Archive for April, 2014

Dispelling Linux Myths

April 30, 2014

Myths come in all shapes and sizes.  Most are the result of attempts to discredit.  However, there are those myths that, for whatever reason, create a false sense of hope.  Over time, such myths become ingrained in a subculture as truths.

The Linux community is no exception.

1. Linux will destroy the Microsoft Corporation.

The belief is that enough consumers will at some point in history abandon Microsoft Windows in favor of a GNU/Linux operating system.  The effect of which will drive Microsoft profits down below a viable point, and thus force Microsoft out of business.

The Windows Operating System division of Microsoft, however, is only a small part of their overall revenue generating operations.  Turning A Profit is a website that tracks and displays profits made by giant technology companies in real-time.

In one second, Microsoft can make a profit of anywhere between $800 and $1,200 (USD).

Microsoft makes $832 in profit in one second.

Microsoft revenue and profit in one second of real-time.

Could Apple, makers of the iPhone and iPad, collapse under the weight of Linux?

Apple makes $1,409 in profit in one second.

Apple revenue and profit in one second of real-time.


There is no empirical data that supports the contention of this myth.  Microsoft does not live and die by Windows sales.  If they decided to give Windows way for free to manufacturers, it would not significantly impact the company’s financial health.  Linux as a desktop replacement for Windows is not a threat to the existence of Microsoft.

2. The year of the Linux desktop.

This myth relates directly to the first myth.

This myth claims that at some unknown point in time the Linux operating system will gain a significant share of the computer desktop market.  The myth does not necessarily contend that Linux will hold a majority share, only an ever increase percentage of the desktop market.

Reality, however, shows a very different scenario.  Since January of 2010, when Linux first achieved a desktop market share of 4.6%, until present day April of 2014, Linux has not been able to successfully break much above the 5% mark.  That’s four years of stagnation.

Both of these myths may stem from a hatred of both Microsoft and Apple, and a deep-seated desire to see the Linux desktop dominate the computer industry.  For now these myths remain unrealistic dreams.