Opinion: Desktop Linux Is a Reality Now

In his Oct. 1 column, Michael Gartenberg claimed that Linux is still far from making it on the desktop. As someone who has tracked Linux’s progress since 1991 and the progress of the IT industry since 1979, I would like to offer an alternative perspective.

While Microsoft presently sits in a commanding position on the desktop, it got there by eclipsing the previous PC platform incumbent, and there is every possibility that it too, will in time be eclipsed.

Indeed, desktop Linux is now in consideration for an increasing number of mainstream users. It has rated feature articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other mainstream publications globally. In recent years, Linux has acquired an interface that is sufficiently familiar to desktop PC users. It is now easier to install than Windows, and Linux applications are also easier to acquire and maintain than their Windows counterparts. A sizable minority of users are now able to migrate all their important data and documents and to have Linux fulfill their day-to-day desktop application requirements.

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