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Linux and the desktop

Linux and the desktop

Posted Oct 31, 2002 6:28 UTC (Thu) by dwheeler (guest, #1216)
Parent article: Linux and the desktop

I have three related comments about Linux and the desktop:

  1. It was absurd for anyone to think Linux could be used on the desktop until the applications were available. At the very least, an open source web browser and office suite that can read/write Microsoft formats is a bare minimum. Mozilla and Open Office only came out in 2002, and only now are getting incorporated into distributions. So I quite agree with your reasoning there.
  2. The newest Linux kernel does add features that greatly help the desktop. The biggest ones are the work to reduce latency (e.g., the pre-emptible kernel work), which should improve even further a feeling of "snappiness". The threads work also will help; Linux has supported threads for a while, but the latest work will make them fully POSIX-compliant, easing porting of applications.
  3. The Linux kernel isn't really where the desktop problem is, anyway. The problem has been that the desktop applications haven't been there. Now many are available, but need maturing for many cases, and obviously they aren't available in many specialized areas (WINE helps in those cases, but is no cure-all).

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