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January 15, 2008

Moving to Linux : Why the increased demand?

by @ 4:47 pm. Filed under Dell, General Linux, Linux migrations, Linux News, My Opinion

Linux is gaining. It’s almost impossible to miss, even for non-techies. Not only that, those non-techies are demanding it. Linux interest is spreading, perhaps driven by the dissatisfaction with the latest OS from Redmond. For example, I read recently:

“Demand for Linux systems is such that some retailers are selling out. Last year, for instance, Wal-Mart for a time couldn’t fulfill orders for Everex’s $199 gPC.” source

There have also been a steady increase in the number of news stories about Linux migrations. It gave me great pleasure to write a bit about Western & Southern Financial Group’s Linux Migration last week. Now, we see that there is another migration. This time, Opus Healthcare, a healthcare application vendor has switched over to Linux.

Then there is the whole concept of “supply and demand.” If people don’t want it, no one will sell it. Quite the opposite is happening in the case of Linux-based hardware. Several different hardware vendors such as Dell and Everex are offering Linux on their systems. I found a handful of places that you can get the Asus Eee with Linux preloaded. I can’t believe the number of vendors now that are selling systems with Linux on them. We’ve also heard recently that Lenovo will be offering SUSE-based ThinkPads.

Why is this happening? Well, for one thing, it seems that people are getting weary of M$ products. They’re tired of the viruses, the worms, the trojans, and all the other malware that they have to spend an additional $100 of software to keep out of their systems. On top of that, Vista has gotten bad reviews. All of this seems to indicate Microsoft has seen its peak of glory. They are not going to disappear (soon), but it seems that they aren’t going to regain the monopoly that they once had. Here’s something else I read on the matter:

“What’s behind the growing interest in open source computing, long the preserve of self-styled computer geeks? Linux’s increasing popularity among mainstream PC users may in part reflect a backlash against Microsoft. The company’s new Windows Vista OS has failed to capture users’ hearts and minds, let alone their wallets.”

“In 2007, only about 39% of new computers shipped with Vista on board, compared with the 67% of the new computer market captured by Windows XP in its first full year of availability in 2002, based on data from Microsoft and Gartner.”

“In spurning Vista, some PC buyers have cited concerns about its cost, resource requirements, and incompatibility with their existing applications. Indeed, the Home Premium version of Vista, not including a computer, costs more than Everex’s gPC. It also requires 15 Gbytes of disk space and a hefty processor.” source

15 Gigabytes? I had better be getting a personal spacecraft for that size. We went to the moon with the equivalent of a calculator. Now we need 15 Gigabytes to write documents in Word (*) and send email in Outlook(*)? No thanks.

Additionally, it seems that people are discovering that other viable options exist. Many like to play with things. They like to combine technologies and have the best of all worlds. All the coverage of Google’s Android and the iPhone are indicators of this. They have specific hardware needs, or they want to have some freedom. They want something that provides freedom to allow them to do what they want to or need to do. Linux provides this, and people are noticing.

These days, even the Micro$ofties are running Linux. You have got to love that.

On top of this, there is a younger generation coming up that is more tech-savvy. They also more freedom and options. They want to explore possibilities. Linux offers the ability to do this. Especially as it develops and becomes better.

Additionally, you cannot ignore the obvious draw of the cost. It’s free. You can pay for it to support those who develop it. But you can’t beat free.

Also, It has a history of being a solid server. Many enterprises, especially those that are just starting out, are already using it. What we hear about a lot are the migrations from Windows to Linux. What we don’t hear about are the countless thousands of entities who have always been using Linux.

With its continued growth, maturity, and capabilities, there has never been a better time than now to make the plunge and give Linux a try. For added interest, take a look at the “Intro to Linux” course. It gives you a bunch of reasons why people love Linux. It also provides about 150 examples of major Linux migrations by all kinds of organizations. The course is available from in the right nav.

Anyway, there seems to be more and more great, positive energy building up around Linux and hardware that runs it. If you’ve ever been curious to try it out or it’s been awhile, there’s no time like the present.

(*) – not included

9 Responses to “Moving to Linux : Why the increased demand?”

  1. Christopher Says:

    Great write-up. Seeing Linux break into the market like this is kind of surreal. Lets hope it’s here to stay!

  2. Maarten Kooiker Says:

    Nice article! And indeed people are getting interested in Linux, and there the dual boot helps a lot. I installed it on several computers now with a dual boot, so people can try whenever they want. In general they like it!

  3. howlingmadhowie Says:

    “Now we need 15 Gigabytes to write documents in Word and send email in Outlook?”

    should read:

    “Now we need 15 Gigabytes to write documents in Word (*) and send email in Outlook (*)
    * – not included”

  4. kenholmz Says:

    Freedom is of great value. Even if Linux were not free it would be a great buy at a price I could afford. Since 1995 I have purchased 10 boxed sets. One was a FreeBSD box, one OS/2 Warp 3 Connect; the other 8 have been Redhat and Suse. I have also enjoyed the DVD that accompanies my favorite Linux magazine and via download when I have the bandwith. I believe in supporting those who create what I cannot; although I make good use of it. I still have my WFW 3.11 diskettes. I created images of them on CD for posterity. Bill Gates and company benefited greatly from IBM clones and falling prices of almost everything but Microsoft software (which continues to climb). I believe, among other things, that the price and the lack of any intelligent thing to upgrade to in Vista has helped some see more clearly. Sadly, I don’t expect Ballmer and company to go quietly. I expect they will file the lawsuits. If this opening for alternatives holds, Ballmer will begin to sweat bullets before long. Remember, Ballmer has a responsibility to stock holders to screw everyone he can in anyway he can. Be vigilant.

  5. Scott Morris Says:

    Christopher, Maarten,
    Thanks for the nice words… I have a few machines sitting around the company at work with Linux on them and people are definitely warming up to them.

  6. Scott Morris Says:

    Excellent idea, done! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Scott Morris Says:

    Supporting Linux is a great thing to do. I recommend buying the boxed sets when possible to support the great folks that work so hard on it. And sadly, I know that what you are saying about Ballmer is true. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  8. kenholmz Says:

    P. S.
    I also thought your write up well worth reading.
    Regarding dual booting and the like….I have been enjoying the freebie VMWare server. My primary system runs a 1.8 Ghz P4, has two 80 gig hard drives and 1.25 gigs of RAM. I am running S.L.E.D. 10 sp1. I mention the things only because this setup allows me to enjoy quite of bit experimentation. I really like having iso images on the hard drive. This makes live distros run much better than from the real CD/DVD drive. No luck with Solaris 10 but the majority of what I have tried has worked either fairly well or quite well. Also, if I need to make room for something else I can back up the Virtual Machine or I can just wipe it out. My apologies for the wordiness.

  9. Scott Morris Says:

    Thank you for the kind words. Sounds like you absolutely have a fun setup. I really enjoy experimenting in such ways as you have mentioned. Makes life fun. Absolutely no need to apologize. I’m glad you came by. Thanks for the visit.

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