Saturday, 21 January 2017

Is Linux Finally Good Enough to Replace Windows?

According to data analytics company Net Market Share, Linux desktop usage has reached 2%. This is a first time achievement for the open source operating system.
This number does not count Android as Linux. That suggests that more users are flocking to the traditional Linux desktop (or that a lower percentage are using others).
Does this mean Linux has reached a point where it can replace Windows and Mac OS X for the average user?
As a native Windows user who switched to Linux several years ago, I’d say the answer is yes! Let me tell you why.

1. Linux is Easy

There’s this misconception that Linux is difficult to use. People assume that it’s only for developers, and that people have to use the command line. Not so. Linux is different, but these days you can get by without knowing what a terminal even is.

Most distros come with enough apps to cover the essentials. In some cases, they do a better job than the competition. I find it easier to edit documents, scan files, read PDFs, and edit images out of the box with a Linux computer than Windows. You can do a new or non-technical computer user a favor by starting them off with Linux.

2. The Desktop is Polished

Not just polished. Innovative! Beautiful!! Linux desktop environments have reached a point where they are comparable to their commercial counterparts. Not only that. In some ways, they’re more innovative.

3. You Can Do Anything from a Browser

Many of us spend most of our computer time inside a browser. Web apps make it possible to watch video, edit documents, and file your taxes. At this point, millions of people can get by using only a browser. The success of Chromebooks bears this out.

By extension, this increases what you can do from a Linux desktop. Users can now watch Netflix easily. Microsoft Office is available online. Plus there’s Google Docs, Pixlr, and all the apps in the Chrome Web Store.


Thanks to the success of the web, it almost doesn’t even matter what software is available for Linux, as long as you can get online.

4. More Software is Available

Switching to Linux used to mean giving up the apps you know. While you still have to forego some, the number is steadily shrinking. You can use Google Chrome to browse the web and download games with Steam. Open source applications such as Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, GIMP, Atom, VLC, and InkScape have grown so popular that you probably already use them on Windows, and all also run on Linux


  1. Certain business features are still missing from Linux. While the steep learning curve scares windows users away. People need to embrace change not fight it.

    1. What certain business features are still missing? Can't think of any? There's a reason why you can't. I've been using linux since 1995, running my small business on linux since 2009. We do not have a single computer running mac or windows.

    2. Hi Bob. I work in the financial sector where data analysis is required. My clients almost all use windows as ms office can not be beaten by its Linux counterparts. I also use Linux at home and yes as apps move to web based products its becomes easier to recommend Linux. People however dont easily embrace change and therein lies the problem.

    3. @Bob Also business packages such as payroll as far as I know tend not to be available on Linux ( I use Linux at home)

  2. I have 2 video card with 4 monitors configured in my PC and after installing linux, it only recognized 1 video card and 2 monitors, it completely ignore the other video card and 2 monitors connected to it, and I tried to modify xorg.conf file and it's too complex to configure. In windows it just works with 4 monitors all recognized, no pain.

    1. You don't sound like the average Joe though

    2. How long ago was it? A lot of things have changed in the last few years.

      Try a distro that uses Wayland; Fedora already does, and Ubuntu will on the next release.

  3. The problem is that nobody is selling (better if cheap as chromebooks) Ubuntu pre installed machines on stores.
    Dell offers now all their machines with Ubuntu and RHEL after the Sputnik project (only one and Ubuntu) so they must make some money with them.

    If ACER, HP, and or Lenovo begin to offer cheap and faster than MS WOS Ubuntu machines on stores with Chromium pre installed side by side with the same model with MS WOS S or Pro a lot of people, far more than that 2%, would choose what is better and faster: GNU/Linux

    If you would have to download, install and configure MS WOS, as you must with GNU/Linux the numbers would be others.

    As Android/Linux is now the most used OS for the internet, people will buy GNU/Linux even more than ChromeOS/Linux if some OEM will bet for it, even with a secondary brand, and UKUI in China can be a great deal, as can offer MS WOS 7 and XP alike desktop environment, to all those that do not want to learn how to use new things.

  4. The only thing the Windows GUI has somewhat better than any other Linux distribution is a smoother more modern look. Other than that, any Linux distribution is far superior to Windows. Windows are for those that do not know any better and will put up with the onion layers of crap code in the OS which by the way, Linux does not have. If your a Windows user, your a looser.