Social proof and the year of the Linux desktop

Intuition

Article from Issue 238/2020
Author(s):

Linux keeps getting better, but the improvements never seem to have an effect on desktop market share. If we really want to reach unfamiliar users, maybe we need a different approach?

Given the audience of this magazine, it hardly needs to be argued how much better, more beautiful, easier, and more useful desktop Linux has become in recent years. It's not like there's nothing left on the "to-do" list for a better and friendlier Linux, but there's also no denying how many items have been ticked off the list – and how many areas where Linux is already well ahead of the competition.

Even a few years ago, a Linux user needed to have enough technical skill to occasionally convert a file, download a codec, or update a driver. All these issues have almost totally gone away. The major Linux desktops are every bit as easy to use as macOS, and they are way more intuitive than Windows 10.

So has the Linux market share improved along with these significant improvements to the Linux user experience? It should vex us all that it hasn't. No matter how much we want Linux to break through to the mainstream market, it seems eternally stuck in the geek space.

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