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Linsider: The 30 Year Cycle of Acceptance, and Why Linux Is Immune

Apr 13, 2000, 18:10 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Hammel)

[ Thanks to Fred Palmer for this link. ]

"In his book "Accidental Empires", Bob Cringley states that it takes 30 years for a new technology to be widely adopted by the public. He gives examples of telephones, which were invented in the 1870's and popularized in the 1900's, and TV's (invented in the 1920's, accepted in the 1950's). The personal computer dates from between the 1971 invention of the microprocessor to the 1975 introduction of the Altair. Adding 30 years to those dates would take us to between 2001 and 2005. We're just about there. So has the public adopted the PC?"

"Well, sort of...."

"So will it take 30 years for Linux to be adopted? No. Not even close."

"Linux won't take 30 years to be adopted for several reasons. The first is that Linux is not a new technology. Its the inevitable extension to the PC technology that itself has to evolve to reach its final acceptance. Linux is scalable so it fits into multiple devices. The PC has to evolve into devices that range from the small to the downright invisible. And each of those devices needs an operating system. Linux isn't new - it's just a better fit."

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