should students of a Language School want to install Linux? They are simple users, not engineers! Linux is for GEEKS, not for normal people! Are they so geeky after all? What's wrong with them?? LINUX IS DEAD!!
I have suddenly realized that I must have paranormal powers... Yes, I have the Sixth Sense! Aaaargh!
Wanna know a secret...?
I see dead LINUX!