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Is desktop Linux too fragmented to succeed?

Apr 28, 2009, 12:02 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

"Unlike Windows or Mac OS X, each of which is the product of a single vendor, Linux comes in many different distributions that target the desktop, and each has its own look and feel. Some are based on the Gnome desktop environment, while others use KDE, and still others let the user choose between both. Icons, color schemes, desktop backgrounds, menus, directory arrangements, control panels, and available software choices will all vary depending on which distribution is installed. We speak of Linux as if it were a single, coherent entity, but from the user's perspective, there's really no such thing.

"Having a single version of Linux as the de facto standard for the enterprise desktop would make training easier, increase Linux's attractiveness to individual home users, and lower barriers of entry for commercial software vendors. All of this in turn would make Linux more competitive with Windows and Mac OS X. However, "one Linux to rule them all" seems unlikely. The market is rich with competition, and neither commercial Linux vendors nor open source developers are likely to agree on a single vision."

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