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The Second Rise of Linux

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Assigned keywords: Computer

For years, "Linux on the Desktop" has been a running joke for IT professionals; either commented by "I have it already" or "yeah, next year, when HURD comes along with Duke Nukem Forever".

However, there is a new trend arising: ultra-portable, cheap computers with limited resources, running Linux instead of Windows, as it is far easier to tailor Linux to such an environment than Windows. The OLPC was first, ASUS EEE followed, with others joining the trend. The point is that "common" computers have in many cases far surpassed the need of many people in terms of performance; while still not meeting their demands in simplicity. I still know people who haven't got computers yet, and I eschew of telling them hours about spamming, security patches, firewalls, privileges, websites that should not be visited, software that should not be downloaded, links that should not be clicked. What they want to do is to write some mails, do some research and homebanking, and what I would prefer is to just give them a closed, limited system which allows them to do exactly that.

I think that the future lies in these tailored systems. I imagine that sooner or later companies will start migrating to tailored systems, where users can exactly do what they are paid for. In my eyes, Windows as well as OS X (better said: OS X as well as Windows, as they started this misery) have strayed far too far from the needs of corporate users, which certainly do not include "digital lifestyle"-stuff such as "My Images" or "My Music".

So at last, Linux is arriving on the desktop. It might be that soon enough, it will do the same to the desktop market as to the server market. Maybe HURD will come to join the party, and Duke Nukem will run on both.


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